Najib And Rosmah – ‘Over RM100 Billion’ Stashed In Foreign Bank Accounts


July 1, 2018

 

Najib And Rosmah – ‘Over RM100 Billion’ Stashed In Foreign Bank Accounts

Malaysians have months and months of high profile news to come on the decades of kleptocracy.  The only good news being that with so much potentially retrievable from Najib and Rosmah’s global treasure troves, much of the damage can be repaired and meanwhile UMNO is busy digging its own grave.

by Sarawak Report

Image result for Corrupt Najib and Rosmah Mansor stashed billions in overseas banks

Go to sleep, Mr. Najib while you can before hell on earth comes to you and your wicked wife Rosmah Mansor. Greed and power destroyed you.

The decision of the Malaysian people to vote in Harapan with a reform agenda on May 9th in many ways seemed to close a chapter on past misdeeds.  However, as the daily headlines show, it will be some time before the true scale of kleptocratic looting from Malaysia has been revealed.

Indeed, the one billion ringgit treasure haul, garnered from the Najib residences after the election, appears to represent relative trinkets knocking around the house, compared to the real hoard, safely locked up elsewhere.

Sarawak Report has it on good authority, for example, that two privately chartered jets arrived from Saudi late on the night of the shock election result, courtesy of the good offices of a relative of an executive of PetroSaudi.  Owing to the denial of formal landing rights, they are believed to have departed without the intended primary passengers, Najib and Rosmah.

However, a stash of precious items, including a certain pink diamond, is believed to have been brought on board and accompanied out of the country by senior personnel.

A separate source, with business connections to the couple, has further told Sarawak Report that to their “certain knowledge” deals they have information on amounted to considerably over RM100 billion in profits, which were banked abroad.  The source says they were personally involved in stashing much of the money into mainstream accounts in Hong Kong.

‘We Need To Change”

The exposure that such devastating sums of hot money, travelled into what the source says included major Swiss and German banks, looks set to rock the global financial system for years to come, keeping the issues of Malaysian kleptocracy in the news for the foreseeable future.

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Yet, only for the first time this weekend, have we seen an apparent acknowledgement of at least some guilt on the part of Najib himself. In an extraordinary speech the ex-Prime Minister, after weeks of denials, admitted to the system of ‘money politics’, that he had presided over and suggested UMNO clean up its act.

Najib admitted, for example, that secret sums of cash had been sent out to division heads in advance of the election to buy votes, but complained some had purloined the cash instead:

“Maybe God wanted to teach us a lesson for our weaknesses. We must repent and correct our ways,” ….

“In the last general election, we lost to a party that did not spend much money; we did not know where their divisional offices were, their canopies were the earliest to close, but even when we flocked to our canopies, we still lost.

“There were those who sulked when they didn’t get allocations. There were those who did get money but said they didn’t. Then, there were candidates who received allocations but did not spend it.

“How are we supposed to win when our attitude is like that?’ he added. [Malaysiakni and others]

The fact that the UMNO machine failed to operate ‘as normal’ at GE-14 was one of the key identifiable factors in the loss of the election.  It is also why UMNO leaders in a recent poll blamed Najib above all as the main factor in the defeat.

Confronted with his example, as a leader who together with his wife has blatantly stolen billions, and fearful of the outcome of the elections, it appears that party officials simply opted to keep the cash handouts, instead of spending it on ceramahs and bribes to voters at the polling booths.

READ This: http://www.scmp.com/news/asia/southeast-asia/article/2153128/malaysia-sell-millions-worth-bling-seized-ex-pm-najib-razak

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Najib has reaped what he sowed in that respect, yet he still had the brass neck to condemn the freezing of UMNO accounts as an ‘assault on democracy

The remnants of that party have just relected Najib’s appointed former Deputy as leader, a man who was not only prepared to support a kleptocrat by covering up blatant thefts and the unconsitutional sacking of his predecessor and Attorney General, but also to lie and pretend he had met the fictitious ‘prince’, who allegedly provided Najib with the 1MDB stolen cash.

The choice is hardly surprising, because only 1% of those remaining UMNO members in a recent poll considered “honesty and trustworthyness” of importance in deciding their next leader!

Malaysians have months and months of high profile news to come on the decades of kleptocracy.  The only good news being that with so much potentially retrievable from Najib and Rosmah’s global treasure troves, much of the damage can be repaired and meanwhile UMNO is busy digging its own grave.

1MDB case must be watertight, says Malaysia’s Mahathir


June 21, 2018

1MDB case must be watertight, says Malaysia’s Mahathir 

 

As prime suspect – and defeated Prime Minister – Najib Razak holidays in Langkawi, Malaysia’s new leader says it is better to build an indisputable case than be swayed by populist sentiment into hasty action.

By Zuraidah Ibrahim/ Bhavan Jaipragas

http://www.scmp.com/week-asia/politics/article/2151474/1mdb-probe-needs-time-be-watertight-malaysias-mahathir-calls-cool

The Malaysian government is taking time to build a watertight case in the 1MDB financial scandal and not be swayed by populist sentiment, according to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib Razak: prime suspect in the 1MDB financial scandal. Photo: Xinhua

His predecessor Najib Razak is the prime suspect under investigation and has been banned from leaving the country. This week, Najib’s decision to go on holiday to the resort island of Langkawi – which coincidentally is the parliamentary seat of Mahathir – sparked fears he was trying to slip out of Malaysia.

Malaysia’s billion-dollar question: where did 1MDB money go?

The government and the people know that billions have been stolen, Mahathir said. But, calling for cool heads, Mahathir said in an interview with the South China Morning Post that the government wanted indisputable evidence. “So the prosecutors now are gathering that evidence so that when they go to the court of law, the judges don’t base their judgment on sentiment, but … on facts and evidence shown in the court of law. So that is why we are taking a little bit more time than we expected.”

 

He declined to give a timeline on the next stage of the investigations, even as speculation swirled in Malaysia that the charges could be filed against Najib as soon as the next two weeks.

But on Tuesday afternoon, he was quoted as saying that charges would be filed on key suspects – Najib, businessman Jho Low and “a few others” – within months, while a trial would begin later this year.

Charges against Najib would include “embezzlement, stealing government money, and a number of other charges,” he said in the interview with Reuters.

The 1MDB probe extends across six jurisdictions, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore. It has also targeted Najib’s wife, Rosmah, known for her flagrantly ostentatious taste in luxury goods. Set up in 2009 as an infrastructure fund drawn from oil revenues, it has lost US$4.5 billion and is now insolvent. Around US$731 million allegedly ended up in Najib’s personal account. The beleaguered former premier has denied any wrongdoing, insisting that the money was a donation from an Arab benefactor.

 

Rosmah Mansor, wife of Najib Razak, arrives at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Putrajaya, Malaysia. Photo: EPA

Pakatan Harapan: Vulnerable?

In the interview with the Post, Mahathir, who won a stunning election on May 9, was asked about his views of a rising China and the region. In addition to taking questions about the 1MDB scandal, he was also asked to comment on the possible vulnerabilities of his Pakatan Harapan coalition.

While Pakatan now claims 125 seats in the 222-seat Parliament, a recent survey by the reputable think-tank Merdeka Centre has found that the coalition did not win over the majority of Malays, who make up 65 per cent of the population.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad is interviewed by the South China Morning Post in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: SCMP Pictures

According to the Merdeka Centre survey, UMNO retained 35-40 per cent of the Malay vote, while the rest was almost evenly split between Pakatan and the Islamic-based party, PAS. In comparison, 95 per cent of Chinese voters chose Pakatan.

Malays have special rights granted by Malaysia’s Constitution. Almost all Malays follow Islam, the official religion of the country. Under the previous Barisan Nasional coalition, the Malay-based United Malays National Organisation was the dominant component party led by Najib. Umno had increasingly played the ethnic and religious cards in elections over the decades.

Supporters of Mahathir Mohamad celebrate his victory in the May 9 election. Photo: Reuters

Commentators credited Mahathir for attracting enough Malays into the Pakatan camp to tilt the balance decisively in its favour. Mahathir has immense stature among Malays as a respected former Prime Minister who held office from 1981 to 2003. The argument, if correct, begs the question of whether Pakatan will be able to retain Malay support after Mahathir steps down, which he has promised to do after two years.

In the interview, Mahathir said there was a clear swing of Malay votes from the Barisan coalition to the opposition in the recent election compared with the previous one in 2015 that contributed to their victory.

Ignoring 1MDB scandal caused Umno’s downfall in Malaysia: Najib

But the Malay vote itself was split between the rural, suburban and urban areas. It was in the latter two areas that Malays had turned against the previous government because they were disenchanted with the “bad things” happening within Umno, especially the corruption scandal.

For rural voters, he said, such issues were harder to grasp but they could understand cost of living woes.

He shrugged off his own personal appeal in winning the Malay vote for the future, saying: “Well, I can’t always be popular, one day I will become unpopular because when you are in the government, you have to do unpopular things. That is not something permanent.” But for now, people were upbeat and they felt that life during his first tenure as Prime Minister was better than during Najib’s time, he said.

Let’s Get Physical

Mahathir, who turns 93 on July 10, was also asked about his physical energy. He laughed, saying it was the number one question he was asked. Although Mahathir, a trained medical doctor, has had two heart bypass operations, he feels fortunate not to have suffered debilitating diseases such as cancer.

His secret to good health? “I think simple things like not putting on weight, not eating too much, proper sleep, a little bit of exercise,” he said, adding that he gets “enough” sleep – about six hours. When he is not able to do that, he has short power naps.

In May, a picture of him at the dining table with just a few spoonfuls of rice on his plate caught the attention of internet users. But then a close-up showed that next to his plate was a small green canister of multivitamin supplements, Berocca. Sales of the supplement received a sudden boost.

Anwar Ibrahim with Mahathir Mohamad in 1997, during the latter’s first stint as prime minister. File photo

Moving On

Under a pact made with his former nemesis turned coalition partner, former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim, he is supposed to hand over the prime minister’s position after two years. However, there have been hints recently that Mahathir intends to stay beyond two years.

Asked about this, he admitted there was a lot to be done. Would he stay beyond two years? “Well, I don’t know whether people will permit me to stay longer. If there is some work I can still do, if I am still healthy, I can think and talk.”

But would he do so as Prime Minister? He demurred smilingly and said softly: “Ya”.

Throughout the interview, he answered questions evenly in his trademark unflappable tone, as an aide kept a strict watch on his time. Asked by a photographer for an autograph, he obliged willingly, noting aloud the date to write to accompany his signature. When the Post invited him to visit Hong Kong, the headquarters of the publication, Mahathir politely remarked about the times he spent there.

“My first ever visit to Hong Kong was in 1960. Where were you?” he quipped to his much younger interviewers.

Stealing Money from the National Treasury is an Act of Treason


June 17, 2018

Stealing Money from the National Treasury is an Act of Treason–so, Najib Razak is a Traitor

by Mariam Mokhtar@www.asiasentinel.com

Image result for Najib is a CrookIt takes time, but Justice will come eventually to Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor

 

 

93-year-old Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who heads Malaysia’s reform coalition Pakatan Harapan, has lost no time in knuckling down to work. A week after he assumed office in the wake of the political earthquake of the country’s May 9 general election, he terminated the contracts of 17,000 political appointees as a drain on public expenditure.

The move was hailed by a public taken aback  by the numbers of people involved, although some are concerned that the shock and awe of Mahathir’s move would generate the same kind of guerilla underground that cropped up when Paul Bremer, the American proconsul in Iraq, disbanded the army and civil service in 2003. That played a major role in the eventual creation of the Islamic State which has terrorized Syria and Iraq for the past several years.

Nonetheless, the sackings are looked upon by Malaysia’s 31 million people as just the start of the cleanup of decades of appalling corruption. Police seized 72 bags alone of loot from deposed Prime Minister Najib Razak’s residence in the days after the May 9 election, of which 35 contained RM114 million (US$28.6 million) in cash in 26 different currencies. Another 35 bags contained jewelry and watches, and 284 boxes were filled with designer handbags including Ellen Birkin bags by Hermes that can cost upwards of US$200,000. The former Premier is not likely to go hungry. He is believed to have hundreds of millions more stashed overseas. Famously, in 2013 US$681 million appeared in his personal account at Ambank in Kuala Lumpur and almost immediately was moved overseas.

The biggest mess, of course, is the state-backed development fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd., from which US$4.5 billion is said by the US Justice Department to have disappeared in corruption and mismanagement. Mahathir has said the scale of corruption is even greater and has demanded a full explanation. The Finance Ministry, now under Lim Guan Eng of the Democratic Action Party, says Malaysia’s total government debt and liabilities exceed RM1 trillion (US$250.7 billion).

The number of no-bid contracts awarded to crony companies and government-linked companies – now termed by many to be government-linked crookedry – is overwhelming.

Mahathir for instance cancelled a high-speed rail contract from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore that cost RM70 billion which, with other government commitments including operating expenses over 20 years ran the total to RM110  billion. “Estimates are that in a proper open tender, the project could have been done for a maximum of RM25 billion,” said a well-placed business source in Kuala Lumpur.

Equally questionable is a contract for Malaysia’s Eastern Corridor Rail Line, awarded to a Chinese company at RM67 billion. The payment was time-based, not on a completion basis. As such, 40 percent of the total payment has been made while only 7 percent of the work has been completed. The project cost is widely believed to have been a subterfuge for Chinese help in paying off 1MDB’s massive debt.

Next is the Sarawak and Sabah gas pipeline, again awarded on time-based payments with 87 percent of RM9 billion paid and only 13 percent of the work completed.

Contracts such as these are aplenty. The gadfly website Sarawak Report reported on June 10 that a car rental company headed by an official with a Barisan-aligned party in Sarawak received a RM1.25 billion no-bid contract to install solar energy facilities for 369 Sarawak schools. The three-year contract, allegedly steered by Najib himself, has been underway for 18 months. Not a single solar power unit has ever been installed.

But beyond that, dozens of government-linked companies have been found to be paying exorbitant salaries to their executives. Malaysia has the fifth highest number of GLCs in the world, for which Mahathir himself must share the blame, since many came into existence during the 22 years he headed the government from 1981 to 2003.

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Many are household names – the national car project Proton, now peddled to China’s car company Geely; the national energy company Petronas, the electrical utility Tenaga Nasional, the electric utility Telekom Malaysia, the Tabung Haji Pilgrimage Fund, the Federal Land Development Authority, Malaysian Airlines, The Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Malay People’s Trust Council), the Sime Darby plantation and property conglomerate.

Publicly traded GLCs currently comprise 36 percent the market capitalization of Bursa Malaysia and 54 percent of the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index according to a study by the think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. They employ 5 percent of the national workforce.  According to the study, government bailouts of GLCs have “resulted in a huge drain on the public purse.” They include RM1.5 billion for Proton in 2016 and RM 6 billion for Malaysia Airlines in 2014.

”One estimate suggests that around RM85.51 billion has been used to bail out GLCs over the past 36 years,” according to the report putting pressure on commercial interest rates as a result of recurring budget deficits that “may have been a separate factor operating to crowd out private investment, at the margin.”

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As an example of exorbitant salaries, the Transport Minister, Anthony Loke, told reporters that the executive chairman of the Aviation Commission (MAVCOM), retired Gen. Abdullah Ahmad, drew a monthly salary of RM85,000 (US$21,325). The figure is over four times the basic recorded salary of the Malaysian Prime Minister and is similar to the salary of millionaire CEOs of successful private enterprises.

Veteran journalist, R Nadeswaran, formerly of The Sun Daily, reported that his investigations into MAVCOM, an independent body established in 2015 to regulate economic and commercial matters relating to civil aviation, revealed that RM570,000 had been paid in directors’ fees, and a further RM770,000 on directors’ travel and accommodation.

More revelations have followed. One “former minister turned adviser” in Najib’s Prime Minister’s Office received a monthly wage of RM200,000 (US$50,177), which is about 10 times Najib’s official salary. Other “advisers” were paid from RM70,000 upwards per month in a country where per capita income on a PPP basis is RM26,900 annually.

Other ministries, together with the newly-revitalized Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), have been directed to investigate the various GLCs and political appointees  Apart from the allegations of huge bonuses and exorbitant salaries, it has also been alleged that officials of various GLCs collaborated with contractors to submit false claims for maintenance work. The MACC is investigating.

The almost daily revelations of cronyism and large-scale corruption have been described by one Malaysian as akin to “Chinese water torture,” when water is slowly dripped onto a person’s forehead and drives the restrained victim insane.

Loke’s disclosure also prompted the veteran MP, Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir’s onetime adversary turned ally, to demand transparency and public accountability in the wages of the heads of the GLCs. He proposed the implementation of a public website showing the perks, salaries and remuneration of all GLC heads and members.

Lim wanted to know how many of the heads of the GLCs are political appointees and how many of the UMNO/Barisan Nasional appointees have resigned since Najib lost power.

Malaysians responded swiftly to Loke’s report. One person multiplied Loke’s figure by the number of existing GLCs and was astounded by the money which taxpayers had to fork out for GLC directors’ fees. Who approved the salaries of the board members in this public regulatory body?

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A Foreign Friend In Cambodia asked me, “Din, is your recently pardoned felon running a parallel government?”  And I answered, “For Malaysia’s sake, I hope not.–Din Merican

Surprisingly, the revelations over the GLCs are in contrast to those by newly released and pardoned former Opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, the PM-in-waiting, who told a crowd in Perak that chief ministers should not rush to take action against GLCs, and to refrain from being vengeful.

“I have no problem with GLCs, if their performance is good and the Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) thinks it’s appropriate to continue, we accept (the continuance),” unless, he added, “that it was proven at the federal level,  there was wasteful overlapping and excessive payment of allowances to political figures.”

Malaysians demanding intense scrutiny of GLCs wonder what to make of the PM-designate’s remarks and actions.

Mariam Mokhtar is a Malaysia-based reporter and regular contributor to Asia Sentinel.

Enough Evidence to Charge Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor–Just Do It, Dr. Mahathir


June 15, 2018

Enough Evidence to Charge Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor–Just Do It, Dr. Mahathir

By FMT Reporters@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

The Prime Minister tells the New York Times that Najib’s government ‘raped’ not just 1MDB but also other govt-funded initiatives.

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KUALA LUMPUR: Before the 14th General Election, Pakatan Harapan (PH) felt things were rotten at the core of Najib Razak’s government, but now they find it is even worse than they thought, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“The more we look into the previous administration, the more bad things we find. Any organisation that had money, the previous government found the means to take the money,” he told the New York Times (NYT) in his office on Wednesday.

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Let us hope Justice comes to him soon–Sungei Buloh Beckons

Mahathir said his government had accumulated “enough evidence” to put former Prime Minister Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor on trial.

Mahathir, who served as Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003 and who led the PH to a stunning win on May 9, said he discovered that Malaysia was in far worse financial shape than they had feared.

Image result for rosmah mansor and her jewellery and handbags

How can you ever trust her for taking care of Malaysia’s Permata Kids

The national debt, tallied at US$170 billion by Najib’s administration, had been reassessed, along with other government liabilities, at US$250 billion. That is 80% of Malaysia’s gross domestic product, the report said.

But Mahathir told the NYT, the problems extended beyond 1MDB to encompass an array of government-funded initiatives.

“All have been raped by the previous government. They have taken money. Now they have lost the money,” Mahathir was quoted as saying.The report quoted Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng as adding: “They were just robbing the country blind. I’m having nightmares practically every day, wondering what land mines will I tread on the following day.”

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Lim claimed if the PH had not won, Malaysia “would have become a basket case”. The report noted that Mahathir had been criticised for “his authoritarian impulses”, playing race politics, muzzling the news media and locking up his enemies during his first stint as Prime Minister. However, it added, even former detractors contended that he was a changed man now and that he understood that unchecked power in the wrong hands could devastate a country.

The report quoted James Chin, the Malaysian-born director of the Asia Institute at the University of Tasmania, as saying: “He has mellowed, and unlike his first time in office, he has now realised that independent institutions are not a bad thing. Previously, he was all about centralisation of power in the prime minister’s office.”

Lim, who was imprisoned twice during Mahathir’s previous time in office, agreed, adding: “I think it’s Mahathir version 2.0. I think it’s very different from the version 1.0 we saw when he first became prime minister. He’s more reformist.”

Lim described Mahathir as a “man with a mission, driven by the need to get things done in the shortest possible time. He’s moving at a frenetic pace.” The NYT report noted, however, that Malaysia’s problems did not start with Najib.

“The state in which the country is today is not just the result of Najib Razak’s misgovernance but also decades of populist politics and semi-authoritarian practices,” it quoted Sophie Lemière, a Malaysia specialist at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University, as saying.

But, the report said, Mahathir refused to acknowledge any systemic faults with the Malaysian political system. He blamed Najib’s “astonishing greed” for the nation’s predicament.The report also noted that Mahathir had distanced himself from his vow to hand over power within two years to PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Mahathir joked that he had suggested that time frame only because some thought he might become senile at age 95.

Lim told the NYT that Mahathir had never expressed regret for jailing him, adding: “I forgive, but that doesn’t mean I will forget. I think the most important thing is to look forward.”

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When the NYT suggested that Mahathir had a rare opportunity to reshape his legacy and erase his strongman reputation, Mahathir replied, in his usual blunt style: “When you die, they rewrite your story. So when I am not around, they can say what they like.”

 

Malaysia: Murder Case Cover-Up


June 5, 2018

Murder Cover-Up Case: Najib, Rosmah and Lawyers Cecil Abraham & Shafee Abdullah in a legal Fix

by Sarawak Report

Image result for Cecil Abraham and son

Cecil Abraham and Partners enable clients to realise solutions through clarity of thought and advice. We deliver smart and efficient dispute resolution solutions.

The significance of a court ruling in KL today (June 4, 2018) was perhaps muted by the extraordinary excitement of these moving times.  However, that ruling has opened the floodgates against a cover-up exercise that has strained the Najib administration for over a decade.

Sarawak Report has been covering the dogged litigation of widow Selvi Bala and her former lawyer Americk Sidhu (now himself a witness in the case) against 9 defendants, whom she holds responsible for blackmailing her husband PI (private investigator) Bala after he tried to speak out as a witness over the murder of the Mogolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Bala, like others, had considered the trial a travesty designed to protect ‘high level’ individuals caught up in Altantuya’s threats to expose both her knowledge about kickbacks on a French submarine deal with the former Defence Minister and later PM, Najib Razak, and also her alleged affairs with Najib and his proxy ‘defence consultant’ Razak Baginda.

The private investigator had issued a statutory declaration to the effect that both Baginda and Altantuya had told him that Najib had been her lover and that he was certain that Najib’s two bodyguards, who were found guilty of shooting then blowing up Altantuya’s body, would not have done so without orders.

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Cover-Up

Today’s court hearing went to the heart of the cover-up that allegedly followed Bala’s declaration back in 2008, which Najib and his lawyers had managed to keep the matter out of court by one method or another right up until the last election.

Selvi’s case was that 9 defendants had conspired to force her husband Bala to change his declaration, in order to leave out Najib’s name.  These defendants were primarily Najib and his wife Rosmah, two of Najib’s brothers, a business partner of Rosmah, Deepak Jaikashan, (whom she used as fixer for the occasion) and some lawyers, primarily Cecil Abraham and his son Sunil, who were close to Najib.

Together, Selvi claimed, they had threatened, blackmailed and bribed Bala to flee the country with his family, after a night during which he was forced to sign a new declaration drawn up by Cecil Abraham and son Sunil. In 2013 Bala returned and retracted that second declaration, shortly before dying of a heart attack.

During the course of Selvi’s case for compensation, owing to the impact on her family, all of these defendants successfully pressured the courts to strike out the case against them (on highly controversial grounds accepted by Najib’s Chief Justice Raus) except for Deepak, who had since 2012 made clear he was prepared to back up Bala’s story.

This meant that Selvi’s litigation was continuing throughout last year, but against Deepak only.

Deepak’s Exposure 

Thus by 2017 Deepak alone was defending Selvi’s demands for compensation, keeping the case hanging on by a thread.  Nevertheless, the world could see that if Selvi gained a ruling in her favour by the court against this last defendant, then that judgement would confirm the complicity of all the others, including Najib and Rosmah, in the shocking cover-up of evidence in a murder trial that pointed heavily towards their additional complicity either in that killing or, at the very least, in the failure to prosecute those responsible for ordering the death of a woman who was blackmailing Najib and his proxy.

As Sarawak Report exclusively reported at the time, Deepak had no desire to plead other than guilty for his part, since he plainly wished for the greater guilt of those who had engaged him to fix the cover-up to be exposed.

We published an exclusive copy of the original defence drawn up by Deepak’s lawyers, which acknowledged all of Selvi’s allegations and named Najib and Rosmah as the “masterminds and beneficiaries” of the conspiracy to cover-up PI Bala’s evidence.

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However, moments from putting that document into court last November, Najib’s agents intevened in the form of another lawyer, Shafee Abdullah (pic above), who together with the Tabung Haji Chairman, Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, liased between Deepak and the Prime Minister to force a change of story.

As Deepak has informed Sarawak Report, Najib was abusing his powers as PM-Finance Minister to hold huge tax bills over Deepak’s head, which he offered to drop if Deepak cooperated.  Ironically, those bills were linked to land deals that Deepak had conducted on behalf of Najib’s own wife Rosmah, for whom he was acting as a proxy, says the businessman.

To get off millions in tax demands, Deepak agreed to play ball and allow Shafee to place a new defence that denied all Selvi’s allegations.  However, right up to the election Deepak and his ‘new lawyer’ Shafee wrangled with each other and the court, finding excuses to avoid a hearing where Deepak could be cross examined about his change of tune.

What a Difference an Election Makes

When the case returned to court after the election what a different story Deepak had to tell.  In an exclusive interview with Sarawak Report last month the businessman had already confided that the endless hospital appointments, designed to keep him out of the witness box to avoid embarrassment before polling day, were of course a sham.

 

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Dato’ Panglima Azeez Abdul Rahim–The Fixer

Azeez, says Deepak, had organised a doctor to provide a certificate and place him overnight in hospital, a matter he conspired over with Shafee. Deepak has played recordings to Sarawak Report of those conversations between himself, lawyer Shafee and the agent of Najib, Azeez, where the fake hospital appointments were arranged.

Today, again before the judge, Deepak admitted that his first and not the second defence devised by Shafee was the honest statement he plans to stand by.  He also made clear he had never formally appointed Shafee, who had represented him only through blackmail.

Both these points were accepted by the judge, leaving Deepak to face cross-examination on the case at the next hearings, as well as Shafee himself and the other witnesses named in the case.

Face The Music

The consequences for lawyer Shafee, now accused of faking hospital appointments and blackmailing a reluctant client on behalf of a separate interest, namely Najib and Rosmah, the prospect of the later stages of this civil trial are dismal.  Not least, because Shafee is likely to be also asked about a combined payment by Najib of RM9 million out of 1MDB money, for services not yet explained.

And what about two other Najib associated lawyers in the case?  Selvi’s petition stated that on the night her husband was blackmailed into changing his statutory declaration, in order to remove all reference to Najib, the prominent lawyer Cecil Abraham and his son Sunil joined Bala and Deepak overnight in a hotel room at the Hilton Sentral hotel in KL, in order to draw up that spurious new document.

Deepak, in his first and now revived defence, admitted this claim to be true and confirmed the role of the two lawyers, who had been called into the matter by Najib together with two of his brothers, who helped handle the situation that night. Americk Sidhu is expected to put in a complaint to the Bar Association shortly regarding this disturbing conduct.

Given the extensive and unhealthy ties between Najib and these lawyers, the present reported role of the father and son as key advisors to the Agong, currently resisting the appointment of the new Prime Minister’s choice of Attorney General is disturbing.  Are they representing the interests of the present administration or the old PM?

Most at risk from the developments in this marathon case, launched by a single widow to avenge her dead husband and compensate her family, are the former PM himself and his wife, described by the defendant himself as ‘masterminds and beneficiaries’ of the ‘conspiracy’ to silence Bala.

For ten years this couple have moved heaven and high water to hold this case at bay, now they no longer have the power to do so and the reason for their apparent attempts to obstruct the course of justice seem set to become fully known to all.

P.S. Tommy Thomas is now the new Attorney-General of Malaysia. All attempts to scuttle his nomination by Prime Minister and his Pakatan Harapan partners have failed.–Din Merican

The Last UMNO Prime Minister


June 2, 2018

Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor–Goodbye

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Note from Dr. M Bakri Musa:
To me the surprise was not that Najib was booted in the GE14 rather that it took Malaysians this long to recognize this fraudulent leader. I was unimpressed with him the day he took office as witnessed by this commentary I posted in April 7, 2009, nearly a decade ago.

The Last UMNO Prime Minister

by Dr M. Bakri Musa, Morgan-Hill, California
April 7, 2009
Image result for Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009
2009 –Najib Razak and his Predecessor Abdullah Badawi at Istana Negara
Newly-sworn Prime Minister Najib Razak created buzz when he released 13 prisoners detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and lifted the ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, publications of the opposition parties. He also promised “a comprehensive review” of the ISA, a statute long abused to silence the government’s critics.
Malaysians long yearning for a change applauded him. There were skeptics, of course.
Alas that was last week. This week the hopes of those citizens were cruelly crushed when they saw the real Najib with the announcement of his new cabinet. Far from being a team that would wow Malaysians, Najib’s cabinet was, as Tunku Aziz put it, “a team of recycled political expendables.” And a bloated one at that!
Image result for Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009
2013–The 1Malaysia Prime Minister of Malaysia lost the Popular Vote and 2/3 rd Majority in Parliament
The skeptics were right; Najib’s earlier act was nothing but a big and cruel tease.
This roster of “political expendables” was the best that the man could offer, from a leader who only a week earlier warned his party that it should “change or be changed.” When given the ultimate freedom to choose his own team, Najib stuck to the tried and true, or what he thought to be so. So this was Najib’s brave version of “Berani Berubah!” (Dare to Change!).
Najib is incapable of change; there is nothing in him to suggest otherwise. He could not even recognize the need for one, much less respond to it. Change would be totally out of character for the man. Far from welcoming or be invigorated by it, change would threaten him.
Unfortunately for Najib, Malaysia has changed. Incapable of change, he is doomed to be changed come the next general elections, from Prime Minister to Leader of the Opposition. He will be our shortest serving chief executive, our Gerald Ford. Ford was the unelected American President who assumed office following Nixon’s forced resignation over the Watergate scandal. Like Ford, Najib too was not elected to the highest office. Ford was subsequently rejected by voters; the same fate awaits Najib.
For Malaysia, that would truly be a wasted decade, with the first half already being squandered by Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Badawi.
The True Najib
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Najib Razak–GE-14 –2018
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Najib is the obedient first son, the loyal subordinate, and the traditionalist aristocrat. He even inherited his father’s ancient tribal title, Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar! How quaint in this 21st Century! His career path has been straight and narrow, on a track that had been conveniently laid down for him by others who felt indebted or grateful to his illustrious father.
Najib has never shown a talent for striking new paths. Even his ascendance to the Prime Minister’s office was paved by others, in particular Tun Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin. Najib must remember that a favor offered is a favor owed.
Just as he was the obedient son, Najib was also the dutiful and loyal subordinate. His blind obedience to Abdullah Badawi drew the wrath of Tun Mahathir. As for experience, Najib has been dependent on paychecks from the public purse all his adult life. He never had to meet a payroll; he has no idea of the trials and challenges of that endeavor; nor does he appreciate the sense of accomplishments and independence of those who have.
This is not the profile of a leader capable of making radical changes that Malaysia so desperately needs now.
Unfortunately the track Najib is on now ends at his office. Ahead, for him and the nation, is uncharted territory, with steep hills to climb and wide canyons to traverse. Turning back is not an option, as that path so carefully crafted by earlier leaders is now destroyed for lack of maintenance and prudent use.
That Najib is now portrayed as an agent for change is more a tribute to his highly-paid public relations operatives and the all-too-eager-to-please toadies in the mainstream media. However, you could pedal a dud only for so long; sooner or later the ugly reality would emerge and the bubble burst.
When that inevitability happens, beware! Voters react with vengeance when they feel that they have been hoodwinked by their leaders. Ask Najib’s immediate predecessor, Abdullah. The by-election results since the last general elections are portends for Najib and his party.
Totally Inept and Inadequately Prepared
Najib assembled his cabinet only last week. Even then he spent that limited time talking with leaders of his Barisan coalition instead of with potential candidates. He is clearly being negligent. He knew he will be Prime Minster months ago; he should have been interviewing and short-listing candidates all along. Being unopposed as president of UMNO and thus freed from having to campaign, he had plenty of time to preview his choices prior to last week.
I am particularly concerned with the choice of his deputy. Did Najib have a private session with  before selecting him? Nowhere is it written that UMNO Deputy President should also be the Deputy Prime Minister. Najib is trapped by tradition.
Najib should have done a “Khairy Jamaluddin” on Muhyiddin, that is, keep him out of the cabinet and make him focus on rebuilding the party. God knows, UMNO needs intensive rehabilitation as much as its Youth wing, if not more so. Dispensing with Muhyiddin would strengthen Najib’s image as a reformer, quite apart from taking the sting out of having singly excluded Khairy from the cabinet.
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Prime Minister Najib Razak and Minister of Education Muhyiddin Yassin
Najib gave the very important Education portfolio to Muhyiddin. Is Najib assured that Muhyiddin agrees with him on the major policy issues, in particular the highly contentious matter of continuing the teaching of science and mathematics in English? Muhyyudin is unusually quiet on this.
It is equally hard to be enthusiastic on the rest of Najib’s team. This is what happens when you choose your cabinet based on pleasing others, especially those whom you owe favors.
Najib struggled to get his team, just like Abdullah and Mahathir before him. Like them, he too found the pickings slim as he fished only in the same polluted and shallow puddle of UMNO and Barisan. He did not have the courage to venture beyond.
Najib unwittingly revealed much in his first few days as Prime Minister. Thanks to his PR team, Najib managed to sound very positive, at with his promise of “a comprehensive review” of the ISA. That sent orgies of praise for the man in the mainstream media and elsewhere. The more perceptive (or skeptical) would note that he specifically did not mention anything about repealing it.
Then there was his announcement on the release of the 13 ISA prisoners “with immediate effect.” In Najib’s lexicon, “with immediate effect” means at least three days later! This shows how much he is in tune with the actual workings of the civil service.
If I had been Najib’s communications director, this is what I would have done. Knowing how easily our civil servants could screw things up, I would first check with the Home Ministry, specifically the Chief of Police and Prison Director, to arrange for the release of the prisoners. Send them to the nearby rest house at government expense if their families were not yet ready to receive them. I would then alert television stations and other news media so they would be there to cover it.
Only after assuring myself that all those meticulous preparations are in place would I have Najib make his announcement. Imagine the dramatic impact when the split screen on the nation’s television screens would also show the prisoners being released as he made the announcement. It would also showcase the crispness of Najib’s new administration. Had he done so, he would have been spared the embarrassment of his orders being delayed for days because of – you guessed it! – paperwork!
On the day Najib announced his new cabinet, the judge in the long running Mongolian model murder trial rendered his judgment. Najib had been trying hard to ignore the grizzly tragedy, but it kept cropping up at the most inopportune time. His strategy is to stonewall, banking that the success of his policies would make citizens forget the gruesome crime.
Najib is gravely mistaken in this. Even if his ethics were beyond reproach, Najib would find his policies a tough sell. Conversely, if he could clear up those sordid allegations (assuming of course he is innocent, a huge supposition) he would find that with his personal credibility now enhanced, the public would more likely buy into his policies. Stonewalling is no strategy.
Image result for Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009
As it now stands, Najib is doomed to be the last UMNO Prime Minister. He will not be even a “one-termer.” He will go down in history as our shortest-serving Prime Minister. Worse, it will be recorded for posterity that he was the Malay leader who brought down a once glorious organization, UMNO, an institution his late father was so instrumental in setting up. All destroyed in just two generations; the first to build it, the second to destroy. Truly a very Malay story!
For those who warmly applauded Najib on his first few days in office thinking that his was the dawn of a new day for the nation, I hope they would translate their disappointment into effective action. Deliver to Najib his own KPI (Key Performance Index) at the next general elections. It will be less than four years away; plenty of time to lay and grease the track for Najib’s (and UMNO’s) exit