Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Based on Hasan Ariffin’s arguments, the PAC need not call any witnesses at all since 1MDB has issued so many 'explanatory' press statements

As a member of the Public Accounts Committee, I am stunned by the arguments laid out by the PAC Chairman, Datuk Hasan Arifin for not calling any more additional witnesses, including Bank Negara Governor, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz and former 1MDB CEO, Mohd Hazem Abdul Rahman.

Datuk Hasan argued that Hazem's testimony was “not needed as issues during his tenure had already been answered by 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin in earlier proceedings”.

With all due respect to Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin, why should the PAC investigating possible mismanagement and abuses within 1MDB, accept the his testimony hook, line and sinker? Furthermore, Tan Sri Lodin is merely the Chairman of the Board, and not the Chief Executive Officer who executed all the actions by the company.

Worse, Datuk Hasan argued that the Bank Negara issues concerning 1MDB’s US$1.83 billion of controversial fund transfers “had already been explained in the media and in the attorney-general’s own press statements”.

Is Datuk Hasan asking the PAC Members to accept mere “press statements” by 1MDB and other parties as wholesome explanations for the transgressions as alleged by Bank Negara?

Monday, February 08, 2016

Why has Hasan Arifin declared that the PAC will be calling its final witnesses on 11th and 12th February when no such decision was made during past meetings?

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman, Datuk Hasan Ariffin announced that the PAC will close its investigations on 1MDB after hearing from its last 2 witnesses on 11th and 12th February 2016, before receiving its report from the Auditor-General.

They are the former president and chief executive officer of 1MDB Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and former 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh.

I have read the above news with surprise as the matter has never been discussed in any of the previous PAC meetings.  During the last meeting, we have agreed for Datuk Shahrol Halmi and Tan Sri Mohd Bakke Salleh to be summoned during the above dates in February.

However, it was never decided that there will be no more witnesses to be called as part of the PAC’s investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Did Tabung Haji bail out Putrajaya Perdana Bhd after SRC International advanced RM140 million in July and August 2014?

SRC International transferred RM140 Million to Putrajaya Perdana companies

The Attorney-General had inadvertently exposed a damning transfer amounting to RM27 million by SRC International to the Prime Minister during his press conference last week.  This took place when Tan Sri Apandi Ali held up several documents to emphasize the fact that his office had carried out thorough investigations during yesterday’s press conference.



Sunday, January 31, 2016

How did the A-G conclude that the US$681 million “donation” from the unnamed Arab didn’t originate from 1MDB?

Last week, the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali said that based on evidence from witnesses and supporting documents submitted by the MACC, the sum of US$681 million deposited into the Prime Minister's personal accounts between March 22, 2013 and April 10, 2013 was a personal donation to Najib from the Saudi royal family which "was given to him without any consideration".

After the explosive statement by the Swiss Attorney-General on Friday which stated that they have found evidence of up to US$4 billion misappropriated by 1MDB, Tan Sri Apandi Ali was quick to dismiss the Swiss investigations as separate and distinct from the obscene sum of money deposited into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts.

He said that “contrary to recent media reports, the investigations into donations that were made to the prime minister are entirely separate to those into 1MDB. The Attorney-General's Chambers exhaustively reviewed the report provided by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and, as has been announced, found no evidence of wrongdoing and hence have instructed for the cases to be closed.”

He further accused media organisations who linked the two scandals as “irresponsible and prejudicial”.

The question that we need to ask Tan Sri Apandi Ali is how is he so sure that, even if the funds deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts came from the mysterious Arab donor, the money did not originate from 1MDB?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Najib wrong to proclaim closure of 1MDB and SRC International scandals when it is only the beginning of investigations at a global scale

Dato' Seri Najib Razak would have woken up today to his darkest nightmare yet when the Swiss Attorney-General issued a public statement bluntly confirming US$4 billion of misappropriations in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The Swiss statement said Lauber’s investigation had already “revealed serious indications that funds have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies.”

Those funds “would have been earmarked for investment in economic and social development projects in Malaysia,” the Swiss official said.

The Swiss prosecutor said the misappropriated amount was suspected to be around US$4 billion. He said a small portion of the money had been transferred to accounts held in Switzerland by former Malaysian public officials and current and former public officials from the United Arab Emirates.

The announcement came hot on the heels of the Malaysian Attorney-General clearing Dato' Seri Najib Razak of any wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion donation scandal.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Najib, why was SRC International transferring funds in and out of Putra Perdana Construction as if they were related parties?

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali inadvertently exposed a chart (attached) during his press conference on 26 January 2016, which clearly showed that an additional RM27 million was channelled to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd.



Wednesday, January 27, 2016

A-G Apandi Ali confirms SRC International transferred an additional RM27 million, on top of the earlier exposed RM42 million, to Najib’s personal bank accounts

Previously, it was exposed by The Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report that SRC International Sdn Bhd had transferred RM42 million into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts. The sums were transferred between December 2014 and February 2015 via the subsidiary of SRC International, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and a separate company, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.  Ihsan Perdana is a private company set up to manage 1MDB’s “corporate social responsibility” contributions.

The above transactions were effectively confirmed by the new Attorney-General, Tan Sri Apandi Ali yesterday when he told reporters that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak was “not aware” that the wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary had transferred the above funds into his personal account.

However, the Attorney-General inadvertently exposed another damning transfer amounting to RM27 million by SRC International to the Prime Minister.  This took place when Tan Sri Apandi Ali held up several documents to emphasize the fact that his office had carried out thorough investigations during yesterday’s press conference.

By zooming in on a particular chart (attached), it disclosed that SRC International transferred that money earlier in 6 July 2014 via Putrajaya Perdana Bhd’s subsidiaries – Putra Perdana Construction Sdn Bhd and Permai Binaraya Sdn Bhd.


Saturday, January 23, 2016

How many billions of ringgit have actually been deposited into Najib's bank account?

In another week of multiple exposés by the Sarawak Report, Malaysians are repeatedly stunned by the secret alleged excesses and extravagance of the Prime Minister.

On Wednesday, the Sarawak Report revealed that Ministry of Finance subsidiary, SRC International has generously provided with the Prime Minister, and/or his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with corporate credit cards.

The two cards involved were a Visa card (4585 8180 0000 5496) on which RM449,000 was spent, and a Master Card (5289 4380 0003 8961), on which RM2.8 million was spent in the course of the month of August in 2014.

The total sum of approximately RM3.3 million was spent on items which included hotels, meals, jewellery purchases and other personal luxury expenditures in the South of Europe, including Italy and Monaco during the month.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Najib must come clean over latest exposé that he spent at least RM3.3 million of personal expenses on SRC International corporate credit cards

We already know that the Ministry of Finance subsidiary, SRC International, is currently being investigated for transferring RM42 million into the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal account. This allegation has already been acknowledged by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) when the scandal was exposed 6 months ago by The Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report.

The severity of the action led the Attorney-General's office to draft charge sheets against Dato’ Seri Najib Razak for graft or criminal breach of trust.  As a result, the Attorney-General then, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail, has since been unceremoniously replaced, and to this day Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has failed to provide Malaysians with any explanation as to how the money ended up in his personal account.

The Sarawak Report published its latest explosive exposé yesterday which alleged that SRC International has also generously provided the Prime Minister, and/or his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor with corporate credit cards.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Arul Kanda appears more than happy to betray the Malaysian tax-payers to cover up billions of debt and losses to 1MDB

In his interview with the New Straits Times, 1MDB President Arul Kanda said the state-owned company that he leads could have obtained better deals in the sale of its assets had not the Opposition scared investors away.

“Arguably, we could have got better value for Edra Energy, Bandar Malaysia and the land in TRX and I would say yes, we would not have this problem if it had not been for the opposition which politicised this issue,” he is quoted as saying.

This argument is akin to saying that if the Opposition had not been so relentless in exposing the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal and so adamant in demanding accountability in the state-owned enterprise, Arul Kanda would have had an easier job stripping the assets of 1MDB to cover up the gaping losses.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

As Finance Minister and PM, Najib must take full blame for impending economic crisis in Malaysia

Two days ago, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak finally conceded that “we are facing a challenging (economic) situation” in Malaysia.  However, he tried to shift the entirety of the blame of the current and impending economic crisis to “factors outside our control”. He said “they are not our mistakes, not our weaknesses”.

First, he blamed the international oil price plunge “from about US$100 a barrel to between US$32 and US$33 a barrel, currently”.

Then, he blamed the United States Federal Reserve who normalised the interest rate which “made the US dollar stronger compared with the value of currencies worldwide”. And then he blamed China's economic slowdown for negatively affecting Malaysia’s economy.

No one denies the fact that the above factors are indeed beyond Malaysia’s control. However, our struggling economic conditions today are substantively exacerbated by the failure, weakness, mistakes and abuses of the Najib administration.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Najib should give Ministerial Statement on how 1MDB has purportedly been rescued with public funds and allow a debate at the Special Parliamentary sitting on 26 January 2016

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak declared yesterday that public funds were not being used to resolve 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) financial woes.

"An end to the issues faced by 1MDB is forthcoming, as I had promised six months ago.  What we are glad about is that we are resolving it not by way of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) but through an 'agreement', without touching any of the people's money," he said at the monthly assembly for the Prime Minister's Department today.

This follows 1MDB President Arul Kanda’s interview with the The Edge weekly where he boasted that 1MDB was not bailed out by the government like in the cases of national carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS) or national carmaker Proton.

Any Malaysian who is financially literate would know that the Prime Minister is lying through his teeth, in his attempt to sweep the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal under the carpet.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Only the financially illiterate will believe that there is no bailout for 1MDB

In an interview with The Edge this week, 1MDB President Arul Kanda boasted that 1MDB was not bailed out by the government like in the cases of national carrier Malaysian Airline System Bhd (MAS), or national carmaker Proton.

He claims, “now that we have legally binding agreements for the IPIC swap, Edra sale and Bandar Malaysia, we don’t need to take any money from the government. There is no question about a bailout.”

Arul Kanda perhaps has been a little too quick to forget that the Najib administration granted RM950 million of emergency credit to 1MDB in February last year, despite having promised the Parliament that the Government would not bailout 1MDB.

Saturday, January 09, 2016

With the sale of Bandar Malaysia land parcels, 1MDB must refund the Malaysian Government the RM2.7 billion cost of the airbase relocation

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had made “further clarifications” with regards to the different values – RM7.41 billion and RM5.28 – billion announced by 1MDB and China Railway Engineering Corporation on 6 January 2015.  The clarifications disclosed a key fact: that 1MDB intends to recover the cost of the existing military airbase (PUKL) relocation projects.

1MDB stated “the main relocation contract and development agreement was executed between 1MDB and the Government of Malaysia for a contract value of approximately RM2.7 billion. This cost includes, amongst others, new land acquisition costs, construction costs, fit out/equipment costs and relocation costs”.

1MDB also stated that “it is the intention of 1MDB and the Consortium to transfer the remainder PUKL Relocation construction costs… to the new special purpose vehicle”, of which 60% is to be acquired by the Iskandar Waterfront – China Railway Engineering consortium (IWH-CREC).

The share sale and purchase agreement will be subjected to, among other things, receiving the necessary consent from the Government of Malaysia.

We call upon the Government to withhold all approvals for the transaction to be completed unless 1MDB agrees that any relocation costs recouped and received by 1MDB will be returned to the Malaysian Government.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

The discrepancy between 1MDB’s “further clarification” and China Railway’s Hong Kong Exchange’s announcement becomes even more bizarre

Let me state upfront that we welcome the more detailed “further clarification” issued by 1MDB yesterday with regards to the discrepancy over the purchase price for the 60% of equity of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings and China Railway (IWH-CREC) joint venture.

1MDB had earlier made the announcement that the state-owned investment firm will receive RM7.41 billion for the sale, while China Railway announced to the Hong Kong Exchange that the RM5.279 billion was the transacted price.

However, the more detailed “further clarification” yesterday effectively contradicted both 1MDB’s original statement issued on the 31 December 2015 and China Railways stock exchange announcement on 3 Jan 2016.