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Malaysia’s Najib: Long Political Career Ending in Disgrace?

Malaysia’s Najib: Long Political Career Ending in Disgrace?

When a dozen police cars showed up in front of the home of former Prime Minister Najib Razak late in the afternoon on May 16, it may have finally spelled the end of an audacious nine-year reign as premier and a political career that began in 1976 and now looks like ending in disgrace. According to a Kuala Lumpur source, the primary focus of the investigation is SRC International, a 1Malaysia Development Bhd. subsidiary established in 2011 by Najib to pursue strategic energy investments overseas. It ran into a river of red ink amid scandal. An arrest, the sources say, could be in days or perhaps weeks.

Najib was elected to fill the seat of his late father, Prime Minister Razak Hussein, at the age of 23, becoming the youngest person ever elected to Malaysia’s parliament. Now 64, he has done a tightrope dance for decades away from accusations of a long string of crimes, not least of which is allegedly participating in the theft of a reported US$4.5 billion from the state-backed investment concern that he founded in 2009 with the help of the flamboyant Penang-born financier Low Taek Jho, who remains on the run somewhere on the planet.

In addition to that, however, there is the residue of a US$141.3 million kickback through Najib and his best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda, in the purchase of US$1 billion of French submarines that are virtually useless because Peninsular Malaysia’s waters are too shallow to allow them to be used effectively. The death of 28-year old Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu, reputed to have been a former Najib paramour, has never been properly solved. Two executives of a subsidiary of the French munitions maker DCNS have been charged in Paris with bribing Najib and Razak Baginda has been charged as well.

Also, the family of the late Ambank founder Hussain Najadi, who was shot dead in a Kuala Lumpur parking lot in 2013, is demanding a proper investigation of the death. Pascal Najadi, Hussain’s son, has alleged that the slain banker was killed because he was complaining about irregularities in financial transactions at the bank. It is the same bank where US$681 million alleged to have been stolen from 1MDB ws deposited into Najib’s personal account in 2013. Pascal Najadi has issued a formal plea to Mahathir to reopen the assassination via a royal commission.

With 1MDB, the deposed prime minister has kept investigations at bay in Washington, DC, Singapore, Switzerland, the UK and states in the Middle East, claiming the US$681 million in his Ambank account came from a grateful Saudi royal family grateful for Malaysia’s supposedly tough stance on jihadis.

According to local news reports, four properties of Najib’s were raided including condominiums and the prime ministerial office from which he was ousted in a landslide election on May 9 despite a harsh redistricting designed to keep the opposition at bay. In the end, the Barisan Nasional led by his United Malays National Organization received only 31 percent of the vote, not enough to overcome the political traps he and his lieutenants had set for the Pakatan Harapan opposition headed by his implacable critic, the nonagenarian former premier Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib and his grasping, portly wife, Rosmah Mansor, have been placed on an immigration blacklist to prevent them from fleeing the country. Mohamed Apandi Ali, the attorney general he appointed hurriedly to forestall a threatened prosecution, has also been sacked. A chartered airplane scheduled to take the Najibs out of the country was blocked. It is a long way down for a man who golfed with the President of the United States, Barack Obama, and did a grip-and-grin with Obama’s successor Donald Trump.

Malaysia’s Najib: Long Political Career Ending in Disgrace?
John Berthelsen
May 17, 2018 – Asia Sentinel


Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak

Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak

On top of the 1MDB probe, investigations to include a 12-year-old murder case and abuse of power allegations

KUALA LUMPUR—Malaysia’s new government is taking an aggressive stance with its criminal investigation of former Prime Minister Najib Razak and his family, broadening its probes beyond a multibillion-dollar sovereign-wealth fund scandal to include a 12-year-old murder case and abuse of power allegations.

The moves underscore a new commitment to the rule of law in Malaysia, whose voters, angry about corruption, last week threw out Mr. Najib’s long-ruling coalition government. Since taking power, the government of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad blocked Mr. Najib from flying into exile in Indonesia, put scores of former government officials on no-fly lists and placed others under effective house arrest.

On Friday at 2 a.m., police ended raids of three luxury apartments owned by Mr. Najib’s family, taking away 284 boxes of handbags, including Hermès Birkins, which can cost tens of thousands of dollars each, as well as 72 suitcases containing cash and jewelry, according to police. Assets seized in other raids in recent days included 50 handbags, with brands such as Gucci, Chanel and Oscar de la Renta, as well as Rolex and Patek Philippe watches and cash totaling $157,000, police said. Many Malaysians view the collection of Birkin bags owned by Mr. Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, as a symbol of his regime’s excesses. Police were still attempting to drill into a safe in Mr. Najib’s official Kuala Lumpur residence.

Mr. Najib couldn’t be reached for comment, but people familiar with the thinking in his circle said they believe Mr. Mahathir is ignoring due process. One of the people said Mr. Najib is “being treated in a way unbefitting for a former prime minister.”

Mr. Mahathir has said his priority is probing allegations of corruption at a sovereign-wealth fund that was overseen by Mr. Najib. The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, is at the center of global investigations by the U.S. Justice Department and other foreign agencies into allegations that $4.5 billion was stolen and used to buy mansions in the U.S., a superyacht, and to finance a Hollywood film company.

The government on Thursday named members of a task force—mainly bureaucrats and civilians—that will coordinate the work of Malaysian law-enforcement agencies probing the 1MDB scandal. A document drawn up by the task force, viewed by The Wall Street Journal, alleges Mr. Najib abused his role as prime minister to quash earlier attempts to investigate the scandal in July 2015.

The document—a road map for prosecuting the 1MDB affair—alleges Mr. Najib blocked requests by the nation’s anticorruption commission and the central bank to cooperate with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and other foreign agencies. It says Mr. Najib gave false evidence to the attorney general when he said $681 million that entered his personal accounts—money the U.S. Justice Department has said came from 1MDB—was a donation from Saudi Arabia. The attorney general cleared Mr. Najib of wrongdoing. Mr. Najib and the fund have denied wrongdoing and pledged to cooperate with any lawful investigation.

Dragnet Widens Around Ousted Malaysian Leader Najib Razak
By Tom Wright and
Yantoultra Ngui
May 18, 2018 – WSJ


GE14 – A truly Malaysian Tsunami

Media Statement by Dr. Ong Kian Ming, Assistant National Director for Political Education for the DAP and Member of Parliament for P102 Bangi, on the 17th of May, 2018

GE14 – A truly Malaysian Tsunami

When I returned to Malaysia from the United States after the completion of my PhD in 2010, I made a presentation where I said that the opposition was not likely to win GE13 but would take power in GE14. I must admit that even on the eve of polling day on the 9th of May, 2018, I was not 100% confident that Pakatan Harapan would be able to win a majority of parliament seats in GE14. The delimitation exercise which was bulldozed through parliament in March, the expected three corner fights with PAS, the seeming inability for the opposition to break through in Sarawak and the expected fear mongering by the BN among the Malay voters were the main reasons for my doubts.

What Najib and the BN did not count on was the creation of a Malaysian Tsunami which, to their utter shock and horror, swept the BN out of office, not just at the federal level but also in all of the states with the exception of Perlis and Pahang.[1]

BN’s share of the popular vote in Malaysia (including Sabah and Sarawak) nosedived by 12.8%, from 46.7% in GE2013 to 33.9% in GE2018 (Table 1 above). To put this figure into context, BN’s vote share in GE2018 was far lower than the 46.2% of the popular vote it (contesting as the Alliance Coalition) managed to win in Peninsular Malaysia in the 1969 general elections, which was already considered a disastrous performance.

Table 1: Share of and Change in Share of Popular Vote in Malaysia (GE2013 vs GE2018)

Pakatan Harapan emerged as the largest coalition with 48.3% of the popular vote. Some analysts have used the fact that PH failed to win a majority of votes to say that PH does not command the support of a majority of supporters in Malaysia. These same analysts also try to lump together the total support for BN and PAS to say that more than 50% of the voters did not support PH in GE2018. This interpretation totally misses the mark. The results of GE2018 was all about the backlash against the BN. 65% of voters voted AGAINST the BN and threw their support behind parties that were NOT the BN. Almost two thirds of voters in the country voted AGAINST the BN because that is how badly they wanted BN out of power at the federal and state levels.

The anti-BN swing was felt in ALL of the states in Malaysia. The largest swing against the BN occurred in Kedah where support for the BN fell by 19.8% from 49.8% in GE2013 to 30% in GE2018. Double digit swings against the BN were also experienced in Selangor, Johor, Perlis, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Sabah, Wilayah Persekutuan (KL & Putrajaya), Perak and Terengganu. (Figure 2 below)

In fact, the only state where the BN won more than 50% of the popular vote was in Sarawak, with 52.7% of the popular vote. (Table 2 below)

Unlike in GE2013 where Malay support for the BN actually increased slightly compared to GE2008, there is no question that the Malay voters abandoned the BN in unprecedented numbers. Even many of the civil servants voted against the BN. Tengku Adnan, the former Minister for the Federal Territories, won his Putrajaya seat with only 49.5% of the popular vote in GE2018. This was a seat which he won comfortably in GE2013 with almost 70% of the popular vote.

There is strong evidence to suggest that even the police and army voters abandoned the BN in significant numbers. The four parliament seats with more than 10,000 early voters (mostly police and army voters) were all won by Pakatan Harapan (Table 3 below). Two of these seats – Setiawangsa and Tangga Batu – were won by the BN in 2013. The parliament seat of Lumut was gerrymandered to make it easier for UMNO to win back this seat. 10,000 police voters were moved into the Lembah Pantai parliament seat. Without a significant number of police and army voters NOT supporting the BN (either voting for PAS, PH, spoiling their votes or not casting their vote), PH would not have been able to win these parliament seats.

Table 3: Parliament seats with more than 10,000 early voters all of which were won by PH (GE2018)

In my own constituency of P102 Bangi, out of the 1305 postal votes which were cast (mostly army votes), 471 went to the PAS candidate (36.1%), 409 went to the myself, the PH candidate, (31.1%) and only 299 went to the BN candidate (22.9%). I was shocked when I saw these results. I won’t be surprised if the results in many of the other seats with a high number of postal and early voters also shows that a significant proportion of the army and police votes were cast NOT in support of the BN.

GE14 – A truly Malaysian Tsunami
May 17, 2018 –


Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat

Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat

Raid at property belonging to the former PM was part of an investigation into his role in the 1MDB scandal

Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes of designer handbags and 72 bags of cash, jewellery and watches from an apartment owned by former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak, as part of an investigation into his role in the 1MDB scandal.

The police began a search of his properties on Wednesday night and it was still ongoing on Friday morning. The raid on the properties in Kuala Lumpur’s Pavilion residences, where condominiums cost up to 30m ringett ($8m), produced the biggest haul yet, with police seen carting hundreds of orange boxes containing designer Hermes Birkin handbags into five police trucks.

Local media reported that police also emerged with a money counting machine.

Amar Singh, director of police commercial crime investigations, confirmed that a total of six properties had been searched so far. “The total sum worth of items cannot be ascertained now,” Singh told reporters on early Friday morning. “We’ll be counting and will know by tomorrow. He added: “The number of jewellery is rather big.”

The raid is part of a police investigation into Najib’s role in the 1MDB scandal, in which billions of dollars of a government fund went missing and were embezzled around the world, funding yachts, Picasso paintings and Hollywood films. Some $681m of the fund was alleged to have been transferred directly into Najib’s personal bank account, and the 1MDB money also allegedly funded a 22-carat pink diamond necklace, worth $27.3m, for his wife Rosmah Mansor.

Najib was cleared of all wrongdoing while he was in power, but the investigation is widely perceived to have been a farce, and some in his administration have since accused him of covering up the scandal.

The lavish lifestyle of Najib and Rosmah, who is notorious for her love of designer handbags and expensive jewellery, has long been a source of contention in Malaysia. The annual salary of the prime minister is only $70,000, whereas one Birkin handbag can cost up to $300,000. It is also a stark contrast to the frugal lifestyle of the newly elected prime minister, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad, who was recently spotted going about his official duties in sandals costing $4.

Najib’s large family home in an affluent neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur was also part of the raid, with the road to his house cordoned off.

Malaysia police seize hundreds of designer handbags from Najib Razak’s flat
18 May 2018 – The Guardian


MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power

MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power

KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s government is considering investigating former leader Datuk Seri Najib Razak for abuse of power, as it intensifies efforts to seek evidence on wrongdoing at scandal-plagued state fund 1MDB just days after taking office.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission laid out in recent days a comprehensive list detailing the potential scope of investigations into 1MDB, according to people who have seen the document. Examples of potential abuse of power by Najib that the agency identified include witness suppression and the blocking of a central bank criminal case.

Najib had indicated at the outset that he was “prepared and willing to extend his fullest cooperation to the relevant authorities,” his lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal said in a statement yesterday in response to a raid on his client’s home. A spokesman for Najib referred Bloomberg News to this statement when asked for comment. A spokesperson for the anti-graft agency couldn’t immediately comment when reached today.

The move to lay out the scope of a renewed probe underscores how fast Mahathir’s government is moving to revive an investigation into 1MDB, which was set up in 2009 under Najib’s watch to support local infrastructure projects. Since the 92-year old defeated Najib’s government in a shock election victory last week, he has barred his former protege from leaving the country; and police have searched Najib’s home and seized documents from his former office this week.

Mahathir said Wednesday he will seek to recover funds diverted from 1MDB by reaching out to authorities in Switzerland, the US, Singapore and other jurisdictions. A parliamentary committee in 2016 identified at least US$4.2 billion (RM16.7 billion) in irregular transactions by the fund.

Mahathir, who was Najib’s long-term ally and who is back in power after a prior stint as premier from 1981 to 2003, accused him on the campaign trail of being a “thief” over alleged graft at 1MDB. Najib has denied any wrongdoing and was cleared by the attorney general at the time, while the fund has repeatedly denied any misconduct.

The 1MDB scandal spawned global probes as investigators tracked a money trail stretching from Switzerland to Singapore and the US Department of Justice alleges that US$3.5 billion from the fund went missing. — Bloomberg

MACC said to consider probing Najib for abuse of power
18 May 2018 – MMO


Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery

Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery

ASTONISHING HAUL! Seventy-two bags of cash and jewellery as well as 284 boxes of high-end designer handbags.

These make up the list of items seized by the police from two condominium units linked to former premier Najib Abdul Razak in the upmarket Pavillion Residence in Kuala Lumpur tonight.

The haul was so enormous that Bukit Aman commercial crime investigation department director Amar Singh Ishar Singh could not provide an estimate of the value.

He told reporters that the items were seized in connection with the ongoing police investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

“This is the result of our search in one of six premises.

“There were 72 luggage bags filled with items including jewellery, other valuables and cash of various denominations,” he said.

All the seized items were earlier taken down using shopping trolleys, and loaded onto five police trucks, which left the scene at around 2.15am.

Quizzed on details of the handbags, Amar said it included luxury brands Hermes and Birkin.

When asked on the value of items seized so far, Amar said he was unable to provide an estimate as police have yet to make their detailed calculations.

“We have seized the bags. We know they contain cash and jewellery.

“Exactly how much cash I will not be able to say or exactly how much jewellery.

“But the number of jewellery is rather big,” he added.

As for the owners of the units involved, Amar only said one of the units belonged to a “Tan Sri” and declined to reveal further details.

Amar also added that the police have completed their search of the luxury units here.

Astounding! Condo search nets 284 luxury handbags, 72 bags of cash, jewellery
18 May 2018 – malaysiakini


Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case

Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case

Gurbachan Singh says the Selangor Pardons Board should grant Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri clemency to allow them to cooperate with prosecutors.

PETALING JAYA: A senior criminal lawyer has suggested that the death sentence on two former policemen be commuted into a jail term for them to be turned crown witnesses in the murder case of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Speaking to FMT, Gurbachan Singh said prosecutors could reopen the case to bring justice to the “unseen hands” responsible for other crimes including murder and abetment.

“But first, the Selangor Pardons Board should grant them clemency to cooperate with prosecutors in order to give justice to Altantuya’s family,” he said, referring to former police officers Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri.

Responding to the call by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for Sirul to face a new trial, the lawyer added that convicted persons could not be retried for the same crime.

Sirul, who fled Malaysia after being sentenced to death in 2009 for the killing of Altantuya, is now in Australian custody. He previously claimed he had been ordered by “important people” to murder Altantuya in 2006.

The Australian government will not repatriate him to Malaysia as it is against its policy to impose capital punishment on those convicted for serious crimes.

Azilah meanwhile is on death row in the Kajang prison pending a decision by the pardons board to commute the capital punishment to a jail term.

Altantuya was the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda – a former close associate of now-deposed prime minister Najib Razak – who was accused of arranging kickbacks for the purchase of French submarines in 2002.

Abdul Razak, who is said to have abetted in the crime, was acquitted without his defence called. The government did not appeal.

Sirul and Azilah were initially freed by the Court of Appeal in 2013, causing the government to take the case to the Federal Court. The Federal Court in 2015 set aside the acquittal and affirmed the original findings of the High Court.

Gurbachan said police should also investigate the role played by Deputy Supt Musa Safri, a former aide de camp of Najib, who was not called to give evidence.

The Federal Court in its judgment had held that his testimony could not have helped in the defence of Azilah and Sirul.

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.”

Lawyer: Make ex-cops crown witnesses in Altantuya murder case
May 18, 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?