Friday, August 28, 2015

Bersih 4: Just one fellow could cause chaos, says IGP

 It only takes one person’s action to bring disorder during the upcoming Bersih 4 rally, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

He said anything could happen when large numbers of people congregate together in an open space for the rally, which was expected to run on Aug 29 and Aug 30 in Kuala Lumpur.

“Anything can happen. One stupid fellow may cause (all the) chaos,” he said in a press conference after attending the launch of Masjid Tunku Laksamana Abdul Jalil at the Johor state police headquarters on Friday.

When asked whether the police were worried for the safety of the public, Khalid said, “of course, that is why in the beginning we negotiated with them to change the place.”

“But they still insist on doing it there, knowing all the issues and problems that will be faced by them and us,” he said, adding that from past events, traders had to close their shops to make way for the rally as they could not conduct their business in peace.
“Now they have to be closed for three days (including National Day), and they are forced to face the losses,” he added.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Last Cabinet meeting for Idris Jala

Datuk Seri Idris Jala attended his last Cabinet meeting yesterday as his second three-year term as Senator expires next month.

Idris, a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, will how­ever remain as the CEO of Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu).

“Today was my last Cabinet meeting, Constitutional limit of six years as senator/minister. I will continue as CEO of Pemandu,” tweeted Idris who had assumed his position in the Cabinet in 2009 when Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak took over as the Prime Minister.

Pemandu, a project intended to lead the implementation of the Government Transformation Programme and Economic Transformation Programme, was launched in 2009.

The unit also implemented key performance indicators for the ­various federal ministers, as well as facilitated entry point projects and business opportunities.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

MACC: Foreign countries view Malaysia as anti-corruption role model

Malaysia is seen as a role model on anti-corruption, says the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Its deputy commissioner on prevention Datuk Mustafar Ali said many countries, including developed nations, look up to Malaysia's anti-corruption model as "best practices".

"For example, Malaysia has 14 special courts for corruption, and this has been used as a model by other countries.

"With many dedicated courts on corruption, prosecution cases can be attended to quickly. As some say, justice delayed is justice denied, so we are able to prevent this.

"Also, there's our 'name-and-shame' database, where we upload the names of those who have been convicted of corruption to deter others.

"Even developed countries like the United States have adopted this, which is an acknowledgement that we have the best practices in anti-corruption," said Mustafar at a press conference on Wednesday.

He said this after announcing details of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), which will be held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) on Sept 2 to Sept 4.

Mustafar said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Paul Low will be giving the opening remarks.

The closing speech, he said, will be given by a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was earlier scheduled to open the conference.

Mustafar also said Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem would be speaking at the conference.

"He will be sharing his experience in battling illegal logging in Sarawak," said Mustafar.

Now in its 16th edition, the IACC is said to be the "largest anti-corruption conference" and is organised by the IACC council and Transparency International, with MACC as hosts.

Themed "Ending Impunity: People, Integrity, Action", about 1,000 participants are expected to attend the conference.

Husam Musa slams Kelantan PAS' lavishness

Salor assemblyman Datuk Husam Musa wants PAS national leaders to check on the lavishness of the Kelantan state leaders.

Husam questioned the frequent overseas trips by the state government saying the guidelines on being thrifty set by former mentri besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat were ignored.

"I am now wondering whether the national PAS leaders are monitoring what is happening in Kelantan although the Kelantan government is becoming the talk of the town on the way they manage the state," said Husam,  the protege of the late Nik Aziz, on his Facebook.

Husam questioned why PAS was gullible when Umno offered to help Kelantan realise its hudud agenda when it was clear that it was a "booby trap" that resulted in the demise of Pakatan Rakyat.

He claimed that PAS had been outplayed by Umno which dangled the "hudud carrot."

He asked why the Private Members Bill  to pave the way to implement hudud in Kelantan was rushed in Parliament, putting PAS at the mercy of the Federal government.

"I also like to touch on the June muktamar and there was so much of slander and harsh words that was inconsistent with Islam. Is this allowed in Islam and what is the stand of the Syura Council and the central committee, " he said.

Husam said if PAS cannot deliver justice to the leaders and members how can it give justice to Malaysians.

PAS state commissioner Datuk Ahmad Yakob, who is mentri besar, could not be reached for comments.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Abdul Wahid rubbishes allegations of cover up on true economic situation

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Senator Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar rubbished allegations that the declaration of healthy international reserves was misleading and a cover-up of the country's true economic situation.

"The facts are the facts. There is no way of manipulating the figures," he told reporters on Tuesday after launching the 27th Public Sector Accountant Conference here.

He added that Bank Negara produces a detailed account of the country's International reserves at least every two months.

It was said that certain quarters including a few economic analysts had been sceptical over the country's international reserves and some even alleged the figures to be untrue.

Abdul Wahid also stressed that the current economic situation in the country was very different from the crisis it had been through in 1997/1998.

Abdul Wahid said that at that time the country'a international reserves was only at about USD20bil, which could only cover a little over three months of its retained imports.

"Our international reserves are about four times more now with USD94.5bil as of Aug 14, which will be cover more than seven months of retained imports.

"Last time (1997/1998) the country recorded a trade deficit but this time a surplus of RM41.7bil was recorded in the first half of the year," he said.

He added that apart from healthy balance sheet recorded by local companies, the labour market was also stable with a low unemployment rate of 3.1%.

Salleh: Rally or not, Merdeka preparations to continue

Preparations for this year’s Merdeka celebrations are in full swing despite the planned Bersih rally over the weekend.

The dry run for the Merdeka parade will proceed on Aug 29.

“The organisers have also comple­­ted their final meeting,” said Com­mu­nication and Multimedia Minis­ter Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

He hoped The Coalition for Free and Fair Elections 2.0 (Bersih 2.0) would either find another venue or postpone its rally to another date.

“Merdeka is a day which belongs to all Malaysians.

“Irrespective of political leanings, everyone should come out to celebrate,” Dr Salleh said.

Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said the planned rally had not interfered with City Hall’s (DBKL) Merdeka preparations.

But he pointed out that DBKL was focused primarily on its premises and not directly involved in orga­nising the National Day parade.

Separately, Bersih 2.0 said in a statement that it received RM1.5mil in donations so far.

Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah said the amount exceeded the initial RM200,000 target.

She said the generosity of the public was an endorsement of Ber­sih’s call for clean elections, clean government and the strengthening of parliamentary democracy.

“We will use the donations prudently to fund the immediate needs of the upcoming peaceful assembly as well as Bersih 2.0’s long-term programmes,” she said.

Maria added that Bersih 2.0 would publish its accounts after the weekend assembly.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Penang withdraws theme for Merdeka celebration

 Penang will not be using the "Bersih, Cekap dan Amanah" (Clean, Efficient and Trustworthy) theme for its state-level Merdeka celebrations and will follow the slogan used nationwide instead, said Lim Guan Eng.

The Penang Chief Minister said on Monday that the decision was made following a state exco meeting, where the use was reconsidered due to the withdrawal of the Armed Forces from the celebration.

"The Armed Forces' salute to Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas is a tradition during Merdeka Day and should be maintained as such.

"We reluctantly retract the theme and will be using the same Federal Government theme of "Sehati, Sejiwa" (One heart, One soul)," he said at a press conference at Komtar.

It was reported that the Armed Forces, in a statement, said the Federal Government's slogan must be supported by all.

"The state's 'Bersih, Cekap, Amanah' theme is not in line with the spirit of the Merdeka Day celebration this year," it said.

On Wednesday, Penang Education director Datuk Osman Hussain issued a directive barring schools in the state from joining the state-level Merdeka Day celebration.

This followed a directive from the Federal Government for the students not to take part because of Penang's chosen theme.

Standoff at Penang's Kg Mutiara over slated demolition - DAP Cruelty

A human barricade has formed on a road leading to Kampung Mutiara as thousands stage a standoff against a slated demolition of 66 houses in one of the last Malay villages in Batu Ferringhi here this morning.

A row of elderly women in wheelchairs were seen at the front, bearing banners protesting the demolition.

On the main road outside, thick in the middle of the tourism belt, hundreds more are waiting for the bulldozers.

These villagers are said to be descendants of warriors who had served the Sultan of Kedah before Sir Francis Light arrived in Penang.

The Sultan had granted them permission to live on the island, which was once a part of Kedah.

The land, however, was converted to Government land after Independence and ownership subsequently passed to the private sector.

A private landowner bought the land near Yahorng Art Gallery and Batu Ferringhi police station several years ago and has received a court order for vacant possession of it.

Govt should not be totally blamed for falling ringgit

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the Government should not be totally blamed for the drop in the value of the ringgit.

He said Malaysia recorded a 4.9% economic growth in the second quarter of this year which, although not the highest, was also not the worst in Asia.

“If our currency dropped, the same goes with Australia and New Zealand, even though they don’t have the 1MDB (1Malaysia Deve­lopment Bhd) issue,” he said in his speech when opening the Padang Besar, Kangar and Arau Umno division meetings at Dewan 2020 here yesterday.

“Although I don’t deny there are problems that we need to address, we need to have a perspective that the actual cause is an external factor and beyond our control.

“For example, can we control the oil price? No!”

Admitting that there were internal hiccups, he said the people should give the Government time to sort things out.

“Like the 1MDB issue, I had said to give us six months. I’m confident that when we have the solutions, we’ll inform the rakyat of our actions in stages,” said Najib.

On the Goods and Services Tax (GST), the Umno president stressed that it was not meant to burden the rakyat.

The problems, he said, lay with dishonest traders and not with the consumption tax.

“We must be a smart consumer by buying from traders who offer affordable prices.

“Luckily there’s GST, otherwise the nation’s financial condition would be in distress,” he said, adding that the GST collection would be shown to the public in the upcoming Budget expected to be tabled in October.

“We hold on to the principle of whatever we get from the rakyat would be returned to the rakyat.”

Najib won’t bring up wrongdoings of the past

 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he will not raise “old issues” involving Umno in order to safeguard the image of the party.

The Umno president said he loved the party and would not do anything that would tarnish its image.

“Due to our principle of collective responsibility, I am not going to talk about losses or wrongdoings of the past.

“If we start pointing fingers at the past, it will be a reflection of the party and since I love Umno, I will not want to do it,” he said when opening the Alor Setar Umno division delegates meeting yesterday.

The Prime Minister said what he was doing now was no different than what was practised by previous Umno presidents.

“People say I am soft but there is a limit as I hold on to my principles. I say don’t rock the boat,” he said.

Najib also took a dig at Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir who on Saturday during the Jerlun division meeting urged the party leadership to revoke the decision to postpone the party elections by 18 months.

Najib said Mukhriz had an “easy path” to be the MB.

“(Alor Setar Umno division chief) Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah sacrificed when I said I wanted to choose Mukhriz as MB. He did not protest or sulk.”

Najib said Barisan Nasional’s state government victory over PAS in the previous general election was due to the members’ unity.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Come clean over DEIG, Rahman Dahlan tells Azmin

Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali must provide an explanation about the newly set-up Darul Ehsan Investment Group (DEIG) as soon as possible, said Well-being, Housing and Local government Ministry Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

He said there were still many unanswered questions on the Selangor state investment fund controversy following reports alleging that the DEIG was worth only RM2.

He expressed concern that there was an estimated RM20bil to RM30bil worth of state assets transferred to DEIG, which was more than the RM2.6bil amount that were allegedly transferred into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's personal account.

"We are disappointed with the answers on this issue.

"We heard that the MB is trying to explain to the public but he should not wait until the next sitting (state assembly meeting) but do it soon," he said at the 18th National Housing and Property Summit 2015 Friday.

On Wednesday, Damansara Utama state assembly man Yeo Bee Yin had told the state assembly that the funds had not been transferred to DEIG.

She was commenting on an online portal's report that RM30bil worth of assets, previously managed by Mentri Besar Incorporated might have been transferred to DEIG.

On the issue of the Prime Minister announcing the need for control of the Internet, he said that it it was basically to regulate based on best practices around the world.

"We do not asked for blogs and the Internet to be removed," he said implying that the Government would not ban the Internet.
The Prime Minister understood the function of the Internet, he added.

1MDB shortlists investors for Edra Global Energy

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has shortlisted local and international investors to undertake a due diligence of its power business held under Edra Global Energy Bhd.

It said on Friday that under its rationalisation plan to monetise its investment, which was announced on July 15, it had since shorltisted the potential parties.

It said the move was to progress their detailed due diligence inquiries into Edra which houses our power assets.

“The due diligence exercise will entail, among others, discussions with management, access to data room and site visits, designed to facilitate the potential investors’ review of Edra,” 1MDB said.

1MDB was confident a definitive agreement with the chosen party could be entered into by Q4 2015, with completion to take place soon after relevant conditions precedent are fulfilled.

“The board of directors of 1MDB will be guided by, among other things, value maximisation to 1MDB’s shareholders, deal certainty, and terms that are fair and reasonable,” it emphasised.

Umno members should defend PM against attacks by opposition, says Ismail Sabri

Political attacks made against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as Umno president and Barisan Nasional chairman should be countered by party members at all levels, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the challenge facing Umno now was tough as the party was not only being attacked from outside, but also from within.

“Umno today is facing a tough challenge. What is happening today, not only the opposition, (Umno) members themselves have a leadership crisis.

“We attack each other, attack the leaders, question the president, no one seems to talk about the opposition, Umno’s enemy is the opposition,” he said when opening the Besut Umno division delegates meeting here Friday.

Ismail Sabri said the opposition was also weak and facing various issues which should be used by Umno to further strengthen the party in preparation for the coming general election.

The Rural and Regional Development Minister said the issue on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6bil donation had been intentionally raised by the opposition and the foreign media to weaken the country’s leadership.

Umno members, he said, should not feel weal and be threatened by that, but to given their full support and trust to Najib to continue to helm the country.

“These (issues) are nonsense stories to tarnish the image of the prime minister,” he added.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

IGP: Nothing unusual in transfer of Special Branch No 2

Bukit Aman has hit back at "sensational journalism" after several portals reported of the "sudden transfer" of a top Special Branch officer to Putrajaya.

The reports suggested that SB deputy director Deputy Comm Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador was suddenly transferred out to the Prime Minister's Department after not agreeing to go on a long leave.

It was also reported that Hamid handed over his duties at a closed-door ceremony on Thursday.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar clarified in a statement on Thursday that the reports had caused “speculation and perceptions.”

“DCP Abdul Hamid was never ordered to go on leave. His leave was upon his own request to rest. He was informed of the transfer after he rescinded on his request to retire early,” Khalid said.

Khalid said Abdul Hamid’s transfer to the PM’s Department was a “validation” of his experience and capabilities, as he would be overseeing security and transnational issues.

He said other top cops, including himself, had been transferred out of the force into other government agencies to fulfil roles that were needed at the time.

He shot down reports of the closed-door ceremony, saying that it was nothing out of the ordinary, further punctuating his statement by saying that the SB was never one to “look for publicity”.

“Allegations that the Special Branch is undergoing a 'cleansing' process to replace its top leaders with a new director and deputy director is pure accusation.

“I would like to advise the media to be careful in making any statements because inaccurate reports that were published will create implications that will jeopardise public peace.

“Even more dangerous when this news is done following the interpretations of the writers who do not understand the implications that will arise from playing with words to sensationalise their writings,” Khalid said.

DCP Abdul Hamid reportedly said he was clueless over his transfer, claiming he had been left in the dark over the order.

“They just told me to go to JPM, so I go to JPM lah. No reason given and I just received the letter yesterday… earlier today, there was a ceremony to hand over my duty,” he said.

It was reported that DCP Abdul Hamid was to report at the PM’s Department on Sept 2.

This comes after Comm Datuk Seri Mohamad Fuzi Harun took over the helm of Bukit Aman’s spy division from Deputy Comm Datuk Seri Akhil Bulat who retired in July.

Nur Jazlan: Malaysian police 'most tolerant in the world'

Deputy Home Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed has declared his support for the police's decision to ban the Bersih 4.0 rally, saying that there is no other country in the world with a police force as tolerant as Malaysia's.

It was earlier reported that police will not allow the Bersih 4.0 rally to go on now that Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) is not allowing the gathering to be held at Dataran Merdeka and Padang Merbok.

DBKL also recommended that the rally be held a week after Merdeka Day celebrations on Aug 31.

Nur Jazlan told reporters on Thursday that the police made a wise decision in banning the rally.

"Bersih should respect the police. The police are responsible for the safety of the people. They were given power by the government to enforce the law.

"No other country in the world has a police force that is as tolerant as the Malaysian police," he said, when met at Perdana Felda Hall here.

Nur Jazlan said having the rally at the two venues will disrupt preparations for Merdeka Day celebrations.

"Preparations such as dress rehearsals will be held on the few days leading to Merdeka Day.

"If Bersih decides to continue demonstrating in the same venues, it will disturb the preparations and incur big cost on the police.

"Police have to control not only demonstrators, but also participants who are rehearsing for the Merdeka Day celebrations," he explained.

According to Nur Jazlan, participating in the rally was not a measure of one's patriotism to their country.

"In my opinion, Malaysians are patriotic in their own way. Not wanting to participate in the rally does not make them unpatriotic.

"Just because some people in Bersih claim that the rally is to uphold democracy- it does not mean the rest of the 30mil people in the country are not patriotic.
"Commemorating Merdeka Day and the police officers who sacrificed their lives fighting communism is more patriotic then joining a demonstration," he said.

Najib: Economic fundamentals sound, no need for Ringgit peg, capital controls

Despite the depreciating value of the Ringgit, Malaysia will not impose capital controls or implement a peg the currency to the US Dollar, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said this was because Malaysian economic fundamentals remained sound and that the currency devaluation was largely due to the "overwhelming strengthening" of the US Dollar.

He said the decision was made following extensive discussions with Bank Negara, economists, analysts and financial institutions.

"Although the Malaysian Government views the current levels of the Ringgit do not reflect its fundamentals, the Government is cognisant of the integration of the Malaysian and global economies.

"We remain committed to market-friendly policies. As such, the Government remains steadfast in maintaining the integrity and openness of its markets and will not impose capital controls, nor implement a peg for the Ringgit to the US Dollar," he said at a press conference at Perdana Putra here.

Najib said the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth of 4.9% in the second quarter of 2015 showed that the fundamentals of the economy remained sound.

"Malaysia's economy is now driven by the services and manufacturing sectors which constitute 76.6% of GDP, whilst reliance on mining, including oil and gas, and agriculture sectors have been reduced to 17.9% of GDP.

"The diversification of our economy has allowed for continued reduction in relying on oil and gas for government revenue.

"In this regard, we will continue with our economic transformation programme to further structurally strengthen and diversify the economy," he said.

Najib added that Malaysia achieved trade surplus of RM41.7bil while its current account realised a surplus of RM17.6bil.

"The country's labour market condition remains stable, with unemployment rate at 3.1% as of May 2015. The inflation rate remains low," he said.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Justo to give more evidence against Sarawak Report

 The Attorney-General’s Chambers is gathering more evidence against news website Sarawak Report from Xavier Andre Justo  following his conviction in Thailand.

It said that in light of the Swiss national’s conviction, it had “re­ceived positive response” from its Thai counterpart on the matter.

“We are in the process of obtaining further evidence under the treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters among Asean countries,” it said in a statement.

Justo was sentenced to three years’ jail for trying to blackmail his former employer Pe­­troSaudi Inter­na­tional.

The oil services and production company is linked to troubled sovereign fund 1Ma­­lay­­sia Development Bhd.

The A-G’s Chambers said police reports were made against se­­veral individuals who were being investigated under Sections 124B and 124I of the Penal Code.

Under Section 124B, it is a criminal offence to commit an activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy by any means, directly or indirectly.

Section 124I states that any person who by word of mouth, in writing or in any newspaper, periodical, book, circular or other printed publication or by any other means including electronic spreads false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm, has committed an offence.

The A-G’s Chambers added that the police reports were made against persons in and outside the country.

The arrest warrant issued on Aug 5 against Clare Rewcastle-Brown, who founded and runs the Sarawak Report, was in relation to the on­­going investigation by police into an allegation that the website published a false report concerning a draft charge sheet, the A-G’s Chambers said.

The article was “Arrest Warrant for the Prime Minister – The Real Reason the Attorney-General Was Fired” on July 30, it said.

The A-G’s Chambers said it was very serious about the matter because the stability of the country was at risk.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Shahrir finds Dr Mahathir 'not relevant'

Barisan Nasional's loss of support from former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad will have little impact on the coalition's performance in the next general election.

Barisan Nasional Back Benchers Club (BNBBC) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad said previous election performances by Barisan had shown that Dr Mahathir's support or lack of it did not do much on its standing.

"When he was against Pak Lah (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), he campaigned against us in 2008.

"In 2013, he campaigned for us, however, we still lost by a reduced margin. These are the facts, so do you think he (Dr Mahathir) is still relevant?" he told a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday.

Shahrir was asked to comment on the likelihood of Barisan seeing a reduced support in the 14th general election following the mounting criticism by Dr Mahathir.

He cited the example of the 1997 crisis which split Umno, leading to the formation of a splinter party, Semangat 46.

"Parti Bersatu Sabah even left the coalition. However, we went to the polls and managed to pull through," he said.

On a separate issue, Shahrir acknowledged Dr Mahathir's observation that any move to topple the government through a motion of no confidence in Parliament would not succeed.

"It is a wise statement by Tun Mahathir," he added.

In his blog, Dr Mahathir said there would be insufficient numbers from Barisan lawmakers to support the motion as "they are beholden to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak."

Barisan MPs express full support for Najib administration

Barisan Nasional lawmakers turned up in full force to voice their support for the government led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak following talk of a plot to topple his administration.

The press conference, which was led by Barisan Nasional Back Benchers Club (BNBBC) chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Samad and several Umno MPs, including some listed as "usual suspects" identified in the Suara Hati blog, refuted the allegations.

"The allegations are just fabrications and are unfounded.

"None of us are being contacted as to the question of party-hopping or not supporting the Prime Minister," he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

He acknowledged that such talk came about when the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi brought the matter to light.
"As far as I know, there is no such plot," he said.

Najib: Malaysia not a failed state

Malaysia may not be a perfect nation, but it is by no means a “failed state”, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said it was wrong to label Malaysia as a failed nation when reports like the “The Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2014-2015” recognised Malaysia as a top Muslim nation.

“We have been called a failed state. Some called us a rogue nation. But is this the true image of Malaysia?

“It is quite ironic, when this ‘failed state’ topped the Global Islamic Economy Indicator 2014-2015, an independent study that is not influenced by our government.

“The research covers 70 Muslim counties and looks into the quality of the overall Islamic economy eco-system.

“The study says Malaysia leads by a large margin. Our Islamic economy system is also said to be the most mature, and so is our halal industry,” Najib said at the International Wasatiyyah Seminar 2015 here on Tuesday.
He added that even though the country is small, in aspects of Islamic finance, Malaysia is ahead of many other nations.

PM: Report tells real story of Malaysia’s economy

 A report on the competitiveness of nations, which ranks Malaysia 14th out of 61 countries, tells the real story of the country’s economy, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said the Institute for Management Develop­ment’s (IMD) annual World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015 had ranked Malaysia ahead of the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Britain, South Korea and Japan.

“Despite some naysayers who wish to talk Malaysia down, this is the real story of our economy – years of record investments, sound fundamentals, diversification, reform, sustainability and inclusivity.

“These credible and influential reports highlighting Malaysia’s attractiveness as a preferred destination are testament to the private-public partnership, epitomised by Pemudah,” he said when launching the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business (Pemudah) Annual Report 2014 yesterday.

Najib added that as Malaysia begins the last lap of its journey towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020, the challenges had grown even larger in a globalised and hyper-connected world.

He said no country could insulate itself if it was to progress and prosper.

“The volatile price of commodities, the crisis within the Euro zone, shifting international balances of power, the spread of terrorism and climate change are just some of the threats we face today.

“Clearly, there is no room for complacency if we are to deliver on our promise of a peaceful, prosperous and progressive Malaysia for the generations yet to come, but I am equally confident that we, as Malaysians all, are up for this challenge.

“Our track record demonstrates that we can, and will, overcome whatever hurdles that are placed in our path,” he said.

Najib also highlighted several recent achievements by Pemudah, including initiatives to make it even easier to start a business.

He said name search and applications for registration process for a business could be done online – all within a day.

“Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has reformed the processes involved in dealing with construction permits by reducing the number of processes from 15 to nine.

“The launching of the Kuala Lumpur Integrated Submission Be Efficient, Systematic & Transparent system by DBKL is a significant step in simplifying the obtaining of development approvals from DBKL.

“It provides benefits such as faster approvals, less holding costs, a single window and simplified procedures,” he added.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Najib: Competitiveness report tells real story of Malaysia’s economy

A report on the competitiveness of nations, which ranks Malaysia 14th out of 61 countries, tells the real story of Malaysia’s economy, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The IMD World Competitiveness Yearbook 2015 ranks Malaysia ahead of the Netherlands, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, Korea and Japan.

“Despite some naysayers who wish to talk Malaysia down, this is the real story of our economy.

“Years of record investment, sound fundamentals, diversification, reform, sustainability and inclusivity.

“These credible and influential reports highlighting Malaysia’s attractiveness as a preferred destination are testament to the private-public partnership, epitomised by Pemudah,” Najib  said here on Monday during the launch of the Pemudah Annual Report 2014.

Pemudah is the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business.

Najib said that as Malaysia began the last lap of its journey towards becoming a high-income nation by 2020, the challenges had grown even larger.

“No country can insulate itself if it is to progress and prosper.

“The volatile price of commodities, the crisis within Eurozone, shifting international balances of power, the spread of terrorism and climate change are just some of the threats we face today,” he said.

Najib said there was no room for complacency and was confident that Malaysians were up to the challenges.

Muhyiddin should not have voiced dissatisfaction publicly, says Azalina

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should have ironed out matters in the Umno and Barisan Nasional supreme council meetings instead of publicly voicing his dissatisfaction against the Prime Minister, says Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

In a press statement on Sunday, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s said differences in opinion and dissatisfaction are part and parcel of politics and should be aired on a suitable platform.

“It was not right for Muhyiddin as the Umno deputy president to make an open statement against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is also the party president. All of his opinions should have been aired in the Umno and BN supreme council meetings.

“We should not be influenced by the opposition’s dirty political agenda or certain quarters which want to see Umno and BN split,” she said.

Muhyiddin was dropped as deputy prime minister in the recent Cabinet reshuffle after he made a statement against Najib on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.

On Sunday, Muhyiddin said that he would continue to speak out as he was touched by the support he had received from people.

He reiterated that he had never betrayed Umno and has been with the party for the past 42 years, 38 of which has been in government.

Azalina said the strengths of Umno and BN are loyalty and trust and she expressed that any leader from BN would not be involved in toppling the ruling government.

“The people will feel cheated if a leader does something like that because every MP who is elected holds the trust of the people.”

Shahrir: Nothing wrong with receiving funds for division use

Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who is accused in an online report of having received RM1mil from the Prime Minister, says accepting funds for the administration of party divisions is normal.

On Friday, website The Sarawak Report alleged that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had distributed funds to a number of Umno leaders after the 13th general election.

Among the leaders mentioned in the report were Pontian MP Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyanti Samsudin and Shahrir, who purportedly received RM1mil.

“Who else should I ask for financial assistance for expenses in administering my division if not from the president of the party?” the Johor Baru MP was quoted as saying on the Barisan Nasional Backbencher’s Club (BNBBC) website on Sunday.

Shahrir, who is also BNBBC chairman, added that he was willing to cooperate with and explain to investigators on how the funds were used.

He said assistance from the party president to any division, especially divisions which lack funds, is commonplace.

He noted also that the act of defending the Government and leaders, in particular concerning 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), was in accordance with the role of the BNBBC.

“I do not want to judge anyone based on media reports, especially foreign media. I have to defend the existing processes and institutions,” Shahrir said.

D-Day for Justo

Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo, who was arrested for allegedly blackmailing his former employer, PetroSaudi International, is expected to be charged at the criminal court here Monday morning.

Local and foreign journalists, and also Malaysian embassy officials were gathered at the courthouse as early as 7am to await Justo, whose case has garnered international attention and concerns Malaysian government investment arm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The 49-year-old former IT executive allegedly stole data containing confidential information on a joint venture between PetroSaudi and 1MDB, and is said to have agreed to sell it to a group of Malaysian individuals.

While under remand by Thai police, he signed a full confession detailing how he had met a group of Malaysian media owners and politicians who allegedly sought to use the stolen information to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Justo, however, denied allegations that the documents stolen from his former employers were tampered with.

Friday, August 14, 2015

1MDB: Pua 'recycling' same allegations

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua is recycling various allegations against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) already answered through various press announcements, says Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

The president and executive director said that 1MDB had already responded to Pua's allegations through 48 easily obtainable press announcements since January this year.

Pua released a statement on Friday asking Arul to prove his claim that 1MDB was an "open book" and to answer whether the state investment fund transferred nearly US$1.2bil to Gold Star Limited, a company controlled by businessman Jho Low.

"In addition, the Auditor-General has presented an interim report answering many of the questions raised, in early July 2015 to the Public Accounts Committee (of which YB Tony Pua is a member)," said Arul in a press statement on Friday.

He added that the PAC would be issuing a final report on 1MDB by the end of 2015.
"YB Tony Pua is no doubt aware that 1MDB is the most-investigated company in Malaysia," said Arul.

"We have shared and will continue to share, all relevant information to the lawful investigating authorities," he said.

He said these included Bank Negara Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police, the Attorney-General's Chambers, the Auditor-General and the PAC.

"These independent, thorough and professional investigations are the appropriate forum to determine the truth about 1MDB," said Arul.

"A trial by certain media or by certain Opposition politicians, outside of due process and the requirements of the law, will not benefit anyone.

"1MDB is very much focused on the implementation of our rationalisation plan, which is going full steam ahead despite the recycled allegations of YB Tony Pua," he said.

Arul said that he was committed to stabilising the company and meeting their debt obligations.

He said that he was also focused on delivering strategic projects of "national importance", such as the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), Bandar Malaysia and Edra Energy Berhad.