Monday, June 22, 2015

YR1M - The PM's Private Charity?


Is Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s private charity or a charity organization owned by the Government of Malaysia?

The Wall Street Journal has exposed the fact that companies which benefited from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)’s generous acquisition offers have separately contributed to a “charity” controlled by the Prime Minister.

The international financial daily revealed that Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M) received RM35 million in donations from Genting Plantation soon after the 1MDB acquisition of Genting Sanyen was completed. Kinibiz.com had separately reported that the various companies in the Genting group had donated a total of RM190 million during the same financial quarter.

We have already discovered earlier that all 1MDB’s decisions must, without exception, obtain the Prime Minister’s “written approval”. Hence such contributions by companies such as Genting Bhd, which benefit from the over-the-top prices for its assets, to a separate entity controlled by the Prime Minister raises a clear conflict of interest. It is tantamount to a breach of trust and borders of corruption.

The next question that needs to be asked is, who owns this particular ‘charity’, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M)? Is this a private charity or an entity owned by the Government of Malaysia?

The YR1M website (http://yayasanrakayat.com.my) stated that “the Foundation is chaired by YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak, the Prime Minister of Malaysia”, without mentioning anyone else being involved in any official capacity.

A search with the Companies Commission shows that it is a company limited by guarantee, and the four Directors of the company are – Dato’ Sri Najib Razak, Dato’ Azlin Alias, Dato’ Wan Ahmad Shihab Wan Ismail and Tan Sri Che Lodin Wok Kamaruddin. (See attached Companies Commission extract.)

Dato’ Azlin Alias is the Prime Minister’s Chief Private Secretary, sometimes referred to as Dato’ Seri Najib’s Chief of Staff who recently passed away in a helicopter mishap. Dato’ Wan Ahmad Shihab, on the other hand, has been a Special Officer to Dato’ Seri Najib ever since 2004.

Only Tan Sri Che Lodin does not work in the Prime Minister’s office. However he is appointed by the Prime Minister to be the trusted Chairman of 1MDB.

It is therefore clear from the above information and documents that YR1M is a charity fully controlled directly and indirectly by the Prime Minister. YR1M can be described as a “foundation” whose funds could be utilised according to his whims and fancies. As alleged, with examples cited by the Wall Street Journal, these donations were then channelled to activities related to Barisan Nasional election campaigns.

Hence BERSIH is right to raise their concerns over electoral malpractices by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak in the last General Elections. However, it is equally important for Malaysians to know if there has been any criminal breach of trust as well as whether there were corrupt practices involved in the above transactions.

The stink of the entire YR1M funding and expense structure is made worse by the fact that YR1M has failed to submit its financial statements to the Companies Commission, due by December 2014 ever since it was set up in January 2013. It is unfathomable to think that the Prime Minister is wantonly breaking the law of this country.

We call upon Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who prides himself with “nothing to hide”, to immediately make available the financial records of YR1M – its funding receipts and itemised expenditure, to prove that everything in the “Foundation” is above board. For example, did Tanjong Power and the Farlim Group which sold the Penang land also contributed significantly to YR1M or any other charities which the Prime Minister control?

The failure to do so immediately will result in the Prime Minister being perceived guilty of serious financial misdeeds by the ordinary man on the street, as he clearly has everything to hide.



Tony Pua


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