Archive for category Corruption

Trump’s ‘war on media’ reverberates in Asia

Keith B. Richburg
Nikkei Asian Review
January 12, 2018

Region’s strongmen endanger prosperity with press crackdowns

Asia witnessed a particularly disturbing rollback in free expression last year amid escalating attacks on the media and harassment of journalists. And 2018 holds little promise for improvement.

One striking shift over the past year has been in the role of the United States under President Donald Trump. Once a staunch defender of media freedom, Washington can no longer be counted on to advocate for the rights of journalists worldwide. Trump, who has labeled U.S. reporters as “the enemy of the American people” and purveyors of “fake news,” has abrogated the president’s traditional role of standing up for the value of an independent press and the free flow of information.

Asia’s authoritarian leaders have begun to echo Trump’s cry of “fake news” to justify their crackdown on the media. From Beijing and Bangkok, to Phnom Penh and Naypyitaw, journalists have been jailed or subjected to violence, media outlets shuttered, and new restrictions imposed on reporters. This has happened without a word of concern, let alone condemnation, from the White House. In many cases, Asian leaders have echoed Trump’s words, with some, such as Cambodia’s Hun Sen, acting as if they had the U.S. president’s tacit support. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is DAP “unclean” because it does not support Hadi as Prime Minister?

The attack by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang that the DAP is unclean sets many Malaysians asking whether the DAP is unclean because it does not support Hadi as Prime Minister but would become instantly “clean” if DAP supports Hadi as Prime Minister.

For seven years from 2008 to 2015, Hadi led PAS to co-operate with DAP and PKR in Pakatan Rakyat to replace the UMNO/BN coalition in Putrajaya.

At which point Hadi found that the DAP was “unclean” and not worthy of co-operation?

Was it in 2012 when Hadi sought and failed to get the support of DAP that the Pakatan Rakyat candidate for Prime Minister should be Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and not Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim?

Was Hadi preparing to spring a surprise to use the quota of PAS MPs as the “kingmakers” to decide which coalition, Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional, should form the federal government after the 13th General Election, depending among other things on whether Hadi got his way on who would be the Prime Minister – with Hadi always preferring to be Deputy Prime Minister of a Najib-led instead of an Anwar-led Cabinet? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia is already the butt of jokes of Africans for our global kleptocracy, let us not be another African butt of jokes for our democracy

Malaysians have two objectives in the forthcoming 14th General Elections.

Firstly, for Malaysia to mature to become a normal democracy and secondly, to save the nation from the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

The Pakatan Harapan parties of DAP, PKR, AMANAH and Bersatu are fully committed to the ballot box as the sole avenue for political and democratic change. The 14GE will be the 12th general elections for the DAP in over five decades and the history and record of the DAP is unswerving commitment to the democratic and constitutional process to effect political change.

The real question at issue in the 14GE is whether Najib and UMNO are equally committed to see Malaysia mature as a normal democracy where change of the federal government through the ballot box is accepted as a healthy democratic process and not one to invite threats of violence, bloodshed, chaos, riots or coups. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s misdeeds at the 71st UMNO General Assembly which still rankle Malaysians who are rational, fair-minded, patriotic and nationalistic

It is almost a week week since the 71st UMNO General Assembly but what the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said and did at the opening of the UMNO General Assembly and the winding-up still rankle rational, fair-minded, patriotic and nationalistic Malaysians who believe in what Bapa Malaysia Tengku Abdul Rahman said in 1957 about the country being “a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world” and the Dream and Vision in the Merdeka and Malaysia Proclamations of a Malaysia of excellence, justice, integrity, freedom and harmony despite the diverse races, religions and cultures in Malaysia.

Firstly, Najib’s resort to lies and falsehoods when he accused the DAP of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, that “DAP yang terang terang Anti-Melayu dan Islam, sebagai tercatat dalam perlembagaan DAP, langsung tidak meyebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan”.

Present at the 71st UMNO General Assembly opening were the leaders of the other 12 Barisan Nasional component parties, such as MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties.

His criticism of DAP that “tercatat dalam perlembagaan, langsung tidak sebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan” applies in equal measure to the 12 other BN component parties.

Will Najib accuse the other 12 BN component parties, and therefore the Barisan Nasional coalition, as anti-Malay and anti-Islam? Read the rest of this entry »

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If Najib can get away with the 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” in the 14GE, what is there to prevent Malaysia from scaling greater kleptocratic heights after the general election with 2MDB, 3MDB and worse money-laundering scandals which will make 1MDB scandal look like peanuts?

This has never happened before.

Malaysia singled out in an international forum as the No. 1 rogue nation in the world, with the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions condemning 1MDB, the brainchild of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as “kleptocracy at its worst” at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) co-organised by the UK and US governments on 4th December DC.

Again, never happened before, news reports of Sessions’ castigation of Malaysia as global kleptocracy completely blacked out by UMNO/BN owned and controlled mainstream media, whether online or printed, in the country – whether the New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian or The Star.

I shudder to think that if Najib can get away with the 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” in the impending 14th General Election, what is there to prevent Malaysia from scaling greater kleptocratic heights after the general election with 2MDB, 3MDB and worse money-laundering scandals which will make 1MDB look like peanuts?
Read the rest of this entry »

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JASA Director-General is paid higher than a Minister because he must be a person who is no respector for the truth and must be in the forefront to tell lies to defend Najib and “global kleptocracy”

Last month, Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datin Seri Dr.Wan Azizah Wan Ismail asked in Parliament why the Director-General of of Special Affairs Department (Jasa) is paid more than the monthly salary of Ministers, including the Communications and Multimedia Minister, to whom the JASA Director-General is supposed to be answerable to.

This answer has been given by the JASA Director-General Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi in his response to my criticisms of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s summing-up speech at the UMNO General Assembly on Saturday.

It is clear that the reason why the JASA Director-General is paid higher than a Minister, including the Minister of Communications and Multimedia to whom he is not answerable to as he is accountable only to the Prime Minister is that the Jasa DG must be a person who is no respector for the truth and must be in the forefront even to tell lies to defend Najib and Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy as a “global kleptocracy”. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th General Election will be battle of truth vs lies, people of Malaysia vs UMNO/BN and “No Kleptocracy in Malaysia vs 2MDB/3MDB and more”! I have a confession to make.

I have a confession to make.

UMNO/BN owned or controlled media made quite a circus during the UMNO General Assembly over a former Penang DAP State Assemblyman for Jawi, Tan Beng Huat leaving the party to join the People’s Alternative Party (PAP), and I was singled out as the main reason for Tan’s departure from the party.

When I saw a photograph of Tan’s submitting his membership application to People’s Alternative Party, I had thought that the younger person to his right was Tan Beng Huat.

Tan resigned from the DAP more than a year ago, and he did not breathe a word about what he was purported to have said on Friday.

Now a person whom I have no impression whatsoever is quoted as authority by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that I want to be Prime Minister of Malaysia.

This is quite a reflection on the credibility and authority of Najib as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Najib set a “wasatiyyah” example instead of leading a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition in the run-up to the 14GE?

Will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak set a “wasatiyyah” example and not lead a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition?

It is most unfortunate that in his UMNO Presidential Speech on Thursday, beating the war-drums for the impending 14th General Election, Najib spearheaded a campaign of lies and falsehoods against the Opposition.

He accused DAP of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, that “DAP yang terang terang Anti-Melayu dan Islam, sebagai tercatat dalam perlembagaan DAP, langsung tidak meyebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan”. Another Najib argument why the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam is DAP’s commitment for a secular Malaysia.

Present at the 71st UMNO General Assembly opening were the leaders of the other 12 Barisan Nasional component parties, such as MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties.

Is Najib aware that his baseless attack on the DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam applies in equal measure to the 12 other BN component parties, as his criticism that “tercatat dalam perlembagaan, langsung tidak sebut Islam sebagai Agama Persekutuan” applies to all the other 12 BN component parties as well?

Is Najib accusing the other 12 component parties of Barisan Nasional of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam just because of this? Read the rest of this entry »

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Will UMNO General Assembly ignore three years in a row what the United States Attorney-General Sessions described yesterday as the world’s “kleptocracy at its worst” – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal?

Will the 71st UMNO General Assembly ignore three years in a row what the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions described yesterday as the world’s “kleptocracy at its worst” – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal?

At the opening speech for the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington DC yesterday, US Attorney-General Sessions described the 1MDB scandal as “kleptocracy at it worst” when referring to United States government efforts in combatting corruption on the global level.

No other kleptocracy rated the prominence given by Sessions to the 1MDB scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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3Vs in the RCI Report of the Bank Negara Forex Losses in the 1990s, presenting the top political leaders and public servants in 1990s as a cast of villains raises questions about the present top political and government leaders in relation to 1MDB scandal – greatest corruption scandal in nation’s history

Everything is happening with unusual rapidity advertising that the motivating impulse is not to seek justice but the 3Vs of vengeance, vindictiveness and vendetta to target Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim with the impending 14th General Election in 120 days.

One sad outcome is the besmirching and devaluation of the institution of Royal Commission of Inquiries – as evident by the dishonourable manner in which the RCI Report on Bank Negara Forex Losses in the 1990s was surreptitiously circulated to Members of Parliament on the last day of Parliament, without any notice whatsoever and without any opportunity for MPs to debate it! Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Harapan will form Royal Commission of Inquiry into 1MDB scandal in the first 100 days and seek international co-operation to clear and cleanse Malaysia of the ignominy and infamy of a global kleptocracy

Today is the last day of the 2018 Budget meeting of Parliament, where MPs were surprised with the tabling of the 830-page Report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Forex Losses by Bank Negara in the 1990s but no debate was allowed in Parliament.

The RCI Report was dated 13th October 2017, when it was presented to the Yang di Pertuan Agong.

Can the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak explain why the RCI Report on the Bank Negara Forex Losses in the 1990s was not presented in Parliament earlier in the intervening seven weeks and why there was no debate in Parliament?

It is obvious that the purpose of the RCI into the Bank Negara Forex Losses in the 1990s was not so much to find out the truth as to the forex losses about a quarter of a century ago, but to distract national attention from the greatest financial scandal in Malaysian and even global history, the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal which for the past few years had continued to make international headlines about its monstrous corruption and criminality involving top Malaysian leaders, including “MALAYSIANN OFFICIAL 1” (MO1)!

The RCI into the Bank Negara Forex Losses in the 1990s had a second objective, to persecute and harass Pakatan Harapan leaders like Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who posed a serious political challenge to Najib – and this is proven by the police report lodged by the RCI Secretary, Dr. Yunus Ismail based on the RCI findings. Read the rest of this entry »

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Never before in six decades of nation’s history have Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or station, been so concerned about the future of the country as we had clearly taken the wrong turn in nation-building at variance from the bedrock principles of the Malaysian Constitution and Rukunegara

Never before in six decades of the nation’s history have Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or station, been so concerned about the future of the country as we had clearly taken the wrong turn in nation-building at variance from the bedrock principles of the Malaysian Constitution and Rukunegara.

This is best illustrated by the following developments:

• The failure of the federal government to fully honour the Malaysia Agreement 1963 for Sabah and Sarawak, with the Keningau Batu Sumpah standing as an indictment of such failure, particularly the three core issues of religion, land and local customs.

• In the Cobbold Commission Report 1963, the Malayan representatives made the commitment that the Malaysian Constitution “in effect would be secular”, and it is most shocking that such constitutional safeguards had been so undermined in recent years, that the Federal Government is openly funding activities of organisations which attacked the “secular” principle in the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukunegara principle on the supremacy of the Malaysian Constitution. Land which embraces territorial waters raise the question of Sabah and Sarawak’s rightful share of oil royalties, while Malaysia’s unique asset of linguistic, religious and cultural diversity has come under intense attack in recent years.

• Even the Malay Rulers are concerned that the Malaysian nation-building process has gone awry, resulting in three statements by them in the past two years, the first one in October 2015 expressing concern on the 1MDB scandal, the second statement in February 2016 on the National Security Council (NSC) Bill with its impact on democracy and human rights and recently, the third statement in October this year expressing the Malay Rulers’ concern on national unity and harmony. Read the rest of this entry »

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A sad and shameful way to celebrate Malaysia’s 60th anniversary, with an ever-widening circle of nations regarding Malaysia as a state rife with corruption and kleptocracy – from the US, Europe, Asia and now even in Africa

It is a sad and shameful way to celebrate Malaysia’s 60th anniversary, with an ever-widening circle of nations in the world regarding Malaysia as a state rife with corruption and kleptocracy – from the United States, Europe, Asia and now even in Africa.

The Federal Government and the national institutions have not lifted a finger in the last few years to clear and cleanse Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded by the world not only as a new member of the infamous club of world kleptocracies but shooting up to a leading position as a global kleptocracy.

Malaysia’s failure to ensure and maintain good governance and descent to a kleptocracy is reflected by the history of the 22-year annual Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) from 1995-2016, which shows that Malaysia had stagnated and even regressed in integrity and principles of accountability and good governance in the past two decades as compared to some countries, like China and Indonesia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s international standing and reputation have suffered such a slump that we are the butt of jokes of Africans in international conferences for corruption and kleptocracy

The forthcoming 14th General Election which would be held in the next few months is a golden opportunity for patriotic Malaysia to cleanse our international image and standing and to regain the respect and admiration of the world for our democracy, economic prowess, integrity and good governance.

A few days ago, I experienced a very humiliating experience when I saw a video of an African leader at an international conference making a joke about corruption in Malaysia.

This is a sign of the slump of Malaysia’s international standing and reputation that instead of Malaysians making Africa the butt of jokes about corruption, Malaysia has become the butt of jokes of Africans in international conferences about corruption and kleptocracy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Report: Bank’s board briefed on deposits into Najib’s account

Free Malaysia Today
November 13, 2017

PETALING JAYA: Members of AmBank’s board were in the know about large quantities of money deposited into the accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2013, according to Australian broadcasting agency SBS.

It said the full 12-man board had been briefed about the matter on multiple occasions between September and November 2014, but was not aware then of the source of the funds.

Following the briefing, then-CEO Ashok Ramamurthy, who had been seconded by the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) to head AmBank, was directed to report the transactions to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), it added. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Saudi Purge Isn’t Just a Power Grab

By Peter Waldman and Glen Carey
Bloomberg
November 9, 2017

It’s a go-for-broke upheaval. The question now, for hopeful investors, is whether the crown prince follows his corruption crackdown by opening up an economy dominated by plutocrats and royal cronies.

It makes sense to be cynical about Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s ostensible crackdown on corruption in Saudi Arabia.

Among the 11 princes, 4 ministers, and dozens of well-known businessmen arrested were some of the 32-year-old’s last potential rivals to the Saudi throne.

The move also smacks of an asset snatch. Police nabbed 3 of the Arab world’s 10 richest men, including investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire best known for rescuing Citicorp in 1991 and making big bets on Apple Inc. and 21st Century Fox Inc.

But was it only a Machiavellian power play? Or is this the start of a dramatic, go-for-broke attempt to transform a country that’s resisted change for decades? Read the rest of this entry »

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Attention: Saudi Prince in a Hurry

Thomas L. Friedman
New York Times
NOV. 7, 2017

To understand the upheaval that is taking place in Saudi Arabia today, you have to start with the most important political fact about that country: The dominant shaping political force there for the past four decades has not been Islamism, fundamentalism, liberalism, capitalism or ISISism.

It has been Alzheimer’s.

The country’s current king is 81 years old. He replaced a king who died at 90, who replaced a king who died at 84. It’s not that none of them introduced reforms. It’s that at a time when the world has been experiencing so much high-speed change in technology, education and globalization, these successive Saudi monarchs thought that reforming their country at 10 miles an hour was fast enough — and high oil prices covered for that slow pace. Read the rest of this entry »

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Saudi mass arrests jolt markets but many see overdue swoop on corruption

Katie Paul, Stephen Kalin
Reuters
8th November 2017

RIYADH (Reuters) – All major Gulf stock markets slid on Tuesday on jitters about Saudi Arabia’s sweeping anti-graft purge, a campaign seen by critics as a populist power grab but by ordinary Saudis as an overdue attack on the sleaze of a moneyed ultra-elite.

U.S. President Donald Trump endorsed the crackdown, saying some of those arrested have been “milking” Saudi Arabia for years, but some Western officials expressed unease about the possible reaction in Riyadh’s opaque tribal and royal politics.

Authorities detained dozens of top Saudis including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal in a move widely seen as an attempt by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to neuter any opposition to his lightening ascent to the pinnacle of power.

Admirers see it as an assault on the endemic theft of public funds in the world’s top oil exporter, an absolute monarchy where the state and the ruling family are intertwined. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singapore Police Examine Goldman’s Role in 1MDB Deals

By Andrea Tan
Bloomberg
November 3, 2017

Singaporean prosecutors and police are examining Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s relationship with the Malaysian state investment fund at the center of global money laundering probes, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The Commercial Affairs Department, the police’s economic crime unit, and city prosecutors have interviewed current and former Goldman Sachs executives who worked on bond offerings from 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said the people, who asked not to be named because the queries are confidential. Investigators are also looking into the firm’s links with Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, who the U.S. has alleged controlled a plot to siphon billions of dollars from the bond proceeds, the people said.

Investigators’ meetings with current and former Goldman Sachs employees are part of a criminal probe into fund flows related to 1MDB, the people said. The bank itself isn’t the focus of the investigation, they said. Neither Goldman Sachs nor its current or former employees have been publicly accused of criminal offenses or charged in relation to the fund, whose dealings have sparked probes in Singapore, Switzerland and the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB-linked Prince Turki among those nabbed for corruption in Saudi Arabia

The Edge Markets
November 06, 2017

(Nov 6): Prince Turki bin Abdullah, co-founder of Petrosaudi, the company that is embroiled in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal, was among the 11 princes arrested in anti-corruption raids in Saudi Arabia on Saturday.

Reuters had named Prince Turki bin Abdullah, the former governor of Riyadh province, as among those arrested.

“A Saudi official said former Riyadh Governor Prince Turki bin Abdullah was detained on accusations of corruption in the Riyadh Metro project and taking advantage of his influence to award contracts to his own companies,” Reuters reported. Read the rest of this entry »

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