Friday 14 October 2016

A big test for America

No, this is not about the current dilemma of choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. That's the US' domestic politics, albeit its impact elsewhere. 

The bigger test for the US, particularly in Asia and specifically Southeast Asia, is one of trustworthiness. 

The US' resolve in fighting kleptocracy and corrupt politicians globally is being put to test in Malaysia but many are unsure if the so-called 'fight' is for real or just another game of geopolitics.

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch' announcement of investigations by the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative was indeed light at the end of the tunnel for many Malaysians, including graft busters who were stonewalled by the top prosecutor. 

United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund 

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of more than $1 billion in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.  Today’s complaints represent the largest single action ever brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
Attorney General Lynch was joined in the announcement by Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker of the Central District of California, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe and Chief Richard Weber of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). - US Department of Justice 

Coming amidst attempts of an unprecedented cover up of almost anything and everything about 1MDB,  the US Attorney General's announcement was certainly bigger than a mere flicker of hope. 

Enforcement authorities from both Switzerland and Singapore have taken action against banks involved in money laundering and related crimes around the siphoning of funds from 1MDB. They say more actions are forthcoming. 

Naturally the high powered kleptocracy investigations by renowned US agencies under the DoJ, like the FBI and IRS, should be in high gear.  

A news article below points that a criminal investigation is indeed in progress in the US following DoJ civil suits to recover approximately USD 1billion of assets acquired from funds stolen from 1MDB.    

- Gilman says seizing assets from a foreign leader — and Razak is still in power — can create a diplomatic nightmare. But he says that can't impact the case.
"The prime minister is not going to live forever. And when he's out of office and all this money is discovered in the U.S., are we better off having been pro-active or basically wait until the prime minister dies and apologize?" he says.
It's one thing to seize the stolen assets, another to retain them. The accused in all these cases employs a raft of lawyers, and it's often difficult to find witnesses and gather evidence overseas. For that reason, the Justice Department focus is on civil forfeitures, or trying to get the assets back, rather than prosecutions.
Any money from the seized assets is sent back to the country to which it belongs.
No one has been prosecuted so far, but Caldwell says there is a criminal investigation in the 1MDB case that could lead to a prosecution.
So far the Kleptocracy Initiative has recovered about 10 percent of the assets it's gone after. And that white Michael Jackson glove? It's back in Equatorial Guinea.
Still, Caldwell says the unit has been successful, for a relatively new initiative.
"I don't think the success of the Kleptocracy Initiative should necessarily be measured by the dollar amounts that we recover. I think it should be measured by the fact that we're doing it at all," she says.
The 1MDB case will be the big test, says lawyer Blum.
"It's a big challenge, because the money is so big and the consequences are so huge, they can't simply walk away and say it didn't happen," he says HERE
Listen HERE

Does criminal investigation by the US' Department of Justice give any hope to folks in Malaysia ?   

"How sure are you that the US won't use the DOJ probe to threaten him (Malaysian Official 1). The US knows he is pandering to China and they would want to win him over, by hook or crook. Don't you think so? a retired military officer opined when the DOJ probe popped up during our brief exchange recently. 

His first question when we bumped into each other at the Tropicana Mall was -"Ah! What happened to the 1MDB investigations by the US ? The query was accompanied by a snide smile.

Guess its only natural for a society to be suspicious after being continuously let down by their own enforcement agencies, elected leaders and the once trusted system of governance. 

Malaysia is now famous for all the wrong reasons.  

As a nation Malaysia is undergoing tough tests, the toughest since her Independence from the British in 1957 but it is certainly a much  significant test for the United States of America. 

It is almost THREE MONTHS since the July 20, 2016 bombshell by the US Attorney General. What next ?  

Investigators and prosecutors, no matter who and where they are, cannot be dragging their feet when a nation is sliding into dungeon due to massive fraud, corruption and outright treachery by those elected to lead.  

"It is unlikely for MO1 or his henchmen to strike a deal with the FBI or the Department of Justice because the FBI doesn't do 'deals' with kleptocrats. 

"If they (FBI) had wanted to keep it under wrap then we wouldn't have heard anything from the US Attorney General about their extensive international probe.

"It's just a matter of time," states a former intelligence officer.  

The cop turned lawyer says Malaysians should trust the US enforcement agencies to do their job without fear or favour, especially when a crime is committed on their soil. 

It is a test in many ways. We can't do much but to just wait and see the results. 


Below is a latest example of what the Malaysian Government is capable of doing, if it wanted to. This is apart from threats of bloody riots and ethnic clashes by unruly ruling party leaders. 

"The Government could have easily erased Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s legacy by demolishing the iconic Petronas Twin Towers if it wanted to, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak - Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Minister.  


Anonymous said...

The stolen money would be returned to Malaysia. Having said that, it's far wiser to return the money after MO1 ceases power.

Anonymous said...

Bugis cuba suap dedak untuk FBI tetapi tidak berjaya. Jika Bugis bukan bacul cuba jalan jalan shopping di US. Jika tidak keberatan angkut Rosmah dgn beg beg dia sekali. Bukan apa takut kena bermastautin lama atas ehsan FBI.


Anonymous said...

The US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has praised the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for its courage in the 1MDB probe.

An article on FBI's official website cited its International Corruption Unit chief Special Agent Darryl Wegner as saying the MACC "showed 'tremendous courage' in pursuing the investigation, which was led by the FBI's international public corruption squad in New York".

"Today's action sends a message to corrupt foreign officials. The FBI, together with our international partners, will find these individuals and root out their corruption.

Read more:

Najib cannot buy FBI

Anonymous said...

Did Salleh actually make such a callous remark about Petronas Towers with regards to destroying Mahathir's legacy?
That's some slithering serpentine boast from someone named there any goodness left in his marrow?

Anonymous said...

Sembah takzim dan tahniah kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong yang baru, Al-Sultan Kelantan serta Timbalan Yang di-Pertuan Agong yang baru, Tuanku Sultan Perak. Sesuai dengan ketinggian ilmu kedua baginda Sultan Kelantan dan Sultan Perak, InshaaAllah rakyat mengharapkan belas ikhsan baginda berdua untuk menyelamatkan negara dengan sekadar termampu, daripada segala kerosakan.

Perlembagaan Persekutuan dengan jelas meletakkan Yang di-Pertuan Agong sebagai pemerintah tertinggi angkatan tentera. Ini juga telah disahkan dengan jelas berkali-kali dalam pelbagai peruntukan Akta Angkatan Tentera 1972.

Manakala pada tahun 1958, Yang di-Pertuan Agong ketika itu turut berkenan menganugerahkan gelaran Diraja pada pasukan polis menjadi Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM). InshaaAllah di tahun 1438 Hijrah tahun baru dalam takwim Islam, rakyat mendoakan keadaan dapat pulih dengan kerjasama semua pihak kecuali golongan penjenayah yang patut segera disiasat dan didakwa tanpa mengira jawatan mereka yang masih berkuasa.

"12 masalah dihadapi pembangkang pada PRU ke-14"

Anonymous said...

"Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty."
- President John F. Kennedy

Anonymous said...


There are unholy things going on.

a) Malaysia is keen to reach a settlement with Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Aabar over a US$6.5 billion dispute with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). This is akibat kerjasama di antara lanun Bugis, middleman Cina montel, dan 2 kawan Arab nya in the Kongsi Gelap-Songlap who planned the diversion of the 1MDB bonds.

b) They want to pay this off quietly.

c) The govt was reportedly trying to settle a vastly overpriced rail contract with the Chinese to use the funds to pay off 1MDB debt.

Here are the full details:

d) The PM’s ‘cunning plan’ is to get the Malaysian Government to agree to inflate the actual cost of the East Coast Rail Project from only RM30 billion to RM60 billion, all to be borrowed from the Chinese Government, in order to disguise the payment of 1MDB’s (and Jho Low’s company) debts. Yes, there are two Jho Low companies in the deal.

"COMMENT: I just can’t believe the extent to which our Prime Minister will go to cover his tracks over the mess he and his cohorts created in 1MDB, the so-called sovereign fund. Doesn’t his Cabinet colleagues realise what they are putting themselves into, given that they are equally culpable and responsible as they apparently approved this deal. Prime Minister Najib is unstoppable. He is Law unto himself."

e) The govt completely denied all this when the report came out.

Yesterday, PM Lanun basically confirmed the whole plot by stating the cost of the project is RM55 billion.

f) PM Lanun is now in a position where he thinks he can steal money with complete immunity. His "loyal but not smart" coolies in Umno do not, of course, care, They are just waiting with begging bowls for the next round of stolen dedak. His barua2 in the system will cover all his wrongdoings.

g) The country is in huge danger. This deal must not go through. The Liow fellow can try to explain how the cost ballooned by RM25 billion overnight, but he just takes orders. This must be taken to court to obtain an injunction to prevent the project from happening.

h) The deal is for the benefit of various criminals. These people will happily sell off the national interest to save themselves. Hope the Rulers are watching closely.

Anonymous said...

Bajet BN tahun 2017 membebankan rakyat & ledakan hutang semakin membimbangkan !

1. Satu bajet defisit sebanyak RM43.15 bilion, ia satu rekod baru kerana sudah 20 tahun bajet defisit berturut-turut.

2. Defisit kali ini berjumlah 3.15% dari jumlah KDNK, ini menunjukkan kerajaan BN gagal menepati sasaran defisit kurang dari 3.1%.

3. Hutang negara terus meningkat. Jumlah kos bayar hutang negara meningkat dari RM26.5 bilion menjadi RM29.17 bilion. Dengan kata lain, 11.1% dari jumlah bajet digunapakai untuk bayar hutang & setiap bulan RM2.46 bilion terpaksa diguna utk membayar hutang.

4. Jumlah belanja tinggi tetapi Pembangunan amat kurang. Dari jumlah RM262.8 bilion bajet 2017, Setinggi 81.7% utk belanja mengurus, hanya 18.3% saja untuk belanja membangun.

5. Hutang negara dan hutang jaminan kerajaan kini melebihi paras RM811 bilion, satu petanda yang bahaya & generasi muda akan dibebankan dengan hutang yg amat tinggi & membebankan.

6. Kerajaan akan memerah rakyat dengan kutipan cukai GST sebanyak RM40 bilion pada 2017. Jumlah ini pasti akan meningkatkan beban rakyat.
7. Subsidi seperti subsidi minyak, diesel, gula, tepung, beras & minyak masak semua dihapuskan.

Ubah, selamatkan Malaysia!