Rosmah Mansor does NOT understand that the US is a Nation of Laws

March 29, 2016

Rosmah Mansor does NOT understand that the US is a Nation of Laws

by John Berthelsen

Rosmah Mansor, the wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has repeatedly called US Ambassador Joseph Y. Yun in the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur in a vain attempt to get the United States Attorney Preet Baharara for the Southern District of New York to call off his investigation into financial dealings involving the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund, sources say.

The story of Rosmah’s attempts to rein in the US investigation is circulating widely in Kuala Lumpur’s small diplomatic circles. They say that despite the fact that other investigations are ongoing in Switzerland, Singapore, the United Kingdom and France on another case, they think the Americans most likely to bring charges if there has been wrongdoing.

Yun is said to have told Rosmah that Bharara (above) operates independently of the State Department and the Foreign Service, and that not even President Obama would be able to influence the investigation if he wanted to.

Attempts to verify the story through the US Embassy went unanswered.“She has been told, ‘If you have done nothing wrong, don’t worry about it,’” a source said. “’The United States is a country of laws. ‘”

That news comes as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation issued a press release saying its Four Corners investigative team tonight (March 28) was to broadcast new details of deposits between 2011 and 2014 from “mysterious individuals and companies” both in Malaysia and overseas, via wire transfers and in cash, to his personal accounts. That, the news organization said, is in addition to the mysterious US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) that ended up in Najib’s accounts in 2013.

Nonetheless, despite a torrent of international news reports that would classify the 1MDB scandal among the world’s biggest, the Malaysian government has managed to keep it in check domestically even though Swiss authorities have said as much as US$4 billion in 1MDB funds may have been misused. Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali, appointed by Najib after the previous attorney general was fired because he was said to be on track to indict Najib, “cleared” the Prime Minister in a January press conference that convinced almost nobody.

Najib and his family “aren’t scared of anything in Malaysia,” said a longtime observer of local politics. “But they are scared of this guy Preet Bharara.” Indeed, the Pakistani-born law enforcement official’s district has been called by angry defense attorneys “the southern district of the world” given that he has prosecuted nearly 100 Wall Street executives and has sent agents to as many as 25 other countries to investigate suspects of arms and narcotics trafficking and terrorists, bringing them to Manhattan to face charges. It is his office that nailed the rogue Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, where he had been hiding in Thailand, and brought him to justice in the United States.

Opposition figures have been questioning 1MDB’s massive debt since 2010. However, the scandal blew wide open in 2014 when reports circulated that the state-backed investment fund faced as much as RM42 billion (US$10.7 billion at current exchange rates) of unfunded liability.  A cascade of scandals has ensued, ensnaring, among others, Tim Leissner, the former wunderkind Singapore-based chairman of Goldman Sachs’ Southeast Asia operations who has since taken leave and moved to Los Angeles.

It was Leissner who engineered three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 that totaled US$6.5 billion and yielded fees, commissions and expenses for Goldman of almost US$6 billion—9.1 percent of the funds raised, almost twice the normal cuts for investment banks.

US Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have been operating in Kuala Lumpur over the matter, asking officials for details of Leissner’s dealings and other matters.  In addition, the US attorney’s office is said to be looking into money-laundering charges involving the purchase of opulent New York and California properties purchased on the Najib family’s behalf by agents believed to be connected to Jho Taek Low, the flamboyant young Penang-born financier that helped Najib set up 1MDB in the first place.

The investigation is also said to encompass the funding of the Hollywood blockbuster Wolf of Wall Street, starring Leonardo di Caprio and produced by Red Granite Productions, partly owned by Rosmah’s son Riza Aziz.  Jho Low, as he is known, is also said to be a target of the investigation. He has been spending much of his time in Taiwan or aboard his gigantic yacht, the 91-meter Equanimity.

Najib has operated a marathon campaign to keep office, neutralizing investigations, firing his own Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, and the attorney general as well as other law enforcement officials.

The common wisdom in Malaysia today is that Najib will prevail in office at least until elections, which must be called before May of 2018, and, given the state of the opposition, may well remain beyond that time.  A bellwether state election is looming in Sarawak, perhaps as early as mid-April although it isn’t constitutionally necessary until September.  At the moment, according to political analysts in Kuala Lumpur, the Barisan Nasional holds an overwhelming lead in the polls, thus the possible decision to call for an early snap election.

If the March 27 Grand Coalition held in Kuala Lumpur is any indicator, there appears little impetus for the opposition to bring down the Barisan Nasional, the national ruling coalition led by the United Malays National Organization.  The meeting, organized by former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim, has called for 1 million signatures to be compiled against Najib by next year.

A Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer who refused to be identified said, “But they need a million signatures by tomorrow, not next year.” Other sources said that despite the attendance of perhaps 1,000 members of opposition groups, NGOs and other parties, with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in the lead, there is no traction between them.

They will all end up fighting with each other, with the only glue welding the movement together being the desire to get rid of the Barisan Nasional. One questioned why, for instance, those arrested in the 1987 crackdown Operation Lalang by Mahathir would be at all interested at all interested in cooperating with Mahathir.

That, the source said, includes Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the wife of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. The former premier engineered Anwar’s imprisonment in 1999 on what were universally condemned as spurious charges of sexual deviance and abuse of power after the two fell out.  Others arrested and prevented from contesting 2000 elections, were Vice President Tian Chua, N.Gobalakrishnan, Youth leader Mohd Ezam Mohd Nor, Mohamad Azmin Ali – now the Selangor Chief Minister – as well as, Fairus Izuddin and Badrul Amin Baharun.

34 thoughts on “Rosmah Mansor does NOT understand that the US is a Nation of Laws

  1. Not only USA is a Nation of Laws most Western Countries are including Australia where Sirul is held in custody pending his case resolution. No diplomatic niceties or nod and wink will work on high profile cases. The ABC 4 Corner and the 60 Minutes program has wide opened the door to prevent any behind the door deal.
    In these western countries “kowtim” doe not work , even if demanded by Head of States. In these countries professionals are dictated by complete adherence to the integrity of their profession and the laws that empowers them.

    I don’t think Najib can last long as the PM of Malaysia. He has lost the respect of the locals as well as the international community. It is a matter of days he will see he no longer has the fortitude to steer a govern a country as he will be preoccupied with his own survival.

  2. “Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali, appointed by Najib after the previous attorney general was fired because he was said to be on track to indict Najib, “cleared” the Prime Minister in a January press conference that convinced almost nobody,” John Berthelsen.

    I know it is not going to be popular to say what I am going to say in this blog.

    Attorney General is designed to represent the government and PM is heading the executive branch of the government. Four branches of our government are designed to be co-equal and are essential for sustaining the basic function of the state. Therefore Attorney General must not be given the power to bring down any government’s branches, including PM and supreme court’s judges, unless we want to see disintegration of state. Lefties progressive’s ideals or Islamists’ Sharia law or UMNO has no legitimate power to oust a PM via attorney general. Najib, whether you like him or hate him, is serving the nation well when he crushed the coup of the former attorney general.

    US attorney general will not and should not indict our PM, the head of state of another country, just for some corruption crime unless US national security is at stake. He may implicate, just like the conservative-leaning WSJ implicates through its solid investigation, the PM’s potential involvement in corruption. The rest of firing the PM via next election or parliamentary no confidence vote is up to Malaysians and Malaysians alone.

  3. You never know … we have seen so many “magic acts” happening in this saga that she may be able to pull the rabbit out of the hat yet. There’s global politics and there’s global politics ….

    We are talking about a country where you can pay an intermediary millions to set up a meeting with important politicians … it is entirely legal and it is call “lobbying” and it is a billion dollar industry. In other countries (even officially in Malaysia), that will be called “corruption” and “bribery”.

  4. I rarely waste time by posting comments on websites but your observation “the United States is a country of laws” raised such ire within me that I knew it had to be challenged! Within the past two decades alone the culpability of the United States (referred to as exceptionalism by its own ignorantia) has regressed the Law of Nations by a thousand years! Her doctrine “might is right” prevails and the world has become an unsafe place.
    Your challenge is inadequate, my friend. You are talking about US Foreign Policy. –Din Merican

  5. Shiou, In Australia the premier of NSW was also elected to serve the people in the state. He took a $ 3000 bottle of wine and did not declare. It was seen unacceptable behavior for the head of a state and he was compelled to resign . Have we not some principle that are universal in its application.?

  6. United States Attorney Preet Baharara is not an angel. He prosecuted some small fish and let off all the Wall Street Bankers and lawyers who conned millions of Americans. Billions of dollars were made by these crooks and he does absolutely nothing! Just watch the movie :
    Its res ipsa locquiter ( speaks for itself). How criminals thrive in the USA. Not sure it is a country that follows all the laws-the defense of too big to fall is permitted to evade prosecution.

    As for Rosmah -she is the joke of Malaysia. How anyone can get away from the stuff that she has done is unfathomable. Well, I am optimist-hopefully some other AG will look into the scandal.

  7. “Have we not some principle that are universal in its application?,” Robert K Chelliah.

    No, law is only enforceable as the instrument of law can reach. Outside a jurisdiction of the law, no man-made law is enforceable. Principle of course can be encouraged and is mostly in the realm of conscience, outside the law’s jurisdiction. We should not be doing stupid thing as to destroy the state integrity because either someone cannot be persuaded to be in compliance with some principle or current instrument of law is too weak to prosecute tough cases.

  8. “A nation of laws, not of men,” as John Adams put it, is the American ideal. The unpleasant reality is that the ruling class of any society, including America, continues to routinely disregard laws it finds inconvenient, and we have very limited means to compel their obedience. The difference between the US and Malaysia is only in degree. Understanding this reality is essential to making progress toward the ideal.

  9. Rosmah should ask Jibby to do the “Lu tolong Gua, Gua tolong Lu” modus operandi. Anyway if they have not done anything wrong why would they be worried or afraid of investigations by the US Attorney for Southern District of New York. Maybe they are afraid that they might be implicated with FeiLoh on the purchase of the luxury apartment in NYC and the property in Beverly Hills.

  10. What I really want to know is the details of the expenses on Mr. X’s credit card.

    1) Why do Mr. X need to pay for hotel stay in Shangri_La KL amounting to MYR395,782.40??? Its a lot of hotel bill for someone who has two official residence provided by his employer as well as god knows how many more personal ones..
    2) Political Parties in Sarawak and BN-NGOs take payment with Credit Cards?
    3) and also Academics?

    The picture of excesses is ASTOUNDING..

  11. So long as Najib or any other Muslim potentate is useful , US foreign policy looks kindly upon them. I have no idea if Rosmah approached the US Embassy to Appandi Ali , Baharara’s investigation but it is within the realm of possibility, that such attempts could have been made, maybe not Kak Ros personally, but from the Minions of Putrajaya.

  12. Rosmah, by attempting to influence the US made a terrible mistake. She has lost her head and that shows who is controlling the Malaysian govt. What a shame.

  13. It’s not ‘LINGAM’ GATE’ to choose the judges to his whims and fancies and to write judgments for them to read in open courts to favor certain clients of their choice.

    Well, our ‘first lady’ thought it was that easy to talk over the phone to US Ambassador to stop the attorney from deliberating on the issues of our ‘beloved’ PM.

    Good luck Ros!

  14. Shiou,
    Hitler made and applied his own laws and so did the many dictators , some perished some still surviving. It is human conscience, the right over wrong that gives birth that which gets constructed in law. Human consistence that shares universal values of right and wrong and some of these are enshrined in the plethora of international and UN conventions. No nation is an Island.

  15. As I understand, anywhere lawyers are trained to protect and defend criminals and their acts of crime. I also understand morality does not exist in the practice as a criminal lawyer other than what is prescribed in their Code of Practice. Hence Criminal lawyers, and there a some excellent ones in every country, are engaged to set aside morality and advocate day can be night and vice versa depending on the lumen at the relevant time. This privilege being neutered does not extend to the untrained loyor buroks.

  16. “US attorney general will not and should not indict our PM, the head of state of another country, just for some corruption crime unless US national security is at stake” so says Shiou.

    Firstly he seems to concede that Najib has committed “some corruption crimes” and he argues further that Najib as PM of another country should not be indicted under foreign jurisdiction. Why not? What is the purpose of nations signing extradition treaty (including Malaysia), if not to bring back criminals home to face charges? Najib faces allegations of corruption and diversion of funds into his personal account through shadow dealings in the operations of 1MB and its off-shoots, both in Malaysia and foreign countries. These offences, perhaps, may not be offences in some tin-pot regimes but they are serious offences in democratic countries.
    Diverting funds illegally from a foreign country may involve commision of multiple offences – one of criminal conduct, breach of banking and foreign exchange rules, tax evasion and so forth.

    Many other ex PMs and Presidents have been convicted and jailed and some of them include (1) Israeli PM Ehud Olmert in 2015 for breach of trust and bribery and sentenced to six years in prison (2 ) Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi in 2013 for having sex with an underage prostitute, then using his influence to try to cover it up. He was sentenced to seven years in prison and barred from public office for life and (3) Taiwan’s President, Chen Shui Bian was sentenced in 2009 to life imprisonment for embezzlement, money laundering and bribery.

    So Shiou should not seek immunity for Najib. The same applies to Najib should he face charges at home or abroad. The legal dictum ‘innocent until proven guilty’ should also be extended to Najib.

  17. It is commendable and exemplary for the Brazilian people to have stood up against their President who will be impeached soon for corrupt practices. Her party members and those who are holding some ministries posts have started to abandon her. This is Rouseff who unlike Najib does not go to the extent of firing people in all key government offices yet her party members have the brain to know the difference. The consolation trait about her is that she does not use money to buy off people. Over here, not only the husband who is acting as if nothing matters even the wife has gone to that extent of trying to halt the probe on her husband. We have put up with this couple for years now, we are just disenfranchised people who either just seemed oblivious to the events unfolding or too terrified to put a stop to the abuses. Poor us!

  18. Perhaps a dozen bottles of Kristal champagne from Jho Low and a few Birkin handbags from Rosimah as donations to Preet Bhaharara may do the trick. If not how about a honorary Datuk Seri title……wink, wink.

  19. “What is the purpose of nations signing extradition treaty (including Malaysia), if not to bring back criminals home to face charges?” Hawking Eye.

    Extradition treaty is always accompanied by the requirement to get the consent of the government to release the accused. Who is the head of government? Answer: PM. So, we should stop harboring illusion about international law enforcement or its subsidiary such as extradition treaty as a way to solve domestic problem, much less the serious issue of removing the head of state.

    I see law enforcement as mostly a matter of nation’s maturity, not an entitlement that is granted by who-know-what. Some nations reach higher maturity where they can enforce law as tricky as insider trading effectively. Some nations still struggle to stop corruption among traffic police and drivers. Some nations openly involve in oil cartel – a humongous corruption ring with attendees wearing suits or Arab formal dresses under camera flashes of press. Internet makes world small, but it gives an illusion that we must already have what others have (i.e. entitlement), just like using smart phones daily makes many feel like they are high tech producers.

  20. Under the Extradition Treaties between countries the processes are usually outlined. usually the Attorney General of the requesting country writes to the Attorney general of the holding country requesting for the person to be surrendered to the requesting country. Thereon a legal process kicks in to protect the rights of the person to be handed over. This judiciary process has no room for direct political intervention.

    On a side note, the Malaysian AG has not instituted the extradition of Sirul , the convicted murderer of Altuntuya seeking refuge in Australia, knowing full well the Australian Migration Act 1958 has prescribed in concrete terms that a person facing the death sentence will not be sent back to face the death sentence. It is a solely a judicial process without political interference, no matter how hard a politician may try. This may have been the very reason why recently Sirul’s case was blown wide open in the media in Australia to prevent a back door deal.

  21. @ Siow

    I am afraid you are barking at the wrong tree. Yes, “international law enforcement or its subsidiary such as extradition treaty” may not apply for resolving local issues and crimes. But Najib’s alleged cime is one of illegally diverting funds into his personal account from business entities and their link accounts operating from a slew of countries. Pertaining to local commission of crime, one can put it backfoot or even squash it. But for fraud crimes allegedly originating from foreign soil – which appears to be the case for Najib – there is no escape from the reach of international law as applicable.

    Ex-Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori, who led the country from 1990 to 2000, was slapped with a series of criminal charges ranging from corruption, embezzlement and ordering the security forces to carry out killings and kidnappings. He fled to Japan. An Interpol arrest warrant was issued and he was subsequently jailed for 25 years.

    There are laws in many countries, including Malaysia, giving a certain degree of immunity to civil servants (which includes PM and his Minister) from being held liable or sued for acts done in the course of discharging lawful official duties. And siphoning of public funds does not come under official duties. It is in fact a crime against the State.

    Najib has to face the charges and defend himself. If he does not, and where he has to be extradited to another country to face the charges and Malaysia willfully obstruct the move, an Interpol arrest warrant can be issued. This means, he can’t set foot in foreign soil without being arrested. Time has a solution to get around diplomatic and protocol constraints, if any – just wait until he is no longer the PM.

    As indicated earlier, Najib is to be held as ‘innocent until proven guilty’ to be fair.

  22. “This judiciary process has no room for direct political intervention,” Robert K Chelliah.

    The above statement is true only if the judiciary process is within the boundary of a nation. Actually, the notion of nation, along with modern branches of government, gives rise to the judiciary process and its independence with respect to other branches of government within the nation. Destroying the nation or one of its governmental branches will make the judiciary process as we know it in modern term evaporated in the thin air.

    Sirul would have been blocked from extradited due to Australian law as Mr. Chelliah noted, Najib would not be extradited simply because Malaysia’s Constitution says there are only two ways of removing PM and extradition is not one of them. In turn, indicting Malaysia’s head of state from another country is going beyond judiciary process meant within a nation, and is setting collision cause between two nations. Of course, US judicial system and political system are not so clueless, most of the time.

    So, we are stuck with a corrupt PM, then? Most likely yes, until he is out of office after the next election, as some examples implied by Hawking Eye. Even after he was out of office, I still think a proper way to handle corruption of former head of state is to indict, sentence, and be pardoned by Agong, all within Malaysia.

  23. I think there is no escape route for Najib within the country or outside of it, if he is indicted. Any immunity given will not be worth the paper it is written on. His misdeeds as PM are far too many and too deceitful to merit any concession or consideration.
    His is a sinking ship with many leaking holes. Mahathir’s re-assessment of this man is dead right. – unfit and unsuitable any longer.

    Many don’t realise that the most powerful man in the Government today is DPM Zahid Hamidi in his capacity as Minister of Home Affairs. If he wants to and is determined to strictly act according to law, he can easilly put Najib behind bars. It may be too late for Najib to attempt to preempt this possibility by changing the Home Minister for the counter punch from the incumbant will be a bruising knock-out blow. Congratulations for the PM to be!!

  24. She will try after 35years (since 1987) of scheming and stalking the best catch to further her one-track mad intention..she will even C4 the US embassy if she can get Hisham to supply her some.
    In shaa Allah Mr Preet Baharara will be the Daniel come to Judgment 27.4mn Malaysians waiting for the past year since 030715 this dishonourable and criminal PM’s actions came to light!
    IMAGINE keeping quite and squandering jet hither and thither on Rakyat’s money with out any qualms nor shame, at that!
    Avaricious Rosmah should be hanged for treason against the Nation, together with that cuckold PM, a pathetic example of a man!

  25. What a shame that it takes foreign state to right the wrong and bring justice to Malaysia. Is this not a admission of failure by all those wig wearing and blue uniformed, exotic colorfully dresses royalty to say Malaysia is failed state to the extend law and order does not work in Malaysia any more for it is governed by crooks and all Friday sermons are bullshit.

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  29. Isn’t that pict next to Najis Nazak, Kimora Lee Simmons? Why is she there? SHe involved? Or did they mistook her for Jezebel Rosmah Mansor the cunt?

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