21
Oct
18

Summary of the 45 charges against current Umno president

(source: Malaysiakini)
😱😱😱

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19
Oct
18

Umno president Zahid slapped with 45 charges for CBT, corruption and money laundering

Zahid slapped with 45 charges, RM2 million bail

KUALA LUMPUR: The Sessions Court today slapped Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi with 45 charges related to criminal breach of trust, money laundering and corrupt practices, with both the prosecution and his lawyers agreeing to a sum of RM2 million as bail.

It took 55 minutes as a visibly tired Zahid, who spent the night with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), stood up to hear all the charges being read to him.

Ten CBT charges, with the highest amount involving RM17 million, come under Section 409 of the Penal Code, while eight charges were under Section 16 of the MACC Act, for accepting bribes for various projects during his time as the home minister.

The remaining 27 charges relate to money laundering under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (Amla).

He claimed trial to all charges which were read before judge Azura Alwi.

The charges of corruption also include his alleged role in the home ministry’s outsourcing services linked to MyEG Services Sdn Bhd, allegedly receiving money from a director of Data Sonic Group Bhd to supply 12.5 million chips for Malaysian passports, as well as accepting money to appoint a company as the operator of a one-stop centre in Pakistan and Nepal for the processing of work visas.

The CBT offences were allegedly committed between January 2014 and March 2018, the offences under the MACC Act between July 2016 and March 2018, while money laundering since March 27, 2016.

Zahid, who was elected as Umno president in June, is the first sitting Umno president to be hauled to court to face criminal charges.

Lead prosecution counsel Gopal Sri Ram said there should be a joint trial for all the charges.

Sri Ram also applied to the court to instruct Zahid to pay the RM2 million in a lump sum, but Zahid’s lawyer Hisyam Teh Poh Teik said his client should be allowed to pay by two installments.

The judge later allowed Zahid to settle half of the amount today, and the remaining by Oct 26. He was also told to surrender his passport.

…more
Zahid slapped with 45 charges, RM2 million bail
Ho Kit Yen
October 19, 2018 – FMT

17
Oct
18

1MDB: Why Malaysia fell victim to the biggest heist in history

1MDB: Why Malaysia fell victim to the biggest heist in history

IT’S a story so lavish, so audacious, and so reckless it would make Roman emperors blush.

It’s been dubbed one of the biggest financial heists in history and its cast of players include Hollywood superstars, leading politicians, supermodels, global financial conglomerates, and one plucky 27-year-old upstart – going by the name of Jho Low – who managed to dupe them all.

This is, of course, the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal that plagued the final years of former-Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s premiership and was credited with playing a part in his shocking election loss in May.

It thrust Malaysia into the global spotlight when it first came to light back in 2014. But it remains very much at the forefront of the national psyche after police unceremoniously raided Najib’s home and people watched as he and his wife Rosmah Mansor were charged in connection with the case.

A new book, Billion Dollar Whale by the Wall Street Journal reporters who helped break the story, has also captured the nation’s imagination – or more accurately, indignation – with its tales of flagrant excess and spending by lead character Jho Low.

The sovereign wealth fund – chaired by Najib – was set up in 2009 to finance green energy and tourism projects in Malaysia. Instead, over the course of the next five years, a reported US$4.5 billion was allegedly funnelled out of the fund into the private bank accounts of Najib and his associates.

When we ask how this could have happened in Malaysia, the obvious answer is corruption. But Malaysia does not have a monopoly on corruption. For this brazen level of larceny, there must have been other contributing factors that made Malaysia vulnerable.

But what are they? How did Malaysia fall victim to the biggest financial heist in history?

Black gold

It was a combination of conditions that came together to make Malaysia a target, Billion Dollar Whale co-author and journalist, Tom Wright told Asian Correspondent. The initial catalyst being Malaysia’s oil reserves and the wealth that comes with them.

“When he [Jho Low] initially wanted to launch a fund, he did so in the state of Terengganu, and he was able to convince the Sultan to launch this fund against oil wealth,” Wright said.

In its initial conception, 1MDB started out as the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), which got its money from the royalty income of oil reserves off the coast of the north-easterly state. Its objective was to aid sustainable development in Terengganu but was later expanded to a national scale under a newly elected Najib. Its name was changed to 1MDB.

Malaysia’s natural reserves, combined with it being a middle-income country “intertwined with the global economy,” made it a tempting prospect for global investors, said Wright.

Global economy

Professor of Economics at CEIBS, Dr Bala Ramasamy, agrees Malaysia’s open and global economy will have enabled Jho Low’s actions.

Given the country’s reliance on trade, there are very few restrictions when it comes to the transfer of capital, so money can be moved across borders with relative ease, Bala told Asian Correspondent.

While restrictions were strictly imposed during the 1998 Asian financial crisis, these were steadily relaxed to aid with recovery, Bala said.

“We had to allow money to come in because we rely on foreign investment. So money should be able to come into the country easily and, if you want to encourage foreign investors, you also have to allow them to take their money out easily as well.”

While this has been hugely beneficial to the development of Malaysia, people like Jho Low found ways to take advantage of this.

This is not only restricted to Malaysia. The connected international economy has facilitated corruption on a global scale. Other countries have fallen victim to similar problems – tax evasion, money laundering, offshore accounts – all highlighted in the Panama Papers in 2016. But none on the scale of 1MDB.

While the lack of enforcement of financial regulations certainly facilitated Jho Low’s ability to embezzle money from the fund, it isn’t the reason he got away with it for as long as he did.

Governance

Wright believes the financial climate teamed with “poor governance standards,” and “no checks and balances” made the perfect storm in which Jho Low could thrive.

Bala also believes the governance of Malaysia lends itself to covering tracks and avoiding accountability.

“Malaysia, like many developing countries, is more people-based rather than system-based,” the international economics and business expert told us. “It is one person who decides; a signature, a handwritten note on a proposal giving their support – that carries a lot of weight.

“The bureaucracy puts a lot of importance on whether it receives the support of an important person, like the prime minister.”

If all you need is the approval of one person, any restrictions that are in place can be easily bypassed. In somewhere like Malaysia where the prime minister, and the ministers below him, still have a lot of authority, this can be easily done.

Bala holds it in contrast to system-based government in the UK and the US where parliamentary or congressional committees scrutinise large proposals to make sure the agreed objectives are being met.

“When you set up a 1MDB, to what extent does it go through a parliamentary committee or checks and balances about the process that will be taking place? If the PM thinks it’s a good idea, then everyone pretty much says yes,” he said.

“In the system-based approach, it doesn’t matter who you are, rules are rules, laws are laws, nobody is above the law. But in the case of developing countries, certain individuals, whether in the government or influential people, they are above the law, so they can easily facilitate the movement of money in and out of the country, beyond the regulation.”

This is compounded by the lack of change in governing party. Najib’s party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) governed Malaysia for over 60 years. Without a change in ruling party, eventually the entire governmental system and the people who work for it become political.

…more
1MDB: Why Malaysia fell victim to the biggest heist in history
By Emma Richards
15th October 2018 – Asian Correspondent

14
Oct
18

Election returning officer jailed 3 months for contempt

Election returning officer jailed 3 months for contempt

Rembau district officer Amino Agos Suyub is appealing the sentence in the Federal Court.

SEREMBAN: The Election Court here sentenced a returning officer to three months’ jail after he was found guilty of contempt of court for coaching a witness in a petition brought by a PKR candidate.

Judge Azimah Omar, in sentencing Amino Agos Suyub, who is also the Rembau district officer, said the court must send a strong message that the general election or by-elections must be conducted in a free and fair manner.

“You lacked integrity and this court must impose a sentence to achieve justice,” she said.

Azimah said she took into consideration Agos’s family background, his occupation and the consequences of today’s ruling.

“The court also weighed the mitigating factors and public interest. However, your action was serious as this is an election petition,” she said.

She said the petitioner, Dr Streram Sinnasamy, made a serious accusation that he was denied entry to the nomination centre as he did not have an entry pass.

“However, I cannot accept your explanation that you did not intend to coach your subordinate to give evidence in this petition,” she said.

Azimah said, as district officer, Agos was also a second class magistrate who could issue remand orders.

“You are no ordinary layman,” she added.

The judge later allowed an interim stay of Agos’s sentence pending an appeal to the Federal Court.

Lawyer G Rajasingam, who appeared for Agos, mitigated that his client be given a non-custodial sentence, preferably an admonishment.

He said his client was subject to disciplinary action under the General Orders and that he could lose his job should a jail term be imposed.

“His action was impulsive but he has learnt his lesson,” the lawyer said, pleading that the court tamper justice with mercy.

Earlier, the court cited Agos for contempt of court as he had guided his former subordinate, Daing Muhamad Rahimi Abdul Hamid, a witness, to give evidence in the petition.

Azimah said the conduct of Agos amounted to interference in the administration of justice.

“You coached the witness who was your subordinate.

“Your conduct cannot be tolerated, especially when you are a senior government officer,” she said when ordering Agos to show cause why he should not be punished, including being sent to prison.

Agos, who took the stand, profusely apologised to the court and said he had no intention of interfering in the proceedings.

However, the judge refused to accept his explanation.

The unprecedented proceeding in the election case came about on Thursday when Daing Rahimi, under cross-examination, said Amino had sent a few text messages summarising his evidence and guiding him on how to give his testimony.

…more
Election returning officer jailed 3 months for contempt
October 10, 2018 – FMT

12
Oct
18

An Open Letter to MMC-Gamuda

An Open Letter to MMC-Gamuda

By Tony Pua
Political Secretary to Minister of Finance
Member of Parliament for Damansara
10 Oct 2018

Dear Directors of MMC-Gamuda,

Let me applaud you for putting up a great show since the Minister of Finance, Lim Guan Eng announced the Cabinet decision to (i) accept the offer from MMC-Gamuda to reduce the cost of the MRT2 Above Ground works by RM5.2 billion to RM17.4 billion (23% reduction) in the form of a turnkey contract and (ii) terminate the Underground contract as both parties could not reach an agreement on the required price reduction.

You have issued a letter proclaiming innocence, claiming that you were awaiting for an offer from the Ministry of Finance (MoF). You questioned the qualifications of the independent engineering consultant we have engaged. You implied that the decision to terminate was hasty and ill-conceived. You sought sympathy claiming the loss of jobs for no less than 20,000 people (wow!). Your social media actively promoted a campaign to “Save 20,000 Jobs” asking Malaysians to sign the petition. There are viral Whatsapp letters from first class honours engineers regretting support for Pakatan Harapan in the last general election.

The performance and mobilisation of the above campaign are nothing short of impressive. The question of cost of the project to the Government was conveniently ignored.

We had no intention of engaging with you in a public war of words. We tend to reserve that for our political opponents. And after all, we wanted to continue the good working relationship to complete the RM17.42 billion worth of Above Ground works.

However, the obvious brazen attempt to paint yourself an innocent victim to an unjust Harapan government required a response to set the facts right and record straight.

1. The original Underground contract was awarded for RM15.49 billion. MRT Corp awarded additional RM1.2 billion of variation orders which resulted in the revised contract value of RM16.71 billion.

2. After numerous meetings and discussions, you wrote to the Minister on 15 August to offer a revised price of RM15.1 billion. This was mostly a result of shelving the 2 underground stations at Bandar Malaysia North and South.

3. Subsequently on 7 Sep, you offered to reduce the price further to RM14.58 billion for the Underground contract (making it RM32 billion for the entire MRT2 project). This represented a cost saving of RM2.13 billion or a 12.7% reduction. In the words of the Gamuda director at the meeting with the Minister on 4 Sep – “we offer what we can offer, but anything beyond that will be meaningless to continue”.

4. However, based on the study by the independent engineering consultant, MRT Corp should expect total savings between RM4.19 to RM5.79 billion for the estimated remaining 60% portion of works yet to be completed. Yes, this potential savings is just for the balance of works to be completed. Imagine the potential savings if it was for the entire contract.

So the question to be deliberated upon by this new Pakatan Harapan government is very simple.

A. Do we say, “it’s OK la, let’s just accept the RM2.13 billion reduction offered by MMC Gamuda”? After all, we can take this figure and boast to Malaysians of our ‘magnificent’ achievement, for they would know no better that we might have left another RM2 billion of potential savings on the table. Furthermore, it will certainly save us the trouble of having to deal with the negative publicity and the new international tender exercise which has to be carried out. Too much work… Or

B. Do we honour the mandate and trust the people has given us and maximise the savings we can reasonably derive from the project? RM2 billion can pay for 5 hospitals, or 50 schools. RM2 billion is hell of a lot of money when I see my MoF colleagues who are struggling and scrimping to find RM50 million savings here, and RM80 million cuts there for the upcoming Budget.

The Cabinet obviously made the decision to pick the latter. And you seriously telling Malaysians to blame the Cabinet for the termination?

Or would you then pick a different target, as you implied in your media statement, that the independent consulting engineers aren’t sufficiently qualified – despite employing more than 500 staff with a track record of having completed more than 80 projects in 24 countries outside of Malaysia?

Or was it because the government-appointed independent consulting engineer exposed the frequently expounded lie that the cost of MRT1 and MRT2 are well-below the average cost of construction of various Asian Metros, because no one was actually able to substantiate the data provided?

Should we instead question why MMC Gamuda had initially agreed to, but subsequently refused to share costing data with the independent consulting engineer to justify its cost, claiming “trade secrets”?

To the 26 year old first-class honours engineering graduate, I empathize the turbulence you are facing in your life today which is due to no fault of yours. However, should Gamuda decides not to retain your services, it would only be their loss, because you would build an equally successful career in many other companies.

To the purported 20,000 workers who, according to MMC Gamuda, would lose their jobs as a result of the underground contract termination, let me emphasize that the Malaysian government is not terminating the project. You will find plenty of opportunities when the new project is awarded at a lower cost, while the savings generated would mean even more projects for the future.

But perhaps, instead of starting a petition on Change.org to seek the Government to reverse its decision on the termination, it might be more productive to start a petition to ask your bosses at MMC Gamuda to make the Malaysian government an offer they cannot refuse.

Thank you.

…more
An Open Letter to MMC-Gamuda
Tony Pua
October 10, 2018 – theedgemarkets.com

07
Oct
18

Every PAC member should be given a copy of the two books on 1MDB scandal

Every PAC member should be given a copy of the two books on 1MDB scandal – the “Sarawak Report” and “Billion Dollar Whale” – and every PAC member should have read them by Tuesday for PAC to re-open investigations into 1MDB scandal

Every Public Accounts Committee member should be given a copy of the two books on the 1MDB scandal, viz. “The Sarawak Report – The Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose” by the Sarawak Report editor, Clare Rewcastle Brown and “Billion Dollar Whale – the Man who fooled the Wall Street, Hollywood and the World” by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, two Wall Street Journal reporters.

Furthermore, all the PAC members should have read the two books on the 1MDB scandal by next Tuesday when they start to carry out Parliament’s directive following an unanimous parliamentary motion last August to “conduct again a detailed investigation on the embezzlement of monies and the scandal with regard to 1MDB and its related companies in order to restore the dignity of the Dewan Rakyat; and that all related information should be made public”.

Clare’s book is about the origin and development of the 1MDB scandal while

Tom Wright and Bradley Hope’s book is more focussede on Jho Low, who with former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, were responsible for the world’s “kleptocracy at its worst” in Malaysia, and both them wrecked Malaysia’s international reputation and integrity turning Malaysia into a global kleptocracy.

If the PAC members have not supplied with these two books, and would not have read them by Tuesday, then the re-opening of PAC investigations into the 1MDB scandal should be deferred by a week to allow all PAC members to read up both books.

I have yesterday suggested that the PAC Chairman, Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee should recuse himself from PAC re-opening of investigations into 1MDB scandal as he was Deputy Speaker of the previous Parliament, taking a very biased and prejudicial position on the 1MDB scandal at the behest of the then Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak by banning questions and debate on 1MDB scandal, undermining the dignity of the Malaysian Parliament and the nation, as well as raising serious conflict-of-interest questions.

There is another PAC member in the new Parliament who should also recuse himself from the PAC re-opening of investigations into the 1MDB scandal – Datuk Hasan Arifin, who was Chairman of the previous Public Accounts Committee whose report on the 1MDB scandal tabled in Parliament in April 2016 had been found wanting and most unsatisfactory, requiring a new parliamentary motion requiring a re-opening of investigations into the 1MDB scandal!

The PAC Report on the 1MDB scandal of the 13th Parliament in fact aided and abetted Najib and Jho Low to cover up massive corruption and money-laundering crimes instead of getting to the truth of the 1MDB scandal.

What is more serious, Hasan had been accused of dishonest conduct as PAC Chairman as he had admitted in the parliamentary debate on the motion for PAC to re-open investigations into the 1MDB scandal in August of having unilaterally and without consultation or consent of the other members of the PAC of deleting critical information about the ownership of Good Star Ltd (GSL) – which is the genesis of the 1MDB scandal!

In fact, Clare in her book described Hasan’s action as “skullduggery” in doctoring the final PAC report by chopping out the “most dangerous and damning sections” of the PAC report.

Hasan should be in the dock instead of being a PAC member in the re-opening of PAC investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

I have no objection to Hasan being a member of PAC, but surely the least he can do is to recuse himself from the PAC re-opening of investigations in the 1MDB scandal so that he would not be a standing embarrassment.

(Media Statement by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Saturday, 6th October 2018)

...more
Every PAC member should be given a copy of the two books on 1MDB scandal – the “Sarawak Report” and “Billion Dollar Whale” – and every PAC member should have read them by Tuesday for PAC to re-open investigations into 1MDB scandal
7 October 2018 – blog.limkitsiang.com

05
Oct
18

Rosmah faces 17 charges!

(The Sun, 5/10/18)




Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

The dawn of A Better Malaysia!
Rafidah Aziz, Hannah Yeoh, Ambiga at TTDI ceramah

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

What happened to 1MDB’s money? – CNBC Video
Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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