Archive for May 8th, 2017

Najib’s upbeat take on 1MDB called into question

Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore
Financial Times
7th May 2017

Property failure and Abu Dhabi deal leave taxpayer on the hook, says MP

In an ebullient New Year’s message, Najib Razak declared that 1MDB’s “major challenges” were behind it. But critics of the Malaysian prime minister have seized on two apparent reversals as evidence that efforts to clear the scandal-hit Malaysian state investment fund’s debts are in disarray.

A crucial part of Mr Najib’s claim was a $1.7bn deal to sell a stake in a Kuala Lumpur property project to a China-backed consortium. That deal has now collapsed, with questions raised about China’s role in vetoing the agreement.

Meanwhile, 1MDB made an agreement earlier this month to pay Ipic, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, $1.2bn to settle an embarrassing dispute in which Ipic was claiming about $6.5bn.

The Malaysian fund is at the centre of multiple global investigations into alleged grand corruption. Swiss investigators allege that up to $4.8bn was diverted from companies linked to 1MDB,which was set up by the Malaysian premier.

“With the latest collapse of the proposed [property project] sale, the entire ‘rationalisation’ exercise . . . hailed by the prime minister and cabinet has been completely unravelled,” said Tony Pua, an MP with the Democratic Action party, Malaysia’s main opposition group. Read the rest of this entry »

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End to 1MDB saga still elusive after Bandar Malaysia setback

Shannon Teoh
Straits Times
8th May 2017

The chief of state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Mr Arul Kanda, was last Tuesday personally overseeing the dry run for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s site visit the next day to the Bandar Malaysia development.

Over a year ago, Mr Arul brokered the deal to sell 60 per cent of the upcoming township by 1MDB for RM7.4 billion (S$2.4 billion), one of the main planks of the plan to retire the state firm’s whopping US$11 billion (S$15.5 billion) debt.

But the lavish party to be attended by Datuk Seri Najib and the top brass of the Malaysia-China consortium that bought the stake didn’t happen, as the deal was aborted last Wednesday.

More worryingly for the Malaysian government, another key plank to bury 1MDB’s controversial dealings – a settlement with an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund over a US$6.5 billion claim – still needs a great deal of work.

The past fortnight was supposed to help draw a line under 1MDB’s controversial dealings. It turned out to be two weeks of unfulfilled hopes. Read the rest of this entry »

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How many Malaysians will believe that I want to be Prime Minister of Malaysia so as to appoint Guan Eng as Deputy Prime Minister?

In the last 24 hours, I came across three items on the social media in the vicious demonization campaign launched by UMNO/BN propagandists and cyberbroopers in the run-up to the 14th General Election to paint me as a devil, a puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; cause of May 13, 1969 riots; a communist; a stooge of foreign powers; that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu into my stooges and puppets, etc.

The first one was a WhatsApp visual, with the words: “The crystal ball shows that Lim Kit Siang will be Prime Minister after GE14”.

The second was a two-and-a-quarter minute youtube visual “Apa Untong Rakyat Dengan DAP” which demonised me garbed in a communist uniform, accused me of causing the May 13 riots in 1969 and the “power” behind the “DAP-led” Pakatan Harapan.

The third is the accusation that I want to be Prime Minister after the 14th General Election so that I can name Guan Eng as the Deputy Prime Minister.

How many Malaysians will believe that my political ambition is to become the Prime Minister of Malaysia so as to appoint Guan Eng as Deputy Prime Minister? Read the rest of this entry »