Tuesday, May 31, 2016

BN party reps threaten to quit over 'hudud' motion, but choose to turn a blind eye to 1MDB and Najib's donation scandals

It is almost comical seeing the immense coverage given by vernacular newspapers to non-Malay Barisan Nasional component party leaders who took turns threatening to quit the coalition as a result of the tabling of the hudud motion in Parliament.

Top leaders of MCA, MIC, Gerakan as well as Sabah and Sarawak parties were up in arms, thumping their chests, screaming betrayal by UMNO for allowing PAS President and Member of Parliament for Marang, Dato’ Seri Hadi Awang to table the motion on “hudud”, ahead of other Government business in Parliament.

The question which needs to be asked is simply, where were these BN component party leaders when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman, who obviously received the endorsement of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak himself, tabled the motion to prioritize Dato’ Seri Hadi Awang’s private members’ bill over government business?

Why was it that only opposition Members of Parliament were brave enough to stand up to question the irregularity of the entire exercise, which was perhaps the first in the history of Malaysian Parliament?

Why did Liow Tiong Lai, Wee Ka Siong, Joseph Kurup, Mah Siew Keong, Joseph Pairin Kitingan or members of their parties stand up to protest the unprecedented event which took place on the last day of the sitting on Thursday last week?

Or is all the brouhaha merely just an afterthought, a show to placate a shocked electorate who has lost total confidence in these BN component parties to protect their rights enshrined in the constitution?

Or are these leaders now threatening to quit for show in order to limit the damage resulting from the admitted collusion between UMNO and PAS?

None of the threats to quit are of course credible. The last time MCA and Gerakan threatened to quit the Cabinet if the results from the 13th General Election showed no improvement, the party leaders obediently put the tails between their legs and meekly crawled back into the Cabinet.

And if these BN leaders really mean their quit threats, then why haven’t they similarly threatened to quit over the RM55 bilion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion Najib-donation scandals?

Are MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Upko, SUPP and PBB more than happy to continue supporting a Prime Minister who has been directly accused of siphoning billions of dollars from the Finance Ministry subsidiary, 1MDB? Even the Auditor-General has confirmed that his office was unable to verify the authenticity and existence of US$7 billion (RM28 billion) of 1MDB transactions, assets and cash conducted overseas.

If they are indeed principled parties and individuals they claim themselves to be, why have they not made any similar threats when Dato’ Seri Najib Razak brought shame to Malaysia in a global scandal which is being investigated in more than 7 countries across the world? Is it because they are also beneficiaries of the stolen funds from 1MDB?

Malaysia is now a renown kleptocracy in the world.  If these chest-thumping BN leaders do not quit over the theft of billions of dollars from the Malaysian tax-payers, then their threats to resign are clearly just for show to minimise the damage caused the dalliance between UMNO and PAS.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Applications now open for 2016 DAP Internship Programme!

The DAP "Know An MP" Youth Programme for the year 2016 is now open for application! DAP Malaysia will be offering 10 attachment placements nationwide to various national leaders, Members of Parliament (MPs) and State Assemblymen (ADUN) in Malaysia.

What is this programme about?
The programme aims to provide Malaysia’s best and brightest students with hands-on experience in the areas of politics, public policy and governance. Selected candidates will be matched based on compatibility to an MP or ADUN. The candidate will be attached on a full-time basis to the MP/ADUN and actively participate in their daily work.

During the programme, candidates will have the opportunity to:
  • Gain first-hand experience and insight of being a national leader
  • Attend parliamentary or state assembly sessions
  • Organize and participate in press conferences, discussions, political events, etc.

As part of the programme, candidates are required to submit a 300-word essay documenting their experience and insights gained.

Who should apply?
University students able to commit to full-time attachment with a minimum period of 1 month

Application procedure:
Email your résumé / CV, secondary school and university transcripts, and a cover letter to daprocket@rocketmail.com.

Include in your application the following:
  • Preferred location (i.e. which state/city in Malaysia)
  • Proposed duration of your attachment
  • Preferred MP/ADUN

Application timeline:
The application period is between 15 May 2016 and 15 June 2016
Successful candidates will be contacted via email

For further enquiries, kindly email daprocket@rocketmail.com.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Who is Datuk Hasan Arifin trying to protect when he works so hard to hide the fact that Good Star Limited belongs to Jho Low?

The Malaysian public can now see for themselves the types of challenges the opposition members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) faced when dealing with a Chairman the likes of Datuk Hasan Arifin.

Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, Datuk Hasan Arifin made the outright denial that Good Star Limited belonged to Low Taek Jho, or better known as Jho Low.  Good Star Limited has received US$1.03 billion of direct payments from 1MDB from 2009 to 2011.

“Selaku Pengerusi PAC saya ingin menafikan bahawa pemilik Good Star Limited adalah Low Taek Jho seperti yang dinyatakan oleh akhbar Wall Street Journal dengan mengaitkan surat Bank Negara terhadap Jawatankuasa ini,” he said.

This outrageous denial was made despite the Bank Negara disclosed that 2 foreign regulatory authorities confirmed to Bank Negara that the sole beneficiary of Good Star Limited was Jho Low and the ownership status never changed since its inception in June 2009.

Instead, he chose to dismiss Bank Negara’s letter claiming that the information provided is of “intelligence grade” (bertaraf risikan).  Hence, since the PAC is not an “intelligence agency”, we are unable to verify the authenticity and truth of the information.

This must be the most gravity-defying acrobatic twist of logic from the Chairman who was only appointed to lead the committee in October last year.  An “intelligence grade” piece of information does not require an intelligence agency to make use of the intelligence reports.

On the contrary, the “intelligence grade” information should be taken as the likely truth unless otherwise proven because it was intelligence received from Bank Negara’s counterparts in foreign countries.

Furthermore, if “intelligence grade” information from Bank Negara cannot be believed, then why should the PAC Chairman accept at face value the letter from Petrosaudi acknowledging Good Star Limited as its subsidiary by mere assertion, unsupported by any documentary evidence? We don’t even know if the letter provided by 1MDB is genuine! Is he claiming that Bank Negara far less trustworthy than 1MDB, the very company the PAC is tasked to investigate?

Datuk Hasan Arifin then argued that because the letter was of “intelligence grade”, information contained in the letter cannot be included in any reports produced by the PAC.

However, he neglected to mention that Bank Negara specifically provided that the PAC can be allowed to use the information contained in its letter for PAC’s publications on the condition that “approval from the foreign regulatory authorities be obtained via Bank Negara in advance”. (Sekiranya PAC bercadang untuk menggunakan maklumat di dalam dokumen awam, kebenaran dari negara-negara terlibat melalui Bank perlu dipohon terlebih dahulu.)

What’s more, the letter would provide the necessary leads for the PAC to investigate further into the multi-billion dollar embezzlement which took place. For example, the PAC would then have the strong basis to summon Jho Low to testify to the Committee.

In addition, Datuk Hasan Arifin did not respond to the question as to why he refused to share the “intelligence grade” letter to the PAC members?  He claimed that the letter was addressed to him confidentially, but the contents of the Bank Negara letter repeatedly made reference to the information which was “provided to the PAC”. (pendedahan maklumat pendaftaran GSL adalah terhad kepada PAC…)

Therefore Datuk Hasan Arifin’s media response yesterday did not absolve him from his role in covering up the 1MDB scandal.  Instead it only confirmed that he is either a complete illiterate who could not read and understand basic Bahasa Malaysia, or more likely, he is abusing his position as the PAC Chairman to obstruct the investigations into the single largest financial scandal in the history of the country.

As such, Datuk Hasan Arifin’s response reinforced our calls for him to resign as the PAC Chairman because Malaysians can no longer trust him to carry out his role honestly, professionally and with integrity.

The top most question now which he must answer is, why is he going all out to hide Jho Low’s connections to Good Star and 1MDB, even at the cost of making him look like a complete idiot?  Is it because Jho Low will be the key to unlock the mystery of how billions of ringgit might have found its way to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and his family’s personal wealth?

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The "cari makan" chairman of PAC must resign for lying to the committee, suppressing evidence and obstructing investigations into 1MDB!

The Public Accounts Committee members were baffled as to why Datuk Hasan Arifin had unilaterally deleted sentences from the finalised PAC Report on 1MDB which quoted Bank Negara who disclosed that the “ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited is an individual not related to Petrosaudi International Limited”.

We were further stumped by Datuk Hasan Arifin’s failure to disclose to PAC members another letter from Bank Negara dated 6 April 2016, a day before the final PAC report was tabled in Parliament. When we discovered the existence of the letter via a ministerial reply in Parliament on 17 May 2016, we had confronted the PAC Chairman at our meeting the very next day.

All PAC opposition members were left speechless when Datuk Hasan refused to share the contents of the Bank Negara letter with us. We could not understand Datuk Hasan’s claims of confidentiality when PAC members were even authorised to review the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB which was classified under the Official Secrets Act (OSA).  What could possibly be more confidential than OSA documents?

Datuk Hasan’s highly suspicious behaviour led us to believe that the Bank Negara letter responding to queries from the PAC must have contained some damning information on 1MDB. I had speculated two days ago that Bank Negara must have outed Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low as the sole beneficiary of Good Star Limited and demanded that the PAC Chairman confirm or deny my allegation.

Datuk Hasan Arifin refused to respond to the press despite repeated queries.

Malaysians are ashamed because we have to depend on the foreign media, The Wall Street Journal in this case, to expose the truth contained in the said letter.  The letter dated 6 April 2016 from Bank Negara to the PAC clearly stated that Good Star Limited is “beneficially owned by Low Taek Jho” and that there was never any change of ownership in the company.

This crucial piece of information opens up a whole Pandora’s Box and confirmed what critics like The Sarawak Report, The Edge publications and opposition Members of Parliament have accused 1MDB all along, that out of the US$1.83 billion investment 1MDB carried out with Petrosaudi International Limited, at least US$1.03 billion have been directly misappropriated to Good Star Limited, owned by Jho Low.

This incontrovertible evidence tears to shreds the pretense by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and 1MDB’s top officials that Good Star Limited belongs to the Petrosaudi group, a claim which was not backed by any legally-admissible documentary evidence.

This vital evidence, if taken into consideration by the Auditor-General and the PAC, would have made the already damning PAC report even more devastating. Fraud, while previously suspected, would have been confirmed.

In fact, had Datuk Hasan Arifin shared the Bank Negara letter with the PAC members, a whole new front of investigations would have been opened, including summoning Jho Low to testify before the PAC. Instead, he lied to the PAC members claiming that the Bank Negara letter was intended for his eyes only. This was despite the letter clearly making reference to the information being provided to the PAC for deliberations.

Hence it cannot be clearer that Datuk Hasan Arifin has been nominated by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional to hamper and cover up the investigations into 1MDB.  The PAC Chairman has denigrated his parliamentary position to become a tool to help the crooks who stole billions of dollars of Malaysian tax-payers’ money.

He has lied to and acted against the decisions of the PAC. He has suppressed crucial evidence to cover up shenanigans multi-billion ringgit fraud by the powers that be. He obstructed the parliamentary investigation into the single largest scandal in the history of Malaysia.

Datuk Hasan Arifin’s position as the PAC Chairman is no longer tenable because Malaysians can no longer trust him to carry out his role honestly, professionally and with integrity.  We now call upon Datuk Hasan Arifin to resign as the Chairman of the PAC because he has brought disrepute to the committee and disgraced the Parliament.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Will BNM follow the footsteps of Swiss and Singaporean authorities in investigating the suspected money-laundering related to 1MDB and Dato' Seri Najib Razak?

Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has commenced criminal proceedings against BSI SA Bank for facilitating the offences of money laundering and bribery of foreign public officials in relation to 1MDB.

Simultaneously, the Monetary Authority of Singapore shut down BSI Bank operations in the island-state. The grounds provided include "serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank's operations and gross misconduct by some of the bank's staff".

In contrast, what has Bank Negara done to protect the integrity of our financial system? Despite the fact that Malaysia is being ridiculed globally and cited as an example of a rogue state run by kleptocrats, Bank Negara has barely bared its purportedly powerful fangs to indict those who have been responsible.

Despite being arguably the most “aggressive” regulatory agency to investigate 1MDB in Malaysia, Bank Negara barely scratched the surface of the entire scandal.

The central bank had made hue and cry over how 1MDB illegally transferred US$1.83 billion overseas, and the demands that 1MDB return the funds immediately.  But it all ended with a whimper when Bank Negara agreed to close the chapter by slapping 1MDB on the wrist with a compound. 1MDB proudly issued a statement that it has paid the fine yesterday.

To rub salt on Malaysians’ wounds, the quantum of the fine was undisclosed, so it could be a pitiful RM4,000 for all we know.

Hence instead of becoming the agency which acts without fear or favour that Malaysians are proud of, Bank Negara has blemished it’s much-vaulted reputation and brought shame to the country.

Instead today, Bank Negara allowed itself to be used by the alleged money-laundering suspects to acquit themselves.

Department of Special Affairs (Jasa) director-general and an UMNO warlord, Mohd Puad Zarkashi when explaining Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s “donation” scandal, told students in Australia that the Prime Minister had discussed the matter with then Bank Negara governor Zeti Akthar Aziz and even received the central bank's approval to bring in the money.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has been accused of receiving more than US$1 billion (RM4.1 billion) in his personal account with AmBank Bhd, a sum which he had not denied.

Hence the question for Bank Negara is, did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak indeed obtained approval from Bank Negara and has the information on the source of funds been diligently verified since it has brought disrepute to the country?

Segambut Member of Parliament, Lim Lip Eng had already submitted a letter on 5 August 2015 asking the central bank to clarify if the transaction complied with the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2013 (“AMLA”).

Under Section 4 of the Act, any person is deemed to have committed an offence if he or she:

a)  engages, directly or indirectly, in a transaction that involves proceeds of an unlawful activity or     instrumentalities of an offence;
b)  acquires, receives, possesses, disguises, transfers, converts, exchanges, carries, disposes of or uses proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence;
c)   removes from or brings into Malaysia, proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence; or
d)  conceals, disguises or impedes the establishment of the true nature, origin, location, movement, disposition, title of, rights with respect to, or ownership of, proceeds of an unlawful activity or instrumentalities of an offence,

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and his UMNO cheerleaders have insisted that the incredibly large sums the Prime Minister received were “donations” from an unnamed Middle-Eastern individual.  However, that excuse, even if it were unbelievably true, does not absolve the Prime Minster from the purview of AMLA.  That is because even a “donation” could have originated from illegal and illicit sources via complex money-laundering mechanisms.

Bank Negara Malaysia, as the “competent authority” under the AMLA, must confirm if the Prime Minister has been investigated under the law and if he has been cleared.  Silence from Bank Negara is not an option.

The failure to investigate or confirm the above would only mean that the central bank has abdicated its powers and severely neglected its responsibility to protect the integrity of our financial system, especially when compared to the actions of foreign central banks to date.

Does Deputy Minister of Finance Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani really want to become the butt of jokes like his predecessor Datuk Ahmad Maslan?

I am stunned to hear the normally intelligent (at least while he was a backbencher) Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani respond to questions in Parliament with regards to the monster scandal 1MDB.

Yesterday, he told the Parliament that “the government has never claimed that 1MDB was a good investment”.  He added that it was the wrong business model, weak management and poor governance were the three reasons that (contributed to) 1MDB's lack of competitiveness.

For years, ever since I submitted my first question on 1MDB in Parliament on March 2010, the standard “copy and paste” replies by the Prime Minister’s Department and the Ministry of Finance was to say that 1MDB will be the “strategic enabler for new ideas and sources of growth” which will “drive sustainable economic development by forging strategic global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment”.

In October 2014, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak himself told the Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng that “1MDB had never missed its obligations to fulfill its financing schedules. 1MDB’s financial position remains strong, supported by strategic assets with proven track records as well strong growth opportunities.”

This was repeated in Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s replies in Parliament to me on 6 November 2014 which claimed that “1MDB’s financial position remains strong, supported by strategic assets with proven performance records, on top of solid growth opportunities.”

The former Deputy Finance Minister was so gung-ho as to declare that 1MDB will return to profitability for its financial year ending March 2015.  The rest is history.  Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s tenure was short-lived as he was a walking disaster defending 1MDB and the other key issue of Goods and Services Tax.

Datuk Ahmad Maslan was so bad, he had to apologise in Parliament after the Member of Parliament for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli submitted a motion to refer him to the House Committee of Rights and Privileges for misleading the house when responding to questions on 1MDB.

It appears the Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani is keen to follow Datuk Ahmad Maslan’s footsteps.  After years of gloating about 1MDB, the new Deputy Finance Minister has the cheek to come to Parliament to tell Malaysians that “the Government never claimed that 1MDB was a good investment”.

If the Government never believed that 1MDB “was a good investment”, why didn’t the Government shut it down much earlier before it incurred up to RM55 billion of debt and became the single biggest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia?  If Datuk Johari’s assertion is really true, then the BN Government must be the stupidest Government in the whole world for sticking with the 1MDB investment despite knowing that it is not a good investment.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

BSI Bank directed to shut down in Singapore due to offences linked to 1MDB, but what will happen to the purported US$940 million worth of "units" parked there?

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s brainchild, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) continued its giant-slaying run after it directly caused the collapse of BSI Bank.

Switzerland's Office of the Attorney General (OAG) has commenced criminal proceedings against BSI SA Bank for allegedly failing to prevent offences linked to 1MDB.

"The criminal proceedings opened on May 23 against BSI SA are based on information revealed by the criminal proceedings related to 1MDB and on issues raised in the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (Finma) of May 23.  The information suggests that the offences of money laundering and bribery of foreign public officials currently under investigation in the context of the 1MDB case could have been prevented had BSI SA been adequately organised," it said.

Simultaneously, the Monetary Authority of Singapore shut down BSI Bank operations in the island-state. The grounds provided include "serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank's operations and gross misconduct by some of the bank's staff".

This is perhaps 1MDB’s most notable achievement to date because such action has not been taken by the Singapore authorities in the last 32 years.

It is unfortunate that while foreign regulatory authorities are taking stern and punitive actions against individuals, organisations and financial institutions to protect the integrity and reputation of their financial systems and the rule of law, the corresponding Malaysian institutions are trying their best skirt around the massive crime against the state.

While Bank Negara Malaysia was deemed the most “aggressive” institution to investigate and penalise 1MDB and the banks under its purview, at the end of the day 1MDB was barely slapped on the wrist with a compound of an undisclosed sum.  The crooks behind the multi-billion dollar scandal were perhaps properly tickled.

The closure of BSI Bank, Singapore however, piled additional pressure on 1MDB to prove its holdings in the Bank. 1MDB President Arul Kanda has testified to the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in January this year that US$940 million (RM3.8 billion) worth of mysterious “units” remained safely parked in BSI Bank, Singapore.

With the closure of the Bank, will these assets evaporate together with the Bank?

Otherwise, 1MDB must now “move” this purported “units” to another financial institution.  We call upon 1MDB and the Minister of Finance, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to explain the steps which will be taken to withdraw the US$940 million worth of assets from BSI Bank and which Bank will they move these assets to.

Better still, 1MDB should liquidate and repatriate the entire sum back to Malaysia to fund its local projects in Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange which are in desperate need for financial support.

It should be noted that despite repeated requests by both the Auditor-General and the PAC, 1MDB has adamantly refused to provide bank statements and supporting documents in relation to the above US$940 million of “units” to justify its existence and worth.  The US$940 million forms part of the US$7 billion worth of cash, assets and transactions which could not be verified by the Auditor-General.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Arul Kanda both fail to explain what will happen to the RM940 million “units” from BSI Bank. If not, they have been caught with their pants down lying outright to the Parliament and to the Malaysian public once again.  Malaysians can hence safely conclude that the RM940 million of “units” never existed and the monies have been lost or stolen by the powers that be.

Did the PAC Chairman hide BNM letter from its members because the letter exposed Jho Low as Good Star Limited's ultimate beneficiary?

Together with my opposition colleagues in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), we have repeatedly requested that representatives from Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) be summoned to testify with regards to the 1MDB scandal.

This is especially since BNM has openly indicted 1MDB for breaching the Financial Services and Exchange Controls Act. BNM has further demanded that 1MDB repatriate US$1.83 billion, the sum which was deemed to have been improperly transferred overseas.

It could not have been clearer that BNM was in possession of critical information which was integral to PAC’s investigation into 1MDB. However, the PAC Chairman repeatedly refused to summon BNM, claiming that the Attorney-General has already acquitted 1MDB and any information from BNM will be irrelevant.

However, the Chairman finally decided to write to BNM to seek written clarification in lieu of an official testimony.

The PAC has received the first letter from BNM dated 23 March 2016 which was presented to the members by the Chairman on 4 April 2016.

This letter had explained in detail the breaches by 1MDB and at the same time disclosed that the ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited, a company which received a whopping US$1.03 billion from 1MDB was “an individual unrelated to Petrosaudi International Limited”.

The members of the PAC then requested that the Chairman write to BNM again to seek further clarification with regards to this mysterious owner of Good Star Limited.

This crucial disclosure was also included in the final approved PAC Report on 1MDB in the meeting on the 4th, but was surreptitiously deleted by Datuk Hasan Arifin from the version tabled to the Parliament on the 7th.

When PAC members demanded to know why the Chairman unilaterally deleted the above information from the report without consulting the members of the committee at our next meeting on 18th May, we were shocked to discover that the Chairman has already received a response from BNM on 6th April.

Datuk Hasan Arifin claimed that the previously undisclosed second letter noted that the information provided by BNM was privileged, and hence he took the unilateral step to delete the relevant sentences from the finalised Report.

However, we were further shocked when the Chairman insisted that we take his word to be the Gospel truth when he refused to share the response of Bank Negara with the committee members.  If the letter did, and merely substantiated his claims that the information was privileged, then why the unprecedented refusal to disclose the full contents of the letter to the PAC?

The incident became an absolute farce when the Chairman refused to even disclose the number of pages of the BNM letter, backed by PAC members from Barisan Nasional.

This has led the opposition members in the PAC to believe that the Chairman is blatantly hiding and obstructing the investigations into the shenanigans which took place in 1MDB.  In fact, I will go further to suggest that Datuk Hasan Arifin is intentionally covering up for 1MDB and the Prime Minister because Bank Negara confirmed what the whole world already suspected, that Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low is the ultimate beneficiary of Good Star Limited.

We call upon Datuk Hasan Arifin to confirm or deny if Jho Low is indeed the sole shareholder ofI Good Star Limited. If Bank Negara did indeed name and confirm Jho Low, then the PAC Chairman must immediately resign from his position for failing to uphold the integrity of the Parliament and for clear cut obstruction of justice to thwart an independent and transparent investigation into the single largest scandal in the of Malaysia.

DAP Selangor menyokong calon Pakatan Harapan dalam PRK Sungai Besar meskipun ia menjadi pertarungan 3-penjuru dengan BN dan PAS

DAP Selangor akan memberikan sokongan penuh kepada calon Pakatan Harapan dalam pilihanraya kecil Sungai Besar bulan depan.

Kami juga berpandangan bahawa Pakatan Harapan mesti meletak calon dalam pertarungan ini meskipun ia menjadi satu pemilihan 3-penjuru dengan Barisan Nasional (BN) dan PAS.

Saya telah mengunjungi kawasan parlimen Sungai Besar dan bersesi dialog dengan akar-umbi cawangan-cawangan DAP di pekan Sungai Besar dan Sekinchan pada hari Ahad yang lalu.

Suara akar-umbi yang mencerminkan kehendak penyokong parti terutamanya di kawasan perbandaran adalah jelas. Mereka tidak akan, dan tidak mahu menyokong parti PAS sebagai wakil pembangkang melawan BN. Malah, ada yang menyebut bahawa kalau terpaksa undi antara BN dan PAS, ada kemungkinan mereka akan memilih BN atas kekecewaan terhadap PAS. Mereka menganggap bahawa PAS telah mengkhianati undi mereka pada pilihanraya yang lalu kerana mereka telah mengkuburkan Pakatan Rakyat.

Apatah lagi, Malaysia kini dilandai satu krisis gergasi yang tidak pernah berlaku dalam sejarah negara. Skandal RM55 bilion 1MDB dan “donation” Dato’ Seri Najib Razak berjumlah RM4.2 bilion yang telah menjadikan Malaysia sebagai bahan jenaka yang cukup memalukan di seluruh dunia.

Isu-isu ini sepatutnya menjadi fokus kepada pilihanraya-pilihanraya kecil di Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar supaya ianya menjadi satu undi keyakinan terhadap pimpinan Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. Akan tetapi, rakyat tiada keyakinan bahawa parti PAS akan menyuarakan bantahan yang cukup nyaring dan pendirian yang cukup teguh terhadap skandal-skandal ini.

Malah, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang telah berkali-kali menegaskan bahawa beliau tidak berniat untuk menumbangkan Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. Sebaliknya, beliau berkata bahawa Dato’ Seri Najib Razak perlu terus diberikan peluang untuk memimpin negara sebagai Perdana Menteri dan PAS hanya ingin menjadi “penasihat” kepada UMNO-Barisan Nasional.

Oleh sebab itu, adalah wajib supaya Pakatan Harapan diwakili dalam pilihanraya kecil ini supaya penyokong Pakatan Harapan yang begitu ramai dapat memilih parti yang benar-benar menentang kerajaan BN yang rakus dan rasuah.

Akibat keengganan Presiden PAS untuk berunding dengan Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali, cadangan PKR untuk meletakkan calon PKR di Sungai Besar bagi memastikan pertarungan satu-lawan-satu tidak akan terjadi.

Dengan itu, DAP Selangor akan memberikan sokongan seratus-peratus kepada calon Parti Amanah Negara yang mewakili Pakatan Harapan dalam pemilihan tiga-penjuru di Sungai Besar.

Walaupun ada pihak yang bimbang bahawa pemilihan tiga-penjuru berkemungkinan melemahkan undi pembangkang, kami percaya bahawa pengundi yang pintar akan tetap memberikan undi kepada Pakatan Harapan. Ini adalah kerana hanya gabungan politik Pakatan Harapan antara PKR, DAP dan Amanah mampu dan berpeluang untuk menewaskan BN dalam pilihanraya. Manakala PAS, secara tersendiri, tiada kemungkinan langsung untuk menubuhkan kerajaan. Oleh itu, pengundi Sungai Besar tidak akan membazirkan undi kepada parti yang tiada berkemampuan untuk membentuk kerajaan untuk mengganti BN.

Kami yakin bahawa dengan satu kempen yang berfokus dan cergas, Pakatan Harapan akan dapat memikat hati pengundi dan mencapai satu kemenangan pilihanraya kecil bersejarah yang akan menggempar bumi politik Malaysia.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

1MDB CEO is giving up a golden opportunity to clear the firm's name when he rejects the debate challenge

I would like to express my disappointment that 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda has chosen to withdraw his acceptance of the 1MDB debate challenge after gamely declaring that I should “bring it on”.

I could gloat about his withdrawal, but I won’t.  However, what is most disappointing for the Malaysians at large is another missed opportunity by Arul Kanda to once-and-for-all debunk all 1MDB’s key doubters and critics face-to-face.  After all, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and 1MDB repeatedly insisted that all our allegations are “without basis”, “politically-motivated” and is part of a “malicious global conspiracy”.

Arul Kanda claimed that he is now “fully focused on assisting the police, and resolving the IPIC dispute”. As such, he “cannot engage in a debate which may prejudice 1MDB’s legal position in relation to the investigation and the dispute.”

The excuse given cannot hold water because Arul Kanda first accepted my debate the first time round in October last year, with the full support given by Cabinet Members despite all forms of investigations by the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) which were also on-going.

In addition, I have personally filed a police report on 1MDB since March 2015 and the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has repeatedly claimed that police investigations were on-going since last year.

If it was OK to “debate” then, surely the excuse cannot apply today?

What is perhaps the real reason for the last minute withdrawal to accepting the debate since the tabling of the PAC Report last month is that all the pretence that 1MDB has undergone a successful “rationalisation exercise” has collapsed, probably irrecoverably.

More specifically, it has now been proven that 1MDB has paid US$3.51 billion, a figure provided by 1MDB themselves to the Auditor-General, to a fraudulent “Aabar Investment PJS Limited”, a company set up in the British Virgin Islands, which is completely unrelated to Abu Dhabi’s Aabar Investment PJS, the subsidiary to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC).

Even Arul Kanda admitted that “a massive fraud” might have taken place with collaborators from within 1MDB.  The Auditor-General has also stated that he is unable to confirm the whereabouts and veracity of 1MDB’s US$7 billion of cash, assets and transactions overseas.

Despite the seriousness of the misappropriation, whether intentional or otherwise, which has taken place, both the Government and 1MDB has failed to shed light on what has actually taken place.

Hence, the cancellation of the debate will not stop our mission to uncover the truth behind the heinous 1MDB scandal. Instead, the cancellation of the debate shows that we, the critics, are on the right track and gives us greater impetus dig harder to expose the real crooks who have embezzled billions of dollars of tax-payers funds.

A question for the IGP - Why the delay in 1MDB probe despite sufficient evidence?

In  an  interview  with  Singapore  broadcaster  Channel  News Asia, the Auditor-General (AG) Tan Sri  Ambrin  Buang said  his  report on 1Malaysia  Development  Berhad  (1MDB)  provided sufficient basis for an investigation on the state investment firm.

“I  think  our  report  is  sufficient  as  a  basis  for  further  investigation, we have done our job. The next step as recommended by PAC, they want investigation on certain personality in the company, let the  police  do  their  work, we will assist anyone who wants (to) investigate," Ambrin was quoted saying, referring to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

However, despite the PAC having tabled its report on the 7 April, more than six weeks ago, the Royal Malaysian Police has not even called up the key 1MDB protagonist identified in the entire scandal!

Home and Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi informed the Parliament yesterday that the Police have yet to question former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Halmi as part of their probe into the sovereign wealth fund.

"All witnesses involved will be called by police if necessary to record their statements and for further investigations.  Shahrol has not been called to record his statement as of yet," Zahid said when replying to the Member of Parliament for Raub, Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri.

Why is the Police dragging their feet over the entire investigation?

In fact, I have personally first lodged a police report against 1MDB in March 2015, seeking investigations over the role of Datuk Shahrol Halmi, Jho Low and other individuals over their involvement in the 1MDB Petrosaudi investments.

For example, Datuk Shahrol Halmi has instructed payments of US$1.03 billion to Good Star Limited, which the Bank Negara Malaysia has informed the PAC as being “a company owned by an individual unrelated to Petrosaudi International Limited”.

I am not sure if I should be shocked that the Police has failed to even interview the 1MDB key-man after  more  than  a  year. Now  that  even  the  PAC  and  the  Auditor-General  have both indicted Datuk Shahrol Halmi over the gross mismanagement of 1MDB, what else is the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar waiting for?

The IGP is after all famous for being a Twitter-happy top cop, demanding instant arrests and questioning  of  witnesses  and  suspects  over  the  most  trivial  of  alleged  offences  like “insulting” a  leader. Why  is  Tan  Sri  Khalid  Abu  Bakar  taking  his  own  sweet  time  over  what has been internationally recognised “the heist of the century”?

We  call  upon  the  Royal  Malaysian  Police  to  act  with  the  necessary  haste  and  urgency  to ensure  that  the  culprits  behind  the  RM50  billion  monster  scandal  are  quickly  brought  to justice. The  failure  by  the  Police  to  act,  and  the  irony  of  the  speed  of  investigations
overseas will only lead Malaysians to conclude that they are doing their utmost best to cover up the heinous crime involving the most powerful political figures in the country.

Kenyataan Media Ahli-Ahli Jawatankuasa Kira-Kira Wang Negara yang Mewakili Pihak Pembangkang Parlimen Mengenai Laporan PAC Terhadap 1MDB

1. Laporan Ketua Audit Negara di bawah Akta Rahsia Rasmi

Dalam mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Kira-kira Wang Negara (PAC) semalam, isu sebab Laporan Ketua Audit Negara berkenan 1MDB tidak dibentangkan kepada Parlimen telah dibincang.

Ahli-ahli Parlimen PAC pembangkang yang hadir telah menegaskan bahawa Ketua Audit Negara hanya meminta Laporan Ketua Audit Negara dirahsiakan secara rasmi sehingga Laporan PAC dibentangkan.  Pendirian ini juga telah diakui oleh Pengerusi PAC, Datuk Hasan Arifin dalam kenyataan media beliau pada 7 Mac 2016.

Akan tetapi, Pengerusi PAC telah menyatakan pendirian yang berbeza semalam bahawa hak untuk deklasifikasi Laporan Ketua Audit Negara adalah dengan pihak eksekutif kerajaan dan tidak dengan PAC.

Beliau hanya akan menulis surat kepada pihak eksekutif untuk bertanya sama ada mereka akan deklasifikasi Laporan tersebut.

Kami berpendapat bahawa kuasa untuk membentangkan Laporan Ketua Audit Negara terletak dengan PAC, kerana Laporan PAC kami sendiri telah memetik maklumat-maklumat secara langsung daripada Laporan Ketua Audit Negara.

Apatah lagi, kami berpendapat bahawa tiada sebarang maklumat yang terkandung di dalam Laporan Ketua Audit Negara mempunyai unsur-unsur yang akan menjejaskan keselamatan negara yang perlu dirahsiakan.

Kami amat menyesali pendirian Pengerusi PAC yang telah melepaskan kuasa jawatankuasa Parlimen yang bertanggungjawab untuk menjadi institusi semak dan imbang kepada kerajaan, kepada pihak eksekutif kerajaan.

2. Surat Bank Negara Malaysia kepada PAC bertarikh 6 April 2016

Kami amat terkejut apabila Menteri dalam Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Azalina Othman menjawab dalam parlimen bahawa Pengerusi PAC telah menerima sepucuk surat daripada Timbalan Gabenor Bank Negara yang tarikh 6hb April 2016.  Kami tidak pernah dimaklum oleh Pengerusi PAC sebelum ini mengenai surat tersebut.

Menurut Menteri, surat ini menjadi alasan kepada Datuk Hasan Arifin untuk membuat keputusan meminda Laporan PAC yang telah diluluskan oleh mesyuarat PAC pada 4hb April 2016.  Oleh sebab itu, ayat-ayat yang menyebut bahawa Bank Negara telah mengesahkan bahawa syarikat Good Star Limited adalah dimiliki oleh seorang individu yang tiada kaitan dengan Petrosaudi International Limited telah dipotong daripada Laporan PAC tanpa sebarang rundingan dengan ahli-ahli PAC.

Kami telah meminta supaya Pengerusi PAC menunjukkan surat tersebut kepada semua ahli-ahli PAC semalam.

Sekali lagi, kami terkejut apabila Datuk Hasan enggan menunjukkan surat tersebut kepada ahli-ahli jawatankuasa walaupun surat tersebut telah ditulis kepada Pengerusi PAC bagi pihak seluruh jawatankuasa.

Surat yang bertarikh 6hb April tersebut adalah balasan kepada soalan-soalan yang telah dibangkitkan oleh pihak PAC pada 4hb April dan diputuskan supaya Pengerusi menulis kepada Bank Negara untuk mendapat penjelasan selanjutnya.

Keengganan Datuk Hasan untuk mengedarkan surat rasmi tersebut kepada ahli-ahli PAC merupakan kali pertama dalam sejarah PAC di mana maklumat yang telah diterima oleh Pengerusi PAC tidak dikongsikan dengan ahli-ahli jawatankuasa.  Tindakan beliau merupakan satu penghinaan kepada ahli-ahli PAC yang dilantik oleh Parlimen sendiri.

Ini telah membangkitan perasaan kecurigaan terhadap Datuk Hasan, sama ada beliau sengaja menyembunyikan surat tersebut supaya maklumat-maklumat penting yang akan membuktikan penyelewengan antara 1MDB dan Good Star Limited tidak didedahkan.

Kami meminta supaya kalau benar-benar tiada “cover up” berlaku, surat tersebut yang merupakan satu dokumen yang perlu dinilai oleh PAC mesti ditunjuk kepada ahli-ahli jawatankuasa dengan serta-merta.

Dikeluarkan oleh:

Tan Seng Giaw, Timbalan Pengerusi PAC
Datuk Kamarul Baharin
William Leong
Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan
Tony Pua

Why can’t the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB be tabled in Parliament and made public similar to other A-G Reports?

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman said that “there is no need for the government to present the auditor-general's final report on 1MDB to Parliament”.  She said this was because the Public Accounts Committee's (PAC) report on 1MDB had been tabled to Dewan Rakyat.

"The auditor-general's report was discussed in PAC before it concluded its report," she responded to the Parliamentary question from the Member of Parliament for Kuala Kedah, Azman Ismail yesterday.

In another reply to the Member of Parliament for Raub, Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri, she said that "the auditor-general's report on 1MDB was classified under the OSA to ensure there was no leakage of information throughout the PAC proceedings.  The auditor-general report was specifically meant for PAC.”

The responses by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department demonstrate the entrenched culture of secrecy and opacity to cover up the shenanigans which are linked to the top political leadership of UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

Just because the PAC tables its own findings and conclusions on 1MDB, it does not mean that the Auditor-General’s Report cannot be tabled as an appendix as well.  On the contrary, the PAC Report makes numerous references to the Auditor-General’s Report which will necessitate the tabling of the latter as an appendix to provide the Malaysian public with all the relevant information and evidence with the complete picture.

While we concede that the OSA was used to “ensure there was no leakage of information throughout the PAC proceedings”, the fact that the proceedings have ended means that the AG Report should be immediately declassified.  It is no longer necessary for the Cabinet to maintain its OSA status.

In fact, the Auditor-General has also tabled its regular reports on its audit of selected Government departments yesterday to both the Parliament and the PAC.  The latest edition of the report exposed continued multi-billion ringgit of abuses and wastages by various Government ministries and departments.

For example, there was mismanagement of RM312 million disaster relief fund for flood victims, the RM2.23 billion “River of Life” project and the RM1.42 billion Solid Waste Disposal sites.

If these “departmental” abuses can be tabled in Parliament prior to the PAC even conducting further investigations on the respective problematic projects, why is there a special need for secrecy for 1MDB, which is merely another Ministry of Finance subsidiary? Or is it?

Is it because the Auditor-General’s Report will incriminate the Finance and Prime Minister himself, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and hence the desperate attempts by the Executive to ensure that the Auditor-General’s Report cannot even be tabled to Parliament and will never see the light of day?

However, if Dato’ Seri Najib Razak feels such allegations are unfair and are designed to malign his reputation, and that he has absolutely nothing to hide, then he should immediately order the Auditor-General’s Report to be declassified immediately.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Is RTM not interested in hosting the debate between Arul Kanda and myself now because 1MDB has been proven to be lying to Malaysians all along?

Yesterday, I had called upon the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Dato’ Seri Salleh Keruak to once again offer RTM to broadcast the debate between Arul Kanda and myself “live”. Last October, the Minister was very quick and eager to offer the platform for the debate last October.

However, I’m extremely disappointed that the Minister has rejected the opportunity to telecast the debate live to all Malaysians throughout the country.

Dato’ Seri Salleh Keruak said that “we are not interested as investigations conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Auditor-General have been concluded. If anyone is interested to debate on it, they can do so in the Parliament… What's going on now is more of a business dispute between 1MDB and the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).”

The excuse provided by the Minister does not make any sense. Now that the PAC Report on 1MDB has been tabled to Parliament, it is all the more important for the findings to be debated.

This is especially since all Cabinet members claimed that the PAC Report has apparently cleared all wrongdoings by the Prime Minister and 1MDB. On the other hand, critics like myself who is part of the PAC clearly sees the report as damning, particularly with the respect that 1MDB has refused to cooperate fully with the Auditor-General.

Dato’ Seri Salleh’s claim that the massive US$3.5 billion bond defaults by 1MDB is “more of a business dispute between 1MDB and IPIC” is even more unbelievable. 1MDB has recorded the highest borrowin defaults by any government company in the history of the country, and this is a crisis of epic proportions which must be addressed by both 1MDB and the Government.

The live debate between Arul Kanda and myself will enable Malaysians to decide for themselves who is telling the truth and who is hiding from the truth. The refusal by the Communications and Multimedia Minister from hosting the show this time round is clearly a refusal to expose the truth to ordinary Malaysians.

Malaysians are unable to confirm fraud in 1MDB precisely because Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is hampering investigations

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak claimed in his parliamentary reply as the Finance Minister to the Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim Guan Eng, that it's still too early to conclude if fraud had occurred in the US$3.5 billion transaction between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

This was despite the fact that by 1MDB’s own admission to the Auditor-General, it has paid as much as US$3.51 billion to an “Aabar Investment PJS Limited” incorporated in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) between May 2012 to January 2015.  IPIC has disclosed last month that the BVI-incorporated entity is completely unrelated to itself or its similarly named subsidiary, Aabar Investment PJS, incorporated in Abu Dhabi.

It is now public knowledge that the BVI-Aabar has been wound up in mid-2015 and no one knows where the US$3.51 billion paid by 1MDB has gone to.  IPIC has publicly denied that it received any of the funds and has called a default on the debt-asset swap agreement with 1MDB signed in May 2015.

Even 1MDB President, Arul Kanda conceded that “what we cannot discount is there could actually be fraud...a massive fraud...and maybe there was collaboration from our side”.

The shocking loss of US$3.51 billion of funds would have justified the mobilisation of all investigation resources to uncover the truth behind the missing funds.  However, all we got was a nonchalant response from the Finance Minister himself that “it’s still too early to conclude if fraud has occurred”.

The problem is 1MDB hasn’t even filed a police report for an investigation to take place to uncover Arul Kanda’s concern that there “could actually be fraud… a massive fraud” and even “collaboration” from 1MDB’s officers.

And worse, even where some form of investigation was taking place by the Auditor-General (AG) and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), 1MDB has failed to provide full cooperation.

For example, 1MDB refused, despite repeated request by the AG and the PAC over the period of nearly a year, to hand over its bank statements of its overseas accounts, and that of its overseas subsidiaries.

When I posed the question to the Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak only responded lamely in his Parliamentary reply that “all documents in 1MDB’s possession and/or those which were accessible and/or those which it was able to obtain has already been handed over to the National Audit Department”.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak failed to address the question as to why 1MDB could not have the bank statements re-issued by the respective banks, if the original statements were no longer in the company’s possession.

Surely, the Finance Minister would know that missing bank statement could easily be re-printed within a few days at the most?

Hence not only did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak fail in his responsibility to ensure that the wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary comply fully with all the request by the AG and the PAC, the fact that he is now defending 1MDB with the lamest of excuses only goes to prove that the Prime Minister himself is covering up the single-largest fraud in Malaysia’s history.

By withholding crucial evidence to the investigating authorities, fraud then cannot be proven and Dato’ Seri Najib Razak can then continue to hold his head high, maintain a straight face and claim that “it is too early to conclude if fraud had occurred” in the US$3.51 billion payment to the bogus BVI-Aabar.

Malaysians cannot be blamed for asking why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is trying to protect the criminals behind this heinous heist of the century.

Datuk Azalina Othman lied in Parliament that the PAC Chairman informed or showed its members Bank Negara letter stating that information provided to the PAC was confidential

Datuk Azalina Othman, in her response to a question posed by the Member of Parliament for Bagan, Lim  Guan  Eng,  claimed  that  the  PAC  Chairman  Datuk  Hasan  Arifin  has  received information from Bank Negara (BNM) which claimed that the information provided by BNM was “confidential” and not meant to be used for the court of law or for public consumption.
"Pengerusi  PAC  (Datuk  Hasan  Arifin)  menerima  maklumat  daripada  Bank  Negara Malaysia  yang  menyatakan  bahawa  segala  maklumat  yang  diberi adalah  berstatus 'sulit bagi tujuan risikan sahaja dan bukan untuk kegunaan mahkamah atau laporan awam." 
She  further  claimed  that  PAC  members  have  been  informed  of  the  above  letter  from  the Deputy BNM Governor.
“Untuk  makluman,  semua  anggota  PAC  telah  dimaklumkan  mengenai  perkara  ini melalui  surat  Pengerusi  PAC  kepada  Timbalan  Gabenor  Bank  Negara  bertarikh  6 April.”
Let me state in unequivocal terms that Datuk Azalina Othman’s reply is at best misleading, at worst an outright lie with regards to the above matter.

The PAC had its final meeting which approved the final PAC Report on 1MDB for publication on 4 April 2016.  The report was tabled in Parliament 3 days later on the 7 April.

Datuk Hasan Arifin never at any point of time communicated with the PAC members on any developments  subsequent  to  the  meeting  on  the  4  April.    Hence  PAC  members  were shocked to discover upon perusing the tabled report that two crucial lines in the report was deleted unilaterally by the PAC Chairman.

The deleted lines quoted an earlier Bank Negara clarification letter to the PAC, which stated that Good Star Limited, a  recipient of US$1.03 billion of 1MDB funds meant for the latter’s investment  with  Petrosaudi  International  Limited,  was “a  company  owned  by  an  individual unrelated to Petrosaudi International”.

The  deleted  lines  clearly  indicate  a  brazen  case  of  misappropriation  by  1MDB  which  also proves  the  allegations  made  by  the  1MDB  critics  such  as  The  Sarawak  Report,  The  Edge, The Wall Street Journal and opposition critics.

The  question  then  is,  what  exactly  are  the  damaging  contents  of  this  letter  dated  6  April which is so “confidential” and cannot be shared with the public?

What  is  even  more  interesting  however,  is  how  come  the  Minister  in  the  Prime  Minister’s Department is privy to a letter from the Deputy Bank Negara Governor to the PAC Chairman dated 6 April when the members of the PAC are completely clueless above the matter?

Is there now a collusion between the PAC Chairman and the Prime Minister’s Department to cover  up  the  entire scandal  by scheming  a  coordinated  response  to  the  clear  cut  abuse  of power by Datuk Hasan Arifin?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Why doesn’t the Government just stop all Malaysians from travelling overseas since it does not have to give any reason under the Immigration Act?

I  am  disappointed  that  former Public  Accounts  Committee  Chairman,  Datuk  Nur  Jazlan  has decided  that  there  is  absolutely  no  need  for  the  Government  to  be  transparent  and accountable for its decisions.

The Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed said the government need not have to give reasons for barring Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah from leaving Malaysia.He told reporters  that “it's  a  power  given  under  the  Immigration  Act,  we  don't  need  to  explain why... We are not compelled to give a reason.”

Even  if  it  is  true  that  the  law  gives  the  Government  such dictatorial  rights,  a  Government who  prides  itself  on  transparency  and  accountability  will nevertheless  attempt to justify  its actions.

The  lack  of  such  transparency  and  accountability  only  points  to  a  Government  which  is intent on abusing its powers to repress its critics and dissidents.  Maria Chin was on the way to  South  Korea  to  receive  the  prestigious Gwangju  Prize  Human  Rights  Award,  an  award previously bestowed upon Aung Sang Suu Kyi and Xanana Gusmao.

At  the  same  time,  even if  a law  grants  the  authorities the relevant  discretion  to  exercise its powers, such discretion under any democratic regime governed by the rule of law must be exercised  reasonably. Such  discretion  were  never  meant  to  be  abused  according  to  the authorities’ whims and fancies.

I have been barred from leaving the country since 24 July 2015.  The Government and the Director of Immigration  had  similarly  refused  to  provide  me  with  any  reason  as  to  why  I have been barred from leaving the country.

It  was  only  when  the  decision  was  challenged  in  court  that  the  Director  of  Immigration provided  an  affidavit  which  disclosed  that  I  have  had  my  travel rights  restricted  because  I was allegedly  under  police  investigations  for “activities  detrimental  to  parliamentary democracy" which carries up to a 20-year prison sentence.

Even  so,  I  have  only  been  called  in  for  questioning  by  the  Police  as  a  witness  for  their investigations and have never been informed by any parties that I was ever a suspect.

Hence the Government’s crude attempts to restrict our travel rights are outrageous abuse of power, which only serves to prove the critics allegations of Malaysia transforming itself to be police state run by a tin-pot dictatorship.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Singapore investigations shifts focus back to the clandestine operations of former 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International

Investigations by Singapore authorities have revealed that Ministry of Finance subsidiary, SRC International managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil approved the transfer of US$11.95 million (RM48 million) of the company's funds to Jho Low's associate Tan Kim Loong.

Tan, according to The Wall Street Journal, is the original beneficiary of British Virgin Islands-based Tanore Finance, which had sent US$681 million to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts.

Singapore’s Business Times reported that the latest charge against former BSI banker Yeo Jia Wei was for facilitating, through fraudulent means, the transfer of US$11.95 million from SRC International to Affinity Equity International Partners Ltd, a company owned by Tan.

As international investigations begin to provide a clearer and more detailed picture of the scale of embezzlement via duplicitous transactions by 1MDB and SRC International, investigations in Malaysia on the other hand, have effectively ground to a halt.

While the focus of the international press and local critics have been aimed at the debt-ridden 1MDB, its former subsidiary SRC International has been kept relatively under the radar. However, if 1MDB was found by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to have suffered from gross mismanagement, then stranger and more suspicious transactions have taken place in SRC International.

First of all, given all the shenanigans which took place in SRC International including the latest disclosure in Singapore, and the known fact that Nik Faisal has disappeared off the face of Malaysia for nearly a year, why is Nik Faisal still a Director and the Managing Director of the company?

Secondly, his fellow director, Datuk Suboh Mohd Yassin has also similarly disappeared from the country. Why have they not been replaced by Ministry of Finance officials? With a Federal Government guaranteed RM4 billion loan from the Malaysian Pension Fund (KWAP), who exactly is running the company today? Or is the company being run via remote control by fugitives?

Thirdly, the Attorney-General has confirmed that RM27 million originating from SRC International found its way into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal account in July 2014. The Wall Street Journal has further alleged that another RM42 million from SRC International was transferred via intermediaries into the Prime Minister’s account between December 2014 and March 2015.

The Attorney-General said no charges will be filed against the Prime Minister for criminal breach of trust on the amazing excuse that the Prime Minister did not know that the tens of millions deposited into his account came from SRC International. However, in that case, why haven’t those involved in SRC International been investigated and charged for siphoning funds to the Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal account?

Fourthly, the Sarawak Report has earlier exposed that Nik Faisal was given a power of attorney to manage Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal account – a damning allegation which has not been denied by the Prime Minister. Would this be a reason why Nik Faisal is given special protection by the powers that be?

Finally, while it is no longer denied that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak received at least RM69 million from SRC International, even if it was unwittingly received, why hasn’t the funds been returned to SRC International?

If the Prime Minister really did not realise then that the RM69 million deposited into his personal bank account came from SRC International, shouldn't he return the money immediately? If Dato’ Seri Najib Razak could be so honest as to return some US$620 million of unutilised donation to his mysterious alleged Arab donor, why could he return the paltry RM69 million?

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who is also the Finance Minister, must answer these crucial questions pertaining to SRC International during two-week Parliamentary sitting commencing tomorrow.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

DAP Selangor has taken necessary actions and filed a report against Loh Chee Heng, state assemblyman for Telok Dato to the MACC

The DAP Disciplinary Committee has notified DAP Selangor that Telok Dato state assemblyman, Loh Chee Heng has been expelled from the party with immediate effect today.

DAP Selangor had earlier received complaints from its members of alleged improprieties carried out by its state assemblyman for Telok Dato, Loh Chee Heng with regards to his constituency allocations. We have set up a sub-committee which has investigated the relevant complaints over the past 8 weeks.

The findings of the subcommittee were presented to the DAP Disciplinary Committee.

At the same time, based on our findings, DAP Selangor had filed a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for their further investigation. The report was filed with MACC Selangor in Shah Alam on Wednesday, 11 May 2016.

DAP Selangor would like to reiterate the Party’s commitment in upholding our core values in promoting good governance, integrity  and  accountability. We will not tolerate any actions by any of its leaders or members which betrays the trust of the people we seek to represent and destroy the credibility of the Party.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Dato' Seri Najib Razak must explain how his stepson, Riza Aziz could amass such enormous wealth which WSJ now attributes to be sourced from 1MDB

Riza  Aziz  acquired  a  US$33.5  million  7,700-square-foot  duplex  in  the  Park  Laurel condominium tower overlooking New York’s Central Park and an 11,000-square-foot walled mansion in Beverly Hills with a 120-foot-long pool for more than $17.5 million in 2012.

These property transactions worth US$51 million (RM204 million) was first exposed by The Sarawak Report in December 2013. They were subsequently confirmed by Riza Aziz himself to the New  York  Times,  in  a  story  entitled “Jho  Low,  Well-Connected  in  Malaysia,  Has Appetite for New York”, published in February 2015.

However  yesterday,  for  the  first  time,  The  Wall  Street  Journal  made  the  allegation  which Malaysians  have  suspected  all  along, that  the  source  of  funds  for  the  above  purchases originated from the controversial debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The global financial daily reported that investigators believe that money used to buy the two properties  was  part  of  at  least  $238  million that was transferred to an offshore company wholly owned by Riza Aziz, Red Granite Capital from Aabar Investments PJS Ltd. The funds were transferred  directly and indirectly via  intermediaries  in  batches  of  US$133 million, US$60 million, US$45 million and US$50 million throughout 2012.

Based  on  information  1MDB  provided  to  the  Auditor-General  which  was  cited  in  the  Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB, the company had paid the British Virgin Islands (BVI)-incorporated Aabar Investment PJS Ltd US$567 million and US$790 million in May and October 2012 respectively as “refundable security deposits”. 1MDB had further paid the BVI-Aabar US$2.143  billion  between  September  2014  to  January 2015  purportedly  for “options termination compensation” and “top-up security deposits”.

However,  Aabar  Investment  PJS  Ltd  which  has  already  been  liquidated,  has  recently  been exposed as a fraud when the parent of the real Aabar Investment PJS incorporated in Abu Dhabi, International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) officially denied any ties with the similarly named BVI company.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the new documents also show that $60 million of the total received  by  Red  Granite  Capital  was sent  on  the  same  day  that  1MDB sent the $790 million to Aabar in the British Virgin Islands.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak had told The New York Times previously that he “does not track how much Mr.  Aziz  earns  or  how  such  earnings  are  reinvested.” As  for  the  prime minister himself, the Prime Minister said he had “received inheritance.”

Such  tenuous  reply,  already  incredulous  in  the  first  place, can  no  longer  justify  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s continued silence on his stepson’s spending spree in the United States.

The  Wall  Street  Journal  previous  allegations  such  as  the  billions  of  dollars  of  1MDB  funds have  been  misappropriated  to  a  fraudulent  Aabar  Investment  PJS  Limited  have  proven themselves to be true.The latest allegation, if proven true, will show that Dato’ Seri Najib
Razak’s direct  family  members  have  benefited  at  least  hundreds  of  millions  from  the misappropriated funds to acquire outrageously priced property assets overseas.

The  Prime  Minister  must  now  show  proof  that  Riza  Aziz,  with  less  than  4  years  prior experience  as  a  junior  banker  with  HSBC  London  prior  to  founding  Red  Granite  in  2011 obtained  his  wealth  legally,  above  board  and unrelated  to  1MDB.  If  Dato’  Seri  Najib  Razak refuses  to  do  so, then  he cannot blame ordinary Malaysians who believes him to be completely guilty of corruption and abuse of power.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Dato' Seri Najib Razak is playing the broken record by blaming 1MDB's failed IPO exercise on its critics

Prime Minister Najib Razak said a failed initial public offering (IPO) exercise, as a result of being "attacked", was the main reason why 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) encountered problems.

"When the 'attacks' were mounted, the IPO exercise could not be carried out, hence the cash flow problems," Najib said in an exclusive interview telecast live over TV1 last night in conjunction with UMNO's 70th anniversary today.

1MDB must be operating on the worst business model in the world by hedging its success or failure entirely on its ability to IPO its subsidiary. If 1MDB business collapsed just because of a failed IPO, that was probably the reason why the IPO failed in the first place.

Why were they not able to IPO? Laughably, Dato' Seri Najib blamed its failure on the critics on 1MDB. If we critics are so powerful, then we would have stopped so many other IPOs and related transactions such as Felda Global Ventures Holdings or other privatisation and fund-raising projects by the BN administration.

The real reason why the IPO failed in the first place is because 1MDB overpaid for the assets and no investors in their right minds would pay more than the RM12.1 billion 1MDB paid.  

In addition, the Government had gone out of its way to award 1MDB with multiple multi-billion ringgit new power plant contracts to boost its valuation.

However, despite the overwhelming support given by the Government, the PAC Report disclosed that 1MDB's doomed submission to the Securities Commission indicated a valuation of only RM9.86 billion to RM11.3 billion. (Page 74 of the PAC Report on 1MDB)

Hence the IPO failed because 1MDB was unable to justify the ridiculous valuation paid for its energy assets, but Dato Seri Najib chose to conveniently blame the scandal-ridden firm's critics.

The real reason as to why 1MDB has failed however, is because tens of billions of ringgit has gone missing.

For example, 1MDB had borrowed US$3.5 billion and RM6.7 billion (or an approximate total of RM20.7 billion) to acquire its RM12.1 billion worth of power plants. The question is where did the balance of the cash go?

The Auditor-General has specifically confirmed that US$7 billion of 1MDB assets and transactions overseas cannot be verified or traced. The figure includes US$1.03 billion paid to Good Star Limited, which Bank Negara has disclosed is owned by an individual unrelated to 1MDB’s joint venture partner, Petrosaudi International Limited.

Another missing US$3.51 billion has purportedly been paid to “Aabar Investment PJS Limited” incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, which Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) has confirmed is completely unrelated to its own subsidiary, Aabar Investment PJS.

1MDB has also failed to show any evidence that it is still in possession of US$940 million worth of unexplained “units” in BSI Bank, Singapore. In addition, US$1.56 billion worth of investments by 1MDB Global Investment Limited remains completely unaccounted for.

The fact that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who is also the Finance Minister has refused to address these damning issues raised by the PAC Report, but chose to give laughable excuses for 1MDB’s failure only goes to prove that he is lying to the Malaysian public.

Worse, the Prime Minister has chosen to continue making light of the situation by stubbornly refusing to explain to Malaysians if and how the Ministry of Finance will bail out 1MDB which has already defaulted on US$3.5 billion of bonds as of today.

Any Finance Minister in the world with any sense of accountability and integrity would have long resigned from his position to take responsibility for these monstrous losses.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Deputy Finance Minister calls 1MDB's engagement with bondholders "a good move" despite its crumbling financial status

1MDB  is  now  on  the  verge  on  defaulting  on  the  interest  payments  for  its  second  US$1.75 billion bond, after defaulting on the first US$1.75 billion bond last month.

1MDB  has  been forced  to “engage”their  bondholders to negotiate  the  defaults in order to limit the financial damage to both the company and its shareholder, the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

And  yet,  under  such  dire  circumstances,  Deputy  Finance  Minister  Johari  Abdul  Ghani  can everything  is  hunky-dory,  call “1MDB's  engagement  with  its  US  dollar-denominated bondholders is a good move”.

Worse, the MoF is clearly taking a cavalier attitude to the entire financial fiasco by claiming that MoF does “not want to interfere with this because it is between two corporate entities to go and sort out their problems”.

This  must  be  one  of  the  most  irresponsible  statement  by  the  newly  appointed  Deputy Finance Minister who replaced the previous bumbling Datuk Ahmad Maslan.

The  above  bonds  were  guaranteed  by  International  Petroleum  Investment  Corporation (IPIC). However, did he overlook the fact that the MoF has provided an indemnity to IPIC for losses and damages suffered by the latter?

If  it  was  merely  a “dispute”  between “two  corporate  entities”,  then  why  did  MoF  agree  to provide the indemnity to IPIC in the binding term sheet signed between IPIC and 1MDB in May last year?

Worse, while 1MDB is forced to “engage” with bondholders to “restore market confidence”and “prevent  panic”,  what  about  ordinary  Malaysian  tax-payers  who  are  now  liable  for  a multi-billion dollar bailout of the debt-ridden 1MDB?

Doesn’t Datuk Johari see it necessary to “restore the confidence of” and “prevent panic” by Malaysians?

1MDB  has  already  defaulted  on  the  first  US$1.75  billion  bond. It  will  soon  default  on  the second US$1.75 billion bond. 1MDB has at the same time cross-defaulted on another RM7.4 billion of Islamic bonds and possibly a further RM800 million loan from SOCSO. That means that Malaysians  are  liable  to  for  US$3.5  billion  and  RM8.2  billion, or  a  whopping  total  of approximately RM22.2 billion of 1MDB’s mess.

The  above  has  yet  to  take  into  consideration  another  US$3  billion  bond  which  may  be affected at some time in the near future.

Instead of pretending that everything is A-OK, Datuk Johari must explain to Malaysians if we have to foot the bill.

He  has  earlier  promised  the  Parliament  in  December  last  year  that  the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will resolve “its debt and cash flow issue more quickly without help from the Government.”Is this assurance still valid?

Both  the  Prime  Minister,  Datuk  Seri  Najib  Razak  and  1MDB’s  President  Arul  Kanda  have boasted that the rationalisation exercise has been a success and has been completed. Did they both lie to Malaysians to provide a false front for 1MDB?

If  the  answers  to  the  above  questions  are  above  Datuk  Johari’s  pay-grade,  then  he  must persuade  his  boss,  Datuk  Seri Najib Razak,  who is  also  the  Finance  Minister  to  explain  the imploding 1MDB disaster to Malaysians.

Monday, May 09, 2016

DAP’s commitment to Impian Sabah and Sarawak will continue unabated despite the outcome of the Sarawak state election

The outcome for the Sarawak state election has been a blow to both DAP’s campaign in the urban seats and our outreach to the rural constituencies.

The result has disappointed many, including party volunteers who had worked hard for the election campaign. For  the  rural  seats, some have publicly opined that a couple of our Impian Sarawak projects generated little or no returns in terms of votes.

Our supporters who have contributed generously have also voiced understandable concern over the outcome, especially upon receiving such viral reports and messages. 

Yes, it is true that in some polling districts where we have carried out projects, the electoral impact has  been  tiny  or  even  negligible. But  what  is also  true is  that  in  certain  areas, we have received a small but significant increase in support. 

Nevertheless,  any  attempts  to  measure  the  impact  of  Impian  projects  via  short-term changes in electoral support is not only premature, it is well off-the-mark.

Impian  Sabah  and  Sarawak  was  founded  with  the  specific  goal  to  bridge  the  rural-urban divide,  to  offer  basic  infrastructure,  health  and  education  projects  as  well  as  services  to uplift the quality of lives of the marginalised poor as well as to improve the understanding between the Party and the villagers.

Impian Sabah and Sarawak has been an unqualified success in its short two-and-a-half year history.   We  have  delivered  more  than  60  projects which included  the  desperately  needed gravity water feed projects, building accessible roads and generating cheap electricity. We have helped thousands of villagers achieve a better quality of life.

However, any expectation of instant transformation in perception and trust among the rural villagers after  decades  of  fear  and  prejudice  conditioned  into  their  minds  is  unrealistic. If the political mindset change in West Malaysians took decades of sacrifice and effort by our pioneering opposition leaders, why  should  we  expect  the  same  change  to  take  place overnight in rural Sarawak?

The DAP  has received  an  invaluable  better  understanding  of  the  rural  communities –  their needs, their limitations and their dreams.

Most  importantly, we  have made  many  friends in  rural Sabah  and  Sarawak. Friends whom we did not have before we embarked on the Impian journey. Without friends, and without more of them, our journey for change will never succeed. And without first appreciating the plight of the rural communities, we cannot claim to offer meaningful “change”.

The  Sarawak  election  result  is  disappointing  or  even  heartbreaking  for  some  who  put  in sweat and tears. However, it is but a bridge which we must cross to achieve our goals for a better Sarawak, and  a  better  Malaysia. Perseverance  and persistence  will  mark  the difference between a lost cause and a realisable dream. 

Therefore,  we  would  like  to  reiterate  here  that  our  commitment  to  Impian  Sabah  and Sarawak is  a  long-term  cause. Our  efforts  to  bring  change  at  both the quality of  life and political landscape for our fellow Malaysians, will continue unabated. 

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our supporters who have contributed immensely to the success our Impian Sabah and Sarawak projects, and we look forward to your continued support.