Archive for the 'Scandals' Category

16
Feb
19

Malaysia’s former PM and his downfall over alleged corruption – BBC

Najib Razak: Malaysia’s former PM and his downfall over alleged corruption

Najib Razak was long regarded as Malaysian political aristocracy.

But in 2018, the then prime minister lost a general election to his former mentor, 92-year-old Mahathir Mohamad. The Barisan Nasional coalition, which had governed the country since its independence in 1957, was voted out of power.

Following the defeat, Mr Najib’s properties were raided and both he and his wife were charged with a string of offences.

He is now facing allegations of corruption linked to the multibillion dollar state investment fund, 1MDB.

Mr Najib has always denied the allegations and while still in office had been cleared by the country’s authorities.

But his time in office will likely be remembered as an era plagued with scandal and a strengthening of central power.

Political blue blood

Najib Razak is the eldest son of Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second prime minister and the nephew of Hussein Onn, its third prime minister.

After earning an industrial economics degree from the University of Nottingham in the UK, Mr Najib returned to Malaysia in 1974 and worked for the state oil firm Petronas.

When he moved into politics, Mr Najib held numerous cabinet posts – as minister for energy, telecommunications, education, finance and defence – before becoming deputy prime minister to Abdullah Badawi in 2004.

When Mr Abdullah stepped down in 2009, he handed power to Mr Najib.

Liberal start

Mr Najib initially promised a more liberal political approach, but did not really follow through.

While he reformed tough laws on public gatherings and repealed the controversial Internal Security Act in 2011, he later reinstated detention without trial.

The following year, he also went back on a pledge to repeal a controversial sedition law and instead strengthened it.

Critics say the laws were a way for Mr Najib to silence his political opponents and to pander to the ethnic Malay-Muslim majority who formed his political party’s largest support base.

Opposition leader and former deputy premier Anwar Ibrahim was convicted of sodomy for a second time in 2015, charges Mr Anwar maintained were politically motivated.

The opposition politician has since been pardoned by the new prime minister and is seen as a likely successor to Mr Mahathir.

In 2016, a security act aimed at combating terrorism was used to detain electoral reform activists.

Ahead of the 2018 election, Mr Najib’s government set up a law against spreading “fake news”.
Challenges and controversies

The real blight of Mr Najib’s political career has been accusations of corruption and mismanagement over the state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Mr Najib, members of his family and several allies are accused of embezzling huge sums allegedly used to buy everything from artwork to high-end real estate around the globe.

In July 2015 he replaced his deputy, who had criticised his handling of the affair, and the attorney-general investigating the case was dismissed for health reasons.

In January 2016 the new attorney-general cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing but the criticism remained.

Ahead of the 2018 election, mass demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur called on him to resign.

After his defeat, authorities reopened their investigation and charged the former PM with money laundering, breach of trust and abusing his position.

He is expected to go on trial in February 2019.

…more
Najib Razak: Malaysia’s former PM and his downfall over alleged corruption
12 Feb 2019 – BBC

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14
Feb
19

Malaysia: The World’s Biggest Heist – Al Jazeera video

Malaysia: The World’s Biggest Heist

It’s been branded the world’s biggest heist – between 2009 and 2014 at least $4.5 billion was allegedly stolen from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

At the centre of the scandal are the former Prime Minister, Najib Razak and the now fugitive Malaysian financier and alleged mastermind of the scam, Jho Low.

Ousted from power last year, Najib now faces almost 40 criminal charges and Jho Low is wanted in Malaysia, Singapore and the United States.

The heist allegedly began soon after a joint venture deal was signed between 1MDB and a little-known company called, PetroSaudi. Hundreds of millions were soon siphoned to a Swiss bank account controlled by Jho Low and then later, as alleged by the US Department of Justice, into Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in Malaysia.

The world may never have known any of this, if it hadn’t been for a disgruntled PetroSaudi ex-employee, Xavier Justo. He leaked more than 200,000 confidential emails containing evidence of alleged criminal activity to a British journalist, Clare Rewcastle Brown.

…more
Malaysia: The World’s Biggest Heist
Feb 7, 2019 – Al Jazeera English

09
Jan
19

After WSJ exposé, Putrajaya to scrutinise China deals for 1MDB kickbacks

After WSJ exposé, Putrajaya to scrutinise China deals for 1MDB kickbacks

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 8 — The government will examine China-linked projects more closely for elements of corruption, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today following a report alleging that these involved inflated sums meant to help settle 1MDB debt.

Responding to questions about a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report alleging that the Najib administration worked with Beijing on Belt-Road Initiative projects such as the East Coast Rail Link to divert funds to 1MDB, Lim said he had not been aware of these before today.

“We knew that the price is inflated, but whether there was such a deal, I have to check. I would be interested to have a copy of those minutes by WSJ,” said Lim.

The finance minister also reiterated that two Sabah pipeline projects previously awarded to Chinese firms had been almost fully paid out even though no physical work had been done. These have already been terminated.

In the WSJ report, it was alleged that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration had colluded with China on such projects to inflate their values in order to divert some of the funds towards 1MDB that was struggling to pay its debt at the time.

The report cited minutes of meetings between members of the Najib administration and China’s leaders as well as from secret talks purportedly between the two countries at the time.

“I have to refer back to any details explicitly said. If it was said in black and white, then it is something we will pursue,” Lim told a press conference at the Finance Ministry here, today.

The WSJ report asserted that Najib had turned to China at the height of his political crisis here due to the 1MDB scandal and that Beijing saw this as an opportunity to further its own interests in the region.

The Najib administration undertook massive infrastructure projects such as the East Coast Rail Link that were almost entirely funded, managed and constructed by Chinese firms.

…more
After WSJ exposé, Putrajaya to scrutinise China deals for 1MDB kickbacks
8 January 2019 – MMO

09
Dec
18

Malaysian Fugitive Jho Low, Four Others Hit With Fresh 1MDB Charges – NY Times

Malaysian Fugitive Jho Low, Four Others Hit With Fresh 1MDB Charges

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian police filed fresh criminal charges and issued arrest warrants for fugitive financier Low Taek Jho and four others wanted in connection with a multi-billion-dollar scandal at state fund 1MDB, officials said on Wednesday.

Low, popularly known as Jho Low, has been identified by Malaysian and U.S. investigators as a central figure in the alleged theft of about $4.5 billion from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Low, whose whereabouts is not known, has denied any wrongdoing through a spokesman.

Last month, U.S. prosecutors charged Low and two former Goldman Sachs bankers with conspiracy to launder 1MDB money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

On Tuesday, Low and four others were charged with 13 money laundering and criminal breach of trust offences involving losses of 1MDB funds totaling $1.17 billion or 4.2 billion ringgit, based on foreign exchange rates at the time of the offense, Malaysian police chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun said in a statement.

“If they are found to be in any other country, police and the Attorney General’s Chambers will take action to request their extradition so that they can be brought back to Malaysia to face charges in court,” he said.

1MDB was founded by former Malaysian premier Najib Razak in 2009 and is the subject of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the United States, Switzerland and Singapore.

Najib was ousted in a general election in May by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who reopened investigations into 1MDB and Najib’s involvement at the fund.

Najib is now facing nearly 40 money laundering and corruption charges related to losses at 1MDB and other government entities. He has consistently denied wrongdoing.

…more
Malaysian Fugitive Jho Low, Four Others Hit With Fresh 1MDB Charges
By Reuters
Dec. 5, 2018 – NY Times

28
Nov
18

Police begins probe on 1MDB audit ‘tampering’ claim

CCID begins probe on 1MDB audit ‘tampering’ claim

The Commercial Crime Investigation Department has initiated investigations on allegations that the auditor-general’s report on 1MDB was “tampered”.

In a statement today, CCID head Amar Singh said the police are looking into allegations of “framing incorrect records”, forgery with intent to cheat and forgery involving public servants.

On Sunday, auditor-general Madinah Mohamad released a statement claiming that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and several key civil servants were involved in the tampering of the document.

Madinah had detailed how her predecessor Ambrin Buang, then-chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa, then-1MDB president Arul Kanda and Najib’s former private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh were involved in the alleged plot.

Attempts to reach these four individuals for comments have been unsuccessful.

Najib did not address the “tampering” claims but instead addressed Madinah’s allegation that paragraphs relating to Jho Low were removed from the audit report.

Shafee & Co, the law firm acting for Najib, accused the cabinet of compelling Madinah to release the statement for political reasons.

It said Madinah’s statement also gave the impression that there was a cover-up attempt involving 1MDB and will influence Najib’s upcoming graft trials.

“This can only be interpreted as an attempt to influence public opinion and to prejudice our client before the trial which could amount to contempt of court as there are elements of attempt to prejudice our clients intended defences,” it added.

Apart from the police, the MACC had also commenced investigations on the same allegations.

…more
CCID begins probe on 1MDB audit ‘tampering’ claim
26 Nov 2018 – Malaysiakini

25
Nov
18

Auditor-general: Najib ordered tampering of 1MDB audit

Auditor-general: Najib ordered tampering of 1MDB audit

Auditor-general Madinah Mohamad has confirmed that former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and others had tampered with the National Audit Department’s 1MDB report.

This included an order from Najib’s private secretary to delete a paragraph mentioning the presence of controversial financier Low Taek Jho, who is currently on the run from authorities.

Citing a chronology prepped by the Audit Department’s 1MDB team, Madinah alleged that her predecessor, Ambrin Buang, and then-chief secretary to the government Ali Hamsa had been summoned to a meeting with Najib on Feb 22, 2016.

“The former prime minister had ordered the deletions of paragraphs that contained two versions of the 2014 1MDB financial statements, and called for a probe by the authorities,” she said in her statement.

The next day, the 1MDB audit team was informed that the government had categorised the audit report as a “crisis.”

Subsequently, on Feb 24, 2016 another meeting was held attended by Ali, Ambrin, and then-1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy, along with representatives from the Finance Ministry and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, to discuss the 1MDB audit report.

“As a result of these discussions, several more paragraphs in the report were ordered to be expunged and revised,” she said.

Further deletions and revisions were also ordered on Feb 25 after the audit team was ordered by Ali to meet with Arul Kanda.

‘Mentions of Low expunged’

A day later, on Feb 26, Najib’s former private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh then ordered a former audit director to expunge mentions of Low attending a 1MDB board of directors meeting, “on the excuse that it is sensitive, and to avoid facts from being twisted by the opposition.”

The audit report was then sent to Ali on Feb 29, after which he ordered the audit team to come to his office on March 1.

On that day, the audit team met with Arul Kanda, who reviewed their audit report and asked for further deletions and revisions.

…more
Auditor-general: Najib ordered tampering of 1MDB audit
25 Nov 2018 – Malaysiakini

23
Nov
18

Scorpene submarine deal resurfaces

Submarine deal resurfaces: Najib quizzed, Razak Baginda may be next

EXCLUSIVE | MACC has re-opened its investigations into the purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines when former premier Najib Abdul Razak was the defence minister.

Sources told Malaysiakini this was the reason Najib was summoned to the MACC headquarters in Putrajaya this morning.

“The case has been reopened,” said a high-ranking MACC officer, who declined to be named.

Sources said investigators working on the case, in which kickbacks were allegedly paid for the 2002 purchase of the submarines from France, might also call in others to facilitate the probe.

This, according to one of the sources, includes Najib’s former close associate Abdul Razak Baginda.

The submarines, which were purchased to beef up the navy’s fleet, had been named KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Razak.

The former arrived in Malaysia in September 2009, followed by the latter in July 2010.

Media reports stated that Najib arrived at the MACC headquarters about 9.30am to facilitate investigation over an unspecified case.

Mongolian national Altantuya Shaaribuu, who was murdered by two former elite police personnel, was also implicated in the deal.

However, documents which surfaced in 2013, including a contract signed on June 5, 2002, between the Malaysian government and French supplier DCN International, Spanish supplier Izar Construcciones Navales, and Malaysian service provider Perimekar Sdn Bhd had debunked this.

Razak Baginda, who confessed to having an affair with her, was acquitted of abetting the crime.

Najib has repeatedly denied having any links with the case.

In May 2018, former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram urged the authorities to reopen the probe into the Scorpene deal.

He said it is necessary to relook into the purported kickbacks in the case owing to the other related allegations.

“This includes the handing over of suitcases of cash, coupled with a spending spree in Paris, as well as the dastardly murder of Altantuya.

“One may well ask why former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail did not secure the arrest and detention of two police officers pending the public prosecutor’s appeal to the Federal Court,” he added.

Consultancy services

Former police special operations personnel chief inspector Azilah Hadri and corporal Sirul Azhar Umar were found guilty of murdering Altantuya in January 2015 and sentenced to death.

However, Sirul (photo) had fled to Australia when the pair was acquitted prior to the Federal Court overturning the decision.

In January 2016, it was reported that a former boss of an international subsidiary of Thales, the French company alleged to have paid the commissions to Najib and the Malaysian official, was indicted in a French court over the deal.

According to AFP, Bernard Baiocco, 72, former president of Thales International Asia (Thint Asia), was indicted on Dec 15, 2015 for “active bribery of foreign public officials linked to Najib Razak.”

The report named Razak Baginda, who is a former political analyst, as the person who allegedly received the kickbacks.

…more
Submarine deal resurfaces: Najib quizzed, Razak Baginda may be next
Hariz Mohd
19 Nov 2018 – Malaysiakini




THE Al Jazeera interview

Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!

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

 

Mahathir in Putrajaya ceramah

 

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

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

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?

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