Posts Tagged ‘Scandals

27
Feb
14

Rafizi demands audit of 1Azam scheme

PETALING JAYA, Feb 4 — PKR’s Rafizi Ramli has urged the Auditor-General (A-G) to audit funds appropriated to the 1Azam poverty eradication scheme, which he alleged today has been misused.

The party strategy director said the scandal, if proven true, could be even bigger than the National Feedlot Centre (NFC) controversy, which had involved funds of up to RM250 million.

He pointed out that 1Azam, the federal government’s key poverty eradication programme, has been operating on a sizeable billion-ringgit budget over the past four years.

“I think this is time the Auditor-General should intervene directly and immediately audit so that 1Azam funds will not continue to be abused.

“I think it’s very scandalous because the moment the people know the whole gist and details of the scheme and the alleged misappropriations go to the public, the disillusionment is even bigger than NFC,” he said.

Rafizi’s call today comes on the heels of a complaint by local graftbusters against the delayed prosecution of two former officers of a Cabinet minister, who were due to appear in court.

In the statement yesterday, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) consultation and corruption prevention advisory panel chairman Datuk Johan Jaaffar had lamented that further delays would lead to the perception of selective prosecution or interference in MACC’s work.

The panel chief also urged the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) to explain the delay.

Last week, the MACC had announced in the media that the duo – one an ex-political secretary with the title of “Datuk”, and another a director of one of the foundations headed by the Datuk – were to be charged with criminal breach of trust involving some RM1.1 million and another charge for cheating involving RM1 million.

Shortly after the statement, the graftbusting agency corrected its report to say that the men would be charged at an undetermined date.

It is understood that the case is related to the detention of Datuk Suhaimi Ibrahim, Shahrizat’s former political secretary, who confirmed last September that he was detained for investigations by MACC.

Suhaimi had said that he was investigated for allegedly misappropriating funds meant for the poor under the 1Azam programme.

The 1Azam scheme was introduced by former Women, Family, and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

…more
Rafizi demands audit of 1Azam scheme
BY MELISSA CHI
February 4, 2014 – Malay Mail Online

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26
Jan
14

‘Raja Ropiaah gets free money under void deal’

Wanita Umno leader Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah has effectively received RM13 million in “free money” through a now “null and void” contract to build the defence education centre (Puspahanas), including a land deal with the government.

PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said today that the obligations of the contract given to her company, Awan Megah Sdn Bhd, to build Puspahanas have long lapsed, thus making the contract void.

He also said that the company has failed to provide a new land bond for the project, as required under the agreement.

“Essentially, she has obtained free money from the project while it is still going on, so there’s money there too. And not to forget, she still holds 223 acres of land in Bukit Raja,” he told a press conference at PKR headquarters.

Boustead Holdings had paid the RM13 million to Awan Megah to purchase the land from Raja Roopiah for the project.

“The land was not hers in the first place. So with Boustead buying the land, legally the money is now hers,” Rafizi claimed.

A shareholder in Boustead, he said he has checked the agreement between the company and Awan Megah.

“The construction of Pusapahanas is being continued with a null and void contract because Awan Megah has not prepared a new land bond,” he said.

“The land sale and purchase agreement between Boustead, Astacanggih, and Awan Megah has lapsed because the conditions were not fulfilled within three months.”

…more
Jan 8, 2014 – Malaysiakini
‘Raja Ropiaah gets free money under void deal’

22
Jan
14

PM jetting around in new luxury aircraft an austerity measure?

‘PM jetting around in new luxury aircraft?’


According to aviation news website Aviation Week, Jet Premier One (M) Sdn Bhd, the company which manages flights for VVIPs in Malaysia, including Najib, had indeed leased the Airbus ACJ320 from Comlux.

The lease was supposed to be a temporary replacement for the regular aircraft Najib uses, an Airbus ACJ319, being refurbished by Comlux Aviation Services.

The Airbus ACJ319 with tail number 9M-NAA operated under the call name “NR1” or “Perdana 1” and is the official aircraft for the prime minister, similar to that of the US president’s Air Force One.

It first came under the spotlight in 2011 when Najib flew on the Airbus ACJ319 to Perth, Australia, apparently on holiday.

In a press release by Comlux May last year, the company had announced it had won a contract to rework the VIP area of the Airbus ACJ319 as well as handle scheduled maintenance works for six years.

The company did not specify the value of the project.

In the interim, Comlux leased an Airbus ACJ320 with tail number 9H-AWK to Jet Premier One.

It took over the call name of “NR1” and “Perdana 1” and was spotted taking off from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport on Oct 6 to Denpasar Internatonal Airport, Bali, according to flight enthuasist site Jet Photos.

Najib left for Bali on Oct 6 for the Asia Pacific Economic Conference (Apec) Summit.

‘RM27k an hour operate’

The aircraft comes with a lounge, a private room equipped with personal bathroom and has wifi and phone access while in the air.

Comlux did not reveal how much the plane was leased for but according to the company’s brochure, the approximate operating cost for its Airbus ACJ320 flight is US$8,350.31 (RM27,501.75) per hour.

In another press statement in October last year, Comlux announced that it has completed refurbishing the “head of state of Malaysia aircraft” Airbus ACJ319 after working on it since its arrival at its US base in June that year.

Despite the return of the plane, the lease for the Airbus ACJ320 appears to be still active and has been spotted jetting around in Malaysia.

…more
‘PM jetting around in new luxury aircraft?’
Jan 3, 2014 – Malaysiakini

17
Oct
13

Minister’s son buys RM7.2 million bungalow

A PKR-linked NGO who exposed the purchase of a RM7.2 million bungalow by minister’s son Nedim Mohd Nazri has expressed “a million thanks” to Nedim’s celebrity girlfriend Nora Danish for confirming the allegation.

Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM) propaganda director Edy Noor Reduan (right), in a statement, said that the actress’ statement not only “strengthen’s the claim” but also the need for anti-graft authorities to probe the matter.

“SAMM is also prepared to cooperate with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Inland Revenue Board on documents we have on hand, in an effort to drag this ‘shark’ to justice,” he said in a statement.

Yesterday, Nora, 31, reportedly told Sinar Harian’s entertainment section Zass that the RM7.2 million bungalow was jointly-purchased for Nedim’s mother by Nedim, who is the son of Culture and Tourism Minister Mohd Nazri Aziz, and several others.

“It must be remembered that today, a large portion of the rakyat who struggle to save money to buy homes of their own cannot reach their goals due to escalating home prices.

“Yet at the same time, a minister’s son is living the high life and can afford anything he wants, without having to face questions over the source of his income,” Edy Noor said.

…more
With ‘confirmation’, probe Nedim’s RM7mil home buy
Oct 8, 2013 – Malaysiakini

16
Oct
13

Mahathir’s malignant legacy

OUTSPOKEN: Confusing the minds of the Malays is former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s forté. He plays on their insecurities, much like a cat plays with a mouse before pouncing on it. The predatory cat will bat the mouse from paw to paw, in an attempt to tire it out. Mahathir, like the cat, derives immense satisfaction from watching his prey suffer.

Towards the end of last month, Mahathir delivered a salvo of contradictory and hypocritical statements. He said the young needed to be disciplined and that they had no sense of shame. It is a stark contrast to his usual message, which he first delivered to the Malays in the 70s.

The change of tune has much to do with the entry of his son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir into the race for one of the three vice-presidential seats in Umno-Baru. Mahathir’s new role is the chief lobbyist for Mukhriz.

Four decades ago, Mahathir told the Malay community that Malaysia belonged to them, the people who rightfully deserved to reap the benefits of this land.

Mahathir omitted to mention that success would involve hard work, dedication and long-term commitment. Using the deep sense of superstition, insecurity, and fatalism among the Malays, Mahathir used them to increase his powerbase, at the expense of the other races.

The Malays bought Mahathir’s story, but today, when the country is facing a total breakdown of its economy, its ability to attract foreign investment, its social cohesion, its security along with a decline in morality and values, Mahathir chides them for having no sense of shame or guilt.

Mahathir sees himself as the Malay saviour, and his son as the second messiah. He fears that if he is unable to push Mukhriz into the limelight, he will lose the Mahathir legacy. This will mean the dismantling of the empire which he amassed during his 22 years of power.

Mahathir warned that Umno would die if it kept the stupid and old leaders. He told the party to elect younger leaders who are nationalistic, presumably meaning Mukhriz.

Mahathir accused the present leaders of preventing smarter people from ascending through the party, and said that they should not overstay their welcome. He ignored the fact that he had steadfastly clung to power for 22 years and was not averse to disposing of his deputies.

When the former Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) secretary-general Chin Peng died, Mahathir stressed that Chin Peng had wanted to create a communist state. He dissuaded further debate about Chin Peng’s ashes, for fear that further revelations would show he had reneged on the terms of the Peace Treaty signed in 1989 in Haadyai. He wanted people to think he was instrumental in achieving peace.

It is chilling that Mahathir does not see the comparisons between communism and the current state of affairs in Malaysia. In a communist state, any opposition is quashed, mostly with force. In Malaysia, opposition is not tolerated, even if that means the ruling party has to cheat in the elections and opposition politicians are hounded by thugs.

Senior members of the politburo, like the Umno president and deputy president, do not face competitive election. Saying the wrong thing would mean committing political suicide, although the communists do face house arrest and eventual execution. In both communism and Umno elections, loyalties are built on influence (and money for Umno). In both, senior leaders rarely retire for they can still dictate policies long after they step down from power.

In the communist state and in Malaysia, justice, freedom of expression, freedom of the press, religion, individualism and the arts are all crushed or fiercely controlled.

Mahathir said that young people needed a “strong sense of shame”, but Mahathir “mudah lupa”. Our youth did not take away the independence of the judiciary. They did not cause the old Umno to be declared an illegal party. None of our youth used the ISA to lock up opposition politicians or activists in Operation Lalang. Perhaps, this is why Mahathir said last week that Malaysia needed harsher and stricter laws.

Our youth do not have cronies who destroyed Bank Bumiputera, Perwaja Steel, Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), MAS and many other companies. It was Mahathir who made billionaires out of his cronies and did not care that the average Malay cannot stump up the money to buy a modest home, despite the New Economic Policy. A prime minister who ignores the poor and suffering of the non-Malays is not fit to be called a leader of a multi-cultural nation.

…more
Mahathir’s malignant legacy
Mariam Mokhtar
08/10/2013 – theantdaily.com

20
Jun
13

Halim Saad’s suit suggests a Mahathir legacy of graft and cronyism

KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — Tycoon Tan Sri Halim Saad’s massive legal suit against the government underlines the widespread corruption that typifies the Mahathir-era where the line between business and politics was blurred to help the ruling Umno amass an empire of wealth, said Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders.

Opposition leaders believe the suit, set to be one of the biggest corporate battles in the country, will also test the Najib administration’s seriousness in tackling high-level corruption as they expect the legal battle to expose more gruesome details on Umno’s dirty corporate ties.

“This is yet another legacy of Tun Dr Mahathir (Mohamad),” DAP lawmaker Liew Chin Tong told The Malaysian Insider, referring to the longest-serving former prime minister whose administration had spearheaded a Bumiputra corporate advancement project that helped create a pool of Malay tycoons like Halim.

“When it comes to corruption and cronyism, we know Umno is corrupt and filled with cronies. What we want to know now is, who is getting all that money. That’s what the people want to know,” he added.

Halim has mounted a massive legal challenge against the government to demand full settlement of an over RM2 billion deal that forced him to relinquish his controlling stake in Renong Bhd more than a decade ago.

According to digital business magazine, The Edge Review, Halim, once the sole corporate nominee of the ruling Umno, was offered RM1.3 billion in cash and property as well as control of a private waste management company, roughly valued at RM2 billion, in exchange for his disposal of Renong in the 2001 agreement.

Citing people familiar with Halim’s suit, the magazine reported that the business magnate had since only received RM165 million despite giving up his business empire and is seeking the remainder.

The move comes as a shock since Halim’s tenure in Renong was marred by questionable decisions. It is widely perceived that he had failed to rein in Renong’s growing debts, which allegedly forced the government to take over his stake in the conglomerate through state investment arm, Khazanah Nasional Bhd.

Liew said the Halim saga was among the many failures of Dr Mahathir’s Bumiputra corporate advancement project, citing other controversies like the legal battle between national carrier MAS and its former chief executive officer Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli and the Forex scandal in 1983.

…more
In Halim Saad suit, Pakatan suggests a Mahathir legacy of graft and cronyism
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid and Md Izwan
June 09, 2013 – TMI

28
May
13

Outrage grows over scandal-tainted Malaysian leader

Despite earning a civil servant’s salary for three decades, Taib Mahmud, the powerful chief minister of Malaysia’s Sarawak state, is reputed by critics to be one of Asia’s richest men.

Taib, 77, and his family are accused of massive corruption and running Malaysia’s largest state like a family business, controlling its biggest companies with stakes in hundreds of corporations in Malaysia and abroad.

A Rolls Royce and flashy jet cover his transportation, while a vast war chest has kept his political authority unrivalled in 32 years in charge of the resource-rich Borneo island state, which remains one of Malaysia’s poorest.

“The amount of control he has is astounding. He has been able to dominate politics and society here for nearly four decades,” said Faisal Hazis, a political scientist with Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

But pressure is rising both at home and abroad for action against a man referred to by his harshest critics as the “thief minister” and viewed as the prime example of a culture of corruption fuelling public disgust.

Swiss-based activists Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), citing financial records, last year estimated the 77-year-old’s worth at US$15 billion, which would make him Malaysia’s richest person.

Such revelations are hugely embarrassing for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who faces a slide in support due in part to corruption blamed for bleeding the country of billions of dollars annually.

But Taib, a member of Malaysia’s 56-year-old ruling coalition, is widely considered untouchable because the Sarawak parliamentary bloc he controls helps keep the coalition in power.

“We don’t see the political will to address grand corruption like this and it could destroy the country” by crippling economic development, said Josie Fernandez, Transparency International’s Malaysia director.

A 2008 US State Department cable revealed by WikiLeaks called Taib “highly corrupt” and “unchallenged”, saying Taib-linked companies dominate Sarawak’s emerging economy.

He and his family are accused of routinely taking kickbacks for lucrative government contracts or awarding the projects to companies they control.

…more
Outrage grows over scandal-tainted Malaysian leader
23 May, 2013 – SCMP




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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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