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

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Rahman Dahlan, Your Loyalty is Truly Admirable...But the Truth Will Always Surface

Why is Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan trying to protect those who are guilty to embezzlement, misappropriation and fraud by citing non-existent rules which prevent the Auditor-General Interim Report on 1MDB from being made public?

On Thursday, I had called upon the Finance and Prime Minister to direct the Auditor-General to make public its findings in the Interim Report on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Based on the information which is provided in the report, all questions of whether the 1MDB-Petrosaudi data which was exposed by The Sarawak Report and other media outlets such as The Edge was tampered, fabricated, doctored or otherwise will be immediately put to rest.

However, Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director, Dato’ Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan prefers to keep the truth in the dark by citing non-existent clauses in the Parliamentary Standing Order which alleged prevents the Prime Minister from making public the report.

Malaysiakini reported on Friday that Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan argued that “the prime minister doesn't have the power to make the AG's interim report on 1MDB public since it's bound by a parliamentary standing order. In fact, information submitted or discussed in the PAC cannot be made public by members of the PAC until they are submitted to Dewan Rakyat.”

The Minister’s claim is complete and utter nonsense. While the proceedings of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) cannot indeed be made public until the PAC’s report is tabled in Parliament, that’s the PAC’s report and not any Auditor-General’s report. PAC has absolutely no power to prevent any document submitted to the committee to be separately made available to the public or any other party.

I’ve taken the trouble to relook at the Parliamentary Standing Orders, the Audit Act 1957 and the Federal Constitution with regards to the role and responsibility of the Auditor-General (AG). I found that there is absolutely no clause which forbids the making public of any investigations, audit or findings by the AG.

All that is necessary for it to happen is a directive from the Finance Minister whom the AG reports to. The question is therefore, what is the real reason why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is stubbornly resistant to making public the Interim Report which contains more than sufficient information and documents to confirm or dispel the various confusing allegations and counter-allegations around 1MDB?

For instance, Malaysians will be able to confirm, once and for all, if The Sarawak Report has indeed fabricated or tampered documents relating to the 1MDB-Petrosaudi investment transactions. Or whether The Edge which have had their publication licenses suspended, did indeed print damaging reports against 1MDB based on “unverified information”?

Perhaps more importantly, the Interim Report can testify to whether there was an evil conspiracy to bring down a democratically-elected government as alleged by Barisan Nasional leaders or, was it a coming together of patriotic, right-thinking individuals who want to ensure government leaders and individuals behind billions of ringgit of corruption and misappropriation are punished for their evil crimes?

Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan should stop giving flimsy and untenable excuses to prevent the Interim Report from being made public. The more he does so, the more the people will believe that the Najib administration is hell-bent on hiding the truth and the truth is billions of 1MDB funds have been lost through embezzlement and criminal breach of trust. It will reinforce the perception that the Minister is doing his utmost to protect the criminals guilty of the above fraudulent multi-billion ringgit transactions.

The Minister must realise that the truth will always find it’s way to the surface, and it will never be successfully suppressed. Hence the faster the Interim Report is made public, perhaps the less damaging it will be for the Prime Minister’s and Barisan Nasional’s credibility.

Tony Pua

Saturday, July 25, 2015

1MDB Interim Report Transparency Will Clear the Storm of Unsubstantiated Allegations

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) farcical circus which is making Malaysia the butt of international derision, can be ended today if the Finance or Prime Minister instructs the Auditor-General to make public its findings in the Interim Report on 1MDB.

The sheer volume of information and misinformation, allegations and counter-allegations thrown in the media and public space is staggering and mindboggling. Not only the consumers of news – regardless of whether it is in the mainstream print media or the internet news portals – are baffled, even well-intentioned reporters are often left confused.

Take for example, the oft-repeated allegation that the Thai police have stated that a Malaysian opposition leader had met with former Petrosaudi executive, Xavier Justo who was arrested for alleged blackmail in Bangkok.

The only official quote given by news sources from Lieutanant-General Prawuth Thavornsiri was “He (Justo) met a very important person from a certain country, in Singapore. He then negotiated the selling price of the documents and later sold them to the buyer.”

Separately, in an interview with The Straits Times Singapore, he said Justo met with “many people, about 10, from the media and from political circles, even from the same party as the PM (Datuk Seri Najib)”.

It was however The New Straight Times (NST) which claimed that the Thai police confirmed Justo admitted to meeting a very important person from a Malaysian opposition party without an attributable quote. This slight of hand has since been taken as the gospel truth allowing the Barisan Nasional leaders to go on a witch-hunt against the leading critics of 1MDB.

Before this, BN leaders and many mainstream media alleged that the Thai police had confirmed that Xavier Justo tampered the information sold to third parties. For example, On 24th June in Malacca, Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that based on information obtained from the Thai authorities investigating the case, several Malaysians were alleged to have directed Justo to manipulate and tamper with information stolen from his former employers, PSI.

However, nobody could find any quotes attributable to the Thai police then which confirmed any such findings above. The allegation which was blown up by BN leaders valiantly defending 1MDB was also finally proven false when Lt Gen Prawut Thavornsiri confirmed last week that Justo “didn’t make any changes to the documents and sent the original documents (to the buyer) as digital copies.”

The entire farcical 1MDB circus has reached the heights of international scorn and derision for Malaysia. Our country’s reputation has been torn to shreds with the sheer volume of information and misinformation which has made a complete mockery of our governance system, transparency and accountability.

The Finance and Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has a very simple way to end the entire fiasco, by ending the exceedingly unhealthy speculation over whose allegations are the truth, and whose are fabricated. All he has to do is allow the Auditor-General to make public the Interim Report with the relevant attachments which was submitted to the Public Accounts Committee.

Based on the information which is provided in the report, all questions of whether the 1MDB-Petrosaudi data which was exposed by The Sarawak Report and other media outlets such as The Edge was tampered, fabricated, doctored or otherwise will be immediately put to rest.

There will be no more need to for Lester Melanyi paid video confessions. There will be no more need for countless unsubstantiated allegations and insinuations by BN Ministers against opposition leaders’ involvement in tampering data. After all, the Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah had issued a statement last week that “the Auditor-General investigating 1MDB’s activities has found no evidence of wrong doing” in the Interim Report.

Therefore, I call upon the Finance and Prime Minister to stop dragging Malaysia’s good name through the mud and immediately direct the Auditor-General to make public the 1MDB Interim Report to put to finally prove if the allegations from the 1MDB critics like us were based on hard facts and documents, or prove the BN leaders’ claims that we have cooked up our allegations with fabricated information.

Tony Pua

Do What Is Right For The Rakyat !

Are there no Ministers with any integrity and moral conscience left in the Cabinet?

As darkness descends over the country when the powers that be abuses the country’s laws to protect the despicable criminals, is there no integrity and moral conscience left in any of the 30-odd Cabinet Ministers?

The country’s most established and reputable financial newspaper group, The Edge had two of their publications suspended yesterday. The Ministry of Home Affairs stated that The Edge weekly and The Financial Daily were "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".

They were not informed of any specific instance where their reporting were allegedly prejudicial to “public order” or “national interest”. Malaysians can only guess, in all likelihood correctly, that it is due to their coverage and exposés over the RM42 billion 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Similarly earlier on Monday, the Government blocked the Sarawak Report website which was responsible for the exposé of the joint venture agreement between 1MDB and Petrosaudi International Limited as well as other incriminating emails and documents relating to the above transactions.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) even admitted that the website was blocked as a preventive measure despite not having any proof of wrongdoing by the website.

On Wednesday this week, I became possibly the first Member of Parliament in the history of Malaysia to be barred from leaving the country for unknown reasons. Again, I can only guess that it is due to my strident criticisms of the Najib administration over its management of 1MDB. In fact, if the Malaysiakini police source is to be believed, outrageous as it may be, I’m actually being investigated under Criminal Penal Code for carrying out “activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy”.

All of the above draconian actions, perhaps with more to come, are carried out despite the clear facts which have been established against 1MDB. Despite previous assurances to the contrary, the Malaysian government was forced to grant 1MDB an emergency loan of RM950 million to service its mountain of debt in February this year. Subsequently in March, the Government gave 1MDB another “letter of support” which effectively guaranteed another RM540 million of loans from Bank Exim.

More recently in June, the Ministry of Finance had to be a party to an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to indemnify the latter of its advances of at least US$1 billion to 1MDB. This desperate move was done to enable 1MDB to repay its US$975 million debt to a consortium of lenders led by Deutsche Bank.

All of the above proved beyond doubt that 1MDB has been disastrously managed. Documents which were leaked and published widely, only provided additional corroborating evidence of misappropriation, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust.

Hence, questions have been asked by many as to how the exposé of a multi-billion ringgit financial scandal of a wholly-owned Government subsidiary against national interest? The only way it could be against national interest if it were based on lies and fabricated information.

But if all these documents were indeed lies and fabricated information, why has 1MDB never disputed them and provided the undoctored versions? As the 1MDB imbroglio boiled over, there was never once 1MDB specifically refuted the allegations by The Edge, or the Sarawak Report or myself. The 1MDB executives have at best provided blanket or vague denials.

As a matter of fact, 1MDB President even lied to Malaysians that there was US$1.1 billion of cash sitting in a bank in Singapore, when in reality it was merely illiquid assets presented as “units” of indeterminate value.

Surely, we can expect some of the Ministers in the Cabinet, especially those who appear to be more intelligent like UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin or Pemandu CEO, Datuk Idris Jala to see through the façade of lies and realise the sheer scale of shenanigans committed in 1MDB.

However, despite some presence of intelligence, there is clearly no moral conscience or integrity left in the souls of these Ministers. They may not be stupid, but they no longer care for what is right or wrong.

It appears to matter not that the country is being robbed, and the eye-witnesses and whistleblowers are being shackled and punished. They will not speak against corruption and injustice because they are only interested in preserving their own political status and power.

Tony Pua

Friday, July 24, 2015

Rahman Dahlan's Not Very Strategic Strategies Against Me

It is laughable how Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan has to continuously shift goal posts in his attacks against me, each time after getting eggs on his face.

First Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan did his chicken dance to insinuate that I had met Xavier Justo without the courage to accuse me directly of meeting Justo in Fullerton Hotel in Singapore to alleged fabricate documents against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Suddenly this line of attack goes quiet after I showed my passport which had only one stamp to Singapore over the past year on 19 March 2015, well after the documents were leaked by Sarawak Report at the end of February. (I was no where near Fullerton Hotel either, by the way.)

Then there was the cock-sure press conference where the BN Strategic Communications Director “dropped a bombshell”, as reported by The Star, when he claimed to have seen a video confession by an individual allegedly involved in falsifying information contained in media reports on 1MDB.

Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan said the complainant, Lester Melanyi claimed to have substantive evidence of malicious intent on the parties involved in executing a mission dubbed "Mission to Criminalise Datuk Seri Najib and 1MDB".

But that too ended up with more eggs on the Minister’s face as not only was Lester paid for his “confession”, Lester was a bankrupt and the information was fabricated to include a “master forger” who was really a transport company employee in Norwich.

After days of bravado over the video, the Strategic Communications Director finally accepted his strategic errors and ditched his video attacks on the critics.

Yesterday, Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan shifted the goal post again, this time, calling me “a prophet of doom”. I must say, I was somewhat stunned when he raised the matter that I had warned of the economic impact of Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s market dominance and cumulative debt in his companies.

He took issue what what I argued “that the Syed Mokhtar business empire's debt of RM34.3 billion could "genuinely cause fears of bailouts with taxpayer money". I said this fear was "especially real in the light of a global economic slowdown and a fallout from the Eurozone financial crisis". I had warned the government that "in the event of default, the rakyat's monies would not be made to pay for the follies of BN cronies".

I’m responding to him now asking, what’s wrong with my statement? The debts are huge and some of his companies such as Proton, are desperately seeking support, directly or indirectly from the Government. If an economic crisis hits Malaysia, the there is no doubt that a massive bailout will be required, just like what happened to UMNO-controlled Renong Bhd in the 1990s which had RM28 billion of debt.

But even without a crisis, the people are suffering from high prices due to monopoly of the rice and sugar trade. In fact, the rakyat has to foot increased taxes in the form of GST because the Government has awarded many directly-negotiated sweetheart deals to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar’s companies, for example, the ultra-lucrative RM7.55 billion contract to supply of armoured personnel carriers.

Hence I absolutely standby everything which I’ve criticized on the Syed Mokhtar deals which are still published on my blog today.

At the same time, I’ve been questioning the highly dubious 1MDB transactions since March 2010 as well. Is the Minister serious suggesting that the RM42 billion indebted company isn’t doomed without a monster bailout from the Federal Government?

Was I not right to argue that the mounting debt was unsustainable? Isn’t it true to say that had the Government listened to the 1MDB critics way back in 2011 and 2012, the scandal-ridden company may not have needed such a massive bailout today?

So, Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan, what’s your point? Or you had none? Or that you merely want to distract attention from the Prime Minister who has yet to admit or deny that he had received nearly US$700 million in his personal bank account?

Tony Pua

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Curious Case of Lester Melanyi - How Low Can One Go ?

Lester Melanyi will receive a Letter of Demand from my lawyers this week and will have 7 days to retract and apologise for his widely publicized video statement.

Lester Melanyi has via his 2-part videos to date directly accused me of conspiring with other parties, foreign and local to fabricate and falsify information about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in order to “cheat and lie” to achieve whatever alleged objectives.

The self-confessed paid “confession” by Lester Melanyi is packed with incredulous tall tales which even the most hardcore of Barisan Nasional supporters would find hard to believe. In the latest video, he even alleged that 90% of what is published by the Sarawak Report on 1MDB was fabricated and only 10% was truthful.

If it were indeed made up of 90% lies, then I am certain that the Sarawak Report stories would have been debunked and humiliated a long time ago by 1MDB. Instead, 1MDB had over the past 6 months steadfastly refused to rebut the specific allegations which were backed with attached documents.

That is the reason why Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan did his “chicken dance” to capitalise on the above allegations politically, but was too much of a coward to accuse me of the above crimes directly.

What stunned me was Lester’s “confession” that I had “communicated once” with him in January. Allegedly I had asked him whether he was “on this 1MDB mission” and he had responded to me that he wasn’t. Instead, he had allegedly told me “to communicate with Clare (Rewcastle) directly”

I was stunned because I’ve never known or heard of a “Lester Melanyi” in my entire life before the first video, much less “communicated” with him! I almost doubted myself and actually took the trouble to search for his name in my emails and contacts list, in case my ageing memory failed me. Fortunately, or unfortunately, Lester’s allegation was completely fabricated.

However, Lester’s videos weren’t just a mere work of fiction. It is a malicious attempt designed to destroy the reputation and credibility of those who were most critical of 1MDB. Lester’s accusations meant that I had cheated and lied in my criticisms against the scandal-ridden company and that I had also conspired with other individuals to do the same via the Sarawak Report.

It is shocking how low BN Ministers will go to – relying on a fictitious confession from someone with no credibility in order to taint the critics of the Government. They don’t even bother to do some simple background checks on their dubious sources. Perhaps that is understandable because they are so desperate to distract the people’s attention from the scandal-ridden Prime Minister who has yet to deny receiving nearly US$700 million in his personal account.

Unlike Dato’ Seri Najib Razak however, I will not be writing to Lester Melanyi to seek “clarification” on his video. I’ve directed my lawyers, Gobind Singh in Klang Valley and where necessary, Chong Chieng Jen in Kuching, to issue a letter of demand against Lester and anyone else who republish or repeats his utterly baseless accusations this week.

They will have 7 days to retract and apologise publicly for their false and malicious allegations, failing which I will immediately commence a legal suit against the relevant parties.

I certainly hope that whatever fees Lester received from BN or its affiliated NGOs for the made-up “confession” is worth his while, and more importantly perhaps is to request Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan to foot his legal bills.

Tony Pua

Thursday, July 16, 2015

PAS Has Every Right to Contest Against Us in the Next GE

It is the democratic right of PAS to contest in any and every seat in Malaysia, but perhaps they should be more worried about hanging on to most of their gains in the last General Elections.

I have read with mild amusement the announcement by PAS Election Director, Datuk Mustafa Ali, that the party will field candidates in DAP-contested seats in the next General Elections.

Let me state clearly that it is the democratic right of any party to field candidates in any seat throughout the country, and that would obviously include PAS. Datuk Mustafa Ali is even welcomed to field a candidate in Petaling Jaya Utara to provide the voters with an additional choice for selection.

As PAS has officially terminated all forms of political cooperation with DAP, this will include all cooperation between the parties in Selangor despite the fact that PAS representatives remain in the state government.

DAP Selangor has met and confirmed that we will not be providing any assistance or support to any PAS candidate in the state for the next general election.

Instead, I will direct all DAP leaders and branches in the state to start active work in certain seats contested by PAS with the objective of contesting them in the next general election.

These seats will include, but are not limited to:

No Constituency % Malay voters Majority % PAS
1 Seri Serdang 45.5% 16,251 62.9%
2 Dusun Tua 50.9% 4,701 55.1%
3 Taman Templer 50.9% 7,467 58.2%
4 Tanjong Sepat 52.0% 682 51.4%
5 Chempaka 53.1% 9,608 63.1%
6 Lembah Jaya 54.0% 8,713 60.5%
7 Paya Jaras 56.2% 5,522 57.2%
8 Meru 58.6% 9,079 62.9%

In addition, DAP Selangor would like to express our unequivocal support for PKR and any other parties contesting in Selangor which subscribes fully to the common policy framework. These parties should be able to work in a coalition built upon consensus, in the interest of protecting of all Malaysians in a democratic multi-racial environment.

The final list of seats DAP Selangor contests will ultimately be subjected to amicable negotiations with our new post-Pakatan Rakyat coalition parties which does not include PAS. The objective will be for the new coalition to continue our record against Barisan Nasional in Selangor and contribute towards winning Putrajaya in the next General Elections.

Tony Pua

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

And There Still Isn't a 1MDB Denial !

1MDB did not deny that the Financial Statements submitted to its lending banks were tampered.

I read with some amusement, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)'s rant against my accusations that the scandal-ridden company had tampered its March 2014 financial statements submitted ‎to its lending banks.

1MDB said, "it is unclear to 1MDB on what basis YB Tony Pua, a third party who is not a banker to 1MDB - nor privy to the company's internal dealings, is making such unsubstantiated and damaging allegations against 1MDB."

The heavily indebted company further added, ‎"in any event, interaction between 1MDB and its bankers, including confidentiality obligations, are governed by contract and national law."

It is now clear that the standard operating procedure for 1MDB if it is unable to answer straightforward questions is to first, discredit the critic or source and second, to cite "confidentiality obligations".

A simple read of 1MDB’s 3-paragraph statement will leave anyone crystal clear that there was no denial of the very serious tampering allegations. The “confidentiality” argument doesn’t even hold water because we are not asking for the documents to be revealed but whether the documents have been tampered.

1MDB further lamented that "‎such actions impact the day to day operations of 1MDB, a 100% government owned company, and the implementation of the 1MDB rationalisation plan."

However, 1MDB has no one to truly blame other than itself for any further damage ‎to its sullied reputation because it has pointedly refused to bury the allegations with an unequivocal denial.

While 1MDB tried to make light the situation by claiming that no Bank has declared an "Event of Default" on the distressed company, it should not forget that Deutsche Bank has only recently demanded an early repayment for its US$975 million loan because of similar breaches to the loan agreement.

The Singapore Business Times ‎had reported in May this year that the US$975mil loan was secured with 1MDB’s wholly owned Brazen Sky’s US$1.103 billion kept at Swiss private bank BSI Singapore.‎ The report, quoting sources, said the “securitisation document” for the loan has now been deemed “incomplete”, as one of the covenants was allegedly not fulfilled.

If ‎1MDB could mislead banks about its nonexistent cash in its bank account, then it certainly does not stretch the imagination for the company to tamper its Audited Accounts submitted to its lenders.

After 1MDB’s non-statement, there is now greater reason to believe that the audited accounts have indeed been doctored. As stated yesterday during my press conference, if discrepancies are found with the Financial Statements as I have alleged, I call upon the Bank to immediately file Police reports to protect its interest and that of its shareholders.

Tony Pua

1MDB Interim Report Will Silence Dato' Husni Hanadzlah's Lies

Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah blatantly lied that the preliminary report by the Auditor-General “has found no evidence of wrong doing” against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)

As a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), we have been asked by the Auditor-General (AG) to embargo the findings and information provided in the Interim Report on 1MDB. The members of PAC hence refrained from making comments to respect the wishes of the AG while awaiting the completion of the full report.

However, I read with complete shock that the Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah issued a statement yesterday that “the Auditor-General investigating 1MDB’s activities has found no evidence of wrong doing”.

Why did the Minister have the special privilege of publicly commenting and concluding on the Interim Report when the PAC members were told to keep our mouths shut?

What is worse however, is the fact that the Minister blatantly lied about the findings in the Auditor-General’s Report. While I will continue to refrain from referring to the specifics of the Interim Report, any normal person reading the report will be stunned by the sheer number and scale of infractions and transgressions committed by 1MDB and its officers cited in the report.

Hence it boggles the mind as to why Dato’ Seri Husni Hanadzlah saw it fit as to make the unilateral announcement that the AG “found no evidence of wrong doing” to create the false impression that 1MDB has been cleared of all its alleged shenanigans.

The Second Finance Minister even took the trouble to point out that the “transfer of USD700 million to certain individual does not arise”. However, we don’t know if Dato’ Seri Husni was referring Dato’ Seri Najib Razak or Low Taek Jow as he who must not be named.

Regardless of who the Minister was referring to, the AG never cleared the “transfer of USD700 million” in the Interim Report. On the contrary, the USD700 million transaction raises many questions which the National Audit Department said it needed to investigate further before making its final conclusions.

Therefore, while the Minister had hoped that “all the baseless allegations will be put to rest”, the reverse holds greater truth. I have been very encouraged by the efforts which were made by the National Audit Department to discover the truth, despite the lack of cooperation given by 1MDB.

If the Minister still believes he is right and justified, I would echo the call made by the DAP Parliamentary Leader, Lim Kit Siang, for the Interim Report to be made public for all to judge.

At the end of the day, after reading the Interim Report, I am now convinced that all the lies, denials, mismanagement and misappropriations by 1MDB and all who are involved in the decision-making process will be duly proven and exposed.

Tony Pua

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

The Power of Sly Wordplay - Small Change, Big Difference

Did 1Malaysia Development Bhd doctor its March 2014 Financial Statements to its bankers?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has been making unsubstantiated accusations that the leaked incriminating information exposed by the Sarawak Report was “tampered”. Despite the many attempts to discredit the leaked information by 1MDB, the Prime Minister and other Cabinet Members, they were not able to point to a single expose made by the Sarawak Report which was allegedly “tampered”.

The irony is hence not lost when 1MDB itself has committed the same offence at a grander scale.

I call upon all Banks which lent money to 1MDB to refer the latest audited financial statements for March 2014 in their possession, provided by the company.

Based on the copy of the Audited Accounts obtained from the Companies Commission (SSM), the second paragraph of section 18 (ii) on page 93, should read

As of the date of this report, the amounts received from the redemption of investments of US$1.22 billion (RM4.03 billion) in the SPC above have been substantially utilised for the purposes of debt interest payment, working capital and payments to Aabar as refundable deposits pursuant to a Settlement Agreement to extinguish the Options Agreements…

However, the paragraph above has in all likelihood, been materially tampered. The copies of the Audited Accounts in the Banks’ possession would instead probably read

"…the amounts received from the redemption of investments of US$1.22 billion (RM4.03 billion) in the SPC above have been substantially set-aside for the purposes of debt interest payment, working capital and payments to Aabar as refundable deposits…"

By changing just one word, from “utilised” to “set-aside”, 1MDB has transformed entirely the meaning of the paragraph. Based on the certified true copy lodged with the SSM, the auditors confirmed that the US$1.22 billion redeemed has been more or less used up.

However, by amending to “set-aside”, the Audited Accounts would provide a false assurance to the lenders that 1MDB has already “set-aside” nearly US$1.22 billion of cash to pay them when the interest and loans become due.

In fact, I have valid reasons to believe that the above isn’t the only alteration on the 2014 Financial Statements by 1MDB. I call upon all lenders to 1MDB to peruse through the financial statements with a fine toothcomb to discover all the discrepancies between the original copy lodged with SSM, and the doctored copy in their hands.

This is a very serious issue because it would become a clear breach of warranty and representation made by the Company to the Banks. Such a breach would be automatically tantamount to an “Event of Default” typical in nearly all loan agreements between lenders and borrowers.

Based on publicly available information, 1MDB still owes RM3.5 billion to a consortium of 4 local banks – Maybank, RHB, Alliance and HwangDBS Bank. Other banks with hundreds of millions of ringgit in exposure to 1MDB include Ambank and Affin Bank. By triggering the “Event of Default”, all of 1MDB’s outstanding loans to these institutions will become immediately due and payable.

What is even worse is that the doctoring of 1MDB’s financial statements is a very serious criminal offence under the Penal Code. For example, Section 477A on “Falsification of Accounts” states that

Whoever… wilfully and with intent to defraud, destroys, alters, mutilates or falsifies any book, paper, writing, valuable security or account… or wilfully and with intent to defraud, makes or abets the making of any false entry in, or omits or alters, or abets the omission or alteration of any material particular from or in any such book, paper, writing, valuable security or account, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years, or with fine, or with both.

If discrepancies are found with the Financial Statements as I have alleged, I call upon the Bank to immediately file Police reports to protect its interest and that of its shareholders.

In fact, if 1MDB is now so audacious as to doctor its financial statements, I am now seriously concerned about the integrity of the various documents which it has submitted to the Auditor-General – including the minutes of the Board of Directors, Directors’ resolutions and other relevant documents. I would be very worried if they have been similarly tampered to hide the wrongdoings of the company and its directors and officers.

Tony Pua

Friday, July 03, 2015


Why is the Home Minister intimidating the The Edge when it is 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which has been giving flip-flop answers to the media?

The Edge Publications have confirmed that they have received a show cause letter from the Home Ministry which accused them of “publishing articles on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that have created confusion and doubts about the government and our financial institutions.” They were also accused of relying on an Internet portal for our articles.

Malaysians want to know why the Home Ministry is intimidating the media with regards to its dutiful reporting on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal? The degree of intimidation is so brazen and crass that the show cause letter did not even specify the allegedly offending articles.

The show cause letter is also a culmination to the entire week of demonising the former employee of Petrosaudi International Limited (PSI), Xavier Justo who was arrested in Thailand for allegedly attempting to blackmail his former company. The Barisan Nasional (BN) controlled media, Ministers and BN leaders went into an overdrive to twist the arrest with the tampering of leaked documents and correspondences between PSI and 1MDB.

The above was a clear-cut, premeditated, calculated and concerted attempt to discredit the leaked information and consequently all negative criticisms of 1MDB. After all, in a quote attributed to Nazi propagandist Joseph Goebbels, “if you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it”.

What is important to note however, ever since the first explosive joint venture agreement between 1MDB and PSI was leaked in mid-February, neither 1MDB, PSI nor the Malaysian government has ever once specifically denied any contents of the relevant and cited exposed documents and email correspondences.

The above included highly incriminating conversations between Jho Low and his associates with PSI officials which points to how the former masterminded the entire transaction. They also included highly damaging documents pointing towards the illicit misappropriation of billions of ringgit of funds from 1MDB approved by the latter’s top management. The emails, documents and money trail also demonstrated how 1MDB’s funds were abused and disguised as foreign direct investment from the Middle East to acquire politically connected companies in Malaysia.

Despite the severity of the allegations, PSI, 1MDB or even Jho Low has not even bothered to provide a single iota of evidence to prove how the leaked data and documents were allegedly forged or tampered with over the past 5 months. Hence we would like to ask the Home Minister, Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi – on what basis are you issuing the show cause letter against The Edge Publications, or any other parties publishing these stories for that matter?

In fact, it would have made more sense if the Home Minister had issued a show cause letter to The Edge (or other local publications) for publishing some of the statements issued by the top management of 1MDB, which have since been proven to be outright lies.

For example, the President of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy told the Singapore Business Times that the balance of US$1.103 billion of investment in the Cayman Islands have been “redeemed” and the “cash” was parked in a Singapore bank.

"The cash is in our accounts and in US dollars. I can assure you (about that) . . . I have seen the statements," said Mr Arul in an apparent attempt to calm rising anxiety over the status of these funds parked offshore which were managed by little-known fund managers.

The story was first published on 9 February 2015 and republished in nearly all local media. It was subsequently discovered that there is no US$1.103 billion of cash in the Singapore bank based on a parliamentary reply I received on 19 May 2015. The above is proof that Arul lied through his teeth because he even attempted to justify why the “cash” was kept offshore.

“There's a very sensible and simple reason for that… We are keeping the money in US dollars as we have US$6.5 billion in bonds out there, in which interest payments come up to nearly US$400 million a year," he said.

Unfortunately the ugly truth is, Malaysians remain clueless as to what exactly is parked in the Singapore bank remains a complete mystery even today.

Should not the Home Minister therefore go after the parties who have lied and misled Malaysians over the missing billions of ringgit of taxpayers’ money? Instead what we get is the disgraceful behaviour of the Ministry doing its utmost to gag and punish those who are public-spirited and acted with integrity to expose the wrong-doings, embezzlement, misappropriation and criminal breach of trust by public officials entrusted with tens of billions of ringgit.

Tony Pua

How is the Edge Expected to Defend Itself from Baseless, Vague Accusations?

Why do we have a Home Minister who doesn’t at all understand the rule of law and behave like a tin-pot dictator of a banana republic?

The Home Ministry has issued The Edge Publications a show cause letter accusing them of “publishing articles on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that have created confusion and doubts about the government and our financial institutions.” The Edge was also are also accused of relying on an Internet portal for our articles.

However, the degree of intimidation is so brazen and crass that the show cause letter did not even specify the allegedly offending articles.

It was only fair that if The Edge was to be given a fair opportunity to respond to the letter, it must know what offence it has allegedly committed in the first place. Hence, The Edge rightfully requested for information on the offensive articles the paper has published more than 300 articles on 1MDB alone, Bernama, Bloomberg, Reuters, Business Times, Euromoney – alongside their own reporting from the media channels in The Edge Media Group.

However, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismissed the request for information outright in the most arrogant and unbecoming fashion.

"Whoever eats chillies will feel the heat, there is no need for them to ask us which articles involved matters which are not true… They should know." he reportedly told The Star.

The reply only proves that our Home Minister has zero sense of natural justice and tramples on the rule of law.

You cannot charge an accused of committing an alleged crime without informing the accused of the specific crime he has allegedly committed. This is among the first principles of natural justice of the English law, the European Convention of Human Rights and the United Nations.

How is The Edge expected to defend itself when it doesn’t even know what wrongdoing the Home Minister is accusing them of?

Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi should stop behaving like a tin-pot dictator of a banana republic. The Minister is making Malaysia the laughing stock of the world and destroying the country’s reputation in the process.

Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi must withdraw the show cause letter to The Edge if he can’t even specify which article did The Edge publish which was based on allegedly false information. His attention will be better appreciated to ensure that our enforcement agencies like the police are up to speed when dealing with the real crimes against the Government like the Mara property kickback scandal and the embezzlement of funds from 1MDB.

Tony Pua

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Do We Always Let Others Deal with Our Own Problems?

Is it a standard operating procedure of the Royal Malaysian Police today to abdicate investigations of high profile cases to the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC)?

The Royal Malaysian Police was first criticised for being tardy with the investigations over the alleged embezzlement of Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) funds by its top executives over the purchase of a property last Tuesday.

The Australian police reacted within 2 days of The Age news report by raiding the offices and residences of the relevant protaganists in Melbourne. On the other hand, the Malaysian Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department director, Datuk Seri Mortadza Nazarene, said “We are always ready to help in any way but so far, we have not received any request from Australia. The investigation is being conducted in Melbourne and we can only get involved if local police ask for assistance”.

When the Malaysian police was then accused of failing to take action despite the fact that the crime involved the funds of Malaysian taxpayers entrusted with the Government agency, Mara, the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had the cheek to tell Malaysians that "We see no elements of CBT in this case, so the MACC will conduct the entire investigation" on the 28 June 2015.

This led to further criticism, asking how the Police so suddenly, and so quickly decided that there wasn’t any element of criminal breach of trust, or any other penal code offences in the disgraceful Mara scandal?

I had asked if it was because the Minister in-charge of Mara, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal declared on 27 June 2015 that the transaction was in accordance to procedure and hence, above board?

However, based on Section 405 of our Penal Code specifically states that “whoever, being in any manner entrusted with property… dishonestly misappropriates, or converts to his own use, that property… commits “criminal breach of trust”.

Clearly in this case, there is a prima facie case of Mara top officials “dishonestly appropriates the money” when they were entrusted to invest funds allocated to Mara by the Government. The misappropriation was carried out via the inflation of the price to acquire a property, Dudley International House in Melbourne.

The criticisms were particularly pertinent given that The Age has in its possession, "false invoices" to prove that a bribe was indeed paid. "This paperwork can all be provided to Malaysian authorities. It is already in the hands of the Australian federal police," according to the journalist from The Age, Nick McKenzie.

It is shameful that it is the Australian journalists who are asking the Malaysian Police the right questions. The Age and Sydney Morning Herald's Asia-Pacific editor John Garnaut asked, "[the officials] stole A$4.75 million in Malaysian government money, taxpayer money, and we documented this theft beyond any reasonable doubt. Is Mara arguing that the agency's officials could have gotten away with stealing more?"

The question Malaysians must similarly ask, why is Bukit Aman doing their utmost to wash their hands off the case, pretending that there is no crime committed under their jurisdiction? Perhaps more importantly, who are they trying to protect?

Tony Pua