Archive for June, 2018


KPMG Malaysia says 1MDB audits from 2010 to 2012 were unreliable

KPMG Malaysia says 1MDB audits from 2010 to 2012 were unreliable

KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 ― KPMG Malaysia said today its audit reports on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) for financial years 2010 to 2012 were unreliable.

The accounting firm said since the Auditor General audited the company and the government declassified the audit and review of 1MDB on May 15 this year, it has considered the contents of the report and other relevant information, since it did not have access to information related to the state investment firm after December 31, 2013.

“On 31 December 2013, during the audit of the financial statements for the year ended 31 March 2013, the firm’s appointment as auditors was terminated and the firm did not have access to information related to 1MDB subsequent to that date,” KPMG Malaysia said in a statement.

“Having considered the contents of this report [1MDB federal audit] and other relevant information, we had written to 1MDB on 8 June 2018 to inform the company it should immediately take all necessary steps to prevent any further or future reliance on the audit reports prepared by KPMG Malaysia for the financial years ended 31 March 2010 to 31 March 2012,” it added.

KPMG Malaysia were the auditors for 1MDB for the financial years 2010 to 2012. On December 31, 2013, during the 2013 audit of 1MDB, the firms services were terminated and it does not have information pertaining to the firm beyond that date.

Three international accounting firms which are part of the “Big 4” had quit as auditors of 1MDB. They include Ernst & Young, Deloitte’s and KPMG.

1MDB, which was state investment fund set up by former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has been embroiled in one of the largest financial scandals in the world.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to address the IMDB issue as one of his election promises.

KPMG Malaysia says 1MDB audits from 2010 to 2012 were unreliable
By Ranjit Singh
26 June 2018 – MMO


Up to RM1.1 billion in cash, valuables seized from Najib, police say

Up to RM1.1 billion in cash, valuables seized from Najib, police say

RM440 million worth of jewellery and RM116.7 million cash was seized from residences linked to former prime minister Najib Razak, police said today.

Including other items such as handbags and watches, the total value of items seized are estimated to be between RM900 million and RM1.1 billion, said Bukit Aman Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Amar Singh Ishar Singh.

Amar Singh said of the jewellery, the number of items alone was 12,000 and included 14 tiaras, rings, diamonds, bangles and earrings.

Among the more expensive pieces was a RM6.4 million necklace with a white diamond.

He told a press conference today that the jewellery valuation of RM440 million was only for the materials and did not factor in workmanship, design and other costs involved in sales, which would be 50% to 100% more.

Also seized were 567 handbags from a 37 brands that included Hermes, Prada, Versace and Chanel, among others. One of them, under the brand Bijan, was custom-made and is not available on the market.

For the Hermes bags alone, of which there were 272 pieces, the value was RM51.3 million.

The cash was found in 26 currencies and took three days to count with the help of 22 officers from Bank Negara Malaysia, using six counting machines.

“We worked over the Hari Raya holidays,” Amar said, adding that a total of 150 police officers and other personnel were involved.

The seizures were made from raids at premises linked to Najib, including his private residence at Jalan Langgak Duta and the condo units where his son and daughter lived at Pavilion Residences, as well as an empty unit at the same condominium.

Watches and sunglasses were also seized. There were 423 watches from more than 100 brands, with the Rolex Daytona being the most expensive at RM3.5 million.

There were 234 sunglasses worth RM374,000, he added.

Amar said the huge number of items and their high value was why police couldn’t conduct the counting at the premises of the raids, and police also needed the help of experts. The cash and jewellery are now kept at Bank Negara.

“The amount was just too huge. This is the biggest seizure in Malaysian history,” he said when reporters asked if even police were surprised at the amount seized.

Up to RM1.1 billion in cash, valuables seized from Najib, police say
27 Jun 2018 – TMI


Malaysia’s Extravagant Ex-First Lady Lands in Graft Investigators’ Sights

Malaysia’s Extravagant Ex-First Lady Lands in Graft Investigators’ Sights

KUALA LUMPUR—With her pink diamonds, brightly colored silk robes and vast collection of Hermès Birkin handbags, former Malaysian first lady Rosmah Mansor for years was a lightning rod for anger over suspected corruption. Cartoonists portrayed her in the mold of Imelda Marcos or Grace Mugabe : a big-spending spouse whose husband’s position kept her in luxury goods.

Now a sharper portrait of the fiery 66-year-old Ms. Rosmah is emerging from interviews with investigators and people close to her, one that paints the wife of former Prime Minister Najib Razak as a political force and central actor in the international scandal over the state fund known as 1MDB.

Malaysian investigators newly energized after the May election defeat of Mr. Najib are scrutinizing Ms. Rosmah for a possible criminal indictment alongside her husband, according to people familiar with the investigations. Neither has been charged.

Ms. Rosmah was recently seen with her family at an upscale hotel on Langkawi, a resort island off the coast of Malaysia. Mr. Najib and his wife are barred from leaving the country while investigations proceed.

Ms. Rosmah’s pursuit of the trappings of wealth played a crucial part in pushing Mr. Najib’s administration deeper into graft, ultimately leading to the government’s downfall, said several people who know her.

Ms. Rosmah has accumulated one of the world’s largest collections of pink diamonds, according to a Malaysian businessman who said he helped select some of the gems. One diamond she acquired was worth $27 million, according to the U.S. Justice Department. A man U.S. investigators believe played a critical role in the 1MDB affair—and who has also described helping procure diamonds for Ms. Rosmah—has estimated her collection’s value at $350 million.

Raids on Najib residences in May unearthed $28 million in cash stuffed into suitcases, along with jewelry, watches and 284 luxury handbags, valued at thousands of dollars each, many of them unused in original boxes, according to police. They have yet to tally the value of it all.

1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, was set up by Mr. Najib in 2009 to promote economic development, but it soon became saddled with billions of dollars in debt. Officials in several countries probing the scandal have identified how much of that money was siphoned away and passed through companies in the Middle East, Seychelles, Caribbean, and the U.S. Some prosecutors have cited Malaysia’s first family as major beneficiaries.

It isn’t known whether investigators suspect Ms. Rosmah was involved directly with any of the complex transactions that over several years steadily drained cash from the 1MDB fund. People who know Ms. Rosmah say she helped orchestrate the alleged involvement of a young Malaysian financier who the U.S. Justice Department says helped set up the 1MDB fund and then oversaw its looting.

The U.S. agency is involved because it believes U.S. assets were among those purchased with graft proceeds. The Justice Department has filed civil lawsuits seeking to seize nearly $2 billion of such assets, including a private jet, luxury homes on both coasts and a film production company headed by Ms. Rosmah’s son.

The suits target assets, not individuals, but they make extensive allegations against figures allegedly connected to the scheme.

The suits say at least $4.5 billion was misappropriated in all, which, if true, would make 1MDB one of the largest-ever financial heists. Last August the Justice Department asked a judge to suspend the civil proceedings so it could focus on a criminal investigation.

Malaysia’s Extravagant Ex-First Lady Lands in Graft Investigators’ Sights
By Tom Wright and Bradley Hope
June 25, 2018 – WSJ


1MDB’s RM53 Billion Liability Malaysians have to pay


Special Report: It started on a yacht

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 25, 2018 – July 01, 2018.

And it led to a RM53 Billion* Liability Malaysians have to pay

The Ministry of Finance (MOF) has to set aside RM44.6308 billion from now to pay the remaining interest on four 1MDB bonds and to redeem the principal sums when they expire.

The total principal sum of the four bonds is RM31 billion, of which RM14 billion is due just four years away in 2022 and another RM12 billion in 2023. The remaining RM5.0 billion is due only in 2039.

Total interest paid on the four bonds to date is RM8.5402 billion. Total interest to be paid from now till the bonds expire is RM13.6308 billion.

By the time all the bonds are retired, MOF would have had to pay around RM 53.171 billion (based on today’s exchange rate of RM4.00 for US$1.00).

The four bonds were issued for the joint venture with PetroSaudi International in 2009, the purchase of power stations from Tanjong and Genting in 2012 and for the development of the Tun Razak Exchange in 2013.

The bulk of the money raised has been misappropriated and is now the subject of a worldwide probe and the new Pakatan Harapan government has vowed to go after all those responsible and to also try and recover most if not all of the money. Much of the stolen billions had been used by Jho Low, Riza Aziz and their Middle-Easter co-conspirators to buy assets in the United States, according to the US Department of Justice which has called the scandal the world’s biggest ever case of kleptocracy.

The two bonds arranged by Goldman Sachs to buy the power stations in 2012 were co-guaranteed by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

But following a dispute, Malaysia freed IPIC of its obligation under an arbitration settlement signed by Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2015 in which MOF guaranteed that Malaysia will assume all future interest and principal payments on the two bonds.

Special Report: It started on a yacht
The Edge Malaysia
June 25, 2018


Jho Low’s handiwork from Putrajaya Perdana to SRC to ‘red files’

Cover Story: Jho Low’s handiwork from Putrajaya Perdana to SRC to ‘red files’

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on June 11, 2018 – June 17, 2018.

INVESTIGATIONS into Low Taek Jho’s role in the multibillion-ringgit scam at 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International have resumed after three years. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) wants Jho Low and Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil to come home from wherever they have been hiding. Meantime, Singapore has disclosed that arrest warrants have been issued for Jho Low and his sidekick Eric Tan Kim Loong for money laundering activities.

Despite being the subject of worldwide scorn and probes since the US Department of Justice (DoJ) initiated civil proceedings to recover around US$3.5 billion in stolen 1MDB money in 2016, Jho Low has not been inactive. Indeed, he was planning and executing billion-ringgit deals right up to just before the May 9 general election that saw the ouster of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s coalition.

We piece together some of these deals in our cover story.


In 2015, The Edge published several exposés on how Low Taek Jho, together with Tarek Obaid and Patrick Mahony of PetroSaudi International, had used US$260 million that came from 1MDB to partly finance the RM1.4 billion takeover of UBG Bhd in 2010.

Prior to the takeover, Jho Low had, in August 2007, taken a 49% stake in the then listed Putrajaya Perdana Bhd (PPB) for RM198 million from E&O Bhd and in November, had bought a 45% stake in Loh & Loh Corp Bhd for RM111 million. The principal vehicle used by Jho Low was Abu Dhabi Kuwait Malaysia Investment Corp (ADKMIC). The total acquisition cost was RM309 million.

Within just a few months, Jho Low had made a quick flip and sold the stakes in the two companies to UBG in January 2008 for RM456 million cash or a whopping profit of RM147 million. The PPB stake was valued at RM332 million while Loh & Loh was tagged at RM124 million.

In July 2008, UBG spent another RM343 million and RM205 million on buying the remaining stakes in PPB and Loh & Loh.

By then, Jho Low had become a substantial shareholder of UBG, which was controlled by the family of Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, the then chief minister of Sarawak, via Cahya Mata Sarawak Bhd (CMS).

Jho Low and Taib became partners in UBG by virtue of the former, using Majestic Masterpiece Sdn Bhd, having taken up 183 million UBG shares at RM2.50 apiece via a special issue in January 2008.

In May the same year, UBG subscribed for a 51% stake in Unity Capital International (Cayman) Ltd, an asset management company with which UBG later placed RM350 million to manage. In 2011, UBG wrote off RM250 million of the investment placed with Unity Capital, which was, not surprisingly, controlled by Jho Low.

Unity Capital was managed by one Ian Tham and at the time, Jho Low had his other sidekicks from Penang, like Geh Choh Hun and Tan Vern Tact, actively involved as directors of some of these companies.

But after UBG went on a spending spree of around RM1.35 billion through the various deals initiated by Jho Low, relations with the Taib family deteriorated. Before the partnership had started, UBG had around RM2.23 billion cash from the sale of its stake in RHB Bank.

Taib’s family felt UBG had overpaid for the assets bought from Jho Low and the promised multibillion-ringgit contracts and returns UBG was to get in return never materialised.

It was then decided that Jho Low and his PetroSaudi cohorts, via Javace Sdn Bhd, would make a general offer for all of UBG, offering the Taib family an exit.

But by then, relations were so bad that when Mahony was in Kuala Lumpur in January 2010 to arrange for a RM700 million AmBank loan to part-finance the takeover of UBG, he avoided CMS executives who wanted a meeting.

CMS had emailed Mahony, asking him to meet its deputy chairman Datuk Abu Bekir Taib and executive director Datuk Syed Ahmad Alwee Asree. Bekir is Taib’s son while Syed Ahmad is his son-in-law.

Mahony forwarded the CMS email to Jho Low, who replied, “Just say that your travel plans schedule is uncertain yet but you will decide in due course.”

In December 2010, Jho Low took UBG private while CMS exited with RM456 million cash. Over the next two years, he delisted UBG, PPB and Loh & Loh. He then went on to “sell” PPB to Cendana Destini Sdn Bhd for RM260 million and Loh & Loh to Selesa Produktif Sdn Bhd for RM320 million. Although his name does not appear in Cendana and Selesa, Jho Low is still believed to be behind PPB and Loh & Loh.

Cover Story: Jho Low’s handiwork from Putrajaya Perdana to SRC to ‘red files’
Cindy Yeap and Ho Kay Tat
June 21, 2018 – The Edge Malaysia


Najib’s statements are so full of holes

Yoursay: At best, Najib is guilty of gross incompetence

How does one even begin to comment on this? Former PM Najib Razak’s statements are so full of holes, which ones should we poke first?

A prime minister and finance minister who does not know what is going on in 1MDB. A man who signs anything put in front of him without knowing what it is all about.

A man who had insisted that he received a donation of RM2.6 billion from an Arab but who now says he does not know where the money came from. In fact, he returned the money to said Arab, but still doesn’t really know what he was doing.

And him removing an attorney-general (AG) and ignoring the whole world telling him there is something wrong with 1MDB was… pure coincidence?

A man who receives more than RM100 million in cash, he does not know what to do but stash them in his house. A man who receives hundreds of million ringgit worth of “gifts” but questioned not the morality of the matter.

He is the innocent poor pathetic fellow whom the whole world just want to donate and give lots of money to.

Clearly, his “long” time in government has not taught him what is wrong or right.

Gosh! Is this why all his lawyers left him? Because they realise there is no way they can defend this man in court and walk away with their reputation intact?

Thank heavens BN lost in GE14. He would have signed the whole country away and claim “not to realise” it!

Yoursay: At best, Najib is guilty of gross incompetence
22 June 2018 – malaysiakini


Police report to jump-start Altantuya case

Police report to jump-start Altantuya case

Father of murdered Mongolian model lodges report in hopes that he will be able to find out who ordered the killing of his daughter 12 years ago.

KUALA LUMPUR: The police report lodged today by the father of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu is expected to “jump-start” the reopening of investigations into her murder.

Speaking to reporters at the Dang Wangi police headquarters, Ramkarpal Singh, who is Setev Shaariibuu’s lawyer, said the case needed to be reopened as some witnesses were not called to give evidence.

“(Deputy Supt) Musa Safri is certainly a very crucial witness. That is something the police must take into account. Why did the prosecution not call him in the past? It is a glaring omission on its part in relation to the very important issue of motive,” he said.

According to the prosecution, Musa played a significant role and should therefore be called up to explain what the role was, Ramkarpal added.

“After the police report is lodged, Setev’s statement will be taken, along with that of other people whom the police will interview in relation to the case,” he said.

Setev is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Prime Minister’s Office at 5pm. The meeting is expected to take about half an hour.

Yesterday, Setev said he wanted to know who ordered the murder of his daughter 12 years ago, adding that he hoped to succeed in getting the case reopened to discover the truth.

Safri, a former aide de camp of Najib, was not called to give evidence in the trial then.

The Federal Court held that his testimony could not have helped in the defence of policemen Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar, who were found guilty of murdering Altantuya.

In an 88-page judgment, Suriyadi Halim Omar said: “It (Musa’s testimony) is only useful to Abdul Razak (Baginda). It merely confirmed evidence adduced from Altantuya’s cousin and friend that he had a relationship with the deceased.”

Police report to jump-start Altantuya case
June 20, 2018 – FMT

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?