Archive for August, 2018


A momentous Merdeka Day

A momentous Merdeka Day

COMMENT | Merdeka 2018 is momentous.

I hope for the sake of Malaysia, it will be the final time citizens celebrate their national day with the exhilaration of deliverance from an oppressive political yoke still fresh in their minds.

In 1957, the country was set free from British colonialists. There was a similar euphoria.

But the fledgling nation, after deposing the affable first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, was recolonised by a new group of myopic local leaders. The neocolonialists imposed upon the people a yoke heavier than the British yoke.

Fast forward to 2018, and the nation will reverberate once again with freedom and shouts of acclamation on Aug 31.

After May 13, 1969, she was hijacked and subjected to a lifetime of abuse.

Race, closely accompanied by religion, constricted the nation. The nation still forged ahead economically but became tangled in draconian laws and discriminatory policies; was pitifully abused, serially raped and treacherously plundered. Polarisation of the people was purposely planned.

It is treachery of the worst kind when a government betrays the trust of the people, divides and steals from them and tries to get away with deception, conspiracy and lies.

Preaching unity and the usual platitudes, it carried out an agenda of subversion, undermining the rule of law and brought the nation to the brink of economic and social disaster. The courts of power became the circuses of clowns, and like Nero the Roman emperor, fiddled away the nation’s future.

Many became cynical, others despondent, yet many never lost hope and worked for change. Still others prayed.

Then the “miracle” the people had worked and prayed for took place on May 9 this year. The nation was emancipated from the abusers, the rapists and the thieves. The treacherous king of kleptocrats now faces justice and the long arm of the law. Those who are culpable will be punished.


Smouldering cinders

Successive governments, leaders, groups and individuals have harped about the uniqueness of Malaysia. Yet the nation still flounders and has yet to come to grips with the devil they know that threatens to derail the nation – the abuse of race and religion. Leaders have yet to act decisively and concretely against the perpetrators of the doctrines that divide, that destroys and that is against the spirit of national unity.

Malaysians know who the devil is that tears the nation apart. Their political sponsors have been sent packing from Putrajaya.

The fire has been put out. But the cinders are still smouldering, their smoke choking the nation and threatening to start bonfires here and there. The nation’s threat lingers and loiters at the corridors and closets of power.

The 1957 Merdeka freed the nation from a foreign yoke. The 2018 “Merdeka” freed the nation from the home-grown yoke.

Will a future “Merdeka” free the nation from the yoke of race and religion that constricts, divides and destroys the unity of the nation?

Believe it or not, the Pavilion event revealed the truth about Malaysia, that the diverse religions and races do co-exist in harmony despite the differences.

Rid the nation of the subversives – those who use race and religion as political weapons to gain the political ascendancy – and you end up with a Malaysia united, prosperous and peaceful.

It is time the new government be bold, be true and be honest in dealing the devil of disunity a fatal blow. Who will it be? Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Pakatan Harapan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim, or some eminent Malay leader?

The metamorphosis of Merdeka is a long journey. It is a historic event as much as an ongoing process. Getting out of jail is one thing, staying out of jail is another. Gaining independence is one thing, giving the people their independence is another.

There is no independence in the true sense of the emancipation of a nation until the people are free to think, act and exist in a total state of freedom.

May God bless Malaysia still. May Mahathir live longer still and have the humility to walk with God and the people, act justly and have the wisdom of Solomon to govern the nation.

May the government carry out its duties with diligence, honesty, fairness and utter competence. Merdeka then is meaningful.

Happy Merdeka 2018, Malaysia!

A momentous Merdeka Day
Steve Oh
31 Aug 2018


This time, independence from an autocratic, kleptocratic govt

‘Second independence’ – Dr M urges youth of the nation to rise

This year’s Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day would be the second independence for the nation, according to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Before this, we claimed independence from the British, and this time, we gained independence from an autocratic, kleptocratic government,” he said in reference to the previous administration.

The 93-year-old leader said this is something which Malaysians must celebrate.

“Would you like to continue with the previous one (government)? Certainly not. You would be bankrupt by the borrowings and all that.

“To me, this is a new independence day, a second independence day,” he added in conjunction with the forthcoming Pesta Harapan Malaysia organised by Events@Kini, which will be held from Sept 15.

Mahathir said the celebration this year would be most meaningful for the youth.

“This year’s independence day is significant, especially for the young people.

“I find that for the old people, it is difficult to change their minds but the young people must make use of this freedom that they are being granted to rebuild this country according to their own ideals,” he told Malaysiakini.

Mahathir also said that it is possible for Malaysia to become a developed country if the young generation sets their mind to it.

“The youths of today should equip themselves with the knowledge and skills to build a great country.

“If you think that what is happening now is okay, no need to make any extra effort, then it would be like this. But if you think otherwise, you can build a better country.

“It is the youth who would be able to do it, not the older ones,” he added.

‘Second independence’ – Dr M urges youth of the nation to rise
Norman Goh
28 Aug 2018 – malaysiakini


Such stupidity never seen before, Dr M says of Najib’s government

Such stupidity never seen before, Dr M says of Najib’s government

BEIJING, Aug 21 ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad spoke today of the “stupidity” of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government in negotiating contracts and deals which his administration is now trying to untangle.

“Such stupidity has never been seen before in the history of Malaysia,” the prime minister told Malaysian reporters here at the end of his five-day official visit to China today.

Dr Mahathir said contracts negotiated with Chinese companies for the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and pipeline projects had no exit clauses so Malaysia has to pay out “huge sums” in compensation.

“If we have to pay, we have to pay,” Dr Mahathir said when asked about whether Malaysia would have to compensate Chinese contractors.

“It’s the stupidity of negotiations. There must be exit clauses. Now we have to pay huge sums of money.”

The PM was elaborating on talks he had with China’s leaders during his trip here in which he was compelled to explain Malaysia’s difficult fiscal position which is a result of ECRL and two gas pipeline projects involving Chinese loans and contractors.

Dr Mahathir said China’s President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang had agreed with him on the point that Malaysia had no choice but to nix the projects.

Malaysian officials will not look at negotiating settlements and other matters related to the projects.

“We must now find a way to exit these projects at the lowest cost possible. It is all because of our own stupidity.”

On how Malaysia could expect to recover the huge sums of money, Dr Mahathir said maybe “we can recover from Najib.”

“He was the one after all who signed. What kind of stupidity is this?” Dr Mahathir repeated.

Such stupidity never seen before, Dr M says of Najib’s government
By Leslie Lau
21 August 2018 – MMO


Eight criminal charges filed against Jho Low in absentia

Malaysia files criminal charges against Jho Low in absentia

KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 24): Malaysian police today filed the first set of criminal charges against Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) and his father over money allegedly stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The charges for money laundering were brought against Low and his father Tan Sri (Larry) Low Hock Peng “in absentia” by the Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) of the police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The court papers were registered with the Sessions Court in Putrajaya this morning and warrants of arrest for both men were also sought.

Legal sources say the action taken today will pave the way for the next move, which is to seek an extradition of the two men from wherever they are now hiding. Under Malaysian law, the trial of those accused of a crime cannot proceed unless they appear in the dock for the court to take a plea.

“With the registration of the charges, the next step is to seek an extradition,” says one legal source who described the action today as a significant move.

Jho Low and his family are believed to be in China or Abu Dhabi.

The 38-year-old is a close associate of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and family and had exerted great influence over the running of 1MDB although he held no official position there. In previous media interviews, Jho Low had denied allegations that he stole money from 1MDB, claiming that his wealth was family inheritance.

Najib, who founded 1MDB, was ousted when his coalition was surprisingly defeated in the general elections in May amidst widespread anger over the financial woes at 1MDB, which is saddled with over RM40 billion in debts, most of which are said to have been stolen.

According to court documents sighted by The Edge, Jho Low was slapped with eight charges under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act, 2001 (Act 613). Three of the charges were for receiving money and the remaining five were for transferring the cash.

His father faces one charge of transferring US$56 million to his son.

The total sum involved is around US$261 million for receipt of money and US$196 million for transferring of the cash – all done through separate accounts at BSI Bank in Singapore from December 2013 to June 2014. Most of those cash was used for the US$250 million purchase of the superyacht Equanimity which Malaysia seized two weeks ago.

Malaysia files criminal charges against Jho Low in absentia
August 24, 2018


Why money not kept in bank earning interest, Umno asked

Why money not kept in bank earning interest, Umno asked

Aliran questions if Umno’s constitution allows the president to keep huge amounts of cash belonging to the party.

PETALING JAYA: Penang-based pressure group Aliran has questioned Umno over the huge amounts of money kept in hard cash, including the millions of ringgit seized from former leader Najib Razak, which he said belonged to the party.

Aliran’s P Ramakrishnan questioned why the huge amount of money was not deposited in banks instead.

“Doesn’t Umno have faith in our banks for the money to be safely kept in the bank earning interest? What is the responsibility of the treasurer? Does he play any role at all?” he asked in a statement.

It comes amid reports that some RM3.5 million had been removed from the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya on the night of May 9, following Umno’s defeat in the general election.

Najib had said the money was to be used for Umno’s election campaign, and was being kept outside the strong room and safes in his office.

Najib said the RM114 million cash seized by police in several raids at properties linked to his family members was also party funds.

But Aliran questioned if the Umno constitution allowed the president to keep party funds in that manner.

“What is the role of the treasurer then?” it asked. “Normally, the money of a society is managed by the treasurer. In Umno’s case, we rarely hear of the treasurer.”

It added that as required by law, party funds should be kept in a bank and operated by chosen officials.

“Payment can only be made for any big expenditure incurred following a decision of the Umno Supreme Council.

“No party constitution gives absolute authority or discretion to the party president to use so much money as to when and how without being accountable,” said Ramakrishnan.

“Don’t the Umno members query this practice?” he asked.

Why money not kept in bank earning interest, Umno asked
August 10, 2018 – FMT


WSJ report: Jho Low fled Macau after May 9 poll result

WSJ report: Jho Low fled Macau after May 9 poll result

The Wall Street Journal reports that Malaysian authorities believe Low is being given refuge in China where is living as a free man.

The report also provided scintillating details about Low’s alleged escape from Macau with his wife and two children following BN’s defeat during the May 9 general election.

“The election result spooked Mr Low, who summoned his family and entourage to the Marriott Hotel in Macau just after the May 9 vote to discuss the situation and implement more stringent security protocols, people familiar with his activities said.

“In a penthouse suite, staff and family members packed up suitcases of documents as a pair of burly Chinese men worked out Mr Low’s logistics on laptops, one of the people said.

“As they left, an aide to Mr Low wiped down countertops with alcohol to remove any fingerprints, the person said.

“Mr Low then began moving between hotel suites and luxury apartments in Chinese cities, including Hong Kong and Shanghai with his wife, two young children and close associates,” the report said.

Malaysian police had previously sent officers to track down Low in Hong Kong and Macau but were told each time that they (Low and his family) had left.

The WSJ cited sources as saying the Low has at times bragged about “working with Chinese intelligence” and would at times be accompanied on his travels by a Chinese security detail.

The report also alleged that Low had, through intermediaries, helped open communication channels with a US politician to work out a way to extradite Beijing critic Guo Wengui to China.

Pink diamond, superyacht

The WSJ previously claimed Low had a central role in the two Suria Strategic Energy Resources Sdn Bhd (SSER) gas pipeline projects which are believed to have been used to launder funds to bailout 1MDB.

The pipelines’ contractor – China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau – has denied that any of its funds were misappropriated.

Low is wanted for his involvement in the 1MDB scandal in which over US$4.5 billion is alleged to have been misappropriated.

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed in its suits that the businessperson was involved in multiple instances where 1MDB funds were allegedly misused.

He is accused of having used 1MDB funds to purchase the super-yacht Equanimity (above); jewellery for model Miranda Kerr and also a US$27.3 million pink diamond necklace for the wife of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The DOJ claimed the pink diamond was purchased using US$620 million that Najib claimed to have returned to a royal Arab donor but was instead ​​​​​​​channelled to accounts allegedly controlled by Low.

WSJ report: Jho Low fled Macau after May 9 poll result
16 Aug 2018 – malaysiakini


RM3.5 million cash taken from Najib’s office on night of election

PMO heist: RM3.5m taken from Najib’s office on night of election

EXCLUSIVE | The security personnel at the Prime Minister’s Department remanded by the MACC today had allegedly taken cash totalling RM3.5 million from the office of former premier Najib Abdul Razak on the night of the 14th general election.

Sources told Malaysiakini that the 17 security personnel had taken away the money – which the MACC said was part of Umno’s election war chest – upon learning that “BN was losing the election.”

“The security personnel were part of a team on duty that night to provide security at the department.

“Those arrested were the ones who at that time were tasked to guard its main building where the Prime Minister’s Office is.

“It is believed that when they learned that BN was going to lose the election, they decided to take something for themselves and went into an office that belongs to former prime minister,” a source said.

The cash, added the source, was not kept in a safe.

Authorities suspect that the group had cleared up all the cash they could find in the office.

Another source said authorities began to become suspicious at the suspects’ involvement when they were seen flashing their sudden wealth, including with purchases of new motorcycles.

When contacted by Malaysiakini, MACC deputy chief commissioner of operations Azam Baki confirmed that the security personnel are being investigated, but declined to elaborate further.

PMO heist: RM3.5m taken from Najib’s office on night of election
Hariz Mohd
8 Aug 2018 – Malaysiakini


Najib has also been charged with money laundering – total of seven charges

‘Money laundering’ adds to Najib’s legal woes – total seven charges

Najib Abul Razak has been slapped with three charges under the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001, with four earlier charges being amended.

The former premier arrived at the Jalan Duta court complex in Kuala Lumpur this morning in a blue-grey blazer and tie.

He was led straight to the Sessions Court before Judge Azura Alwi, where the new charges were read out.

It was during this time that the court interpreter stumbled in mentioning the monetary figures in the charge sheet, and Najib corrected the figures twice.

This led to slight giggles in the public gallery.

Najib was charged with three counts of money laundering, with regard to three deposits into his AmIslamic Bank account between Dec 26, 2014 and Feb 10, 2015.

The sum of each deposit was RM27 million, RM5 million and RM 10 million respectively.

The former premier was charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.

Under the Act, Najib stands to face a jail term of 15 years, and a fine amounting to five times the money laundered if convicted.

Although the new charges did not mention where the money originated from, sources disclosed yesterday that they were related to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former subsidiary of 1MDB.

Najib was then led to the High Court, where the charge was read again and the former premier claimed trial.

High Court judge Azman Abdullah presided over the case.

The judge allowed DPP Mohd Hanafiah Zakaria’s request to transfer the case involving the three new charges to Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s court.

DPP Manoj Kurup then took over and requested the court to amend the four charges proffered against Najib on July 4.

‘Money laundering’ adds to Najib’s legal woes – total seven charges
Hafiz Yatim
8 Aug 2018 – Malaysiakini


Here is how 1MDB money was used to buy Equanimity

Dear ex-PM, here is how 1MDB money was used to buy Equanimity

KUALA LUMPUR: Super yacht Equanimity of fugitive financier Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) fame, was bought using four tranches of funds totalling US$262.4 million misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) between January and June 2014, according to lawyers representing the Malaysian government who “arrested” the billion-ringgit vessel in Port Klang yesterday.

In fact, US$140.6 million or just over half the yacht’s price tag was paid in early June 2014 using proceeds of a US$239.9 million Deutsche Bank bridging loan taken by 1MDB’s then 100%-owned unit 1MDB Energy Holdings Ltd (1MEHL) on May 26, 2014, according to information from Sitpah Selvaratnam, from the firm Tommy Thomas Advocates & Solicitors and lauded as one of Malaysia’s best maritime lawyers. [See Chart 4]

Two days after getting the loan, 1MEHL transferred most of the cash to Aabar BVI (British Virgin Islands), also known as the fake Aabar. The money then went through Affinity Equity and Alpha Synergy before reaching Jho Low, who on June 3, 2014 transferred US$140.6 million to WorldView for the fourth and final payment of the yacht. The earlier three tranches originating from 1MDB also went to WorldView.

“WorldView Ltd is a family trust of which only the Low family are beneficial owners of,” according to Low’s email in June 2015 to a lawyer at Hill Dickinson LLP and a senior BSI banker cited in the 251-page filing by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in June 2017 to seize 1MDB assets, including the Equanimity.

The same filing said Jho Low and his parents Low Hock Peng (LHP) and Evelyn Goh Gaik Ewe on Sept 9, 2013 flew from Barcelona to Rotterdam — near where the Equanimity was being built — to view the shipyard and the yacht the following day.

The DoJ filing also said Jho Low laundered over US$200 million in misappropriated funds traceable to 1MDB’s 2013 bond sale into a US account belonging to US-based law firm DLA Piper.

The US$29.1 million second payment for Equanimity made on Feb 5 and 18 as well as April 2, 2014 was part of the US$56.5 million that went from DLA Piper’s account to LHP — who with Jho Low participated in the Condor joint venture (JV) through Strategic Resources (Global) Ltd (SRG) to acquire Houston-based Coastal Energy with International Petroleum Investment Co (Ipic) and Ipic’s Spanish unit Compañía Española de Petróleos SA.

The first and third tranches of payments for Equanimity made on Jan 7, 2014 and April 11, 2014 originated from US$2.72 billion bond proceeds raised in March 2013 by 1MDB Global Investment Ltd, which found their way to another Jho Low-linked offshore entity, Tanore Finance Corp.

The bond proceeds were intended for a JV with Ipic’s unit Aabar Investments PJS called Abu Dhabi Malaysia Investment Co. But instead of funding the Tun Razak Exchange development, the cash ended at Tanore instead. The money in the Tanore account was also used to buy artworks and the Park Lane hotel in New York, according to the DoJ filing.

Dear ex-PM, here is how 1MDB money was used to buy Equanimity
The Edge Financial Daily
August 08, 2018 –


Why pay Arul Kanda RM5 million and immediately place him on ‘garden leave’?

Tell us why Arul Kanda deserved RM5m payout, Pua asks Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must explain why his administration awarded Arul Kanda Kandasamy a RM5 million contract to remain 1MDB president, DAP’s Tony Pua said today.

The Damansara MP also demanded Najib explain how Arul “successfully” managed to reduce 1MDB’s RM50 billion debt to RM30 billion, which the latter asserted yesterday.

“The question which begs to be asked is, why pay the purportedly brilliant Arul Kanda a whopping RM5 million contract and then place him immediately on ‘garden leave’?” Pua said in a statement.

The DAP national publicity secretary pointed out that Najib’s explanation yesterday was the first time he admitted that 1MDB had accumulated RM50 billion of debt as a result of the company’s excesses since its inception in 2009.

Pua also disputed the “success” of Arul’s efforts in trimming the state investment firm’s debt burden, noting that assets were sold for less than what the firm paid.

“The first thing Arul Kanda did was to dispose of 1MDB’s only profit-making asset, its power plants for RM9.83 billion, ‘successfully’ paring down 1MDB’s debt by an equivalent amount.

“However, as highlighted many times — 1MDB’s energy business was originally acquired for RM12.1 billion, which meant that the sale crystalised a loss of RM2.27 billion for 1MDB,” Pua said.

He added that Arul had also transferred the ownership of 1MDB’s real estate assets to the Finance Ministry and had justified the move as based on “advice” from Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.

Pua said the truth was that the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia land came attached with a RM2.4 billion sukuk bond and a RM800 million loan from the Social Security Organisation (Socso).

“Very cleverly, Arul Kanda successfully reduced 1MDB’s debt by another RM3.2 billion.

“Then the masterstroke from Arul Kanda must have been the ability to disingenuously announce that 1MDB has been successfully servicing and repaying approximately RM7 billion of its debts over the course of the past year, when in reality, it was MoF which was forced to secretly finance these payments,” Pua said.

Tell us why Arul Kanda deserved RM5m payout, Pua asks Najib
By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal
02 August 2018 – MMO

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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?