Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Lawyer Americk Sidhu denies having information on pen drive of murdered DPP Kevin Morais

 Lawyer Americk Sidhu has denied having any information regarding the contents of a pen-drive allegedly given to his client Charles Morais by his brother and deputy public prosecutor Datuk Anthony Kevin Morais before he was murdered.

“I’m not aware. I don’t know anything about it,” he told the Star Online on Tuesday.

According to Americk, Charles had only informed him of the existence of the pen drive but nothing else.

In a statutory declaration released on Monday, Charles claimed that Kevin had told him that he was working on a case involving a top politician and his wife.

He had also claimed that his Kevin had sent him a pen drive a month before his death for safekeeping.

On Sunday, the police announced that they would be calling Americk in to provide a statement over the statutory declaration signed by Charles.

However, the meeting has been rescheduled to two days later.

“They cancelled their appointment with me today. The inspector who is doing it is busy. It’s being rescheduled for this Thursday,” he said.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar had also urged Charles to share his findings with the police, saying that failure to do so would be tantamount to withholding evidence, which is an offence.

Kevin went missing on Sept 4 after leaving his home in Menara Duta for work in Putrajaya.

He was abducted by several men following a minor accident along Jalan Dutamas.

A DNA test on a body found in a cemented oil drum dumped in a swamp in Subang Jaya on Sept 16 identified the remains as that of Kevin’s.
Army pathologist Kol Dr R. Kunaseegaran and seven others have been charged with the abduction and murder of Kevin.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Malaysia to host CHOGM in 2020

Malaysia has been chosen as the host of the 26th Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2020, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the appointment was in recognition of Malaysia's significant role as a member of the Commonwealth for the past 50 years.

"Malaysia has been appointed to host CHOGM in 2020, 31 years after last hosting the meeting," he told Malaysian reporters here after attending the CHOGM 2015 closing ceremony in Malta Monday.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who led the Malaysian delegation for CHOGM 2015, said the United Kingdom would host the meeting in 2018.

During the meeting here, Commonwealth leaders addressed global issues such as climate change, building resilience in small states, trade and sustainable development, the empowerment of youth, and fight against corruption and terrorism.

Dr Ahmad Zahid said climate change, which has affected the 31 Commonwealth member states, was among the major focus points of the summit.

"Small island Commonwealth states are anticipated to be submerged in the near future due to global warming that has raised the sea level," he said.

He said a paper had been presented to the Cabinet to affirm Malaysia's commitment towards reducing climate change, which outlined efforts in environmental conservation, minimisation of deforestation, and renewable energy advocacy and other approaches.

"We will play an important role in helping to reduce global climate change," he said.

At the same press conference, Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said Malaysia had also urged developed Commonwealth states to provide financial resources to developing state members.

On the Commonwealth Youth Council secretariat's relocation to Kuala Lumpur, Ahmad Zahid said he had discussed the matter with Anifah and would forward it to the Cabinet for approval as well as to seek an allocation for it.

He would also hold a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on the issue.

Sale will not lead to increase in IPP tariffs, says 1MDB

1Malaysia Deve­lopment Bhd has assured the public that independent power producer tariffs will not be increased over the next 10 years although its power assets were sold to a China-owned company.
It said that although there was a change in ownership of the power assets under Edra Global Energy Bhd to China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGN), IPP ta­­riffs were fixed for the duration of the purchase agreement.

“On average across all the Edra power plants, this is for the next 10 years. So, there is no question of the IPP tariffs being increased for the life of the PPA (power purchase agreement) despite the change of ownership,” it said in a statement.

1MDB said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not mislead the people by not mentioning in his blog that the tariff for the Edra assets were fixed for the duration of the agreement.
1MDB said CGN Group would pay RM9.83bil in cash and absorb Edra’s RM7.43bil debt in operating cost, thus effectively reducing 1MDB’s debt by up to RM17bil.

The company said this was well within its anticipated debt reduction of between RM16bil and RM18bil as announced earlier in its rationalisation plan.

1MDB insisted that the RM17bil debt reduction was over and above the RM2bil cash dividends received from the power assets during the duration of its ownership.

It said president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda had explained the matter clearly last week.
The firm said it had “broke even” on its investments through an international tender process, despite having to sell its assets.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Stop blaming Barisan, Penang MCA tells Guan Eng

The DAP-led Penang should stop blaming the previous Barisan Nasional government over the pawning off state assets and the construction of the Penang Undersea Tunnel, according to MCA.

Its Penang liaison committee deputy chairman Tan Teik Cheng (pix) said Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng must not accuse Barisan over such issues in an attempt to deceive voters.

He said when the state government unveiled its Penang Transport Master Plan (PTMP), the move was deemed as a huge achievement to improve the traffic conditions in the state.

“In Aug 2013, the state government announced that it had entered into a joint-venture with three consortiums as its programme delivery partner (PDP) for the PTMP worth RM27bil. 

“However, Guan Eng later gave the excuse that the plan needs to be approved by the Federal Government, thus proving that Guan Eng's claim that the previous Barisan state government had approved the plan is fake,” Tan said in a statement on Friday. 

Tan also said the actions of the five PKR state representatives who had abstained on Umno’s motion to stop land reclamation projects revealed that Guan Eng was lying when he said that Penang would go bankrupt if the projects were stopped because of the need to pay a huge compensation.

“By now, I believe that Guan Eng is running out of place to turn to. He must state clearly, if the land reclamation projects were to be stopped, is it Penang which will become bankrupt, or is it himself? 

“He must also explain why the approval was given without public consultation” said Tan.

Lim had previously said that the state might go bankrupt if the Tanjung Pinang land reclamation project was postponed.

He made the comments in the wake of a controversy resulting from a motion on reclamation tabled by Muhamad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) at the state assembly sitting last week.

The motion attracted attention when DAP assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu voted for it together with all the nine Barisan assemblymen present in the House while five PKR backbenchers abstained.

Twenty-three others (18 from DAP, four from PKR and one from PAS) voted against the motion which had called for public hearings to be held for all projects and concessions involving land reclamation for development as an exchange to fund the cost of infrastructure or public transport projects or any other development.

The motion had also called for the suspension of all new land reclamation plans in the state until a detailed study on their environmental and social impacts were carried out, and to cancel such plans if they had negative effects.

Probe on Umno seven completed, says Ku Nan

The probe against seven errant Umno members has been completed and the investigation papers will be submitted to the party's disciplinary committee soon, said Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor.

The Umno secretary-general said that after the disciplinary committee had studied the papers, the matter would be then left to the supreme council to decide on the action to be taken,” he said at a press conference called here Thursday.

Tengku Adnan, when asked for the identity of the seven members, declined to name any but hinted that several members of the supreme council were on the list.

Recently sacked Gopeng Wanita Umno chief Datuk Hamidah Osman was not on the list, he said. 

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Parliament: Paul Stadlen was not government staff, says PMO

Public Relations consultant Paul Stadlen was not a government staff and, as such, was not paid a salary and allowance by the government, said the Prime Minister's Department.

It said this in a written reply on Thursday to a question from Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) in the Dewan Rakyat.

News portal 'Sarawak Report' had reported claiming that Stadlen had headed the communication team at the Prime Minister's Office.

Stadlen, a permanent resident, had headed the Kuala Lumpur branch of Apco Worldwide, a Washington-based public relations firm with 29 branches around the world.

The Prime Minister's Department, in the written reply, also said that Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Lim Kok Wing was also not paid a salary and allowance when he was the special programmes coordinator for the Prime Minister.

It said the scope of duties of national unity affairs advisor Datuk Heng Seai Kie included cooperating in the implementation of the vision and mission of the Department of National Unity and National Integration besides programmes to strengthen unity and social harmony.

Dr Ling given more time to file statement of defence in PM’s suit

Former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik has been allowed some time to file his statement of defence over a libel suit filed by the Prime Minister against him.

On Thursday, the parties agreed for an extension of time to be given to Dr Ling to file his statement of defence.

This was disclosed to reporters here by Dr Ling's lawyer Gregory Ling and the Prime Minister's counsel Nor Emelia Iszeham after they met the judge in chambers.

High Court judge Justice John Louis O'Hara allowed Dr Ling to file his statement of defence on Dec 15.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was suing Dr Ling over his remarks which allegedly implied that he had misused public funds for his personal interests.

Nor Emelia said her client would reply to the defence statement by Dec 29.

"The pleadings (documents filed for the suit) will be closed at the end of next month," added Gregory.

In his suit, Najib said that an online news portal had on Oct 3 published an article saying Dr Ling had made slanderous statements against him while attending a ceremony at Tunku Abdul Rahman University College.

He said Dr Ling, who is a former MCA president, had uttered defamatory words in his speech which implied that he had misappropriated funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into his personal account.

Najib said the words had implied that he was not competent to be a leader of the Government or the Prime Minister.

In his statement of claim, Najib is seeking general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages to be assessed by the court.

Among others, Najib is applying for an injunction to restrain Dr Ling from further speaking or publishing or causing to be published any similar defamatory words against him.

He is asking for an order that Dr Ling publish a written apology in newspaper or magazines to be identified by him.

The Prime Minister had on Oct 27 filed the suit at the High Court civil registry through Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak.

Abdul Rahman dismisses Charles’ allegations over Kevin’s murder

 Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan has dismissed allegations by a brother of murdered Anthony Kevin Morais that “certain personalities” were involved in the DPP’s death.

The Barisan Nasional strategic communications director said the allegations were outlandish, adding that the timing was “too convenient”.

He said Charles Suresh, who had signed a statutory declaration claiming that he had information implicating certain personalities in his brother’s death, should refer to the statement of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

“If Charles would just follow-up with what’s happening, the MACC already made a police report stating that the charge sheet (against the Prime Minister) was false.

“I can’t help but looking at the entire episode surrounding the PM as every time there’s an event as big as the Umno general assembly, some issue will surface.

“The timing is too convenient,” he told reporters when met outside the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.

In a series of tweets earlier, Abdul Rahman said Charles had raised these allegations long after the murder but just before the Umno general assembly.

“MACC said the charge sheet was unfounded. Everyone except Charles knows SRC investigation is still ongoing. How can there be a charge sheet?

“Another wayang (show) with bad script and equally bad actor,” he added.

In a statutory declaration on Wednesday, Charles had claimed that his brother sent him a thumbdrive a month before his disappearance for safekeeping.

He said Kevin had told him that the thumbdrive contained information which “implicates certain personalities” in the country.
SRC International is a former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Kevin was never involved in 1MDB case, A-G Mohamed Apandi reiterates

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has maintained that the late deputy public prosecutor Anthony Kevin Morais was never involved in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case.

"Kevin was never involved in the 1MDB investigations. In fact, when he was transferred back to Attorney-General's Chambers in early July 2014, there was no report in respect of 1MDB yet!" he said in a text message from Nanning, China Thursday.

On Sept 7, Mohamed Apandi issued a statement that Kevin was not involved in investigations pertaining to 1MDB.

His remarks were in response to a statutory declaration made by Kevin's younger brother Charles Suresh Morais on Wednesday.

Charles, 51, had claimed that his brother had sent him a pendrive a month before his disappearance for safekeeping.

He said Kevin had told him that the pendrive contained information which “implicates certain personalities” in the country.

Apandi said the claims by Charles were preposterous.

"I need to state that when the brother starts insinuating that the current accused persons are not linked to Kevin's murder, he is seen as interfering with the pending trial.

"So are his unfounded allegations on the post-mortem of his late brother Kevin," added Apandi.

The feud over the remains of murdered DPP Anthony Kevin Morais has taken a new twist with two of his brothers claiming that the body has been secretly cremated.

Charles and David Ramesh, 51, who wanted a second autopsy conducted on the body, hit out at their youngest brother Datuk Richard for claiming the remains at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital mortuary on Monday.

Saying they did not know for sure what had happened to Kevin’s remains, they said they had a strong feeling it had been cremated.

Richard, 49, a piano seller, had claimed the body on the same day that Charles filed a court application for a second autopsy.

Among other matters, Charles accused Richard of conspiring with unknown persons to cremate Kevin’s remains before a second autopsy could be conducted, adding that he believed this was done to destroy new evidence from emerging.

Kevin, who was described by his friends as kind, humble, dedicated and committed to his job, went missing on Sept 4 after leaving his residence in Menara Duta for work in Putrajaya in a grey Proton Perdana.

The DPP was abducted by several men following a fender bender along Jalan Dutamas during morning rush hour traffic.

A DNA test performed on the body found in a cemented oil drum on Sept 16 matched that of Kevin. The oil drum was dumped at a swamp in Subang Jaya.

One of the suspects arrested led police to the location of the oil drum.

Eight men including an army doctor had on Sept 28 been charged at two courts over the murder of Kevin.

Lodge a police report to back your claims, Nur Jazlan tells Charles

Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has told a brother of murdered Anthony Kevin Morais to lodge a police report to back his allegations that influential people were involved in the DPP’s death.

"He should lodge a police report so that we can investigate his allegations," the Deputy Home Minister told reporters outside the Dewan Rakyat Thursday.

Charles Suresh, 51, had claimed in a statutory declaration on Wednesday that his brother had sent him a pendrive a month before his disappearance for safekeeping.

He said Kevin had told him that the pendrive contained information which “implicates certain personalities” of high standing in the country.

Nur Jazlan said Charles had not furnished the police with evidence to back his claims.

"Charles has made accusations but we have not received any police report for us to start investigations.

"He shouldn't make accusations like this without presenting the evidence to police. Police won't investigate wild rumours," he added.

The Deputy Minister's remarks echoes that of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who urged Charles to share his findings with the police.

Khalid had said that Charles' failure to do so would be tantamount to him committing the offence of withholding evidence.

Charles claimed he did not believe that Kevin was killed because of his involvement in the prosecution of an army pathologist who has been charged with the murder.

Malaysia makes top 10 list of most generous nations

Malaysians are known for their charitable efforts - the country has been listed as one of the most generous nations in the world.

In the Charity Aid Foundation’s (CAF) World Giving Index for 2015 released this month, Malaysia was ranked in the 10th spot and received a score of 52.

The index by Britain-based CAF looks at three measures of giving - donating money, volunteering time, and helping a stranger.

Malaysia scored 62% when it comes to helping strangers, 58% in donating money and 37% in volunteer services. 

The countries, which comprise the top 10, remain largely the same as those reported in 2014.

Malaysia, among the most improved countries in 2014, has maintained these increases in giving to remain in the top 20 for this year.

Myanmar is ranked first in the World Giving Index for 2015, having previously shared this position with the US last year. 

Their score of 66% achieved is the highest on record. Myanmar once again records the highest incidence of donating money (92%), and this year, it also leads the world in terms of volunteering (50%).

The US comes in second while New Zealand completes the podium. Other countries in the top 10 are Canada, Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Ireland.

This year’s edition of the World Giving Index presents data from across the globe over a five-year period (2010-2014). 

The index includes data from 145 countries that was collected throughout 2014.

CAF is an international charity registered in the United Kingdom, with nine offices covering six continents. 

Their mission is to motivate society to give even more effectively and help transform lives and communities around the world.

Gopeng Umno: Take action against Muhyiddin and Dr M as well

The Gopeng Umno division is calling for disciplinary action to be taken against both Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, following the expulsion of its former Wanita wing chief Datuk Hamidah Osman from the party.

Division chief Datuk Hamzah Mohd Kassim said a proposal to remove the party deputy president and the former prime minister's party membership was actually handed in to the Umno Supreme Council four months ago by its division members.

"We accepted the decision of Hamidah's removal unanimously after our meeting.

"But we feel the same should also be done to Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir as they have both gone against the party's rules and regulations as well," he told journalists after chairing the Gopeng Umno division committee meeting here on Wednesday.

Hamzah stressed that while having differing opinions was not out of the ordinary, they should have stood by party rules and gone through proper channels when voicing their dissatisfaction with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration.

"What right do they have to openly call for our current leader to step down when he was rightfully elected by Umno members and the rakyat to lead our country?

Hamzah pointed out that Hamidah's removal would not have any negative effect among division members.

"We stand here united as one and will continue to work hard to win back our parliamentary seats in GE14," he added.

Regarding to the Wanita wing chief post vacated by Hamidah, Hamzah said it was up to the Umno supreme council to decide who would take over.

"But we believe that according to party tradition, our vice Gopeng Umno Wanita chief Feridah Zakaria holds the post in an acting capacity," he said.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Penang DAP leader resigns post over support of Umno motion

Tanjung Bungah assemblyman Teh Yee Cheu has submitted his resignation as Penang DAP organising secretary effective Sunday.

The resignation via e-mail was addressed to the state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow and state DAP secretary Lim Hui Ying.

In his resignation letter, Teh informed the party that he had decided to resign over his support of the Umno land reclamation motion at the state legislative assembly on Nov 20.

On Friday, a motion tabled by Muhamad Farid Saad (BN-Pulau Betong) drew attention when Teh voted for it together with all the nine Barisan assemblymen present in the House while five PKR assemblymen abstained.

He, however, apologised during a hastily called press conference by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that night after the House adjourned sine die.

He also told reporters that he had made a mistake in voting for the motion, apologised and recommitted himself to the interest of the party.

PM’s son-in-law to DAP MP: Apologise or I’ll sue

The Prime Minister’s son-in-law Daniyar Kesikbayev has threatened to sue DAP’s Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri over an article that made mention of him.

In a press statement released through law firm Messrs Noorhajran Mohd Noor on Tuesday, Kesikbayev reserved all further civil and criminal rights to institute legal proceedings.

The post on Mohd Ariff’s site Sakmongkol AK47, titled “Faulty Reward System and Changeable Governments” was published on Tuesday.

It appeared as an article on portal Malaysia Chronicle on the same day with the title “Son-in-law Daniyar to be Najib’s new ‘Jho Low’: Disquiet over contract to renovate Govt’s office in New York”.

The article stated that the building housing Malaysia’s permanent representative to the United Nations located in New York would undergo massive renovation works very soon, in a multi-million dollar project.

It further alleged that project was to be given to Kesikbayev.

Kesikbayev, who is also known as Daniyar Nazarbayev and is married to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s daughter Nooryana Najwa, has demanded that the article be taken down immediately.

An apology is also to be accorded to him within 48 hours.

The law firm called the opposition lawmaker’s statements untrue: “It is malicious, baseless and the lies are intended to harm the reputation of my client Mr Daniyar Kesikbayev and the good name of his family”.
“The words written by Mohd Ariff Sabri is intended to make representations, publishes imputations intending to harm or knowing or having reasons to believe that such imputations will harm the reputation of Mr Daniyar Kesikbayev,” it added.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Sabahans offended by Nurul's photo with Sulu princess

Nurul Izzah Anwar’s meeting with ‘Princess’ Jacel Kiram in the Philippines can be construed as "subtle support" for Jacel’s campaign to become a senator, says former Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee.

Yong, who spoke to The Star on Friday, said such a meeting was highly offensive to Sabahans because Jacel has made the “Sabah claim” her main campaign agenda.

“Not only that, Jacel was the main spokesperson for the Kiram-led armed intrusion at Lahad Datu in 2013.

“Many innocent lives were lost, Sabah villagers were displaced and our security forces suffered fatalities.  Even now the adverse economic impact on the Sabah economy, especially east coast, is still being felt,” he said.

Yong said Jacel's campaign (to claim Sabah) was widely known and there was no way that Nurul, who is PKR vice-president, and her colleagues were not aware of her campaign.

"Therefore, Sabahans are deeply offended, even disturbed, by Nurul's apparent support for Jacel.”

Pictures of Nurul Izzah together with Jacel caused an uproar as many questioned why Nurul Izzah would meet with someone whose late father Jamalul Kiram III ordered 200 of his 'Royal Sulu Army' to invade Sabah in Feb 2013.

In one picture, Nurul Izzah was seen having dinner with Jacel and an unidentified man while in two other pictures, she posed with Jacel holding a ‘Release Anwar Immediately’ poster.

She has defended her meeting with Jacel, saying that it was arranged by the Filipino authorities.

Nurul Izzah said she had gone to the Philippines on Nov 9 with Batu MP Tian Chua, as part of the party's delegation to meet political stakeholders in the country.

According to her, the people she met were legitimate stakeholders and civil society leaders.

They included former Batangas governor and Congressman Hermilando Mandanas, Congress members Regina Reyes and Silvestre Bello, Dean of Law Amading Valdez, former cabinet member Romy Nery, former undersecretary of justice Wencie Andanar and staff members of the vice-president of the Philippines and the mayor of Manila.

She said the list was decided by the council on Philippines affairs and the Asian Institute for Democracy, the office of the City Mayor of Manila and the office of the Vice-President of the Philippines.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Uproar over Nurul Izzah's photos with daughter of man who ordered Lahad Datu intrusion

 Pictures of Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar together with the daughter of the former self-styled Sulu Sultan who ordered the Lahad Datu intrusion are causing an uproar on social media.

Many are questioning why Nurul had met with Jacel Kiram, whose father Jamalul Kiram III sent 200 of his 'Royal Sulu Army' to invade Sabah in Feb 2013.

In one picture, Nurul was seen having dinner with Jacel and an unidentified man while in two other pictures, Nurul poses with Jacel holding a ‘Release Anwar Immediately’ poster.

The pictures are believed to have been taken this month. 

Facebook user Lim Sian See asked what Nurul, Jacel and the unidentified person discussed over dinner and whether the food was any good.

The self-styled Sulu princess was the chief spokesperson during the Lahad Datu invasion and is currently running for Senator on the platform of claiming Sabah from Malaysia.

On her Facebook page, Jacel’s profile photo had the caption “You are a Filipino, Sabah is ours!”

Netizens also shared the pictures and questioned Nurul’s meeting with Jacel by asking, ‘what was she doing with person behind the Lahad Datu intrusion’.

Another user Justin ‘The’ Tun urged Nurul to clear the air and even went to say, “Isn't that woman Jacel Kiran? Pls tell me she's not.”

“@n_izzah Sampai ke Ratu penceroboh Lahad Datu awk minta bebaskan ayah awk penjenayah sex tu. Cukup la..jgn aibkan lg (You had to ask the Lahad Datu Intrusion princess to release your father. Enough la. Do not make it even more disgraceful),” said Mozas My.

Both Nurul and Jacel could not be reached for comment at time of writing.

On Feb 2013, an armed group of 200 men known as the 'Royal Army of Sulu Sultanate', from Southern Philippines entered Malaysian waters.

A standoff with Malaysian security enforces ensued, causing casualties on both sides. 

Following the intrusion, the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) was established, covering 1,400 km from Kudat to Tawau.

Final TPPA text has allayed fears, says Najib

The release of the final text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has helped to allay fears and criticisms that the trade deal will be bad for Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak noted that trade deals, bilateral or multilateral, that Malaysia was a signatory to had resulted in increased trade activities for the country.

“There has been a lot of disinformation being spread around, so the dissemination of the final text will help to allay or correct the disinformation.

“The cost benefit analysis of TPPA that will be presented to the Cabinet next week will help too,” Najib told the media after attending a series of meetings in conjunction with the Apec Summit here yesterday.

The Prime Minister, who attended the TPP leaders’ meeting, said all 12 member countries were happy that the negotiations had concluded and would now work towards ratifying the TPPA.

The meeting was also attended by the newly elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose government did not participate in the negotiations but gave the commitment to have his new government review the agreement and engage in a consultative process.

The TPPA countries represent 40% of the world economy. Negotiations concluded on Oct 5 and the final text of agreement was made public a month later.

Najib said by participating in free trade deals, Malaysia was able to increase its trade, citing the free trade agreement with Turkey as having brought a 40% hike in bilateral trade.

Asked about the interest shown by countries like Indonesia and the Philippines, the Prime Minister said it proved that the deal was a positive agreement.

“And more significantly, Indonesia said they want to learn from our experience and to be a future partner of the TPPA.

“But of course they will not be part of the first movers, they would have to accept the terms and conditions of TPP (already set).

“We have always said that by being the original members, Malaysia, to some extent, can shape the outcome of the terms and condition and that has been proven as we are able to have a big say in terms of the principles of TPPA, including carve-out policies, those of bumiputra preferences and others.

“If we had decided to join later, say, with Indonesia, there will not be that possibility for us to insist on those conditions,” he added.

Najib also thanked the other 11 partners for accepting Malaysia’s domestic agenda, such as its bumiputra agenda, government procurement and the role of its state-owned enterprises.

Wisma Putra slams UN group

Putrajaya has slammed the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) on its statement criticising the jailing of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a response transmitted to the group via the Permanent Mission of Malaysia to the United Nations in Geneva, the Government said Anwar was “being treated just as any other convicted prisoner”.

“Pursuant to the medical recommendation by a senior consultant who oversees (his) medical needs, Anwar had been provided with certain additional facilities which are not ordinarily afforded to other prisoners. These include an appropriate hospital bed, a suitable chair and table, hot and cold shower facilities, a wall fan and a sitting toilet.

“DSAI also received special dietary and food supplements. Anwar has been given the privilege to occupy a specially renovated cell in the prison’s hospital complex in contrast to other prisoners who are placed in sharing cells. He was definitely not placed in solitary confinement. Anwar also continued to enjoy all his rights such as visitation rights and access to his lawyers,” the four-page statement added.

The ministry also denied that he was suffering from any acute or life threatening medical conditions.

“The Government also maintains that the chronic back pain and spinal injury suffered by Anwar is not a life-threatening medical condition which warrants treatment overseas, (and) undoubtedly can be treated by local medical experts.

“The Government further maintains that based on the indisputable facts and legal basis as explained in detail in the reply to the UNWGAD, Anwar is not a political prisoner.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Zahid wants IGP to go after ‘beruk’ Alvin Tan

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has warned Malaysians abroad against publicly insulting the religions of others.

“Insulting the religions of others, belittling other people's cultures, tearing off the pages of the Al-Quran and using it as a toilet paper … this is an insult. This act is ‘kurang ajar’ (very rude),” he said.

Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, added that freedom of expression does not mean insulting the beliefs of others.

“I have asked the IGP (Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar) to use whatever power there is to deal with this rude individual, even if it was committed abroad.

“This individual knows he can do this abroad as he is in a country that will not take action against him.

“But what he has done has crossed the line, and this ministry will not compromise on this matter. Action will be taken. While we celebrate differences in opinions, we still hold on to our ethics and we must respect the religions and beliefs of others,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid, in his speech at his ministry’s 2015 Innovation Day here on Tuesday.

Although he did not name anyone specifically, Dr Ahmad Zahid’s comments are understood to be about to a recent Facebook post by controversial sex blogger Alvin Tan.

Khalid, who was also at the event, told reporters later that action would be taken against Tan, although he did not elaborate further.

“Stop giving this ‘beruk’ (monkey) the publicity, that is what he wants,” said Khalid.

I voted for Budget on behalf of my constituents, says Khalid Ibrahim

Former Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has denied betraying his constituents by voting for the 2016 Budget.

Khalid said voting for the Budget, which was passed at the policy stage on Monday night was the right thing to do.

"My constituents (in Bandar Tun Razak) voted for me to do the right thing so I am doing the right thing, from my perspective.

"I can meet my constituents and tell them that this is what I feel was right.

"I am not doing things on behalf of other people. I am doing things on behalf of them (constituents)," Khalid told reporters at the Parliament on Tuesday.

Khalid was sacked from PKR last year and is now an independent lawmaker in the Dewan Rakyat.

He felt that the Budget "must go through" as there are many development exercises to be done by the Government, adding he felt that small changes had to be made to strengthen it.

In his budget speech, the Bandar Tun Razak lawmaker said there was a need to review previous privatisation exercises to correct the problems faced by the people now as concessionaires are reaping huge profits out of such concessions.

"So as a parliamentarian, I do not see the need to oppose the Budget," he added.

Monday, November 16, 2015

NOW chief not interested in truth, says Abdul Rahman

The National Oversight and Whistleblower (NOW) association is more interested in humiliating Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom than seeking the truth, says Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

He said that judging from a police report lodged by NOW director Akmal Nasir, which called on police to investigate an alleged abuse of charity funds by Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM), the association was only interested in embarrassing Jamil Khir.

"The report lodged by Akmal Nasir was made up of seven questions. If still in doubt, why embarrass an Islamic affairs minister like that?

"Why didn't he question YaPEIM before bringing the matter to the press?" said the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister, in a series of tweets, on Monday.

Last Friday, NOW had claimed that Jamil Khir had used funds from the state-linked charity body to go shopping and play golf with his wife in US in May last year.

The minister has since denied the allegation, stressing that the trip was organised by YaPEIM with the help with the Malaysian Embassy in the US and Education Malaysia in Chicago for the launch of the Midwest Games there.

On Sunday, Jamil Khir said he was prepared to go to court to clear his name, and had instructed his lawyer to initiate legal action against Akmal.
Akmal also lodged a police report on the same day, urging the police to investigate the alleged abuse of funds by the minister.

Najib: YaPEIM can take action against unfounded allegations

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Malaysian Islamic Economic Development Foundation (YaPEIM) can take action against anyone making unfounded allegations against it.

He said this when replying to a reporter's question at a press conference here on allegation that funds from YaPEIM, which should be utilised for charity work, had been misused to pay for trips by the Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and his delegation to travel abroad.

On the action by Jamil Khir to lodge a police report on the allegation, Najib said: "If he is innocent, he can take any action whether (to sue for) criminal defamation or civil defamation."

Asked whether the matter was an effort to taint the Government's image, he said such things always occurred.

On Sunday, Jamil Khir made a police report at the Putrajaya District Police Headquarters on the allegation that he had misused public donations to pay for his trips abroad.

Jamil Khir said the allegation, made by the director of NOW (National Oversight and Whistleblowers) Akmal Nasir, that the programme in the United States was for enjoyment using funds meant for the orphanage, was slander and an attempt to question his credibility and integrity as a minister.

The minister explained that his visit to the United States from May 21 to 29, 2014 was to attend a programme, organised by an agency under his supervision in collaboration with the Malaysian Embassy in the US.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Zeti says successor should be identified by end-January

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz says her successor should be identified by end-January, three months before she is due to retire in April next year.

Towards this end, the governor is encouraging the central bank’s governance committee to convene and conclude the search at least three months before she retires.

In August this year, she hinted that she will not be staying on after her term expires in April next year.

“I certainly will remain in office until my term ends – that’s a five-year term and it ends next year.

“In total, I would have served 35 years in Bank Negara and by then, I would have done most of what I set out to do,” Zeti said at a two-hour press conference on Aug 13.

Najib: Any council not chosen by the rakyat is 'unconstitutional'

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says that any council aimed at supervising a leader, if not chosen by the rakyat, can be characterised as “undemocratic”.

“It directly clashes with Malaysia’s Federal Constitution, which is built on the axis of the principle of democracy,” said the Prime Minister on in the latest audio gallery post on najibrazak.com.

He was referring to former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s plan to have a “council of elders” to assist whoever becomes the next prime minister.

On Friday, Najib reiterated that Malaysia is a country that practices democracy, with leaders in the executive body chosen through party elections and the general elections.

“They receive the mandate to become leaders and hold positions in the Government to serve the rakyat and the country. Those who are chosen are responsible to the rakyat, because the people are the ones who choose,” he added.

If there is a body that can control an elected leader, said Najib, then Malaysia would diverge from the democratic system that had always been the key to the country’s peace and development.

“As Malaysian citizens, no matter our rank or standing, we need to uphold the Constitution.
“As a leader, I am responsible to defend this third tenet of the National Principles (Rukun Negara) with all my jurisdiction,” he added.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Time for politicians to grow up

The last few weeks have been very interesting for all seasoned politicos because there were a number of incidents and instances that has once again reaffirmed the need for politicians to grow up.

The incident I wish to zero in on is the failed 1MDB debate. Tony Pua, the Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, has been one of the most vocal critics of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and has consistently sough a verbal duel with Arul Kanda, the President of 1MDB.

However, Tony Pua is also a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) that is investigating allegations of malfeasance in 1MDB. Despite having a clear conflict of interest, Tony Pua continued to display puerile tendencies and challenged Arul for a debate.

Arul initially responded that Tony Pua will have to vacate his position on the PAC as it would be improper for an arbiter to also be an opponent as Tony Pua will have to “pass judgment” on 1MDB as a member of the PAC.

However, after repeated dares and taunts from Tony Pua and his cohorts, Arul relented and agreed to a “no holds barred” debate with Tony Pua. Then Tony Pua “changes horses at midstream” and says it will not be a debate but a question and answer session with him asking all the questions. He even posed 10 questions to Arul.

Realising he has been boxed in Tony Pua then runs to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat and he puts a stop to this debate that Arul never asked for the first place and I dare to say that Tony Pua ended up looking comical because despite his open proclamations of indignation at the state of affairs at 1MDB he effectively “ran away” albeit in a very cunning way when it seemed that the debate we were all anticipating would actually take place.

As a consolation but I found it terribly insulting, Tony Pua then asked Rafizi Ramli, the Member of Parliament for Pandan, to take his place. Arul refused this new arrangement and for me it was absolutely the correct decision because Tony Pua started this charade and he should stand by his challenge.

Now, what has this episode taught us?

First, Tony Pua must show the PAC the respect it deserves. To borrow a legal analogy, how can a judge also be a lawyer and argue the very causing he or she is supposed to judge. This is a fundamental lack of respect for the due process and it once again shows that Pakatan (not sure if there is Harapan or not) show a wanton disregard for basic principles of justice and procedures of parliamentary hearings.

Second, why did Tony Pua go on a charade and end up making a mickey of himself when one can reasonably deduce that he was never interested in debating Arul in the first place.

Third, can Pakatan politicians be taken seriously on their criticism of 1MDB if they have failed, as in the case of Tony Pua, for want of a better term, “put their money where their mouth is.” His credibility has also been severely dented.

It is indeed troubling that politicians in Malaysia will use allegedly stolen documents to make a case that buttresses their political objectives with complete disregard for the sanctity of our economic system.

Furthermore, the constant attacks have also jeopardised the process of rationalisation that has been undertaken by 1MDB and this again shows that Pakatan politicians do not want to solve problems rather they wish to use problems of 1MDB as political fodder.

I think Malaysians must take a long and hard look at how some politicians have conducted themselves and it is important to also note politicians need to grow up and work in the national interests and not against it.

A-G Apandi: I've been victim of wrong perception

Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has lamented about being "more associated" with his Umno membership than being in the "inner circle" of the Bar Council as the treasurer.

In an interview with news portal The Malaysian Insider, Apandi said he was an Umno member from 1982 to 1991 and Pengkalan Chepa Umno youth chief but never the division's treasurer.

"In Umno I was the Youth Chief of the division, Pengkalan Chepa. That's all. It had nothing to do with the state liaison committee. Nothing. The post of treasurer is related to big state liaisons. I was never a treasurer. Please erase it from whatever it is," he said.

“It is not correct! I was never, have never, ever been an Umno treasurer,” Apandi, 65, said, adding in a half-jokingly manner “I want to scream at the person who wrote the biography!”

Apandi, former Federal Court judge was appointed A-G to replace Tan Sri Gani Patail at a controversial time when MACC enforcement officers were arrested or transferred and the Cabinet reshuffled over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd investigations.

Apandi emphasised that he had spent far longer time in the Bar Council - from 1991 to 2003 and two terms as treasurer - and even spoke up against the government when they were wrong.

“I've been a victim of wrong perception, because, as far as I'm concerned, my short tenure in Umno – obviously I didn't hold any high posts – have been used (against me) to say that I am an Umno man and whatnot.

“But, on the other hand, I was more active in the Bar Council.

"I was a treasurer of the Bar Council and I was a member of the office bearers, the inner circle. You know who are the inner circle? President, vice-president, treasurer, secretary. Four people. These are the inner circle. They can all be Bar Council members, but they are out of the inner discussion. I was a part of it.

"First time I was a treasurer, I started speaking my mind. So they all tried to gag me. Scolded me. The inner circle. The likes of Tommy Thomas and Sulaiman Abdullah. I tell you the names.

"They wanted to get me because at that time I was chairman of the Kelantan Bar. I was chairman of the Kelantan Bar for seven years.

"So as chairman of the Kelantan Bar, the papers sometimes came and asked me whatnot, so I gave my take on whatever the issue was.

"Some of my views weren't liked by the inner circle of the Bar Council. So they started hammering me and whatnot," he said.

Apandi said the Bar also tried to stop him from airing his views so much so that he resigned member in 2001.

"The person who can tell all of this, I tell you, is someone who is synonymous with the Bar Council, Ms Catherine Eu. She's still alive, her memory's still good, go ask her. She can vouch for whatever I'm telling you.

"Talking about the Bar Council, I was in the Bar Council before the likes of Ambiga (Datuk S. Ambiga), Lim Chee Wee, Christopher Leong and Steven Thiru. Steven Thiru (current Bar Council president) was a young lawyer when I was doing election petitions. He followed me around, carrying my bag and file," Apandi said.

A-G Apandi: I told Najib he must give statement on RM2.6bil donation

Attorney General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali has given the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission until the end of the year to interview Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over the RM2.6bil donation in the latter's bank account.

In an interview with news portal The Malaysian Insider,  Apandi said the MACC would have to, sooner or later, hand over the investigation files to him and he (Apandi) wants the file complete with Najib's statement.

Apandi said he had also informed Najib that he would have to be questioned and Najib agreed.

Apandi said he had directed MACC to complete the investigations into SRC International Sdn Bhd, the former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) subsidiary, and the RM2.6bil donation before the year end, taking cognisant of the Malay rulers’ statement as well as the public's concerns.

Last month, the Conference of Rulers in a statement urged the government to complete the investigations into 1MDB as soon as possible.

Apandi said: "Because of the concerns of the public and whatnot... in fact immediately after the rulers' statement, on the night itself, I messaged MACC. ‘Hello, you'd better speed up.’ And then, to make sure they speed up, I said, ‘complete investigations by the end of October.’ That was my direction.

"But they came back, ‘Tan Sri, almost impossible, end of October. Because there are so many other statements to be recorded.’

"Fine. Because you cannot push. So they came back, and said, ‘We need at least another month or so.’ I said, ‘I must have a deadline.’ If you ask people who work under me, when I ask you to do it today, I prefer it be done yesterday. That is my style. You ask this to anyone who had worked with me.

"And I pushed them. They said, ‘end of October cannot.’ I said, whatever it is, before the end of the year.

"I said by hook or crook, I want it that way. I mean, I gave them ample time. I know it's not an easy task, but..." Apandi told the portal.

To a question whether he had informed the prime minister that he has to give a statement,  Apandi said: "Yes. And sooner or later, before they give me the file, PM must give his statement. You can write that down."

"And I've told the prime minister, ‘Hello sir, you have got to a give statement. One day or the other.’ And he agreed."

MACC has said it would question Najib over the donation, which came from a Middle Eastern donor.  Critics have accused the authorities of deliberately dragging their feet over the investigation.

Despite this, Apandi said he felt MACC’s investigation into the case was moving at a “reasonable pace.”

He said such investigations were not as straight forward as a murder case where "you go to the scene of the crime, find the weapon, record the statements of the eyewitnesses, send the weapon to the Chemistry Department, case closed."

In the SRC case, he said a lot of statements had to be taken from witnesses and "investigations of this nature, movement of money from one company to another, will take time."

He said it involved the tracing of documents, those who received, gave or handled the money.

"It's much easier to investigate a murder case. For this case, you cannot do that.

"This, you record one statement... but because it involves administration of a business organisation, you record from A. A will mention B, C, D. So after recording A, you will still have to find B, C, D to get the flow of the story. And in the course of recording B, C, D, these B, C, D will mention another E, F, G, H, I, J, K. Almost endless. And some of the people may be overseas. So they've got to go overseas, to record."

Apandi was appointed A-G to replace Tan Sri Gani Patail at a controversial moment when MACC enforcement officers were arrested or transferred and the Cabinet reshuffled over the 1MDB investigations.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

MCMC blocks 1,074 porn websites

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has blocked 1,074 pornography websites for violating the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said a total of 106 more sites would be blocked for the same offence.

He said the restriction was part of MCMC's continuous efforts in preserving the noble values possessed by people of various ethnics and religions in the country.

"It is important for the MCMC to take action as this is the root cause of social problems in our country," he told reporters at the Deepavali open house organised by the Sabah MIC liaison body at Dewan Serbaguna of the Likas Sports Complex Tuesday.

Salleh also advised the public to provide information on any websites that were spreading obscene content to the MCMC at aduanskmm@cmc.gov.my.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Hadi can table hudud Bill following High Court ruling

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang can now table a hudud Bill in Parliament following a High Court ruling on Monday.

The High Court here granted his application to strike out a suit filed by four individuals - Mansoor Saat, Azira Aziz, Hasbeemasputra Abu Bakar and Hazwany Jamaluddin – to deter him and Parliament from tabling the Bill on hudud in Parliament.

Mansoor, Azira, Hasbeemasputra and Hazwany filed the suit against Hadi, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, his deputies Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said and Datuk Ronald Kiandee and secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah.

The suit was to prevent Hadi and Parliament from tabling a Bill to amend the Syariah Courts(Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 at any Parliament sitting.

In striking out the suit, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad ruled that the four should file the suit via judicial review application and not by way of an originating summons.

Justice Asmabi said the suit filed has no merits and no locus standi.

Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan told reporters that as a result of the decision yesterday, Hadi now could table the Bill in Parliament.

Hadi had filed the striking out application together with his affidavit in support on July 2.

In his affidavit in support filed on July 2, Hadi said the originating summons filed by the four plaintiffs was frivolous and vexatious as it did not have any good basis in law or facts.

He added in his affidavit that that he has yet to propose, table and debate the Bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 at the Dewan Rakyat to enable it become a valid law and the plaintiffs have no rights to challenge the Bill as it was premature, academic, theoretical and/or presumption.
Hadi said that he believed that the plaintiffs have failed to reveal that they have a strong case to enable them succeed at the hearing of the main suit.

Dr Mahathir akin to a PM slayer, says professor

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is akin to a “PM Slayer,” writes Professor James Chin of the University of Tasmania.

Chin, in his book “Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change” said that Dr Mahathir had brought down two prime ministers and was tackling a third.

He added in the book that Dr Mahathir was responsible for the downfall of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and was calling for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to step down.

In the book that was released on Monday, Chin said that Dr Mahathir has maintained his influence in Malaysian politics in order to ensure the “continued relevance of Umno and ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).”

“Mahathir’s greatest political fear is reforms that will promote equal citizenship rights. For Mahathir, keeping a race-based political system is the key to keeping Umno in power, and in the long-term this allows the creation of a family political dynasty, the Mahathir dynasty,” Chin wrote.

Chin also said in the book edited by him and Prof Joern Dosch of the University of Rostock, Germany that Dr Mahathir was trying to ensure “that his political dynasty stays intact” through his son, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

“Mahathir, who turned 90 in 2015, wanted Mukhriz to be elected vice-president of Umno in 2014 to have a shot at the prime ministership. Since that attempt failed, getting rid of Najib would be one way of giving Mukhriz another chance to get to the top,” Chin wrote in the chapter A Decade Later: The Lasting Shadow of Mahathir.

Chin added that any attempt for Malaysia to move towards a merit-based economy will be met with opposition from Dr Mahathir, similar to that experienced by Najib with the New Economic Model (NEM).

He added the NEM was an attempt to shift affirmative action from being ethnically-based to being needs-based.

Chin said this shift would make Malaysia more competitive, as well as market and investor friendly.

He said this was a push towards a merit-based economy that “went against everything that Mahathir had stood for” as it was an attempt to move away from the racial approach used under the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Chin said that Dr Mahathir and Malay rights group Perkasa saw this as a “frontal attack on the Malay special rights”.

“Dr Mahathir believed that without the NEP, there was a real possibility that the racial riots of May 13 may erupt again.”

Dr Mahathir's legacy discussed in new book

 Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s contributions to a wider East Asian regionalism are a lasting legacy of the former premier’s personalised foreign policy, according to an academic.

Prof Joern Dosch of the University of Rostock, Germany is of the view that Malaysia's foreign policy has moved away from being “highly personalised” under Dr Mahathir, but by doing so, Malaysia now suffers from a lower profile in foreign relations.

“Mahathir’s foreign policy style may have been controversial in many instances, but Malaysia’s influence and leverage in regional and global affairs was remarkable for a country of its size,” said Prof  Dosch, who wrote in the chapter, A Decade Later: The Lasting Shadow of Mahathir in the soon to the launched book titled Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change?

“State leaders like Mahathir are rare. Their blunt views polarise international audiences but also fascinate them,” he added.

Post-Mahathir, Malaysia has seen an improvement in bilateral relations with countries like the United States, Singapore and Australia but it comes with the expense of Malaysia’s former high profile role in shaping and managing regional order, he said.

Prof Dosch concludes that the foreign policy under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak "is firmly aligned with the country’s foreign economic policy, as well as geo-strategic and security interests” which explains the central focus of China in Malaysia’s foreign policy.

Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change? is due to be launched on Monday at Sunway University. It is published by Singapore-based publishers Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited and edited by Prof Dosch and University of Tasmania’s Prof James Chin.

Dr Mahathir a strong supporter of race-based politics, claims academic

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the greatest obstacle to non-ethnic based politics in contemporary Malaysia, according to an academic.

Prof James Chin of University of Tasmania wrote in a chapter in the soon to be launched book titled Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change? that in the decade after his retirement, there "is little doubt that Mahathir still sees himself as the ultimate arbitrator of Malaysian politics. For him, Malaysia belongs to Umno, an Umno with his imprint.”

"He is the single most important roadblock to anyone in Malaysia who wishes to break free from an ethnic-based (and increasingly Islamic-based) political system.

"In Mahathir’s worldview, he sees himself as the only politician who created modern Malaysia and his model, based on Malay supremacy, is the only model applicable to Malaysia.

“Mahathir is one of the strongest supporters of race-based politics in Malaysia and does not see racial discrimination against the non-Malay population as a problem.

"For Mahathir, Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) is the cornerstone of Malaysian politics and of political stability in Malaysia. In his view, Najib’s 1Malaysia not only undermines Malay supremacy but gives false hope to the non-Malay community that they may get political equality," Prof Chin wrote in the chapter Identity Formations in Contemporary Malaysia: Traversing and Transcending Ethnicity.

The book, edited by Prof Chin and Prof Joern Dosch of University of Rostock, Germany claimed that some Malaysians were starting to reject or were ambivalent about racial identities.

The Malaysian socio-political environment has been described as being “constructed in principally ethnic terms”, while ethnicity has been a predominant “framework for interpreting Malaysian society and politics.”

Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change? will be launched on Monday at Sunway University. It is published by Singapore-based publishers Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Dr M did not answer to cops.

A team of investigators from Bukit Aman have recorded a statement from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Represented by a team of lawyers, Dr Mahathir had his statement recorded at the Al-Bukhary Foundation Building at around 11am on Friday.

Speaking to reporters outside the building, he said the police asked him questions which he did not answer.

"They asked questions and I said I will not answer. I did not," he said.

When asked if he was worried about being arrested, he said that it was up to them.

On questions of him quitting Umno, Dr Mahathir casually replied, "No, no. That is my party".

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said three policemen from Bukit Aman took 45 minutes to record Dr Mahathir's statement.

"Together with lawyers Mohd Akmal Afiq Mohamad and Fahmi Abd Moin, Dr Mahathir answered some questions and we advised him not to answer the rest.

He said that the police asked Dr Mahathir general questions, but declined to give specifics.

When asked if it was a witness statement, Mohamed Haniff Khatri said he was not at liberty to say.

"Sometimes we lawyers also wonder why police take statements. If there is evidence, just arrest and charge in court," he said, adding that there was a possibility police would ask for another statement later on.

However, he added that there should be no more need for further statements as whatever needed to be said had already been said.

On Oct 22, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a written Parliamentary reply, said that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was being investigated over calls for the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said police had opened two investigation papers on complaints lodged against him under Section 500 of the Penal Code.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Final text of TPPA released

The final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) has been released, a month after conclusion of the negotiations in Atlanta.

Members of the public can access the text at http://mfat.govt.nz/Treaties-and-International-Law/01-Treaties-for-which-NZ-is-Depositary/0-Trans-Pacific-Partnership.php.

The New Zealand International Trade and Industry Ministry’s website is the depository of the TPPA text.

The text can also be downloaded from 6pm Thursday at http://fta.miti.gov.my/index.php/pages/view/tppa.

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed (pic) said in a statement that with the availability of the text, the two cost benefit analysis by the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (Isis) and PricewaterhouseCoopers will be completed in two weeks.

He reiterated the TPPA text would be tabled in Parliament early next year for debate.

He also said the ministry and relevant agencies will continue to engage various parties to explain the benefits of the TPPA.

Arul: Pua does not seek truth, Rafizi a worthy opponent

Arul Kanda Kandasamy has chided Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua for now "hiding behind his PAC membership" and calling off the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) debate with him.

Arul Kanda,  the 1MDB president, said he now suspects that Pua's challenge had been more politically motivated than a desire to seek the truth.

"YB Tony Pua has now confirmed he will not resign from the PAC and that he will no longer debate me. He has chosen to hide behind his PAC membership, to run away from a showdown he aggressively harassed me to accept, which I agreed to with zero conditions.

"In hindsight, I suspect YB Tony Pua's challenge was more politically motivated than a desire for the truth to prevail.

"As a two-term MP, surely he is well versed in Parliamentary procedures and knew all along, that the debate could not take place," Arul Kanda said.

Here's Arul Kanda's statement:

Integrity of PAC must be respected

"I refer to the recent ruling by Dewan Rakyat Speaker YB Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia on YB Tony Pua's challenge to debate me on “live” television.

I have the utmost respect for the Speaker and his wisdom to safeguard the integrity of the august House and proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

YB Tony Pua challenged me to a “live” televised debate on 29 October 2015. On the same day, I accepted YB Tony Pua's challenge with one condition – "In order to maintain the integrity of the PAC's investigation, and to avoid any conflict of interest, YB Tony Pua must first resign from the PAC".

When YB Tony Pua lacked the courage to do the right thing and resign from the PAC, on 31 October 2015, I withdrew the condition.

I accepted his challenge with zero conditions as YB Tony Pua has made so many wrong allegations about 1MDB and me personally, that I wanted to publicly debate with and correct him.

YB Tony Pua has now confirmed he will not resign from the PAC and that he will no longer debate me. He has chosen to hide behind his PAC membership, to run away from a showdown he aggressively harassed me to accept, which I agreed to with zero conditions.

In hindsight, I suspect YB Tony Pua's challenge was more politically motivated than a desire for the truth to prevail.

As a two-term MP, surely he is well versed in Parliamentary procedures and knew all along, that the debate could not take place.

I note that YB Tony Pua's coalition has now offered YB Rafizi Ramli as replacement debater.

The obvious question is why doesn't YB Rafizi Ramli replace YB Tony Pua in the PAC, so that YB Tony Pua can debate me? It was specifically YB Tony Pua who challenged me.

He made it personal, and used mocking words like "I will not punch him", "my allegations", "embarrassing me" etc.

YB Tony Pua issued the debate challenge and I accepted, with no conditions. There was never any question of debate with Pakatan Harapan, which has now appeared out of nowhere, in a desperate and last-minute attempt, to save YB Tony Pua from embarrassment.

These are clearly political games which I, as a professional, will not be drawn into.

I respect YB Rafizi Ramli as a worthy opponent. He is a good debater, orator and gentleman. I enjoyed sparring with him in our younger days.

However, the Speaker is the ultimate authority on all matters relating to Parliament. He has made his ruling on my responsibility as a PAC witness and that any debate should only take place after the PAC hearings.

As for the 10 questions that YB Tony Pua allegedly wanted to raise in the debate, I hereby confirm that 1MDB will respond to these questions, at the appropriate time and in the appropriate forum, including a lawful authority such as the PAC.

1MDB reiterates our readiness to appear in front of the PAC. In the meantime, my team and I remain focused and committed to implementing the 1MDB rationalisation plan."

Arul Kanda Kandasamy,
President & Group Executive Director,
1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Shafie Apdal's son loses fraud claim over battery-making venture

 The son of Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal lost in his RM1mil fraud claim against three people over a battery making venture.
Mohd Shazni Mohd Shafie, 29, eldest son of the former Rural and Regional Development Minister, was ordered by a High Court to pay RM40,000 in costs.

Justice Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera dismissed the civil claim by Mohd Shazni after a full trial.

In his court papers, Mohd Shazni named automative battery charging company DT Synergy Sdn Bhd, its two directors Eddy Shahrizal Abd Halim and Zul Hatta Shamsudin and consultant Azzuddin Shah Kassim as defendants.

Mohd Shazni said the three met him at a hotel here to discuss and influence him to venture into the business.

On their requests, he said he went to Automative Battery Charging Industries Sdn Bhd's (ABCI) factory in Klang to see its operations.

He said the defendants persuaded him to invest RM1mil in the venture and that he would get 25% profits every year while owning 25% shares in the ABCI.

On top of that, Mohd Shazni said he was told that each of them would be investing the same capital for the business.

On their undertaking, he said, he paid RM1mil to them in two cheques and a cash deposit, as well as signed a shareholder agreement on June 5 last year.

He claimed that the directors and Azzuddin had fraudently used RM1mil to purchase part of the ABCI shares in the name of DT Synergy.

Mohd Shazni had sought for a court order for the defendants to return the RM1mil and general damages over the loss of the money.

In the statement of defence, the defendants denied any fraud and that the business venture had been explained to Mohd Shazni.

They said Mohd Shazni wanted to withdraw his RM1mil as he was not named a party in the ABCI agreement among its shareholders and DT Synergy.

They said they had tried to explain to the plaintiff that it was agreed for DT Synergy to get the ABCI shares first and later equally distribute among them but Mohd Shazni had filed the claim against them.

Speaking to reporters, the defendants' lawyers Pradeep Kumar Nandrajog and Dinesh Nandrajog said the judge held that the plaintiff have failed to establish fraud on the part of their clients.

"The standard of proof in a fraud case used to be 'beyond reasonable doubt'. However, it has been replaced by 'balance of probabilities standard as established in the Federal Court case of Sinnaiyah & Sons on Aug 10.

"Our case would apparently be the first case which would have applied the new standard of proof for fraud case in our courts since the said change," added Dinesh.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Salleh Said: Borrowing money part and parcel of doing business

Borrowing money is a part and parcel of doing business, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

"If a multi-billion business can be done without the need to borrow money, then we would not need banks. All the banks can be closed down," he said in a blog post on Tuesday.

"Even the PLUS North-South Highway not only needed to borrow money, it also needed a Government grant," he said, adding that it charged highway users toll so it could pay back what it had borrowed.

He also named Perwaja, a company that failed and pointed how it had also needed to borrow large sums of money.

Dr Salleh was responding to a blog post by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who claimed there would not have been a need to borrow RM42bil if 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was not created in the first place.

"Dr Mahathir alleges that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should be charged for sabotaging Malaysia's banking and financial system.

"In what way did he sabotage? Can Dr Mahathir explain? Unfortunately, Dr Mahathir's allegation does not state these details," he said.

He added that it should remembered that 1MDB tabled a full report during a Cabinet meeting in June this year.

"After explaining its rationalisation and debt reduction plan, which included the proposed Initial Public Offering to bring in cash, the plan was approved.

"In the following month, the Special Task Force confiscated 1MDB's accounts and documents, which delayed the exercise that would have turned 1MDB around," he said.

Dr Salleh also stressed that any undeveloped land would be cheaper than land that has already obtained planning approval or had a complete infrastructure.

"For example, even Petronas got land cheap in Paka, Terengganu. But after development, that land it is now worth thousands of times more what it originally cost," he said.

On Monday, Dr Mahathir said everyone involved in the initial set up of 1MDB should be charged with sabotage of Malaysia's financial and banking systems.

He alleged that if 1MDB had not been created, the large debt would not have been incurred.

"For this, 1MDB and those responsible must still be charged for abuses of the banking and financial system, repayment of the loans notwithstanding," said Dr Mahathir.

Tony Pua willing to forgo 1MDB debate, says PAC probe more important

Tony Pua is willing to forgo a proposed live debate with 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) cheif Arul Kanda Kandasamy, saying the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) probe is more important.

At a press conference in Parliament Tuesday, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP said he would seek clarification from Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia Wednesday on the conditions set by the Dewan Rakyat Speaker if the debate was to go on.

"I cannot let the debate jeopardise PAC investigations into the matter.

"As a PAC member and a responsible MP, I cannot let Arul be barred from being called as a witness, so if the ruling stands, I have to abide by it," he said on Tuesday.

Pandikar had said the debate could only proceed if both individuals excused themselves from the ongoing PAC investigations into 1MDB.

Pua also rubbished the possibility of the ruling being set for fear that he would use information gained from his position in the PAC during the proposed live debate.

"If I do that, only then will it be a breach of the position.

"I use information that is already publicly available. If I can ask questions in a statement, why can't I do it face to face?" he said, in reference to the 10 questions he had posed to Arul Kanda earlier Tuesday.

Tony Pua-Arul Kanda 1MDB debate possibly on Friday

RTM is proposing that the live debate between Tony Pua and 1Malaysia Development Berhad CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy takes place on Friday night, says Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak .

 Bernama reported that the Communications and Multimedia Minister also said that the debate would take place at RTM's Studio 1 from 9pm to 10pm without an audience in attendance.

Tony Pua reveals 10 questions for 1MDB's Arul Kanda

Tony Pua has revealed 10 questions he plans to ask Arul Kanda Kandasamy during his highly-anticipated debate with the 1MDB chief.

"While we wait for the much anticipated face-off, I would like to offer Arul Kanda the heads up, so that he can prepare the necessary answers whether during replies or debate speech," the DAP national publicity secretary posted on his blog.

This, he said, would preclude any reasons for Arul Kanda not to answer as he would have ample time to prepare the necessary documents and replies.

Pua said that all 10 of the questions were financial in nature and that "none of the questions are political".

"No confidential Public Accounts Committee information has been utilised to raise the above questions. All information are derived from publicly available sources.

"Hence, this is not a case of scoring political points but one of which is meant to expose the truth since Arul has consistently insisted that 1MDB has 'nothing to cover up'," said Pua.

Pua also said that Kulai and Serdang MPs Teo Nie Ching and Dr Ong Kian Ming respectively would be having discussions with the 1MDB team on his behalf to finalise the format and details of the proposed "live discussion, talk show or debate".

Pua had previously challenged Arul Kanda to join him on a live talk show to dispel any allegations made against 1MDB, which Arul Kanda agreed to on the condition that Pua stepped down from the PAC.

However, during a press conference on Saturday, Arul Kanda announced that he would withdraw the condition and was willing to meet Pua for a live discussion, which is now being arranged.

Here are the questions Pua raised:

1. Why did Bank Negara withdraw its approval for 1MDB to transfer more than US$1.8 billion overseas? Was it because most of the funds were transferred to an account which is unrelated to the 1MDB joint venture project with Petrosaudi International Limited as revealed in the leaked Board meeting minutes which Arul Kanda has acknowledged to be true? How much was transferred to this unrelated account? Did this unrelated account belong to Good Star Limited and who owns or controls Good Star Limited?

2. Is it true that 1MDB had invested the initial US$1 billion cash to acquire 40% of 1MDB-Petrosaudi while Petrosaudi only need to invest its rights to certain oil reserves in the Caspian Sea and in Argentina for its 60% stake? In addition, were the rights to the Caspian Sea oil reserves terminated by Petrosaudi within 2 months after the signing of the joint venture agreement, which meant that Petrosaudi secured their 60% stake without investing anything significant?

3. Is it true that 1MDB had proceeded to sign the joint venture agreement with Petrosaudi in a rush, without securing the necessary Board of Directors approval at that point of time as revealed in the same Board minutes?

4. 1MDB Financial Statements dated 31 March 2013 and 2014 stated that US$1.4 billion was held as a deposit by International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) as a condition for IPIC to guarantee 1MDB's US$3.5 billion bond issue. However, the IPIC Financial Statements dated December 2013 and 2014 audited by Ernst & Young did not disclose any such condition for the provision of the guarantee. The balance sheet of IPIC also did not reflect any such refundable deposit received or held. Why hasn't 1MDB sought IPIC to clarify where the money has gone?

5. Did 1MDB pay US$993 million from the US$1.22 billion it partially redeemed from the Cayman Islands investment fund AND another US$975 million borrowed from Deutsche Bank led consortium to terminate options 1MDB granted to Aabar Investments as part of another condition by IPIC to guarantee 1MDB's US$3.5 billion bond issue? What exactly is the total sum paid and payable to Aabar or IPIC? Why is it that IPIC disclosed in its December 2014 Financial Statements that 1MDB still owes IPIC a sum of US$481 million for the said termination?
In addition, if the US$993 million from the US$1.22 billion redeemed from Cayman Islands was not paid to Aabar or IPIC, where did the money go?

6. It has been disclosed in 1MDB's financial statements, parliamentary replies and media releases that 1MDB Global Investment Limited borrowed US$3 billion in March 2013 for the purposes in investing in a 50:50 joint venture with Aabar Investments Limited where the joint venture will invest in the development of Tun Razak Exchange. The question is, how come more than US$1.5 billion of the borrowings have been utilised for purposes other than specified as disclosed in the March 2014 Audited Accounts, particularly since the joint venture has yet to be activated to date?

7. Arul Kanda had earlier informed Malaysians and 1MDB Directors, according to the above leaked minutes, that the balance of the Cayman Islands investment amounting to US$1.108 billion was fully redeemed and was held in cash in BSI Bank Singapore. However, the 1MDB President has since admitted that the redeemed amount was not cash but they were "fund units" worth US$940 million. Why are these "fund units" which were redeemed from the Cayman Island fund still in the form of "fund units" and not in cash or, raw assets like property and shares? If they were in "fund units", doesn't it mean that the Caymans fund was never redeemed in the first place?

8. Arul Kanda announced the "debt for asset-swap" deal with IPIC where the latter assumes some RM16 billion of 1MDB's debts in exchange for 1MDB's assets. IPIC has already advanced more than US$1 billion in the deal. Where is 1MDB going to produce these RM16 billion worth of assets to transfer to IPIC by 30 June 2016?
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) has also indemnified IPIC in the "debt of asset-swap" arrangement. Does it mean that if 1MDB fails to produce the necessary RM16 billion worth of assets by 30 June 2016, the MoF would have to compensate IPIC accordingly?

9. Arul had declared that the disposal of its subsidiary, Edra Energy will allow it to remove RM16-RM18 billion of 1MDB's debt. However, the total debts associated to 1MDB's energy arm amounts to approximately RM36 billion, comprising of US$3.5 billion of bonds, RM5.7 billion of direct loans and more than RM8 billion of inherited loans. Hence reducing up to RM18 billion of debt via the disposal of Edra Energy will still leave 1MDB with more that RM18 billion of outstanding debt associated with its energy acquisitions. Therefore how will the sale of Edra solve 1MDB's cash flow problem since there'll be no assets left to pay the balance of the RM18 billion debt?

10. Did the Federal Government issue a "letter of support" in May 2015 to Bank EXIM to borrow US$150 million (RM600 million) where the funds was utilised by 1MDB to pay for its land acquisition from Tadmax Resources Bhd for approximately RM300 million? If so, what was the balance of the proceeds from the borrowing used for?