Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Najib’s obduracy:Mohd Apandi's idiocracy and the untouchable Low Taek Jho

This is the strategic dilemma of Najib: if war is not a policy objective, what options, including pre-emptive, are we left with? Conversely, the enemy can be sanguine that Najib will respond only when provoked by formal war.

There is good reason to believe that in Malaysia today, obnoxiousness is a legitimate virtue, made particularly attractive by the fact being good at it involves arresting one’s mental and emotional development at the age of four. One gets to throw tantrums, grab at whatever one wants, believe that one is the centre of the universe, make inflated promises and break them without second thought, and above all call other people horrible names all the time. All this, far from making you universally despised and shunned

With the Attorney General (Gani Patail ) on the verge of filing an arrest warrant last July against Najib, the Prime Minister fired him, replacing him with an UMNO lackey named Mohamed Apandi Ali, who promptly cleared Najib of all wrongdoing.Attorney-general Mohd Apandi Ali agreed with Najib and decided not to press charges against the prime minister after an investigation.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s family friend Low Taek Jho had supposedly handled Najib’s personal bank accounts at AmBank, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The report said Low had repeatedly emphasised the sensitivity of the bank accounts and stressed the need for secrecy.

He had reportedly even forbidden AmBank from sending the credit card statements linked to the accounts to the prime minister’s residence.

“Don’t let people outside the bank or more than a few people inside know about the accounts, he instructed. Use Gmail, not the bank’s email system, for communication. Whatever you do, don’t send credit-card statements to the prime minister’s house,” according to the WSJ report, which listed the purported do’s and don’ts from Low, who is widely known as Jho Low.

“‘No no no’ and 'Super sensitive'," Low wrote, according to transcripts of BlackBerry messages reviewed by WSJ.

“He instead had someone collect the statements by hand,” said the report published this morning.

Malaysiakini is unable to independently verify the report.

The report referred to purported transcripts between the Penang-born tycoon and an AmBank banker who acted as the main point-of-contact on matters concerning the accounts. Another senior AmBank executive supposedly handled the accounts personally.

Low had supposedly stressed that it is very important that no one but the two of them should get a hold of the bank statements.

“Cause if it gets on Internet where funds were from then headache,” Low supposedly said.

The messages also supposedly discussed how to deal with the then Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz (photo), in case she raises concerns about the 1MDB-related transactions.

In such an event, the senior AmBank executive is supposedly to see her and “let her know this is boss request”, which the WSJ claimed refers to Najib.

Najib had previously been accused of pocketing hundreds of millions of dollars in 1MDB funds, through intermediaries, into his personal bank accounts at AmBank.

However, he said he has done no wrong and described the transactions into his accounts as donations from a Saudi prince.

Attorney-general Mohd Apandi Ali agreed with Najib and decided not to press charges against the prime minister after an investigation.

Malaysiakini has contacted Najib’s press secretary for comment on today’s WSJ report and is awaiting a response.

'Najib had written over 500 cheques'

According to the report, Low’s lawyer declined to comment on the matter, as did AmBank and its two bankers supposedly involved in dealing with Low and Najib’s bank account. Zeti also reportedly declined to comment.

The report claimed that bank documents show Najib had written over 500 cheques out of accounts supposedly funded through 1MDB, totalling US$400 million.

It said that based on the documents and the message transcripts, the account was running short on funds at one point and this prompted fears that a bounced cheque could draw regulatory attention.

Low then arranged for US$4 million in cash to be deposited in Najib’s account to avoid this, it claimed.

The WSJ also reported that investigators believe someone in Low’s entourage had been crafting letters to vouch the transactions into Najib’s accounts as gifts or donations, citing unnamed sources said to be familiar with investigations in two countries.

It said one such letter, dated Feb 1, 2011, was signed by Saudi prince Saud Abdulaziz Majid al Saud and was sent to Bank Negara.

It vouched for US$100 million as a reward for Malaysia’s promotion of Islam, and “should not in any event be construed as an act of corruption".

This is called bravery. This is called courage. This is called conviction.’

Read m

1MDB’s Chairman of the Advisory Board and Malaysia’s Scandal ridden Finance Minister
Corrupt and incompetent leaders have a long history of being protected and facilitated by corrupt politicians. So she tries to do something about it. There has never been a more important time for right-thinking students from all races to stand with her.“It’s next to impossible for a Malaysian – especially non businessmen – to open an account in the UK or Europe for children staying there,” said one. “Now, over the past several weeks, even Singapore, where you could walk in and open an account, has tightened screws and a Malaysian would have to jump through fifty hoops to open one.”Although Malaysian politicians and government officials remain in full denial of reality over a US Justice Department investigation of massive fraud involving Prime Minister Najib Razak and his family, local and international bankers are not.The bankers are trying to digest the implications of a downgrade by Fitch Ratings in late July of  long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings for Petronas, Malaysia’s state-owned energy conglomerate, from A to A minus. That followed a downgrade of the government’s IDRs themselves on July 12 from A to A minus.
In a statement, Fitch said that while Petronas continues to maintain a strong credit profile, the Petronas IDRs are constrained by the Malaysian government’s own IDRs. An issuer default rating is a measure of credit risk, defined by the threat of an entity’s becoming defunct or entering into a variety of legal proceedings from bankruptcy to administration, receivership, liquidation or other formal winding-up procedures.“The downgrade will certainly worry bankers especially, all for the right reasons because how much more blue-chip can you get than Petronas?” asked a Malaysian businessman who asked not to be named.  Another source pointed out that Petronas is usually higher ranked than sovereign IDRs “so what does it all mean for the broader economy?”
Both described a global financial system that is tightening informally on Malaysian international depositors as bankers apparently grow increasingly distrustful. However, other than a bland report of the Fitch action, there has been no reporting in the local press of the implications of the report.“It’s next to impossible for a Malaysian – especially non businessmen – to open an account in the UK or Europe for children staying there,” said one. “Now, over the past several weeks, even Singapore, where you could walk in and open an account, has tightened screws and a Malaysian would have to jump through fifty hoops to open one.”In addition to uncertainty generated by the US Justice Department probe, other investigations are going on in Singapore, Switzerland, the UK, France, Luxembourg and other countries into the scandal, involving the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was founded in 2009 and which has fallen into a river of red ink even without the scandal.

On August. 15, for instance, the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Department sent letters to several banks, including BSI, whose Singapore office was ordered closed over money-laundering connected to 1MDB, naming Tarek Obaid, a shareholder and former director of PetroSaudi International a middle eastern oil exploration firm which received hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB. The letter named Tarek as an individual presently under investigation over the scandal.Earlier the Swiss Attorney General issued a statement saying as much as US$4 billion had been laundered out of 1MDB into Swiss banks by unnamed individuals.The Swiss officials are said to be seeking information about Obaid’s involvement in dealings between PetroSaudi and 1MDB. The investigation reportedly is focused on four other officials, two from 1MDB and two from an entity called Aabar Investments, which is believed to have diverted hundreds of millions of US dollars from 1MDB into a British Virgin Islands entity with a nearly identical name.In April, because of that controversy 1MDB defaulted on US$1.75 billion bond it issued in 2012 after missing a US$50 million interest payment in a dispute with an Abu Dhabi guarantor. However, the government has since settled the dispute.  It has also sold off millions of dollars of 1MDB assets to Chinese interests and reportedly is trying to settle a vastly overpriced rail contract with the Chinese to use the funds to pay off 1MDB debt.On July 20, the US filed lawsuits in federal court that, while they did not name Najib, instead referred to “Malaysian Official 1,” alleging among a wide range of money laundering and other criminal and fraudulent activities that US$681 million from a 2013 bond sale by 1MDB had been transferred into the premier’s personal bank account.
Civil lawsuits alleged that a total of US$2.5 billion had been stolen from 1MDB and poured into a wide range of questionable activities including funding the blockbuster movie The Wolf of Wall Street, produced by Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, the founder of Red Granite Pictures, as well as into luxury real estate in Los Angeles and New York and multimillion dollar paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet. Jho Taek Low, a young Penang-born financier and close friend of Najib and Riza Aziz were named in the suit.Najib, however, has gone on television to say that “what was done by the DOJ recently does not involve me, or the Malaysian government, or 1MDB directly….This is not a criminal suit, but a civil suit… but it has been politicized by certain enemies.”Although he has continued to insist that he is blameless, last year he acknowledged that US$681 million – the amount specified by the Justice Department – had been deposited in his personal accounts at Ambank in Kuala Lumpur in 2013.Almost immediately after the US Justice Department in Washington, DC, the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya issued an astonishing statement saying that “Malaysian authorities have led the way in investigations into 1MDB. The company has been the subject of multiple investigations within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Auditor General and bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee.”In fact, as has been universally reported everywhere but in Malaysia’s kept press, officials have sought to thwart every single domestic attempt to bring an investigation into activities surrounding 1MDB.A long list of surrogates has taken to the media to insist on the Prime Minister’s innocence and to accuse the US government of not seeking to get Malaysia’s side of the story.  Others have flatly accused the United States, which considers Malaysia one of its most important allies in Southeast Asia, of attempting to bring down the government for unknown reasons.Shortly after the announcement of the civil charges in Washington, DC, a United Malays National Organization youth chief filed a police report accusing the former central bank governor Dr. Zeti Akhtar Aziz; former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail and outgoing Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Abu Kassim Mohamed of giving the US government falsified documents in the attempt to bring down Najib.

also read thisNajib knew of the plot Cobra sting planned by Dr Mahathir Mohamad,

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Malaysia’s new national destiny - to become a Nation of global kleptocracy?

Image result for US Department of Justice and Malaysia's scandal of scandals
US Department of Justice  and Malaysia's scandal of scandals
Malaysia is once again in the midst of a serious political scandal, with the allegation that the government-run investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been used to funnel approximately US$ 700 million to a personal account of Prime Minister Najb Razak.

It is not just Umno but the whole Malaysian nation which had been hit by the 1MDB scandal like being blasted by an atomic bomb, with the crowning ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” as a result the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits to forfeit over US$1 billion assets in the US, UK and Switzerland as a result of US$3.5 billion criminal embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds.But the catastrophic after-effects of the 1MDB scandal have not ended with the DOJ action as evident from a greater and further loss of national and international confidence in Malaysian governance, when there was no official proactive response to the DOJ complaint despite the mass of details about the criminal conduct and grand larceny of 1MDB-linked funds involving the highest authority in Malaysia, euphemistically referred to as “Malaysian Official 1”.This is on top of the latest developments over the class action suit by ex-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's former political secretary, Matthias Chang and former PAS leader Husam Musa in the United States against individuals linked to 1MDB.

Against such a backdrop, three recent developments have made it clear that the storms from the “atomic bomb” explosion of the 1MDB scandal will not recede but will continue to haunt and hound Malaysia in the coming months and even years.

Firstly, the refusal of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to re-open investigations into 1MDB;

Secondly, the announcement by the Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim that there would be no re-opening of investigations against 1MDB despite the damning 136-page DOJ complaint; and

Thirdly, the statement by the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad that his main focus is to ensure a civil service which is clean of corruption, misappropriation and power abuse, completely avoiding what should be the greatest challenge of MACC - to purge and save Malaysia from the international ignominy of a global kleptocracy.

The time has come for every Malaysian to know the meaning of kleptocracy - defined as a rule by a thief or thieves

the whole Malaysian nation which had been hit by the 1MDB scandal like being blasted by an “atomic bomb”, with the crowning ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”

1MDB Highlights Need For Institutional Reform of State’s Role in Business

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Steven Thiru Enforce rule of law to end menace of money laundering activities

Image result for Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz,

 Steven Thiru
In Malaysia however, 1MDB was only accused of failure to comply with Bank Negara directives on offshore investments and weaknesses, and mismanagement by its board of directors and company officers.Najib was also cleared by attorney-general Mohamad Apandi Ali over billions in donations deposited into his personal account, which was explained as a gift from a Saudi prince with no strings attached.the DOJ filed asset forfeiture suits against assets it claimed were bought from monies stolen from 1MDB. This is in addition to financial authorities in several other countries investigating 1MDB for alleged money laundering."In particular, the charges established that US$731 million was deposited into the personal bank account of a 'Malaysian Official One' (MO1) between 2011 and 2013.

Bank Negara re-opens investigations into possible money laundering activities linked to 1MDB, its credibility as well as that of its new governor is at stak
Muhammad seem like he has failed to restore the integrity and protect the sanctity of Malaysia's financial system from money laundering activities,
that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has already claimed that company officers and Malaysian officials have colluded to scam and launder more than US$3.5 billion from the company.Najib, who was 1MDB advisory board chairperson, from whom clearance for all company decisions was needed, has denied wrongdoing, or taking money for personal gain, and claimed ignorance of any impropriety in the company.

that the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing (Amendment) Act 2013 (Amlatfa) states that any person is deemed to have committed an offence if he or she “acquires, receives, possesses, disguises, transfers, converts, exchanges, carries, disposes of, or uses proceeds of an unlawful activity” or “removes from or brings into Malaysia, proceeds of an unlawful activity”.

Unacceptable behaviour in any society, more so in a democratic society defined by the rule of law.
The decay in our system is increasing,one person’s sentiment being strong enough to over-ride the rule of law must be quickly and firmly dispelled.Failure to act firmly and swiftly with such self-styled law breakers signifies a governance deficit and will have dangerous consequences if such groups are not stamped out now.

Failure to give primacy to law is sign of a failing attorney-general office   and dangerous for Malaysia
Failure to act firmly and swiftly with such self-styled law breakers signifies a governance deficit and will have dangerous consequences if such groups are not stamped out now.
 clarion call to put an end to such crimes. While most commentators have so far focused on the political fallout of such incidents, the real question is of re-establishing the supremacy of law in the country. Upholding of basic law and order cannot be kept hostage to the colours of a state government’s political dispensation.

The Malaysian Bar is deeply disturbed by the grim disclosures contained in the complaint filed by the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”)[1] “to forfeit assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”)…”[2]  The DOJ has made serious allegations of siphoning or diversion of funds, fraud, and the misuse of the banking system for illegal activities, by the individuals and entities named in the complaint.

Various persons have in the past weeks sought to interpret the DOJ’s 136-page complaint.  It is appalling that some have deliberately set out to distort the proceedings, and have attempted to create confusion, ostensibly to protect­ wrongdoers.  In the interest of upholding the rule of law and the cause of justice, the thrust, purpose and ramifications of the DOJ proceedings must be appreciated.

The legal proceeding commenced by the DOJ seeking the forfeiture of assets — including rights to profits, moveable assets and real property — constitute a civil action.  These assets, located primarily, but not exclusively, in the United States, are alleged to be proceeds from criminal conduct.  The DOJ maintains that this is the largest single asset seizure action ever brought under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.[3]

The DOJ’s court document states that the assets to be forfeited represent “a portion of the proceeds of over [US]$3.5 billion misappropriated from 1MDB.”[4]  It has been reported that the United States authorities intend “to recover more than [US]$1 billion that was laundered through the United States and traceable to the conspiracy.”[5]  In this regard, it would appear from the court document that the United States authorities possess comprehensive knowledge of the movement of the alleged misappropriated funds, have sighted relevant documentary evidence, and even reviewed telephone conversations.  The substance, depth and reach of the allegations are compelling, and should not be ignored.  The affected parties will have the opportunity to challenge the DOJ’s action in court, hence the process is transparent and adheres to the principles of natural justice.

The complaint made by the DOJ does not preclude criminal action, as the forfeiture is but a first step to prevent dissipation of the specified assets.  The act of money laundering, and involvement in a conspiracy to do so, are criminal offences.  Thus, upon forfeiture of the assets, it is likely that there would be criminal proceedings to prosecute those responsible for the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds and the laundering of those funds in the United States and elsewhere.

Such proceedings in the United States should not surprise our law enforcement agencies or officers.  There are similar provisions in our law for the freezing or forfeiture of assets in Malaysia that are connected with money laundering activities or are the proceeds of crime, whether or not any individuals are prosecuted.[6]  These have often subsequently led to the prosecution of individuals.  The laws in Malaysia also allow for criminal proceedings against individuals for alleged money laundering activities, even if those activities occur outside Malaysia.[7]

It is noteworthy that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has issued a statement confirming that it cooperated with the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation in the latter’s investigations.[8]  In international efforts to stop money laundering and curb corruption, many countries — including Malaysia — have passed laws that allow for “universal jurisdiction” in respect of money laundering activities or corrupt practices.  Such legal actions cannot in any way be categorised as attempts to interfere in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

The principal aim of international crime prevention and anti-corruption treaties such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which Malaysia ratified in 2008, is to specifically provide for the prosecution of those involved in international or transnational criminal activities.  No country that is a signatory to such treaties or conventions should attempt to hide or shield such persons, or permit such persons to evade or avoid prosecution, or to block access to evidence or information.

It is untenable to hold that the DOJ document does not show that money has been misappropriated from 1MDB.[9]  The allegations of financial improprieties concerning 1MDB funds — described as having been “stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates”[10] — are referred to in no fewer than 193 paragraphs in the document.

Further, it has been reported that 1MDB is being investigated for alleged financial irregularities and possible money laundering in at least nine countries: Australia, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.[11]  It is significant that immediately after the DOJ announced its action, Singaporean authorities declared that they have seized bank accounts and properties amounting to S$240 million in total, as a result of their own investigations into the flows of 1MDB-related funds through Singapore, which began in March 2015 and are still in progress.[12]

There are parties who have stated that 1MDB has not suffered any losses but only “has debts”.[13]  This is a perverse and unsustainable position, given that the PAC report reportedly named members of 1MDB’s senior management that it said should face a criminal investigation,[14]  and that five of the twelve members of the PAC have reportedly stated that the PAC’s report shows that a total of US$7 billion have flowed out from 1MDB and were unaccounted for.[15]

Several individuals have been specifically named in the DOJ’s court document, but not the Prime Minister.  However, this is not to say that he cannot be identified from the descriptive statements contained in the court document.[16]  The conclusion — based on any clear reading of those descriptive statements — that the person named as “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” in the court document is the Prime Minister appears irresistible.

The court document contains many other troubling disclosures.  It is alleged that in March 2013, USD681 million was transferred to a bank account belonging to “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”,[17] and that this sum emanated from a 1MDB bond sale.  This allegation contradicts statements by our authorities that the funds were a “personal donation” to the Prime Minister from the Saudi royal family, given to him without any consideration.[18]

In addition, the court document also alleges that USD20 million and a further USD30 million traceable to 1MDB funds, were transferred to the same personal bank account owned by “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” in 2011 and 2012, respectively.[19]  It would appear that the transfer of these funds had not been previously uncovered or disclosed by any of our enforcement agencies.  These allegations therefore expose deficiencies and flaws in the investigations that have been conducted so far in Malaysia, and a lack of transparency regarding the findings that such investigations have yielded.

While the DOJ’s proceedings and any other possible related proceedings in the United States of America must be allowed to take their course and not be prejudged, a fresh and comprehensive investigation of all persons directly or indirectly implicated in the allegations made by the DOJ must be pursued.  These allegations must not be ignored or permitted to be swept under the carpet, as that would only fuel the already existing perception of a cover-up.  In this regard, the recent statement by the PAC, in the wake of the DOJ proceedings, that any further investigation into 1MDB is unnecessary, is deeply disconcerting.

There is a palpable need for greater fervour, transparency and accountability in the investigation by our enforcement authorities, and for appropriate and concrete action to be taken against all wrongdoers, without delay.  The truth must be revealed and justice must be done.

[1] Civil suit document filed by the United States Department of Justice dated 20 July 2016 (“DOJ civil suit”).
[2] DOJ civil suit, para 5.
[3] Press statement by the United States Department of Justice entitled “United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund” dated 20 July 2016 (“DOJ press statement”).
[4] DOJ civil suit, para 33.
[6] Section 41 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, and Sections 44, 45, 50, 51 and 52 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
[7] Sections 44, 45, 50, 51 and 52 of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.  Sections 44 and 53 also deal with the freezing and seizure of assets located outside Malaysia.
[8] Press statement issued by the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission entitled “SPRM Bekerjasama Dengan FBI” dated 22 July 2016.
[9] Press statement by the Attorney General of Malaysia Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Mohamed Apandi Bin Haji Ali entitled “US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE FILING OF CIVIL ACTION” dated 21 July 2016.
[12] Joint statement by the Attorney-General’s Chambers of Singapore, Commercial Affairs Department of the Singapore Police Force and the Monetary Authority of Singapore entitled “Investigations into 1MDB-Related Fund Flows through Singapore” dated 21 July 2016.
[13] “Don’t be blindsided by 1MDB: Najib”, New Straits Times Online, 9 August 2015.
[14] “Malaysia’s Probe Into 1MDB Fund Was Flawed”, Wall Street Journal, 26 May 2016.
[15] “PAC members: We never said no wrongdoing, cash went missing”, MalaysiaKini, 12 April 2016.
[16] (a) DOJ civil suit, para 28: “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 is a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who also held a position of authority with 1MDB. During all times relevant to the Complaint, MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 was a “public official” as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(7)(B)(iv) and a “public servant” as that term is used in Section 21 of the Malaysian Penal Code.”
(b) DOJ civil suit, para 129: “[RIZA SHAHRIZ BIN ABDUL] AZIZ is a relative of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 and a friend of LOW [TAEK JHO].”
(c) DOJ civil suit, para 39: “Upon its formation, MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 assumed a position of authority with 1MDB. MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 had the authority to approve all appointments to, and removals from, 1MDB’s Board of Directors and 1MDB’s Senior Management Team. In addition, any financial commitments by 1MDB, including investments, that were likely to affect a guarantee given by the government of Malaysia for the benefit of 1MDB or any policy of the Malaysian government, required, the approval of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.”
(d) DOJ civil suit, para 238: “The Government of Malaysia provided a “Letter of Support,” dated March 14, 2013, in connection with the Project Catalyze transaction… the letter is signed by MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.”, read together with “A 1MDB default would test limits of Najib’s support: Gadfly”, StockHut, 19 April 2016.
(e) DOJ civil suit, para 263: “… a press release issued on January 26, 2016, the Malaysian Attorney General confirmed that, “the sum of USD681 million (RM2.08 billion) [was] transferred into the personal account of [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1] between 22.03.2013 and 10.04.2013,” and that, “ In August 2013, a sum of USD620 million (RM2.03 billion) was returned by [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1]. . . .” The Malaysian Attorney General ultimately characterized the payment of $681 million as a “personal donation to [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1] from the Saudi royal family which was given to him without any consideration.”
[17] DOJ civil suit, para 229:  “…between approximately March 21, 2013, and March 25, 2013, $681,000,000 was transferred from the Tanore Account to an account belonging to MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1.”
[18] Press statement by the Attorney General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Haji Mohamed Apandi bin Haji Ali entitled “IN RELATION TO THE INVESTIGATION PAPERS RETURNED BY MACC ON SRC INTERNATIONAL AND “RM2.6 BILLION” dated 26 March 2016.
[19] DOJ civil suit, para 261.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Najibs moment of reckoning: AG Loretta Lynch vs AG Apandi,

There is such a thing called dereliction of duty.Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is implicated in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) forfeiture lawsuit even if he is not named in
Image result for ag apandi ali

When the judiciary chooses to govern, they do so without subjecting themselves to the same level of accountability that elected representatives do. And the cost extracted from these sudden and far-reaching changes brought about by judicial orders is borne by citizens.

the question is has Apandi the political will, integrity and courage to do the right thing? And if he has, will he be there in the first place? the reputability of its core institutions: the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Finance, the Attorney-General's Chambers.The Malaysian investigations were compromised from day one when the inspector-general of police (IGP) colluded in the disbanding of the task force and the sacking of Abdul Gani Patail as AG.
Image result for ag apandi ali

Both the MACC and Bank Negara became subjects of a well-orchestrated smear and intimidation campaign designed to pervert the course of justice and render these institutions impotent.
Apandi has  shamelessly alluded to the non-prosecution of any culprit as proof of 1MDB’s innocence. But does he realise that he has been ceaselessly and contemptuously castigated as the chief culprit who has frustrated all efforts to bring the alleged criminals to book?

Domestically, there are now reasons for the court case against Najib to be re-opened and all information to be declassified to support the legal challenge,the judiciary should see this move for the diversionary tactic it is, and insist that the focus on corruption returns from  top politicians and bureaucrats.US AG Loretta Lynch said, “Unfortunately and tragically, a number of corrupt officials treated this public trust as a personal bank account
the AG was quick off the mark to exonerate the PM despite the PAC and the auditor-general having yet to complete their investigations.The PAC was forced to issue a watered down report while the auditor-general's report was unlawfully classified to hide incriminating evidence.
Image result for ag apandi ali

the question is has Apandi the political will, integrity and courage to do the right thing? And if he has, will he be there in the first place?
There could be an argument that in making the moral position paramount, the judiciary has acted like a fan and perhaps overreached itself.on the apex council for instance seems unwarranted. Moreover, it allows undesirable governmental interference.

There is currently no evidence that money had been misappropriated from 1MDB, said attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali no evidence from any investigation conducted by any law enforcement agencies in various jurisdictions which shows that money has been misappropriated from 1MDB,

No evidence of misappropriation from 1MDB? What about the US$1.03 billion siphoned illegally to Jho Low’s Good Star Limited, and the US$3.5 billion paid illegally to the bogus Aabar Investment PJS Limited, just to name a few?

The auditor-general has listed US$7 billion of investments for which 1MDB could not produce evidence of their existence. Isn’t this evidence of massive misappropriation?
All icons have to fall and fall they will. The pace at which they fall is determined entirely by the icons choice of path. Once the slide downhill begins, however small the gradient is and the one they decide to embark themselves on, there is really not much that can be done to break the fall. The great icons usually take a lot longer to get to the edge of that precipitous point. Once they do, they stare down at the dismal abyss contemplating if the time has really come, to take the fall or not to. The ones who wish to salvage the impeccable paeans that the world has sung for them will not stare, they will dive down the path of certainty towards the next few phases of their illustrious life or what is left of it. Yes, you could call this a fall, a glorious fall and one that will rebound the icon back to the stars. Then there is another type of fall, where those around the icon push so hard and the fall so capricious that the icon bruises himself against the jagged ravines. 

According to US Department of Justice (DOJ), US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB. Earlier the Swiss Office of the Attorney General (OAG) reported that up to US$4 billion could be involved.

According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and auditor-general's audit report on 1MDB, as much as US$7 billion are unaccounted for/not traceable.

The people generally believe there were incriminating elements in the Bank Negara and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) probes that lead to the need to conceal the probe reports enabling the attorney-general’s decision to exonerate PM Najib Razak.

And AG Mohamed Apandi Ali claims there is no evidence of criminal misappropriation in the various investigations thus far. What further evidence does the he need? Isn't it his job to establish the evidence, prosecute and proof the crime and put the criminals behind bars?

But the question is has Apandi the political will, integrity and courage to do the right thing? And if he has, will he be there in the first place?

Isn’t this further exemplified by his much criticised lead prosecutor role in the allegedly trumped-up Penang CM Lim Guan Eng corruption charges?

1MDB owes a total of approximately RM55 billion, for which it has negligible assets to offset other than the two pieces of prime lands given to it by the government virtually for free. Where has the RM55 billion gone?

Apandi has further shamelessly alluded to the non-prosecution of any culprit as proof of 1MDB’s innocence. But does he realise that he has been ceaselessly and contemptuously castigated as the chief culprit who has frustrated all efforts to bring the alleged criminals to book?

the judiciary should see this move for the diversionary tactic it is, and insist that the focus on corruption returns from  top politicians and bureaucrats.

According to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and auditor-general's audit report on 1MDB, as much as US$7 billion are unaccounted for/not traceable.is only symptomatic of the malaise that had gripped  the attorney-general office
 A sense of immunity had developed over decades because of the incestuous and closed manner in which it functioned.