Tuesday 20 June 2017

A tale of two prime ministers

This is exactly how it should be done. This is what you do if you have nothing to hide. This is undoubtedly a man of honour with impeccable integrity. He not only apologised for the conduct of others but has also called on the entire nation and all members of the Singapore parliament, irrespective of party affiliations, to examine him. - https://youtu.be/h76nx_5gRBc

Singapore must be proud of her Prime Minister who is man enough to grab the bull by its horn and face his critics, even if the critics are just siblings. 

It may be a personal issue but Lee Hsien Loong is wise enough to note that his family feud has tarnished the seat of the prime minister and the government of Singapore. Such is his respect and responsibility to the office of the Prime Minister.

His Loong's late father Mr Lee Kuan Yew would certainly be proud of his eldest son for walking in his footsteps, for standing tall with his morals intact. 

Bravo Mr Prime Minister !

Meanwhile Malaysians on this side of the causeway are hoping that Hsien Loong's counterpart would take a leaf or two from his conduct as a leader, prime minister and an elected representative of the people. 

In Malaysia the state of affairs are very different although Najib Razak the Prime Minister is embroiled in a far more serious scandal which is criminal in nature. 

1MDB's international financial scandal and the US Department of Justice (Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative unit) investigations is now world news. 

Malaysia's international image today is at its lowest ebb. Almost every international news outlets from Australia to Africa and Europe have been reporting the biggest kleptocracy scandal in the history of the USA. The root of the scandal is in Malaysia and Najib Razak is very much in the midst of it. DoJ has all the evidence.

Billions of ringgit in funds stolen from 1MDB have been laundered in the US and investigations show that RM2.6billion has made its way into Najib Razak's personal bank account. DoJ has also exposed a more than RM100 million pink diamond link to Najib's wife Rosmah.  

In Singapore the prime minister has apologised over a personal family feud and presented himself for public scrutiny but in Malaysia the embattled prime minister's lackeys are screaming at the top of their voice demanding to know who reported the crime to DoJ. 

In Singapore the prime minister has called on all Members of Parliament to scrutinise/debate the handling of his family feud and the matter's negative impact on his position and that of the government.

In Malaysia the Auditor General's report on 1MDB has been classified a secret under the Official Secrets Act although such classifications of an AG's report is unheard of and could most probably be against the constitution. 

The Speaker of Dewan Rakyat in the Malaysian parliament even threatened to quit if the 1MDB scandal was debated in the house. Any debate on the matter was later disallowed on the pretext of being subjudice. 

In Malaysia the prime minister is bending over backwards to politicise the 1MDB scandal although its is purely criminal in nature. 

The Attorney General who acts more like the prime minister's counsel has unilaterally cleared Najib Razak of any wrongdoing despite RM2.6 billion dollars making its way into Najib's personal account. 

A multi agency task force that initially investigated the 1MDB scandal was also disbanded and the then Attorney General sacked. 

Hsien Loong of Singapore too could have attempted to silence his critics and threaten to sue anybody who deliberated on his family feud on social media but he did not. Probably he didn't have anything to hide. 

The Singapore PM came out to clear the air because 'he is a public servant' but Najib has gone to court to argue that as prime minister he is not a public servant. 

In Malaysia exposing the 1MDB scandal and the theft of billions of ringgit in public funds is treated as crime. Whistle blowers and critics are taunted and hunted. 

Instead of wanting to nail the thieves who robbed the nation the ruling party's political operatives and lackeys are questioning who reported the crime. 

Whistle blowers are branded as traitors in a climate where truth is treated with contempt. 

Such is the tale of two prime ministers who are separated by a narrow body of water but a gaping difference in integrity.


The initial heading for this post was - 

How to be a man and a Prime Minister, by Lee Hsien Loong

Friday 16 June 2017

1MDB - Department of Justice continues the hunt



Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, June 15, 2017

U.S. Seeks to Recover Approximately $540 Million Obtained From Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund

The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $540 million in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund. Combined with civil forfeiture complaints filed in July 2016, seeking more than $1 billion, and civil forfeiture complaints filed last week seeking approximately $100 million in assets, this case represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Assets now subject to forfeiture in this case total almost $1.7 billion.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco, Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown of the Central District of California, Assistant Director Stephen E. Richardson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Deputy Chief Don Fort of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.
According to the complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $4.5 billion in funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates. 1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.  
“The Criminal Division is steadfast in our efforts to protect the security, safety, and integrity of the American financial system from all manner of abuse, including by kleptocrats seeking to hide their ill-gotten or stolen wealth,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco. “Today’s complaints reveal another chapter of this multi-year, multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme, bringing the total identified stolen proceeds to $4.5 billion. This money financed the lavish lifestyles of the alleged co-conspirators at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people. We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure the United States is not a safe haven for corrupt individuals and kleptocrats to hide their ill-gotten wealth or money, and that recovered assets be returned to the victims from which they were taken.”
“These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brown. “The misappropriation of 1MDB funds was accomplished with an extravagant web of lies and bogus transactions that were brought to light by the dedicated attorneys and law enforcement agents who continue to work on this matter. We simply will not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefit of citizens of other nations.”
“Today’s filing serves as a reminder of the important role that the FBI plays in rooting out international corruption. When corrupt foreign officials launder funds through the United States in furtherance of their criminal activity, the FBI works tirelessly to help hold those officials accountable, and recover the misappropriated funds,” said Assistant Director Richardson. “I applaud all my colleagues and our international partners who have worked to help recover an immense amount of funds taken from the Malaysian people, who are the victims of this abhorrent case of kleptocracy.”
“Today’s announcement is the result of untangling a global labyrinth of multi-layered financial transactions allegedly used to divert billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia and fund the co-conspirators’ lavish lifestyles,” said Deputy Chief Fort. “The IRS is proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies and share its world-renowned financial investigative expertise in this complex financial investigation. It’s important for the world to see, that when people use the American financial system for corruption, the IRS will take notice.”
As alleged in the complaints, the members of the conspiracy – which included officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates – diverted more than $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds.  Using fraudulent documents and representations, the co-conspirators allegedly laundered the funds through a series of complex transactions and shell companies with bank accounts located in the U.S. and abroad. These transactions allegedly served to conceal the origin, source and ownership of the funds, and ultimately passed through U.S. financial institutions to then be used to acquire and invest in assets located in the U.S. and overseas.
The complaints filed today allege that in 2014, the co-conspirators misappropriated approximately $850 million in 1MDB funds under the guise of repurchasing certain options that had been given in connection with a guarantee of 2012 bonds. As the complaints allege, 1MDB had borrowed a total of $1.225 billion from a syndicate of banks to fund the buy-back of the options. The complaints allege that approximately $850 million was instead diverted to several offshore shell entities. From there, the complaints allege, the funds stolen in 2014, in addition to money stolen in prior years, were used, among other things, to purchase a 300 foot luxury yacht valued at over $260 million, certain movie rights, high-end properties, tens of millions of dollars of jewelry, and artwork. A portion of the diverted loan proceeds were also allegedly used in an elaborate, Ponzi-like scheme to create the false appearance that an earlier 1MDB investment had been profitable.  
As alleged in the earlier complaints, in 2009, 1MDB officials and their associates embezzled approximately $1 billion that was supposed to be invested to exploit energy concessions purportedly owned by a foreign partner. Instead, the funds were transferred through shell companies and were used to acquire a number of assets, as set forth in the complaints. The complaints also allege that the co-conspirators misappropriated close to $1.4 billion in funds raised through the bond offerings in 2012, and more than $1.2 billion following another bond offering in 2013.
The Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is led by a team of dedicated prosecutors in the Criminal Division’s Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section, in partnership with federal law enforcement agencies, and often with U.S. Attorney’s Offices, to forfeit the proceeds of foreign official corruption and, where appropriate, to use those recovered asset to benefit the people harmed by these acts of corruption and abuse of office. In 2015, the FBI formed International Corruption Squads across the country to address national and international implications of foreign corruption. Individuals with information about possible proceeds of foreign corruption located in or laundered through the U.S. should contact federal law enforcement or send an email to kleptocracy@usdoj.gov(link sends e-mail) (link sends e-mail) or https://tips.fbi.gov/.
A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the U.S.

Attorney General Apandi Ali may want to take a second look at the 1MDB scandal before its too late for him.


Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar appears a bit busy clarifying his much talked about Gopi-link. 

Thursday 15 June 2017

A workable and peaceful exit for Najib

1. There seems to be no end to it for Najib and the country, one crisis after another, the latest being the infighting in FELDA. It would seem more and more negative information is coming out which may implicate him, especially on the 1MDB saga, which the DOJ in the US (and perhaps in other countries too) is expected to pursue criminal proceedings against people close to him.

2. It does not matter who is right or wrong anymore, the country is heading towards a terrible economic slowdown and a major social political confrontation, which would benefit no one. The race/religious politics is going to complicate things more and make it easy for innocent people to suffer from violence and collateral damage. Past experiences from other countries suggest that a violent upheaval seeking vengeance and retribution may not be a sustainable answer and may bring more instability, which the country can ill-afford at this time.

3. A recent secret poll on the outcome of the next general election suggested that BN might lose badly. For example, it predicted that BN would only win in 3 states - Sarawak, Terengganu and Pahang.

4. Najib has implied openly on 8 June 2017 that he is facing much stress as the PM and he was not getting enough sleep, which would definitely have an adverse and severe effect on his health and well-being.

5. Najib must accept that enough is enough. The sooner the better for him and the country, before the situation gets out of control. Time and his health are not on his side as the deadline (August 2018) for the election draws closer. What if the secret poll is right and the tide turns against BN, by then and whatever “Plan B” he may have, may not work anymore? He is still in a good position to negotiate a workable and peaceful exit to save himself and his family and also to preserve whatever legacy that is left of his great father.

6. The whole world and the country is watching his every move closely and it is time that he must demonstrate responsibility, leadership, humility and common sense for the sake of the country and the safety of him and his family.

7. It may be now or never as history may also judge him harshly if he does not do the right things now and he ends up as the loser in the end.

8. There is a wise saying - “Always have a successful exit than a favourable entrance. Because what matters is not being clapped when we arrived, but being remembered when we leave.”

Note: The above is a jotting from a senior member of Barisan Nasional and an old friend of Najib who believes there is still room for manoeuvre. 


I know exactly how Najib will be remembered. 

Monday 12 June 2017

Kenapa samseng Umno hina Sarawak ?

Nampaknya kelakuan kurang ajar tanpa adab, melampaui norma dan tatasusila manusia bertamadun sudah menjadi perkara biasa. Dahulu kelakuan demikian hanya terhad kepada penjenayah dan samseng jalanan kini tetapi kini ianya telah merebak ke peringkat atas.

Dari penyampu sampah yang meroyan mengaku dirinya imam kepada Perdana Menteri yang menghina rakyat sebagai bangsat dan menteri mengaku dirinya samseng, kelakuan kurang ajar ini sedang tular. 

Kejadian terbaru yang amat memalukan rakyat Malaysia adalah tindakan menteri KANAN Umno Nazri Aziz yang menghina seorang pemimpin kanan Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Sarawak (PBB) dimajlis sempena bulan Ramadan.  

Walau apa pun perkara yang diulas atau didebat kata-kata yang dilemparkan Nazri terhadap Karim, yang juga seorang menteri kerajaan Sarawak, jelas tidak beradab dan amat kurang ajar. 

'Nak jadi samseng belajar dengan saya'
Nazri merujuk kepada fakta bahawa Abdul Karim baru sahaja menyertai kabinet Sarawak tahun ini dan masih kurang tahap 'kekananan' dalam kerajaan.
"Dalam politik ini jangan cakap besar, you cakap besar you nak tunjuk samseng, kita lebih samseng lagi.
"Saya takkan benar dia bersikap samseng begitu. Saya menteri lama dah.
"Kalau tak faham, jumpa saya dulu, tanya. Jangan baru jadi menteri dah jadi samseng. Nak belajar jadi samseng belajar dengan saya," sindir Nazri. - LAPORAN PENUH 
KENYATAAN Nazri, seperti laporan di-atas, menimbulkan persoalan kenapa Ahli Majlis Tertinggi Umno ini sanggup menghina seorang pemimpin kanan kerajaan Sarawak secara terbuka? 
Karim Hamzah bukan budak yang baru setahun jagung dalam kerajaan Sarawak ataupun politik Bumi Kenyalang yang ditunjangi parti PBB.

Apakah kedudukan atau status Sarawak dan khususnya PBB dimata Umno hari ini sudah begitu teruk sehingga boleh dihina tanpa adab di majlis berbuka puasa di bulan Ramadan? 

Nazri bukan setakat menghina malah mencabar pemimpin PBB itu hanya kerana beliau bersuara mempertahankan kepentingan rakyat Sarawak. 

"you cakap besar you nak tunjuk samseng, kita lebih samseng lagi" - maknanya Umno parti samseng, bukan begitu? 

Apakah dalam doktrin Umno hari ini parti komponen Barisan Nasional lain yang bersuara mempertahankan hak dan kepentingan rakyat dianggap 'samseng' dan oleh itu Umno berhak bertindak 'samseng' menghina komponen BN lain?  

Apa pun yang diperjelaskan selepas ini dengan tujuan 'damage control' akibat keceluparan Nazri yang nyata maruah Sarawak dan Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu Sarawak sudah tercalar. 

The ball is now in Sarawak's court. You can either stand up to defend your pride and rights or be an obedient servant and learn how to be a bigger 'samseng' from Umno. 

Keputusan ditangan kerajaan negeri Sarawak khususnya ditangan Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg. 

Penghinaan terbuka terhadap Sarawak dan pemimpin kanan kerajaan negeri oleh pemimpin kanan Umno bukan perkara kecil yang boleh diketepikan begitu sahaja. 

Abang Jo Ketua Menteri Sarawak tidak perlu berlagak samseng atau menghina sesiapa untuk mempertahankan hak dan maruah Bumi Kenyalang, tetapi jika tiada tindakan atau ketegasan yang menyusul maka peribahasa lembu dicucuk hidung mungkin akan jadi mainan dibibir rakyat. 


Untuk makluman, penghinaan sebegini tidak pernah berlaku ketika Tun Pehin Sri Taib Mahmud ataupun Tan Sri Adenan Satem menerajui PBB dan kerajaan Sarawak. Kenapa sekarang?