1MDB: ‘Kleptocracy at its worst’ in Malaysia

March 11, 2018

1MDB: ‘Kleptocracy at its worst’ in Malaysia

So says US Attorney General Jeff Sessions as global investigators seize assets and tighten dragnet on premier Najib Razak’s 1MDB scandal

Image result for Najib Razak in a Fix over 1mdb
Malaysian Premier Najib Razak aka MO1 is in a Bind over 1MDB

“Kleptocracy at its worst” is how US Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently characterized dealings at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a heavily indebted state development fund currently under investigation for fraud by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The fund, created and until recently oversaw by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been at the center of ongoing embezzlement probes in multiple countries since 2015. But while the embattled premier plays down the evolving scandal in an election campaign season, new overseas asset seizures are keeping it in the headlines.

Image result for US Attorney General Jeff Sessions on 1MDB


Investigators believe US$4.5 billion was misappropriated from the fund by high-ranking Malaysian officials and their associates since 2009, making it one of the world’s largest ever financial fraud cases and the biggest action ever brought under the DoJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.

Najib, believed to be the unnamed “Official 1” in the DoJ’s ongoing case, has avoided scrutiny and charges at home by sacking critics, including his former deputy, appointing an Attorney General who has exonerated him of all wrongdoing, and clamping down on probing media.

The Malaysian Premier has consistently denied involvement in any corruption and claimed the US$681 million discovered in his personal bank accounts was a “gift” from a Saudi royal family member rather than pilfered 1MDB funds.

While opposition parties have staged anti-kleptocracy rallies centered on 1MDB, it’s not clear yet the scandal will be Najib’s undoing at the polls, which must be held by August. But a new string of foreign asset seizures and developments are bringing the issue back to the fore as elections draw near.

Last week, Indonesian authorities and US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents seized a US$250 million luxury yacht belonging to fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, a central figure in the 1MDB scandal.

A seized a luxury yacht sought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) as part of a multi-billion dollar corruption investigation is seen off the shore of Banoa, on the resort island of Bali, Indonesia February 28, 2018 in this photo taken by Antara Foto. Antara Foto/Wira Suryantala/via REUTERS

A 1MDB-linked seized luxury yacht sought by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) seen off the shore of Banoa, Bali, Indonesia February 28, 2018. Photo: Antara Foto via Reuters/Wira Suryantala

Also known as Jho Low, DoJ documents describe him as “a Malaysian national who had no formal position with 1MDB but who was involved in its creation and exercised significant control over its dealings.”

Low, known for his flamboyant displays of wealth, is believed to have acted as an unofficial adviser to 1MDB, brokering the state fund’s largest business deals and allegedly siphoning the proceeds to purchase luxury items, including museum paintings and expensive jewelry.

Low has denied any wrongdoing and his current whereabouts remain unknown.

Mohamed Azmin Ali, a senior opposition parliamentarian, called Indonesia’s seizure of the Cayman Islands-registered vessel a “milestone” in the 1MDB investigation, while lambasting the “failure of Malaysian authorities to act in the cause of justice.”

Low’s spokesperson dismissed allegations against him as “deeply flawed and politically motivated” and characterized the DoJ’s asset recovery efforts as a “pattern of global overreach.”

Other assets allegedly purchased by Low with 1MDB funds include a private jet, a New York hotel and real estate, and a US$107 million interest in EMI Music Publishing.

Malaysia-Jho Low-1MDB-Scandal-AFP copy


The DoJ has also sought to recover proceeds from the blockbuster film “The Wolf of Wall Street” made by Red Granite Pictures Inc, a production company co-owned by Riza Aziz, the Malaysian premier’s stepson and a friend of Low.

Leonardo DiCaprio, the film’s lead Hollywood actor, has cooperated with US investigators, turning over artworks and gifts worth millions of dollars reportedly given to him by Low.

On March 7, Red Granite Pictures announced a settlement with the DoJ that requires it to pay US$60 million in a civil forfeiture suit covering rights and interests claims to “The Wolf of Wall Street”, as well as two other films, “Daddy’s Home” and “Dumb and Dumber To”, also suspected to have been financed with siphoned 1MDB funds.

Though the settlement does not constitute “an admission of wrongdoing or liability on the part of Red Granite,” according to the court filing, analysts widely regard Riza’s compliance with the DoJ’s asset seizure demands as an admission of guilt.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) recently reported that Elliott Broidy, a top Republican Party donor close to US President Donald Trump, and his wife Robin Rosenzweig, an attorney, had been in negotiations with Low, who had apparently approached the well-connected couple in the hopes of influencing the DoJ’s investigation.

The fugitive Malaysian financier, according to a cache of emails reviewed by WSJ, was prepared to award Rosenzweig’s California-based law firm a US$75 million fee if it could persuade the DoJ to drop its civil asset forfeiture lawsuits within 180 days. It is not clear whether the agreement was ever finalized.


US-Elliot Broidy-Robin Rosenzweig-1MDB-Youtube Screen Grab

Elliot Broidy (R) and Robinn Rozenzweig (L) have been linked to Malaysian businessman Jho Low. Photo: Youtube



Broidy, previously Vice-Chairman for Trump 2016 election campaign’s joint fund with the Republican Party, had also prepared talking points for Malaysia’s premier ahead of his controversial September 2017 visit to Trump’s White House, in which Najib expressed his willingness to assist US efforts to isolate North Korea.

It is not clear whether Malaysia’s position was influenced by Broidy’s talking points. Lawyers for Broidy and Rosenzweig said the latter’s law firm had been engaged by Low “to provide strategic advice” and neither had discussed Low’s 1MDB case with President Trump or DoJ representatives.

Low’s purported efforts to influence the DoJ’s investigations, however, have failed to bear fruit, as evidenced by recent asset seizures and forfeiture settlements.

While similar 1MDB probes are underway in at least six countries, including Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg, and Hong Kong, Malaysian authorities have quietly started to wind down the scandal-plagued fund.

Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah, Malaysia’s Treasury Secretary General, announced last week that 1MDB would be permanently closed once it settles all outstanding debts. 1MDB paid US$603 million last December to settle a debt with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

Observers believe the sale of two land parcels from 1MDB-related entities to firms linked to Chinese state enterprises last year rescued the beleaguered state fund from defaulting, extending a political lifeline to Najib in the process.

1MDB and IPIC are still in a dispute over US$3.54 billion in cash advances that 1MDB claimed it made to several Abu Dhabi-controlled entities as part of obligations under a 2012 bond arrangement. IPIC denies ever receiving the monies.

Treasury Secretary Irwan Serigar projected it would take more than a decade for the state fund to settle its debts, which are slated to be repaid from revenues generated from government mega-projects, including the soon-to-be-launched Tun Razak Exchange commercial skyscraper and returns on high-speed rail infrastructure.

Malaysian officials have said 1MDB’s eventual closure is a business decision and have not apportioned blame for the fund’s indebtedness or mismanagement, conceding only “weaknesses” in its administration.

However, emergency motions to discuss recent 1MDB developments raised in Parliament by the opposition have been denied. Opposition parliamentarian Gooi Hsiao-Leung recently called on Najib to clarify whether Malaysia would seek to recover assets seized by the US DoJ and why the government did not intend to claim Low’s confiscated yacht.

Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali maintains the government has no ownership claim over the 1MDB-linked yacht. Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia, meanwhile, denied discussion of Gooi’s emergency motion on grounds that such queries would be prejudicial to police investigations into Low.

Malaysia’s Police Chief, Mohamad Fuzi Harun, has since said that his investigations revealed no link between Low and 1MDB.

“One of the strangest things surrounding the 1MDB and the DoJ’s accusations is that the Malaysian government has shown no interest at all in regaining any of the assets the DoJ says it is trying to recover,” Ooi Kee Beng, executive director at the Penang Institute, told Asia Times. “This is despite the huge sums involved.”

Putrajaya has also shown apparent disinterest in seeking restitution of 1MDB-linked funds seized overseas. Swiss financial authorities seized US$102 million from banks last year after sanctioning now defunct local bank BSI for its involvement with 1MDB.

Lawmakers in Switzerland will soon debate whether those sums should be absorbed into state coffers as no party has claimed or sought to repatriate the funds.

Singapore is the only country to have jailed or brought charges against financial sector workers for cases linked to 1MDB. The city-state, which enjoys close bilateral ties with Putrajaya, could ruffle feathers by bringing charges against individuals close to the premier, says Chandra Muzaffar, a Malaysian political scientist.

“Singapore has already acted against some 1MDB linked individuals, but it does not seem to have affected Singapore-Malaysia ties,” he noted. “However, if Singapore or the US pressed concrete charges against Jho Low or Reza Aziz, Najib’s step-son…Najib may take it as a personal affront and retaliate.”

As 1MDB investigations move ahead, some involved with its alleged illicit dealings have faced charges and fines overseas, though high-profile Malaysian figures and high-ranking politicians continue to maintain their iron-clad denials while thwarting calls for transparency and responsibility.

“It is unlikely that as long as the leading figure Najib Razak is in power that there will be any meaningful accountability,” said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia expert at Italy’s John Cabot University. “The most tragic dimension of this scandal is that the burden has been passed onto ordinary Malaysians, who have had to pay for the abuse of power by their leaders.”


The Law starts with you, Tawfik Tun Ismail urges MPs to stop Hadi’s bill

March 8, 2018

The Law starts with you, Tawfik Tun Ismail urges MPs to stop Hadi’s bill

 by FMT Reporters

The former MP again says while the Royal Address is being debated, the Dewan Rakyat is set to debate PAS’ shariah bill in defiance of the High Court judgement.

KUALA LUMPUR: Outspoken former MP Tawfik Tun Ismail who is seeking to stop the tabling of PAS’ shariah bill in Parliament has again warned that matters on religion come under the jurisdiction of the Malay Rulers, and as such it would be against the Rule of Law to list the bill in the Dewan Rakyat’s Order Paper.

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“The Rule of Law starts at the House of Laws,” said Tawfik, the son of the late Tun Dr. Ismail Abdul Rahman who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Home Affairs in the Seventies.

Tawfik has named Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia and Secretary Roosme Hamzah as defendants in his bid to seek a court order to stop the tabling of a bill to amend the the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, known by its Malay acronym RUU355.

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Image result for tawfik tun dr ismailWhat Rule is the Speaker talking about? Most of the time this moronic Pandikar does not know his job. The Rule of Law is Greek to him. He is another Najib Razak’s horndog, says The Chimp


The amendments proposed by PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang seek to give wider powers to shariah courts as well as introducing stiffer sentences on Muslim offenders.

On February 22, Tawfik scored an initial victory against Pandikar after the High Court rejected the Speaker’s attempt to throw out his suit.

Tawfik has since warned against debating the bill in Parliament, and urged the Attorney-General to advise Pandikar that it would be subjudice to list the bill in the Order Paper, which lists the day’s business for the Dewan Rakyat.

Image result for Hadi Awang and Najib Razak

Strange Bedfellows in a Pact to ruin Malaysia for Political Gain

“It is unparliamentary and most improper of, and against the rule of law, for the House to debate the motion of thanks to His Majesty… while Hadi’s bill to amend RUU355 stares you in the face in the daily Order Paper, in defiance of the judgement from the High Court, using laws that were passed in this August House, and in blatant contravention of the Constitution,” he said today.

Tawfik said listing Hadi’s bill in the Order Paper also contradicted the Speaker’s own decision in the past to stop debates on matters that had gone to court, including foreign courts.

He said Pandikar “should apply the same standards to this matter currently being heard before our own nation’s courts”.

“As the next general election is imminent, members from both sides of the House must stand united and obey the very laws you passed, demonstrate your sworn commitment to the nation that gave you the sacred duty to defend, uphold and protect their constitutional rights, and demand the private member’s bill be withdrawn from the Order Paper immediately,” said Tawfik, who also reminded MPs of the oath of office to “preserve, protect and defend” the constitution.

“Not to do so is clear contempt of His Majesty and His Majesty’s judges, in blatant defiance and contravention of the constitution, and the trust that the citizens of this nation have placed upon you all, and the thin end of the wedge that would open the door to further erosion of our fragile Constitution.”

Hadi’s bill seeks to raise the maximum punishment on shariah offenders from the current 3 years’ jail to 30 years, as well as to impose a fine of up to RM100,000 and 100 strokes of the cane.

But Tawfik, in his suit against Pandikar, said Hadi’s motion did not conform with the requirements of the Standing Orders of the Dewan Rakyat and that it violated Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees equality for all Malaysians.

The 1MDB Plot thickens

March 5, 2017

Trump Ally Was in Talks to Earn Millions in Effort to End 1MDB Probe in U.S.

Emails indicate Republican donor and wife were negotiating fee if the Justice Department closed its investigation


Elliott Broidy, a longtime GOP donor, right, and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, an attorney, discussed setting up a consulting contract with Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman at the center of the 1MDB scandal, in emails.
Elliott Broidy, a longtime GOP donor, right, and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, an attorney, discussed setting up a consulting contract with Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman at the center of the 1MDB scandal, in emails. Photo: Billy Bennight/UPPA/Zuma Press

A top Republican fundraiser close to President Donald Trump was in negotiations to earn tens of millions of dollars if the U.S. Justice Department dropped its investigation into a multibillion-dollar graft scandal involving a Malaysian state investment fund, according to emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

In emails dated during the past year, Elliott Broidy, a venture capitalist and a longtime Republican donor, and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, an attorney, discuss setting up a consulting contract with Jho Low, the Malaysian businessman at the center of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. scandal, which brought scrutiny to the country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak. The messages include draft agreements between Ms. Rosenzweig’s California law firm and representatives of Mr. Low about the possible terms of their business engagement. In one draft, there is a proposal that includes a $75 million fee if the Justice Department quickly drops its investigation.

Along with the contract drafts, the emails also appear to show Mr. Broidy prepared talking points for Malaysia’s Prime Minister ahead of a 2017 visit to Washington that included a meeting with Mr. Trump and other officials. In the talking points, the Prime Minister was advised to state that Malaysia wanted to emphasize its work with the U.S. in confronting North Korea, while also arguing against the U.S. legal pursuit of the 1MDB matter. It isn’t clear what, if anything, came of the talking points.

The details of the purported effort to influence the Justice Department investigation were included in a cache of emails from Mr. Broidy’s and his wife’s email accounts that were provided to the Journal.

Mr. Broidy was a Vice Chairman for the Trump campaign’s joint fund with the Republican Party during the 2016 campaign, helping it raise more than $108 million. A longtime Republican donor, he gave more than $160,000 last year to the Republican National Committee, where he is currently a national deputy finance chairman. In March, Mr. Trump is set to attend a fundraiser in Los Angeles that Mr. Broidy helped organize.

Chris Clark of Latham & Watkins LLP, on behalf of Mr. Broidy and Ms. Rosenzweig, who runs Colfax Law Office Inc., said in a statement that Ms. Rosenzweig’s law firm was engaged by Pras Michel, a member of the 1990s hip-hop group the Fugees and a friend of Mr. Low, “to provide strategic advice as part of a broader team to Mr. Low.”

Image result for Jho Low and Najib Razak


The statement adds: “During the course of this engagement a number of strategies were discussed with Mr. Broidy, Mr. Michel, and other members of the team. But at no time did Mr. Broidy or Ms. Rosenzweig, or anyone acting on their behalf, discuss Mr. Low’s case with President Trump, any member of his staff, or anyone at the U.S. Department of Justice.”

Mr. Clark said neither Colfax Law nor Mr. Broidy has ever represented Malaysia or any of its officials “in any capacity.”

“We are concerned that the Wall Street Journal is in possession of internal drafts of documents that were never used, and that were never intended to be shared with third parties,” he said. “We question the legality and propriety of the manner in which the documents were obtained.”

The Justice Department declined to comment.

President Donald Trump welcomed Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in September. Emails appear to show Elliott Broidy prepared talking points for Mr. Najib ahead of the visit.
President Donald Trump welcomed Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak in September. Emails appear to show Elliott Broidy prepared talking points for Mr. Najib ahead of the visit. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images


Mr. Low didn’t respond to a request for comment on the arrangement. He has denied wrongdoing in the 1MDB matter. The 1MDB fund has denied any money is missing and said it would cooperate with any lawful investigation. Multiple investigations in Malaysia into 1MDB closed without finding wrongdoing.

Prime Minister Najib, who oversaw 1MDB and gave Mr. Low control over investment decisions, has been keen for the Justice Department to drop its probes.

The Justice Department alleges Mr. Low, a 36-year-old Malaysian financier, helped siphon off at least $4.5 billion from 1MDB, between 2009 and 2015. Mr. Low and conspirators from Asia and the Middle East allegedly used the proceeds to buy luxury homes in the U.S., frequent Las Vegas nightclubs and fund Hollywood movies, among other things. At least six countries are investigating the affair, including Singapore and Switzerland.

Since mid-2016, the Justice Department has sought, via civil lawsuits in California, to seize almost $2 billion in assets allegedly bought with the stolen money. On Wednesday, authorities in Indonesia seized Mr. Low’s $250 million yacht at a port on the resort island of Bali after a request from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A representative for Mr. Low said in a written statement in the wake of the yacht seizure that the case was “completely without foundation’’ and that “rather than reflecting on the deeply flawed and politically motivated allegations, the DoJ is continuing with its pattern of global over-reach—all based on entirely unsupported claims of wrongdoing.”

U.S. authorities also allege in civil lawsuits that “Malaysian Official 1,” which people aware of the matter say is a reference to Mr. Najib, received $681 million from 1MDB into his personal accounts. The Justice Department in its asset-seizure suits identified tens of millions of dollars worth of jewelry purchased with funds originating from the alleged 1MDB fraud, including for Mr. Najib’s wife. Mr. Najib has denied taking money for personal gain and he was cleared by Malaysia’s attorney general of any wrongdoing.

In September 2017, Mr. Trump invited Mr. Najib to a meeting in the White House to discuss trade ties. Given the 1MDB scandal, and Mr. Najib’s alleged personal involvement, the timing of the trip sparked contention among the prime minister’s critics. Ahead of that trip, Mr. Broidy sent an email to a colleague at his venture-capital firm on Aug. 7, 2017, with the subject line “Malaysia Talking Points *Final*.”

The email appears to outline how Mr. Najib should approach his U.S. visit. The first-listed priority was to make it clear that Malaysia fully backed U.S. efforts to isolate North Korea, the email said. The talking points also list the 1MDB affair: The U.S. investigation “has caused unnecessary tension,” the talking points read, “and could cause a negative reaction among Malaysians.”

A spokesman for Mr. Najib didn’t respond to a request for comment on the purported talking points or his visit to Washington.

In his September 2017 visit to the White House, Mr. Najib met with Mr. Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and other U.S. officials. In a public appearance together, Mr. Trump identified Malaysia as a strategic national-security ally in Asia. “He does not do business with North Korea any longer,” Mr. Trump said of Mr. Najib. “We find that to be very important.”

Ahead of Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. Najib last fall, Gen. McMaster and a member of the White House Counsel’s Office advised him that the prime minister was under investigation by the Justice Department and that the issue might come up, a White House official said. Mr. Trump was advised that Mr. Najib might bring up the case and could lobby him to ask the Justice Department to shut it down, and that he should respond that he wouldn’t interfere, the official said.

Mr. Najib subsequently didn’t raise the issue in his private meeting with the president, nor did Mr. Trump, the official said.

The White House didn’t respond to a question about whether Mr. Trump had ever discussed the Justice Department probe with Mr. Broidy.

Legal experts said certain actions described in the emails had little precedent in Washington. An effort to approach White House officials to close a Justice Department investigation would be unusual because administrations have typically not had any involvement in federal investigations, to avoid giving the appearance of any political motivation. Mr. Trump, by contrast, has often waded into Justice Department matters, criticizing Attorney General Jeff Sessions as recently as Wednesday, when he labeled Mr. Sessions’ handling of a surveillance-related probe as “disgraceful.”

Mr. Broidy’s involvement with Malaysian politics dates to at least March 2017, when his wife, Ms. Rosenzweig, drew up an agreement between her Beverly Hills law firm and Mr. Low, according to the emails.

On March 12, 2017, Ms. Rosenzweig emailed the agreement to Nickie Lum Davis, whose Hawaii-based firm, LNS Capital, acted as a consultant to Colfax on the deal with Mr. Low, the emails show. The unsigned draft stipulated various terms, including a $75 million payment if the firm could help get the Justice Department to drop its civil-asset forfeiture lawsuits within 180 days.

Ms. Rosenzweig later changed the details of the agreement to a flat fee, which she said was to ensure they complied with U.S. law, according to an email later in March to LNS’s Ms. Davis.

Ms. Davis didn’t respond to a question for comment.

By May, there was still no final agreement, according to the email chain. Mr. Low didn’t want to pay Ms. Rosenzweig directly, but through Mr. Michel, the former hip-hop star, the emails show. Mr. Michel was among the many celebrity friends Mr. Low made in the years after the alleged fraud began in late 2009. The emails didn’t state a reason for the payment structure.

Mr. Michel didn’t respond to a request for comment.The emails the Journal viewed didn’t show whether Ms. Rosenzweig’s firm had finalized terms of the agreement with Mr. Low.

In 2009, Mr. Broidy pleaded guilty to a felony charge of rewarding official misconduct and admitted to making nearly $1 million in gifts to benefit four former top officials in the office that oversees New York state’s pension fund, which made $250 million in investments in Mr. Broidy’s firm, the Journal reported. As part of his guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit $18 million to New York state.

Write to Bradley Hope at bradley.hope@wsj.com, Tom Wright at tom.wright@wsj.com and Rebecca Ballhaus at Rebecca.Ballhaus@wsj.com

RUU 355: The Bloody Fool Speaker Pandikar Amin !


February 23, 2018

RUU 355: The Bloody Fool Speaker Pandikar Amin

by Din Merican

On February13, 2018, I wrote about Tawfik Tun Dr Ismails’s case against the Speaker and secretary of the Dewan Rakyat for wrongfully allowing the tabling of a Bill by PAS chief Hadi Awang seeking to increase the sentencing powers of the Syariah Courts more famously known as the RUU355 case.

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Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail claimed that Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia acted unconstitutionally by allowing the tabling of Hadi’s Motion and RUU355 without consulting the Conference of Rulers and breaching various laws and the standing orders of Parliament. This amendment would also create inequality in the law amongst Malaysians especially Muslims for purported Syariah criminal offences as the Syariah laws in the states are not uniform.

This case showed that PM Najib and UMNO were playing politics with religion and the Speaker behaved deceitfully in Parliament. See link:


Rosli Dahlan


My friend Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who represented Tawfik, pointed out to Judge Dato Wira Kamaludin Said that Pandikar was misleading the court and showed that the doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy does not apply in Malaysia.

Lawyer Rosli revealed the abuse of parliament by the politicians to pass bad laws for political mileage without concern for the Rakyat especially Muslims. He also said that the Speaker committed treason against the Sultans by sidelining and disregarding the Rulers role to be consulted under Article 38 of the Constitution.

To avoid answering to Rosli’s charges about his treasonous behavior, Pandikar applied to strike out Tawfik’s case by claiming that as Speaker he has absolute immunity and is not answerable to the Courts.

Speaker Pandikar arrogantly defended his deceitful ways by saying -“If you have power, you are powerful. If you don’t use that power, you are a bloody fool!”

On Thursday afternoon February 22, 2018, Judge Kamaludin delivered his verdict that Parliament is not supreme and that the Speaker of Parliament is also subject to the Court’s jurisdiction.

The Judge said -“I agree with En Rosli and in my opinion, the court has jurisdiction to hear this case,” and directed Pandikar to file his affidavits. “I want affidavits to be filed in quick. We cannot keep Parliament waiting,” he said.

By these firm words, Judge Kamaludin has shown to Speaker Pandikar that he is not above the law. Pandikar has been put into his proper place and is now forced to eat the humble pie that he is not as powerful as he thinks he is. Judge Kamaludin is showing to Pandikar that a speaker who thinks he is powerful is actually the ultimate bloody fool!

Pandikar who had arrogantly refused to answer to the affidavits by Tawfik is now being treated like a delinquent child who refused to hand up his homework. Judge Kamaludin is now chiding Pandikar that he will be punished if he doesn’t file his affidavit.

Once again my friend Lawyer Rosli Dahlan is taking to task public functionaries who misbehaved and abused their powers regardless even if he is the Speaker of Parliament. I salute him for his bravery. Rosli had previously sued Attorney General Gani Patail and successfully moved the court to rule that Gani’s does not have absolute unbridaled powers as Public Prosecutor.

The RUU355 case is significant because a High Court Judge is brave enough to instill discipline even in the Speaker of Parliament that there must be respect and compliance with the Constitution. It is significant because a member of the public is suing the Speaker of Parliament not to sideline the Rulers in matters that involve public policy. This case symbolises the people defending their rulers. Daulat Tuanku!

Thank you Tawfik, thank you Rosli for showing us that Pandikar is the ultimate bloody fool!


Former UMNO MP can challenge Dewan Rakyat Speaker on RUU355, court rules – https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/s/39252 – Updated: 22 Feb 2018 3:58PM – The Malaysian Insight

Malaysia: The Constitution is Supreme not Speaker Parliament Pandikar Amin !

January 13, 2018

The Constitution is Supreme not Speaker Parliament Pandikar Amin !

by Din Merican in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Image result for Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia

Speaker of Dewan Rakyat or  a Buffoon?

On Thursday  January 11, 2018, I noted that the media in Malaysia reported about an interesting incident in Court where a former Member of Parliament — the son of the late Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Dr.  Ismail Abdul Rahman— filed a suit against the Speaker and Secretary of the Dewan Rakyat for wrongfully tabling a Bill by PAS Chief Hadi Awang (“Hadi’s Motion”) seeking to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (“RUU355”).

It was reported that Tawfik Tun Dr Ismail (pic below) had challenged in court that Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia committed contempt against the Sultans by playing politics in Parliament when he allowed the tabling of Hadi’s Motion and RUU355. This was unconstitutional as the Conference of Rulers, as the Heads of Islam, had not been consulted with earlier in breach of Art. 38(2) and Art 38(4) of the Federal Constitution.Tawfik also contended that the RUU355 itself is in violation of Article 8 of the Federal Constitution and would create inequality in the law amongst Malaysians especially Muslims for purported Syariah criminal offences.

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Tawfik  Tun Dr. Ismail

Hadi’s Motion had caused a great deal of unrest and showed it was nothing more than a political game. Sometime in March 2017, Deputy Prime Minister Dr. Zahid Hamidi announced that UMNO had a pact with PAS and the RUU355 will be tabled by him as a Government’s Bill. Subsequently, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that BN component parties were against it and that it will not be a Government’s Bill. Zahid lost face and got played out by Najib. Serves him right for trying to play politics with religion!

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Butch Minister Azalina Othman Said (2018)

I recalled there was widespread discontent and anger on April 6, 2017 when Speaker Pandikar played a trick on the opposition. After tabling Hadi’s Motion, the butch Minister Azalina Othman proposed that the House sitting be adjourned. Pandikar then quickly ended the session and ran out to the calls of “Takut” and “Ayam”. That was how RUU 355 came to be tabled as first reading in Parliament without any debate – by trickery.

Such is the quality of this cowardly Speaker who goes by the name of Pandikar but who behaved like a pondan. When asked to explain his unusual conduct, Pandikar tried to show he is smart when he answered -“If you have power, you are powerful. If you don’t use that power, you are a bloody fool!”

Again in court, Pandikar did not dare fight Tawfik. Instead he asked the A-G Chambers to strike out Tawfik’s suit. Pandikar claimed that as Speaker he has absolute power and is not subject to the courts by claiming Parliamentary supremacy.

Not to be fooled by Pandikar’s cowardly ways, my friend Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, who represented Tawfik, pointed out that Pandikar was misleading the court by relying extensively on English cases on parliamentary supremacy and privilege. He showed that the doctrine of Parliamentary supremacy does not apply in Malaysia as it does in the UK. In Malaysia, even the Speaker is subject to the Constitution and the Court is the bulwark to ensure that the Speaker does not abuse his powers.

The most interesting part about Tawfik’s case is that all previous lawsuits were to strike down bad laws by Parliament. This is the first time that the Speaker is being sued for abusing parliamentary privileges and claiming he is above the constitution and the Court. I hope Judge Dato Wira Kamaludin Said will deliver the correct decision in law and put this Speaker Pandikar in his proper place.


The RUU355 case filed by Tawfik and argued by Lawyer Rosli reveals the abuse of parliament by the politicians to pass bad laws for political mileage without concern for the Rakyat especially Muslims. It also shows treason by the Speaker by his disloyalty and disregard to the Conference of Rulers by flexing his muscle that he is more powerful than the Malay Rulers, when he arrogantly  announced :

“If you have power, you are powerful. If you don’t use that power, you are a bloody fool.”

Lawyer Rosli Dahlan

I have just managed to obtain a copy of Rosli’s written rebuttal to the A-G Chambers’ argument which shows that the Speaker of Parliament is also subject to the Court’s jurisdiction. I would be pleased to share it with you who are legal eager beavers if required.

From the grapevine, I heard that Rosli had the assistance of Emeritus Professor  Dato Dr Shad Faruqi, the eminent constitutional expert of Malaysia. I whatsapp Rosli to ask if it was true that the most eminent academia in Malaysia is supporting him. As usual, Rosli is tight-lipped about the cases he handles. However, his cryptic answer was very revealing. He said – “Isn’t it good for the country if they are behind me as they see this as ultimate Patriotism in fighting for the Rulers , the Constitution and the Rule of Law.”

I hope Rosli and Judge Kamaludin will show to Speaker Pandikar who is the ultimate bloody fool!

Also read:

The plaintiff’s written rebuttal


Asia: After a Goldilocks Year, 2018 Could Be Time for the Bears

January 6, 2018

Asia: After a Goldilocks Year, 2018 Could Be Time for the Bears

by Philip Bowring@www.asiasentinel,com

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If 2017 was a year in which the global economy and its stock markets performed much better than expected in the face numerous threatening political issues, could 2018 be the opposite? For sure there is a Goldilocks feeling at present, in Asia as elsewhere.

For all his sound and fury Donald Trump has yet to do anything that would cause immediate and serious alarm in the outside world – yet.  Despite taking the US out of the TransPacific Partnership trade agreement, he hasn’t yet acted on the North American Free Trade Act, and may not, being under intense pressure from US manufacturers to maintain at least the framework. Asian exporters that act through NAFTA are holding their breath.

The Chinese economy has weathered more fears of the impact of accumulated domestic debt. Xi Jinping has been anointed emperor but now looks more focused on delivering a domestic agenda than in further aggravating relations with China’s neighbors.

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Cambodia–China’s Strategic Partner–President Xi Jinping with Prime Minister Samech Hun Sen

Thanks to Trump’s disinterest in the US’s allies in east Asia, contempt for trade deals and climate change, China can sit back and see its prestige and influence increase without needing to push too hard. A new, more dovish president in South Korea has also helped. In Southeast Asia, politics in Thailand and Malaysia remained largely frozen, with thoroughly reprehensible leaders in both, and with both unlikely to be replaced.

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Thailand is mostly still mourning the late king and Malaysia’s fractured opposition continues to fail to capitalize on the evidence of massive plunder by Prime Minister Najib Razak and UMNO at large. In Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi has proved a figurehead as the military pursued ethnic cleansing of the Rohingyas without hindrance, and ASEAN again proved incapable of influencing members in the direction of religious and racial tolerance.

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo was bruised but unbowed by the victory of Islamists in the Jakarta guberenatorial election and in India Prime Minister Modi was bruised by elections in his home state of Gujarat but appears to have considerable staying power. So too may Rodrigo Duterte in spite or because of continued extrajudicial killings, now aimed at Communists as well as drug dealers. On the brighter side, the economy continued to grow steadily and significant, if still inadequate, tax reform was enacted.

Japan’s Shinzo Abe strengthened his position via elections but conservatives lost badly in South Korea after the impeachment of president Park Geun-hye with liberal Moon Jae-in winning easily with 41 percent of the vote against two candidates.

Globally commodity prices, including oil, have moved up enough to ease concerns of most producing countries yet not enough, it seems, to generate inflation scares. Likewise gradual interest rate rises, actual or promised, have been absorbed. In Asia growth has been steady if unspectacular,m and globally problem countries Brazil and Turkey have bounced back. Europe has so far mostly rejected populism and the euro is again a favored currency. Britain’s Brexit is suicidal but in slow motion and largely irrelevant outside the eurozone.

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Without being unduly pessimistic, it seems that 2018 has the potential for upsetting this relatively benign outlook for Asia. First is the question whether Trump will actually wage an economic war against China. Alleged failure of Beijing to bring North Korea to heel will always be the excuse, irrelevant though it should be to trade issues. It may be Trump’s only alternative as even he realizes that there is no way of ending Pyongyang’s nuclear capability short of a potentially nuclear war which even his most gung-ho generals do not relish.

Any serious measures against Chinese exports to the United States would result in retaliation against the US, put downward pressure on world trade, which has been growing at a healthy 4 percent, and possibly induce copycat moves by other countries.

Any such economic conflict would damage all of east Asia, even assuming – which is a big if – that the US makes it clear that it will not take similar measures against the many other Asian countries which enjoys large trade surpluses with the US. Even if this does not transpire, stock markets in the region may already be quite fully valued after rises of 15-30 percent in the past year.

Also on the economic front, the notion that the world can have years of almost zero interest rates and huge credit expansion without a payback time could well be tested in 2018. The reality of promised interest rates rises and ending of bond purchases by central banks has yet to hit, and no harder than in the US, where last week it was reported that a stunning 35 percent of Americans have been reported to debt collection agencies trying to collect an average of US$5,200 per person. If interest rates were to rise, consumer debt could mean disaster.

Sinisterly, the yield curve has started to reverse, a chillingly reliable harbinger of recession. However, interest rates may be brought forward by the Fed if cracks appear in the assumption that inflation is dead and buried. Take China, whose role in global trade is readily transmitted to the world. Its official consumer price index is still rising at just under 2 percent. But the GDP deflator, which measures much more, is now more than twice that. Producer price inflation is over 5 percent and even if some of this reflects short term movements, it can’t be long before there is a reflection in consumer prices, even if delayed by price controls in an energy market due to be deregulated.

Chinese export margins may be squeezed but with the yuan strong against the US dollar, moving from 6.90 to 6.50 over the past 12 months, Chinese price pressure will be transmitted elsewhere.

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Whither ASEAN in the Trump Era?

Trump’s neglect of Asian issues apart from North Korea and China trade will continue to undermine the US position in the region, and may get worse if Secretary of State Tillerson is replaced by someone who reflects Trump’s unsettling proclivity at unorthodoxy. However, the notion of Indo-Pacific as a strategic concept may continue to find quiet support now that Japan, India and Australia have become informally committed to it. Other countries in the region may see the merits in arrangements which at least in part compensate for the decline of US influence and interest.

Xi Jinping will probably be mainly concerned with domestic issues – further shoring up the power of the Communist Party and focusing on financial stability, income distribution problems and the environment. Indeed, it will be a test of the Xi’s concepts and of the role of the party, if it can produce the results which could be used to justify the more oppressive nature of the system he has imposed.

Less secure is Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha, who is no longer shielded by the mourning period and is due to deliver some elections, however distorted by the new constitution. He has also been prone to gaffes. The political situation looks to become more fluid, meanwhile the king remains largely hidden from public view, often in his German redoubt, but will continue to create waves of his own. Najib on the other hand look likely to survive Malaysia’s elections thanks to opposition weakness, despite Mahathir’s attempts to galvanize Malays, and a system massively weighted towards conservative rural constituencies.

Indonesia has till April 2019 to wait for its presidential election but the campaign will begin in earnest in October 2018 with Widodo hoping that the current pickup in the economy, unspectacular though it is, will have enough momentum to keep him ahead.

Hong Kong will continue to find that its new chief executive Carrie Lam is even more determined than her predecessors to do what she is told by Beijing. But pro-democracy groups will face tests of their popularity in by-elections to replace legislators elected in 2016 but disbarred during 2017.