Archive for June, 2016

30
Jun
16

‘Arrest unnecessary, Guan Eng would have appeared in court’

‘Arrest unnecessary, Guan Eng would have appeared in court’

Penang Amanah chief Mujahid Yusof Rawa says Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has cooperated with MACC before and the arrest was part of theatrics to demoralise Opposition.

GEORGE TOWN: Arresting Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is an attempt to demoralise Opposition supporters but it could also have an opposite effect, Penang Amanah Chief Mujahid Yusof Rawa says.

Mujahid said Lim could have been summoned to court and need not have been arrested.

“They could have just summoned him the charge sheet, then he could have produced himself voluntarily tomorrow.

“It has been proven he was giving good and full cooperation to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“There is no need for raids and the arrest,” he said when met by reporters at the #BebasGuanEng vigil outside the MACC headquarters in Northam Road here today.

Earlier, Lim was arrested by MACC officers at his office in Komtar. His former landlord, Phang Li Koon, was arrested at her office at Menara Penang Garden about the same time as well.

They will be both charged at the Sessions Court tomorrow morning under the Penal Code and MACC Act 2009 for allegedly being involved in corruption in a re-zoning of land in Balik Pulau and the controversial Pinhorn Road bungalow purchase.

Meanwhile, Mujahid, who is also Parit Buntar MP, hoped the MACC would investigate Lim transparently and free from pressure of “political powers.”

…more
‘Arrest unnecessary, Guan Eng would have appeared in court’
June 29, 2016 – FMT

30
Jun
16

Solidarity with Penang’s Chief Minister

LGE

LGE

Hundreds gather at MACC HQ chanting for LGE’s release

Hundreds cry “political persecution” outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters in Northam Road, demanding Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng be released.

GEORGE TOWN: Some 500 people gathered outside the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) headquarters here, demanding that Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng be freed.

Protesters chanted “Bebas Guan Eng” and “Tangkap Najib” from 8.30pm, carrying placards condemning the arrest.

Police cordoned off a large portion of the service road leading to the MACC in Northam Road as many double-parked cars and large crowds slowed down traffic towards the business district.

Political leaders from the Pakatan Harapan bloc were also seen chanting “Bebas Guan Eng” in a sombre atmosphere.

Also present were the late DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh’s wife, Gurmit Kaur, who was greeted by Penang Exco members.

Earlier, Lim was arrested by MACC officers at his office in Komtar. His former landlord, Phang Li Koon, was also arrested at her office at Menara Penang Garden about the same time.

Both will be produced at the Sessions Court here at 10am to face charges.

On May 22, MACC officers visited Lim’s home in Pinhorn Road following his controversial purchase of a bungalow below market price. It was later linked to the sale of state land.

In denying the allegations, first raised by Umno MP Shabudin Yahaya, Lim insisted there was no impropriety in the purchase of the property.

The DAP secretary-general clarified that he did not know the market value of the bungalow he bought last year for RM2.8 million as it was based on a verbal understanding between his wife and Phang in 2012.

It was purchased by Lim on July 28 last year.

Similar properties in the area are said to be valued at between RM6 million and RM6.5 million.

Earlier today, speculation was rife that Lim would be summoned to court over the purchase of his bungalow here.

The rumours of the arrest came after MACC’s completion of its probe on May 25 into Lim’s bungalow purchase.

…more
Hundreds gather at MACC HQ chanting for LGE’s release
June 29, 2016 – FMT

28
Jun
16

Malaysian PM Expels 1MDB Critics From Ruling Party – WSJ

Malaysian Prime Minister Expels 1MDB Critics From Ruling Party

Muhyiddin Yassin and Mukhriz Mahathir are critics of Najib Razak’s handling of scandal surrounding state investment fund

KUALA LUMPUR—Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday expelled two politicians from the ruling party, including his former deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, state news agency Bernama reported.

In addition to Mr. Muhyiddin, Mr. Najib expelled former Kedah state chief minister Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, from the ruling United Malays National Organization, Bernama reported, quoting Mr. Najib.

The prime minister’s office prime minister’s office said it would not comment on the matter. Mr. Muhyiddin and Mr. Mukrhiz couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Both Mr. Muhyiddin and Mr. Mukrhiz have been staunch critics in recent months of Mr. Najib’s handling of a growing scandal surrounding a state investment fund he founded in 2009 to promote economic growth, and both of them have joined the former prime minister’s campaign urging Mr. Najib to step down.

The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., better known as 1MDB, is being investigated in at least seven countries. Some investigators have said they believe that $6 billion has gone missing from the fund.

The expulsions came a day after the government announced that the head of the country’s antigraft agency would step down Aug. 1.

Mr. Najib and 1MDB have repeatedly denied wrongdoing, and 1MDB has said it is cooperating with the investigations. Malaysia’s attorney general, Mohamed Apandi Ali, cleared Mr. Najib of wrongdoing in January.

…more
Malaysian Prime Minister Expels 1MDB Critics From Ruling Party
By Yantoultra Ngui
June 24, 2016 – WSJ

27
Jun
16

Honourable real democrat would have resigned, like Cameron

Perhaps ‘we’ should resign too, Ambiga responds to PM’s tweet

Ambiga Sreenevasan is unable to make up her mind whether laughter or tears is the appropriate response to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak describing himself as a democrat.

“Did our PM just say ‘we’ democrats?

“I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry,” read the former Bar Council president’s tweet.

She was responding to Najib’s comments regarding the Brexit referendum, which saw Britons voting that their nation should quit the European Union.

“Maybe ‘we’ should resign too,” she said, alluding that Najib should perhaps follow in the footsteps of David Cameron, who announced that he would relinquish his prime minister post in October.

In his tweet on the referendum, Najib said the British voters had spoken.

“As democrats, we must respect the result.

“We wish our British friends well in the new future they have chosen,” he added.

Ambiga is among those who inked the Citizens’ Declaration which calls for Najib’s resignation.

Meanwhile, lawyer Syahredzan Johan also appeared to be referring to the prime minister’s tweet, saying: “Democrats do not arrest dissidents, fyi (for your information).”

“Seriously, much respect to Cameron for resigning after the referendum. I do not like him, but this is honourable on his part.

“He lost the referendum, not because he is implicated in some scandal. Yet he is honourable enough to step down,” he tweeted.

Earlier, Cameron revealed that he would resign by October.

“I do not think it would be right for me to be the captain that steers our country to its next destination,” he had told reporters.

…more
Perhaps ‘we’ should resign too, Ambiga responds to PM’s tweet
24 June 2016 – Malaysiakini

25
Jun
16

Jho Low owned firm linked to 1MDB scandal

Malaysian financier Jho Low owned firm linked to 1MDB scandal -source

SINGAPORE/KUALA LUMPUR (June 22): For the past year, the Malaysian government has said a company called Good Star Ltd, which received US$1.03 billion from the scandal-hit 1MDB investment fund, was owned by the fund’s joint venture partner, PetroSaudi International Ltd.

Now an official with knowledge of a regulatory investigation has confirmed what Malaysia’s central bank has recently asserted: Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho was the sole owner of Good Star during its five years as a company.

“What I can say for sure is that Jho Low is the exclusive beneficial owner of Good Star,” the official said.

According to a registration document seen by Reuters, Good Star was incorporated in the Seychelles on May 18, 2009, four months before the initial payment to PetroSaudi. It was dissolved five years later on May 2, 2014.

Low, who is most often referred to as Jho Low, was the owner of Good Star throughout those five years, the official said.

Both Low, and the government have denied he had anything to do with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a fund Prime Minister Najib Razak founded in September 2009 to invest in strategic property and energy projects.

Malaysian companies and banks linked to 1MDB are at the centre of corruption and money laundering probes that have led investigators to look at transactions and financial relationships across the globe — from Malaysia to Singapore and the Seychelles, from Abu Dhabi to offshore companies in the Caribbean, and from the United States to Switzerland.

Investigations are being conducted by authorities in the United States, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

Energy investment?

Unravelling the status of Good Star’s ownership is important, investigators say, because it will help determine whether 1MDB’s funds were misappropriated or used for legitimate investments, as the government maintains.

If Low is the sole owner of Good Star, it could indicate that 1MDB funds were not directed to an energy project investment with PetroSaudi but for another purpose, investigators say.

The 34-year-old Low has not been charged with any offence in the investigations into 1MDB. He did not reply to requests for comment that were directed to his private equity and advisory firm in Hong Kong, Jynwel Capital, and his whereabouts could not be determined.

Najib, who was the chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board until recently, has denied any wrongdoing.

The Prime Minister’s office did not respond to requests for comment about Good Star for this article. 1MDB and the Malaysian finance ministry, which is the sole shareholder of the fund, declined to comment.

PetroSaudi was founded in 2005 by Saudi businessman Tarek Essam Ahmad Obaid, a graduate of Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, the company’s website says.

PetroSaudi and Obaid did not respond directly when asked if the firm owned Good Star. The London-based law firm of Carter-Ruck, speaking on behalf of PetroSaudi, said in an emailed statement: “Our clients categorically deny any wrongdoing in relation to the Joint Venture with 1MDB, and they have made clear that all funds invested by 1MDB in the Joint Venture were returned, with profits.”

Central bank letter

Good Star’s ownership continues to be a matter of debate in Malaysia.

The head of Malaysia’s parliamentary inquiry into 1MDB last month denied Low was the owner of Good Star. He did so in explaining why he rejected a letter from Malaysia’s central bank saying that Low, indeed, was the owner.

The parliamentary inquiry chief, Hasan Arifin, from Najib’s ruling United Malays National Organisation, said he did not include the confidential letter in his final report on 1MDB, because the Bank’s source of information was “intelligence grade”, which “may be prejudiced against various parties”.

Arifin declined to comment to Reuters. The central bank did not respond to requests for comment.

The former chief executive of 1MDB, Shahrol Halmi, told the inquiry that Good Star was a subsidiary of PetroSaudi, according to the report.

1MDB made two payments to Good Star, in 2009 and 2011, totalling US$1.03 billion. What happened to the money after that could not be determined because the inquiry panel was not given information on 1MDB’s foreign banking transactions, according to Tony Pua, an opposition member of the parliamentary inquiry.

The Wall Street Journal on July 3 of last year reported that global investigators believed that US$700 million in cash moved through banks and companies linked to 1MDB, before eventually going into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

None of the investigations across the world into 1MDB have shown any connection between any alleged misappropriation of money linked to 1MDB and the prime minister.

Malaysia’s Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali cleared Najib in January of any corruption or criminal offences. He said that US$681 million, deposited into Najib’s personal account in March 2013 before a Malaysian general election, was a gift from a member of Saudi Arabia’s royal family and most of it was returned.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters in April the funds wired into Najib’s account from an unspecified Saudi source were “a genuine donation” with no obligations attached.

…more
Malaysian financier Jho Low owned firm linked to 1MDB scandal -source
By Reuters
June 23, 2016 – Edge Markets

24
Jun
16

New twist in 1MDB saga prompts call for RCI

Rafizi: New twist in 1MDB saga prompts call for RCI

PETALING JAYA: PKR’s Rafizi Ramli wants a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into 1MDB and for Prime Minister Najib Razak to take leave from office, citing new revelations in the 1MDB saga.

In a statement, the Pandan MP said the new revelations were published in an article by Singapore’s TodayOnline, in which the island republic’s Second Solicitor-General Quek Mean Luck said the latest charges against Yeo Jiawei were related to the transfer of funds involving SRC International.

Yeo is a former private banker involved in a probe into 1MDB.

Rafizi said this was the first solid evidence linking funds from 1MDB to its former subsidiary SRC International, which took a RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP) before SRC was taken over by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated.

“Any transfer of funds in and out of SRC International is sensitive as funds from this company were eventually transferred into Najib’s personal account.

“The latest developments in Singapore mean that the Singapore Government is prosecuting a bank officer who may have managed funds linked to the prime minister.”

Rafizi said this exposed Najib to speculation because the direction of the investigations or prosecution by the Singapore Government of the case might have a direct or indirect effect on Najib’s position as prime minister.

The PKR secretary-general said to avoid exposing Malaysia to risks, specifically bilateral relations between Malaysia and Singapore as a result of the prosecution, which may include the transfer of funds involving Najib, two things should happen.

The first, Rafizi said, was the formation of an RCI into 1MDB, with its proceedings conducted transparently. This, he added, was to clear Najib’s name.

Secondly, he said, Najib should take leave from office until the investigation or prosecution by the Singapore Government was completed, and the proposed RCI had presented its report to Parliament.

…more
Rafizi: New twist in 1MDB saga prompts call for RCI
May 13, 2016 – FMT

21
Jun
16

Return ransom money to hostages’ kin, Zahid told

Return ransom money to hostages’ kin, Zahid told

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has no right to channel the RM12 million that was raised to free the Sarawakian hostages, and should return the cash to their families and the public, an activist has said.

The Consumers’ Association of Subang and Shah Alam (Cassa) president Jacob George pointed out that the money belonged to the kin as well as members of the public, who had responded to their cry for help.

“It is not government money, so who is he to decide to give it to an Islamic agency? It is the height of irresponsibility and is totally unacceptable.

“It is also embarrassing to Islam and all Islamic agencies,” Jacob told Malaysiakini when contacted.

He was commenting on Zahid’s statement that the money the family raised to pay for the four’s ransom had instead been given to an Islamic body in the Philippines.

Zahid also confirmed that the money raised was from public donation and the family’s sale of assets.

“The government decided not to pay ransom, and police adhered to this order,” Zahid was quoted saying in Berita Harian today.

But Jacob said the government’s decision to channel the money would just spur more kidnappings in Sabah’s waters.

He added that the public would no longer believe the Home Ministry after its latest “stunt”.

“How do you expect us to trust these people with the security of the country after what they did?

“Zahid must apologise to the Malaysian public and come clean on what really happened, and who decided the money should be donated. We want accountability.”

He also urged leaders to stop issuing statements until they had obtained all their facts straight, so as to prevent confusion.

The hostages’ families had previously said they passed RM12 million to Special Branch officers to pay the ransom, after those who contributed demanded to know what happened to the cash.

This was because the police said the four were released without any ransom paid.

But Bukit Aman’s Special Branch director Mohamad Fuzi Harun had refused to comment on the matter, while deputy inspector-general of police Noor Rashid Ibrahim said any questions about the money should be directed to the family.

…more
Return ransom money to hostages’ kin, Zahid told
17 June 2016 – malaysiakini

20
Jun
16

New York Bank Regulator to Examine Goldman’s Dealings With 1MDB

New York Bank Regulator to Examine Goldman’s Dealings With 1MDB

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. is drawing scrutiny from New York’s bank regulator over its fundraising for Malaysia’s embattled 1MDB fund, according to a person briefed on the matter, as questions mount about the bank’s role in the international scandal.

New York’s Department of Financial Services asked Goldman Sachs on Thursday to swiftly report on its internal review of more than $6 billion in bond sales for 1Malaysia Development Bhd., this person said. In a letter, the New York bank regulator also asked Goldman to provide an overview, by June 14, of every investigation in the U.S. and abroad into its work for the fund, which is known as 1MDB.

The New York bank regulator joins the U.S. Justice Department, Federal Reserve and Securities and Exchange Commission in examining Goldman’s dealings with 1MDB.

Goldman Sachs, through a spokesman, declined to comment.

The Malaysia fund is at the center of several international investigations into alleged corruption and money laundering by public officials. Prosecutors in at least four countries — Singapore, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United States — are looking into money flows from the investment vehicle, which was established for national development.

Among the questions asked by some international authorities is whether politically connected individuals in Kuala Lumpur may have benefited financially from the fund, whose advisory board was headed by Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak. Both 1MDB and the prime minister have denied wrongdoing.

DFS has jurisdiction in the matter because it licenses banks chartered by the state of New York. Nationally chartered banks are regulated by the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.

…more
New York Bank Regulator to Examine Goldman’s Dealings With 1MDB
Greg Farrell
June 10, 2016 — Bloomberg

18
Jun
16

NSC Act 2016 in violation of the Federal Constitution

NSC Act 2016 in violation of the Federal Constitution — Puthan Perumal

JUNE 14 — Article 38(2) of the Federal Constitution authorises the Conference of Rulers to, amongst others, deliberate on questions of national policy (for example changes in immigration policy) and any other matter that it thinks fit.

Article 38(3) of the Federal Constitution states that when the conference deliberates on matters of national policy, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is accompanied by the prime minister and the rulers and governors are accompanied by their menteris besar and chief ministers, respectively.

This means that when the conference is deliberating on ‘any other matter that it thinks fit’ (as stated in Article 38(2)), they can do so on their own and in their wisdom.

The words ‘any other matter that it thinks fit’ suggest that the conference is empowered to deliberate on a myriad of circumstances which in their wisdom seems important to the country as a whole. This myriad of circumstances is never closed. In my opinion, it should definitely include a deliberation on whether a particular bill ought to be assented to or not.

Deliberate means to engage in long and careful consideration.

On Feb 17, the Conference of Rulers asked that the NSC Bill, which would give the National Security Council headed by the prime minister emergency-like powers, be refined.

However, according to the national gazette, the NSC Bill was automatically granted assent the following day, on Feb 18, under Article 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution.

According to Article 66 Clause (4A), if a Bill is not assented to by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong within 30 days, it shall become law at the expiration of the 30 days in the like manner as if the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had assented to it.

Assent could be express or implied.

Article 66 (4A), in my opinion, would seem to denote that there is an implied assent at the end of the 30 days.

Even if that is true, that argument would only be applicable if there was silence on the part of the Agong at the end of the 30 days in relation to a particular bill for which the assent was sought.

If there is an express dissent, then the machinery of implied assent can never work, for obvious reasons.

When the Conference of Rulers asks for a bill to be refined, that in my opinion is a clear dissent of that bill.

I would think that when the Conference of Rulers are voicing out, they are doing so together with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

This is because I was reminded that the Conference of Rulers on their own cannot defeat a legislation except for legislation within the purview of Article 2 (b) and Article 159 (5) of the Federal Constitution.

In the circumstances, it is my humble opinion that the NSC Act 2016 is in violation of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution, and ought to be struck down, or the NSC Bill be sent back to be reviewed.

…more
NSC Act 2016 in violation of the Federal Constitution — Puthan Perumal
June 14, 2016 – MMO

15
Jun
16

IPIC Seeks $6.5 Billion From 1MDB, Malaysia in Arbitration – Bloomberg

IPIC Seeks $6.5 Billion From 1MDB, Malaysia in Arbitration

Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, embroiled in a debt payment dispute with 1Malaysia Development Bhd., is seeking $6.5 billion from the troubled Malaysian state investment company as it moves the spat into arbitration.

1MDB and its sole shareholder — Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance — haven’t perform their obligations toward International Petroleum Investment Co. PJSC, the Abu Dhabi fund said in a London stock exchange filing on Tuesday. IPIC and unit Aabar Investments PJS submitted the request to the London Court of International Arbitration, it said.

The Malaysian investment fund and IPIC are locked in a tussle that spilled over to repayments on bonds issued by 1MDB. That led to a default in April, adding to the financial scandals for the Malaysian company that’s already a target of global probes into alleged money laundering and embezzlement. 1MDB has denied wrongdoing.

“The failure of 1MDB and MOF to perform their obligations, cure their defaults or put forward acceptable proposals has left IPIC in the position where it must pursue its claims in arbitration,” IPIC said. “The claim will be determined by an arbitral tribunal that will comprise of three arbitrators.”
Debt Deal

1MDB didn’t immediately to an e-mail and phone calls seeking comment. A Ministry of Finance spokeswoman couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

IPIC entered into an agreement with 1MDB in May 2015 to provide the Malaysian fund $1 billion to settle some liabilities in exchange for a transfer of assets, and assume interest obligations on $3.5 billion of debt. 1MDB and Malaysia’s finance ministry “are in default” on the terms of a binding term sheet, IPIC said in April.

IPIC, which had guaranteed two sets of 1MDB debt, made payments after the Malaysian company missed them in April and May. 1MDB reiterated to bondholders last month its commitment to resolving the dispute.

A report by a Malaysian parliamentary committee in April identified at least $4.2 billion of questionable transactions by 1MDB, including those involving the Abu Dhabi companies. The bipartisan group said it couldn’t verify a $2.1 billion payment to Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

IPIC has denied ownership of the company that received the funds known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited, or Aabar BVI. IPIC’s unit has a slightly different name to the one that 1MDB transferred money to. 1MDB has said it negotiated “various legal agreements” with the previous heads of IPIC and Aabar, and called it a “surprising claim” that neither Gulf company knew of payments to Aabar BVI.

…more
IPIC Seeks $6.5 Billion From 1MDB, Malaysia in Arbitration
Shamim Adam
June 14, 2016 – Bloomberg





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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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