Monday, November 09, 2015

Why persecute Basheer Azmin out of up to 500,000 Malaysians who took part in Bersih4 peaceful rally?

We refer to the tweets by the Chief Minister of Selangor, Azmin Ali, concerning his son Basheer Azmin who has been summoned by the police pursuant to Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code in relation to the recent Bersih rally.

DAP Selangor urges the Home Ministry to stop such selective harassment on Basheer Azmin, a 15 year old school boy who is starting his final examinations in school this week.

What were the Police thinking?  It has been two months since the Bersih rally and suddenly, out of the blue, is it merely sheer coincidence that the police require Basheer’s attendance on the day of his final exams?

Worse, of all the people the Police could summon to assist with the investigations, whether as a suspect or a witness, why summon a 15 year old boy who just happened to be the son of the Selangor Menteri Besar, Azmin Ali?  Is the Police going to summon up to 500,000 people who took part in the Bersih rally for investigations?

Such high-handed police intervention does not assist in shaking off the perception that the police force is politically motivated and that the Barisan Nasional led Federal Government is utilising its every machinery to oppress the Federal Opposition.

With confidence in the Barison Nasional leadership at an all-time low causing a slowdown in the economy, crime is likely to increase, as warned by the Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed recently.

As such, DAP Selangor implores the Home Ministry to be more professional in discharging their duties, and to employ its resources into investigating real crime instances, and we reiterate that participating in a peaceful Bersih rally is definitely not one of them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

10 questions I would pose to Arul Kanda during the “live discussion, talk show or debate”

1MDB President, Arul Kanda, during his press conference on Saturday, has informed Malaysians that “I will meet YB Tony Pua for live discussion, or talk show, or debate, without any condition.”

I would like to announce that the Members of Parliament for Kulai and Serdang, Teo Nie Ching and Dr Ong Kian Ming, will be representing me to conduct the necessary discussions with the team from 1MDB to finalise the format and details of the proposed “live discussion, or talk show, or debate” between the 1MDB President, Arul Kanda and myself.

While we wait for the much anticipated face-off, I would like to offer Arul Kanda the heads up, so that he can prepare the necessary answers whether during replies or debate speech.  This way, Arul cannot feign ignorance or pretend that the documents were unavailable with him to provide the necessary answers.  Therefore, let me disclose here the 10 questions which I will ask during the “live discussion, or talk show, or debate”:

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Looking forward to 1MDB "talk show" with Arul Kanda

Last Wednesday, after watching 1MDB President, Arul Kanda’s live interview with Bernama TV, I was left dissatisfied and frustrated with many questions which were either not asked or not answered.

I had issued a statement entitled “Can I do a talk show with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?” the next day.  I had hoped that after Arul made the first offer to dialogue in January this year which was subsequently withdrawn, he would agree to this “talk show”.

At first, I was left disappointed that the 1MDB President “accepted” the challenge but attached an unacceptable condition that I resign from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), citing a “conflict of interest”.

As far as millions of Malaysians are concerned, there isn’t any alleged conflict of interest because I will ask questions for Arul to answer, whether in the PAC or outside of it.  Furthermore, I’m not related to Arul Kanda or 1MDB in anyway and hence such conflict does not arise.

Instead, I had argued yesterday that the real person with a conflict of interest is the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak who is directing and influencing the investigation process despite having personally signed off all major transactions which took place in 1MDB.  Hence if anyone should resign, it should be the Prime Minister.

Friday, October 30, 2015

In response to Arul Kanda's talkshow conditions

1. Is Arul Kanda’s motive to remove me from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to have an easier time as he is confident that the 8 BN MPs will be easy to dupe?

I had invited 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda to a “live” talkshow where I will, as host, ask him questions with regards to 1MDB which has captured the imagination of not only Malaysians, but the international media as well.

My motive was very simple, he has had a easy time getting away with recycled answers which either never answered the core questions, or he was more than economical with the truth.

If all the allegations by various parties against 1MDB are indeed lies and concoctions as he claims, when I question him, he'll be able to turn the tables against me on live television.

Instead of jumping at such an opportunity to shame 1MDB’s most persistent critic, Arul Kanda pretended to agree to the challenge but attached the ridiculous condition that I resign from the PAC.

This is not the first time that Arul Kanda or Barisan Nasional (BN) Ministers and leaders have called for my resignation from the PAC.   It appears to be their priority to ensure that the PAC will not benefit from the knowledge and understanding I have on the shenanigans in 1MDB.

Arul Kanda must believe that if I’m removed from the PAC, the rest of the committee, particularly the 8 BN representatives will be easy to dupe, resulting in a watered down report against 1MDB.

At the same time, Arul Kanda is just running away from my invitation for a civil talkshow by attaching a condition which he knows I cannot and will never accept.  My official duties and responsibilities as a PAC member to the Malaysian public is far more important than entertaining Arul Kanda’s frivolous games.

Instead, Arul’s refusal to answer questions openly, truthfully and unconditionally to the public in itself goes to prove that the 1MDB President has plenty to hide.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can I do a talkshow with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda took part in another live interview with Bernama TV in a special programme entitled “Bernama TV with Arul Kanda”.

During the show, Arul Kanda boasted that there is “absolutely no cover up in relation to 1MDB”. Other than that, he essentially recycled answers which have been previously discredited.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Arul Kanda has time to "brief" UMNO and MCA members on 1MDB, but not Malaysians or MPs?

1MDB President Arul Kanda was asked whether the leaked minutes via The Sarawak Report was true, and according to Malaysiakini, he responded that "in terms of the board minutes, we confirm that it appears to be authentic.”.

What type of answer is that?  What does Arul Kanda mean when he said “it appears to be authentic”?  Did he intend to say that it looks authentic, it sounds authentic but it still might not be authentic?

His confirmation is crucial because if the leaked minutes were indeed authentic, then clearly, the Board of Directors of 1MDB were furious with the 1MDB top executives for disobeying board decisions and instructions, contradicting 1MDB’s persistent denials.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Why should 1MDB enjoy tax-exempt status from the Ministry of Finance?

In Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s response to the Member of Parliament for Kampar, Dr Ko Chung Sen yesterday, he disclosed that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) enjoys full income tax-exempt status from the Ministry of Finance.  He said
1MDB dan anak syarikat milikan penuhnya telah mendapat pengecualian cukai pendapatan termasuk dividen bagi tempoh 10 tahun selaras dengan Seksyen 127(3A) Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967.  Walau bagaimanapun, bagi anak syarikat lain yang diperoleh oleh 1MDB, tidak mendapat pengecualian tersebut.

The question we would like to ask the Finance and Prime Minister is, what is so special about 1MDB that it deserves to be exempted from income tax payments to the Government?

Budget 2016 burdens the rakyat further; meanwhile, Najib ignores the biggest elephant in the room

As the Malaysian economy gets hit by a slowing global economic environment, declining commodity prices, rising inflation and a plunging ringgit, the Budget for 2016 just announced by the Prime Minister is long on grandiloquence and short on substance.

While the Prime Minister praises his Government for its far-sightedness to introduce the Goods & Services Tax (GST) as the income from the new tax will make up for the loss of revenue from the oil and gas sector.

The reality is Malaysians, particular the middle and lower income population are now burdened with coughing up RM39 billion of GST relative to the loss of RM17.5 billion from the Petroleum Income Tax.

In comparison, the Sales and Services Tax collected in 2014 amounted to only RM17 billion.  This means that Malaysians have to suffer an increase in taxes by a whopping RM22 billion.

While the taxes paid by the man-on-the-street have been increased drastically, the Federal Government has failed to increase its prudence on expenditure.  As an example, the budgeted expenditure for ‘Supplies and Services’ has been maintained at RM36.3 billion for 2016 when it was only RM20.8 billion in 2010.  Why has this provision increased by 75.4% in just 5-6 years?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Who is running SRC International today?

Malaysians read with interest, the first ever media statement by SRC International Sdn Bhd, a mysterious former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which has been taken over directly by the Ministry of Finance.

SRC International which is funded by a RM4 billion loan from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Persaraan (KWAP), dismissed outright all allegations of misappropriation of funds.

The Wall Street Journal has previously exposed the fact that SRC International has transferred a total of RM42 million to the Prime Minister’s personal bank account.  The transfers were carried out between December 2014 and March 2015, via its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.  The latter company carries out corporate social responsibility work of 1MDB.

The above transactions clearly pointed to criminal breach of trust as substantial funds from a Ministry of Finance subsidiary were transferred to the personal accounts of the Minister of Finance.  It has also been exposed by the Sarawak Report that the former Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was moments charging Dato’ Seri Najib Razak for corruption or criminal breach of trust over the above transactions before being unceremoniously retired and replaced by the Prime Minister.

However, for the first time, SRC International released a media statement which said, “none of it was misappropriated as claimed by those with malicious intent.”

SRC further added, “We strongly reject these allegations. Having conducted an internal investigation, we believe these claims were based on documents that were fabricated, therefore representing a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.”

It appears that SRC International has taken a leaf off its former parent, 1MDB in making sweeping denials without specifics.

The questions are very simple.  Did SRC International transfer a total RM50 million to its subsidiary, Gandingan Mentari?  Did Gandingan Mentari then transfer a total of RM50 million to Ihsan Perdana?  Further to that did Ihsan Perdana which acts on behalf of 1MDB, transfer RM42 million of that amount to the Prime Minister?  Those are very simple “yes” or “no” questions which doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer.

Instead, SRC chose to be hyperbolic, calling “on those quarters who are engaged in efforts to overthrow the government to desist from involving SRC in their political campaign and to avoid making false and unsubstantiated allegations”.

We would like to ask the Ministry of Finance to inform us, who exactly is running SRC International today.  Who actually carried out the “internal investigations” and more interestingly, who wrote and approved the media statement?

As far as we are aware, the top executive of SRC, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, a close associate of Low Taek Jho, has been on the run for the past 6 months.  Similarly, another key director of SRC International, Datuk Suboh bin Mohd Yassin has also disappeared.  Both individuals are wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to assist with investigations.

Is there already a new management team put in place to run SRC International?  Are the identities of this new team top secret as well?

In addition, the Ministry of Finance Secretary-General, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar must let us know why no directors representing the Ministry has been appointed to SRC International to monitor its activities.  Such an appointment is never more important given that the questions of the governance of its subsidiary has been in the spotlight.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Image of fake racist tweet purportedly made by me is the work of amateurs

The attached image was circulating widely via Whatsapp yesterday, particularly among the Indian community.

Based on the image, I had allegedly tweeted that “The Indians really behave like thugs and act like Pariah! i will not be threathen by them!”

The above tweet is clearly a fake image and I have never written anything remotely close to what was written above.  It is clearly fake because you would notice that the time stamp next to every tweet has been removed.

In addition, I would like to think that I would not misspell “threaten”, nor would I be grammatically wrong when it should be “threatened”.

Regardless, I have never used the word “pariah” to describe anyone and I most certainly do not believe that Indians “behave like thugs”.  However there are those among us – Chinese, Indians, Malays, who do behave like thugs.  The person or persons who made the above image is certainly a shameless “thug”, regardless of his race.

Perhaps the above malicious fake tweet, was a vicious response to me when I described those who had prevented licensed Indian traders from setting up their stalls, and those who disrupted my press conference at the Deepavali Bazaar in Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya last week as “thugs”.  They had come to intimidate those who were present by heckling, shoving and spewing unprintable expletives.

The fake image is clearly designed to inflame racial sentiments against me.  I have no idea who designed and spread the above image to defame me.  However, it will not in any way stop me from carrying out my duties to serve my constituents and all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or creed without fear or favour.

Finally, I would also like to give thanks to all concerned parties who had forwarded me the image last night expressing their continued support and trust in me, knowing without having to ask, that the image is a fake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is 1MDB denying the authenticity of the Board Minutes exposed by Sarawak Report?

1MDB wrote on 18th October 2015 to once again accused me of “recycled wrong statements” when I had claimed that the 1MDB Directors were livid that the 1MDB top executives did not comply to the directives of the Board. The statement read
YB Tony Pua continues his disservice to all Malaysians by relying on findings of a discredited foreign blog to make his allegations, when 1MDB has submitted authentic company documents, including its Board of Directors (BoD) minutes, to lawful authorities such as PDRM and the Auditor- General.

1MDB further denied that the Board was unhappy and that “clarifications were provided to their satisfaction”, further adding that the agreements with Petrosaudi International Limited “have never been cancelled”.

This is the reason why 1MDB is very clever with words.  I never alleged that the Petrosaudi agreements were cancelled.  I had said that the Directors were livid and furious with the top executives for failing to comply with the directives of the Board, and the subsequent follow up actions the Board demanded were never carried out as well.

The Sarawak Report had published the minutes of the 3rd October 2009 Board Meeting five days ago which irrefutably stated that “the BOD was not consulted on the change of plans to remit US$700 million to PSI.  The BOD’s understanding was for the full US$1 billion to be wired to the joint bank account under the name of the JVCo…”

In contrast, the Board of Directors were so livid that they demanded for the US$700 million to be returned “so that the funds could be remitted through the originally agreed channel”.

The Directors also openly reprimanded the top management for their intransigence.  They minuted that
The substantial investment of US$1 billion should have merited a more thorough thought and due diligence process.   The BOD viewed that the formalisation of the entire joint venture exercise was completed in a very short time which raises the question as to whether adequate control measures, checks and balances were put in place to protect the Company’s interests.  The BOD also raised their surprise over the speed in which the valuation report was prepared as the BOD was previously informed that such valuation report would only be ready by March 2010.

They specifically instructed Datuk Shahrol Halmi and his top management “not to deviate from the BOD’s instructions”.  They further “advised En Shahrol to seek clarification from the BOD if the CEO and management have doubts on any particular matter”.

I had indeed “recycled” my old allegations, but this time backed by the additional evidence of 1MDB’s own Board of Directors’ minutes.  However, 1MDB had “recycled” their denial without providing a shred of evidence to the contrary.

Monday, October 19, 2015

YB Sivarasa Rasiah should understand the issues first before sticking his neck blindly into the matter

I am surprised by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Subang, Sivarasa Rasiah’s media statement yesterday entitled “Some friendly advice for my friend YB Tony Pua”.

Together with Selangor State Executive Councillor (Exco), V Ganabathirao and state assemblyman (ADUN) for Kg Tunku, we visited the Sungai Way village Deepavali Bazaar at the proposed new site along Jalan SS9A/12 on Thursday evening.  Unfortunately, when I arrived, I discovered that the traders who have obtained licenses from the local city council, MBPJ were threatened and not allowed to set up their stalls for business by a rowdy mob led by Mr Saminathan and Mr Murali.

I had proceeded to speak to the reporters to explain the City Council’s unanimous decision to shift the market from the adjacent SS9A/13 to the new location. The key reasons for the shift will be clear to anyone who visited the two sites.  The old site is along a narrow lane which served as the main access road for a dense low-medium cost flat.  The new site is spacious, has plenty of carparks and is near the very popular Sri Sakthi Easwari Temple.  Better still, it can accommodate even more traders, allowing more to make a living during these tough times.

However, I was not even able to finish speaking to the reporters as Murali and his lot heckled, shouted and shoved us, as was recorded on video.

Why then, was there a protest?  As the local councillor in-charge Sungai Way, Sean Oon can attest to, during the past years, the bazaar was effectively controlled and monopolised by certain parties who charged unauthorized middleman rentals to the traders.  The shift to the new site denied such profiteering opportunities as licenses were issued directly by individual applications to MBPJ.  The new location and system ensured that there was no corruption, no crony middleman and no room for abuse.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why did Shahrol Halmi allow US$700 million to be misappropriated to Good Star Ltd, and why shouldn't he be charged with criminal breach of trust?

The Sarawak Report exposed the minutes of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Board meeting on 3rd October 2009 which recorded that the Directors (BOD) were furious with the top management team led by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.

According to the minutes, 1MDB went ahead with the signing of the joint venture with Petrosaudi (PSI) without specific knowledge and approvals from the Board.  More specifically, the top executives of 1MDB transferred US$700 million of the proposed invest to an account unrelated to the joint venture company (JVco).

The minutes clearly stated that “the BOD was not consulted on the change of plans to remit US$700 million to PSI.  The BOD’s understanding was for the full US$1 billion to be wired to the joint bank account under the name of the JVCo…”

The minutes of the meeting proved beyond reasonable doubt that the US$700 million of the proposed US$1 billion have been misappropriated by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.  It beggars belief that despite the clear case for criminal breach of trust, Datuk Shahrol remains today a Director of 1MDB.  Perhaps Datuk Shahrol’s performance is so impressive that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has also made him a Director in Performance Management Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

1MDB Board of Directors minutes prove documents leaked to SR were not doctored; therefore IGP must withdraw arrest warrant against Clare Rewcastle

The Sarawak Report continued its exposé  on the minutes of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Board meetings with the disclosure yesterday indicating that the Directors (BOD) were furious with the top management team led by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.

The minutes dated 3rd October, soon after the signing of the 1MDB-Petrosaudi joint venture agreement, provided a damning confirmation that all the earlier documents leaked by the Sarawak Report were completely authentic.

Instead, the minutes proved that the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and his cohort of Ministers, as well as the current 1MDB President, Arul Kanda’s repeated attempts to taint the leaked information and documents by the whistle-blower website are clear cut lies.  They have obviously alleged that the exposed documents were “doctored” or “tampered” to cover up the multi-billion ringgit scandal.

The minutes revealed that the Board of Directors were furious with the top executives of 1MDB for

  • signing the joint venture agreement in reckless haste, and without any substantive due diligence;
  • the highly suspicious speed of preparation of the valuation report which was prepared by Edward Morse; and
  • most damningly, misappropriating US$700 million to an account unauthorised and unrelated to the joint venture.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Did 1MDB's top executives mislead the Board of Directors in its investment with Petrosaudi International Limited?

The latest set of 1MDB minutes exposed by The Sarawak Report dated 18 September 2009 revealed the fact that the top executives of the company clearly misleading the Board of Directors with regards to the US$1 billion investment with Petrosaudi International Limited.

According to the document, Mr Casey Tang, 1MDB’s Executive Director of Business Development briefed the Board that “Petrosaudi is ultimately owned by King Abdullah and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Casey, who is currently on Bank Negara’s wanted list to assist with its investigations on 1MDB, said so to convince the Board on the merits of investing nearly all of the RM4.3 billion proceeds from its first fund-raising exercise to acquire 40% of the joint venture company with Petrosaudi.

After the joint venture agreement was signed, 1MDB further deceived the Malaysian public in its press statement on the 30 September 2009 that claimed that
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia today entered a new era of economic cooperation with the setting up of a US$2.5 billion joint venture company, which will spearhead the flow of foreign direct investments from the Middle East as well as make strategic investments in high impact projects here [in Malaysia].

The language of the entire press release was to give the impression that 1MDB was really forming a joint venture with the Saudi Arabian government, when in reality, they were merely entering into a transaction with an insignificant company registered in Saudi.

Toll hikes due to outrageously stupid agreements Federal Government made with the concessionaires

The Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Dato’ Seri Abdul Wahid Omar explained that “the government feels it should not continue to pay very high compensation to highway concession companies to keep toll rates from rising”.

He said the government had to pay RM510 million in compensation for the January to October period this year following the decision to postpone toll rate increase which should have been implemented in January.

“As such the Federal Government allowed concession companies to raise toll rates," he said.

The Minister himself admitted that the toll compensation paid by the Government is “very high”. Hence Dato’ Seri Wahid believes that this “very high” compensation should instead be shouldered by the man on the street.  It does not matter that they are now already suffering from the compounded effects of the Goods & Services Tax (GST), the staggering ringgit depreciation and the significantly slowing economy.

Therefore the “very high compensation” argument is an extremely poor but oft-used excuse to subject ordinary Malaysians to higher toll rates.

And yet, Dato’ Seri Wahid had the cheek to say that the increase only covered highways in the urban areas with a maximum rate increase of RM1.  And increase of “just” RM1 on the Damansara Sprint Highway meant a 100% increase in toll rate from RM1 to RM2!  That effective means a doubling of revenue for the toll concessionaires!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Criminal evidence implicating 1MDB clear not only to Arul Kanda, but to all Malaysians

Arul Kanda is one joker of a Chief Executive.  First, the Sarawak Report, New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Edge Publications have all published documents exposing billions of ringgit in misappropriations, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust relating to the debt laden 1MDB.

The tonnes of leaked information and documents were continually published since January until today, including 1MDB’s US$1.83 billion investment with Petrosaudi, 1MDB’s US$2.318 billion investment in Cayman Islands, 1MDB’s dodgy option agreements with Abu Dhabi’s investment arm and even documents from agencies investigating the 1MDB shenanigans.

1MDB and its President, Arul Kanda and the Barisan Nasional Ministers cheerleading team made all sorts of allegations and insinuations that the documents published were doctored or falsified.

Many parties, including myself have pleaded with 1MDB to point out the specific instances where the documentary evidence leaked have been allegedly tampered with.  However, they did not and obviously could not reproduce even a single authentic document, which purportedly falsified.

1MDB then changed strategy by shifting to the hysterical witch hunt gear.  Every time a new incriminating document is exposed, 1MDB’s Arul Kanda screamed “catch the culprit who leaked it!” At the same time, he refused to entertain the wrong doings which took place in 1MDB exposed by these documents.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Which is more important to Arul Kanda -- uncovering multi-billion ringgit misappropriation, or a leak proving such misappropriation?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issued a statement yesterday, once again attempting to divert the focus of the attention on the scandal-ridden company to the question of “where did the leak come from?”

1MDB decided that instead of answering questions of major public interest posed by a Member of Parliament (MP), it is proper to tell the MP to stick his nose somewhere else.

1MDB accused me of having a “tidak apa” attitude on the sources where the Sarawak Report, The Wall Street Journal and other media agencies secure their information.  1MDB even suggested that I should “commence an enquiry as to how confidential Bank Negara investigation documents ended up in the possession of the foreign internet portal, the Sarawak Report”.

Let me make it very clear here that between figuring out who leaked information and uncovering the truth behind the multi-billion ringgit 1MDB scandal stinking of misappropriation, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust, my priority is categorically with the latter.

I am absolutely certain that not only my voters in Petaling Jaya Utara, millions of Malaysians fully support my priorities here.  Therefore, it is not for 1MDB to tell me what I should or should not do for I am only ultimately answerable to the rakyat.

My key concern therefore is to determine as far as possible the authenticity of these leaked documents.  Hence yesterday, I had asked the 1MDB President, Arul Kanda to confirm if the Bank Negara Malaysia Letter of Authorisation published on the Sarawak Report is genuine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Arul Kanda must come clean if 1MDB breached BNM conditions for the transfer of funds overseas

Yesterday, the Sarawak Report published Bank Negara Malaysia’s Letter of Authorisation dated 29 September 2009 to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to transfer and invest US$1 billion in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Limited.

The letter granted permission for 1MDB to acquire 40% of 1MDB PetroSaudi Limited on the basis of particular information provided by 1MDB in its application.  The key information provided included

that the joint venture will have combined equity funds of US$2.5 billion to be used for investment in various sectors;

that the US$2.5 billion of funds will be deposited with Banca della Svizzera Italiana SA, Geneva while waiting for the prospective investments to be identified;

that the funds will be transferred in tranches to ensure an orderly foreign exchange market

Based on publicly available information today, the state-owned firm has clearly misled Bank Negara in its application to transfer the US$1 billion in funds overseas.

The rakyat pays for the massive toll hikes as a result of BN's failed privatisation policies and broken promises

As if the rakyat isn’t sufficiently burdened by the newly introduced Goods and Services Tax (GST), the massive depreciation of the Ringgit which resulted in a corresponding increase in the cost of basic imported goods and a stuttering economy resulting from a confidence crisis triggered by the monstrous 1MDB scandal, the Government has approved toll rate hikes for 15 highways across the country.

The new rates will involve the Kajang Ring Road (SILK), SMART Highway, Highway Maju Expressway (MEX), Duta-Ulu Kelang Expressway (DUKE), KL-Kuala Selangor Expressway (LATAR), New Pantai Expressway (NPE), Sungai Besi Expressway (BESRAYA), Ampang Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway (AKLEH), Guthrie Corridor Expressway (GCE), Kemuning-Shah Alam Expressway (LKSA) and Kuala Lumpur-Karak Highway (KLK), Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP), Kajang–Seremban Highway (LEKAS), Senai–Desaru Expressway, SPRINT Highway and the Grand Saga Highway.

The rate increases are exorbitant and will cause a massive dent to the Malaysian road users.  The users of Sprint Damansara Highway is faced with a 100% increase from RM1.00 to RM2.00.  The Kajang commuters using the SILK highway will be confronted with a 80% hike from RM1.00 to RM1.80.  The Maju Expressway which connects the Sg Besi Highway with Putrajaya will see a 75% hike from RM2.00 to RM3.50.  Both the Ampang Elevated Highway and Kerinchi Link will also see 66.7% increase in toll rates.

Come Thursday, 15 October, Malaysian motorist will feel like they been run over by a speeding monster truck.  The toll rates have been approved despite the fact that nearly all of these highways have been recording lucrative profits over the past few years.  The increase in toll rates merely allow the crony toll concessionaires to reap astronomical profits at the expense of the man-on-the-street, with the consent of the Government.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Why did the Board of Directors allow the 1MDB executives to conduct major transactions without prior board knowledge or approval?

The latest exposé by Sarawak report was the minutes of the 1MDB Board of Director Meeting held on 12 January 2015.  1MDB President Arul Kanda has confirmed the minutes as genuine although he denied that he has lied to the Board of Directors, he merely “miscommunicated”.

I have written yesterday that Arul Kanda clearly lied, and not just merely “miscommunicated” the issue of 1MDB’s redemption of the US$2.318 billion investment from Cayman Islands.

However, what was more revealing was the fact that the Board of Directors have completely failed to perform their fiduciary duties.

Over the years leading up to the full-blown 1MDB financial scandal, the Board of Directors who were composed of illustrious individuals allowed the 1MDB top executives to run circles around them.  The minutes revealed that key multi-billion ringgit decisions to be made without proper consultation with the Board of Directors.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

1MDB Board of Director Meeting minutes prove Arul Kanda repeatedly lied, not "miscommunicated" as claimed

The latest exposé by Sarawak report was the minutes of the 1MDB Board of Director Meeting held on 12 January 2015.  1MDB President Arul Kanda has confirmed the minutes as genuine although he denied that he has lied to the Board of Directors, he merely “miscommunicated”.  He said,
based on my understanding of events that occurred before my time, that the redemption of fund units happened in cash for an amount of US$940 million. However, upon further investigation and verification, it became clear that this was a misunderstanding, which I then clarified to the Board and our shareholder, the Ministry of Finance. This clarification is clearly recorded in subsequent Board minutes and can be verified.

On 13 January 2015, I confirmed via a press statement that the remaining amount of US$1.11 billion had been redeemed, in full. What was unfortunately not made clear, was that the redemptions happened partly in cash and partly through the sale of fund units, with cash payment being deferred. It is this important distinction which caused a misinterpretation of my statement, first during a Business Times interview on 9 February 2015 and subsequently by the Ministry of Finance, in a Parliamentary answer on 12 March 2015.

However, the above explanation smacks of a very patchy cover up to the lies which have been told to the public and the parliament.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

1MDB has the assets to repatriate US$1.83 billion and must do so immediately to comply with BNM directive

Bank Negara has found 1MDB guilty of submitting false information in its applications to transfer funds overseas and issued a directive yesterday under the Financial Services Act 2013 instructing 1MDB to “repatriate US$1.83 billion to Malaysia and submit a plan to the Bank for this purpose”.

In 1MDB’s response yesterday evening, the company thumbed its nose at Bank Negara, essentially citing the excuse that the funds are already used, and hence no money can be repatriated.

1MDB said,
The overseas investments of US$1.83 billion relates to historic equity and murabaha loan investments in a joint venture with PetroSaudi in 2009 – 2011, that was eventually converted in September 2012 into fund units valued at US$2.318 billion. As previously explained by 1MDB to BNM, this sum of US$2.318 billion has been redeemed in 2014 and 2015, with proceeds being substantially utilised. The remaining US$940 million of fund units, are guaranteed by Aabar and have been ear-marked for a "debt for asset swap" with its “AA” rated parent, IPIC, as part of the 1MDB rationalisation plan.

AG must explain why he refused to prosecute 1MDB officials when BNM clearly identified breaches in the Exchange Control Act 1953

Bank Negara issued a statement yesterday instructing 1MDB to repatriate US$18.3 billion of funds back to the country.  Bank Negara politely declared that the application to investment the funds abroad were “based on inaccurate or without complete disclosure of material information”.  Therefore, the application(s) were defective, rendering prior approvals null and void.

The above instructions came a day after the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) disclosed that it had twice rejected BNM’s recommendations for action against 1MDB after finding no wrongdoing committed by any of the state-owned firm’s officials.

Clearly, Bank Negara’s statement was a slap in the face for the Attorney-General’s “no further action” position.  The Attorney-General (AG), Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali must now explain why and on what grounds did he dismiss the conclusions of Bank Negara.  Why is it that the AG chose not to proceed with prosecuting those deemed to have breached the laws of the country by not any particular agency, but by Bank Negara?

Thursday, October 08, 2015

Young Malaysians not “delusional”; have souls and aspirations

I refer to the lengthy 3,000-word opinion piece by Singapore’s Ambassador-at-large, Bilahari Kausikan entitled “Malaysia is undergoing a systemic change that has profound consequences for Singapore” dated 6 October 2015 published in The Singapore Straits Times.

Mr Bilahari wrote in his analytical piece, referring to the overwhelming anti-establishment sentiment of the Chinese community and the turnout at the recent Bersih4 rally, that
It is my impression that many young Malaysian Chinese have forgotten the lessons of May 13, 1969. They naively believe that the system built around the principle of Malay dominance can be changed. That may be why they abandoned MCA for the DAP. They are delusional. Malay dominance will be defended by any means.
In fact, he even warned that the likely outcome of the above will be “even less space for non-Muslims”.

The top Singapore diplomat could not have gotten it more wrong.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

1MDB's March 2015 Financial Statement would have revealed that US$2.318 billion of investment parked in Cayman Islands in 2012 was fraudulent and never "redeemed"

The recent exposés by The Wall Street Journal, particularly over the US$993 million of payments to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), have allowed a few more pieces of jigsaw puzzles in the 1MDB mystery to be put in place.

Two weeks ago, I wrote that 1MDB executed a fraudulent round-tripping exercise to cover up part of the US$2.138 billion which was invested in a fund located in the Cayman Islands.

The March 2014 financial statements audited by Deloitte Malaysia have stated that US$1.22 billion was redeemed from this controversial investment in November 2014, and the proceeds have been “substantially utilised” to buy back the options granted IPIC or its subsidiary, Aabar Investment PJS.  The US$993 million was presumably derived from this sum received by 1MDB.

However, the auditors were never informed of another loan amounting to US$975 million which 1MDB obtained from a consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank in October 2014.  This loan was used for the very same purpose to buy back the options from IPIC.

Hence unless 1MDB actually paid a ridiculous US$2 billion to IPIC to terminate the option, we now know that the payment to terminate the options came from Deutsche Bank and not from the partial redemption of the Cayman Islands fund.  The US$1.22 billion stated in the 2014 audited accounts was never redeemed, as the cash proceeds were never received or repatriated by 1MDB.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Will the 6 month delay in 1MDB's Financial Statement result in another external auditor replacing Deloitte Malaysia?

It was reported yesterday that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had failed to lodge its financial statements with the Companies Commission on 30 September 2015, which is the deadline to submit its accounts for the year ending 31 March 2015.

This is the sixth consecutive year since 1MDB was incepted in 2009 where the company failed to submit its accounts on a timely basis.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Delay in completion and submission of 1MDB's financial statements to the Companies Commission blatant attempt to prevent truth from being exposed to public

It has been reported yesterday that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has failed to lodge its financial statements with the Companies Commission on 30 September 2015, which is the deadline to submit its accounts for the year ending 31 March 2015.

The excuse provided by 1MDB is that the delay stems from the company not being in control of key documents in its financial accounts after raids and the seizing of documents in July by the police and the special task force comprising Bank Negara Malaysia, the Attorney-General, the Inspector General of Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).  1MDB President, Arul Kanda claimed that “it (the delay) can’t be helped”.

The excuse is so lame because, it has already been discovered by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) during our meeting with 1MDB’s auditors, Deloitte Malaysia, that the latter was not requested nor was it allowed to commence its audit as at Jun 2015.

The then-Chairman of the PAC, Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohammad had told the press that Deloitte has yet to be directed by the Finance Ministry to do commence the audit more than 3 months after the financial year has ended.  He said that Deloitte “wanted to do so but the ministry has not given the go ahead yet. So Deloitte has not been given the instruction to start an audit yet."

Hence the claims that all the documents are with the relevant investigating agencies are but lame excuses to cover up the fact that 1MDB never intended for the accounts to be published by 30 September anyway.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Why can't 1MDB answer the questions raised about the dodgy option payments to IPIC?

In recent months, 1MDB has been relatively quick to respond to various allegations and exposés made against the company, even if the replies provided mostly recycled non-answers.  More often than not, the company will question the source of the allegations, accuse the relevant parties of being malicious against 1MDB and regurgitate incomplete information from the Deloitte-audited financial statements.

However, 1MDB has chosen to be remain eerily silent on the questions which I raised with regards to the terms of the US$3.5 billion guarantee and and payments made (or not made) to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to buy back options granted to the latter.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Was 1MDB's failure to disclose Deutsche Bank's US$975 million loan in March 2014 to cover up payment of nearly US$1 billion to terminate options granted to IPIC?

Last week, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) shed light on US$993 million which was allegedly paid to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) by 1MDB to buy back the latter’s options have not been properly accounted for.  The above payment was not reflected in the audited accounts of IPIC.  Instead, IPIC’s books showed that 1MDB still owes an additional US$481 million to the former for the termination of the options as at December 2014.

These options were granted to IPIC’s subsidiary, Aabar Investment PJS in 2012 to acquire up to 49% of its two energy subsidiaries, Powertek Investment Holdings and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Sdn Bhd as part of the condition for the provision of a guarantee by IPIC for US$3.5 billion of 1MDB bonds.

Now, even as 1MDB is failing to explain where the “missing” US$993 million dollars went to if not to IPIC, the question also needs to be asked where the US$993 million dollars came from.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Deloitte Malaysia failed to properly account for 1MDB's cost of options, understates losses by at least RM3.24 billion

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Thursday that US$993 million, which was allegedly paid to International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) by 1MDB to buy back the latter’s options, has not been properly accounted for.  The options were granted to IPIC in 2012 to acquire up to 49% of its two energy subsidiaries, Powertek Investment Holdings, and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Sdn Bhd, as part of the condition for the provision of a guarantee by IPIC for US$3.5 billion of 1MDB bonds.

The above exposé raises another question of Deloitte Malaysia’s professionalism when auditing the accounts of 1MDB in 2013 and 2014.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Was Deloitte Malaysia wilfully misled or negligent over the options granted by 1MDB to IPIC?

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on Thursday that US$993 million which was allegedly paid to IPIC by 1MDB to buy back the latter’s options have not been properly unaccounted for.  The options were granted to IPIC in 2012 to acquire up to 49% of its two energy subsidiaries, Powertek Investment Holdings and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Sdn Bhd as part of the condition for the provision of a guarantee by IPIC for US$3.5 billion of 1MDB bonds.

According to the March 2014 Financial Statement audited by Deloitte Malaysia, 1MDB claimed the proceeds of US$1.22 billion derived from the redemption of its investment in Cayman Islands was instantly and “substantially utilised to pay debt interest, Aabar options, working capital”.  The sum used to redeem the options granted to Aabar Investment PJS, a subsidiary of IPIC, according to both The Edge and WSJ amounted to US$993 million.

However, this payment of nearly US$1 billion was not reflected anywhere in the IPIC financial statements for the year ending December 2014, which was audited by Ernst & Young.  Instead, the statements disclosed that 1MDB still owes an additional US$481 million to IPIC for the termination of the said options.

In 1MDB’s responses since the above expose, the company failed to explain the “missing” billion dollars.  Instead the company executives tried to obfuscate the matter by claiming that “despite the malicious and wrong second Wall Street Journal article on September 18, 2015, upon payment of the “nearly US$1 billion” deposit by 1MDB, the options over the energy assets have indeed been terminated”.

However, the WSJ never queried the termination of “the options over the energy assets”.  WSJ asked if 1MDB had indeed paid “nearly US$1 billion” to terminate the options and IPIC’s accounts did not reflect any such payments received, where did the “nearly US$1 billion” go?

Sunday, September 20, 2015

1MDB Board of Directors must convene an emergency meeting to appoint an independent auditor to review 1MDB's Financial Statements for March 2013 and 2014

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) provided a quick and smug reply to my statement issued yesterday.

I had challenged 1MDB to deny the allegations carried in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports that 1MDB’s US$1.4 billion “refundable deposit” and US$993 million payment to buy back its options from International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) was missing and unaccounted for in the latter’s financial statements.

1MDB claimed that
"(a) despite the spurious and unproven allegations raised by the Wall Street Journal in its first article dated 9 September 2015, further to the US$1.4 billion (RM5.9 billion) deposit from 1MDB in 2012, IPIC was and remains, the guarantor of  two 1MDB bonds totalling US$3.5 billion; and
(b) despite the malicious and wrong second Wall Street Journal article on September 18, 2015, upon payment of the “nearly US$1 billion” deposit by 1MDB, the options over the energy assets have indeed been terminated. 
YB Tony Pua, the facts above speak for themselves."

Unfortunately, the above “denials” were only attempts to obfuscate the issue but did not address the allegations made by WSJ.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

1MDB must issue a joint statement with IPIC in the face of more allegations of missing funds

Ten days after allegations surfaced of a US$1.4 billion payment in 2012 from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported yesterday that another US$993 million remains unaccounted for.

Apparently officials in the Emirate were trying to trace the sum that 1MDB reportedly paid to the IPIC and this sum is not reflected in the latest IPIC financial statements for the year ending December 2014.

1MDB claimed in its March 2014 Financial Statements that in November 2014, it redeemed US$1.22 billion from its US$2.318 billion of funds mysteriously “invested” in the Cayman Islands.  However, the proceeds were instantly and “substantially utilised to pay debt interest, Aabar options, working capital”.

As reported by The Edge Weekly previously, the sum of US$993 million from this redemption was used to buy back the options granted to IPIC to acquire up to 49% of its two energy subsidiaries, Powertek Investment Holdings and 1MDB Energy (Langat) Sdn Bhd.

Now, the fear is that the amount of US$993 million is “missing”, in addition to the US$1.4 billion exposed earlier. Additionally, the IPIC financial statement disclosed that 1MDB still owes IPIC the amount of US$481 million in relation to the termination of the options.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Letter to the United Kingdom Listing Authority to seek clarification on "missing" US$1.4billion from IPIC accounts

Yesterday, I sent a letter to the United Kingdom Listing Authority (UKLA) ‎requesting for UKLA to seek clarification from International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) on US$1.4 billion which is missing from its financial statements.

I have decided to write the letter because it appears that the financially distressed 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is not at all concerned that its US$1.4‎ billion pledged as collateral with IPIC in exchange for a US$3.5 billion guarantee is reportedly "missing".

This matter was exposed by the Wall Street Journal last week but was met with disdain from 1MDB. The company was more interested in victimising the mystery whistleblowers than discovering the truth behind its funds.

I explained to the UKLA that the financial statements ‎of 1MDB audited by Deloitte Malaysia stated clearly that the Company placed US$1.4 billion of funds with IPIC as a "refundable deposit". It is classified as a non-current asset under "other receivables, deposits and prepayments".

However, when scrutinising the listing prospectus of IPIC bonds which was listed in the London Stock Exchange in December 2014, the US$1.4 billion did not appear anywhere in the published accounts of the company. ‎ Neither was the sum disclosed in the December 2014 audited accounts of IPIC published on 30 June 2014.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Najib should show sincerity in asking GLCs to re-invest overseas assets domestically by ensuring 1MDB does the same

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday urged government-linked companies (GLCs) to cash in on their foreign investments and re-invest domestically to spur the local economy as one of the immediate measures by the special economic committee he had set up to look into the current economic situation.

"Most of these companies have made profit in their investments and now is the time to bring the investments back home," he said.

We agree in principle that Malaysian companies with excess funds overseas should take this opportunity of the weak ringgit to repartriate their foreign cash holdings and assets and seek new business opportunities in the country.

However, for the Prime Minister’s call to be sincere, he must first direct 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to bring back its billions of ringgit of funds and assets still parked unproductively overseas, to be reinvested in Malaysia.

Friday, September 11, 2015

1MDB more interested in removing me as a PAC member than the missing US$1.4 billion as exposed by WSJ

I'm bemused by the eagerness of 1Malaysia Development Bhd to remove me as a member of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

1MDB urged yesterday,‎ "now that YB Tony Pua is under investigation by the police, we urge YB Tony Pua to practise what he preaches to others and step down from the PAC, while he proves his innocence on the various allegations made against him".

1MDB should first get their facts right. I've been specifically informed by the Police that I am being questioned only as a witness to their investigations.  Is 1MDB saying that I should quit my place in the PAC‎ just because I'm assisting investigations as a witness?

However, even if I were being investigated for alleged crimes under the penal code section 124B for "activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy", regardless of how ridiculous the allegations are, how is that in conflict with the investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal?

If 1MDB is trying to tenuously highlight similarities between the case of the Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Najib Razak with my case, then they have failed miserably. The Prime Minister is being investigated for receiving an incredible RM2.6 billion from a foreign party as well as millions in transfers from a Ministry of Finance subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd.

Hence in this case, Dato' Seri Najib Razak must go on leave to allow for independent investigations into the scandal where he himself is the suspect.  Similarly, Dato' Seri Najib Razak signed all approvals for the questionable multi-billion transactions in 1MDB. Surely you cannot have a criminal suspect remaining in a position of power where he continues to direct or have influence over the investigations?

In my case however, I'm not a suspect in the case of billions of ringgit embezzled from 1MDB, nor have I received any donation from 1MDB. So why on earth should I step down from the PAC investigating the financially distressed company as I pose no conflict of interest?

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

NST and Berita Harian spinning 'conspiracy theories' to distract from billions of ringgit embezzled and lost from 1MDB

Various news reports over the past 2 days in The New Straits Times and Berita Harian has alleged or insinuated that I have been part of a conspiracy “to topple” the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

As I have stated many times previously, I am involved in no such “conspiracy” with any party. I was however very eager to discover the truth behind the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal which has rocked the nation, where the documents proving the embezzlement of billions of ringgit has not been specifically disputed by both 1MDB or the Prime Minister.

After latest WSJ exposé, 1MDB must come clean over the US$3.5 billion bond arrangements and guarantee by IPIC

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) once again raised another multi-billion ringgit question mark on where the money from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) went.

When 1MDB issued 2 bonds worth US$1.75 billion each in May and October 2012 respectively, the loans were strangely guaranteed by International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), the sovereign wealth fund of Abu Dhabi.

As a condition, it was stated in the 1MDB 2013  and 2014  Financial Statements that 40% of the proceeds of the borrowings, or US$1.4 billion was to be kept as a “refundable deposit” as a collateral to the above guarantees.  This is on top of 1MDB granting up to “49% equity interest in Powertek Investment Holdings and 1MDB Energy (Langat) which held 1MDB’s power plant acquisitions from Tanjong Energy and Genting Sanyen.

However, as rightly pointed out by the Wall Street Journal, the US$1.4 billion does not appear anywhere in the financial statements of IPIC for the year ending 31 December 2013 and 2014, which was audited by Ernst & Young.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

If BN wants to win back Malaysian votes, they should look at their own policies and statements, instead of blaming journalists

The Malay Mail Online reported yesterday that Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi urged journalists from non-mainstream media to help paint Barisan Nasional (BN) in a good light, in the ruling coalition’s bid to reclaim the support of Chinese and Indian voters.

The Deputy Prime Minister got his priority completely wrong.  It is not the role of journalists to “help paint” BN in a good light.  It is the role of the journalists to report the facts and the truths of events and activities.  If the truth paints anyone in the bad light, regardless of whether it is the ruling party or the opposition, the fault lays with the relevant parties themselves, and not the journalists.

If the Deputy Prime Minister is really sincere about winning back the votes from the rakyat, particularly from the non-Malay community, then the first step must start from himself and UMNO.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The new AG must explain why the newly renamed taskforce will not be investigating 1MDB or its related companies

The new Attorney-General (AG), Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali announced yesterday that the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team (NRRET) is basically the new name for the previous special task force which was thought to be disbanded after the former Attorney General, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail was sacked.

"NRRET is not a new task force but is a rebranding of the previous special task force that has been in existence since 2011," the AG Chambers said in a statement.

However, what was shocking in the statement was the announcement that the "NRRET is not in any way involved with any investigations involving 1MDB and its related companies."

This is despite the AGC saying that the "aims of NRRET remain the same, which is to assist the government in dealing with evasion of custom duties and tax by individuals and corporate bodies, smuggling activities, misuse of subsidised goods, illegal outflow of funds, and acts of corruption".

Malaysians deserves the right to know why the investigations on 1MDB and its related companies which were carried out by the task force is stopped.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

As we approach our 59th Merdeka Day and 53rd Malaysia Day celebrations, have we become a nation where Malaysians no longer decide our own destiny?

On 31 August 1957, the Federation of Malaya declared our independence from our foreign colonial power and on 16 September 1963, we formed Malaysia with our counterparts from Sabah and Sarawak.  Malaysians stood proud to be a new sovereign nation where her citizens are able to chart their own goals, dreams and destinies.

However, Malaysia’s independence is now under threat and her citizens face the risk of a newfound imperialism by a unknown Arab power.  In the past, the people of Malaya and Borneo were kept under a leash via a military force.  Today, Malaysia’s vision and policies are influenced by obscene amounts of foreign money funding our ruling political party.

Senior UMNO leader and Minister Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz found “nothing wrong” that the Prime Minister personally accepted a secret RM2.6 billion donation in the latter’s private bank account from a “brotherly” Arab nation.

He shamelessly admitted that the so-called ‘donation’ was “to see certain parties win in the general election because we are friendly to them”.

The above confirmed without a doubt that Malaysia’s sovereign status is under threat by the fact that our ruling party and its leaders have become compromised by secret foreign funds.  The marginal victory Barisan Nasional received in 2013 proved further that a foreign country has directly and decisively determined the outcome of our country’s election.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Rahman Dahlan bonkers to compare the RM2.6 billion deposit into the PM's personal bank account to Selangor’s set up of DEIG

Yesterday, it was reported Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan claimed that Selangor’s controversial new investment arm, Darul Ehsan Investment Group (DEIG), is more disturbing than the RM2.6 billion donation to Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak personal bank account.

He said there was “more at stake with the RM30 billion in assets” under Menteri Besar Incorporated (MBI), planned for a takeover by DEIG, than the RM2.6 billion donation.

I believe that Dato’ Rahman Dahlan must have gone completely bonkers after multiple vain attempts to defend the Prime Minister’s most immoral and unethical “donation”.

Firstly, the Minister can’t even get his simple facts right.  Upon consolidation of the state-owned assets under DEIG, it would not add up to RM30 billion – we wish it did – but to RM6.3 billion.

However, the point as admitted by the BN Strategic Communications Director himself, Dato’ Abdul Rahman Dahlan, is that these are “assets” of the state, as opposed to a mysterious RM2.6 billion foreign donation into the personal account of the Prime Minister for completely unknown expenditures.

As a matter of fact, how can this RM6.2 billion of “assets” even be deemed “more disturbing” than the Federal Government’s 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which has accumulated RM42 billion of “debt” as at 2014?

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

If ‘not a single sen’ of KWAP funds went into Najib’s account, why is the MACC investigating SRC International?

The new Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi, claimed that not a single sen of the US$700 million transferred to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's accounts came from government pension fund, Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP).

He said the money came from just one Middle Eastern donor, and that they were channelled‎ through multiple companies to avoid detection. "No KWAP money was used by Umno or deposited into Najib's accounts. I saw the documents," ‎said Zahid when officiating the Sri Gading Umno division meeting yesterday.

If Dato’ Seri Zahid is so certain that none of the monies deposited into the Prime Minsiter’s account came from SRC International, which took a RM4 billion loan from KWAP, why didn’t Dato’ Seri Najib Razak sue both The Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report for defamation?

Consumed By The Laws of the Jungle

Once again, 1MDB’s “rehashed” and “recycled answers” failed to answer the simple questions posed by allegedly “unproven” recycled questions.

I appreciate 1Malaysia Development Bhd President, Arul Kanda’s recognition that “public scrutiny and questioning by YB Tony Pua is important to establish the truth”.

However, he once again claimed that I have made “repeatedly unproven, recycled and reused allegations”. While I have made many allegations against 1MDB previously, the current matter being raised isn’t an allegation but a repeated request for clarification which 1MDB has failed to provide.

The latest response by 1MDB yesterday is the best testament that Arul Kanda makes a habit of repeating recycled and reused “clarifications” which never answered the questions posed. Worse, it is a less-than-disguised attempt to obfuscate the facts.

I had very simply asked, what has become of the supposed US$1.1 billion which was “redeemed” from Cayman Islands as announced by Arul Kanda himself on 13 January 2015? Since it is not “cash” as originally claimed, Malaysians are interested to know what are these so called “units” which is held in a Singapore bank, and what are the bank assessed value of these “units” post-redemption.

The response we received from 1MDB instead was “1MDB invested a total of US$1.83 billion with PetroSaudi as murabaha notes, and ultimately received US$2.318 billion of fund units, representing a gain over time of US$488 million.”

Arul Kanda further added that “the valuation of the fund units was undertaken by the fund administrator and is clearly described in 1MDB’s audited financial statements.”

The 1MDB President however, cleverly failed to highlight (again) the fact that the last financial statements was for the year ending 31 March 2014. That is nearly 17 months ago and well before the Cayman Islands investment was supposedly redeemed in January this year.

Is Arul Kanda trying to tell Malaysians that he has no clue what the redeemed “units” held in BSI Bank Singapore are really worth today? Is that also the reason why the “units” cannot be disposed or liquidated despite being classified as “investment assets for sale” in the 1MDB financial statements?

Is that the reason why the Malaysian government has been forced to grant 1MDB with RM950 million of emergency loans, as well as billions of ringgit of direct and indirect guarantees for additional loans and advances this year?

The above question isn’t of course the only question that the 1MDB President is unwilling to answer honestly. Many transactions took place after the 31 March 2014 financial year end. However, 1MDB has refused to provide any “open book” disclosures on these transactions. They include simple information like what is the latest outstanding debt in 1MDB?

More pertinent but unanswered questions are like how much as 1MDB paid to Aabar Investments PJS or International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to buy back the options which were granted to them? These options were granted as part of the agreement for the latter to guarantee 1MDB’s US$3.5 billion of loans in 2012. Is it true for example that US$481 million is still outstanding payable to IPIC as disclosed by the latter’s financial statements as at 31 December 2014?

Therefore while Arul Kanda describes such “monkey business” by me does not benefit anyone as “Malaysia is not a jungle”, I certainly beg to differ.

With the Public Accounts Committee crippled and no commitment given Dato’ Seri Najib Razak on the time frame to reconstitute the PAC; with the previous Attorney General sacked for attempting to charge the Prime Minister for corruption as alleged by the BN Strategic Communications Director, Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan; with the Special Taskforce investigating 1MDB dismantled; with dissenting Ministers removed from the Cabinet; Malaysians certainly cannot be blamed for concluding that we have been consumed by the laws of the jungle.

If I don’t remain the persistently pesky monkey on 1MDB’s back, then 1MDB will be able to get away with providing evasive non-answers, pretending that everything is dandy and above board without any accountability.

At the same time, Arul Kanda must not forget that he is an employee of a wholly-owned government subsidiary and must be transparent and accountable to the Malaysian tax-payers. He continued failure to do so will not only cast himself in poor light, he will damage the reputation of the Prime Minister and destroy the image of Malaysia to the global financial and investment community.

Tony Pua

Monday, August 17, 2015

From Political Donation, to Brotherly Appreciation, and now a Migration to Singapore !

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must confirm if he has indeed transferred US$650 million from his personal account to an account in Singapore.

The Wall Street Journal had exposed just a little more than a month ago that the Prime Minister has received US$681 million of cash into his personal bank account in March 2013.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak had persistent refused to confirm or deny such a transaction having took place for nearly a month. He would only repeatedly insist that he “did not not use any money for personal gains” while pro-Najib blogs defended him as not being so stupid as to take RM2.6 billion into his personal account.

However, as it turned out, despite Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s silence on the matter, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) confirmed the transaction on his behalf. Apparently, the MACC was informed that the money was donated by a Middle Eastern government and wanted to question the Prime Minister further on the “donation”.

In a spur of a moment, all top UMNO leaders came out all guns blazing to justify the legitimacy of the massive “donation”. Dato’ Seri Nazri Aziz was most by direct by claiming that the “donation” came from a “brotherly” Arab nation who wanted certain parties to win the the Malaysian general election in 2013.

Both BN’s Strategic Communications Director, Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan and UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor argued that UMNO party presidents are allowed to hold funds “in trust” for the Party. This was despite the fact that even the Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is completely unaware of the existence of such a “trust” fund.

The Prime Minister himself, two days ago defended the “donation” by claiming that “there is no regulation in respect to political donation. So you cannot say what is right and what is wrong, okay?”

Yesterday, Kuantan Umno division chief Wan Adnan Wan Mamat revealed to Sinar Harian that during a meeting of 146 divisional leaders with Dato’ Seri Najib last Wednesday, they were informed that “it was an appreciation to Malaysia for championing Islam and for practising Sunni Islam (Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah).”

It obviously did not occur to them that such an “appreciation” for Malaysia, if ever it was true, should be transferred into the Government’s accounts, and not the private bank account of the Prime Minister.

However, as the story gets richer and more colourful, the Sarawak Report once again threw a spanner into the Prime Minister’s best-laid plans by exposing the fact that US$650 million was actually transferred back to Tanore Finance, owned by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) in August 2013, when Dato’ Seri Najib Razak closed his bank account in Ambank Bhd.

So now, Malaysians are left stunned as to whether the US$681 million deposited into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s account was really a “donation”. If the money does indeed belong to UMNO, why did US$650 million get transferred to Singapore?
Are UMNO leaders now going to claim that it is normal for UMNO to hide billions of ringgit of donations in an overseas account?

Or is Dato’ Seri Najib Razak now going to cook up a new excuse to claim that the Middle East donors decided that they didn’t want to donate to him anymore and wanted their money back?

Or perhaps the Prime Minister after being caught with his pants down, would now argue that 5 months after receiving the cash, he suffered from sudden pangs of guilt and decided to voluntarily return the money to the donor?

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must stop making up stories along with the exposes which get published in foreign media. He should stop the lies and half-truths, and for once be honest and forthcoming with truthful complete answers over his RM2.6 billion scandal. He must explain where did this US$681 million really come from, and if US$650 million did indeed get transferred out of his account, as alleged by the Sarawak Report.

If not, the Prime Minister will go down in history as the dirtiest, most dishonest and tainted premier in the history of Malaysia.

Tony Pua

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Arul, Must We Wait Until The Moon Falls Onto Our Laps?

It is not enough for Arul Kanda to apologise for incredulously mistaking “units” for “cash”, the 1MDB President must explain what exactly are these “units” and how much are they worth according to the Bank.

Scandal-tainted 1Malaysia Development Bhd issued a statement yesterday to rebut my request for an explanation on the US$1.103 billion redeemed from Cayman Islands in January 2015. 1MDB said that 1MDB President, Arul Kanda “has on June 10 already taken full responsibility for any past miscommunications on the matter.”

Right-thinking Malaysians will surely agree with me that dismissing such a horrendous error as “miscommunication” does not at all absolve Arul Kanda from providing us with the right answers.

First Arul Kanda had claimed that the redeemed investment was in “cash” which was subsequently found out to be untrue as they were in “assets”. Secondly, it was later revised to be in “units”, which means that no real “redemption” took place in January as announced by 1MDB.

Hence Arul Kanda must explain what exactly are these mysterious “units” parked in BSI Bank Singapore. Are they backed by listed or private company shares, or by properties or other assets? More importantly, what is the bank-assessed valuation of these so called “units”?

Without answering the above key questions, the 1MDB President’s excuse of “miscommunication” is completely hollow as the rakyat are still left clueless as to whether this so called “US$1.103 billion” (RM4.4 billion) asset previously held in the Cayman Islands fund is worth anything at all today. Did 1MDB lose practically all of its US$1.103 billion?

The fact that 1MDB refuses to address these crucial questions will only convince the people that 1MDB has lost all of these funds and is one of the key causes why the tax-payers have been forced to bailout the company.

And yet, 1MDB has the cheek to claim that I have “conveniently” forgotten the replies provided by the Finance Ministry to the Parliament. I certainly have not forgotten the parliamentary replies prepared by 1MDB, which contained no answers to the questions posed, like the one above.

If the questions have been answered, there would have been no need for me to ask again, nor will there be any need for 1MDB to deploy evasive manoeuvres to avoid answering these questions.

1MDB even accused me of attempting to undermine the various on-going investigations through his “chicken challenge” of asking Arul Kanda for a dialogue or debate. Firstly, let me remind 1MDB that it was Arul himself who made the offer to dialogue, which he subsequently refused to honour.

Secondly and more importantly, how could I possibly undermine any investigations into 1MDB where there’s hardly anyone left investigating the company? The Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) has been crippled. The Special Task Force investigating 1MDB and the Prime Minister has been declared “illegal” by Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan. The Attorney-General has been sacked while the Auditor-General reports directly to the Finance Minister, who also happens to be Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.

Even former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin lamented that it’s taking way too long for the 1MDB investigations. “Must we wait until the moon falls onto our laps?” he asked.

Hence the reason why the many issues surrounding the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal must continue to be raised in the public sphere is exactly because all other attempts to extract the truth have been practically stopped on their tracks.

1MDB may continue to accuse me of making “recycled allegations”. But I will continue to press and questions as long as 1MDB continues to give “recycled non-answers”. As such, I will be the proverbial monkey who will not get off 1MDB’s back as long as the state-owned company refuses to be truthful and answer simple questions like the bank-assessed worth of these “units” in Singapore.

Tony Pua

1MDB's Missing US$1.1 Billion Enigma

Arul Kanda must explain the mystery of the missing US$1.1 billion of “redeemed” Cayman Islands investment.

Under tremendous pressure from the Malaysian public back in December 2014, the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President Arul Kanda hastily announced via a media statement only 13 January 2015 that the balance of the US$1.103 billion has been “redeemed” but refused to disclose the nature of the proceeds and where the proceeds were deposited.

All Malaysians knew then was that despite an overdue RM2 billion debt 1MDB was to pay at the end of November 2014, 1MDB never brought the money back into Malaysia.

It was only in 7 February 2015 that Arul Kanda revealed to The Business Times of Singapore that the proceeds were “cash” held outside Malaysia. Arul Kanda clearly stated that while the funds amounting to US$1.103 billion would not be repatriated back to Malaysia, it would be kept in US dollars “as we have US$6.5 billion (RM23.06 billion) in bonds out there, in which interest payments come up to nearly US$400 million (RM1.4 billion) a year.”

The 1MDB President specifically said, “the cash is in our accounts and in US dollars. I can assure you (about that)... I have seen the statements.”

This alleged “cash” held outside Malaysia was confirmed by none other than the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak himself in his parliamentary reply to me dated 10 March 2015:

"Baki dana pelaburan 1MDB yang telah diuruskan oleh Cayman Monetary Authority sebanyak US$1.103 bilion telah ditebus dalam bentuk wang tunai dan masih disimpan dalam mata wang US Dolar di BSI Bank Limited Singapore."

However, after a series of exposes by the Sarawak Report which pointed to an absence of actual “cash” in the BSI Bank account in Singapore, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, who is also the Minister of Finance, was forced to correct his parliamentary response on 19 May 2015 which conceded that:

"…baki pelaburan yang telah ditebus oleh 1MDB adalah dalam bentuk aset di dalam mata wang US Dolar di sebuah bank di Singapura…"

This proved that the 1MDB President had lied to the world about the fact that there was US$1.1 billion of “cash” sitting in the branch of the Swiss Bank in Singapore, when it was merely so-called “assets”, a fact which Arul Kanda himself has conceded as a laughable “misunderstanding”.

However, the mystery had deepened when the Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadzlah fine-tuned the latter parliamentary reply further in his press statements, claiming that what was held in BSI Bank were “units”, when he was asked to clarify on the exact nature of these “assets” in Singapore.

Nobody in the world knows exactly what these alleged “units” were except perhaps for Arul Kanda himself. Even Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadzlah was at a loss when asked to explain what these “Units” were. “Units” of investment are typically re-packaged assets sold by certain fund managers to investors using their own opaque measurement and valuation terms.

However if these assets in BSI Bank Singapore were still in “units” form, instead of being in raw assets like cash or shares or properties, it actually meant that the investment in Cayman Islands was never truly “redeemed”.

This means that Arul Kanda had lied and misled Malaysians from the very beginning. He not only lied about the fact that the proceeds from the redemption are in the form of cash, he lied to Malaysians about the fact that the Cayman Islands “fund” was redeemed in the first place! There was never any real “redemption” because the investment was in “units” form before the 13 January 2015 redemption, and they are still in “units” form today!

This proved that the whole so called investment in Cayman Islands since 2012 was a scam to hide the true worth of funds and assets remaining in 1MDB. It also proved that Arul Kanda’s media statements, despite having issued 48 of them on behalf of 1MDB, cannot be trusted by any measure.

As the President of 1MDB, a wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary laden with more than RM42 billion of debt, Arul Kanda must be held accountable to the tax-payers. If his “open book” media statements are not trustworthy, then the next best “open book” measure is for him to hold a public dialogue or debate with his critics.

I am ever prepared to accept a dialogue offer from Arul Kanda made in January at any time and place specified. I will not chicken out at the last minute claiming insufficient notice or other prior engagements. I am also 100% certain that thousands of Malaysians will want to watch the dialogue or debate “live” as they have had enough of 1MDB’s lies, half-truths and evasive answers.

Tony Pua

Saturday, August 15, 2015

48 1MDB Press Statements, but the Questions Still Remain

I have read every single one of the 48 press statements issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) or Arul “Open Book” Kanda, but none of them answered the pressing questions whose answers Malaysians are seeking.

The President of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) tried to wriggle his way out of a public debate or dialogue with me over the pressing issues and questions hanging over the company by claiming that 1MDB has already issued 48 press statements since his appointment.

“We note that YB Tony Pua has yet again recycled various allegations, which have in fact been answered by 1MDB since January 2015 via 48 press announcements that can be easily obtained on our website,” he said.

Unfortunately, despite having diligently read each of the 48 press statements when they were issued, 1MDB was often either evasive in its answers or didn’t bother answering them altogether. Perhaps Arul Kanda needs to be reminded that it's the quality of the reply that matters, not the quantity.

I cited a few examples in my statement yesterday. Malaysians are asking very simple questions like what is the current debt levels of 1MDB, has it reached RM50 billion? The only answer Arul Kanda has provided is, 1MDB’s debt stands at RM41.8 billion as at 31 March 2014. As the President of 1MDB would know, Malaysians do not need Arul Kanda to tell us that. It is already August 2015, Malaysians are asking what is the latest debt figure for 1MDB? Why can’t Arul “Open Book” Kanda answer that simple question?

When I asked if it is true that 1MDB has doctored its financial statements provided to the financing banks, the only reply I got from 1MDB was effectively, it was none of my business. Arul Kanda refused to deny or confirm if their statements were doctored.

When I asked how much 1MDB paid Aabar or International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to redeem its options, there was absolutely no response from 1MDB. Malaysians got the similar cold shoulder treatment from Arul Kanda when we asked if 1MDB transferred nearly US$1.2 billion to Good Star Limited.

There list of questions to be answered is too long to be listed here in this statement. But it wouldn’t have mattered anyway because we would get the same response from Arul Kanda – they are “recycled allegations”. Well, they may be recycled, but they are recycled because they were never answered by Mr Open Book.

But even if they were indeed “answered” in the 1MDB media releases, what is wrong with a public dialogue to put these matters to rest once and for all?

Arul Kanda went on to argue that the “independent, thorough and professional investigations” by the relevant authorities “are the appropriate forum to determine the truth about 1MDB”, presumably to avoid a public dialogue or debate with me.

The excuse is rich coming from someone who just gave TV3 an one-hour interview on 1MDB. If the so-called investigations (all of which are currently in limbo), are indeed the most appropriate channels to “determine the truth”, why did Arul Kanda try to manipulate public perception with his one-sided interview?

Therefore Arul Kanda should stop being a hypocrite by claiming 1MDB to be an “open book” but fail miserably to be transparent and accountable as his job demands of him.

Why can’t Arul Kanda answer these questions to allay the fears of the public and the suspicion of gross mismanagement and misappropriation taking place in the wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary?

Let me repeat here that if Arul Kanda is truly sincere, then he must honour his offer made earlier in January this year to hold a dialogue with me over 1MDB. There’s no need to twist and turn to hide the fact that he has chickened out of the offer.

I strongly believe that if Arul Kanda is able to respond to the questions posed and successfully debunk all my allegations and criticisms, it will not only do 1MDB a whole load of good, it will go a long way towards halting the slide of the Malaysian currency, stock exchange and economy.

Tony Pua

Friday, August 14, 2015

Mr Arul Kanda, All I Want is a Chat

If Arul Kanda truly believes that 1Malaysia Development Bhd is an “open book” then he must honour his invitation to me in January this year for an open dialogue.

On Wednesday late night, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda granted TV3 an interview to dispel the supposedly unjustified criticisms against the company.

“For me, 1MDB is an open book with many investigations… We are the most investigated company in Malaysia.”

Arul Kanda even has the cheek to claim that the delay in the Public Accounts Committee investigation “is really making it hard for us to work. As 1MDB, we want to give answers to the questions and allegations made against us. When the meeting is stalled, we do not have that chance.”

The 1MDB CEO is completely insincere with his claim of being an “open book”. If he is really sincere about being an “open book”, there would have been a lot more clarity and factual information about 1MDB without having to await exposes by third party sources such as the Sarawak Report, The Edge or The Wall Street Journal.

In fact there are so many simple questions that 1MDB has refused to answer in a straightforward and forthright manner. For example, is it true that 1MDB’s group debt has increased from RM42 billion to nearly RM50 billion to date? Or is it true that 1MDB has doctored its financial statements provided to the financing banks? Or how much did 1MDB pay Aabar or International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to redeem its options?

Or a question which has been floating around for the past 6 months – did 1MDB transfer nearly US$1.2 billion to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by the international man-of-mystery, Jho Low?

Why can’t Arul Kanda answer these questions to allay the fears of the public and the suspicion of gross mismanagement and misappropriation taking place in the wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary? No one is more responsible for the credibility damage caused to 1MDB than 1MDB’s own top executives for refusing to be transparent and accountable.

Instead, all we get is a scripted television interview within the safe confines of UMNO-owned TV3 in a futile attempt to redeem its own reputation.

If Arul Kanda is truly sincere, and 1MDB is truly an “open book”, then Arul Kanda must honour his offer made earlier in January this year to hold a dialogue with me over 1MDB. There’s no need to pretend to wait for the PAC.

In fact, given that 1MDB’s battered image is causing serious negative consequences to Malaysia’s currency and economy, Arul Kanda must now accept an open debate or public dialogue with me to answer the many pressing questions, all Malaysians and the international community are asking.

If Arul Kanda is able to respond to the questions posed and successfully debunk all my allegations and criticisms, it will not only do 1MDB a whole load of good, it will go a long way towards halting the slide of the Malaysian currency, stock exchange and economy.

Surely, Arul Kanda can’t be afraid of someone whom he claims got all his facts wrong?

Tony Pua

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

An Open Invite to the PM - Come See How Fundraising Really Works

An open invite to the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to attend the sell-out DAP Petaling Jaya Fund-Raising Dinner to discover first hand how we raise funds.

Earlier this month, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak boasted that he is "ready to declare our political funding sources, if the opposition agrees to do the same," singling out DAP.

He also said that his efforts to legislate transparency in political funding in 2009 were "shot down by DAP", but added that he is ready to make a second effort for such legislature.

The Prime Minister must be joking. The DAP has never been consulted or showed the draft on any legislation before they are tabled in Parliament, much less a political funding bill. In fact our objections to dozens of bad laws were dismissed outright by the rubber stamp legislative assembly.

Hence we are shocked to discover that the DAP is accused of being so powerful that we are able to oppose or reject the political funding bill which the Prime Minister had wanted to table.

Let us say outright, the DAP has never objected to any political funding bill and will support all bills which will promote transparency and accountability.

My colleague, Member of Parliament for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng has already extended an invite to Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director, Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan to discover first hand how the DAP raises its operating and election funds. Unfortunately and inexplicably, the Minister did not have the courage to come see the truth for himself.

However, we hope that the Prime Minister will be true to his words – that he is “ready to declare his political funding sources”, if we agree to declare ours.

Hence, we have reserved 2 seats for you at our VVIP table for you and your wife at our fund-raising dinner tonight in Petaling Jaya for you to witness first hand, in full public view how the DAP raises its funds.

We are pleased to inform the Prime Minister that we have successfully sold a record 300 tables to raise funds in just 10 days. We will show to the Prime Minister that when 3,000 Malaysians attend our dinner, they willingly pay and contribute to attend. This is in complete contrast to Barisan Nasional dinners which are completely free, augmented by lucky draws of hundreds of lucrative prizes.

Hence, it will be a perfect opportunity for Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to show and explain how he received and spent his RM2.6 billion donation to the sell-out crowd of 3,000 Malaysians. I am certain that the crowd in Petaling Jaya look forward to greeting the Prime Minister with all the necessary decorum and provide him every opportunity to explain his case.

Tony Pua

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Our PM is Acting Like a Man Who Fears the Truth

The MACC never cleared Dato’ Seri Najib Razak of corruption and wrongdoing but the Prime Minister cleared himself for receiving RM2.6 billion in his personal bank account without any supporting evidence.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed yesterday that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has cleared him of corruption over the US$700 million or RM2.6 billion donation in his personal accounts, according to reports in the News Straits Times and The Malay Mail Online.

“Don't say I sell the country, I won't sell the country. I'm the prime minister who will take responsibility for whatever I do… that's why MACC has said it is not corruption and not 1MDB money,” he was reported saying during the opening of the Bandar Tun Razak Umno division meeting yesterday.

I’m simply amazed at how the Prime Minister of Malaysia can twist the statement by the MACC to claim that he has been cleared of corruption and wrongdoings. I had to re-read the MACC statement issued on August 3rd to see if I have read its content wrongly.

“The result of the investigation found that the fund totalling RM2.6 billion allegedly deposited into the accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was a contribution from donors, and not from 1MDB,” the commission said in the statement.

The MACC statement however never stated that the “contribution from donors” does not involve corruption or gratification as defined in the MACC Act. While the statement said that the money did not come from 1MDB, it did not clarify if it came from parties involved with the multi-billion ringgit transactions with 1MDB.

Furthermore if the MACC has indeed closed the case and cleared the Prime Minister, why would the MACC issue another statement two days later to clarify that "MACC would also ask Najib to give an explanation to the MACC about the donation he received"?

Hence it cannot be clearer that the MACC has never cleared the Prime Minister for receiving such dubious and suspicious “donation” from the Middle East.

What’s more, the MACC also clearly stated that it was still investigating former 1MDB subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd for the RM42 million transferred into Dato’ Seri Najib’s bank account. In fact, MACC has already made several arrests pertaining to these investigations.

In fact, if the MACC has indeed cleared Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, there would have been no need for all the drastic actions taken by the Prime Minister’s Department to intimidate, jeopardize and stall the activities of the MACC.

The police has arrested and investigated MACC officers who were investigating the Prime Minister. Two senior directors of MACC were suddenly transferred to the Prime Minister’s Office on Friday. The Special Taskforce investigating the Prime Minister has also been disbanded by the new Attorney General.

All the above actions by the Prime Minister points not towards a man who is “cleared” and innocent, but to one who is using and abusing all his powers to suppress and obstruct any further investigations into the dodgy RM2.6 billion mysterious donation.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is acting like a man who fears the truth exposed and chooses to lie and twist facts in his attempts to sweep the damning evidence under the carpet.

If the Prime Minister really believes he is innocent, he must immediately reinstate the Special Taskforce and grant them complete independence to finish their investigations without fear or favour. Otherwise, Malaysians cannot be blamed for expressing their own judgement on the matter.

Tony Pua

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

My Open Letter to the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Mr David Cameron

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

Welcome back to Malaysia. It is an honour that you have decided to return to my country so soon after your last trip in April 2012.

Let me first take this opportunity to congratulate you on the recent successful re-election of your government. For all its oft-cited shortcomings, the British democratic system remains among the most free and fair in the world, with the Westminster an institution most countries like ours look up to.

I am also extremely encouraged by the increasing assertiveness of UK’s foreign policy which seeks not only to serve the British national interest but equally to establish a minimum moral and ethical standards in a world increasingly dominated by greed and self-interest.

At a forum entitled “Building the world we want by 2030 through transparency and accountability” during the 69th UN General Assembly on September 24th 2014, you highlighted the fact that “the more corruption in your society, the poorer your people are.” You admonished those who refused to deal with corruption. “Some people don’t want to include these issues in the goals. I say: don’t let them get away with it,” you said.

Just last month, you wrote in the Huffington Post to implore the G7 to place priority on fighting corruption, using the FIFA scandal to provide the impetus. You argued eloquently that

…at the heart of Fifa is a lesson about tackling corruption that goes far deeper. Corruption at Fifa was not a surprise. For years it lined the pockets of those on the inside and was met with little more than a reluctant sigh.

The same is true of corruption the world over. Just as with Fifa, we know the problem is there, but there is something of an international taboo over pointing the finger and stirring up concerns… But we just don't talk enough about corruption. This has got to change.

You have since 2013 led a mission to ensure Britain's network of overseas territories and Crown dependencies, like Cayman and British Virgin Islands, signed up to a new clampdown on tax evasion, aimed at promoting transparency and exchange of information between tax jurisdictions.

As you said, "we need to know more about who owns which company - beneficial ownership - because that is how a lot of people and a lot of companies avoid tax, using secretive companies in secretive locations.”

Yesterday, your speech in Singapore was pointed and direct. You told the listening Singapore students that “London is not a place to stash your dodgy cash”.

“I want Britain to be the most open country in the world for investment. But I want to ensure that all this money is clean money. There is no place for dirty money in Britain. Indeed, there should be no place for dirty money anywhere.”

You rightly pointed out that “by lifting the shroud of secrecy”, we can “stop corrupt officials or organised criminals using anonymous shell companies to invest their ill-gotten gains in London property, without being tracked down.”

We, Malaysians need you to make the very same points in our country. Making the above points in Singapore is good, but it is like preaching to the converted as our neighbour is ranked 7th in the 2014 Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.

The leaders of the Malaysian government on the other hand, are embroiled in a financial scandal of epic proportions.

In particular, our Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, whom you are to meet has been recently accused by the Wall Street Journal that he has received in his personal account cash deposits amounting to nearly USD700 million in 2013. It is a damning but substantiated allegation which he has steadfastly refused to deny.

Some, if not all of the money could be linked to state-owned 1MDB which is crippled by USD11 billion of debt, requiring billions of ringgit of emergency bailout funds by the Malaysian tax-payers. I am certain that you have been briefed on leaked documents clearly points to an incriminating trail of plunder and international money-laundering across Singapore, the Middle East, the United States, Switzerland and yes, the United Kingdom.

The New York Times and other media outfits have also raised questions about how his family owns properties, in New York, Beverly Hills and London worth tens of millions of dollars. These properties were purchased with the same opaque “shell companies” which you have rightly censured.

The sheer scale of the sums involved makes the FIFA bribery scandal look like child’s play. This is the very reason for the drastic iron-fisted actions Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has taken over the past two weeks. As you would have found out by now, he has sacked the Attorney-General who was leading the investigating taskforce on the above scandals. He has also sacked the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for questioning the 1MDB shenanigans in a Cabinet reshuffle designed to stifle inquiries into the subject matter.

The newly promoted Deputy Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi who is also the Home Minister, acted to suspend the country’s leading business papers, The Edge Weekly and The Financial Daily last week because they played a leading role in uncovering the multi-billion dollar scam to defraud Malaysians. Can you ever imagine the UK Financial Times being suspended?

I have on the other hand, been in a relentless pursuit to uncover the conspiracy to defraud the country at the very highest levels since 2010. Earlier in March this year, I became the first Member of Parliament to be sued for defamation by a Prime Minister in the country in a blatant attempt to muzzle my strident criticisms.

When that failed, I have found out last week that I’ve also become the first Member of Parliament ever to be barred from travelling overseas, without any reasons, valid or otherwise, being provided. The only plausible reason for such a drastic action against my right to travel is that I will soon be arrested for my troubles to expose the truth and highlight the staggering size of embezzlement, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust.

If the local media’s police sources were to be believed, I am most ironically being investigated under the recently amended Criminal Penal Code for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”. It is a ‘heinous’ crime which carries up to a 20-year jail sentence.

Mr Prime Minister,

You have written that you “need to find ways of giving more support and encouragement to those in business, civil society and the media who are working to fight corruption”.

Malaysians need your “support and encouragement” today. While we do not need your interference over our sovereign affairs, we also do not need any pretentious praise embedded into polite diplomatic speak which will lend any legitimacy desperately sought by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s administration.

We also hope that the worthy mission to increase trade relations between our two countries with great historical links will not relegate your goals to “make the global business environment more hostile to corruption and to support the investigators and prosecutors who can help bring the perpetrators to justice.”

We pray for your wisdom to speak resolutely on Britain’s zero tolerance against corruption and money laundering. For Malaysia, the façade of a moderate Westminster-like democracy masks many ugly truths of social injustice, political oppression and extensive corruption.

Like you, I’ve had the immeasurable privilege of completing my degree in the best university in the UK, which ranks among the best in the world (if not the best). We completed the same course in Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) but I was 6 years your junior.

While you received a first class honours and I missed the cut, I hope that our alma mater has embedded in us the moral fortitude to play our little roles in building a better world.

I will end my letter with a quote from our fellow alumnus and PPE graduate, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi who most pertinently said, “sometimes I think that a parody of democracy could be more dangerous than a blatant dictatorship, because that gives people an opportunity to avoid doing anything about it”.

Thank you for listening, Mr Prime Minister.

Tony Pua
Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara