The Hunter and the Hunted

June 23, 2018

The Hunter and the Hunted


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R.Nadeswaran–The Malaysian Investigative Journalist

COMMENT | The terms – felon, conman, outlaw and crook – are only applicable upon conviction in a court of law. Until then, if he had attempted to cover his misdemeanours and delinquencies, he remains a dissembler or fibber. If through a series of explanations which cross the thick line between offering an excuse and telling an untruth, he remains a prevaricator, fabricator or in much simpler language – a liar.

But those in the relentless hunt for the truth are not likely to give up until they reach their goal. The hunted will also not ease his unyielding attempts to avoid the goal. (To the uninitiated, “goal” is a form of an enclosure which was also an archaic  term for “jail”.)

While the hunted tries to wriggle out of his self-inflicted woes, those who had previously sought and received a share of the spoils – from chunks to crumbs – seem to have jumped the sinking ship. Others have decided to fight it out like lions and tigers for control of their remaining territory.

The man who brought in the druids, shamans and oracles to offer “protection” has abandoned the hunted too. The prayers and chanting for all the wrongs and sins of the hunted, his wife and the family, have ceased.

This man himself is of soiled character. He was the chauffeur until he “stole” the boss’ wife and moved up to hob-nob with the Joneses. He brought the soothsayers from all parts of the world in looking forward to monetary rewards.

He was not disappointed. Several government contracts came his way. Unfortunately, through bad business practices and in some cases arrogance because of his links with the hunted, his empire collapsed. Now, the man is on the run with six bodyguards in tow leaving a trail of creditors – from small-time contractors to financial institutions. In the past, when creditors tuned up at his door, his riposte was threatening: “I will let loose my bulldogs on you.”

If until May 9 he was untouchable, the banks have now moved in demanding repayment of millions in loans. How he is going to get out of the mess is anyone’s guess. But then, would you be disappointed or surprised if he joins the hunter and share the dark secrets of the hunted in return for freedom?

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Then there’s another man who could walk in and out of the any of the several mansions belonging to the hunted. Having been short-changed in some deals, he decided to squeal – identifying the many shady characters that participated, partook or offered advice on the injudiciousness and indiscretion.

The shady lawyers who were instrumental in the midnight meeting where the decimation of senior government officials was discussed are considering various options. When the future of the then MACC Chief and the then Attorney-General was debated, the passive one suggested that they be asked to resign honourably. But the more aggressive one banged the table and insisted on an immediate purge.

“Show them no mercy. Send them to the slaughter house,” the hunted and his siblings, who co-acted as advisors, were told. In a reversal of roles, they just followed thy servant’s command. The days of these men of the law making headlines are over. They have retreated into their cocoons and even the slightest grunt or groan, if heard by the hunter or by the hunted, will mean trouble.

Writing on the wall

Many read the writing on the wall and have exited via the back door while others are waiting to be shown the door. In both instances, they have been and will walk down a creaky and inflexible staircase.

Others who handled finances and were part of the thievery have conveniently “migrated” to neighbouring countries. But their freedom is not likely to last long. The long arm of the law will get them.

The supply of ‘dedak’ or animal feed to many has been cut. With the hunted’s coffers drying up and with the cash in the condominium taken away for safekeeping, there’s no more automated teller machine (ATM) dishing out money like Smarties or M&Ms from a vending machine.

Already, some have begun to sing like canaries awaiting some form of amnesty, reprieve or forgiveness. But no one is in the mood to forgive and forget and move on. This has become an overused cliché – most recently repeated by the hunted but rejected by the hunter.

The time has come for the hunted to pay his dues. His guilt will be proven and he will join a long line of hunters who became the hunted. No one is going to show mercy or have any sympathy because the level of imprudence and thievery are inexcusable.

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When citizen’s funds have been misused and their personal freedom and rights have been impeded or trampled upon, there’s no room for any option or discretion. Once indicted, the iron gates are going to be clanged shut, padlocked and the keys kept in the hunter’s custody for a long, long time. It will be a deterrent for those who cannot control his greed and or his wife.

She may live happily ever after knowing that some of the ill-gotten gains will remain untouched by the hunter – for her to enjoy. After all, finding another soul mate (she’s experienced in this) will never be a problem with all the dosh that she is flushed with.

R NADESWARAN is a veteran journalist but has decided to turn storyteller for a change. It may not have been a parable but this story of the hunter and the hunted will certainly put the fear into the few who have been putting their hands in the till. Comments:

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

The Model who knew too much to live

May 25, 2018

The Model who knew too much to live

by John

Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian jet-setting beauty who was murdered in a patch of forest near Kuala Lumpur on October 18, 2006, was killed because she was causing trouble and she knew too much.  It appears likely that the mystery of her death, 12 years later, may now be finally be unraveling.

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The Model who knew to much

Asia Sentinel carried 73 stories on the events surrounding her death between 2006 and 2015, with several more in the intervening three years. We may now be about to learn what happened.

The 28-year-old translator was shot in the head by elite bodyguards for Prime Minister Najib Razak as she begged for her life and that of what she said was her unborn child after a whirlwind romance with Abdul Razak Baginda, then Najib’s best friend and, according to French prosecutors, a participant with him in a giant scandal. Razak Baginda had jilted her and she was demanding US$500,000 in front of Razak Baginda’s house when she was scooped up and thrown into a jeep by Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, never to be seen alive again. Her body was wrapped in C4 explosives and blown to bits, possibly to destroy the DNA of the fetus she was carrying. All that was left, when she was found, were bones that filled two urns.

A month after Altantuya was killed, on November 9, 2006 Sirul sat down with recording officer Nom Phot, was read his rights, agreed that he was not speaking under duress, and confessed to the murder, saying Azilah had told him the two would be paid between RM50,000 and RM100,000 to kill the woman.

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Dr. Setev Shaariibuu–The brutally murdered model’s father

That confession, despite the fact that everything appeared to be in order, was never introduced in a court of law. It was printed verbatim in Asia Sentinel on March 20, 2009.  Three years after the murder, a Kuala Lumpur court convicted the two of murder without ever seeking to learn who would pay them the money.

That question has never been answered, but now it may be. Sirul has been in an Australian detention center since 2015, having fled Malaysia while he was temporarily freed on appeal. The conviction was later reinstated in Malaysia and Australian authorities detained him.

According to the Malaysian news portal Malaysiakini, Sirul now wants to return home and tell the full story of how Altantuya was killed in exchange for a pardon. Since he was detained, Sirul, a convicted murderer, has had the advice and assistance of two lawyers from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the leading party in the Barisan Nasional, the party headed by Najib Razak, which decisively lost the May 9 general election.  With UMNO now having been ousted from power, Sirul’s lawyers apparently have disappeared.

Mohamad Fuzi Harun, Malaysia’s new top Police Officer, said he would discuss reopening the investigation into the murder.

So what did Altantuya know that made her so troublesome?  She accompanied Razak Baginda, and almost certainly Najib as well on a jaunt to Paris to meet with officials of DCNS, the French munitions giant, in the final stages of the purchase of two Scorpene submarines from a DCN subsidiary, Thales. Altantuya was identified as a “translator” on the trip, according to documents obtained by Asia Sentinel in 2012.  Najib has sworn on the Quran that he never met her although there are credible reports that he had.

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 Dr. Abdul Razak Baginda

Among other things, according the documents, a DCNS agent, Jean-Marie Boivin, paid for a jaunt to Macau for Razak Baginda and Altantuya. Altantuya was identified as the translator on the transaction. Other news sources say the two lovers toured Europe in Razak Baginda’s Ferrari before he ultimately jilted her.

According to a series of stories that won Asia Sentinel the 2013 award for excellence in investigative journalism from the Society of Publishers in Asia – Asia’s version of the Pulitzer Prize – UMNO was paid kickbacks in the equivalent of US$141.3 million at then-prevailing exchange rates for the purchase of the submarines. Ironically, the submarines can’t operate in Peninsular Malaysian waters. They were stationed in East Malaysia, where they were virtually useless.

However, as Asia Sentinel reported, the kickbacks were paid with the knowledge of French government officials all the way up to then-Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and with the knowledge of then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and other Malaysian officials.

Given her intimacy with Razak Baganda – and possibly with Najib himself, according to a now-dead Malaysian private detective Perumal Balasubramaniam – it is likely that she knew considerable about how the US$141 million ended up with UMNO. According to a sworn declaration by Balasubramaniam, she had spent time with both Razak Baginda and Najib as her lover as well, and she had been promised the US$500,000 as a “commission” for assisting in the submarine transaction.

Today, French authorities have issued a warrant for Abdul Razak Baginda on bribery charges in the purchase of the submarines.  Two Thales officials have also been charged specifically with bribing Najib Razak.

From the start, it has been inconceivable that two elite policemen who had never known of Altantuya’s existence until the day she was murdered would decide out of the blue to kill her.

The stakes – a woman scorned and pregnant, standing on the street demanding that Razak Baginda show himself  or willing to tell what she knew – were high. By her own admission, in a letter found in the hotel room where she was staying, she said she was blackmailing Razak Baginda.

Razak Baginda, after her death, seemed to express horror that she had actually been murdered.  In public statements, he said he had only asked that someone “do something” about her to keep her from harassing him. In a highly unusual move, a high court judge turned him loose without ever having to put on a defense, whereupon he fled for the UK for several years.

It was Najib’s aide de camp, Musa Safri, who ordered Sirul and Azilah to pick up the woman, according to additional reports. Musa was never questioned, nor did he testify in the trial.  The question is who told Musa to order the two police commandos into action. If Inspector General of Police Fuzi decides to reopen the case, if Sirul makes his way back to Malaysia, We may now find out.

Malaysia-North Korea Quarrel–National Security

March 2, 2017

Malaysia-North Korea Quarrel–National Security

by Dr. James Chin

Malaysia has a long history offering sanctuary to political exiles and while it does, political violence will continue to play out on Malaysian soil, James Chin writes.

Malaysia has always been an unofficial sanctuary for all sorts of political operators not welcomed by their own governments. Many of these operators have used Malaysia as a base from which to carry on their activities, as a transit point or as a safe haven for some rest and recreation. Many of them are in fact wanted by their own governments.–James Chin

Well done UMNO and thank you to Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak for taking such good care of Malaysia’s security and reputation. Isn’t it time to review our diplomatic relations with this murderous Hermit Kingdom and reassess our relations with some African nations and other rogue countries, tighten our immigration laws and beef up our security? Do it to avoid further damage to our country’s image and security.–Din Merican

Killing Mr. Kim

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For the past few weeks, the top story coming out of Southeast Asia is the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the step-brother of Kim Jong-un, the ruler of North Korea. The assassination itself is still a mystery and does not follow the usual pattern employed by North Korea. For example, the two female assassins who sprayed the toxin on Kim Jong-nam’s face were not North Koreans but an Indonesian and a Vietnamese with no prior links to intelligence work. It will take a while yet before the entire story unravels.

One question that is often asked, but not adequately answered, is the issue of why Kim Jong-nam would travel to Malaysia often, and for this fatal trip, travel without bodyguards. There are credible reports that he has been travelling regularly to Malaysia since 2010, most probably because his relative, Jang Yong-chol, was the then DPRK ambassador to Malaysia. By all accounts, he should have stayed away from Malaysia after Yong-chol and his family were executed in December 2013 as part of the purge in Pyongyang.

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Not all publicity is good, and South Koreans working in Malaysia are finding this out. South Korean businesses here have been receiving media attention in the wake of the murder of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But they don’t want the publicity, preferring to be left alone to do their business.

– 23, 2017)

What is not widely known, inside and outside Malaysia, is that there is a vibrant Korean community in Malaysia. There are approximately 15-20,000 Koreans living in Malaysia. The overwhelming number of them are South Koreans. In fact, the Korean community in Malaysia is large enough for two ‘Korean towns’ in the capital Kuala Lumpur – one in Ampang and the other one in Mont Kiara. Kuala Lumpur is also one of the few places with a full DPRK Embassy and, until a few years ago, you could catch a direct flight from Kuala Lumpur to Pyongyang on Air Koryo, North Korea’s official airline famed for using old Russian jetliners.

It is also not widely known that there are a few dozen North Koreans working in mining operations in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, arranged through a special deal between the governments of North Korea and the Sarawak state government. What is unusual about this deal is that the North Koreans can only work for that particular mining company and they cannot work elsewhere in Malaysia.

Malaysia has always been an unofficial sanctuary for all sorts of political operators not welcomed by their own governments. Many of these operators have used Malaysia as a base from which to carry on their activities, as a transit point or as a safe haven for some rest and recreation. Many of them are in fact wanted by their own governments.

There are numerous examples going back decades. In the early 1960s, when a group of rebels linked to Partai Rakyat Brunei (the Brunei Peoples’ Party) failed to overthrow the Brunei Sultan, the rebel leadership was given sanctuary in Malaysia before they eventually moved to Indonesia. When Ferdinand Marcos was forced to flee to Hawaii in 1986, some of his children and immediate relatives relocated to Kuala Lumpur and some of them were enrolled in an international school there.

Members of the Cambodian royal family lived in Kuala Lumpur throughout the era when Cambodia was under the reign of the murderous Khmer Rouge (1975-1979). For the past decade, the daughter of late King Norodom Sihanouk has been the Cambodian Ambassador to Malaysia. During the 1994 political crisis in Cambodia, another of King Sihanouk’s sons was forced to flee to Malaysia first before leaving for France.

When the Maldives experienced political turmoil in the 1990s, several of their leading politicians moved their families to Malaysia. The most prominent of them was the Zaki family, owners of the Nazaki group in the Maldives. One family member ended up as the Maldives ambassador to Malaysia.

Since the late 1960s and 1970s, many leaders of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Pattani United Liberation Organization have lived openly in Malaysia. The MNLF, for a short period, even had a training camp in Sabah in the early 1970s. Many other groups operating in Mindanao have links to Sabah and many of their leaders even carry Malaysian identity cards.

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Prime Minister Najib Razak–Not focusing on his job of protecting Malaysia from harm

Muslim separatists in Southern Thailand have always found sanctuary in the four northern Malay states. It is not uncommon for some members of the Malay community in Pattani to hold a Malaysian identity card in addition to Thai citizenship. In fact, one of the Pattani separatist leaders, who headed an outfit called ‘Bersatu’, was a lecturer at the International Islamic University in Gombak, Malaysia. When Wan Abdul Kadir Che Wan was exposed by the media in 2004, the university claimed they did not know his true identity. This was despite the fact that he was in regular contact with Malaysian security services who were acting as peace mediators in Southern Thailand.

Since the 1990s the operational headquarters of the Free Aceh Movement (Gerakan Aceh Merdeka or GAM) was based in Kedah (thanks to Mahathir and Sanusi Junid). In 2000, an Acehnese separatist leader, Teuku Don Zulfahri, was shot dead in Kuala Lumpur while having lunch. The leadership moved back to Aceh after peace was established due to the new political environment created by the tsunami in December 2004. There are still family ties between the factions in Aceh and Malaysia.

In more recent times, in the 1980s and 1990s, Abu Bakar Bashir, the spiritual head of Jemaah Islamiyah lived openly in Johor for 17 years after the Suharto regime went after him. Bashir was not only a Malaysian permanent resident but he helped establish a religious school in Malaysia and hosted other Indonesian militants who were wanted by the Indonesian government.

In 2014, two Myanmar politicians, Aye Maung, a member of parliament, and Aye Thar Aung, the President of the Arakan League for Democracy, were fired upon by their countrymen in front of a hotel in Kuala Lumpur. It is widely known that the large Myanmar community (including the Rohingya) living in Malaysia includes some political exiles who are still active in Myanmar politics.

The most recent political exile operating openly in Malaysia is Dr Zakir Naik, the controversial Indian Islamic evangelist who operates an outfit called the Islamic Research Foundation. He has been accused by the Indian and Bangladeshi governments of inspiring young people to join Islamic State (IS). He has been denied entry to several Western countries, including the UK and Canada, for hate speech. Zaik is not only welcomed in Malaysia but he was given Malaysian permanent residency in record time. Earlier in 2013, the Malaysian government conferred a Ma’al Hijrah Distinguished Personality award to Naik. The award was personally presented to Naik by the King of Malaysia. The latest report coming out of Malaysia suggests that he has established a new office in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s administrative capital. This would not have happened without the support of the Malaysian government.

So what does this all mean? It means that we should not be surprised that political assassinations take place in Malaysia occasionally. Kim travelled in and out of Malaysia because Malaysia has a long history of allowing political exiles from other countries freedom to come into the country. There was also a sizeable Korean community in Malaysia.

As long as Malaysia allows political exiles who are still active to live in Malaysia, political violence not related to Malaysia will occur on Malaysian soil. The Kim killing was not the first and will not be the last.

This article is published in collaboration with New Mandala, the premier website for analysis on Southeast Asia’s politics and society. 


Pascal Najadi Takes His Case To The United Nations

June 22, 2016

Pascal Najadi Takes His Case To The United Nations

Pascal Najadi seeks Justice for his Dad

The perceived paralysis of law and order in present day Malaysia has led to a ground-breaking and potentially humiliating development, where the son of the assassinated banker Hussein Najadi has asked the United Nations to intervene to investigate the crime.

My friend–The Late Ahmad Hussein Najadi

Pascal Najadi slapped his petition into the Geneva based Human Rights Council on Monday, saying that he and his family have been made desperate by the blatant refusal of the Malaysian authorities to properly investigate his father’s murder.

He cites the fact that Najadi was criticising suspicious transactions at AmBank, linked to the present Prime Minister, shortly before his death, as the most likely reason for the inertia on the part of the Malaysian investigators.

Under UN procedure the Najadi family lawyers have addressed their complaint to the Special Rapporteur for Arbitrary Executions, whose remit they say includes the situation facing the murdered banker.

“Certain lines of enquiry have not been followed in the investigation into the murder of Hussein Najadi – purposefully not pursued – which would have included exploring the motives for executing Najadi, including his noted vocal criticism of Najib Razak’s regime, corruption and Najib himself” says Nick Kauffman, Najadi’s lawyer.

Kauffman refers specifically to the failure to press charges against the man who was identified by Police as the man who hired the hitman, who has already been jailed.  Lim Yuen Soo was on a Red Notice list for 2 years charged with the murder, but was only eventually arrested after major publicity last year.

He was held secretly by Malaysian police for 8 days and then released on grounds of insufficient evidence.

Malaysia Tries to Cloud Blame for Altantuya Killing

February 14, 2016

Malaysia Tries to Cloud Blame for Altantuya Killing

Here’s the smell of the blood still; all the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!–Lady Macbeth, The Tragedy of Macbeth, Act V, Scene 1–William Shakepeare

In his latest attempt to clean up his reputation although not necessarily his act, it appears that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak or others in Malaysia’s tainted government is attempting to steer away suspicion over his possible complicity in the 2006 death of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the 28-year old Mongolian woman who was murdered by two of his bodyguards and was said to have once been his girlfriend before he passed her to his best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda.

One of those bodyguards, Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, has been sitting in an Australian immigration detention center since the middle of January 2015 after fleeing from Malaysia when an appellate court briefly freed him, only to have his conviction restored by the Federal Court, Malaysia’s highest tribunal.

In a series of broadcasts made for television looking pious in — indicating he had been on the haj and was thus a purified Muslim – he denied that Najib had anything to do with the murder and said five unnamed individuals – presumably from the opposition – had put him up to saying he was ordered to kill the woman by Malaysian officials, whom he has never named.

 It is unlikely that Sirul will ever elaborate truthfully on his statements about who ordered the two to kill the pregnant woman. Shortly after he was detained, two lawyers from the United Malays National Organization flew to Australia to represent him, and apparently to tell him to shut up. One is Hasnal Rezua Merican, an UMNO Youth division leader, and the other is Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, a former deputy prosecutor who represented Sirul during his original trial and who, when he received his datukship, was described as “of UMNO headquarters.”

That raises questions whether UMNO is paying for Sirul’s legal fees, and raises a further question why the country’s biggest political party, and the leading party in the government, is paying the bills for a fugitive and convicted murderer.

The story now being peddled by Sirul is a clumsy attempt to direct responsibility for the killing away from the government and Najib. The statement contradicts events and facts made known during the long trial and appeal process that put the two of them on death row as well as later statements from Australia.

In a February, 2015 telephone conversation with the news portal Malaysiakini, Sirul said he had taken orders from his superiors in executing the murder “to safeguard the interests of the nation.”

The married Abdul Razak Baginda, the jilted Altantuya’s lover and Najib’s best friend, told investigators during his own questioning after her death that Altantuya was harassing him and making a public spectacle in front of his home, and that he had asked for help from Musa Safri, Najib’s aide-de-camp.

On three occasions during the lengthy appeal process after he was convicted in 2009, Sirul’s lawyers said Musa should have been called for a statement in his original trial. Musa has repeatedly been named as the individual who ordered Sirul and his co-killer to pick up Altantuya in front of Razak Baginda’s home.  Despite that, he was never questioned by police. Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, who led the prosecution team, argued in all three courts that Musa was not a key witness in the trial.

Sirul’s legal team submitted that the prosecution’s refusal to put Musa in the witness stand amounted to a mistrial.

Sirul in Skull Cap-What lies ahead for this Convicted Murderer?

Najib now has been named by a French prosecutor of having been the recipient of €114 million in bribes to buy submarines from a subsidiary of DCN, the French defense giant. Altantuya, then Razak Baginda’s girlfriend, was named as their translator in records seized from DCN and the subsidiary. After she was murdered, a letter found in her hotel room described an attempt to blackmail Razak Baginda for US$500,000. It is widely assumed that her knowledge of the transactions figured in the blackmail attempt.

Sirul originally told reporters allowed to interview him at the Sydney center that a cautioned statement he gave to police in 2006 describing the murder was accurate, and that unnamed individuals were willing to pay him and his co-killer, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri, RM50,000 to RM100,000 to shut up the 28-year-old fixture on the international party circuit. However, he declined to name the individual who had ordered the two to kill her, or why.

In his statement after he was convicted of murder and sentenced to death, Sirul begged for mercy, saying he was being made a scapegoat for killing her. After his detention in Australia, Sirul spoke to Malaysiakini by telephone , saying he took orders from his superiors in executing the murder to safeguard the interest of the nation.

“If I die today, I would not find peace as I did what I was told and this is what I get in return,” he was quoted as saying.


Slain Malaysian Prosecutor Tied to Najib Probe

November 27, 2015

Slain Malaysian Prosecutor Tied to Najib Probe

Brother of victim found in oil drum contradicts AG’s claim the dead man had nothing to do with case.

 Dato’Anthony Kevin Morais

Morais apparently had been strangled although that is uncertain since his body was cremated before his brother, Charles Suresh Morais, an Atlanta, Georgia businessman, could order a second autopsy. The story involves an astonishing series of twists and turns, including possible links to the 2013 murder of a prominent banker in a Kuala Lumpur temple parking lot.

Morais’s body disappeared from a Kuala Lumpur hospital mortuary despite pleas by the brother, Charles, for a second autopsy. The body was claimed and cremated over Charles’ objections by

another brother, Richard, who has been in constant trouble with the law and who figured in the 2013 murder of the late Arab Malaysian Bank founder Hussain Najadi.  The bank is now known as AmBank.

Car rammed, prosecutor abducted

Surveillance footage from a CCTV camera the day the 55-year-old Kevin Morais disappeared showed his car being followed and rammed by another. He was reportedly abducted after the collision and was never seen alive again. One of the seven suspects arrested after the footage identified the car in the collision led investigators to a suburb near Kuala Lumpur where Morais’s body, encased in the oil drum, had been rolled into a river. 

Morais had been seconded from the Attorney-General’s Chambers to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, which was looking into financial irregularities involving the troubled 1Malaysia Development Bhd. state-backed investment fund and other issues.

In July, Najib fired the Attorney-Ggeneral, Abdul Gani Patail, one of a dramatic series of events that included forcing out the Deputy Prime Minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, transferring the deputy head of the police special branch intelligence division, neutralizing a special parliamentary committee seeking answers over corruption, questioning seven members of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission over leaks about the case, sending the head of the MACC “on vacation” and threatening any and all critics with sedition charges.   

Today, a source said, the commission investigators are terrified and believe they are in danger, followed by Special Branch police, over suspicions they had leaked details of the investigation to Clare Rewcastle Brown, the editor of the UK-based Sarawak Report, which has been deeply involved in investigating the 1MDB case and broken most of the important stories. The leaker, Charles Morais said, may have been his dead brother because anonymous emails to Rewcastle Brown were signed by “” “ Jibby,” Charles Morais said  was a nickname for a Morais family friend. However, it is also a derisory nickname used by many for Najib himself.

Najib crony Mohd Apandi Ali, the Attorney-General picked to replace Gani Patail – who is also a lawyer connected to the United Malays National Organization, which Najib heads,  had previously dismissed the alleged draft charge sheet as false. The office denied Kevin Morais was working on the Najib case, which appears to have disappeared.

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Although prosecutors said the mastermind was actually a military doctor who had been prosecuted by Morais recently in a graft case, Charles Morais called for the case to be revisited. 

A thumb drive of evidence

In a press conference in Kuala Lumpur on November 26, Charles Morais, who had flown back to Malaysia from the US, said he had received a mobile USB storage device from his brother shortly before his death, dealing with investigations he was looking into, as well as an alleged draft charge sheet against the prime minister which was released by Sarawak Report and carried the initials of his brother. Morais said that when he saw the alleged draft charge sheet, he recognized his brother’s initials. 

To a police demand that he turn over the USB device for investigation, Charles Morais said the device is in safekeeping in Atlanta, and that he didn’t trust the Police enough to give it to them.

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Charles Morais

“Two to three months before Kevin’s demise, he told me that he was working on a case involving the prime minister and his wife,” Charles Morais said in the sworn document. “He said the prime minister was a terrible guy but that his wife was worse. He actually used the words kolata ala. (Eds: These were Malayalam (a Dravidian dialect spoken in the Indian state of Kerala) and translated into English meaning ‘a person up to no good’. He told me his phone might be tapped and to be careful what I said. That is why half of our conversations were usually in Malayalam.”

Read the statutory declaration of Charles Morais here.

Dead man couriers possible evidence to brother

In mid-August, Morais said, his brother, who in frequent telephone calls said he was increasingly depressed and wanted to retire to London, emailed him telling him he would courier something to him and “to watch out for it as he wanted me to keep it in safe custody. This was the last call I received from Kevin and was about a week before he went missing.” 

Morais called Abdul Gani Patail, the cashiered Attorney-Ggeneral, twice in the attempt to find his brother.  On the second call, Gani Patail answered, saying: “Please remain calm, I am not working there any more. What I have been told is that the police are working relentlessly on the matter.”

Notified that his brother was dead, Charles Morais flew back to Malaysia and went to the mortuary to meet his two brothers, with Richard demanding to leave with Kevin’s body despite the fact that Kevin had broken with him 14 years before.

Connection to AmBank murder

Richard Morais has a checkered history. He has been in frequent trouble with the law in both Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. Pascal Najadi, the son of the AmBank founder Hussain Najadi, who was assassinated in the car park of a Kuala Lumpur temple in 2013, has charged that no real investigation of the crime has taken place.  Najadi said Richard Morais had requested that his father go to the temple to attempt to settle business dispute that that the murderer was waiting for him.

Pascal Najadi, now a banking consultant in Moscow who says he fears for his own life and has employed bodyguards,  has raised questions over whether his father’s refusal to play along with UMNO financial irregularities led to his death.  On two occasions shortly before he was killed, Najadi said, his father complained about UMNO corruption.  Najadi has repeatedly called for the investigation of his father’s death to be reopened.

On the first occasion, during a lunch at the Shangri-La Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, he told his son he had been approached by unnamed high-ranking UMNO officials to orchestrate a multi-billion  ringgit property deal connected to the Kuala Lumpur City Center that Hussain characterized as clearly illegal and “told them to go fly a kite.” On the second occasion, he told his son that Najib was “lining his pockets with billions of ringgit with no consideration for the future of the country.”

The speculation is that the funds deposited with AmBank came from companies connected to the 1MDB, which has RM42 billion in liabilities, an unknown amount of that unfunded, and is struggling to meet its payments. 

Mastermind arrested, mysteriously freed

Police identified a Malacca nightclub owner, Lim Yuen Soo as the mastermind who paid to have Najadi shot. Lim disappeared for more than two years, with a red alert issued by Interpol at the behest of the Kuala Lumpur police although sources say he seemed to be in and out of Kuala Lumpur regularly. Police arrested him at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in late October, but turned him loose eight days later for lack of evidence, raising a multitude of questions over how he could have been identified as the mastermind for two years only to be freed almost immediately when he was caught.  Since the murder case involving Hussain Najadi was closed,  there are questions why it hasn’t been reopened to find another mastermind behind the killing. 

That has raised additional questions whether Lim – and Richard Morais — have friends in Malaysia’s high political circles. Despite his status –until recently – as a fugitive, Lim is the registered part owner of the Active Force Security Services Sdn Bhd. with the former Malacca Police Chief Mohd Khasni Mohd Nor.