Archive for category Corruption

Najib’s three “political disasters” on the seventh day of his week of “political disasters” totalling nine “political disasters” from Sept. 12

Yesterday, I listed the six “political disasters” committed by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s in his new “swamp politics ala-Trump” from Sept. 12 when he visited the White House and met with US President Trump, viz:

1. Najib’s visit to the White House and meeting with US President Trump on Sept. 12, without any sense of personal shame or national humiliation at being branded a “kleptocrat” and “MO1” by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets in US, UK and Switzerland, and his subservient position in a supplicant role to Trump to the extent of offering up as “homage” three “value propositions” to strengthen the US economy.

2. Najib publicly labeled as a “crook” by former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Newsweek magazine on Sept. 13, and Najib dare not sue them for defamation.

3. Najib’s speech at the MCA-organised Chinese Community Patriotic Assembly at the UMNO HQ in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, Sept. 16, where he threatened the Chinese saying that “the Chinese community would be targeted should Malaysia ever descend into chaos…If there is no peace in our country, what will happen? The Chinese will be the first to be targeted if there is no peace in this country.”

4. The perfunctory manner in which Najib as Prime Minister celebrated Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, spending less than 24 hours in Sabah to attend the official Malaysia Day events in Kota Kinabalu at night while completely ignoring Sarawak altogether.

5. The Prime Minister’s highly-hyped media conference announcement on Sept. 17 at 4.45 pm, resulting in the swarming by over 100 reporters from all over the world at the media conference, but which produced a dud in Najib’s latest “swamp politics” – “Mike Tyson” rejoining UMNO after a five-year sojourn in PAS and PKR from April 2013.

6. The continued hearing on Sept. 18 of the farcical Royal Commission of Inquiry into Bank Negara foreign exchange losses a quarter of a century ago, while there is no RCI on the elephant in the room – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal which turned Malaysia into a global kleptocracy overnight. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Wolf Of Wall Street producer settles civil suit linked to 1MDB

The NewPaper
Sep 18, 2017

KUALA LUMPUR The company that made the film The Wolf Of Wall Street and was co-founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stepson has settled a civil lawsuit brought by the United States government to seize assets allegedly bought with money stolen from a Malaysian state fund.

Red Granite Pictures announced the settlement in a filing at the federal Los Angeles court last Friday, without revealing any sum.

US prosecutors had claimed that the 2013 film, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, was financed by Red Granite using funds stolen from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Read the rest of this entry »

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Was RCI into Bank Negara forex losses three decades ago concluded earlier than scheduled to avoid the issue of Najib having to testify why he had opposed my call for an RCI in 1993?

A few hours after I issued a statement describing “the continued hearing on Sept. 18 of the farcical Royal Commission of Inquiry into Bank Negara foreign exchange losses a quarter of a century ago, while there is no RCI on the elephant in the room – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal which turned Malaysia into a global kleptocracy overnight” as the sixth political disaster of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in a week, the Sidek RCI into the Bank Negara forex losses concluded earlier than scheduled.

Was the Sidek RCI into Bank Negara forex losses three decades ago concluded earlier than scheduled to avoid the issue why Najib is not testifying at the RCI to explain why he had opposed my call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bank Negara forex losses in 1993?

In his testimony before the RCI yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad revealed that Najib was among the ministers in a 1993 cabinet meeting who rejected my proposal at the time to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into Bank Negara foreign exchange losses.

I had at the time, some a quarter of a century ago, asked the then Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to refer to the Cabinet to set up a RCI on Bank Negara’s forex losses. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Producer Reaches Settlement in Federal Corruption Case

Gene Maddaus
Variety
15th Sept 2017

Red Granite Pictures, dogged for more than a year by its connection to a massive Malaysian corruption case, on Friday reached a settlement with federal prosecutors.

The Department of Justice filed a civil forfeiture case in July 2016, seeking to recoup proceeds from “The Wolf of Wall Street.” Prosecutors alleged that Red Granite — whose CEO, Riza Aziz, is the step-son of Malaysia’s prime minister — used funds embezzled from a Malaysian development authority to produce the film.

The case was one part of a much broader effort to seize more than $1 billion in assets, out of $4.5 billion allegedly stolen from the development fund, known as 1MDB. Prosecutors have seized a Picasso and a Basquiat that were gifted to Leonardo DiCaprio, as well as an Oscar statuette that once belonged to Marlon Brando. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s sixth mistake in one week: the continued RCI hearings into Bank Negara forex losses a quarter of a century ago while no RCI on the elephant in the room – 1MDB scandal which turned Malaysia into a global kleptocracy overnight

Two days ago, I spoke about Datuk Seri Najib Razak as a very disaster-prone Prime Minister who made history by committing five political disasters within a week.

But I had under-estimated Najib, as I am today writing about Najib’s sixth political disaster within a week, while tomorrow, I will deal with Najib’s seventh political disaster within a week – from Sept. 12 to 19. Read the rest of this entry »

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US court grants stay in 1MDB assets seizure case

by David J Lynch in Washington
Financial Times
18th Sept. 2017

A federal judge in Los Angeles has granted a US government request to delay its attempt to seize assets allegedly purchased with funds stolen from the 1MDB Malaysian state investment fund while a criminal investigation proceeds.

The ruling came one day after President Donald Trump proclaimed it “a great honour” to welcome to the White House the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is linked to the investigation but denies any wrongdoing.

The US Department of Justice has been pursuing the alleged misappropriation of $4.5bn from the 1MDB fund along two paths.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Five political disasters in one week – isn’t it enough?

What an anti-climax and a political disaster!

The much hyped-up media conference announcement this evening by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak which attracted not only national but world-wide attention proved to be an utterly inconsequential one of the former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib rejoining UMNO, after leaving UMNO in 2013 to join PAS, and then leaving PAS in 2015 to join PKR.

May be, Najib should be congratulated for getting a better candidate to be Selangor Mentri Besar than the one Selangor UMNO/BN has at present, but whether “Mike Tyson” will inspire Selangor voters to give the Selangor Government mandate back to UMNO/Selangor is another question.

What is most deplorable is the “game” which UMNO propagandists and cybertroopers played on the media, to make then their “agents” to spread their ploy, naming various ex-UMNO personalities who would be returning to the fold, like Shafie Apdal, Tamrin Ghaffar, Khalid Ibrahim, etc. We are indeed seeing “swamp” politics of the most immoral and despicable variety now in Malaysia.

This is Najib’s fifth political disaster in a week. Isn’t it enough?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Instead of a meaningless “hero’s welcome home” in KLIA last night, is Najib prepared to convene a special Parliament on 1MDB scandal to clear and cleanse Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy?

The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak returned to “a hero’s welcome” at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) last night after his recent visit to White House and meeting with US President Trump.

What was the “hero’s welcome home” for?

Was it for representing Malaysia bearing gifts like a vassal state to the White House in the meeting with US President Donald Trump, with three “value propositions” to strengthen the US economy to make America great again – as stated in the White House transcript of the 5-minute 58-second exchange between Najib and Trump in their meeting?

Although the Finance Ministry Secretary-General Tan Sri Irwan Sregar has denied that Najib was bearing gifts to Washington to “strengthen the US economy”, the Prime Minister himself has not made any denial in the past four days.

I do not think Najib could deny what was clearly stated in the transcript of the Najib-Trump 5-minute 58-second exchange at the White House meeting, as the transcript was released by White House itself.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Najib sue former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and Newsweek for calling him a “crook”?

Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak sue the former World Bank President Paul Wolfowitze and American news magazine Newsweek for defamation for calling him a “crook”?

This is the first time that a Malaysian Prime Minister in 60 years has been publicly called a “crook” by an international personality like the former World Bank President and an international news magazine.

Is Najib going to keep quiet and submit to such public defamation or is he going to defend his personal honour and the nation’s dignity by taking legal action to sue Wolfowitz and Newsweek magazine for calling him a “crook”?

Malaysians can still remember that it is more than two years ago that Najib had threatened to sue Wall Street Journal in July 2015 for implicating him in the 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals, but nothing has come out of it.

Similarly, can Najib be believed if he now indulges in saber-rattling warning that he would sue Paul Wolfowitze and Newsweek without coming through with any defamation proceedings? Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump’s meeting with Malaysian crook Najib reeks of the Swamp

BY PAUL WOLFOWITZ
Newsweek
9/13/17

This article first appeared on the American Enterprise Institute site.

President Trump met yesterday with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia, a visit the Wall Street Journal in an editorial last week characterized appropriately as “Trump’s Malaysia Swamp.”

As an Australian expert on Southeast Asia quoted in the New York Times said, “From a pure public relations point of view, it’s a meeting the White House should avoid. . . . Even a photo op with Kim Jong-un would be better.”

The Washington Post in an editorial yesterday said that the visit “sets a new low. Not only is Mr. Najib known for imprisoning peaceful opponents, silencing critical media and reversing Malaysia’s progress toward democracy. He also is a subject of the largest foreign kleptocracy investigation ever launched by the US Justice Department.” Read the rest of this entry »

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The 5 minute 58 second-exchange in the White House that launched a thousand jokes

Just as there is a saying about “The face that launched a thousand ships”, I would not be surprised if there is saying about “The 5 minute 58 second-exchange in the White House that launched a thousand jokes”.

The Trump-Najib meeting at White House on Sept. 12 was choreographed as a “master propaganda stroke” to position the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in an unassailable position in the run-up to the 14GE.

It was to knock out the adverse publicity hounding and haunting Najib as a result of the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s largest kleptocratic suits ever to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets, and coupled with the “go for the jugular” propaganda offensive blaming the Opposition of using the 1MDB issue to undermine investor confidence in the Malaysian economy, it was to place Najib in the elevated and unbeatable position of a world-respected Malaysian leader facing unreasonable attacks by unpatriotic Malaysians!

But within 24 hours, the two-prong propaganda offensive of the Najib strategic communications team came apart, for it was so artificial and lacking in candour and truth that it is not sustainable, and the top-heavy propaganda artifice erected by Najib’s highly-paid media foreign consultants has come tumbling down.

In fact, instead laying all controversies, including the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals to rest, the Najib-Trump meeting at the White House, and in particular the 5 minute-58 second Trump-Najib exchange in the White House, opened up more questions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians dependent on mainstream media out-of-sync with rest of the world – believing Najib’s meeting with Trump at White House “resounding success” when US and world media regard it as a disaster for both countries

Malaysians dependent on mainstream media for their information are out of sync with the rest of the world – believing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House was a “resounding success” when US and world media regard it as a disaster for both countries.

Najib has given a new meaning to foreign trips by our Prime Minister and Ministers as until Najib’s US visit, one criteria to judge the success of such a foreign visit is to consider the amount of foreign investments it had been able to attract for Malaysia, but there was not only none in Najib’s White House visit, the Prime Minister visited the White House bearing gifts like a supplicant visiting a reigning potentate!

Any self-respecting Malaysian who read the transcript of the remarks made by Trump and Najib at the White House Cabinet Room on Tuesday would squirm at the tone and tenor of the exchange, for it was not between two equals representing two sovereign nations but like those between a monarch and a minor chieftain of one his far-flung territories! Read the rest of this entry »

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From Trump hotel lobby to White House, Malaysian prime minister gets VIP treatment

By Jonathan O’Connell
Washington Post
September 12, 2017

Before arriving at the White House late Tuesday morning to meet with President Trump, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak strode through the golden doors of an elevator at the Trump International Hotel and past the lounge to his waiting motorcade.

The prime minister’s official White House visit also brought at least 24 hours of activity and sales to the glamorous 263-room hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue that Trump owns through a trust. And it is likely to escalate debate over whether the president is benefiting from a luxury property that has become Washington’s new power center — and, its critics say, a staging area for those seeking White House access.

Hotel staffers and Malaysian officials declined to say whether Najib and the other officials stayed overnight at the hotel, among the most expensive in Washington, or if they did stay, for how long.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed a question about the delegation’s stay. “We certainly don’t book their hotel accommodations,” she told reporters Tuesday.

But signs of the Malaysia delegation’s presence were obvious at the property. At lunchtime Monday, more than a dozen members of Najib’s entourage relaxed in a lounge area reserved for hotel guests. That evening, they came and went from the hotel, sometimes returning to the valet stand with shopping bags.

Najib departed just before 8 p.m. Monday in his motorcade. He had a scheduled dinner with a business group. He returned to the hotel and rode up the escalator at nearly 10:30 p.m.

On Tuesday morning, dozens of delegation members convened in meeting rooms with name cards bearing the Malaysian coat of arms. Some attended a white-tablecloth breakfast in the hotel’s Lincoln Library meeting room.

Events of this scale would probably mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue for the Trump Organization, based on confirmed spending totals of other groups that have set up camp there. The company declined to comment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leader Plays Up Aircraft Deals, Investments During U.S. Visit

Michael C. Bender
Wall Street Journal
Sept. 12, 2017

President Trump and Prime Minister Najib don’t mention U.S. probe of Malaysia’s investment fund

WASHINGTON—President Donald Trump touted what he described as a plan by Malaysia Airlines Bhd. to spend between $10 billion and $20 billion on Boeing Co. jets and General Electric Co. engines as he opened a White House meeting with Malaysia’s prime minister.

Mr. Trump, in a public appearance with Prime Minister Najib Razak, cited the airline deal as a basis for strong ties between the two countries. Boeing said the deal involved 16 new planes. He also identified Malaysia as a strategic national-security ally in Asia, while playing down the significance of a fresh round of sanctions the United Nations Security Council approved against North Korea on Monday.

Mr. Trump also praised Malaysia as a significant investor in U.S. securities, saying American markets have been hitting records “on almost a weekly basis” during his presidency. “I congratulate you on those investments,” Mr. Trump said during a brief public appearance with the Malaysian leader.

The airline deal puts the administration in the unusual position of coaxing investment from a trade partner that the U.S. is also investigating for investment fraud.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the alleged looting of 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a Malaysian economic-development fund. The probe threatens to ensnare much of the country’s ruling elite, including Mr. Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump says ‘it’s an honor’ to host Malaysian PM who faces corruption probe over national wealth fund which gave Leo di Caprio a Picasso – as dignitary beds down in Trump hotel

*President Donald Trump met at the White House with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak
*The Justice Department says people close to Najib stole billions of dollars
*Trump said it was a ‘great honor’ to have him in the White House
*Trump said a deal for Malaysia to buy Boeing planes is worth up to $20 billion
*He called Malaysia a ‘massive investor in the United States in terms of stocks and bonds’
*White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ‘not aware’ if corruption accusation came up
*The prime minister was spotted repeatedly at Trump’s D.C. luxury hotel
*Malaysia’s government has found no criminal wrongdoing with the 1MDB fund founded by Najib
*U.S. Justice Department investigation for possible money laundering
*Najib says Malaysia plans to invest $4 billion in Trump’s infrastructure plan

By Geoff Earle, Deputy U.s. Political Editor For Dailymail.com and Associated PressDaily Mail, UK
12 September 2017

President Donald Trump said it was a ‘great honor’ to have the prime minister of Malaysia at the White House, and the president’s spokeswoman said she wasn’t aware whether a massive corruption investigation of his associates came up.

Trump praised Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for his country’s investments in the U.S. – and singled out purchases of Boeing aircraft that could hit $20 billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump hosts scandal-hit Malaysian PM

News24
2017-09-12

Washington – US President Donald Trump hosts Malaysia’s prime minister at the White House Tuesday, a meeting that risks being overshadowed by his guest’s spiraling corruption scandal.

Prime Minister Najib Razak will visit the Oval Office for talks that the White House says will be focused on terrorism, trade and Asian maritime disputes.

But the run-up to Najib’s arrival has been dominated by questions about his entanglement in an ongoing US Justice Department investigation.

The veteran prime minister faces allegations that billions were looted from a sovereign wealth fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in complex overseas deals that are being investigated by authorities in several countries, including the United States.

Both the prime minister and the fund deny any wrongdoing, but the Justice Department has filed civil lawsuits to seize assets, from high-end real estate to artworks, it says are worth about $1.7 billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump meeting with Malaysian prime minister comes under scrutiny

PBS Newshour
BY JULIE BYKOWICZ, ASSOCIATED PRESS AND EILEEN NG, ASSOCIATED PRESS
September 12, 2017

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump praised Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak for his country’s financial investments in U.S. companies during a meeting Tuesday at the White House and thanked him for helping to fight Islamic State militants.

Left unsaid by either leader: anything about the massive corruption scandal swirling around Najib’s multibillion-dollar state fund.

Malaysia’s government has said it found no criminal wrongdoing at the fund, called 1MDB and founded by Najib. But it has been at the center of investigations in the U.S. and several countries amid allegations of a global embezzlement and money-laundering scheme.

The U.S. Justice Department says people close to Najib stole billions of dollars, and the federal government is working to seize $1.7 billion it says was taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump welcomes Malaysian leader, despite advocates’ concerns

By Annie Linskey
Boston Globe
Sept. 12, 2017

WASHINGTON — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is linked to a multibillion-dollar embezzlement scandal, and human rights groups say he has limited free speech, imprisoned opposition leaders, and locked up Malaysians who have “insulted” the government.

But on Tuesday, Najib was greeted at the White House by President Trump, who listened to his guest’s pledge to invest billions of dollars for US infrastructure while publicly ignoring his links to the scandal that the Justice Department is actively probing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump, Malaysia’s Najib skirt round U.S. probe into 1MDB scandal

Roberta Rampton, David Brunnstrom
Reuters
SEPTEMBER 12, 2017

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump welcomed Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the White House on Tuesday, praising his country for investing in the United States while steering clear of an American investigation into a Malaysian corruption scandal.

The visit is important for Najib, who faces elections next year and wants to signal he is still welcome at the White House despite a criminal probe by the U.S. Justice Department into a state fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Read the rest of this entry »

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Trump Welcomes Najib Razak, the Malaysian Leader, as President, and Owner of a Fine Hotel

By MARK LANDLER
New York Times
SEPT. 12, 2017

WASHINGTON — When President Trump welcomed Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, to the White House on Tuesday, he thanked him for “all the investment you’ve made in the United States.”

Mr. Trump did not single out Mr. Najib’s patronage of his hotel two blocks from the White House, but he could have: the Malaysian leader was spotted entering and exiting the Trump International Hotel, with his entourage, on Monday and Tuesday.

The White House denied that Mr. Najib had picked the hotel at Mr. Trump’s behest. “We certainly don’t book their hotel accommodations,” the press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said, “so I couldn’t speak to the personal decision they made about where to stay here in D.C.”

Whatever the motivation, the choice of lodgings added to the awkwardness of a meeting already replete with ethical questions. Mr. Najib is under investigation by the Justice Department, part of a corruption scandal that critics said he has fended off by firing investigators and dismissing negative news reports about him as “fake news.”

In these respects, he is not unlike Mr. Trump. So it was perhaps not a surprise that the two leaders skipped a news conference, kept their public remarks brief, and stayed on the safe ground of trade and counterterrorism. Read the rest of this entry »

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