Mr Arul Kandasamy: No Excuses for not attending PAC Meeting


May 27, 2015

Phnom Penh

 Mr Arul Kandasamy: No Excuses for not attending PAC Meeting

You are a special Malaysian born in Sitiawan, Perak. You are being engaged by the 1MDB Board of Directors to deal with the company’s massive debt problems. The first thing you must do is to respect our laws and regulations. By failing to attend the PAC meeting in Parliament, for example, you have not shown any regard for our Legislature. You should have turned up up on time to respond to  questions directed  at you by the PAC chairperson and his colleagues. In stead, you chose to give the PAC chairperson a stupid excuse. If the incompetent Treasury failed to inform you of the meeting, YB Nur Jazlan cannot be blamed.

Arul, Lodin and NajibYou are appointed to do your job diligently and with integrity as your salary and perks are being paid by the ultimate shareholders of 1MDB, who are Malaysian taxpayers. The  Prime Minister is not your boss since he himself must be accountable the people. So you have no right to lie and cheat on his behalf. As someone who is purportedly an expert on financial matters, you know what your responsibilities and duties are. But you are obviously not what you claim to be.

I hope  you and your Chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin and other Directors will bear the full brunt of the law when the time comes. Prime Minister Najib cannot protect you since he himself will likely lose power when those UMNO party members wake up from their slumber and realise that they have been lied to and cheated and abused by their President. –Din Merican.

 

UMNO leaders complicit in 1MDB cover-up


May 24, 2015

Phnom Penh

Umno leaders complicit in 1MDB cover-up

COMMENT

by Matthias Chang@ http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Najib and the Devil WomanThe Prime Minister cum Financial Minister (above), being a member of Parliament cannot be deemed ignorant of this fraudulent misrepresentation. Answers to parliamentary questions, whether from backbenchers or the opposition, are vetted before presented in Parliament. If the cash has been “diverted” or “unaccounted for” there is a basis for a charge of criminal breach of trust by all the relevant personalities involved in the transaction. There may also be elements of corruption.–Matthias Chang

It is elementary, Mr.Najib. You cannot be ignorant of what constitutes cash. Even a child knows what cash is, and when cash is deposited in a bank, the bank statement would reflect the cash deposited in the bank. Any paper or document other than cash cannot be deposited and reflected in a bank statement as cash.

Documents such as share certificates, treasury notes or bonds or other documents that are not considered as money, when deposited in a bank for whatever reason or placed in a fixed deposit box are never ever reflected in a bank statement.

The Minister of Finance, treasury officials, and members of the 1MDB Board of directors and its advisers are all experienced in finance and cannot by any stretch of the imagination be deemed ignorant of what is cash.

The balance sum amounting to US$1.103 billion is not some chump change and, when converted to Malaysian ringgit, would be more than RM3 billion. Therefore it is inconceivable that the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, and senior officials in the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara do not know the difference between cash deposited in a bank and some “paper assets” to be held by the bank in Singapore, allegedly as custodian.

Therefore it is unpardonable that the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister, and senior officials in the Ministry of Finance and Bank Negara do not know the difference between cash deposited in a bank and some “paper assets” to be held by the bank in Singapore, allegedly as custodian.

So when Ministry of Finance replied to Tony Pua’s queries in March 2015, surely its officials must have checked with the bank in Singapore or examined the relevant documents from 1MDB before confirming that 1MDB had “redeemed its balance of investment from the Cayman Islands in cash and transferred it to BSI Singapore”.

However, MOF has now issued a contradictory statement. A news report said, “The Finance Ministry has corrected its Parliamentary written reply in March that said the US$1.1 billion transferred by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) from Cayman Islands to Singapore was not in cash.

“According to the latest written reply to Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, the Ministry said the money that was “redeemed” was in the form of assets in US dollars.”

We cannot but agree that this is the Malaysian scandal of the century. Heinous and despicable crimes have been committed.

Why?

  1. For MOF to have issued the statement in March, forged documents must have been presented to show that cash was in fact deposited. This was corroborated by the current CEO, who said recently that the bank statement reflected that cash was so deposited. But the bank in Singapore has denied that cash had been deposited.
  2. The criminal offence of fraud and forgery is prima facie established and all the relevant personalities concerned with this transaction must be charged and it is for them to offer their defence in a court hearing
  3. When the statement by MOF/Prime Minister was made in Parliament that cash was deposited when it was not true, the august house was misled by a fraudulent misrepresentation. It was a blatant contempt of the house. The entire country was misled. The rakyat was cheated and led to believe a falsehood.
  4. In the past, members of Parliament were suspended for making a mere misrepresentation with no adverse financial consequences to the country. The members were penalised because the misstatement constituted an affront to the integrity of the proceedings of Parliament as well as to Parliament itself.
  5. The Prime Minister cum Financial Minister, being a member of Parliament cannot be deemed ignorant of this fraudulent misrepresentation. Answers to parliamentary questions, whether from backbenchers or the opposition, are vetted before presented in Parliament.
  6. If the cash has been “diverted” or “unaccounted for” there is a basis for a charge of criminal breach of trust by all the relevant personalities involved in the transaction. There may also be elements of corruption.
  7. The period between the March 10 and May 20 announcements in Parliament would by any measure be construed as a period when there was a massive cover-up. And all those personalities involved are accomplices in this cover-up.

The Deputy Prime Minister, the heads of Wanita UMNO and UMNO Youth and the members of the party’s Supreme Council, have failed to demand answers and to insist on seeing all the relevant documents so as to verify for themselves the truth or falsehood of the allegations brought by all concerned citizens. They should have done so especially after the bank in Singapore had declared the banking documents showing cash was deposited was a forgery. Alarm bells ought to have rung loud and clear, but these leading members of Umno chose to bury their heads in the sand and slavishly declare their so-called undivided support to the Prime Minister.

The Board of 1MDB even had the audacity to threaten to sue any one who dared question its integrity. Shame on you, UMNO.

The Prime Minister must resign and if UMNO leaders do not demand the resignation of the Prime Minister and continue to use their public office to deny this irrefutable confession by the MOF then they are all complicit in this heinous crime.

All the UMNO leaders who have accused Tun Mahathir Mohamad of wrongfully criticising the Prime Minister and sounding the alarm bells and raising the red flag of imminent crisis should humbly seek forgiveness not only from him, but from the entire country. The rakyat demands a public apology and the culprits must be charged in court for their crimes.

Matthias Chang is a Barrister and once served as the political secretary of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

Minister Paul Low is Najib’s highly paid crony


May 13, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

It is very naive of all of us to expect Minister Paul Low, a former President, Transparency International -Malaysian Chapter and prominent businessman to uphold the principles of good governance which he once championed when he was at Transparency International. As the saying goes, suckers are born everyday. We are all suckers today, and that includes yours truly here in Phnom Penh.

Like my good friend and former colleague at Bank Negara Malaysia and Sime Darby, Tunku Abdul  Aziz, and Pemandu chief, Senator Idris Jala of the infamous Transformation Blues Spin, Minister Low has soiled his reputation. I guess,the temptation to be an apologist for the corrupt Najib Administration is too hard to resist. Credit, therefore, must go to our Prime Minister for being able to co-opt people who he can use to pillage our country. Najib is good as this sort of thing,but not at leading and governing our country.

Najib the Bugus WarriorIt is men like Low, Aziz and Jala and others in our civil service, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Attorney-General Office, the Auditor-General’s Office and the Police Force who are ensuring that Najib Razak remains in  office despite persistent  calls for his resignation from civil society activists and a growing number of Malaysians at home and abroad. Together with UMNO leaders who are afraid to criticise the Prime Minister’s policies and actions for fear of losing their business contracts and other  perks, they have collectively let the nation down. Personal interest overrides considerations of public duty, justice and integrity and the future of our nation..As a result, Prime Minister Najib to do as he pleases with our national coffers.

May 13 1969 riotsToday is May 13. It was the day in 1969 which shook the foundations of our nation and caused Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak to initiate policies and programmes to eradicate poverty and restructure our economy to eliminate the identification of race with economic function. The New Economic Policy was to promote national unity through economic growth with distributional equity. After decades of the NEP, we remain disunited as ever.We divided according to class and status and political affiliation.

The politics of race and religion is being pursued by our politicians, while economic justice remains a distant dream. Income disparity between the rich and the privileged and the oppressed middle middle class and the poor has become very glaring.

While we remember today those who lost their lives in the 1969 riots, we must remember its lessons and vow never to allow self serving politicians to split us asunder again. Let us also be aware that the seeds of discord remains embedded in our body politic.If we allow our differences to be exploited by irresponsible politicians for their personal gains, the future of our wonderful country will be bleak.–Din Merican

Minister Paul Low is Najib’s highly paid crony

by Shane Feuntes@www.freemalaysiatoday.com

Paul-LowThe people expected more from Paul Low because of his formerly reputable track record as an activist against corruption. “We expected more because he doesn’t belong to any political party and doesn’t have to compromise his principles,” said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua.

Instead, he added, the people were sorely disappointed because Low has not only failed to carry out his duties without fear or favour; he has become an apologist for the Najib administration despite the sheer scale of grand larceny in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). “Malaysians are disgusted that Low has succumbed to the perks and privileges of his ministerial office.”

Pua, who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary, pointed out that Low as the Transparency and Accountability Minister did absolutely zero to check the abuse, embezzlement and pillage of the RM42 billion indebted 1MDB, and “yet he has the cheek to tell the people to wait patiently for the Auditor-General’s Report.”

Low, he recalled, was the President of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International (TI-M) when he was recruited by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak after the 13th General Election to exercise oversight on “transparency and accountability”.

Despite the severity of the scandal, the seriousness of the crime and the utter failure of checks and balances in the 1MDB excesses which have resulted in massive loss of public funds, he reiterated that the so-called “Transparency and Accountability” Minister has done absolutely zero to ensure transparency in the company’s transactions and accountability from the ministers, directors and management in 1MDB.

He was commenting on Low telling the people via Bernama on Tuesday, “not to prejudge” and “wait for the audit report” by the Auditor-General (A-G). “Even so, the A-G was only instructed to review the financial accounts of 1MDB in March this year.”

He has two questions:

Why did Low ignore every single criticism and every warning bell sounded by the Opposition, the media, and other critics, in and out of Parliament, for the last two years about the impending 1MDB disaster? Was Low sleeping for the last two years?

Pua conceded that the other ministers were equally culpable by failing to pull the handbrakes on the escalating crisis, but Low was undoubtedly the single biggest disappointment and failure.

“We can understand UMNO ministers blindly cowing to the wishes of their all-powerful president for that is in their political DNA,” said Pua. “We can’t possibly imagine the MCA ministers to even decipher, understand and figure out the 1MDB financial fiasco, much less expect them to ask intelligent questions during the Cabinet meetings.”

He reminded that the people were shocked speechless with the brazen and blatant embezzlement in 1MDB where billions of ringgit was embezzled from the state-owned firm by the now infamous Jho Low.

As a result, he stressed, 1MDB was now laden with more than RM42 billion of debt which it was unable to repay and was desperately shedding assets to raise short-term capital to service its debts.

This year alone, continued Pua, 1MDB had to beg private investors arranged by local billionaire, Ananda Krishnan, to provide a short-term loan to repay an overdue RM2 billion in loans from Maybank and RHB Bank in February. “The government was forced to proved an emergency “standby facility” of RM950 million which was immediately drawn down by 1MDB.”

Now, he added, the people were up in arms because local financial institutions managing public funds, Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) and Kumpulan Wang Amanah Persaraan (KWAP), had purchased land from 1MDB at prices up to 43 times what 1MDB paid to acquire them from the Government.

“1MDB was even desperate enough to dispose of its lucrative concession to build a 2,000MW power plant to Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) before even a single brick is laid,” said Pua. “The project was won last February via a controversial tender exercise.”

Incompetent, dishonest and shameless Najib Razak clings his job


May 10, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

Incompetent, dishonest and shameless Najib Razak clings his job

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-i-wont-be-pressured-into-quitting

TAWAU 10 May 2015. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ketika Perhimpunan Solidariti Rakyat Sabah di Padang Perbandaran Tawau. NSTP/Datu Ruslan Sulai

TAWAU 10 May 2015. Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ketika Perhimpunan Solidariti Rakyat Sabah di Padang Perbandaran Tawau. NSTP/Datu Ruslan Sulai

Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared tonight that he will not succumb to calls for his resignation and even urged for support from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, telling his harshest critic not to disrupt UMNO by making “too much noise”.

At a function in Tawau, Sabah, the embattled Prime Minister, in his strongest response yet to Dr Mahathir, reminded the latter that he had supported him during his tenure in government. “In 1987, I was among those who supported him. Why he (Dr Mahathir) remained as Prime Minister? Because we were united in difficult times.

“When in difficult times we support him to remain in power. If we did not support the leader during trying times, Dr Mahathir would not have been the Prime Minister for 22 years,” Najib was quoted in Bernama as telling a large crowd for the “Sabahans Solidarity Gathering” at a field in Tawau.Therefore, do not forget the past, when he (Dr Mahathir) was the Prime Minister, we fully supported him. Now he is not the Prime Minister, so return the support.

“Even if you cannot support, don’t make too much noise and disrupt the party. We can clarify the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue,” he said, according to the national news agency.

Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest serving former prime minister, has been at the forefront of the ongoing attacks against Najib’s leadership, even saying recently that the prime minister should resign before Barisan Nasional (BN) loses the next general election.

Chief among Dr Mahathir’s concerns is the leadership’s handling of allegations surrounding 1MDB, the state-owned investment firm that has amassed a debt pile worth over RM42 billion in just a few years.

But Najib said tonight that Dr Mahathir has issued conflicting remarks about 1MDB, noting that the veteran leader had at one time claimed that the firm has lost RM42 billion but at another, he reportedly said it owes RM42 billion.

According to Bernama’s report, the prime minister then said that the government will have its own way of solving the 1MDB issue, if given time.

“I will only bow to the people and party members. As long as the people and members of UMNO support me and have trust in my leadership, I will continue to carry on,” he was quoted saying.

Although Najib has ordered a federal audit on the 1MDB, the latest controversy that emerged earlier this week on the firm’s land deal with Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) has led to top leaders in his party coming forward to publicly express concern.

On Friday, Najib’s Deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin chimed in from his working visit in Milan, Italy, and said that Putrajaya must be proactive over the attacks against 1MDB and not merely react to the criticism against the state-owned firm.

Apart from Muhyiddin, UMNO leaders like Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin have also weighed in on the LTH-1MDB land controversy.

Explaining the matter for the second time today, Najib again insisted that LTH’s purchase of the land from 1MDB was not a bailout for the troubled investment firm. According to Bernama, he claimed the LTH could have made a RM170 million profit from the investment but because the purchase was made an issue, he decided to advice the pilgrims fund to sell the plot of land.

“Since the facts of the purchase has been twisted and became a hot topic, you can say it was like ‘shooting oneself in the foot’. This is what I call ‘not rationale’ because why are we doing this? For the benefit of the people, so, give us a chance to do it.

“Every issue can be solved but let the leaders solve such issues,” he was quoted saying. Najib has been criticised for his alleged haste in advising LTH to sell the land in question ― a 1.56-acre plot in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) that it had purchased last month from 1MDB.

LTH reportedly paid RM188.5 million at RM2,773 psf for the land, which is 43 times what 1MDB paid four years ago when it purchased the plot for just RM4.5 million at a rate of RM64 psf.

A blog called “The Benchmark” first raised speculation on the purchase when it published purported documents of the controversial transaction that critics now claim could be a bailout for 1MDB.

According to LTH Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim yesterday, the move to sell the land was a complete U-turn from the Fund’s Board of Directors’ decision on Friday not to do so.Responding to the announcement, several lawmakers said today that 1MDB should instead cancel the transaction entirely and refund the RM188.5 million paid by LTH.

Racism is a cover for corruption


November 18, 2013

Perkauman alat selindung aktiviti rasuah pemimpin, kata bekas Naib Canselor UM

 

 Isu perkauman digunakan oleh sesetengah ahli politik di Malaysia bagi melindungi kegiatan rasuah yang dilakukan pemimpin terbabit, kata bekas Naib Canselor Universiti Malaya Tan Sri Dr Ghauth Jasmon (gambar).

Beliau berkata isu perkauman juga dimainkan bagi melindungi salah laku selain mengelak mereka yang terlibat daripada dituduh atas aktiviti tidak bermoral itu.

“Jika negara dipenuhi dengan pemimpin rasuah, mereka akan menggunakan isu perkauman untuk melindungi kesalahan bagi menarik perhatian.

“Adalah penting kita memisahkan manusia dengan politik. Di Malaysia, kita selalu diingatkan oleh ahli politik tentang masalah perkauman malah terdapat juga kumpulan tertentu yang menyokong isu tersebut,” katanya semasa ucaptama Persidangan Asia Barat dan Afrika 2013 di Kuala Lumpur hari ini. – 18 November, 2013.–http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

image 
 

Malaysia’s Ruling Party Gets Desperate


From the Huffington Post

By Azeem Ibrahim

Malaysia has in reality been a one party state for over 55 years with the ruling UMNO party winning a string of elections without much opposition. However, with the stellar rise of Anwar Ibrahim, the ruling party is facing its most tightly contested election in its history. In the final days of campaigning in an election which many pollsters now believe the government will lose, it seems to be pulling a number of desperate stunts.

Firstly is the amount of money the prime minister’s office is spending on advertising. Industry experts have identified over 50 million USD in advertising buys by the prime minister’s office alone. Sources say that the amount of money being spent on advertisements exceeds one million, a virtual buy out of all ad space on Microsoft networks (which include Skype and Bing) for the last 10 days of the campaign. On Facebook the PMO’s office, again according to sources, is spending upwards of $200,000.

Last week various websites in Malaysia reported servers being blocked. The popular and independent online news portal Malaysiakini reported that its IP address was being blocked within the country in activities that could only be explained by the deliberate obstruction by local ISPs. The website forAnwarIbrahim.com which reported a ten-fold increase in traffic on Wednesday was subsequently hacked. The Digital Task Force running the website sent out an email indicating the severity of the attack, which was launched immediately after it reported a dramatic increase in online activity and support for Anwar Ibrahim.

During Malaysian elections it is nothing new for opposition sites to be targeted with DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. It appears this year is no different. With a virtual monopoly on the mainstream media, one wonders why the government feels the need to disrupt other forms of communication.

Dr. Azeem Ibrahim is the Executive Chairman of The Scotland Institute and a Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.

Rosmah’s Gifts and Ethics


April 28, 2013

Rosmah’s Gifts and Ethics

FLOM

Recently Caretaker FLOM, Rosmah Mansor, said that she accepted all the gifts offered to her by foreign dignitaries because it would be rude not to accept them and what was a poor FLOM supposed to do?

“When people give you something, of course it’s not nice to reject it,” Rosmah wrote in a self-titled biography launched yesterday by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“And when I’m given the gifts, I wear them. Why would you want to just keep them in a safe when the items were given sincerely, are beautiful and can be used? It’s a waste if they’re just kept in a safety deposit box,” the wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak added. (from Malaysian Insider here)

Well clearly there is another way to handle these situations. The Daily Beast is reporting that the Sarkozy’s used to lavish their friends with expensive gifts. The Obama’s received from the Sarkozy’s over $41,000 worth of bags, towels, etc. Hillary Clinton received three Hermes scarves.

How does the United States handle this? It’s simple. Sitting elected officials are not permitted to accept gifts from anyone. There are Ethics Committees in all branches of the US government that regulate what employees of the US government are allowed to receive and not receive. For example here is a snippet form the Senate Ethics Committee website:

No Member, officer, or employee shall knowingly accept a gift except as provided by the Gifts Rule.

A Member, officer, or employee may accept a gift, other than cash or cash equivalent, having a value of less than $50, provided that the source of the gift is not a registered lobbyist, foreign agent, or private entity that retains or employs such individuals.  The cumulative value of gifts that may be accepted from any one source in a calendar year must be less than $100.  Generally, gifts having a value of less than $10 do not count toward the annual limit.  See Senate Rule 35.1(a)

The White House/Executive branch has similar rules outlined in detail here. It’s clear why such rules need to be in place. When you are in the seat of power, small (or large) gifts from foreign and domestic agents can be used as leverage in any sort of negotiation that comprise the integrity of the relationship. The onus should be on the public servant to want to defend his integrity to the fullest degree.

Which takes us back to Rosmah’s absurd statement. It speaks for itself when you’re talking about a party which is propped up by patronage and corruption. Accepting a few Hermes scarves, Rolex watches etc. is practically a non-issue when you think about the billion of dollars squandered away in no-bid contracts, flawed procurements and under the table deals.

The need for greater transparency in these dealings is essential. But fundamentally, people must elect leaders who they believe have a strong ethical compass that would make them think twice about these types of transgressions.–Din Merican