Monday, September 18, 2017

Did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak make empty and meaningless promises to the President of the United States just to curry favour and show off?

In the viral 6-minute meeting between Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and President Trump, accompanied by their respective delegations, the Malaysian Prime Minister pulled out all stops to impress the American President.

Dato’ Seri Najib did not waste time with pleasantries and started his speech with how much Malaysian firms and funds will purchase from, and invest with US companies.  He said “Number one, we want to help you in terms of strengthening the US economy.”

Among the most controversial promise by Dato’ Seri Najib was for the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to investment an additional “three to four billion dollars” to “support... infrastructure redevelopment in the United States.”

Ordinary Malaysians, and in particular, contributors to the EPF are up in arms over the Prime Minister’s callous promise to the American president. How is it that we are now spending billions of our saving to support “infrastructure redevelopment in the United States” when we are in desperate need for the same in Malaysia?

The irony cannot be greater when only recently Dato’ Seri Najib Razak secured a RM55 billion loan from China’s Export-Import Bank in order to award a contract to China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC) to build the controversially priced East Coast Rail Link.  We don’t have money to build our own infrastructure and our Prime Minister wants to help make America great again?

However, perhaps after realising the political damage which his ‘promises’ to President Trump have caused, the Prime Minister is now telling Malaysians something different.

In his Malaysia Day speech given in Kota Kinabalu, he said “when I said that the EPF wanted to invest in the US, they (opposition) said it was no use and it was better to invest in our own country.”

The prime minister explained that the EPF had funds totalling RM760 billion which could be invested not only in the US, but in 39 other countries.  “The decision was not made by politicians, it was made by its investment committee,” he added.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak even taunted the critics as “shallow, not that smart”.

The Prime Minister is obviously trying to be disingenuous here, promising President Trump one thing, but justifying something completely different to Malaysians.

Since Dato’ Seri Najib claimed that “the decision was not made by politicians”, we would like to ask him if the EPF investment committee has already made the decision to invest “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”?

We are not questioning the right for EPF to invest overseas.  It is EPF’s prerogative to invest a certain amount of funds overseas after the necessary analysis and due diligence have been carried out by the investment committee.  However, as far as Malaysians are aware, there has been no such definitive resolution or commitment by the EPF to make the “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”.

Hence, if indeed investment decisions at the EPF are “not made by politicians” as justified by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, and that EPF has also not made any decision to invest “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”, then we can only conclude that our Prime Minister boasted empty promises to the American President.

The question then is, why did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak have to go out of his way to impress the Trump administration?  The answer appears to be obvious, from his stay the the Trump Hotel to his boasts at the White House, the Prime Minister pulled out all stops to curry favour the American President in order to hope that the United States government will go easy on the single largest anti-kleptocracy money laundering seizure in the country.

We call upon the EPF and Khazanah Nasional to maintain independent financial discipline, free from political pressures and interference, in carrying out their investment mandates.  This is to ensure that the life-savings of Malaysian workers and the assets of the Malaysian people will remain safe and secure, protected for generations to come.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must sue Newsweek and CNN for calling him a “crook” to redeem not only his reputation, but also the pride and honour of Malaysians

Internationally renowned journal, Newsweek published an article by former World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz with the headline “Trump meeting with Malaysian crook Najib reeks of the swamp” on 13 September 2017.

At the same time, internationally renowned broadcaster, CNN reported the meeting between President Trump and Dato’ Seri Najib Razak in its “Conflict of Interest Watch” story.  They reported “Najib’s alleged role in what the United States Justice Department called an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian fund, money that the Justice Department says should have been used to help the Malaysian people but instead was used by a small number of individual to fuel their, quote: "astonishing greed".

There is absolutely no question that the reputation of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has been torn to shreds by the international media.  The Prime Minister’s vain attempts at lifting his profile as an adored international leader invited to the White House by President Trump have not only failed to achieve his goals, but destroyed whatever semblance of credibility he might have had left.

Worse, he isn’t the sole or biggest victim of being labelled an international “crook”.  The utlimate victim is Malaysia and its citizens as we have no where to hide our faces as we have been shamed almost beyond redemption.  We have lost our honour and pride when the leader of our country becomes an infamous “crook” while Malaysia earns the kleptocracy badge.

What ‘face’ do we have left when our Prime Minister goes to the United States to help make America great again by offering their economy our crown jewels worth some RM60 billion, but all we get from the US media is mud thrown at our faces?

We call upon the Prime Minister to put together the best team of international lawyers to sue Newsweek and CNN for defamation and publication of “fake news” to redeem not only his reputation, but our honour and pride.

After all, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is well-known for going to the Court to protect his so-called reputation.  I have been at the receiving end of two such defamation – one in 2014 and one in 2017 with regards to 1MDB, both of which are still undergoing the legal process.

At the very least, the Prime Minister’s lawyer, Datuk Hafarizam Harun should inform both Newsweek and CNN that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is open to an apology.  He has offered me the same option just two days ago, claiming that the Prime Minister “is open-minded and would accept an 'I am sorry Mr Prime Minister'” in order for a legal settlement to be reached.

However, if Dato’ Seri Najib Razak doesn’t even have the courage to salvage his reputation and credibility internationally by suing Newsweek and CNN, then the entire world would only be convinced that he is guilty as charged.  In which case, there would of course be absolutely no reason for me to offer Dato’ Seri Najib Razak any apology for pretty much saying the same things.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak offered President Trump our crown jewels worth billions of dollars and got nothing in return

The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s 6-minute meeting in the Oval Office has become the laughing stock for tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The historic meeting with President Trump should have been a triumph for Dato’ Seri Najib, a testimony that Malaysia has arrived under his leadership to be treated as an equal partner to the United States.

Instead, the video of the meeting which has gone viral around the world showcased a desperate Prime Minister paying tribute to his imperial masters.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak boasted of a US$10 billion (RM42 billion) deal by Malaysia Airlines to acquire Boeing jetliners and even publicly offered to “persuade” AirAsia to purchase GE engines.  That’s like giving not only your daughter’s hand in marriage to the emperor, but trying to offer the cousin’s as well!

As a matter of fact, Malaysians have no idea how the deeply loss-making Malaysia Airlines which needed a RM6 billion bailout from Khazanah in 2014 can afford potential US$10 billion acquisition of aircrafts from Boeing.

The Prime Minister then further offered another “three to four billion dollars” from Malaysians’ Employee Provident Fund (EPF) to “support... infrastructure redevelopment in the United States.”
The icing on the cake was that Khazanah, our sovereign wealth fund, would also invest more money in United States companies, having already invested more than US$400 million to date.

And all we got in return was a “Thank you very much. Appreciate it.”  You could almost imagine Trump quietly saying “You can go now” in his head.

Malaysians have never felt more shocked and shamed at the international stage.  The Prime Minister offered our crown jewels worth some RM60 billion in a vain attempt to please President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign, and we got absolutely nothing in return.

President Trump didn’t even try to pretend that Malaysia got anything in return – for example, the promise of ‘potential’ investments or increased imports of made-in-Malaysia products or visa-free travel for Malaysians to the United States.

We are outraged at Dato’ Seri Najib Razak pawning our assets “to strengthen the United States economy” for his own personal agenda, when the precious funds could be used to rescue our own floundering economy.

We call upon the Prime Minister to call for a special 2-day Parliamentary sitting upon his return from the United States to discuss and debate his 6-minute debacle with President Trump.  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must justify to the 30 million Malaysians why he behaved like the leader of a vassal state to the US ‘imperialists’ within days after we celebrated 60 years of independence.

Issued by,

Pakatan Harapan 1MDB Action Committee

Tony Pua, DAP MP Petaling Jaya Utara
Sim Tze Tsin, PKR MP Bayan Baru
Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Amanah Strategic Director
Dr Rais Hussin, PPBM Strategic Director

Monday, September 04, 2017

Najib’s admission that the Government would be dysfunctional if not for GST is a direct admission of Barisan Nasional's dismal failure in financial management

The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak told the crowd at the TN50 dialogue with women yesterday that without the GST the Government would have collapsed financially, and hence Malaysians should be thankful that the he has implemented the GST.

"I am not kidding you, I am not fooling you. I am the minister of finance, I know if we minus RM42 billion from the country's revenue, you will be in a standstill and the government will be dysfunctional.

Dato’ Seri Najib further added, “You can only spend whatever money you have. You will be in deep trouble if you have to borrow money from 'Ah Long' (loan sharks).”

The Prime Minister could not be more wrong on two counts.

Firstly, why is it that a country like Malaysia which is blessed and rich with income from natural resources suddenly so desperately dependent on GST revenue after 60 years of independence?

Without the GST, Federal Government revenue has increased consistently from RM123.5 billion in 2006 to RM185.4 billion (2011) to RM219.1 billion in 2015.  The above represents a 77.4% increase in revenue in the 10 years before the GST was implement, or an annual compounded growth rate of 6.5% - well above the average annual GDP growth rate.

If during those years, the BN government has consistently boasted of strong economic growth and development – why is Dato’ Seri Najib now crying out loud that the Malaysian government would suddenly collapse without the GST?

The above itself debunked the Prime Minister’s second claim that we “will be in deep trouble if [we] have to borrow money from ‘Ah Long’.

The very reason why the BN government is forced to implement the GST today to collect more taxes is precisely because we have indeed borrowed heavily over the past decade.

Our Federal Government debt has increased from RM306.4 billion in 2008 to RM655.7 billion by the end of 2016.  Hence the government’s debt increase of 114% far outstrips the revenue increase of 77%!

In the language of the Prime Minister, it is precisely because the reckless BN government has borrowed from the Ah Longs that Malaysians are now forced to bear the heavy burden of the GST.
The next question to ask is, why has the BN government borrowed so much and where have all the money gone?

The answer is simple – waste, corruption and kleptocracy in the BN administration as epitomised by the 1MDB scandal which will cost the Malaysian tax-payers at least RM42 billion.  While 1MDB headlines the extent of the graft and abuse of power in the Najib-led government, it is by no means the only significant scandal under the BN administration.  Annual Auditor-General reports over the past decades lay bare the malaise in the entire government machinery with nausea-inducing details of leakages, mismanagement and misappropriation.

This brings the inevitable conclusion that while the GST might rescue the BN administration for the time-being, it merely papers over the symptoms of the cancer afflicting our country.  Until such a time where the brazen culture of waste, corruption and kleptocracy is eradicated from the Malaysian government, no matter how much new taxes revenue the GST (or any other new taxes) generate, it will never be enough.

As the Malay proverb goes, “besar periuk, lagi besar keraknya”.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

How did 1MDB make the additional US$300 million of debt repayment to the US$350 million paid earlier this month?

We have received the good news that "IPIC has now received the funds required to be paid by Aug 31 to complete the performance by Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia and 1MDB of the payment obligations that were initially due to be performed by July 31 under the settlement and the consent award and to pay default interest on the delayed payment."

It is good news because the failure of 1MDB to comply with the above scheduled payments would not only have created a diplomatic crisis between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, it would have had major implications on Malaysia’s credit ratings.

The bad news however, is we have yet to hear any details of how 1MDB has made the combined payment of US$650 million or approximately RM2.8 billion.

While we await for the latest statement from 1MDB, the company’s previous statement only mentioned vaguely that they are the “proceeds of the on-going rationalisation programme”.
There are absolutely no details as to what proceeds from what specific rationalisation programme undertaken by 1MDB.

Initially in April this year, 1MDB said the funds would come from the “monetization of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.  However, ever since the United States Department of Justice have labelled the “fund units” as fraudulent, 1MDB has since conveniently dropped any mention of these units from its subsequent statements.

Despite repeated questions by many parties, including those in the media and financial community, both 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have remained completely opaque as to the source the funds used to repay IPIC.  Why are they so adamant in not disclosing 1MDB’s source of funds?

Hence, the US$650 million or RM2.8 billion question now is - are 1MDB and MoF refusing to answer the above questions because MoF has extended the funds, directly or indirectly via some convoluted pretend “rationalisation” schemes to 1MDB to help the latter settle its debt obligations?

Until and unless the MoF provides factual clarity on the above, Malaysians cannot be blamed for assuming that 1MDB had to settle the above debt instalment with a tax-payer bailout.

That will cement today as the worst national day in Malaysia’s 60 years of independence.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak merupakan Perdana Menteri hipokrit yang bermuka tembok tertebal seluruh dunia

Semalam, Perdana Menteri Dato’ Seri Najib Razak menyindir sikap pembangkang yang mendakwa kerajaan membayar terlalu mahal bagi projek MRT sedangkan pada masa sama ramai pemimpinnya ditangkap dengan skandal kewangan.

"Yang lucunya, baru-baru ini sudah mula terbongkar di negeri-negeri mereka tentang skandal banglo, …harga terowong, pintu gerbang dan lebuhraya yang dibina berlipat ganda lebih tinggi daripada sepatutnya.

"Ke mana hilangnya wang ini? Apakah skandal kewangan mereka ini tujuan untuk membina MRT dengan lebih murah?" tulis beliau.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak jelas merupakan seorang pemimpin yang paling “shameless” seluruh dunia.  Beliau berani membandingkan fitnah terhadap kes pembelian banglo Ketua Menteri Lim Guan Eng dengan skandal peribadi dan keluarga beliau yang berkaitan dengan 1MDB dan SRC International?

Dalam kes rumah Lim Guan Eng, harga yang dibeli adalah selaras dengan pendapatan seorang Ketua Menteri.  Itupun Lim Guan Eng telah membuat pinjaman daripada bank untuk membeli rumah pertamanya di Pulau Pinang yang bernilai RM2.8 juta.  Tambahan lagi, harga pembelian rumah tersebut adalah menurut harga pasaran untuk kawasan tersebut, dan bukannya dengan “diskaun luarbiasa” seperti tohmahan-tohmahan pimpinan Barisan Nasional.

Tapi yang paling penting sekali, Lim Guan Eng telah secara terbuka dan berkali-kali menafikan fitnah tersebut.  Beliau sedia mencabar dakwaan yang dibawa oleh Suruhanjaya Pencegah Rasuah Malaysia dengan bukti-bukti yang kukuh.

Sebaliknya, saya nak tanya adakah pembelian berlian bernilai US$27.3 juta (RM117 juta) selaras oleh Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor selaras dengan pendapatan keluarga seorang Perdana Menteri?  Setahu kami, pendapatan seorang Perdana Menteri adalah lebih kurang RM600,000 setahun.  Dato' Seri Najib kena memegang jawatan Perdana Menteri selama 200 tahun sebelum mendapat kemampuan untuk membeli berlian tersebut.  Rakyat Malaysia ingin tahu, dari mana datangnya wang untuk membeli bukan sahaja berlian RM117 juta tersebut tetapi barang-barang kemas yang bernilai berjuta-juta ringgit?

Apatah lagi, selepas dua bulan berlian RM117 juta didedahkan oeh Jabatan Kehakiman Amerika Syarikat, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor tidak pernah menafikan dakwaan tersebut.

Adalah jelas bahawa Lim Guan Eng berani kerana benar, manakala pasangan Najib-Rosmah membisu kerana salah.

Perdana Menteri juga membuat sindiran terhadap kontrak pembinaan terowong dan lebuhraya di Pulau Pinang yang kononnya terlampau mahal berbanding dengan MRT di Lembah Klang.

Saya hanya ada satu balasan terhadap tuduhan liar tersebut.  Kontrak pembinaan terowong dan lebuhraya di Pulau Pinang ditawarkan bawah pimpinan kerajaan Pakatan melalui tender terbuka.  Sebaliknya, kontrak MRT yang bernilai lebih kurang RM30 bilion, ditawarkan kepada pihak Gamuda dengan rundingan terus, tanpa sebarang tender.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak sekarang sudah begitu terdesak sehingga melontarkan fitnah-fitnah yang tidak berasas.  Rakyat Malaysia kini memang malu negara kita yang akan menyambut ulang-tahun ke-60 dipimpin oleh seorang Perdana Menteri munafik yang tidak berintegriti.  

Monday, August 14, 2017

UMNO Sec-Gen Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor should learn that while perception problems are often fixable, facts on the other hand, can’t be faked

UMNO secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that Barisan Nasional must counter the perception created by the Opposition on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to win back the state, said.

He claimed the 1MDB issue had been solved, and UMNO now must fix the wrong perception that the Opposition had created.

"The 1MDB issue has been solved. The bad perception was created (by the opposition) to confuse the voters. So, Umno has to step in to clear the confusion," he said after opening the Petaling Jaya Utara UMNO division meeting yesterday morning.

If only UMNO and BN’s problems in Selangor were merely as simple as “perception”.  Indeed, if that was the only problem with 1MDB, it would have been extremely easy to fix.

The challenge for UMNO-BN, if Tengku Adnan hasn’t realised by now, isn’t a mere problem of perception.  It is the problem that their attempts fake facts have gained no traction, especially in Selangor where the thinking electorate do not fall, hook, line and sinker for BN’s lies.

The people of Selangor, what more in Petaling Jaya Utara, can see with their own eyes not how the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and 1MDB is hiding themselves from “sensitive” questions about the RM50 billion monster scandal.

Why else would the Speaker of Parliament reject nearly all questions with regards to 1MDB even as innocuous as seeking to know the current value of 1MDB’s ‘unit’ investments previously held with the now-defunct BSI Bank in Singapore?

Why else would the Prime Minister not answer as to why is it that the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Apandi Ali claimed that the charges laid out in the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) were “politically motivated”?

It also isn’t a question of perception when 1MDB repeatedly failed to fulfil its obligations to repay its agreed instalment to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) amounting to billions of ringgit.

The people of Selangor are not so dumb as to not be able to see the fact 1MDB has suffered billions of ringgit of losses, as a result of a kleptocratic BN administration which will lead to Malaysians footing the RM42 billion 1MDB bill.

They can read between the lines when the Prime Minister failed to deny or explain the US$732 million which were deposited into his personal bank account in Ambank since the US DOJ exposed that the funds originated from 1MDB.  They can also deduce intelligently when his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, failed to explain or deny her acquisition of a US$27.3 million 22-carat pink diamond ring/necklace after the latest allegations by the DOJ.

Hence the biggest problem the BN administration faces isn’t a question of perception.  The biggest 1MDB problem facing BN is the people are staring at the bare indisputable facts which the BN leaders are only trying to sweep under the carpet.

Most importantly, we are confident that the people of Selangor will support the Pakatan Harapan coalition comprising of Bersatu, Amanah, PKR and DAP and reject all other parties who fail to crusade against the single largest case of robbery and kleptocracy in the history of Malaysia.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Arul Kanda’s disastrous record at 1MDB makes him the least qualified to take over the reigns of Khazanah Nasional

Malaysians were shocked to read the report by The Malaysian Insight on Thursday that Arul Kanda is one of the candidates being considered for the post of Managing Director of Khazanah Nasional.
The online portal reported that “a selection panel has been formed to look through the candidates who can take over from Azman (Mokhtar) whose contract expires in two years” and Arul Kanda is one of two outsiders being considered.

After the disastrous and disgraceful record at the debt-ridden 1MDB since his appointment in January 2015, Arul Kanda should be automatically disqualified from even consideration at the country’s sovereign wealth fund.

The latest catastrophe is the failure of 1MDB to fulfil its settlement obligations with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) in a timely matter.  Despite claiming since April 24 this year that its repayment to IPIC would be fulfilled via the “monetization” of 1MDB’s investment ‘units’ last known to be held in Singapore, IPIC had to twice extend the deadline for the first instalment payment scheduled on 31 July 2017.

1MDB has since managed to pay the “equivalent” of US$350 million on 11 August and would have up to 31 August to settle the balance of US$300 million.  However, even the above partial payment of the first instalment is shrouded in mystery as it is clear that the 1MDB ‘units’ have not been monetized while the source of the 1MDB funds were unclear.

In addition, Arul Kanda has botched the so-called rationalisation with the original attempt to sell 60% of Bandar Malaysia to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) Sdn Bhd-led consortium.  Despite 1MDB having collected 10% of the sale amounting to RM741 million as “deposit”, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had to terminate the contract due to IWH’s repeated failure to fulfil its obligations, it was MoF which had to refund the RM741 million “deposit” to the purchaser.

However, the worst deed of Arul Kanda has been to repeatedly lie to the Auditor-General, the Public Accounts Committee and Malaysians in general, to cover up the 1MDB scandal to ensure that those behind the multi-billion dollar misappropriation in the company would be let off scotfree.

For example, Arul Kanda is fully aware that 1MDB’s investment ‘units’ previously held at the now defunct BSI Bank, Singapore are fraudulent and more importantly are worth at best a tiny fraction of their purported US$2.318 billion in valuation.  The fraud has been uncovered by the United States Department of Justice, as reported in the additional civil suit filed in June this year.

However, despite having access to all the material documents and information, Arul Kanda has continued the pretence that 1MDB had already redeemed some US$1.3 billion worth of the ‘units’.  At one point Arul Kanda even told the 1MDB Directors that he has “seen the bank statements” that 1MDB had already received the proceeds in ‘cash’.

Today we know that the entire redemption exercise was a Ponzi-like round-tripping exercise using part of the proceeds from a Deutsche Bank loan to pretend that it’s the receipt from the ‘units’ redemption exercise.

Malaysians can only shiver in trepidation at the thought that a RM145 billion-Khazanah Nasional, which is relatively healthy today, would be helmed by the same person who hammered the final nail in 1MDB’s coffin.

The only thing more shocking I heard when I started sniffing around with regards to The Malaysian Insight report is the fact that Arul Kanda is also awaiting possible appointment as a Senator which comes with a Ministerial position.  If that were true, then it would be proof that the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak would only appoint those without a shred of honesty and integrity to the Cabinet.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

How did 1MDB make its “equivalent” of US$350 million payment to IPIC?

1MDB proudly announced that it has successfully made partial payment for the outstanding sum to Abu Dhabi’s IPIC, after twice having the deadline extended.

The beleagured company said “1MDB is pleased to announce that pursuant to the amendment dated  August 8, 2017, to the settlement deed with Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia and IPIC, 1MDB has now remitted to date, the equivalent of US$350 million to IPIC.”

When reading any statements from 1MDB, it is always like trying to solve an Agatha Christie murder mystery.  You need to scrutinise the statement for curious or incriminating clues.

For example, in this case, why did 1MDB say “the equivalent of US$350 million” as opposed to just a straightforward “US$350 million”, or whatever the amount is?

Normally, one would perhaps phrase “the equivalent of US$350 million” if the payment was not remitted in US Dollars but perhaps in this case in Ringgit Malaysia?  This clearly lends credence to the allegations that no Bank wants to process payments relating to 1MDB transactions for fear of partaking in a money laundering exercise, especially since US Dollar transactions would require re-routing via US Banks.

The Malaysian Insight had earlier also reported that the remittance was carried out via Maybank Bhd.  Does this mean that 1MDB circumvented its US Dollar remittance “technical problem” with Bank Negara granting approval for the remittance to be issued from Malaysia in Ringgit (or any other non-US Dollar currency)?

This mystery further begs the question – how did 1MDB get its money in Malaysia?  By all public pronouncements from 1MDB and by Ministers in Parliament, 1MDB certainly doesn’t have “the equivalent of US$350 million” or nearly RM1.5 billion in cash sitting around in its local bank accounts.

That’s when you refer back to 1MDB’s 24 April 2017 IPIC settlement announcement for more clues. Then, 1MDB explicitly stated that the company’s “obligations will be met by 1MDB, primarily via monetization of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.

The last we know, these investment fund ‘units’ were held in the now-defunct BSI Bank, Singapore.  The last known value on the balance of these ‘units’ was US$940 million.

Hence, one would certainly like to ask 1MDB, if the source of the “equivalent of US$350 million” came of the sale of these ‘units’ overseas?  If that were so, wouldn’t the investment disposal proceeds not be in US Dollars?

That’s when you go back to 1MDB’s latest statement, hoping for an easy answer.  However, like any good 1MDB statement, you will never get an honest and straightforward answer.

1MDB disclosed that “all funds paid to IPIC are from proceeds of the on-going rationalisation programme”.  This time, it’s just as important to make inference from what is not stated, beyond what is actually stated.

Notice how in the current statement, 1MDB no longer makes any reference to the “monetization of the 1MDB-owned investment fund units”, which was previously included in all of 1MDB’s past responses on the issue, including two separate Finance Minister’s replies to me in Parliament.

If 1MDB’s “equivalent of US$350 million” payment to IPIC was not the proceeds from the ‘units’ sale, then where did the money come from?  1MDB has after all, sold or transferred all of its assets – both energy and real estate, and have already used such proceeds to pare down their humongous debt and interest payments.

Hence, the US$350 million question now is, did this money come from the Ministry of Finance, directly or indirectly via some convoluted “rationalisation” schemes?  1MDB and Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must come clean on the matter, especially since 1MDB has another US$300 million and US$603 million to pay by 31 August and 31 December respectively.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Finance Minister II Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani should not bluff Malaysians by stating that the Government “has never given public funds to 1MDB to settle its debts”

According to Bernama yesterday, Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said that “the Finance Ministry (MoF) has never given any public funds to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to help settle its debt”.

The Minister must think that Malaysians are complete and utter idiots to be served what is one of biggest piece of cow dung amongst all the attempts to cover up the 1MDB scandal.

The Ministry of Finance has on so many occasions come to the rescue of 1MDB over the past 2 years involving billions of ringgit of tax-payers’ monies, and yet Dato’ Seri Johari has the cheek to tell us that the MoF “has never given any public funds to 1MDB”.

Among the most clear-cut examples are the RM800 million loan from SOCSO and another RM2.4 billion Bandar Malaysia sukuk bond which the MoF have assumed as a result of taking over TRX City Sdn Bhd and Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The Auditor-General has reported that nearly all of the above proceeds of the 1MDB borrowings were never used for the development of the 2 property projects above.  Hence when MoF agreed to take over the property projects and assumed the liabilities, MoF has effectively “settled” 1MDB’s RM3.2 billion debt problem.

What’s more, when 1MDB had originally sold a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia to an Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) Sdn Bhd-led consortium, they had collected, and presumably spent the RM741 million deposit which has been paid upon the signing of the sale and purchase agreement in December 2015.

However, when MoF terminated the sale due to IWH payment defaults, it was MoF who coughed up the RM741 million to refund the deposit paid by the consortium.   If the deposit, should have been refunded at all, it should have been by 1MDB, and not by the Malaysian tax-payers.

The above doesn’t yet include MoF subsidiary or subsidiaries which actually acquired properties from 1MDB in TRX at inflated prices.  The irony is, it was MoF who sold the land to 1MDB in the first place at dirt cheap prices.

We understand the conundrum Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani is facing as the 2nd Finance Minister who has fallen out of favour and having to defend the indefensible regain the Prime Minister’s favour.  It is now clear that he has been dropped by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak from handling the 1MDB imbroglio, particularly in the company’s multi-billion dollar dispute with Abu Dhabi’s IPIC.

However, the Second Finance Minister should not go to the extent to telling outright lies to pull the wool over the people’s eyes.  Dato’ Seri Johari should not forget his role and responsibility to the people of Malaysia by sacrificing his own integrity and honour.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

No Malaysian or international is willing to help 1MDB launder funds via the sale of fraudulent investment ‘units’ to cover up 1MDB’s debt to IPIC

1MDB has failed to meet its own self-imposed deadline to repay its debts to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC). The first instalment of US$602,725,000 was due on 31 July as part of the settlement arrived at the London Arbitration Court between IPIC, 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance in April 2017.

Then, 1MDB had disclosed that “these obligations will be met by 1MDB, primarily via monetization of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.

Now with the payment in default, 1MDB said that it “is awaiting funds that were due to be received in July. Due to the need for additional regulatory approvals, the receipt of those funds has been delayed to August.”

The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak repeated the same when questioned in Parliament by the Opposition Leader, Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, claiming that the delay in payment is merely a “technical issue” without elaborating any further.

All of the above responses are cryptic and opaque as no one after reading or listening to the above responses have any clue as to why exactly is there apparent difficulty in processing the above transactions, or what regulatory approvals are involved, in making the above payment to IPIC.

The reason for the opacity and secrecy is simple. There is no Bank in the world today who is willing to process the ‘sale’ of the 1MDB-owned investment fund ‘units’. This is because the United States Department of Justice have stated that these ‘units’ were fraudulent. They were created to cover-up the more than US$1 billion which were misappropriated by 1MDB to Good Star Limited when the intent was to have invested with Petrosaudi International Limited.

In fact, the Singapore Courts also confirmed that the financial analyst from NRA Capital in Singapore was bribed to produce the false valuation report on these investment ‘units’.

Any Bank, Malaysian or international which facilitates the transaction involving the sale of these fraudulent investment ‘units’ by 1MDB to whoever or whichever party would hence be guilty of facilitating money laundering.

BSI Bank, the Singapore branch of the 132-year-old Swiss private bank which was the ‘custodian bank’ for the above 1MDB investment had already been punished. It’s merchant banking licence was terminated by Singapore and subsequently, the Switzerland’s financial regulator, FINMA has demanded that the Bank be dissolved.

No bank worth its salt would want to experience and endure the same fate as BSI Bank or many other Banks which have been fined and punished as a result of their entanglement with 1MDB.

The only way for 1MDB to repay IPIC would be a direct payment by the Government of Malaysia to IPIC. However, if that were to happen, it would be a direct admission by the Government that 1MDB is carrying the fraudulent investment and billions of dollars have been lost and stolen from the company, which requires a further mega-bailout from the country’s coffers.

Therefore, the decision by the Speaker to deny the Member of Parliament for Segambut’s motion to debate the default by 1MDB is a clear decision to save Dato’ Seri Najib Razak the embarrassment of having the truth revealed in Parliament or worse, incriminating the Prime Minister in the largest ever financial scandal to be inflicted on Malaysia.

We call upon Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to explain himself and tell the full truth to the millions of Malaysians who are gravely concerned with the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal. If there is ‘nothing to hide’ and what we have stated above is in anyway without basis as the BN leaders often claim, then come to Parliament, answer questions and debate openly.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Auditor-General and PAC Chairman's decision not to pursue 1MDB scandal proves that they are compromised and unfit to protect the interest of Malaysians

Malaysians are aghast, but perhaps not surprised, that both the new Auditor-General, Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad and the Public Accounts Committee Chairman, Datuk Seri Hasan Arifin have decided against pursuing the 1MDB investigations and audit further.

This is despite the fact that the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) had over the past one year, revealed new explosive evidence and details of how the billions of dollars of 1MDB funds have been misappropriated, stolen and laundered all around the world.

Most incriminatingly, the US DOJ suits detailed how more than US$732 million (RM3.1 billion) flowed in and out of the Prime Minister’s personal bank account between 2011 and 2014.  The specific dates and amounts of funds transferred, as well as the respective banks involved are listed in Table A on below.

Even the most partial observers would have to concede that there is a prima facie case to investigate the flow of funds, to determine the veracity of the allegations contained in the US DOJ report.  The investigators in the United States did not pluck these transactions out of the sky, but have meticulously corroborated all evidence with all the international banks across the world from global banks like Standard Chartered Bank to private banks like Falcon Bank of Switzerland.

None of the above transactions were investigated or were made available to the previous Auditor-General Report by the then Auditor-General, Tan Sri Ambrin Buang as well as the Public Accounts Committee Report tabled in Parliament in April 2016.

The Auditor-General then had reprimanded 1MDB for refusing to hand over its foreign bank account statements and transaction verifications despite multiple requests.  However, even without the above, there was sufficient damning evidence of abuse and mismanagement within 1MDB for the PAC to table its critical report last year. 

Now, with the scale of new explosive details of the scandal surfacing since the April 2016 Report, any God-fearing and responsible Auditor-General or PAC Chairman would have demanded a re-opening of their investigations.

While the PAC had a meeting yesterday to receive the latest Auditor-General’s Report, there was no discussion of pursuing the 1MDB investigations.  Instead Dato’ Seri Hasan Arifin unilaterally told the media that the Committee will not re-open the case.

On the other hand, Tan Sri Madinah Mohamad merely added her department would do so only if it receives instructions from the Cabinet.  Such instruction would never come of course, given the blatant conflict of interests involved with the Finance and Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak directly implicated in the massive scandal.

Their refusal to pursue the investigations only serves to entrench the rakyat’s perception that they are stooges installed by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to protect the latter from the outrageous scandal.  After all, it has been exposed previously that Tan Sri Madinah is or was an UMNO Kepong Division member where her husband is the Division Chairman, Datuk Rizuan Abdul Hamid had openly expressed his willingness to “die for Najib”.  On the other hand, Dato’ Seri Hasan Arifin was installed as the PAC Chairman after the previous Chairman, Datuk Nur Jazlan was “promoted” to become a Deputy Minister.  Dato’ Seri Hasan had in his own words, rejected the need to summon Dato’ Seri Najib to the PAC because he has to “cari makan”.

These top officials have betrayed the interest of the rakyat and are traitors to their race, religion and nation.  If they have any iota of honour left in them, they should resign from their positions and let others who have the interest of Malaysians at heart take over these posts.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Is Treasurer-General and 1MDB Chairman, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar aware of a third ‘secret’ Letter of Support for 1MDB’s US$975 million borrowing from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium in September 2014?

The latest suit filed by the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) last month exposed a new allegation Dato’ Seri Najib Razak signed a ‘secret’ Letter of Support for 1MDB to secure a US$975 million loan from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium in September 2014.

The US DOJ suit stated that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, referred to as “Malaysian Official 1 (MO1)”, “on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, provided a Letter of Support to Deutsche Bank in connection with the $975 million loan.”

This would have been a third Letter of Support issued by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak as the Finance Minister to effectively guarantee borrowings by 1MDB.  The letters had stated that “in the event 1MDB… fails to provide the required funds, Malaysia shall then step in to inject the necessary capital into the Issuer or make payments to ensure the Issuer’s obligations are fully met”.

The DOJ suit further noted that “internal Deutsche Bank records reflect that 1MDB officials opted to provide a Letter of Support signed by MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1, rather than some form of guarantee by 1MDB… at least in part because a letter of support did not require Bank Negara or Cabinet approval. At the request of 1MDB, all references to the Letter of Support were removed from the Facility Agreement.” 

I had submitted a question to the Finance Minister to confirm the existence of the letter in the current parliamentary sitting.  However, the question has been inexplicably rejected by the Speaker on the ultra-flimsy grounds of presumably questionable assumptions (“sangkaan”).

I had last week issued a statement via a press conference seeking answers from Dato’ Seri Najib Razak himself as to whether he had indeed issued this “secret” Letter of Support and whether he had the authorisation from the Cabinet and Ministry of Finance to do so.

However, the questions posed have been met with utter silence, whether from the Prime Minister himself or from his Cabinet cheerleaders.

I can fully understand why the Prime Minister might want to remain absolutely silent so as not to incriminate himself with any answers he may provide.

Hence, I now pose the same questions to the Treasurer-General of the Ministry of Finance, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar who has also been appointed as the Chairman of 1MDB just a year ago.

As the Treasurer-General of Finance Ministry, is Tan Sri Irwan Serigar aware that the Minister of Finance had signed a third Letter of Support for 1MDB in September 2014?  The official reply provided by the Minister of Finance in March 2016 stated that there were only 2 such Letters of Support issued in March 2013 for US$3 billion and another in March 2015 for US$150 million.

Was the reply which would have been prepared and approved by the Treasurer-General mistaken? Or was he, horrors of horrors, completely unaware that a third ‘secret’ Letter of Support had actually been issued by the Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Secondly, even if he was not previously aware of the ‘secret’ letter, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar, as the Treasurer-General and 1MDB Chairman, must surely investigate.  Has he called Duetsche Bank to verify the existence of the Letter of Support as alleged by the US DOJ?

If Tan Sri Irwan fails to do the simple task of calling up the Bank to confirm this information, then he has betrayed the trust of Malaysian tax-payers as the most senior financial civil servant in the country today.

If he is unable to protect the financial interest of the 30 million Malaysians in the country, then he is completely unfit to continue in his position, both as the Treasurer-General and the 1MDB Chairman.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must come clean as to whether there was another undocumented “letter of support” for 1MDB in 2014 to borrow US$975 million from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium

In November 2014, when it was first discovered that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak had signed a “letter of support” to enable 1MDB to secure a US$3 billion bond in March 2013, it was immediately met with denial in Parliament.

On 6 November 2014, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, the then Deputy Minister of Finance had insisted in Parliament that the Government did not issue any such “letter of support”.  However, a few days later, he conceded to the media that such a “letter of support” existed and he was ultimately forced to apologise to the House for his “error” on 18 November 2014.

The existence of this “letter of support” had major financial implications for the Government because it stated that “In the event, 1MDB has shareholder of the issuer fails to provide the required funds… Malaysia shall then step in to inject the necessary capital into the issuer or make payment to ensure the issuers obligations are fully met.”  This meant that the Malaysian Government had effectively guaranteed, one way or another, the US$3 billion 1MDB borrowing above.

As reported by The Edge Financial Daily on 12 November 2014, Datuk Ahmad Maslan had said that there was “no other letter of support for 1MDB apart from the US$3 billion” during a media conference at the Parliament.

Further on 16 March 2016, when questioned by the Member of Parliament for Indera Mahkota, Dato’ Fauzi Abdul Rahman, the Finance Minister had confirmed that there were only TWO “letters of support” which was issued by the Government, including another for 1MDB’s US$150 million borrowing from Bank Exim in March 2015.

However, we have since discovered, via information provided by the latest United States Department of Justice filing to seize assets acquired with funds laundered from 1MDB that there exist another secret “letter of support” to borrow US$975 million from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium in September 2014.

The US DOJ suit stated that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, referred to as “Malaysian Official 1 (MO1)”,
“on behalf of the Government of Malaysia, provided a Letter of Support to Deutsche Bank in connection with the $975 million loan.”

The suit further noted that “internal Deutsche Bank records reflect that 1MDB officials opted to provide a Letter of Support signed by MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1, rather than some form of guarantee by 1MDB… at least in part because a letter of support did not require Bank Negara or Cabinet approval. At the request of 1MDB, all references to the Letter of Support were removed from the Facility Agreement.”

Like the earlier “letters of support”, the Government agrees to financial support to 1MDB to ensure the company’s ability to repay. Dato’ Seri Najib Razak even “waived its sovereign immunity in connection with disputes arising out of the Letter of Support”.

I have submitted a simple question in the current sitting asking the Prime Minister to confirm if he had indeed issued a “Letter of Support” in connection to the US$975 million loan from Deutsche Bank.  The question has been rejected on the basis that it was “sangkaan”, or “presumably questionable assumptions”.

There was no assumptions in my question.  I had asked a simple matter as to whether there was indeed a “letter of support” issued in September 2014.  If there isn’t, just say “no”.  What’s so difficult?

Both Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and the Parliament’s refusal to entertain the simple factual question only serves to confirm the suspicions in everyone’s minds that such a secret guarantee was indeed issued.  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak cannot come to the Parliament to say “yes” to the question simply because it would mean that he had previously lied to the Parliament when he said there were only 2 such letters for the sums of US$3 billion and US$150 million.

This further raises the question as to whether Dato’ Seri Najib Razak had issued the letter without the Cabinet’s approval or for that matter, without the knowledge of the Finance Ministry – which will be a clear cut abuse of power by the Prime Minister.  I will confer with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the former Deputy Prime Minister to confirm if such a “letter of support” which binds the Malaysian Government was ever discussed in the Cabinet.

If not, then the Attorney-General must commence immediate investigations over the possible criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and even fraud against Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must answer what happened to the US$3.51 billion 1MDB said it has paid to IPIC or its subsidiaries

Yesterday, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak told the Malaysian and international investment community that there were only “lapses in governance” in 1MDB but he has “ordered investigations into the company at a scale unprecedented in our nation's history”.

If it were indeed true that investigations were are an “unprecedented” scale, then the investigators must be the most incompetent ever seen in Malaysian history.  This is because to date, the key questions surrounding the various dodgy investments by 1MDB and the billions of ringgit misappropriated, often to entities owned by Jho Low have never been explained.

In one of the few questions with regards to 1MDB which was not rejected by the Parliament Speaker, I had asked Dato’ Seri Najib Razak who is also the Finance Minister, why did we assume the liabilities of IPIC’s guarantee for 1MDB’s US$3.5 billion worth of bonds when 1MDB claimed that we have already paid IPIC or its subsidiaries the sum of US$3.51 billion.

1MDB, via its President and CEO, Arul Kanda, testified to both the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee that 1MDB had already paid US$1.367 billion in collateral deposits in 2012, US$993 million in options termination compensation in 2014 and an additional US$1.15 billion in “top-up security deposit” also in 2014 to the IPIC group.

In the Finance Minister’s reply, he stated that 1MDB “is responsible for all future interest payments and the repayment of the principal for the 2 bonds” while the Ministry of Finance Incorporated has provided IPIC with the relevant “undertaking” and “indemnity”.  This effectively means that the Malaysian government has taken over the guarantee from IPIC.

The problem is, despite the boast of “investigations… at a scale unprecendented in our nation’s history”, Malaysians are no nearer to finding out what happened to the US$3.51 billion we have already paid.

And it is very apparent that the Prime Minister is also hiding this information via a convenient “lapse of governance” because he failed to answer this question in his parliamentary reply.

It is as if the US$3.51 billion paid to the IPIC group previously was but a minor detail, or an insignificant “lapse in governance” which didn’t require any justification or concern on the part of the Government.

Hence Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is only showing the thickness of his skin by trivialising the unprecedented scale of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and dismissing the Opposition protests as blowing the issue “out of proportion”.

Instead, the continued secrecy of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB and the refusal to entertain 1MDB questions in Parliament seriously only leads to the public believe that the US$3.51 billion above, and more other billions of ringgit have been misappropriated, or worse, stolen at “a scale unprecedented”.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Yes, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, the Opposition blew up 1MDB issues to topple the Government because we are now a world-renown kleptocracy

For the local and foreign investors listening to the Prime Minister’s speech when opening the InvestMalaysia 2017 conference, it must have been an utterly surreal experience.

While he acknowledged that there “were lapses in 1MDB's governance”, and he had “personally given instructions for a rationalisation of the company's operations”, he denied culpability and even blamed the Opposition for fanning the flames.

"But let's not forget that while there were issues in 1MDB, certain politicians blew them out of proportion, and tried to sabotage the company, in an attempt to topple the government in between election cycles,” he said. 

In a parallel development, the opening of the mid-year Parliamentary sitting this week saw more than 30 questions thrown out for utterly bizzare and frivolous reasons.

My question on the current value of the 1MDB “units” investment and who is the custodian bank was rejected because they apparently contained questionable assumptions (“sangkaan”) and were a figment of my imagination (“buah fikiran”).

My question on whether the Attorney-General had investigated the claims made in the latest United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) suit to seize up to US$1.7 billion worth of launder assets from 1MDB funds was similarly and incomprehensibly rejected because it was deemed a “sangkaan”. 

I had a total of 5 questions relating to 1MDB which were rejected.

The investors on the floor would have loved an opportunity to ask the the Prime Minister, if he had indeed done no wrong, why would he not just give simple answers to the simple questions above? 

In fact, Malaysians would also like to know why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak only has the courage to deliver his “defence” of 1MDB with a straight face to an audience without a opportunity to raise questions, and refused over the past 5 years to address the Parliament? 

In fact, the Prime Minister would have had the best opportunity to make the Opposition look like complete idiots if it were true that the latter was blowing the issue “out of proportion”.

What’s more, Malaysians would also like to know why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has refused to comment on the origins of the US$731 million which was deposited into in personal bank account in Malaysia since the anti-kleptocracy action was filed in July last year by the US DOJ?

How about the latest expose last month where the US DOJ also discovered that a 22-carat pink diamond necklace cum ring was purchased by the Prime Minister’s wife for US$27.3 million with money traced back to the sums deposited in his personal bank account?  Why haven’t the Prime Minister or the wife refuted the above “discovery”?

What’s more, while the Prime Minister wants to take credit to initiating investigations into the 1MDB fiasco, he failed to highlight the fact that he replaced the Public Accounts Committee Chairman with Dato’ Hassan Ariffin who refused to summon the Prime Minister for questioning because he had to “cari makan”.  The Prime Minister also ‘retired’ an Attorney-General who was about to prosecute him and he refused to instruct 1MDB to comply fully with the Auditor-General after the company failed to provide any of its overseas bank records and statements for audit.

Let us make it clear that the Opposition did not sabotage 1MDB.  The Prime Minister and the 1MDB top management did the sabotaging by carrying out misappropriations exceeding US$5.7 billion (RM25 billion) resulting in the company failing to meet its debt obligations.

However, we are in agreement with the Prime Minister that we are indeed fanning the single largest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia.  This is in order to topple his disgraced administration, which has become a renown kleptocracy in the eyes of the world.

The investment community are not gullible fools who would believe the naked emperor.  Their confidence in the country will only be returned when a new clean and competent government gets elected by 2018.

Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman’s denial of a massive parliamentary cover up over 1MDB questions by the Speaker has no credibility whatsoever.

Opposition Members of Parliament were in a state of shock yesterday upon taking our seats at the start of the second sitting this year.  More than 30 questions, all of which concerns the single largest financial scandal ever to hit Malaysia, 1MDB were rejected by the House Speaker.

While some of our athletes are making inroads overseas and breaking new records, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin is determined not to be left out of the party.  The Guiness Book of Records of Malaysia must take note of the sheer incredible scale of rejection of parliamentary questions in a single sitting. 

I myself had 5 questions rejected – possibly an individual parliamentary record in itself.

The opposition uproar was met with an ‘official’ denial by the Minister in-charge of parliamentary affairs, Dato’ Seri Azalina Othman who described the “cover-up” allegations as “utterly baseless”.  The fact that a member of the executive, who is an interested party in the scandal, had to step forward to defend the Speaker who is supposed to be impartial in the running of the august House speaks volumes.

Dato’ Seri Azalina even had the cheek to reprimand the Opposition MPs and asked them to “give precedence to issues that concern people under their respective constituencies”.

The blinkered Minister obviously doesn’t realise that my constituents voted for me overwhelmingly not because I spend my time debating about drains and potholes in my constituency – although those problems are dealt with by my office with the local council.  They gave me a very specific mandate to not only check a corrupt and kleptocratic government, but also to expose all the wrong-doings of those who are in power.

In fact, as an MP who achieved the second highest majority in the country with 45,000 votes in the last general election, my constituents believe that their livelihood would be much better – less debt, better exchange rates and lower cost of living, if I succeed in throwing out the corrupt BN administration in the next round.

The Minister had argued that our questions were “against the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders”.

As an example, let me ask the Minister, how the following rejected question was “against the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders”.

I had asked the Minister of Finance to

“menyatakan baki nilai terkini pelaburan ‘unit’ yang dimiliki oleh anak syarikat 1MDB, Brazen Sky Limited dan nama institusi bank atau kewangan yang kini menjadi ‘custodian’ kepada pelaburan tersebut”.

The Speaker had rejected the above question on the pretext of presumably questionable assumption (“sangkaan”) and a figment of my imagination (“buah fikiran”).

The Finance Ministers as well as 1MDB itself have openly stated that the company had investments in the form of “units” held with a “custodian bank” previously valued at US$2.3 billion, of which a substantial portion has apparently been redeemed.

Hence where is the “sangkaan” or “buah fikiran” in the above question when I was only asking what is the current asset value as well as which custodian bank was holding the “units”?

Instead, ironically, it is the refusal of the Speaker to approve and the Minister to answer the question that leads to a reasonable “sangkaan” that the “units” are fraudulent or are of minimal value, and perhaps there is no longer any “custodian bank”!

Tan Sri Pandikar Amin has unquestionably and possibly irreversibly condemned the Parliament into a kangaroo sitting.  Instead of leaving a legacy of reform which will lead us to the heights of a first world parliament, he has now disgraced the highest legislative institution of the land.