Thursday, July 30, 2015

Bank Negara: Zeti has not quit, did not suffer heart attack

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has denied rumours circulating in local media and financial markets that its governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz  has resigned. 

When asked to comment on the the rumour, a central bank spokesman said: "This is not true," according to Reuters.

When contacted by The Star, a BNM spokesman also denied that Zeti, 67, suffered a heart attack.
"She is fine and came to work as usual,” added the spokesman.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Najib’s lawyer: WSJ article ‘neither here nor there’

The Wall Street Journal article was not clear on whether Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was accused of taking funds from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), said counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun .

Mohd Hafarizam, whose law firm is acting for the Prime Minister, said the article was "neither here or there".

"The article is not clear on whether they are alleging that the money is from 1MDB or not.

"Why we sent a letter of clarification is because we want the WSJ to tell us what their position is.

"Once that position has been taken, then it is easier for me to advise my client.

"Otherwise I will be bordering on conjecture. I would have to assume that they meant 1MDB or assume that they did not mean 1MDB.

"It would be rather difficult for me as a plaintiff to advise my client if I am not sure what their position is," he told reporters on Monday.

Mohd Hafarizam said he had advised Najib that the WSJ article was unclear.

"Yes, my law firm can say whether the article is defamatory or not - but if I wrongly give advice, then I am also subject to professional negligence.

"The first two paragraphs of the article seem to suggest the money was from 1MDB, but then when you look further, they mention "the source is not known," he added.

He said his firm would seek Najib's instructions once WSJ stated its position on the matter.

Najib's lawyers had sent a letter of clarification to WSJ for an explanation over its July 3 article implicating him of allegedly transferring 1MDB funds into his personal accounts.

In the letter, law firm Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak wants confirmation from the Dow Jones board of directors on the newspaper’s stand.

Dow Jones & Company, the publisher of the US-based newspaper, has two weeks to reply “yes” or “no”, according to a letter dated July 8 from the lawyers.

WSJ had published an article quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds went into Najib's personal accounts.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that the articles were "political sabotage” while the 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib's accounts.

Najib has also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations are a political ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Don’t spread hate and lies during Ramadan, urges Najib

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has urged people not to spread slander and hate during the holy month of Ramadan.

He said this was more so as the night of Lailatul Qadar, a special night for Muslims would occur during the last ten days of Ramadan.

“On that night, we are promised manifold pahala ibadat (reward) as stated in the Al-Qadr surah, “The night of Lailatul Qadar is better than a thousand moons,” he said in a blog posting on Friday.

Najib has come under pressure ever since the Wall Street Journal published an article last week quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds went into his personal accounts.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that the articles were "political sabotage” while the 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib's accounts.

Najib has also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations are a political ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The New York-based publication however insisted that their investigation was based on solid documentation.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

MCMC: Stop spreading false information about 1MDB on social media

The public should not spread modified pictures, unverified news or any speculation regarding investigations into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) through social media, said the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

In a press release Thursday morning, the MCMC said "social media" included the mobile messaging application WhatsApp.

"It is an offence to share or spread such materials as it could break the law, especially Section 211 or Section 213 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. If one is found guilty, one could face a RM50,000 fine, a one-year jail sentence or both," said the MCMC.

Under Section 211, it is an offence to provide content which is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person.

Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal published a report alleging that nearly US$700mil (RM2.6bil) of funds, purportedly from the Government investment arm, had been channelled to personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

Since then, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has said that action may be taken against anyone who tries to tarnish the image of the country by criticising the Government and Najib, while an investigation has been launched, with officers from a special task force raiding the 1MDB offices at Menara IMC on Wednesday.

Auditor-General presents interim 1MDB audit report to PAC

The Auditor-General (A-G) has presented its initial findings on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Tan Sri Ambrin Buang presented the interim audit report to PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed in the Parliament building Thursday morning.

A briefing will be given to members of the PAC, after which they are free to ask questions.

The meeting is expected to last until 4pm, with a possibility of it continuing on Friday if there is not enough time for questions.

Last Thursday, Nur Jazlan said that the bi-partisan committee would ask the A-G the scope of the audit, whether it was limited or restricted and if witnesses were co-operative.

Nur Jazlan also previously said that all information provided would be used when questioning 1MDB chief executives and board of directors early next month.

He also said that it was up to the A-G whether the interim report's findings would be revealed to Members of Parliament and the public.

A more comprehensive report is expected later in the year.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article last week quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds went into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's personal accounts.

The Prime Minister's Office responded by saying that the articles were "political sabotage" while the 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib's accounts.

Najib has also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations are a ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The office of 1MDB was also raided by police on Wednesday.

Cabinet members fully back PM

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has the support of his Cabinet members who said they will not pressure him to step down over the 1MDB controversy.

“The Cabinet members are all behind Najib in facing the issue,” said Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The Prime Minister had explained to the Cabinet his move to demand an explanation from The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) over its July 3 article implying that 1Malaysia Develop­ment Bhd (1MDB) funds were transferred into his personal accounts.

All ministers were at the Cabinet meeting except for Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Datuk Dr Wee Ka Siong.

Liow, the Transport Minister is overseas on official duty while Dr Wee, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, is recovering from an operation last month.

Ismail said several ministers gave Najib their feedback.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

IGP: We will probe how WSJ got documents

Police will investigate how The Wall Street Journal got hold of secret banking documents in its articles on the alleged transfer of 1Malaysia Development Bhd funds to the bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the probe would cover everyone, including bank officers and even Bank Negara Malaysia.

"We will also investigate The Wall Street Journal with regards to the leak of confidential banking documents," he told reporters after launching Ops Selamat here on Wednesday.

"Such action is tantamount to economic sabotage," he added.

Police will investigate the leak of banking information under Section 4 of the Computer Crimes Act 1997 for disclosing information involving 1MDB and the prime minister.

An article in WSJ claimed that US700mil (RM2.7bil) was transferred to Najib's personal bank accounts just before the 2013 general election.

IGP: Najadi murder not linked to 1MDB money trail

There is no connection between the murder of AmBank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi and alleged transfer of 1Malaysia Development Bhd funds to a bank account of the Prime Minister, said Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

The Inspector-General of Police said such claims were false and bordered on malice.

"I can confirm that Hussain did not make any police report before he was shot dead," he told reporters after launching Ops Selamat here on Wednesday.

A WhatsApp message which went viral had linked Hussain's murder to a US$60mil deposit at an AmBank account.

The message claimed that Hussain filed a police report on the matter on July 28, 2013.

"I repeat there is no connection between the 1MDB probe and Hussain's murder," said Khalid.

"Hussain's case has been solved with the killer already detained. End of story," he said.

In its latest posting, Sarawak Report interviewed Hussain's son, Pascal, who is now in Moscow, and he claimed that his father died for reporting about alleged bank corruption.

A tow truck driver was sentenced to death last year by a High Court for murdering Hussain in 2013.

Najib starts move for legal action over WSJ article

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has demanded an explanation from The Wall Street Journal over its July 3 article implicating him of allegedly transferring 1Malaysia Development Bhd funds into his personal accounts.

His legal firm, Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, said it was now identifying "facts to proceed with further instructions" by way of the parties involved in the writing, distributing and publishing the article.

This is would be to enable the "service of any legal letter or court documents," it said in a statement on Wednesday.

It said it has instructions to "tackle all possible or plausible legal remedies of which our client shall be given advise on an action of defamation, further tortuous actions and remedies including any statutory violations by WSJ and related companies and  (if any) conspirers."

"This is not a straightforward legal action due to the national and international imputations. We have been instructed to identify facts and lay full facts, before our client, is able to proceed with further instructions," it said.


Here is the press release from Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak;


WSJ PRESS RELEASE


The Wall street Journal had published an article dated 3rd July 2015, implicating our client Datuk Seri Najib.

Immediately, our client had instructed us, Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak, to scrutinize the said article.

The article is tainted with numerous allegations against our client which involved several companies and transactions.

Combing through the said article, we have concluded that the language is intentionally or otherwise has made reference to several facts and companies which are vaguely described.

Reference is made to the said article wherein it has been stated that our client had been directly probed into 1MDB, however contents of the article refers to indirect transactions where our client has been implicated with 1MDB-linked companies.

A clear contradiction which requires further clarification.

This article by WSJ was issued, published and circulated through WSJ web portal www.wsj.com.

Firstly, we have been instructed to identify the parties involved in the authorship, distribution and publishing, for the purpose of naming the appropriate parties in any potential actions which requires deliberation and research as the article does not reflect extensive details for service of any legal letter or court documents.

Secondly, another issue of concern is, jurisdictional issues of which the publication originates from United States of America and accessible worldwide.

We have been also instructed that a local presence of WSJ is also available and we are pursuing further clarification and details on this matter.

Since the article involves several parties, we have also been instructed to consider a joint action or an action against, in the event evidence shows a conspiracy against our client.

Kindly note that the companies named as conspirators with our client, in the article are; International Petroleum Investment Co, Tanore Finance Corp, SRC International Sdn. Bhd, and Ihsan Perdana Sdn. Bhd.

Several names of companies or organizations had only been referred to as the related companies or companies belonging to certain organizations or companies, and also the sources or destinations or the alleged transactions has not been disclosed.

This in itself either intentionally or otherwise has caused further identification of facts been required.

Once we have identified the parties, the jurisdiction, and the involvement of conspirators or are they merely parties which also had been innocently imputed in the article, we can then proceed to address the third issue.

The third issue is to tackle all possible or plausible legal remedies of which our client shall be given advise on an action of defamation, further tortuous actions and remedies including any statutory violations by WSJ and related companies and  (if any) conspirers.

This is not a straightforward legal action due to the national and international imputations. We have been instructed to identify facts and lay full facts, before our client, is able to proceed with further instructions.

The purpose of clear explanation is to avoid unnecessary objections by WSJ on the imputations that are made.

Once our client has obtained all necessary facts and the position of WSJ is ascertained, we have strict instructions to immediately exhaust legal avenues and remedies.


Yours faithfully,

FOR AND ON BEHALF OF MESSRS HAFARIZAM WAN & AISHA MUBARAK

WAN AZMIR BIN WAN MAJID

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Keep calm and think rationally, Ku Nan tells Umno members

Umno members should keep calm and think rationally, especially in terms of the relentless attacks faced by the Prime Minister, says Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (pic).

The Umno secretary-general further urged members to continue to give their strongest support to the party’s top leadership and allow them space to think of the most appropriate action in the interests of religion, race and nation.

“We must continue to be vigilant and not be complacent because other parties, particularly the Opposition, will look for opportunities to break the unity that has made us strong all this while,” he said Tuesday, advising members to focus on the party’s struggle.

Tengku Adnan’s statement came as Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was hit by allegations in a Wall Street Journal report that almost US$700mil (RM2.6bil) of 1MDB funds went into the Prime Minister's personal accounts.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded by saying that the articles were “political sabotage” while 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib’s accounts.

Najib also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations were a political ploy engineered by his opponents, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in an attempt to topple him.

Tengku Adnan also told Umno members not to be manipulated and provoked by those who liked to take advantage of difficult and tough times.
“I hope all party members continue to adhere to the goals of the party and ensure that democracy continues to flourish,” he said.

Special task force freezes six accounts

Six bank accounts connected to allegations of channelling of funds to the Prime Minister have been frozen.

In a joint statement, the special task force which was formed to probe the allegations, stated that the order to freeze the accounts was issued on July 6.

“The special task force has also obtained documents on 17 accounts in two banks to assist with investigations.

“Several documents pertaining to non-compliance of Bank Negara Malaysia’s rules and procedures were also seized,” the statement said.

As investigations are still under way, the task force has urged all parties to give their cooperation to allow for the probe to be completed.

The statement was issued jointly by Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

Last Friday, the Wall Street Journal reported that funds amounting to US$700mil (RM2.6bil) had been channelled to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal accounts.

The Prime Minister’s Office responded by saying that the article was “political sabotage” while 1MDB insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib’s accounts.

Najib also refuted the claims, maintaining that the allegations were a political ploy engineered by his opponents, among them former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in an attempt to topple him.

Umno division chief urges Zeti to ‘step up and clear’ Najib of allegations

The onus lies on those who have access to relevant information to prove whether the allegations against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak are true or false.

Umno Cheras division chief Datuk Seri Syed Ali Al-habshee (pic) said that Malaysian individuals and financial firms mentioned in the report by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) should take action to disprove the allegations.

“WSJ, which claims the article is a result of the investigation by a Malaysian task force, must make the report public.

“But we are yet to see the report by the Malaysian investigators,” wrote Syed Ali in a blogpost on Monday.

In a report last week, WSJ had alleged that almost US$700mil (RM2.6bil) of 1MDB funds had been transferred into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts in AmBank.

He then urged Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz to clear Najib’s name, which was badly tarnished by the WSJ report.

“This is the time for Bank Negara’s governor to step up and clear the Prime Minister of any wrongdoing as he is being accused of manipulating his power and position to further his political and financial interests.

“She is widely respected for her work.

“And she must stand up for the Prime Minister, who has repeatedly slammed the smear campaign mounted against him to tarnish his good image and prematurely end his political career,” he said.

He added that AmBank also needed to make public the details on whether the transactions mentioned in the WSJ report ever took place.

“As this is a matter of public interest and involves the alleged mishandling of a sovereign fund, AmBank also has a moral obligation, to the people of Malaysia, to divulge whether such transactions took place,” he said.

He noted that AmBank has to “make a public denial” on the allegations that “huge amounts” of funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have ended up in Najib’s personal bank accounts as claimed in the WSJ article.
Syed Ali added that Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail also has a duty to issue a directive to make public the report, as he has acknowledged “having seen the investigation papers and the concluding report”.

Monday, July 6, 2015

PAS mulling legal action against Penang govt

PAS has instructed its lawyers to study if legal action can be taken to defend the dignity of their sacked representatives in Penang.

“Their reputation is the main priority. The Penang state government’s actions may cause the people to think the sacked representatives are problematic. It tarnishes their reputation,” Penang PAS commissioner Muhammad Fauzi Yusoff told The Star Online on Monday.

According to him, the removal of PAS representatives from local councils and the state administration has become a problem in PAS and DAP’s relationship.

At the PAS muktamar (general assembly), it was suggested to the Syura Council that the party cancel political cooperation with DAP.

However, as no final decision had been made, Muhammad Fauzi said it was not right for the Penang state government to have gone ahead with the sacking.

“Is this a moral leadership? If they can do this to us, what can the rakyat hope for from a leadership with such morals? Maybe there is some unknown reason behind all this,” he added.

Muhammad Fauzi said any action taken must be based on standard operating procedures.

“They did not decide based on fairness, but based on perception. As a state government, they should be following proper procedures,” he said.

At present, former PAS municipal councillor Iszuree Ibrahim is taking the Penang government to court over his sacking from the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) and his termination as a councillor.
He was reportedly issued the dismissals after criticising the Penang state government at the 60th PAS general assembly late last year.

‘Onus is not on Najib to take action over money transfer allegations’

The Prime Minister should not take any action against The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) over its report that RM2.6bil was transferred into his personal bank accounts, says Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz.

He said the report was a mere allegation and WSJ should have provided the evidence, facts and proof.

“If Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak only takes action against WSJ, it would look like he is being selective. The Prime Minister must be consis­tent. He must sue all the parties,” he said.

Nazri said it did not matter that a special task force comprising officers from Bank Negara, MACC and police was going through documents taken from the offices of three 1MDB-linked companies.

“WSJ still has to make a police report. If it has given it to the task force, then there is no need for the Prime Minister to sue.

“Just allow the task force to complete its work and investigation, and we can take it from there.

“In circumstances like this, it is the party alleging wrongdoing who must report to the police. The Prime Minister does not have to sue it.

“There is no need for the Prime Minister to do this. What is more important is, he should focus his time and effort towards the people and nation. I am going to urge him not to sue,” said Nazri, who is a lawyer by training.

The Prime Minister’s Office has responded to the articles in WSJ saying that it was an act of “political sabotage” while 1MDB has insisted that no funds were transferred to Najib’s accounts.

Najib has maintained that the allegations are a political ploy engineered by his opponents in an attempt to topple him.


Friday, July 3, 2015

Rahman Dahlan slams WSJ's 'gutter' report on 1MDB

 A Cabinet minister has criticised a foreign report quoting an "unnamed investigator" and claiming that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds were transferred into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's personal accounts.

Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, said that he was "shocked" by Wall Street Journal's (AWSJ) "wanton allegation".

"If they were dead serious about the authenticity, the reports should have named the sources," he said on Twitter.

"Quoting 'unnamed investigator' as a basis of a very defamatory report, AWSJ has sunk to the level of gutter journalism of Sarawak Report.

"C'mon AWSJ... you can do better than that," he said.

Abdul Rahman hoped the publication was not using malicious and tampered documents in their report.

Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report published an article on Friday quoting an "unnamed investigator", claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds went into the Prime Minister's personal accounts.

The Prime Minister's Office responded to the report saying it was "political sabotage."

1MBD insisted that no funds had been transferred to Najib's accounts.

It's political sabotage, says PM's Office

 Claims that 1MDB funds were transferred to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's personal accounts is "political sabotage," says the Prime Minister's Office (PMO).

The Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report published articles on Friday claiming that almost US$700mil (RM2.63bil) of 1MDB funds had been transferred into the Prime Minister's personal accounts.

‎"Despite the Prime Minister's successful stewardship of Malaysia's economy against global headwinds - as recognised this week by Fitch's upgrade - there have been concerted efforts by certain individuals to undermine confidence in our economy, tarnish the Government, and remove a democratically elected Prime Minister.

"These latest claims, attributed to unnamed investigators as a basis to attack the Prime Minister, are a continuation of this political sabotage," the PMO said in a statement on Friday.

It said that the criminal leaking of documents, doctoring and extortion have taken place to "mislead the media and public".

"So it is incumbent on responsible members of the media not to accept documents as genuine unless verified by the appropriate authorities," it said.

The Prime Minister's Office also noted that 1MDB had already stated that the company never provided funds to the Najib in a statement that was released earlier on Friday.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Playing batu api not a path to heaven, says Najib

Instigating and slandering other people will not guarantee a person a place in heaven, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib said the Prophet Muhammad highlighted the importance of paying zakat (tithes) as one of the ways for a follower to be enter heaven.

"The Prophet was asked what are the ways for a Muslim to be closer to heaven.

"He said do not associate Allah with another being. Perform your prayers. Pay your zakat. And lastly, take care of the silaturahim (relations) amongst Muslims," he said at a ceremony to present contributions to the poor under the Wilayah Persekutuan Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP) in Serdang.

Najib said there was no point for a Muslim to pray five times a day but continue to instigate other people.

"Slander, instigating, ruining harmony, would not guarantee you a place in heaven," he added.

Najib said the country's improving economy as stated by the Fitch Ratings was due to the Government's effective policies.

This was reflected in the positive improvement in the Muslim community's economy as the Baitumal collected RM585mil in zakat this year, RM53mil more than last year.

"If our policies do not bring positive improvements and good results, the Muslim community's economy wouldn't be improving positively like this," Najib said.

On Wednesday, Fitch maintained Malaysia's long-term foreign currency issuer default rating at A- and local currency at A, with the outlook revised to stable from negative previously.

"I'm not the one to say our economy has improved but Fitch. The country's good economic management was recognised by the international rating agency," Najib said.

1MDB: Will PAC probe 'missing RM42bil'

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) wants the Public Account Committee to confirm if it will investigate the allegation of the “missing RM42bil" in the same way other allegations against 1MDB are to be investigated.

Its president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said this must be done in "fairness and due process” owing to PAC member Tony Pua’s recent statement published online on why no action has been taken against 1MDB by the authorities.

“In the interest of fairness and due process, 1MDB trusts that YB Tony Pua will confirm that the PAC will investigate this specific allegation of “RM42 billion missing” in the same way he is insisting that other allegations against 1MDB are to be investigated,” Arul said in a statement on Thursday.

Arul said the PAC "is the lawful authority to verify allegations such as whether the RM42bil has ‘disappeared’ from 1MDB.

Pua had questioned the Home Ministry’s action of issuing a show-cause letter to The Edge for its reports on 1MDB although no action has been taken against those named in the daily’s reports.

Pua, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP, described the move as "intimidating the business daily."

Arul noted that Pua had conveniently ignored to highlight that 1MDB "is currently the subject of inquiries by a number of authorities, including the Auditor-General, Bank Negara Malaysia and police."

“And last but not least, the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), a committee that YB Tony Pua himself is a member of.

“1MDB is fully cooperating with these inquiries,” he said.

He added that 1MDB had been providing evidence and proof relating to the company and will continue to do so in the course of ongoing investigations by the authorities.

He also noted that 1MDB had repeatedly issued clarifications to address allegations made by various parties, including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Pua and The Edge media group.

Arul reaffirmed 1MDB’s stand that action must be taken by the lawful authorities based on the due process of the law if any wrongdoing was uncovered.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Najib: Fitch upgrade a reflection of Govt's economic policies

Fitch’s upgrade on Malaysia’s outlook is a reflection of the Government’s financial and economic policies, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“I am pleased that Fitch, the international ratings agency, has maintained Malaysia’s credit rating and revised our outlook upwards to stable.

“In view of the many uncertainties in the external sector, the newly-announced ratings are indeed a reflection of our Government’s financial management and economic policies,” the Prime Minister said in a a Facebook post on Wednesday.

The ratings agency had maintained Malaysia’s long-term foreign currency default rating (IDR) at A- and local currency at A, with the outlook revised to Stable from Negative previously.

It said Malaysia’s fiscal finances have improved and that it views progress on the GST and fuel subsidy reform as supportive of the fiscal finances.

In July 2013, Fitch had attached a “negative” outlook to Malaysia and suggested earlier this year that there was a 50% chance of a downgrade in the rating.

MIDF Economic Research expects Fitch Ratings’ move to revise the outlook on Malaysia’s sovereign rating to “stable” from “negative” to boost the ringgit.

The international ratings agency had also affirmed Malaysia’s long-term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-', with local currency IDR at 'A'.

MIDF Research said the review is in sharp contrast to the market's expectation of a downgrade by as much as two notches on Malaysia’s credit rating, following its earlier remark in March on such a possibility because of worsening trade balance and a state investment company's struggles to meet its debt obligations.

“Fear of the downgrade has dampened the equity market sentiment and sent the ringgit to near 10-year low earlier this week,” it said.

MIDF Research said this is positive for Ringgit which it had highlighted earlier as the only supporting factor for Ringgit in the near-term although “we have not been anticipating any downgrade from the rating agency”. 

“The move to upgrade our outlook from “Negative” to “Stable” is a bonus factor. The USD/MYR has recovered slightly by 0.9% to 3.773 , erasing fears of the currency tanking further to hit the 3.80 psychological level. 

“Nonetheless, we believe that the room for further upside is still limited given that the sentiments across the emerging markets sphere is still negative. We maintain our view that Ringgit will close the year at 3.70 – 3.75,” it said.

Home Ministry issues show-cause letter to The Edge over 1MDB reports

The Home Ministry has issued a show-cause letter to financial daily The Edge over its reports on government investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

A ministry’s official told The Star that the publication was issued with a show-cause letter on Monday evening.

This follows a statement last Wednesday by Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who had said that The Edge Media Group owner Datuk Tong Kooi Ong should be held responsible for “inaccurate reports” on 1MDB.

“The Edge and its owner Tong Kooi Ong must be held responsible for publishing inaccurate reports and false information. The Edge should have verified the facts before publishing the articles,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid last Wednesday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid had said that news website Sarawak Report had become a source of false information on 1MDB and that this false information had been later reported by The Edge and other media. He added that Tong must take responsibility for publishing incorrect news, which should have been verified beforehand.

It was reported on Monday that The Edge and Sarawak Report may be summoned over their articles on 1MDB, with Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar saying that the police would call anyone in if deemed necessary.

‘KFC posting’ not by me, says Ahmad Maslan

A Facebook posting allegedly by Datuk Ahmad Maslan (pic) claiming that the public is not financially burdened, proven by the fact that many still visit Kentucky Fried Chicken, has been confirmed to be false.

The Deputy Finance Minister also pointed out on Wednesday two other postings which were circulated and falsely attributed to him.

“Ini 3 siri palsu. Mmg sah ini drpd geng fitnah. Jawatan saya pun salah, disebut TMK2. Saya TMK1. Mana ada B1RM? BR1M. (This is a series of three false postings. It is confirmed that this is from the ‘slander group’. Even my position is wrong, I was attributed as being Deputy Finance Minister II. I am Deputy Finance Minister I. There is no such thing as B1RM. It’s BR1M),” he said in a tweet.

He also explained why the KFC posting could not have been from him.

“Ini tweet palsu kerja org tak betul & fitnah. 1/6 saya tak ada tweet begitu. Jika dimaksud hari ini, kan bulan puasa. (This is a false tweet and slander. On June 1 I did not post such a tweet. If it was meant to be today, then this is the fasting month),” Ahmad said.

He added” “Saya tiada akaun Fb ikon i <3 account="" berbaju="" does="" facebook="" fb="" fitnah="" have="" i="" ikon="" ini.="" ini="" itu="" melayu="" my.="" not="" saya.="" saya="" semua="" spt="" the="" twitter="" untuk="" utk="" y=""> MY icon. That is only for my Twitter. The icon for my Facebook is of me wearing a baju melayu. This is all slander).”  

The false Facebook posting, which was allegedly posted on June 1 read: “Minyak NAIK RM0.10 tapi KFC ramai juga orang. Beban dimana?! (The price of petrol goes up by RM0.10 but there are still many people in KFC. What burden?!”

Although originally posted on Facebook, the false update has also been shared on Twitter and other social media platforms.

The two other false updates, also posted on Jun 1 read: “Tak suka B1RM boleh BR4M! (If you don’t like BR1M you can BR4M!)” and “Saya tak la bodoh sangat.. Kalau bodoh tak akan la saya duduk di kerusi Timbalan Menteri Kewangan 2.. Ingat tu sedara sedara (I am not so stupid.. If I were I would not be sitting on the Deputy Finance Minister II seat... Remember that).”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Anwar’s lawyers seek house arrest order

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s lawyers want him to be held under house arrest so that he can get access to medical care and treatment.

His lawyer R. Sivarasa claimed that Anwar’s health is deteriorating rapidly in Sungai Buloh prison as he is not being provided access to required treatment.

The former Opposition Leader had previously been admitted to Hospital Kuala Lumpur on June 2 before being discharged on June 5.

“At the very minimum, even if the request for house arrest is denied, he must be hospitalised for a sufficiently long time to comprehensively deal with all his medical issues, said Sivarasa in a statement on Tuesday.

He claimed that the doctors had told Anwar he requires further evaluation and treatment relating to a number of medical issues including irregular blood pressure, a 4cm growth on his kidney that requires a CT scan, gastritis that requires a gluten-free diet, and a shoulder muscle tear and chronic arthritis that require intensive physiotherapy.

Sivarasa added that the prison said it had received no medical reports from the hospital requesting further testing and it has no facilities for any testing or treatment of the conditions.

He said that Anwar was visited once briefly by a physiotherapist who provided some minimal manipulation therapy since his discharge.

“Anwar is being held in solitary confinement in a bare cell, having a bucket for bathing, a squat toilet, and being held in hot and humid conditions with minimal ventilation are exacerbating his health problems,” Sivarasa said, adding that Anwar has lost 6kg since his initial detention.

He also claimed that Anwar is harassed by being checked every 15 minutes in his cell, around the clock.

Anwar was jailed in February for five years for sodomising former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Ahmad Shabery urges Tony Pua to quit PAC

Tony Pua has been urged to withdraw from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in view of his prejudicial views over the probe into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the government was now in the midst of searching for the truth to resolve issues affecting 1MDB.

He said the DAP politician, who is also Petaling Jaya Utara MP, liked to issue judgmental comments while the PAC investigation into 1MDB was still ongoing.

"He should leave the PAC. He will not only shame the PAC, but also the Parliamentary system itself.

"He should be more responsible," Ahmad Shabery told reporters at a function, here, Monday.

The minister also described the action by Pua, who had the tendency to criticise the 1MDB, as bringing down his own integrity. 

"Thus he is no longer qualified to sit in the PAC. He makes biased statements, he should be ashamed, his party should be ashamed, his supporters and those associated with him should also feel ashamed," Ahmad Shabery added.

Earlier, lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah suggested that Pua withdrew from the PAC to enable investigation into 1MDB to proceed in a transparent and fair manner.

However, the statement was perceived by Pua as an effort to block him from expressing himself.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Farah Ann receives Selangor Sultan's backing

Selangor's Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah has expressed his displeasure at those picking on the attire of national artistic gymnast Farah Ann Hadi.

In his congratulatory letter to Farah, Sultan Sharafuddin said that she had made the whole of Malaysia, including Selangor, feel proud.

"Criticising your attire should be the last matter in the minds of those who commented negatively on social media.

"They should be celebrating your achievements for Malaysia and Selangor," he said in the letter handed to her on Friday.

Farah, accompanied by her father Abdul Hadi Ahmad, received the letter from a Selangor Istana official.

She was criticised for allegedly "exposing" herself after winning two gold medals, a silver medal and three bronze medals at the recent Singapore Sea Games.

Farah was wearing a leotard, as all female gymnasts do.

Sultan Sharafuddin hoped that Farah would not take the comments of narrow-minded people to heart and continue to strive to be the best in her field.

"Malaysia's future lies in the younger generation like you and the rakyat supporting them to excel instead of giving negative comments.

"I am sure it must have taken years of hard work, dedication, determination and long hours of training to reach the level that you have achieved," said the Selangor Ruler.

In an immediate response, Farah said she was touched and felt humbled to accept the letter.

"I would like to express my highest gratitude towards the Sultan of Selangor for taking his time to write me the letter," she said.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

1MDB confident probe into former PetroSaudi exec will be conducted thoroughly

 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will co-operate with authorities and are confident that the probe on the arrested former PetroSaudi staff will be conducted thoroughly.

"1MDB notes press reports on Wednesday on the arrest of a former PetroSaudi staff for attempted blackmail and extortion in relation to proprietary email information belonging to PetroSaudi. We further note that initial probes show that some leaked emails were tampered with," Wednesday's statement read.

"1MDB is confident that the lawful authorities will thoroughly investigate, establish the facts and take appropriate action under the law. As stated previously, 1MDB pledges its full co-operation with the lawful authorities in their ongoing investigations on this matter," it said.

On Wednesday, the Bangkok Post quoted acting commander of the Royal Thai Police’s Crime Suppression Division, Pol Col Akaradech Pimonsri said that Former PetroSaudi exec Xavier Justo, 49, was paid the equivalent of 140mil baht (RM15.51mil) to leave the company after he was found to have “behaved against the company’s rules and regulations."

Pimonsri also accused the former IT executive of demanding another 90mil bath (RM9.98mil) from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies.

Justo was arrested at a house at Koh Samui on Monday, allegedly for leaking information information to the London-based Sarawak Report website for several reports about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Justo has denied the allegations.

On Tuesday, PetroSaudi said that they had been "the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia" via a press statement. PetroSaudi added that they are happy to "finally set the record straight."

PetroSaudi had become embroiled in the 1MDB controversy after a joint-venture deal between the two companies was said to have been orchestrated by business tycoon Low Taek Jho.

Thai police: Xavier Justo paid over RM15mil to leave PetroSaudi

Former PetroSaudi exec Xavier Justo was paid the equivalent of 140mil baht (RM15.51mil) to leave the company after he was found to have “behaved against the company’s rules and regulations,” said Pol Col Akaradech Pimonsri, acting commander of the Royal Thai Police’s Crime Suppression Division.

Pimonsri is quoted in Thailand’s Bangkok Post as saying that Justo, 49, later demanded another 90mil bath (RM9.98mil) from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies.

Justo, a former IT executive at the company, was arrested at a house at Koh Samui on Monday, allegedly for leaking information information to the London-based Sarawak Report website for several reports about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He has denied these allegations.

"We are relieved that Mr Justo will now face justice through the courts. We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia.

"We are happy to finally set the record straight and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm that one of our unscrupulous ex-employees has caused to them," a spokesperson for PetroSaudi said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Royal Thai Police's crime suppression division had reportedly seized numerous computers, hard drives, and other evidence from Justo's residence after obtaining a court ordered search warrant.

PetroSaudi said it was mulling further legal action in other jurisdictions against Justo's actions.

PetroSaudi had become embroiled in the 1MDB controversy after a joint-venture deal between the two companies was said to have been orchestrated by business tycoon Low Taek.

Pakatan 2.0 informally discussed at 'buka puasa' meet

Pakatan Rakyat leaders may have discussed the formation of a new coalition at a recent ‘buka puasa’ gathering.

DAP, PKR, and PAS progressives MPs and leaders who attended the gathering at the residence of Tumpat MP Datuk Kamaruddin Jaafar (pic) on Tuesday night were all smiles as they sat together in a large group.

The photograph of the group was later uploaded by Seputeh MP Teresa Kok to her Facebook page.

“I felt happy and surprised to meet so many friends from the PAS progressives group who came from outside Selangor such as Salahuddin Ayub, Suhaizan Kaiat, Dr Mujahid (Yusof Rawa), Dr Hatta Ramli and others.

“I told them this is the first time I’ve seen the progressive leaders in PAS so united,” she said on her page.

Among other Pakatan leaders present at the gathering were DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, PAS ex-deputy president Mohamad Sabu, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, PKR Parliament whip Datuk Johari Abdul and PKR vice-president Tian Chua.

The photo of the gathering immediately drew speculation that the opposition leaders could have informally discussed the setting up of a brand new coalition, with Kok hinting as much in her posting.

“Even though the PAS muktamar decision to sever ties with DAP has killed off Pakatan, tonight’s meeting gives hope to the birth of Pakatan 2.0,” she wrote.

The PAS progressives group, which was wiped out by the ulama faction in the recent party polls, has given the new leadership 100 days to return to being more inclusive.

Otherwise, they could face a breakaway Islamist party that could replace PAS in the opposition pact.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tajuddin: Najib is being responsible

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is being responsible by staying put as Prime Minister to solve the current problems in the country, says Pasir Salak MP Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.

He said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir’s Mohamad’s claim that Najib refused to quit because he was afraid of possible prosecution did not hold water.

“He is not afraid. He is staying on because he is prepared to face the problems and find solutions,” said Tajuddin, who is also Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Deputy Minister.

Tajuddin said Najib had admitted that there were issues relating to 1MDB as well as in the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.

“Najib wants to stay on because he wants to solve these problem, he wants to be accountable whereas an irresponsible leader will just walk away.

“He has announced that he will fix all these problems so let’s give him time.”

In a video clip taken during a closed door meeting with non-Government groups last week, Dr Mahathir had alleged that Najib was refusing to quit because he was scared by the possibility of facing criminal charges.

On the former prime minister’s earlier allegations that enforcement bodies were afraid to probe Najib, Tajuddin said it was “absurd”.

“Nowadays there is simply nowhere and nothing that one can hide from being exposed.”
Tajuddin said the people should realise that Malaysia faced more problems during Dr Mahathir’s tenure as Prime Minister, including economic downturns in the 1980s and 1997 as well as controversies such as Perwaja Steel and the plan to build the Twin Towers.

“Dr Mahathir stayed on and settled all the problems one by one and as a result what we have today is his legacy.

“Compared with Dr Mahathir who served as PM for 22 years Najib has only been there for six, so what do you expect?” he asked.

On the Wall Street Journal report alleging that money from 1MDB was used to fund Barisan Nasional during the last general election, Tajuddin said it offered no proof that any money used during the election came from the fund.

“Were they even present during the general election and did they calculate how much money was allegedly spent?

“This is not fair as they are wild allegations,” Tajuddin said.

He said Barisan was not desperate for 1MDB’s help, as the coalition had managed to go through 12 general elections before the fund was set up.

Tajuddin said parties slandered by the report could sue the publication if they found the allegations to be damaging.

Monday, June 22, 2015

He’s not Bond, more like M, Dr M

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not like to lose but it looks like he is losing in the fight to take down Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak because Umno wants to give the Prime Minister time to sort out the 1MDB issue.

WHEN Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad started his attacks on the Prime Mi­­nister several months ago, a family member of the elder statesman said “he always goes for broke”.

The family member was not kidding.

Dr Mahathir seems intent to go all the way in his fight against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. He has stepped it up and taken his accusations to the international media, repeating everything he has said at home and more.

The Umno die-hards, especially Dr Mahathir’s peers, are horrified.

They pointed out that he used to be so touchy about people criticising the country and its leaders on the international stage, almost to the point of it being taboo, and there he was doing the same thing.

The interviews he gave to several international publications have touched on the 1MDB issue, the flashy lifestyle of the Prime Minis­ter’s wife, their daughter’s lavish wedding and the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Well, times have changed and Dr Mahathir, as they say, “can do as he likes”. He is like James Bond – he has a licence to kill, metaphorically speaking, of course.

Malaysia’s James Bond is not used to losing but it does look like he is not going to win this fight.

And it is not solely because Najib has been able to resist the pushing but because the rest of Umno has refused to go along with the former prime minister.

Umno has chosen to go with Najib. It is crystal clear by now that the party has decided to rally around Najib and to give him a chance to resolve the 1MDB debacle.

Najib has had a series of meetings with party leaders at all levels, from division heads down to the three wings, and the word is that the party wants him to stay.

They want to give him time to sort out the 1MDB problems and put into effect the restructuring plans for the investment fund.

Umno’s power starts at the division level and an overwhelming number of the division leaders are with Najib.

Equally important, says Titi­wangsa MP Datuk Johari Ghani, the Cabinet and the Umno supreme council have also agreed to give him the breathing space to solve the issue.

They have agreed to wait for the outcome of the Auditor-General’s report as well as the Public Accounts Committee inquiry.

“The support for the PM is quite total. This is the situation, we want to give him the chance to work things out,” says Johari.

The Umno rationale, says Johari, is not unlike that in the years when the party gave Dr Mahathir the be­­nefit of the doubt to resolve issues like the Perwaja Steel scandal and stood by him through his controversial fight with the Malay rulers.

There has also been a tipping point of sorts among the Umno rank-and-file.

The perception is that the former premier’s attacks are damaging Umno and it has made the party that he dominated for 22 years uncomfortable.

“He says he loves the party and wants to strengthen the party but what he did has the opposite effect. You go and ask anyone in Umno, they will tell you: Enough is enough,” says Temerloh Umno division chief Datuk Sharkar Sham­sudin.

There are a string of other reasons why Umno is not with Dr Mahathir this time.

For sure, they are not happy about 1MDB but they do not believe him when he says that it will bankrupt the country.

They also disagree with him that Umno will be a gone-case in the next general election. They think Pakatan Rakyat is the more likely gone-case given what is happening in the broken coalition.

They also do not want a half-way bridge to Singapore, it does not make sense to them. They do not mind what they think is the unspoken wish of Dr Mahathir – to see his son Datuk Seri Mukhriz rise in Umno – but it must not be at the expense of toppling a sitting Prime Minister.

And most of all, they do not agree that the 1MDB billions are “missing”, as Dr Mahathir puts it..

Dr Mahathir taking the grievan­ces to the international media has aggravated the situation. Umno po­­li­ticians are essentially Malay nationalists and they see it as bad-mouthing the country.

“He will not stop until someone else takes over, then it may start all over again. Of course, I don’t agree with that. The quarrelling is not good for the country,” says Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

Many in Umno think Dr Maha­thir’s bid to bring down Najib has turned obsessive.

He has started to introduce the perception that there is criminal wrongdoing in the 1MDB deals.

He told The New York Times that Najib wants to leave his own legacy and is “verging on criminal”.

It is a hint of just how far below the belt this fight may go.

Some say that Dr Mahathir is the one who is worried about his legacy.

But his greatest legacy is taking the country from an agricultural economy to the industrial and mo­dern age that will grow even stronger as Malaysia develops.

However, his attacks have da­­maged Najib as well as himself and his standing in Umno is not what it used to be.

Sharkar, who is also Lanchang assemblyman, pointed out that Dr Mahathir was able to stay up there for 22 years because Umno gave him 100% support.

“We did not try to push him down but he is now trying to push down the man who we elected as our leader.”

Joceline Tan

PAS could face breakaway party if leadership doesn’t deliver within 100 days

 A PAS MP linked to the progressives group has given the party a 100 day ultimatum to go back to the days when it was more inclusive or face a new Islamic party.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad said that many people did not see the new direction the party wanted to bring as being promising or in line with their wishes.   

“I am worried the rakyat will not give the party 100 days. I think many people are beginning to leave PAS…or have less faith in them,” he told the Star Online when contacted on Tuesday.

The ultimatum he said follows PAS vice-president Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who requested that the party’s new leadership be given 100 days to prove themselves.

Khalid said that when PAS was under the leadership of the late Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and late Datuk Fadzil Noor, the party adopted an inclusive approach.

“There was unity in the membership. They were very sincere with the NGOs and the component parties of both Barisan Alternatif and Pakatan Rakyat. They were able to portray that the political Islam PAS is bringing was to ensure justice. Irrespective of whether you are Muslim or otherwise,” he said.

Khalid however denied that a new party would have anything to do with Pasma but rather the so-called progressives of the party.
“We are not bothered about losing our posts. We care about the direction of the party,” he said referring to the recent party elections where the progressive group were sidelined in favour of the “ulama” group in the party.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Dr Mahathir twisting and turning

In his New York Times interview, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the reason why Malaysia has managed to remain stable and to grow economically all these years was because there was one big coalition of parties.

Actually, the ‘one big coalition of parties’ still exists until today. It is called Barisan Nasional and it was formed by Tun Razak Hussein back in 1973. Barisan Nasional -- unlike Pakatan Rakyat that was formed in 2008 and has now already broken up -- has not closed down, as Dr Mahathir seems to suggest.

Dr Mahathir also suggests that because Barisan Nasional has broken up it is going to lose the next general election and he also suggests that this is going to cause instability. First Dr Mahathir says that Barisan Nasional has broken up. Then he says this break up is going to cause Barisan Nasional to lose the next general election. Thirdly, because of this the country is going to be unstable.

Dr Mahathir said in that interview that democracy is about the right of the people to choose their own leaders. Then he says if the people do this and do not choose Barisan Nasional then Malaysia would be unstable. So what is Dr Mahathir really trying to say because he sounds very confused?

Dr Mahathir calls Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak a criminal. A criminal is someone who has been convicted of a crime. Najib has not been convicted of any crime. The only thing that has happened is Dr Mahathir is saying that unless Najib can prove his innocence then it must be assumed he is guilty.

I wonder what the foreign media must be thinking of Dr Mahathir’s inconsistent and contradictory statements. He is beginning to sound extremely incoherent that it has become an embarrassment to Malaysia.

Salleh Said Keruak

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Navy chief: Crew of missing tanker safe

All crew of the MT Orkim Harmony are safe and hijackers on board are being persuaded to surrender, said Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar.

In his Twitter account on Thursday, Abdul Aziz said they promised the suspects that they would not be harmed by authorities.

"MT Orkim Harmony: KD Terengganu is shadowing the vessel and is in communication with the Vessel's captain. All crew are safe and unharmed," he tweeted.

When contacted, Abdul Aziz confirmed that the vessel had been detected, bearing a new coat of pain and a new name.

"We are currently monitoring and shadowing the ship. We will wait for the opportune moment to retake the ship," he said.

He added that the next course of action was currently being discussed.

"We have to get the consent of the owner and we also have to take the necessary precautions. Whatever it is, we are prepared," he said.

The tanker, which was carrying 5,000 tonnes of RON95 fuel belonging to Petronas worth RM21mil, left Malacca on Thursday and was to arrive at Kuantan Port at 10.30am the next day, but communication was lost at about 8.54pm.

The MMEA was notified almost 10 hours later at 6.30am the next day that it had gone missing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Nazir Razak: It's an NGO, not a political party

It is not a new political party being planned, just the idea of setting up a non-governmental organisation (NGO), says Datuk Seri Nazir Razak.

"I refer to recent news reports that I am setting up a new political party. This is not true," said the CIMB Group chairman in a statement Wednesday.

Nazir, who is also the brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said that he had been growing "increasingly concerned" about the Malaysian socio-political environment and its impact on the economy.

"In this context, I have had conversations with like-minded friends, including Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, about the need to better enable moderate Malaysians to voice their views, concerns and suggestions," said Nazir.

"We have discussed setting up an NGO, but it remains just an idea at this moment," he said.

A news report said Nazir was starting a new non-partisan party to reach out to all races emerged on Tuesday.

It said that Nazir has been meeting with business leaders in the United Kingdom and Kuala Lumpur to discuss the starting of a new non-partisan party to reach out to all races.

The report came out after DAP's announcement that the Pakatan Rakyat coalition was dead, saying it no longer existed after the motion by PAS to sever ties with DAP.

PKR agrees with DAP on ‘end of Pakatan’

The top PKR leadership has decided that the party is on the same page as DAP regarding the “end of Pakatan Rakyat” but insists that the broken ties will not affect the composition of the Selangor government.

The Selangor government, said party sources, will continue to function as a loose coalition of assemblymen who support Azmin Ali as the Mentri Besar.

According to sources, the unique political arrangement was decided at a political bureau meeting on Tuesday night and it is believed to have received the blessings of PKR asdvisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

DAP and PAS leaders have also been briefed on the decision, which is expected to be announced later Wednesday.

Relations in Pakatan had broken down between PAS and DAP over a number of issues, including the proposed hudud law by PAS in Kelantan.

On Tuesday, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng caused ripples with his announcement that Pakatan had “ceased to exist”.

The two warring parties have traded angry accusations against each other and the DAP-led government in Penang has taken the drastic step of pressuring PAS politicians to resign from their appointed posts in the state government.

Nazir Razak not forming political party

A new political party is in the making, but despite speculation saying otherwise, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak will not be involved, said a source close to the CIMB group chairman.

The source rubbished a news report linking Nazir, who is also Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's brother, to the new party.

The report also said that Nazir had been meeting business leaders in Britain and Kuala Lumpur to discuss the setting up a new non-partisan party, and had approached Global Movement of Moderates chief Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah to become the public face of the party.

It said that despite being respected as a moderate, Saifuddin lacked the clout needed to attract support and Nazir had to be the prime mover or it would not work.

Attempts to contact both Nazir and Saifuddin were unsuccessful.

The report comes amidst strained relations in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition, with a widening rift between PAS and DAP.

1MDB answers its critics

1Malaysia Develop­­ment Bhd has defended itself against criticism by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by addressing various issues, from the Cabinet being unaware of a fund-raising exercise for its start-up in 2009 to events leading to its investments in Cayman Islands increasing to US$2.318bil (RM8.57bil).

The fund that is wholly owned by the Finance Ministry has come under relentless attacks from not only Dr Mahathir but also some ministers for its cash-flow problems in meeting obligations for its debts of RM42bil.

Rebutting allegations that a Cabinet paper was not prepared for the Government guarantee that allowed 1MDB to raise RM5bil in Islamic bonds in 2009, the fund said the matter was prepared and approved by the Cabinet.

It also said the RM5bil Islamic bond issuance was fully underwritten by AmBank, which earned all the commission and not Goldman Sachs.

The other contentious issues raised by Dr Mahathir that 1MDB addressed were:

> The interest per annum on the RM42bil loan is RM2.4bil, and not RM3bil;

> The RM5bil Islamic debt paper was issued at a yield of 6.15%, not 7% as alleged, and that it was fair given the tenure of the paper stretching over 30 years;

> The RM2bil loan furnished by billionaire T. Ananda Krishan’s Tanjong group to 1MDB in February was in accordance with an agreement signed between both parties on Aug 7 last year;

> The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land was acquired for RM230mil, not RM320mil as alleged. 1MDB has to build the infrastructure for the TRX development that comes up to RM1,500 per sq ft;

> PetroSaudi International (PSI) injected oil fields in Turkmenistan and Argentina worth about US$2.7bil into a JV company which 1MDB paid US$1bil for a 40% stake. Dr Mahathir alleged that PSI did not “inject a single cent” into the JV company; and

> The 40% stake in PSI was later converted into an Islamic loan. 1MDB’s total exposure to PSI between September 2009 and June 2012 came up to US$1.83bil. The loans were converted to equity and eventually sold for US$2.318bil, an exercise that 1MDB claims earned it a return of US$488mil.

1MDB said the US$2.318bil was put in a Cayman Islands-registered fund and in return it received “fund units”.

“These fund units were owned by 1MDB via its 100% subsidiary, Brazen Sky, and held through BSI Bank Singapore as custodian,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The value of the investments held by Brazen Sky in BSI Bank came into question because the money is not in the form of cash but “units”.

In March, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told Parliament that 1MDB’s investments had been redeemed and the “money” was placed with BSI Bank.

In May, the answer was amended to state that the investments had been redeemed and were in the form of “units”.

1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kanda­samy was also reported to have said on foreign media that he had seen the cash.

On this matter, 1MDB denied that Arul Kanda had said he had “seen the cash” and stated that there was a misunderstanding that led to the answer by Najib, who is also Finance Minister, in Parliament.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

History will judge Najib positively, says Sabah speaker

Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has emerged as one of Datuk Seri Najib
Razak's fiercest supporters, defending the prime minister and the
controversies surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)
through his blog.

The Sabah assembly speaker also pulled no punches against retired prime
minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, repeatedly taking to his blog to
counter the statesman's criticism on Najib and 1MDB which is sitting on
RM42 billion debt.

The Usukan assemblyman is well known in Sabah, having been the state's
ninth chief minister in the mid-1990s during Dr Mahathir’s era.

 His father, Mohamad Said Keruak, was Sabah's fourth chief minister 20
years earlier and later appointed the state's Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

The Malaysian Insider asked Salleh to explain his defence of Najib.
Below are excerpts from his interview:

TMI:  Why do you choose to express your opinions through your blog?

A: I choose to give my opinion through my blog because, firstly, I want
to express my personal opinion rather than the opinion of Umno or the
Sabah government and, secondly, I want to reach out to the younger
generation who are going to represent the majority of the voters in the
next general election.

There is nothing wrong in having a personal opinion. Everyone has one.
But you must make it clear that this is your personal opinion and not
that of the party you represent, or the government you serve. So what
better way than to do that in a blog? This is me, Salleh talking, not
the speaker of the Sabah state assembly or spokesman of Umno.

TMI: In your blog, you have repeatedly defended the prime minister
against his critics, who include Dr Mahathir. Why are you doing this? Is
 it because there are not many ministers and BN leaders defending Najib?

A: The issue is simple. Tun Dr Mahathir cannot seem to agree with all
his successors whereas he personally handpicked these successors. The
reason Dr Mahathir is angry with Najib is because, according to Dr
Mahathir, Najib gives in to Singapore.

That has been repeated many times. I think this is an unfair allegation.
 Countries must be considerate, civil and courteous to their neighbours.
 Dr Mahathir is talking as if Malaysia is at war with Singapore.

That is why I defended the prime minister. I think Najib is doing the
right thing in discussing with Singapore, before doing something that
mutually affects both countries. Can Britain build a tunnel to France
unless France also agrees to it? That is the issue.

TMI:  Do you think Najib is under siege? Is he misunderstood? Is he a
good, capable leader?

A: The opposition will oppose any prime minister from Umno or Barisan
Nasional. But now some in Umno have united with the opposition to attack
 the prime minister. So they are creating an impression that the prime
minister is under siege.

Why don’t they try to pass a vote of no-confidence against him in
Parliament? Then we will know whether the PM is under siege or not.

Is Naijb misunderstood? Every prime minister since Tunku Abdul Rahman
was misunderstood. Even Dr Mahathir was misunderstood. Winston Churchill
 and Margaret Thatcher were also misunderstood. I suppose it is natural
that all great men/women are misunderstood to some extent. Great people
are complicated people so simple people can never understand them. It
comes with the territory.

They say that people are judged after they have gone, so maybe we will
allow history to answer the question of whether Najib is a capable
leader. I believe, however, history would judge Najib positively.

TMI: What is your message to Najib's critics?

A: What message can I give Najib’s critics? If they do not like Najib,
they will continue not liking him, never mind what I say. Most have
closed minds, which will never open to whatever you may say.

TMI: What do you think of the controversies surrounding 1MDB?

A: Malaysia is facing many issues – economic, security, social, racial,
religious, etc. But the way 1MDB is being played up is giving the
impression that is the only issue or the most critical issue of all.

Even if 1MDB can be considered a serious problem, it is not the only
problem or even the most serious of all. I would rate security, racial,
and religion as being above all other problems because if they are not
properly handled, they can tear the country apart or cause a great loss
of lives.

So that is why I speak about 1MDB. Furthermore, there appears to be a
lot of distortion and misconception regarding 1MDB. On the one hand, we
want PAC (Public Accounts Committee) to investigate 1MDB and come out
with an extensive and thorough report.

On the other hand, even before the investigation and report can be
completed, we have already formed an opinion and made up our minds
regarding 1MDB. There are even statements such as 1MDB must be
considered guilty until and unless it can prove its innocence. This goes
 against the very grain of justice, which is innocent until proven
guilty.

So what are we asking PAC to do? Are we asking PAC to prove that 1MDB is
 innocent and if it can’t, then we will have to assume it is guilty?
Will we put someone on trial for murder and unless that person can prove
 he or she did not commit the murder we will send him or her to the
gallows?

In that case it will be very simple. All PAC has to do is to issue a
statement saying that they have investigated 1MDB and they can’t find
any evidence that 1MDB is innocent so that means 1MDB must be guilty
although there is no evidence of guilt.

In other words, prove that you did not receive any bribes and if you
cannot do that then you must have taken bribes even though we have no
evidence that you did. That is crazy!

We demand that 1MDB reply to the questions. But when they do we say we
do not believe they are telling us the truth. So why demand they reply
to our questions, if we are determined that whatever they reply is not
true? Don’t ask any questions then. Ask a third party instead of 1MDB to
 reply. And this third party is PAC.

But they can only reply after they investigate 1MDB first. That is why I
 talk about 1MDB in my blog. The whole situation has become ridiculous
and many are talking irrationally. It is almost like mass hysteria. No
one wants to know the truth any longer. They want to hear just one
thing: that 1MDB is guilty.

Any statement other than 1MDB is guilty is not acceptable. What is going
 on? Have we all become mad? Why not just let PAC and 1MDB do their
jobs? What we want is for a good job to be done. But we are not allowing
 that to happen. That is what I am trying to say in my blog.

TMI: With the current imbroglio over 1MDB, won't it be a good idea if
Najib rebuts his critics in a forum, dialogue or even a televised
Q&A for Malaysians to listen to his points of view rather than being
 branded a coward for not attending the Nothing to Hide forum on 1MDB?

A: There are many controversies. There is also the controversy of
Anwar’s (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) sodomy charges and the controversy of
 the illegal ICs given to Sabah immigrants during Dr Mahathir’s time.

Did Dr Mahathir agree to a public debate to talk about these? What about
 the Memali massacre? Can Dr Mahathir agree to debate on that also? Why
just pick on 1MDB? The Memali massacre is even more serious, and to us
in Sabah, the illegal ICs are the number one problem.

So why just pick on 1MDB? 1MDB is trying to resolve all the issues.
Also, PAC has not completed its investigation and report yet. So why
disturb everything?

The Nothing to Hide dialogue was supposed to be a dialogue between NGOs
and Najib. It was also supposed to be by invitation only. Then they
tried to turn it into a Najib-Mahathir debate. That was not was what
agreed.

TMI: Issues surrounding 1MDB were brought up as early as two years ago,
but the company did not rebut or answer them. Do you think 1MDB should
have answered its critics from day one when issue of its mismanagement
was brought up instead of keeping quiet and letting it fester until now?

A: The opposition raises so many issues. We cannot reply to every issue
the opposition raises. The government is spending too much time just
replying and rebutting that we no longer have time to run the country.

It is becoming too ridiculous. Let us allow PAC to reply. After all,
whatever 1MDB says is rejected anyway.

TMI: Dr Mahathir has been vocal against Najib on several issues like
1MDB, BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid), the murder of Altantuya (Mongolian
Altantuya Shaariibuu) and it cannot be denied that his views have
influenced Malaysians' views on the prime minister and BN. How damaging
are his actions to BN and Najib? What should be done to counter his
influence?

A: Dr Mahathir helped the opposition win big in 2008. I suppose Dr
Mahathir can still cause more damage to BN in the next election. Let us
see what happens.

TMI: The country has also been mired in racial-religious tension since
the last general election and the government has been viewed as not
doing enough to douse such flames. Do you feel the government is not
doing enough to check raging racial religious tensions? What needs to be
 done to bring us back to harmonious Malaysia where people of all races
respected each other?

A: Politicians from both sides of the fence, in particular in (the
peninsula), are playing the race and religion card. There is nothing
politicians can do if the people do not reject this. So the people need
to reject these types of politicians.  If not, then they will continue
playing race and religion politics. – June 16, 2015.



Copy and WIN : http://ow.ly/KNICZ


History will judge
Najib positively, says Sabah speaker
BY EILEEN NG (Interview with Malaysian Insider
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/history-will-judge-najib-positively-says-sabah-speaker?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)
Published:
 16 June 2015 7:00 AM


Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak has emerged as one of Datuk Seri Najib
Razak's fiercest supporters, defending the prime minister and the
controversies surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)
through his blog.

The Sabah assembly speaker also pulled no punches against retired prime
minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, repeatedly taking to his blog to
counter the statesman's criticism on Najib and 1MDB which is sitting on
RM42 billion debt.

The Usukan assemblyman is well known in Sabah, having been the state's
ninth chief minister in the mid-1990s during Dr Mahathir’s era.

 His father, Mohamad Said Keruak, was Sabah's fourth chief minister 20
years earlier and later appointed the state's Yang di-Pertua Negeri.

The Malaysian Insider asked Salleh to explain his defence of Najib.
Below are excerpts from his interview:

TMI:  Why do you choose to express your opinions through your blog?

A: I choose to give my opinion through my blog because, firstly, I want
to express my personal opinion rather than the opinion of Umno or the
Sabah government and, secondly, I want to reach out to the younger
generation who are going to represent the majority of the voters in the
next general election.

There is nothing wrong in having a personal opinion. Everyone has one.
But you must make it clear that this is your personal opinion and not
that of the party you represent, or the government you serve. So what
better way than to do that in a blog? This is me, Salleh talking, not
the speaker of the Sabah state assembly or spokesman of Umno.

TMI: In your blog, you have repeatedly defended the prime minister
against his critics, who include Dr Mahathir. Why are you doing this? Is
 it because there are not many ministers and BN leaders defending Najib?

A: The issue is simple. Tun Dr Mahathir cannot seem to agree with all
his successors whereas he personally handpicked these successors. The
reason Dr Mahathir is angry with Najib is because, according to Dr
Mahathir, Najib gives in to Singapore.

That has been repeated many times. I think this is an unfair allegation.
 Countries must be considerate, civil and courteous to their neighbours.
 Dr Mahathir is talking as if Malaysia is at war with Singapore.

That is why I defended the prime minister. I think Najib is doing the
right thing in discussing with Singapore, before doing something that
mutually affects both countries. Can Britain build a tunnel to France
unless France also agrees to it? That is the issue.

TMI:  Do you think Najib is under siege? Is he misunderstood? Is he a
good, capable leader?

A: The opposition will oppose any prime minister from Umno or Barisan
Nasional. But now some in Umno have united with the opposition to attack
 the prime minister. So they are creating an impression that the prime
minister is under siege.

Why don’t they try to pass a vote of no-confidence against him in
Parliament? Then we will know whether the PM is under siege or not.

Is Naijb misunderstood? Every prime minister since Tunku Abdul Rahman
was misunderstood. Even Dr Mahathir was misunderstood. Winston Churchill
 and Margaret Thatcher were also misunderstood. I suppose it is natural
that all great men/women are misunderstood to some extent. Great people
are complicated people so simple people can never understand them. It
comes with the territory.

They say that people are judged after they have gone, so maybe we will
allow history to answer the question of whether Najib is a capable
leader. I believe, however, history would judge Najib positively.

TMI: What is your message to Najib's critics?

A: What message can I give Najib’s critics? If they do not like Najib,
they will continue not liking him, never mind what I say. Most have
closed minds, which will never open to whatever you may say.

TMI: What do you think of the controversies surrounding 1MDB?

A: Malaysia is facing many issues – economic, security, social, racial,
religious, etc. But the way 1MDB is being played up is giving the
impression that is the only issue or the most critical issue of all.

Even if 1MDB can be considered a serious problem, it is not the only
problem or even the most serious of all. I would rate security, racial,
and religion as being above all other problems because if they are not
properly handled, they can tear the country apart or cause a great loss
of lives.

So that is why I speak about 1MDB. Furthermore, there appears to be a
lot of distortion and misconception regarding 1MDB. On the one hand, we
want PAC (Public Accounts Committee) to investigate 1MDB and come out
with an extensive and thorough report.

On the other hand, even before the investigation and report can be
completed, we have already formed an opinion and made up our minds
regarding 1MDB. There are even statements such as 1MDB must be
considered guilty until and unless it can prove its innocence. This goes
 against the very grain of justice, which is innocent until proven
guilty.

So what are we asking PAC to do? Are we asking PAC to prove that 1MDB is
 innocent and if it can’t, then we will have to assume it is guilty?
Will we put someone on trial for murder and unless that person can prove
 he or she did not commit the murder we will send him or her to the
gallows?

In that case it will be very simple. All PAC has to do is to issue a
statement saying that they have investigated 1MDB and they can’t find
any evidence that 1MDB is innocent so that means 1MDB must be guilty
although there is no evidence of guilt.

In other words, prove that you did not receive any bribes and if you
cannot do that then you must have taken bribes even though we have no
evidence that you did. That is crazy!

We demand that 1MDB reply to the questions. But when they do we say we
do not believe they are telling us the truth. So why demand they reply
to our questions, if we are determined that whatever they reply is not
true? Don’t ask any questions then. Ask a third party instead of 1MDB to
 reply. And this third party is PAC.

But they can only reply after they investigate 1MDB first. That is why I
 talk about 1MDB in my blog. The whole situation has become ridiculous
and many are talking irrationally. It is almost like mass hysteria. No
one wants to know the truth any longer. They want to hear just one
thing: that 1MDB is guilty.

Any statement other than 1MDB is guilty is not acceptable. What is going
 on? Have we all become mad? Why not just let PAC and 1MDB do their
jobs? What we want is for a good job to be done. But we are not allowing
 that to happen. That is what I am trying to say in my blog.

TMI: With the current imbroglio over 1MDB, won't it be a good idea if
Najib rebuts his critics in a forum, dialogue or even a televised
Q&A for Malaysians to listen to his points of view rather than being
 branded a coward for not attending the Nothing to Hide forum on 1MDB?

A: There are many controversies. There is also the controversy of
Anwar’s (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) sodomy charges and the controversy of
 the illegal ICs given to Sabah immigrants during Dr Mahathir’s time.

Did Dr Mahathir agree to a public debate to talk about these? What about
 the Memali massacre? Can Dr Mahathir agree to debate on that also? Why
just pick on 1MDB? The Memali massacre is even more serious, and to us
in Sabah, the illegal ICs are the number one problem.

So why just pick on 1MDB? 1MDB is trying to resolve all the issues.
Also, PAC has not completed its investigation and report yet. So why
disturb everything?

The Nothing to Hide dialogue was supposed to be a dialogue between NGOs
and Najib. It was also supposed to be by invitation only. Then they
tried to turn it into a Najib-Mahathir debate. That was not was what
agreed.

TMI: Issues surrounding 1MDB were brought up as early as two years ago,
but the company did not rebut or answer them. Do you think 1MDB should
have answered its critics from day one when issue of its mismanagement
was brought up instead of keeping quiet and letting it fester until now?

A: The opposition raises so many issues. We cannot reply to every issue
the opposition raises. The government is spending too much time just
replying and rebutting that we no longer have time to run the country.

It is becoming too ridiculous. Let us allow PAC to reply. After all,
whatever 1MDB says is rejected anyway.

TMI: Dr Mahathir has been vocal against Najib on several issues like
1MDB, BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid), the murder of Altantuya (Mongolian
Altantuya Shaariibuu) and it cannot be denied that his views have
influenced Malaysians' views on the prime minister and BN. How damaging
are his actions to BN and Najib? What should be done to counter his
influence?

A: Dr Mahathir helped the opposition win big in 2008. I suppose Dr
Mahathir can still cause more damage to BN in the next election. Let us
see what happens.

TMI: The country has also been mired in racial-religious tension since
the last general election and the government has been viewed as not
doing enough to douse such flames. Do you feel the government is not
doing enough to check raging racial religious tensions? What needs to be
 done to bring us back to harmonious Malaysia where people of all races
respected each other?

A: Politicians from both sides of the fence, in particular in (the
peninsula), are playing the race and religion card. There is nothing
politicians can do if the people do not reject this. So the people need
to reject these types of politicians.  If not, then they will continue
playing race and religion politics.