The Boys In Blue Catch Up With The Masters Of The Universe – Comment–Sarawak Report


The Boys In Blue Catch Up With The Masters Of The Universe – Comment

November 4, 2018

 

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Thank you to you Clare  too for your tenacity and persistence. 1MDB  won’t  go away until Najib and his cohorts are punished for money laundering and corruption

In a recent commentary the former US Ambassador to Malaysia, John Malott, expressed his pride in the ordinary men and women of his country’s law enforcement, who had done such a wonderful, dogged and persistent job on bringing the perpetrators of 1MDB to book.

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Ambassador John Malott

He was right. The issues around this scandal are not to do with politics, they are to do with law and order and the vital principle that laws, once made, must apply equally to all. As a result, as predicted by Sarawak Report, the US Department of Justice issued indictments yesterday, not only against Malaysia’s fugitive financier Jho Low, but also against leading executives of the US banking giant Goldman Sachs.

Some in Malaysia have understandably expressed a little scepticism about the role of the United States in this matter. After all, big power politics have so often operated with no respect for justice whatsoever and evidence abounds of lobbying efforts funded by Najib and his cohorts to undermine the work of the Department of Justice in this case as well.

However, the point of the rule of law and its application to all, is that it benefits all and in this inter-related world corruption is a global menace. Receiver countries in the kleptocratic network have now belatedly come to appreciate that serious problems accompany the advent of very large sums of dirty money in the hands of a few highly criminal entities.

It was in the interests of the United States to deal with 1MDB, therefore, as well as being the right thing to do in the minds of the humble officials and their political bosses, who sorted out this giant kleptocratic theft. Otherwise, the beneficiaries of corrupt billions – filtered without being taxed through the off-shore system – can start to negatively influence politics and decision-making in the United States and other recipient countries.

The criminally super-rich can become super-powerful: sponsoring political parties and so-called think tanks; bribing officials and confusing the public with a deluge of false information all to increase their own position and power by undermining democracy.

Kleptocracy is a Global Danger

Obama’s Attorney General, Eric Holder, introduced the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Unit in 2014 to counter the threat of laundered billions finding their way into the United States, after decades during which global regulators had dangerously turned a relative blind eye to extra-judicial corruption and money laundering.

1MDB happens to have been one of the first major strikes by that unit of the Department of Justice and FBI. Last year the present Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, upheld the value of its work.

It is hugely significant that this department has now moved to indict senior figures within one of the United States’ own most powerful financial institutions, Goldman Sachs, who are now charged with actively conspiring with then Prime Minister Najib Razak’s agent, Jho Low, to steal billions and bribe officials in Abu Dhabi and Malaysia in order to make big kickbacks for themselves.

Those officials are stated as including ‘Malaysian Official One (MO1), ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak, and plainly also include the former Chairman and CEO of Abu Dhabi’s Aabar sovereign fund, who received vast kickbacks for siphoning money out of the Goldman bond structures (using the fund’s ownership of the private Falcon Bank).

“A three-count criminal indictment was unsealed today in federal court in the Eastern District of New York charging Low Taek Jho, also known as “Jho Low,” and Ng Chong Hwa, also known as “Roger Ng,” with conspiring to launder billions of dollars embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Malaysia’s investment development fund, and conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by paying bribes to various Malaysian and Abu Dhabi officials.  As part of the three-count indictment, Ng is also charged with conspiring to violate the FCPA by circumventing the internal accounting controls of a major New York-headquartered financial institution (Financial Institution), which underwrote more than $6 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB in three separate bond offerings in 2012 and 2013, while Ng was employed at the Financial Institution as a managing director.  Ng was arrested earlier today in Malaysia, pursuant to a provisional arrest warrant issued at the request of the United States.  Low remains at large.” [DOJ Criminal Indictment]

The ‘Financial Institution’ referred to is clearly Goldman Sachs. In a related move at the start of this week, Malaysia’s own Attorney General challenged in the UK High Court a 2017 judgement by the private arbitration service the LCIA (London Court of International Arbitration) in favour of Abu Dhabi to the tune of some $4.5 billion, on the very grounds that the entire arrangement could plainly have been seen as a fraudulent attempt to steal Malaysia’s public money. Malaysia’s Attorney General ought by justice win his case.

Justice For Goldman Sachs?

In the process of facilitating all this theft, Goldman Sachs made one of the biggest series of profits in the history of banking out of three questionable bond issues for 1MDB, surreptitiously raised via opaque off-shore instruments to the detriment of transparency over the handling of public finances.  The details are now laid out in the US criminal indictment, matters which were ignored for nearly a decade by the bank’s own hierarchy.

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Tim Leissner  pleaded  guilty and agreed to cooperate.

Although the financial world had politely wondered at the enormous payments secured by Goldman Sachs in raising $6.5 billion for 1MDB ($600 million in fees), no one at the bank appears to have examined or reviewed the deals arranged by their Asia Golden Boys, Tim Leissner and Roger Ng – any more than they had checked ‘Dr’ Leissner’s fake academic qualifications.

Sarawak Report exposed 'Dr' Tim Leissner's dodgy PHd in 2016

 

America’s most powerful bank at the very least failed to adequately scrutinise these eye-watering deals, which are now acknowledged to have been criminal by Leissner, who has pleaded  guilty and agreed to cooperate.

The likelihood is worse, that some of the most senior figures were complicit (the bonuses that year were exponential all round) and/or there were systemic problems at the bank, that caused money laundering alerts to fail. Such systemic problems could hardly have been hard to detect by such a major institution concerned to stay within the law.

This Story Spreads Wider Than 1MDB

Roger Ng Chong Hwa, ex-Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank

Malaysia’s mysterious Mr Ng (left)has now finally also been arrested and will likely be shipped to the United State to face the music.

He ought to emulate his former boss and cut a deal. Mr Ng’s antics include a long career of collaboration with Malaysia’s worst kleptocrats, including equally obscure and complex off-shore financial deals involving Goldman Sachs and the Sarawak Government of Taib Mahmud.

Prior to that Mr Ng was a player in Deutsche Bank, which was also extensively in business with the Taib family fortune, particularly with regard to Kenanga Holdings, a jointly owned investment house with CMSB, Taib’s family owned conglomerate.

A thorough clean out of Malaysia’s dirty kleptocratic dealings is what is needed out of 1MDB and beyond that a thorough clean out of the global banks who have proven happy to deal with regimes like these.  Ultimately, a thorough clean out of the off-shore system is required.

There is only one jurisdiction who can force this through and that is the Department of Justice of the United States.

Malaysia:The Rule of Law must prevail and Justice must be done


October 27, 2018

The Rule of Law must prevail and Justice must be done–The Case Against Najib Razak, former Malaysian Prime Minister and Finance Minister

 

Mahathir: Saudi Minister’s U-turn is ‘immaterial’, RM2.6b is from 1MDB

by Annabelle Lee & Hariz Mohd  |  @www.malaysiakini.com

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has dismissed the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister’s apparent U-turn on the source of former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s infamous RM2.6 billion donation as “immaterial”.

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This is because the government “knows” that the money is indeed from 1MDB. At a press conference at the Bersatu headquarters tonight, Mahathir confirmed that Saudi Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir had called on him recently and had denied that the donation had come from Riyadh.

When pressed on why Adel had contradicted his 2016 statement – where he confirmed that the donation had indeed been from Saudi royalty – the Prime Minister said he did not inquire further.

Asked if the denial was done to appease the Pakatan Harapan government, Mahathir answered “maybe, but I don’t know what he was thinking”.

Saudi Minister Foreign Minister Adel Ahmed Al-Jubeir

Following a bilateral meeting with Najib in Istanbul in 2016, Adel (photo) had told the press that the RM2.6 billion had been a “genuine donation”.

“We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return. We are also fully aware that the Attorney-General of Malaysia (Apandi Ali) has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing. “So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

‘It comes from 1MDB’

Today, when asked further which of Adel’s statements on the donation were to be believed, Mahathir contended that providing documentation of the transaction was more important. “It is immaterial.“[…] What is important is documentary proof that the money comes from 1MDB or from Saudi (royalty).

“You can’t transfer large sums of money without (any) record. If they say it is from Saudi Arabia, show the records. If they say it is not from Saudi Arabia, we’ll have to find out where it comes from.“As far as we know, it comes from 1MDB,” he said.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) has affirmed that the sum had originated from 1MDB and ended up in Najib’s personal bank accounts before being transferred to another account controlled by Jho Low.

Handling 1MDB Cash and other Assets: An Opinion


 

June 24, 2018

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Handling 1MDB Cash and other Assets: An Opinion

by Sarawak Report

The United States, Switzerland and Singapore have been at the forefront of seizures of illegal assets from 1MDB, which attracted the attention of the Malaysian people sufficiently for them to vote out their government and elect a new leadership that has made the retrieval of those assets a priority.

Very well and good.  The mechanism by which the governments of those countries return these assets to the people of Malaysia will hopefully be as expeditious as possible and will represent a huge step forward in global goodwill and cooperation, given the principles of decency behind those seizures and the man hours and foreign tax dollars that went in to capturing back all that cash.

Malaysians have every reason to be truly grateful to the foreign investigators, who played their part in netting the 1MDB billions, particularly since the case was so ‘cutting edge’ that it would have been extremely easy to take no notice. Australia, for example, has played little proactive part in hunting misappropriations by Najib’s sick regime and nor so far has Britain.

Indeed, it seems likely that 1MDB will go down as a test case in asset seizure, which will set principles for the future.  Previously, it generally took the removal of a tyrant for asset tracing to swing in motion; Prince Jeffrey of Brunei and the Marcos family of the Philippines had first to be ejected and for the governments themselves to demand restitution.

However, in the blatant case of 1MDB, these foreign law enforcers acted according to the principles of money laundering legislation in advance of any requests from the then government of Malaysia.

That was big progress for ordinary people against power abusers and that progress needs to continue, world wide.

What About Other Third Party Assets?

It means that, goodwill prevailing, the United States will be in a position, together with Switzerland and Singapore, to send back without too much trouble a few billion ringgit to help the new Finance Minister sleep better through his awful experience of taking over Najib’s department.

However, there is clearly far more money outstanding. What now has to be asked is to what extent massive global institutions – primarily the banks involved in this disgraceful heist – will find themselves ruled by the same concience as their country hosts?

Goldman Sachs (GSI), for example, took $600 million dollars in commission for three bond issues totalling $6,5 billion for 1MDB, that any twenty year old could have spotted as suspicious.  Of course GSI is populated only with the most enormously clever people (which is why they expect to be exponentially rewarded) which leaves one wondering why this top banker in the world failed along with others to spot the flaws in deals that netted so much cash?

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It can hardly be a coincidence that it was recently reported that Malaysia has issued an arrest warrant for the GSI link man and Malaysian national Roger Ng, who acted as the key contact point for the new South East Asia boss, Tim Leissner (featured above with celebrity wife Kimora Lee Simmons) but then resigned from the bank after questions started over the vast 1MDB commissions.

Nor can it be a coincidence that Goldman sacked Leissner once Sarawak Report and others  had thrown light upon the matter, owimg to an alleged unauthorised reference for Jho Low.

So, where does this go next?  Because, very large bonuses indeed permeatted the higher echelons of this bank following the influx of the $600 million from these questionable bond deals.

Will law enforcers include money that went to third parties in this misappropriation of 1MDB cash?  Alternatively, will GSI and other banks and big businesses caught up in receiving money from 1MDB perhaps volunteer to regurgitate those gross bonuses in favour of causes such as health and education in Malaysia?

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

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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

Questions Over Najib’s US Lawyers


June 3, 2018

Questions Over Najib’s US Lawyers

by Sarawak Report

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http://www.sarawakreport.org/talkback/questions-over-najibs-lawyer/

EMBATTLED Najib Razak has engaged the services of a team of top US lawyers, including former attorney-general John Ashcroft and star litigator David Boies, in a clear sign of concern that the widening global probe into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) could snare him and his family members.

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has been investigating the alleged siphoning of funds from the state-owned entity for several years and even tagged Najib as Malaysian Official 1, but he had enjoyed immunity from criminal charges as the prime minister of Malaysia.

So, even though the DOJ probe stirred occasionally and captured the headlines, he was largely nonchalant about the US probe and even made a widely-publicised trip to the White House last September.

Things have changed drastically since May 9…..

Sources told The Malaysian Insight that also part of the high-powered legal team is Matthew Schwartz. He spent a decade as a prosecutor in New York and handled several high-profile cases including the investigation of ponzi king Bernie Madoff.

Our comment

Sarawak Report would humbly like to suggest that there are questions to be raised about Najib Razak’s choice of hot shot American lawyers to fight his cause.

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Doubtless, Sarawak Report has to tread carefully to avoid expensive arguments about what one is and is not allowed to say about practitioners of the law, some of whom appear to think they are themselves exempted, by virtue of occupation.

However, the possibility of conflict of interest in the case of ‘star litigator David Boies’ appears to loom.  After all, Mr Boies was an active participant in an investment company named Panavista, which was funded by Riza Aziz and managed by Riza’s personal ‘wealth manager’ Debra Whelan.

Riza Aziz, who is Najib’s step-son, gained most of his income from 1MDB, according to the investigations.

One of the lawyers in the partnership headed by Boies was also none other than “high powered” Matthew Schwartz, who has been the main lawyer for much of Riza Aziz’s recent defence work and who personally attended global meetings about projected multi-million dollar investments by Panavista.

The overwhelming likelihood, therefore, is that Mr Boies and Mr Schwartz have themselved profitted from the ill-gotten money, which might be seen to complicate their defence of the man behind the conspiracy, namely Najib.

Whither Sarawak As CMSB shares Nosedive?


May 24, 2018

Whither Sarawak As CMSB  shares nosedive?

 

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According to Bernama, the present Chief Minister of Sarawak, Abang Johari, has confirmed that the Editor of this website is still banned from entering the state.

He has not yet made up his mind whether to revoke a ban slammed on the writer, along with a number of prominent agency journalists back in 2008, after they visited Penan blockades protesting against the logging of their indigenous lands.

Perhaps the sense of threat in the minds of the leading party PBB and its BN allies as they contemplate how to respond to the changed political scene, is related to this week’s release of a statement by the state’s largest conglomerate CMSB, largely owned by the family of the Governor Taib Mahmud.

CMSB’s shares went into a nosedive on Friday as the likely implications of proposed anti-corruption reforms on the favoured position of this company sank in with shareholders. Those shareholders fled, showing a plunge of prices after lunch of 30%, before trading was suspended to stem the panic.

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Explaining the shameful event, the CEO of the company, Isac Lungan, could not have been more frank in his view that revelations over the years by Sarawak Report could affect the profitability of the company in a new cleaner ‘reformasi’ environment.

In a management note to investors he said the catastrophic collapse had been caused by factors, of which the first was the combined effect of the Bruno Manser Fund offer to release research first published on this website and also the decision of the federal government to unblock Sarawak Report, which has articles spanning a number of years covering corruption in the state, including its largest company.

CMSB statement

“The following in our view, has led to the steep sell-down:

1.  Bruno Manser Fund’s offer to share information and unblocking of Sarawak Report website:

Possible reaction to an article carried by the Star Online portal stating that the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is willing to share information with the new Pakatan government on the Tun Taib family as a basis for reopening of investigation.

This followed a report on Thursday 17 May 2018 that news portal Sarawak Report, which has been known to release anti Tun Taib family (as well as anti-CMS) related articles, has been unblocked. The Sarawak Report website was blocked by Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) in 2015. The news they publish is now widely available for the general public to access, including reports portraying CMS negatively.”

The statement, which then goes on to list various other anti-corruption demands issued by opposition MPs in the state as being further threats to the company, is a open acknowledement that CMSB does not see itself as being in a particularly strong position to refute criticisms of cronysm and corruption with regard to the Taib family connection.

 

Otherwise, the threats of a small NGO and reappearance of a small online portal would not  create such a devastating impact.

Johari Cannot Make Up His Mind?

What the admissions of CMSB and the waverings of Abang Johari prove is first that Taib still holds a continuing grip over business and politics in Sarawak and second that the present Chief Minister and his PBB followers have not been able to make up their minds about whether to throw their lot in with the new guys in charge in KL or to cling to the crumbling BN coalition, which still holds sway in the state government.

It is weak and vacillating behaviour that will not impress local voters, who will be entering state elections in the next couple of years or so. Admitting that he has yet to formulate a position on such a crucial matter as whether or not it supports the new federal government has revealed Johari to be every bit as stunned and indecisive as Najib was on election night.

The longer this Chief Minister fails to make up his mind about the political direction of the state that was once known as BN’s ‘safe deposit’, the less safe that ‘deposit’ is likely to remain.

As for Taib, much in the way that Najib railed against Sarawak Report over 1MDB, claiming dark plots and plans for an ‘overthrow of the state’, the former Sarawak Chief Minister had responded equally disproportionately and irrationally after he lost the urban vote in 2011, largely because of devastating corruption allegations online, followed up by opposition progress in the 2013 general election.

Not long after that disappointing election, Taib had marched into the state parliament and singled out Sarawak Report along with other NGOs as a dangerous force. He accused the website of seeking to overthrow the state and of malicious slander ‘poisoning the minds’ of the ‘simple people’.  The raging CM even went so far as to suggest that SR’s motive involved a plot to re-colonise Sarawak and to steal its remaining oil revenues!

It was following this somewhat unhinged and disproportionate rant that Najib apparently saw his chance to remove Taib from the position of absolute power that he had held as Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Planning Minister of Sarawak for over three decades.

It was no secret that his power and wealth irked the new Prime Minister, who nonetheless used him as a model for his own subsequent pillaging of public coffers.  Taib was booted upstairs into the Governor’s mansion on a vague understanding that it brought immunity.

What Do The People of Sarawak Want?

As they weigh up their best options for the future Sarawak’s ruling parties ought not to be placing a priority on the perceived dangers of incomers, such as SR, BMF or civil rights and reform campaigners from Malaysia.

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Sarawakians have access to information and can form their own opinions with or without such visitors these days.  The Chief Minister needs to listen to what people are now asking in the coffee shops or commenting online.  There has been very vocal concern from the moment of the election that the state could yet again be left out of the progress that is now sweeping federal changes.

People want to know if the programme to root out of corruption and open up of freedoms will reach their state and Abang Jo needs to finally get off the fence and decide if he can afford to ignore that yearning.

Source: http://www.sarawakreport.org/2018/05/whither-sarawak-as-cmsb-nose-dives/