Donald Trump endorses Malaysia’s Top Crook and Corrupter


August 28, 2017

Donald Trump endorses Malaysia’s Top Crook and Corrupter by Invitation to The White House

by John Berthelsen@www,asiasentinel.com

Image result for Najib Razak --I am not a crook

What do two Unpopular Leaders say to each other when they meet? Secretary of State Tillerson, The US Ambassador to Malaysia and The State Department are naive and and insensitive. Really? –Din Merican

In asking Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the White House, US President Donald Trump has extended an invitation to arguably Southeast Asia’s biggest crook among the region’s current leaders and one who has jailed or threatened the country’s opposition into near irrelevance.

The White House didn’t answer a request for comment. But in a prepared statement quoted in the New York Times, the administration said the visit is intended to “strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia.”

Image result for Najib Razak --I am not a crook

After initially embracing Najib as a moderate Muslim leader of a prosperous democracy, even inviting him on a golf date in Hawaii, former President Barack Obama distanced himself from the Malaysian premier as the revelations of his corruption grew.

Basket of Deplorables headed for Washington

Among those “close partners” in Southeast Asia that the President has invited are Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, described in a recent Asia Sentinel editorial as a psychopath who has prosecuted a drug war that has taken the lives of more than 7,000 people, most of them the poorest of the country’s poor; and Prayuth Chan-ocha, the military dictator who ousted a civilian government in Thailand in 2015 and has jailed or harassed thousands of opponents, driving many out of the country.

Shortly after he was elected last November, Trump placed a 3 am phone call to Najib, engineered by a Najib associate, promising an invitation. It was widely assumed prior to that, that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor were afraid to come to the US for fear of arrest. He is under the microscope of the US Justice Department in a civil case for the theft of at least US$1 billion, much of which was invested in a wide range of property in the United States.

Last July. Najib was identified by the Justice Department as “Malaysian Official 1” for having received US$681 million into his personal bank account in Kuala Lumpur from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund in 2013. At least some of the money is believed to have financed the production company that produced the Hollywood blockbuster “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson by Rosmah, and the co-producer, is accused of receiving US$238 million in addition. At least six countries are involved in investigating the scandal. The government has sequestered millions of dollars of property identified as having been purchased in the affair. Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of the movie, has had to turn over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to the government that was given to him by the producers.

Unsure if 1MDB probe will continue

A call to a US Justice Department spokesman in Los Angeles, which is tallying the assets allegedly stolen by Najib, his relatives and associates, asking for the status of the wide-ranging investigation into the affair wasn’t answered and it isn’t known if the investigation is continuing. When he came into office, Trump fired all the 93 US attorneys in the US and its territories.

Najib’ s visit is scheduled for September 12, according to the New York Times. It has been met with incredulity by critics, who point out that Najib has been under fire even before he became Prime Minister. He was the focus of a huge scandal in the previous decade for steering a €114.96 million bribe (US$135.7 million at current exchange rates) to the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, on the purchase of Scorpene submarines from the French munitions maker DCN.  Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian beauty who had figured in the case, was murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards after demanding US$500,000 from Abdul Razak Baginda, the prime minister’s close friend and confederate in the affair, who had jilted her.

Two officials of a DCN subsidiary have been indicted, specifically on charges of bribing Najib by name. Abdul Razak Baginda was indicted by the French prosecutor in June.

Looting of state fund

As Asia Sentinel reported on June 3, according to documents filed by the US Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Section in Los Angeles, as much as US$4.5 billion is said to have gone missing from 1MDB, some of it in the form of jewels now adorning Rosmah’s portly torso. The documents identified the US$681 million that mysteriously appeared in Najib’s personal accounts in 2013 as having come from 1MDB, not mysterious Saudi benefactors, as Najib has claimed.

Image result for Riza Aziz and JhLo

Others besides Riza Aziz are Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, the flamboyant Malaysian Chinese financier who convinced Najib to take over an obscure Terengganu fund and turn it into 1MDB; and several top 1MDB officials.

The suspects allegedly “conspired to divert billions of dollars through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through US financial institutions, “ according to the justice department

The funds diverted were “used for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators and their relatives and associates, including to purchase luxury real estate in the United States and overseas, pay gambling expenses at Las Vegas casinos, acquire more than US$200 million worth of artwork, purchase lavish gifts for family members and associates, invest in a major New York real estate development project, and fund the production of major Hollywood films.”

Political firings, repression

In his own country, Najib engineered the jailing of the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2015 on what are widely regarded as specious sexual perversion charges. In July of 2015, he fired the country’s Attorney General, Abdul Gain Patail, on the eve of Patail’s decision to charge him with corruption, and replaced him with Mohamed Apandi Ali, considered to be a stooge of the United Malays National Organization.

He also kicked out his Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, as well as Akhil Bulat, the head of the Police Special branch intelligence unit and others for questioning his Version of events surrounding 1MDB.  He ordered the temporary suspension of The Edge Financial Daily and its sister paper after they printed that the equivalent of U$1.83 billion was allegedly stolen by company officers and others from the troubled fund.

The Prime Minister continues in office on the strength of millions of dollars paid in bribes to cadres of the United Malays National Organization; the country’s leading political party, who are instrumental in keeping him at the head of the party.

Polls expected soon

The government must go to the polls under Malaysia’s Westminster parliamentary system by mid-2018. At the moment, the opposition, fractured by political infighting with many of its top leaders under the threat of prison for specious sedition charges, is given little chance of taking over.  The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has effectively gerrymandered the country to ensure victory in addition to denying the opposition a voice in the country’s newspapers and other media, almost all of which are owned by government-aligned political parties.

Image result for Premesh Chandran

Last May, the government charged Premesh Chandran, the publisher and CEO of the independent online news portal Malaysiakini – arguably the country’s only effective media voice — with violating he communications and multimedia act for posting footage of a press conference critical of the attorney general’s decision clearing Najib of corruption allegations.

Note: This is an encore posting. The topic is still very relevant. –Din Merican

September 12 White House Meeting (Mating) of 2 Political Deplorables


August 25, 2017

September 12 White House Meeting (Mating) of 2 Political Deplorables–What a Mess

by John Berthelsen

http://www.asiasentinel.com

Image result for Najib and Trump

Two Unpopular Leaders–Malaysia’s Najib Razak and POTUS 45 Donald John Trump. Their news conference will be full of unadulterated lies, no doubt.

In asking Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to the White House, US President Donald Trump has extended an invitation to arguably Southeast Asia’s biggest crook among the region’s current leaders and one who has jailed or threatened the country’s opposition into near irrelevance.

The White House didn’t answer a request for comment. But in a prepared statement quoted in the New York Times, the administration said the visit is intended to “strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia.”

After initially embracing Najib as a moderate Muslim leader of a prosperous democracy, even inviting him on a golf date in Hawaii, former President Barack Obama distanced himself from the Malaysian premier as the revelations of his corruption grew.

Basket of Deplorables headed for Washington

Among those “close partners” in Southeast Asia that the President has invited are Rodrigo Duterte, the President of the Philippines, described in a recent Asia Sentinel editorial as a psychopath who has prosecuted a drug war that has taken the lives of more than 7,000 people, most of them the poorest of the country’s poor; and Prayuth Chan-ocha, the military dictator who ousted a civilian government in Thailand in 2015 and has jailed or harassed thousands of opponents, driving many out of the country.

Image result for Rosmah and Melania Trump

De facto Prime Minister of Malaysia Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor welcomes the arrival of South African President’s wife, Nompumelelo Ntuli-Zuma. US FLOM Melania Trump is waiting to greet her.

Shortly after he was elected last November, Trump placed a 3 am phone call to Najib, engineered by a Najib associate, (Syed Azman, the AP King) promising an invitation. It was widely assumed prior to that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor were afraid to come to the US for fear of arrest. He is under the microscope of the US Justice Department in a civil case for the theft of at least US$1 billion, much of which was invested in a wide range of property in the United States.

Last July Najib was identified by the Justice Department as “Malaysian Official 1” for having received US$681 million into his personal bank account in Kuala Lumpur from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. fund in 2013. At least some of the money is believed to have financed the production company that produced the Hollywood blockbuster “Wolf of Wall Street.”

Image result for riza aziz and jho low

The 1MDB mastermind Jho Low is still on the run

Riza Aziz, Najib’s stepson by Rosmah, and the co-producer, is accused of receiving US$238 million in addition. At least six countries are involved in investigating the scandal.

Image result for dicaprio and Marlon Brando's Oscar

Leonardo DiCaprio returned an Oscar originally won by Marlon Brando as part of the US Justice Department’s move  to recover $540 million in assets it says were stolen from Malaysia’s troubled wealth fund, 1MDB.

The government has sequestered millions of dollars of property identified as having been purchased in the affair. Leonardo DiCaprio, the star of the movie, has had to turn over an Oscar won by Marlon Brando to the government that was given to him by the producers.

Unsure if 1MDB probe will continue

A call to a US Justice Department spokesman in Los Angeles, which is tallying the assets allegedly stolen by Najib, his relatives and associates, asking for the status of the wide-ranging investigation into the affair wasn’t answered and it isn’t known if the investigation is continuing. When he came into office, Trump fired all the 93 US attorneys in the US and its territories.

Najib’ s visit is scheduled for September. 12, according to the New York Times. It has been met with incredulity by critics, who point out that Najib has been under fire even before he became prime minister. He was the focus of a huge scandal in the previous decade for steering a €114.96 million bribe (US$135.7 million at current exchange rates) to the United Malays National Organization, the country’s biggest political party, on the purchase of Scorpene submarines from the French munitions maker DCN. Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian beauty who had figured in the case, was murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards after demanding US$500,000 from Abdul Razak Baginda, the Prime Minister’s close friend and confederate in the affair, who had jilted her.

Image result for Razak Baginda indicted by France

https://www.c4center.org/french-indictment-charge-and-razak-baginda-has-been-indicted

Two officials of a DCN subsidiary have been indicted, specifically on charges of bribing Najib by name. Abdul Razak Baginda was indicted by the French prosecutor in June.

Looting of state fund

As Asia Sentinel reported on June 3, according to documents filed by the US Justice Department’s Asset Forfeiture Section in Los Angeles, as much as US$4.5 billion is said to have gone missing from 1MDB, some of it in the form of jewels now adorning Rosmah’s portly torso. The documents identified the US$681 million that mysteriously appeared in Najib’s personal accounts in 2013 as having come from 1MDB, not mysterious Saudi benefactors, as Najib has claimed.

Image result for Najib goes to The White House

 

Others besides Riza Aziz are Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, the flamboyant Malaysian Chinese financier who convinced Najib to take over an obscure Terengganu fund and turn it into 1MDB; and several top 1MDB officials.

The suspects allegedly “conspired to divert billions of dollars through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through US financial institutions, “ according to the justice department

The funds diverted were “used for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators and their relatives and associates, including to purchase luxury real estate in the United States and overseas, pay gambling expenses at Las Vegas casinos, acquire more than US$200 million worth of artwork, purchase lavish gifts for family members and associates, invest in a major New York real estate development project, and fund the production of major Hollywood films.”

Political firings, repression

In his own country, Najib engineered the jailing of the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in 2015 on what are widely regarded as specious sexual perversion charges. In July of 2015, he fired the country’s attorney general, Abdul Gain Patail, on the eve of Patail’s decision to charge him with corruption, and replaced him with Mohamed Apandi Ali, considered to be a stooge of the United Malays National Organization.

Image result for Muhyiddin Yassin fired

He also kicked out his Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yasin, as well as Akhil Bulat, the Head of the Police Special Branch intelligence unit and others for questioning his version of events surrounding 1MDB. He ordered the temporary suspension of The Edge Financial Daily and its sister paper after they printed that the equivalent of U$1.83 billion was allegedly stolen by company officers and others from the troubled fund.

The Prime Minister continues in office on the strength of millions of dollars paid in bribes to cadres of the United Malays National Organization; the country’s leading political party, who are instrumental in keeping him at the head of the party.

Polls expected soon

The government must go to the polls under Malaysia’s Westminster parliamentary system by mid-2018. At the moment, the opposition, fractured by political infighting with many of its top leaders under the threat of prison for specious sedition charges, is given little chance of taking over. The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has effectively gerrymandered the country to ensure victory in addition to denying the opposition a voice in the country’s newspapers and other media, almost all of which are owned by government-aligned political parties.

Last May, the government charged Premesh Chandran, the publisher and CEO of the independent online news portal Malaysiakini – arguably the country’s only effective media voice — with violating he communications and multimedia act for posting footage of a press conference critical of the attorney general’s decision clearing Najib of corruption allegations.

French Justice Catching up With Malaysians in Sub Scandal?


August 4, 2017

French Justice Catching up With Malaysians in Sub Scandal?

by John Berthelsen

http://www.asiasentinel.com

Image result for altantuya shaariibuu

Altantuya Shaariibuu– A  Mongolian model who was blown to bits. I met her dad Dr. Stev in Bangsar with Raja Petra Kamaruddin a few years ago. Pete was charged under ISA by the UMNO regime for his article “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to Hell” (April 25, 2009). –Din Merican

Although Abdul Razak Baginda, the central figure in what was previously Malaysia’s most notorious scandal, has been charged with “active and passive complicity in corruption” by French prosecutors, according to Agence France Press on Aug. 1, it is unlikely that they are going to catch up with him anytime soon.

Razak remains in Malaysia, a close friend of Prime Minister Najib Razak, with extradiction doubtful since the premier himself also figures in a case involving a €114 million bribe to the United Malays National Organization for the purchase of French submarines. It is a case that involves political corruption, murder, sex and allegations that reach high up into both the Malaysian and French governments.  Neither Najib nor Razak Baginda is likely to go touring in France anytime soon.

Image result for razak baginda

Dr. Razak Baginda–A close associate of Prime Minister Najib Razak

In addition to Razak Baginda, four former Thales International Asia officials have been indicted, including one in December 2015 by a French court for allegedly bribing Najib himself, according to a January 2016 AFP story quoting French judicial sources. The matter seemed to have been stalled after that report although the case has been under investigation for seven years.

Case in 1MDB’s shadow

The affair has since paled in Malaysia in the shadow of the massive 1Malaysia Development Bhd. scandal, in which US$5.4 billion disappeared from a state-backed investment fund through looting and mismanagement that has spurred investigations in half a dozen countries across the world. US prosecutors have alleged that anywhere from US$681 million to US$1 billion disappeared out of 1MDB into Najib’s pockets, part of it to be used to buy a vast store of real estate, paintings and other assets in the United States, which alerted the US Justice Department’s kleptocracy unit to name him a “Public Official 1” and to seize millions of dollars’ worth of assets.

The two cases have given Malaysia an international black eye but have done nothing yet to bring Najib down as prime minister. He remains insulated from defenestration through the payment of fulsome contributions to the top UMNO cadres who might be tempted to oust him. Although the opposition has unified in recent months under the unlikely leadership of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the betting is that, insulated by gerrymandering, religious xenophobia, political repression and a kept press, he won’t be ousted in the next election, which must be called before mid-2018.

“Apparently after (the opposition Pakatan Harapan) sorted out leadership issues in their coalition, they have been gaining a lot of traction,” said a well-wired political observer in Kuala Lumpur. “The tragedy for Malaysia is that their comeback kid is 92 years old and his “successor” (imprisoned opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim) is in jail.”

Prize-winning series

As Asia Sentinel reported in a prize-winning series in 2012, a two-decade campaign by DCN and its subsidiaries to sell submarines to Malaysia and other countries resulted in a tangle of blackmail, influence peddling and misuse of corporate assets that took place with the knowledge of top French officials including then-foreign Minister Alain Juppe and with the consent of Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister. The case has had far wider implications, stretching from South America to Pakistan to India to Taiwan and other countries and featuring a series of unexplained deaths as DCN sought to peddle its weapons.

At the center of the Malaysia case were Razak Baginda and Najib, then on a vast weapons acquisition spree as Minister of Defense, buying fighter jets, patrol boats and armored weapons.  The ministry spent US$2 billion for Scorpene submarines manufactured by Thales.  A store of documents from French prosecutors made available to Asia Sentinel presented a damning indictment that showed Najib’s goal was to steer the kickbacks to UMNO through a private company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd. whose principal shareholder was Razak Baginda’s wife Masjaliza.

Image result for razak baginda
 Dr. Baginda with his daughter and wife

 

Another €36 million was directed to Terasasi Hong Kong Ltd., whose principal officers were listed as Razak Baginda and his father. The company only existed as a name on a wall in a Hong Kong accounting office. At the time Razak Baginda was then the highly respected head of a Malaysian think tank called Malaysian Strategic Research, which was connected with UMNO.

DCN paid for lovers’ Macau tryst

Among the documents was one that showed a DCN confederate sent Razak Baginda on a jaunt to Macau with his then-girlfriend, Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian national and international party girl who was later murdered by two of Najib’s bodyguards. Altantuya was said to have also been a lover of Najib before he passed her to his best chum although Najib said he would deny knowing her by swearing on the Quran.

During negotiations at the end of the submarine contract, Altantuya was employed as a translator, according to the documents, although it is questionable how effective her language skills really were. In any case, after a whirlwind tour of Europe in his Ferrari, Razak Baginda apparently tired of Altantuya and jilted her, impelling her to fly to Kuala Lumpur to demand US$500,000 in what she described as blackmail in a letter found in her hotel room after her murder.

Altantuya was grabbed on Oct. 19, 2006 from in front of Razak Baginda’s home by Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, members of an elite police unit responsible as bodyguards for Najib, and was dragged into a car and driven to a forested spot outside the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Shah Alam, where she was knocked unconscious and shot twice in the head.  The two then wrapped her body in C4 plastic explosive and blew her up, supposedly to destroy the fetus she was carrying.

Detailed confession not allowed in court

Image result for Azilah and Sirul

What a ghastly murder of a Mongolian Model

Sirul gave a detailed confession to a fellow police officer in which he described in chilling fashion how the two had killed the woman, who begged for the life of her unborn child. Although Sirul had been read his rights, inexplicably the confession was never introduced in the lengthy trial that followed. At the conclusion of the trial, as he was being sentenced, Sirul broke into tears, telling the judge that he was the “black sheep who has been sacrificed to protect unnamed people.”

Although Razak Baginda was quoted in his own statement to police following the discovery of the murder as saying he had asked one of Najib’s aides to “do something” about the woman, who was harassing him, he was excused without the need to present evidence, The aide was never called to testify, nor were a long string of other Malaysian officials with connections to the case.

Ultimately, Azilah and Sirul were sentenced to death. However, the two have never been executed, Sirul, released temporarily on appeal, made tracks for Australia, where he was later detained. He remains there today after having implicated Najib in the murder and then retracted the allegation. Mahathir has repeatedly called vainly for the case to be reopened.  Nonetheless, it remains one of Malaysia’s biggest scandals, and is likely to remain so unless a new election sweeps out UMNO and its lieutenants.

All the Fuss about Two Rogues over a Kim Jong-Nam’s Demise


March 11, 2017

All the Fuss about Two Rogues over a Kim Jong-Nam’s Demise

by John Deans@www.malaysiakini.com

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leaderMission Impossible Rogue Nation – North Korean Kim Jong-un and Malaysian Najib Razak

The alleged assassination at KLIA2 of an alleged half-brother of North-Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and the subsequent alleged holding of Malaysian citizens ‘hostage’ in Pyongyang have provided Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak with such an apparently heaven-sent opportunity to play the super-pious, super-patriotic super-statesman that we cynics could almost be forgiven for suspecting that the whole thing is nothing but yet another Najib-style con.

After all, the only evidence that we appear to have for the proposition that the assassination victim was in fact Kim Jong-un’s half-sibling Kim Jong-nam comes from the alleged investigation of the crime by the alleged Malaysian Police.

A force whose alleged ‘investigations’ into such previous high-profile killings as the murders of the Mongolian ‘model’ Altantuya Shaariibuu and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) ‘witness’ Teoh Beng Hock, not to mention the countless suspicious deaths of ‘suspects’ in its custody or alleged ‘shoot-outs’ with its members, have turned out to be more like unvestigations.

And this current case has eerie elements in common with the Altantuya one. Firstly that only two junior members of Najib’s bodyguard were convicted of killing Altantuya, and only two apparently junior suspects have at least thus far been arrested in this case, while in both cases more senior suspects and the ultimate masterminds have proven suspiciously difficult if not impossible to apprehend or even identify.

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leader

And then there’s the strange coincidence that Altantuya’s body was allegedly blown-up with military-grade explosive C4, and Kim Jong-nam or whoever the victim was in the hit recently carried out at the KLIA2 terminal was allegedly killed with a ‘nerve agent’ called VX, which is presumably as strictly restricted to the military as is C4, given that it is reportedly classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction.

And, as it appears to me and doubtless a great many other incredulous observers of the UMNO-BN regime’s incredible lies and deceptions, an all-too-convenient weapon of mass distraction from widespread and compelling suspicions that Najib Abdul Razak is the ‘Malaysian Official 1’ (MO1) identified by the US Department of Justice in its probe of the massive 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.

Such a convenient and timely distraction, in fact, that it is tempting to suspect that it is not a conflict between Pyongyang and Putrajaya as it is portrayed, but a conspiracy between what would far more accurately be called Pongyang and Putridjaya.

‘Pongyang’ because the pariah North-Korean Kim dynasty, or, if you prefer, die nasty, stinks to high heaven in the nostrils of the civilised world in every sense from imprisoning its own people in a gruesome gulag of the body, mind and spirit, to constantly threatening the citizens of South Korea, Japan and beyond with a series of increasingly long-range rockets.

And of course ‘Putridjaya’ because Malaysia’s rotten-to-the-core UMNO-BN regime does nothing but allegedly enrich its members and cronies at the expense of its citizens with its ceaseless indulgence in ‘criminal’ rackets.

Rocketeers vs racketeers

But whether the recent alleged assassination and subsequent apparent diplomatic spat are truly a case of rocketeers vs racketeers, or pariahs versus putrids, as we’re all evidently expected to accept, or, on the contrary, the two sides are actually acting in collusion, the UMNO-BN regime is making as much capital of it as possible.

With the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi doing his bully-boy best to both pose as a strongman in the face of North Korean alleged aggression and to pretend that he “definitely” intends to “investigate a North Korea-linked company that is suspected of operating a sanctions-busting arms business in Malaysia”, of course in concert with an UMNO-NN ‘crony’, and Najib doing his fake-sanctimonious best to look like a legitimate national leader.

As evidenced by his triumphant tweets just the other day when he tried by implication to take credit for the UN-arranged permission for two Malaysian employees of its World Food Program to leave North Korea despite the ban on the exit of other Malaysians.

“Alhamdulillah (Thank God). Two of our citizens under WFP, Stella Lim and Nyanaprakash Muniandy, were allowed to leave Pyongyang and have arrived in Beijing,” he reportedly twittered.

Claiming that he had spoken on the phone with the counsellor of the Malaysian embassy in North Korea, Mohd Nor Azrin, he added that “I would like to update that he, his family along with all of the other Malaysians in North Korea are safe, Alhamdulillah.”

And in case he hadn’t already sufficiently convinced his Malaysian audience of his supreme sanctity, he went on to mention that “the whole of Malaysia is praying for them,” and to “let us pray for the best,” and that he “has also requested mosques nationwide to conduct prayers for the Malaysians in North Korea.”

What a pity that Najib so completely fails to extend his virtually orgiastic expressions of piety on behalf of Malaysian victims of alleged North Korean injustice to those who have allegedly been preyed on by his own, similarly God-forsaken Umno/BN regime, like the families of the aforementioned Altantuya, Beng Hock and countless others, allegedly including deputy public prosecutor Kevin Morais and, most recently, ‘missing’ Christian pastors Raymond Koh and Joshua Hilmy.

Not to mention Anwar Ibrahim, who still languishes in jail following his dubious conviction on the second of two clearly trumped-up charges of sodomy, or the passengers and crew of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 who ‘disappeared’ in decidedly murky circumstances three years ago.

In short, to return to the headline of this column, the current alleged conflict with North Korea’s Kim nasties is proving such an absolute godsend to Najib in his efforts to make his criminal regime appear respectable that, to slightly paraphrase the great Voltaire’s famous comment on God, if it didn’t exist, it would be necessary to invent it.

READ THIS:

Image result for Najib Razak and North Korean Rogue leader

Malaysia’s Prime Minister criminal state of mind

Malaysian PM Najib Razak is using the assassination of Kim Jong-nam to deflect heat from ongoing scandal and economic slowdown ahead of scheduled elections, writes Manjit Bhatia.

http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.com/2017/03/malaysias-criminal-state-of-mind.html

Najib’s Criminal State of Mind


March 8, 2017

Najib’s Criminal State of Mind

by Manjit Bhatia

http://www.newmandala.org

Image result for Najib Razak the ciminalThe Face of a Troubled Prime Minister of Malaysia

The Jong-nam case is serious — on legal paper. His killing hasn’t caused Beijing’s eunuchs a twitch. But Najib is using the assassination to his own political ends. It’s what dastardly regimes or political leaders in trouble or on the people’s noses would do — exploit an awful criminal matter to cement their illegitimate and immoral positions.    

Malaysian PM Najib Razak is using the assassination of Kim Jong-nam to deflect heat from ongoing scandal and economic slowdown ahead of scheduled elections, writes Manjit Bhatia.

Image result for Zahid Hamidi and Tiga Line Gang

The Man from Pornorogo now Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister

It’s comical when Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi demands that criminals backed by North Korea, China’s client rogue state, respect the “sovereignty” of his country’s laws. As Home Minister , in 2013, Zahid had lavished praise on Tiga Line, the outlawed Malay gangsters. He also called on police to “shoot first” if non-Malay thugs threaten or kill his fellow Malays.

Meanwhile, Police Chief Khalid Abu Bakar requested the same abominable Pyongyang “authorities” to extradite suspects in Kim Jong-nam’s assassination at Kuala Lumpur’s budget carrier airport on 13 February. Khalid’s lightning-fast move here isn’t surprising, seeking fame and kudos. Yet, when it comes to netting official corruption’s big fish, including corporate leaders, and independently investigating Prime Minister Najib Razak, he disinclines at every turn.

Strictly speaking, Malaysia has not a single independent institution. Instead, patron-client relations rule. Others call it patronage. Simple example: Khalid is subservient to Zahid who is subservient to Najib who holds Malaysia’s purse-strings as finance minister. This buys him allegiance and serious protection in a country racked by state-ordained corruption, cronyism and some of the worst forms of racism. What has this to do with the Jong-nam case? Everything. And just as well — Malaysia-North Korea diplomatic ties are flexing for bust-up.    

As baffling as the assassination was, it couldn’t have happened sooner. Malaysian elections are due mid-2018. Zahid and Khalid, like Najib, are hoping the matter of the half-brother of North Korea’s insane leader Kim Jong-un will grip Malaysians like a John Le Carre thriller. The state-controlled media is acting to orders of ensuring the case is lead news, 24/7. After all, Malaysians need distractions. Being a Muslim country — not an Islamic state,at least not yet — the visit of the King of Saudi Arabia this week has somewhat displaced the Jong-nam as the lead story, albeit temporarily.   

Interestingly, the North Korean Ambassador has had unprecedented scope in being seen to attempt to interfere in police investigations. Also curiously, Malaysian officials didn’t refute the Ambassador’s claim that South Korea and Malaysia were in cahoots, ostensibly to bring down the Jong-un dynastic regime. But when news outlets ran stories of a North Korean spy network operating in Malaysia, the episode moved from the bizarre to the whacky. Still, that’s exactly what Najib needs.

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Najib Razak–The Corruption Delivery Man

Problem is, the Jong-nam murder hasn’t absorbed Malaysians. They’re far more worried about their jobs future. Some factories have closed down; some others are moving offshore, to Vietnam, Burma and Bangladesh. The old ways of enticing foreign firms, via tax and other incentives, no longer work. These days China demands 99-year leases among its preconditions of investing in Malaysia. Like Singapore, Malaysia is struggling to establish anew its global competitiveness. For over a decade the international division of labor has shifted away from Asia’s first and second-tier ‘miracle economies’. 

Nonetheless, Najib boasts a high economic growth rate for the country. At 4.2 per cent GDP for 2016, it is significantly lower than 5 per cent in 2015. Between 2000 to 2016, average GDP has been 4.73 per cent. The jobs outlook is even bleaker. Official statistics put unemployment averaging 3 per cent; last year it climbed to 3.6 per cent, with 3.5 per cent in 2015. Most credible economists, even the market type,  know Malaysia’s official numbers are as rubbery as North Korea’s or China’s.

There’s no data for job participation rate in Malaysia. Yet it makes a better unemployment indicator, regardless or perhaps especially given the Najib regime’s propensity to embellish everything, including statistics. There’s sufficient anecdotal evidence to suggest joblessness is far higher among Malays and Indians, the groups increasingly engaged in crime. There’s also extensive under-employment among Malays, Chinese and Indians. And Malaysians are struggling on a single income, where the ‘minimum’ monthly wage of MYR900 ($US200) is scarcely enforced.

Exacerbating Malaysians’ worries is inflation. At 3.2 per cent, it spiked after the introduction of a consumption tax. In Kuala Lumpur alone, credible estimates put inflation at least twice the “official” number. At 6 per cent GST, Malaysia was never ready for it, in the structural sense. Add the measly value of the Malaysian ringgit, inflation hits close to double-digits, in real terms, according to some investment banks’ research. Meanwhile, Najib will maintain taxpayer-funded personal income subsidies, mostly for the Malays, and he’ll boost ‘free money’ ahead of next year’s polls.

If Bank Negara, the central bank, isn’t manipulating the low currency, then it’s a ‘market godsend’ for this heavily export-dependent, natural resource-based economy. Yet after two years of the collapsing ringgit, Malaysia’s competitiveness hasn’t improved. Its budget deficit and national debt are ballooning. Najib is banking on a commodities boom as the manufacturing base is routed by global forces. Take the long-failed local auto industry: Proton is effectively sold off to cheap China money. Selling the farm is the last resort of a scoundrel. But don’t expect Najib to sell the family jewels.

Blockbusting official corruption remains front and centre in Malaysian minds. Najib’s sudden great wealth humiliates Malays and irks the others. Nobody believe a rich Saudi or the Saudi state had “donated” $US1.4 billion to Najib; almost everyone, including the Malays, believe it was siphoned from bankrupt state firm 1MDB – brainchild of its chairman, Najib. And those proceeds miraculously wound up in Najib’s personal bank accounts.

The 2018 polls should humiliate Najib but it won’t defeat him or the ruling UMNO party. Many Malays feel especially aggrieved at how easily the ruling class has enriched itself while Malay villagers eke out a meagre living from plots of land Najib has ‘given’ them. No similar generosity has been extended to non-Malays. Some Malays agree this is unfair; most, however, subscribe to Machiavellian politics. But it’s Malaysia’s banal inter-racial harmony that’ll suffer the more as a consequence.

The Jong-nam case is serious — on legal paper. His killing hasn’t caused Beijing’s eunuchs a twitch. But Najib is using the assassination to his own political ends. It’s what dastardly regimes or political leaders in trouble or on the people’s noses would do — exploit an awful criminal matter to cement their illegitimate and immoral positions.    

 

 

Trump, Najib and The Controlled and Free Media


February 18, 2017

Trump, Najib and The Controlled and  Free Media

 

by Dean Johns@www.malaysiakini.com

Prime Minister of Malaysia (PMOM) Najib Abdul Razak must be feeling tremendously superior to his alleged erstwhile golfing buddy and recently-elected President of the United States (POTUS) Donald J.Trump, even without a chance to play a round with him recently.

Because, however many courses Trump owns, and however close to scratch his game might be, he’s competing at world-class level according to US and international rules in full view of a global gallery, and thus has no chance of hiding just how green, gruesomely handicapped and doomed to defeat that he thus far appears to be.

Whereas Najib plays mostly for Malaysia on a minor circuit restricted to such similar small-timers as North Korea and Zimbabwe, who all consider themselves winners because they not only make-up the rules of the game and fake their own scorecards, but also feel free to club anyone who dares criticise or oppose them into silence or submission.

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Or, in some special cases, to death, as in the current case of the alleged hit on a member of North Korea’s Kim family at the KL International Airport 2, or the murder and C4 dismemberment of Mongolian ‘model’ Altantuya Shaariibuu (pic above) in Kuala Lumpur a decade ago.

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No wonder POTUS Trump is so mightily teed-off at the way he’s thwarted at every stroke as he strives to triumph over obstacles like that mother of all sand-traps, the Middle East, and looming water hazards like the South China Sea, while simultaneously trying to deal with domestic challenges ranging from hostile Democrats and disaffected Republicans to hostile news media and intractable courts.

At least you’d imagine that a golfer as avid as Trump so evidently is would be aware of Theodore Roosevelt’s proverbial advice to himself and successive US Presidents to ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’.

But apparently not, as in the blustering press conference he held recently to praise his own allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ administration’s bumbling, stumbling performance in its first few weeks, he seemed rather to be still resorting to speaking glibly because he’s getting so much stick.

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Najib’s Team of Goofers

And if he’s even slightly sincere in his avowed desire to ‘make America great again’, he can look forward to getting even more stick in the future, in light of the fact that two of the principal principles that have contributed most to America’s self-perception as ‘great’ are the freedom of the press and the doctrine of the separation of powers underpinning the independence of the Judiciary.

And it is right here, of course, where Najib’s UMNO-BN regime, North Korea’s Kim dynasty, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-figure eaded Zanu-PF gang and the similar dominant players in countless other no-account countries well and truly have the wood on Trump attempts to run the US.

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Because while Trump can only endlessly and impotently repeat his lying refrain about the forces of ‘fake news’ that he claims are so ‘unfairly’ ranged against him, Najib, the Kims and Mugabes can, as they so efficiently have done, abolish independent news media, fake or otherwise, and create fake news in their own favour.

Thus, to refer back to the headline of this column, Najib easily trumps Trump in the management of negative or hostile news and views by the simple expedient of making sure there aren’t any. None that can be printed or broadcast, at least, as  UMNO-BN owns and controls all of Malaysia’s ‘mainstream’, or in other words, traditional news media. In contrast in the United States, freedom of expression is guaranteed by The First Amendment, making the media an independent and countervailing force in American society.

This blacking-out of bad news about Malaysia’s ruling regime is reinforced by an Official Secrets Act so severe as to cover virtually every activity of the government, the public services and crony based ‘government-linked corporations’ (GLCs), and of course backed-up by regime domination of the Judiciary which should by rights be Malaysian citizens’ final bulwark against the misrule of their country by the UMNO-BN ‘kleptocracy’.

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At least you’d imagine that a golfer as avid as Trump so evidently is would be aware of Theodore Roosevelt’s proverbial advice to himself and successive US presidents to ‘speak softly and carry a big stick’.

But apparently not, as in the blustering press conference he held recently to praise his own allegedly ‘fine-tuned’ administration’s bumbling, stumbling performance in its first few weeks, he seemed rather to be still resorting to speaking bitingly because he’s getting so much stick.

And if he’s even slightly sincere in his avowed desire to ‘make America great again’, he can look forward to getting even more stick in the future, in light of the fact that two of the principal principles that have contributed most to America’s self-perception as ‘great’ are the freedom of the press and the doctrine of the separation of powers underpinning the independence of the Judiciary.

And it is right here, of course, where Najib’s UMNO-BN regime, North Korea’s Kim dynasty, Zimbabwe’s Mugabe-figureheaded Zanu-PF gang and the similar dominant players in countless other no-account countries well and truly have the wood on Trump attempts to run the US.

Because while Trump can only endlessly and impotently repeat his lying refrain about the forces of ‘fake news’ that he claims are so ‘unfairly’ ranged against him, Najib, the Kims and Mugabes can, as they so efficiently have done, abolish independent news media, fake or otherwise, and create fake news in their own favour.

Thus, to refer back to the headline of this column, Najib easily trumps Trump in the management of negative or hostile news and views by the simple expedient of making sure there aren’t any. None that can be printed or broadcast, at least, as UMNO–BN either or both owns and controls all of Malaysia’s ‘mainstream’, or in other words traditional news media.

From left: Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Steve Mnuchin and Sen. Jeff Sessions have all been nominated to high-profile positions in President-elect Trump’s Cabinet. Alex Wong/Getty Images; F. Carter Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

This blacking-out of bad news about Malaysia’s ruling regime is reinforced by an Official Secrets Act so severe as to cover virtually every activity of the government, the civil services and crony so-called ‘government-linked corporations’ (GLCs), and of course  backed-up by regime domination of the Judiciary which should by right be Malaysian citizens’ final bulwark against the misrule of their country by the UMNO-BN ‘kleptocracy’.

One tiny flaw

Admittedly this game-winning strategy has one tiny flaw, which is that former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the man who devised and from whom Najib has inherited it, was so keen to create a world-class IT complex he grandly conceived as ‘Cyberjaya’ that he promised global players like Apple and Microsoft that he wouldn’t censor the Internet.

Cyberjaya, like so many of Mahathir’s alleged megalomanic projects, never really took off. But at least the Internet has surprisingly remained relatively free in Malaysia, and thus I can write what I like, or rather what my editors deem not so dangerously politically provocative as to get Malaysiakini raided or banned, in this column.

But Najib and his UMNO-BN accomplices and supporters are apparently quite prepared if not happy to tolerate this relatively minor annoyance, as it gives them a pretext on which to pretend they permit at least some slight degree of press freedom.

And in any event they must figure that however much bad news gets out about them, they can keep buying enough voters to keep them in power with money they SK1M from the public purse to fund annual hand-outs billed as BR1M, which Najib recently boasted increases in amount every year.

Or, to put this another way, there are always enough Malaysians prepared to be so D1M as to accept BR1M and in return to pretend that they’re unaware that Najib, like every one of his fellow UMNO-BN members and cronies, is a KR1M.

In short, though Najib Abdul Razak might seem to the embarrassed, embarrassing and deeply-embattled Donald Trump to be a winner in the contest between himself and the essential democratic institutions of truth, transparency and justice, the Malaysian people are the ‘sure-fire losers’.

Just as the American people will be if Trump and his goofers can’t be persuaded or if necessary forced to finally get themselves on the ball, stop playing around like dimwit banana-republic demagogues and realise that there’s as huge a gulf between their performance so far and true world leadership as between hit-and-giggle golf and the real thing.


DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’, ‘1Malaysia.con’ and ‘Malaysia Mania’.