Malaysia rocked by Najib-linked MURDER, SEX and MONEY scandals
The first day of Chinese New Year is rocked not by deafening fireworks but by the Malaysian prime minister – rather, by what he uttered.
As reported in the online news portal, Malaysiakini, the prime minister of Malaysia was gracing a Chinese New Year Open House reception hosted by his coalition political party the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) in Kuala Lumpur.
After Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had delivered his well wishes, the Malaysiakini journalist is said to have asked for his response to the claims being made by the police commando Sirul Azhar Umar (who is now detained by Australian authorities) namely that he (Sirul) acted under orders and that those who had a motive to kill her are still free.
As reported by Malaysiakini, ‘Najib, who was accompanied by his wife Rosmah Mansor, shook his head in disapproval and started to leave.’
And ‘when pressed, he said “utter rubbish” and left.’
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has described former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar’s claim that he acted under orders as “utter rubbish”.
The Malaysian Prime Minister’s reaction to the media probe is rocking the country. Everyone – from members of parliament to the man in the street are shocked at the prime minister’s statement.
People are now even more suspicious. They are asking logical questions. They want to know how come the prime minister can so abruptly dismiss the claim as “utter rubbish”.
Does he know more than the courts? Does he know more than all that has been published so far on the murder of the helpless, unarmed, fragile and lone female Mongolian citizen who is reported to have been shot and then blown away into tiny bits and pieces by military grade C4 explosives?
People are shocked. Would a prime minister not direct an immediate investigation and provide all the necessary efforts in ensuring that the whole truth is unearthed in the wake of one of the condemned murderer’s claim?
The days and weeks ahead are set to be extremely vulnerable times for all those who may have had a hand, a mind, a heart in the brutal killing of the woman, mother and daughter. The entire judiciary is also placed in an awkward dilemma, given the prime minister’s two-word response, “utter rubbish”.
The resurfacing of the Altantuya murder episode that the government of Malaysia had hoped would have settled down with the recent court’s verdict that sentenced the two highly trained police bodyguards, takes on a potent and lethal mixture now, given Sirul’s claim and Najib’s reactionary absolute denial.
Jho Low allegedly siphoned off US$700 million from 1MDB, says website
Businessman Jho Low orchestrated the 2009 joint venture between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and PetroSaudi International to allegedly siphon off US$700 million from the strategic development fund, whistleblower website Sarawak Report has claimed.
The UK-based website revealed that the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture company’s US$700 million loan repayment to PetroSaudi in 2009 was a front and the funds channelled to a firm allegedly owned by Low, called Good Star Limited.
The US$700 million loan repayment provision was part of the joint venture contract between Petro Saudi International and 1MDB, Sarawak Report said, citing documents it had obtained. It also published those documents with its report.
“What that evidence goes on to show is that critical manoeuvres for transferring the USD$700 million ‘loan’ cum ‘premium’ into the control of Jho Low took place straight after the signing of the agreement (between PetroSaudi and 1MDB) on September 29 – that and Jho Low was involved and copied in on every step,” Sarawak Report said.
According to copies of the PetroSaudi loan agreement obtained by Sarawak Report, the US$700 million had been loaned from PetroSaudi Caymans Holdings to the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture company on September 25, 2009.
“However, there is no evidence to suggest that this ‘loan’ was anything apart from an entirely contrived transaction between two arms of PetroSaudi, a company with very little working capital.
“Three days later, 1MDB was committed to pay it back in hard currency,” it said.
On September 29, 2009, PetroSaudi CEO Tarek Obaid issued a letter of demand to 1MDB PetroSaudi Limited for US$700 million be credited to account number 11116073, at RBS Coutts Bank Ltd in Zurich, Switzerland.
Sarawak Report claimed that the account was registered under a company called Good Star Limited, which was controlled by Low.
“This means that the money, which was stated as having been paid back to PetroSaudi as part of the joint venture agreement, was in fact signed over by Tarek Obaid to an entirely separate third party, Good Star Limited.”
It added that the US$700 million was repaid by 1MDB alone, as PetroSaudi had brought in “zero cash” into the joint venture and had only committed the valuation of its assets.
Good Star then paid Tarek Obraid a “broker fee of US$85 million” on the same day the letter of demand was written, it said.
Sarawak Report claimed that the entire 1MDB-PetroSaudi joint venture deal had been initiated by Low and his team on September 8, 2009 – less than a month before the deal was signed.
It started to feel like the season finale of a once-popular drama that had been allowed to run a little too long. The conclusion was predictable, the protagonist almost certainly doomed.
We did see the end loom in the horizon, and even as we grew weary of the plot, a sense of emptiness starts to well as the all-too-familiar theme song and credits roll for the final time.
This chapter of our collective narrative as Malaysians has come to its inevitable end.
And with this finale came the predictions of gloom, professing the end of a plethora of institutions and values in Malaysia, including but not limited to justice, fairness, freedom and democracy.
While others were calling it a victory for those same values, we can all agree that at the least, such a gripping story deserved such overstated sentiments after being run for so long.
While we eulogise, we must look forward in hope, regardless if we were fans or haters of the “sandiwara”.
Yesterday’s finale marks a new dawn for us all. A clean sheet. A new storyboard.
A piece of work that is unburdened by past ghosts. New leaders that will have to rise, who do not carry the heavy burden of old allegiances and their associated political baggage.
We will make new friends, form new alliances. No more unions of convenience, the enemy of my enemy is not my friend.
And this time, our protagonist shall be chosen anew. He will be picked by merit, not because we had no others to choose from. The ideals that he claims to profess this time will not be marred by circumstances because we now have a fresh start. We get to choose what the story will be this time.
Who will we fight? What ideals will we stand up for? What language will our story be narrated in? How will we define victory and at what cost?
All good stories take time to write and as the curtains fall, the new dawn gives us time to reflect. This time, when we pick up our pens, let us consider who we are voting for and for what ideals.
This time, when we pick our allegiances, let us pick them for the right reasons, not because we hate the alternative too blindly. This time, let us be the masters of our own destiny, not extras in a script that was not written for us.
We must remember that heroes are all around us and among us. And as we are shaping an account of our brave new world, do not be frightened to take initiatives and to stand at the front line.
If we want to see change, let’s do it ourselves. If we have skills or interests or opinions, share them. Seek out like-minded friends and bring them along on this journey. We do not need political parties to shape our ideals, all we need is people with passion.
The people must not only free Anwar, they must free the nation from the shackles of tyranny.
Anwar Ibrahim will not be forgotten. What he stood for and fought for will not be forgotten. The injustice and abuse that was inflicted on him will not be forgotten.
If anything, all this will be remembered and kept alive. And someone will pay for it, there is no doubt about it.
Whether inside or outside of prison, Anwar will be a force to be reckoned with.
You can imprison a man but you cannot imprison his spirit; you cannot imprison his ideas; you cannot imprison the ideals he stands for.
So it will be with Anwar. No force or power can halt this determined struggle to bring about a change in government.
Why was Anwar targeted relentlessly?
It was the GE12 in 2008 that put fear into the hearts of Umno & BN. Never in their wildest dream did they think their 2/3 majority would be denied. That was their unchallenged political domain for more than half a century.
When this happened, their worst nightmare began to haunt them. For the first time they trembled and realised they could be displaced from their seat of power. For the first time they really feared that Putrajaya was under serious threat. The unbelievable was staring at them as a real possibility.
This man, this Anwar Ibrahim, would spell their doom and they would be forced to make way for Pakatan Rakyat to take over Putrajaya.
He had to be silenced; he had to be put away for good.
That was when the despicable plot was hatched.
According to available records Saiful was met by a police personnel from the PM’s department. Two days later on June 24, 2008 Najib’s ex-aide Khairil Anas accompanied Saiful to the Deputy Prime Minister’s residence in Taman Duta. They met for twenty minutes.
Shafee was there on that day and at that time. He claimed that he was in a different corner of the house and did not participate in the discussion.
Then on June 28, 2008, Saiful made a police report that he was sodomised by Anwar on June 26, 2008. This incident was supposed to have taken place two days after meeting the DPM.
I don’t want to make any inference; I don’t want to implicate anybody; I don’t want to impute anything. I’m just stating what was reported. That is all.
Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off
Computers, servers cleaned out, blog reports
All computers and servers at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the troubled investment fund backed by Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, were called in and wiped clean just before the end of last year, the investigative blog Sarawak Report reported on Feb. 13.
1MDB employees told the blog that all computers and records at the fund were called in and cleaned, including personal computers and mainframe servers, supposedly because the fund’s system was hacked.
The chief economic advisor of the fund, which was started in 2009, is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. It reportedly faces RMB43 billion (US$12.01 billion) in debt and has been unable to meet loan payment dates several times. It was forced to go to Bank Negara, the country’s central bank, to ask for an extension in the payment dates, raising concern that its financial problems could threaten the entire Malaysian banking system. The bulk of the loans were made by the government-linked Malayan Banking Bhd or Maybank, and RHB Bank.
Sources confirmed the story to Asia Sentinel but the reason for the action appears unclear. It may stem from the fact that Sarawak Report, which is published by Clare Rewcastle Brown, announced last September that she had access to the fund’s emails.
One businessman said the decision to clean out the files could also pertain to a later defamation lawsuit filed against Taek Jho Low, the young tycoon who convinced Prime Minister Najib to create the fund. Low is being sued by businessman and publisher Tong Kooi Ong, who was the subject of anonymous blog attacks after his publication, The Edge, carried extensive and biting coverage of 1MDB’s crisis ridden business affairs. If Tong’s lawyers were to file a motion for discovery to obtain the fund’s internal emails, they are now gone
The order came as a surprise move by management, sources told Sarawak Report. The staff members said they were contacted directly by phone or in person and told to take their computers immediately to the IT section in order to be wiped. None of the instructions were delivered by text or email, leaving little record of the blitz, which took place in the space of just a few hours.
A week ago, the New York Times featured a front-page article about 33-year-old tycoon Jho Low, a member of Malaysia’s new rich with close ties to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family.
The article looked into Low’s purchase of million-dollar properties in New York City, which was later sold to Riza Aziz, the son of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor from another marriage.
Naturally, the journalists involved in the story dug into the source of wealth of Najib’s family, given that Najib is a career politician, holding various offices since he was 23, beginning as the Pekan MP.
Among others, the NYT journalists raised numerous questions in their article, including several invoices showing millions of dollars’ worth of jewellery that were, according to the report, meant for Rosmah.
But strangely, when the NTY journalists queried the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) about these invoices, the PMO didn’t even bother to ask for details.
In an interview with the two journalists who wrote the story – Louise Story and Stephanie Saul – the PMO’s office reply was that Najib had received an inheritance and had also enjoyed “legacy family assets”.
“We told them that we had these documents and the documents show millions of dollars of jewellery purchase in 2008, 2009 and we asked them for comments.
“They did not ask to see the documents, so we did not show them, and we included their reply,” said Story.
‘RM13mil on jewellery purchases’
According to NYT, the PMO had replied, “Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”
The purchase of multi-million jewellery for Rosmah first surfaced in early 2013 when businessman carpet trader Deepak Jaikishin alleged that he paid RM13 million to purchase jewellery for her in 2008 and 2009.
The safes referred to an allegation by Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, the Raub MP who was the information chief of Umno Pekan division from 2000 to 2004. Najib is the division chief since 1982.
Ariff Sabri, who left Umno for DAP in early 2012, told NYT that Najib kept “piles and piles” of ringgit notes stacked in his safe.
The NYT piece on Low was part of a five-part series on the individuals behind more than 200 shell companies which own ultra-luxury condominiums at Time Warner Center, an iconic high-end retail and residential building in the heart of New York.
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — Malaysia’s political leaders must take a firm stand against those promoting extremist views, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said, warning that peace would not be achieved even if the bigots got their way.
Popularly called Pak Lah, the man who led Malaysia from 2003 to 2009 told The Star daily in an interview published today his fears for the country with the voices of bigots and “rabble rousers” growing louder even though he believed most Malaysians were “moderates”.
“The political leadership has to take a firm stand against those espousing extreme views. We cannot be wishy-washy about it,” he was quoted saying.
“Let us not forget that in Nazi Germany, it was said that only 5 per cent believed in Hitler; the other 95 per cent were cowed into silence,” he added, quoting from 18th-century Irish politician Edmund Burke to underline his point, “The only things necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Abdullah defined moderation in Malaysia’s context as “the avoidance of excess or extremes, especially in one’s behaviour and political opinions” taking into account the country’s ethnic mix was not limited to Malays, Chinese and Indians but said, “we are also a nation of more than 100 ethnic and sub-ethnic groups”.
Urging moderates to speak out and return to the vision of Malaysia’s founding fathers, Abdullah noted they could make their voices heard in many ways.
“In the last general election, some of the strident and more vocal extremists were voted out,” he was quoted saying.