Archive for category Financial Scandals

Generation of “false news” and “big lies” about DAP by UMNO leaders and cybertroopers an index of their growing desperation about loss of credibility and public support because of rampant corruption, economic crisis and worsening racial and religious polarisation

It is ironic but true – the generation of “false news” and “big lies” about the DAP by UMNO leaders and cybertroopers are not a reflection of confidence and hope, but the contrary, an index of their growing desperation about loss of credibility and public support because of rampant corruption, economic crisis and worsening racial and religious polarization – particularly among the Malays in the country.

Just before I came to this dialogue, I was reading about the latest UMNO cybertrooper attack on me – ridiculing the statement by the Deputy Amanah Youth Leader Faiz Fadzil “yang berkata DAP yang hanya bertanding di 51 daripada 222 kerusi Parlimen tidak mampu menerajui kepimpinan negara jika pembangkang menang dalam pilihan raya umum ke 14” by twisting what I said on 31st December that “I expect DAP to double the number of Parliamentary and State Assembly constituencies to be contested in the 14GE as compared to 13GE”.

Yes I did say about expecting the DAP to “double” the number of parliamentary and state assembly seats to be contested in the 14GE, but I was not talking about Malaysia as a whole but specifically about Sabah state, where DAP contested in four parliamentary and eight state assembly seats in the 13GE.

A person who is honest, sincere, pious and God-fearing would not have twisted what I said, for it was very clear that I was referring to doubling the seats contested in Sabah and not Malaysia-wide, unless the UMNP cybertrooper has a very low IQ – but this is the quality of UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers attacking the DAP who have to be liars to tell downright lies and falsehoods about DAP leaders which cannot stand scrutiny or challenge at all! Read the rest of this entry »

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One of the first things a new Federal Government in Putrajaya replacing the UMNO/BN will do after the 14GE will be to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to “chase down every penny from 1MDB”

At the official launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) in Shah Alam last night, PPBM Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad said PPBM would “chase down every penny from 1MDB”.

I have no doubt that one of the first things a new Federal Government in Putrajaya replacing the UMNO/BN will do after the 14th General Election will be to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to “chase down every penny from 1MDB”.

In fact, if we have a Cabinet which is patriotic and protective of the good name of Malaysia, the top priority of the agenda of the next Cabinet meeting on Wednesday should be on how to purge and clear the country of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.

I said in Parliament that a kleptocracy is a government of 3Ps – Pencuri, Perompak and Penyamun.

I do not believe that any patriotic and proud Malaysian would stand idly by and do nothing when the country is defamed worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”!

I also do not believe that the first four Prime Ministers of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir would have stood idly by and done nothing if Malaysia had been defamed and regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy during their premiership.

Even the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah would also have acted to defend the honour and reputation of Malaysia if the country is defamed world-wide as a global kleptocracy!

Why then has the Cabinet done nothing in the past three years to put the ghost of 1MDB scandal to rest, instead allowing the country to be battered, haunted and hounded by the issue, which has aggravated the host of political, economic and nation-building crisis of confidence confronting the country? Read the rest of this entry »

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The entire mega Cabinet of 36 Ministers should resign collectively on Wednesday if it is not prepared to come to grips with the roiling international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry on 1MDB scandal

In his 2016 New Year message more than a year ago on 31st December 2015, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told Malaysians that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues.

Najib could not be more wrong as the Malaysian government and people continue to be haunted and hounded by the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.

In the past 12 months, Malaysia went from the third “worst corruption scandal of 2015” by international website foreignpolicy.com in the last week of 2015, to second worst example of global corruption by Time magazine in March last year, second place in the index of crony capitalism by the Economist’s ranking in May, and full-blown “global kleptocracy” when in July, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the largest kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from US$3.5 billion international 1MDB kleptocratic embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.

There has been no let-up of the incessant international battery and assault of Malaysia’s credibility and reputation in the new year of 2017. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet’s greatest tribute to Adenan legacy is to uphold both word and spirit of Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara principles of an incorruptible, secular and harmonious multi-racial and multi-religious nation

The greatest tribute that the Federal Cabinet could pay to the Adenan Satem legacy is to uphold both the word and spirit of the Malaysian Constitution, the Malaysian Agreement 1963 and the Rukunegara principles of an incorruptible, secular and harmonious multi-racial and multi-religious nation.

I call on the Cabinet at its meeting next Wednesday to take concrete steps to uphold both the word and spirit of the Malaysian Constitution, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the Rukunegara principles to establish an incorruptible, secular and harmonious multi-racial and multi-religious nation, for it is precisely because we have deviated from the bedrock principles enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and Rukunegara that the country has lost its way and entrapped in a swamp of political, economic and nation-building scandals.

Instead of building greater unity among the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures which have made Malaysia their home, we have allowed irresponsible and reckless people to create even greater disunity by aggravating racial and religious polarisation in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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Should Malaysia emulate China and have an Operation Fox-hunt and Sky-net to bring economic or corruption fugitives like Jho Low and others back to justice in Malaysia?

The new year has been a bumpy one for Malaysia, with the international multi billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal continuing to make waves and headlines worldwide.

The Australian Federal Police has announced that they are working with international law enforcement agencies to investigate companies associated with the 1MDB scandal – joining at least half a dozen countries, including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States, which have initiated criminal or legal actions concerning the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal.

In Singapore, the fourth banker had been convicted by Singaporean courts in relation to 1MDB-related accounts – Jens Fred Sturzenegger, a Swiss national and branch manager of the Falcon Private Bank in Singapore who pleaded guilty to six charges related to Singapore’s probe on 1MDB.

Sturzeneggar was sentenced to 28 weeks jail and fined S$128,000.

Falcon Private Bank is owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Investment Company (Ipic) and its Singapore operations was shut down by Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) in October last year for failing to fulfil anti-money laundering controls and improper conduct by the bank’s senior management.

Singaporean prosecutors had told the court Malaysian businessman Jho Low had control over four accounts with the bank.

According to Channel News Asia, Sturzenegger pleaded guilty to charges of failing to report potentially criminal transactions involving billions of dollars and for lying to authorities to protect Low’s financial interest.

He was also charged for lying to MAS officers to distract them from probing bank accounts controlled by Low by claiming that the accounts were “beneficially owned” by Eric Tan Kim Loong, a known associate of Low’s.

Sturzenegger was said to have lied to investigators about never having made contact with Low. Read the rest of this entry »

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Swiss Banker Latest Conviction in Singapore’s 1MDB-Linked Cases

by Andrea Tan
Bloomberg
January 11, 2017

Sturzenegger is first foreigner charged in Singapore’s probe
Former Falcon Bank branch manager charged with 16 counts

Jens Sturzenegger, a former branch manager at Falcon Private Bank Ltd. in Singapore, became the first foreigner convicted in the city’s probes linked to a Malaysian state investment fund.

Sturzenegger, 42, pleaded guilty to six charges, including failing to report suspicious transactions, and was sentenced to 28 weeks in jail and fined S$128,000 ($89,000). Prosecutors had sought a jail term of as long as 32 weeks. His lawyer Tan Hee Joek said in court that Sturzenegger is remorseful and didn’t gain financially from the offenses. Tan said after the hearing his client won’t appeal the sentence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Falcon Bank’s Former Singapore Manager Sent to Prison in 1MDB Probe

By P.R. VENKAT
Wall Street Journal
Jan. 11, 2017

The former branch manager is the fourth person to go to prison in the city-state’s probe of a Malaysian state investment fund

A Singapore court Wednesday sentenced a former branch manager of Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank AG to prison for crimes connected to the alleged multibillion-dollar misappropriation at Malaysian state investment fund 1MDB.

Jens Sturzenegger, 42, a Swiss national who managed Falcon’s Singapore unit, was charged last week with 16 offenses under various laws, including one that requires banks and their officers to enact due-diligence checks on clients to prevent money laundering.

The court Wednesday handed a 28-week prison sentence and a fine of 128,000 Singapore dollars (US$89,000) to Mr. Sturzenegger after he pleaded guilty to six offenses. These include three counts of providing false information to police and central bank authorities, and three counts of failing to report suspicious transactions. The remaining charges were taken into consideration in his sentencing but won’t be pursued separately by the prosecution.

While the charges didn’t directly link Mr. Sturzenegger to fund flows at 1Malaysia Development Bhd., Singapore’s central bank and regulator had said in October that the branch manager had been arrested that month in connection with the city-state’s probe into the alleged misappropriation of billions of dollars from the Malaysian fund. Prosecutors have called the investigation Singapore’s largest-ever probe of alleged money laundering. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Malaysia slide down to its lowest ranking and score in 22 years in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2016 which will be released in a fortnight’s time?

Will Malaysia slide down to its lowest ranking and score in 22 years in Transparency International’s (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2016 which will be released in a fortnight’s time?

I do dread the TI CPI 2016 release, as the past year had been one of the worst years on the corruption front for Malaysia.

Malaysia which dropped four places in the TI CPI 2016, falling from No. 50 to No. 54, and the CPI score slipped from 52 in 2014 to 50 in 2015, would have fallen lower in ranking in TI CPI 2015 if five countries, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and St Vincent – which had been ranked higher than Malaysia – had not been excluded due to technical reasons like not meeting three minimum secondary sources for research.

The TI CPI 2015 had not taken into account the last bad news on the Malaysian corruption front on the last few days of the 2015, when Malaysia was rated third in international website, foreignpolicy.com’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB scandal: Federal Police assisting probes into Malaysia’s wealth fund

ABC News
10th January 2017

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, is the subject of money laundering investigations in at least six other countries including Switzerland, Singapore and the United States.

Civil lawsuits filed by the US Department of Justice allege more than $US3.5 billion ($4.76 billion) was misappropriated from the fund.

The lawsuits seek to seize $US1 billion ($1.36 billion) in assets allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and diverted into luxury real estate in New York, Beverly Hills and London, valuable paintings, and a private jet.

Mr Najib, who also chaired 1MDB’s advisory board, has denied wrongdoing and said Malaysia would cooperate with international investigations.

“The AFP is aware of allegations relating to companies associated with 1MDB and have assisted our foreign law enforcement partners with their investigations in relation to a number of these matters,” the AFP told Reuters. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let Mohd Faiz, Harith Iskander, Mohd Ridzuan and Ziyad Zolkein be exemplars of world-beaters for Malaysians

Events in the first ten days of the new year have given both hope and dejection about the future of Malaysia.

Standing head and shoulders above all other events in the first 10 days is undoubtedly Penang footballer Mohd Faiz Subri’s clinching of the Fifa Puskas Award for the most beautiful goal of 2016, putting his name on the same list as past winners such as famed football stars Christiano Ronaldo and Neymar.

The 29-year-old Penang striker has indeed brought joy to millions of Malaysians thousands of kilometres away when Mohd Faiz was handed the award for his spellbinding free kick at a glittering ceremony in Zurich yesterday.

Mohd Faiz created history as the first Asian to be bestowed the gong named after Ferenc Puskas, the Hungarian football legend who enjoyed huge success with Real Madrid during the 1950s and 60s as well as his national team.

Last year Harith Iskander won the Funniest Person in the World competition in Finland while Malaysia won two gold medals in the Rio Paralympics, one by Mohamad Ridzuan Mohamad Puzi in men’s 100m T36 and the other by Ziyad Zolkefli in the men’s F20 shot putt.

On the dark side, Malaysia ascended the world chart to become a “global kleptocracy”.

Mohd Faiz’s success is an inspiration to all Malaysians to regain confidence in themselves and the nation to aim to be among the best in the world – not to be mediocre or worse, heading towards a failed and a rogue state.

Let Mohd Faiz, Harith Iskander, Mohd Ridzuan and Ziyad Zolkein be exemplars of world-beaters for Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian government prepares to wind up 1MDB amid scandal

Leslie Lopez Regional Correspondent In Kuala Lumpur
Straits Times
JAN 7, 2017

The Malaysian government is laying the groundwork to shut down 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the state investment firm mired in a scandal that has become the most serious blight on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s administration at home and abroad.

Under a plan spearheaded by a high-level government unit called the Budiman committee, the assets of the state development fund will be transferred in the coming months to two companies owned by the Finance Ministry.

These valuable assets are two massive plots of land in Kuala Lumpur and one on Penang island. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Razak appears secure, but looks can deceive

Banyan
Economist
Jan 7th 2017

The opposition has a chance to strike

A ROUND of applause, ladies and gentlemen. Any typical leader of a typical democracy, when found with nearly $700m of ill-explained money from an unnamed foreign donor in his accounts, would experience a swift and fatal fall. Yet, nearly two years after news first broke that Najib Razak’s bank balance had been thus plumped up, his high-wire act continues.

You could even argue that the Malaysian prime minister, who denies any wrongdoing, is at the top of his game. Mr Najib appears to command the unstinting loyalty of the party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the coalition that has ruled the country since independence in 1957. He has undermined a fractious opposition, not least by peeling an Islamist party away from it. And as investigations proceed in several other countries into the alleged bilking of colossal sums from 1MDB, an indebted state investment-fund whose advisory board Mr Najib once chaired, the prime minister himself remains untouched. Staying in power helps stave off any risk he might face of international prosecution. A general election is due by late August 2018, but perhaps Mr Najib will call a snap poll in the next few months to give himself several more years’ rule. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Charismatic Banker Who Led Singapore’s BSI Into the Abyss

by Andrea Tan and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen
Bloomberg
January 6, 2017

He was the leader of one of the largest mass defections in private banking history, with more than 100 staff following him from RBS Coutts Bank Ltd. in the thick of the global credit crisis to create a financial phenomenon in Singapore at a little-known Swiss bank.

Hanspeter Brunner, together with former deputy Raj Sriram and chief operating officer Gary Tucker, were the kernel of a plan by BSI SA, founded in 1873 in Lugano, to build up a $10 billion wealth-management business serving the burgeoning ranks of Asia’s millionaires.

Brunner, a veteran Swiss private banker who has spent more than two decades in Asia, offered his Coutts colleagues an extraordinary lifeboat.

Then-parent Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc was being bailed out by the U.K. government, while all around the financial industry was culling tens of thousands of jobs.

Brunner knew every banker, analyst, back-office worker and client at Coutts, according to people familiar with the move. When he went to BSI, even the pantry lady followed, three of the people said. This wasn’t just a chance for BSI to grab a few star talents in the cutthroat world of private banking in Asia, this was a wholesale exodus. Brunner’s lawyer Ng Lip Chih of NLC Law Asia LLC declined to comment.

The mass move to BSI Bank Ltd., the Singapore unit, forged a sense of camaraderie among the defectors and cemented a bond with Brunner, who managed to negotiate pay increases of as much as 40 percent, according to the people, who didn’t want to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. BSI’s payroll swelled from 30 employees to 200 within a year, according to a company report.

They little knew that Brunner was bringing them from one crash to another. In May, Singapore’s financial watchdog ordered the bank to shut its operations in the city-state, blasting BSI as the nation’s worst case of banking misconduct. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for Royal Commission of Inquiry to Save FELDA, to listen to grievances of Felda settlers particularly on Felda’s EHP acquisition and Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and to make recommendations

DAP calls for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into FELDA, to listen to grievances of FELDA settlers particularly on FELDA’s Eagle High Plantations (EHP) acquisition, Felda Global Ventures (FGV) and to make recommendations to Save Felda and to ensure that FELDA does not become as great a national embarrassment and shame as the international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.

I am sure former Law Minister, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who is with us today, is fit and qualified to be a member of this Royal Commission to Save FELDA, and I am also prepared to serve on the RCI to Save Felda.

A fit and proper Chairman of the Royal Commission of Inquiry to Save FELDA would be Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the CIMB Chairperson, the son of Tun Razak who set up FELDA and the brother of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

PKR MP for Pandan, Rafizi Rami would be most suitable to be engaged to head an investigation team by the RCI to Save FELDA. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leader Najib Razak Promised Openness, but Dissent Over 1MDB Stifled

By YANTOULTRA NGUI, CELINE FERNANDEZ and PATRICK BARTA
Wall Street Journal
Dec. 30, 2016

Government uses assortment of laws to silence critics of its handling of global scandal over state fund

KUALA LUMPUR—Graphic designer Fahmi Reza is facing up to two years in prison. His problem? He painted red clown lips on a picture of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and sent it around.

Mr. Najib pledged a new era of civic freedom when he came to power seven years ago in a country known for penalizing political foes. Instead, his government has become increasingly intolerant of critics as it tries to limit fallout from a sprawling corruption scandal related to a state economic-development fund.

International investigators believe associates of the prime minister siphoned billions of dollars from the fund, known as 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB. The U.S. Justice Department has moved to seize $1 billion of assets prosecutors say were purchased with money misappropriated from the fund.

Mr. Najib and 1MDB have denied wrongdoing and promised to cooperate with lawful investigations. The Malaysian attorney general early in 2016 cleared Mr. Najib of wrongdoing.

While pledging to investigate 1MDB fully, Mr. Najib’s government recently has silenced critics under an assortment of laws, arresting dozens. It has barred some from traveling abroad. The government also shut down a probe related to 1MDB by Malaysia’s anticorruption agency, which, according to a person familiar with the matter, had called for criminal charges against Mr. Najib. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP Sabah to create a “political earthquake” in Sabah in 14th General Election through the ballot box to peacefully and democratically start the process of political change in Sabah and Malaysia

The message I have taken to Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan in the past three days is to call on the people of the Sabah Interior to join the urban voters to create a “political earthquake” in the 14th General Election expected next year through the ballot box to peacefully and democratically start the process of political change in Sabah and Malaysia in order to save Sabah and to save Malaysia for our children and children’s children.

My three-day visit to Tenom, Keningau and Pensiangan with National DAPSY leader and Perak DAP State Assemblyman for Canning, Wong Kah Woh, in the company of the Sabah DAP Chairman and MP for Sandakan, Steven Wong, Sabah DAP Adviser and MP for Kota Kinabalu, Jimmy Wong and the Sabah DAP Deputy Chairman and Sabah State Assemblyman for Kepayang Dr. Edwin Bosi, has been an eye-opener for me.

I see the greatest contrasts in Sabah – its great wealth and rich natural resources on the one hand and the abject poverty and shocking socio-economic backwardness of the people, mired in a world-class system of corruption and kleptocracy!

Sabah’s own Watergate scandal has only sharpened and highlighted this immoral and unacceptable contrast in Sabah. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Claims Another Scalp

By Luke Hunt
The Diplomat
December 30, 2016

Private banker jailed for 30 months.

The legal ramifications following the scandal linked to the 1MDB fund continues to resonate with a court in Singapore convicting a private banker of trying to obstruct investigations into the indebted fund founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Yeo Jiawei, 34, a former wealth planner at Swiss private bank BSI where he was known for his taste of the good life, was convicted of four charges related to obstructing, preventing or perverting the course of justice in regards to 1MDB or 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

He was sentenced to 30 months behind bars.

According to police, Yeo earned $18 million from the affair and had asked three witnesses to lie to authorities, get rid of a laptop and urged them not to travel to Singapore. Read the rest of this entry »

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Law Firms’ Accounts Pose Money-Laundering Risk

By RACHEL LOUISE ENSIGN and SERENA NG
WALL STREET JOURNAL
Dec. 26, 2016

Hundreds of millions of dollars allegedly siphoned from Malaysian state fund 1MDB passed through firms’ pooled accounts in U.S., prosecutors say

Tens of billions of dollars every year move through opaque law-firm bank accounts that create a gap in U.S. money-laundering defenses, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

These accounts were used by suspects in a multibillion-dollar scandal involving a Malaysian state investment fund known as 1MDB, according to a Justice Department description of events. They also played a part in a Florida Ponzi scheme, in a case related to an official of Equatorial Guinea and in a dozen other U.S. money-laundering cases over the past decade, case records show.

Law firms lump together client money they are holding for short periods, such as while real-estate sales are pending, into pooled bank accounts, and the law firms face no requirement to disclose whose cash is in the accounts. Banks say they generally see only a law firm’s name.

Money often stays in the accounts for only a few days or weeks. At the request of law firms’ clients, funds can be sent from the accounts to other parties, with scant transparency.

While banks and other firms that move money across borders face heavy pressure to alert regulators to suspicious activity, U.S. law firms protect the confidentiality of their pooled accounts in the name of attorney-client privilege. Read the rest of this entry »

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Poor Liow Tiong Lai, he does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” – a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents

Poor MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai. He does not know he is making a fool of himself claiming that Christmas messages should be meaningless “sweet nothings” –a reflection of his political naivette and the political party he represents.

Is Liow aware what is topmost in the minds of Malaysian Christians this Christmas?

Pay attention to the Sabah Council of Churches which prayed this Christmas for truth to prevail in Malaysia, especially among those in power.

Council president Rev Jerry Dusing said truth must be established on the issues concerning 1MDB and the “hudud bill”.

He said: “What is the truth of 1MDB? As Malaysians are left in the dark, we find ourselves frustratingly waiting for foreign nations to expose the truth about this mystery”.

Dusing also asked for the truth about PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, which UMNO Ministers have announced will be taken over by the government although there is pin-drop silence from MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional.

Is there consensus by all the 14 Barisan Nasional parties for the BN government take-over of Hadi’s private member’s bill motion, or is UMNO hegemony so fully established in Barisan Nasional that what UMNO wants, UMNO gets?

The Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur Julian Leow Beng Kim, who is also president of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Malaysia, fully endorsed Dusing and the Sabah Council of Churches in their concerns for the truth to prevail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should devote its last meeting of the year on 28th Dec to review how Malaysian nation-building took a wrong turn when Ministers strayed away from Rukunegara principles and objectives, resulting in the 1MDB scandal, Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy and Najib’s very “ethnic nationalistic” speech as UMNO President

We are now in the last week of the year 2016.

Its time for reflection and introspection – not so much as to what went right but what went wrong in our nation as 2016 is an even worse annus horribilis for Malaysia than 2015.

A year ago, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in his 2016 New Year message, told Malaysians that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues.

Najib could not be more wrong as Malaysia’s international repute and standing suffered an even worse battering this year with the ferocious pounding of the twin mega scandals in the international marketplace of opinion, to the extent that Malaysians felt embarrassed in admitting that they were Malaysians when abroad.

Malaysia was cited for the third “worst corruption scandal of 2015” by international website foreignpolicy.com in the last week of last year, but we went on to accumulate more dishonours this year – like TIME magazine’s ranking in March as second worst example of global corruption, Economist’s ranking in May as second in its index of crony capitalism and in July, the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s largest kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from US3.5 billion international 1MDB kleptocratic embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.

These were not the only woes for the country for this year – as the country is going through th worst crisis of confidence as evidenced by the worst plummeting in the value of the Malaysian ringgit and the worst racial and religious polarisation in the nation’s history.

What went wrong and how can we put the country right again, so that Malaysians can hold their heads high, whether at home or abroad? Read the rest of this entry »

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