Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is free to commence legal action against either one or both of us over comments made regarding MCA's land grab in Petaling Jaya

The MCA Vice-President and former Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara (PJU), Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun has today, threatened to sue Yeo Bee Yin, state assemblywoman for Damansara Utama and/or Tony Pua, the current Member of Parliament for PJU.

The is with regards to remarks we have made about her position and role in a land grab scandal in Petaling Jaya between 2006 to 2008 which was discovered recently.  This was a 1-acre piece of land which was awarded to MCA for RM1 per square feet or RM52,000 in total.  A market price estimate of the land value based on approximately RM400 per square feet would add up to RM17.5 million.

We have established the following facts:

1.     Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun was the Member of Parliament for PJU during the period concerned.

2.     Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is MCA Vice-President today.  She was also the MCA Wanita deputy chairperson during the period concerned.

3.     Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is fully aware of the land application and transaction where the BN state government then granted the ownership of the land to MCA.

4.     Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is fully aware of the location of the land as she was at one point in time initiating or encouraging a dragonfruits farming project there.

5.     The land was formerly occupied by squatters before they were evicted by the then BN state government.

6.     The land deal has profited MCA immensely at the expense of the state government and the people of Selangor.

7.     The land is currently zoned as a “water body” [“Badan Air (Sungai)] in the Petaling Jaya Local Plan (RTPJ) and MCA has applied to convert the “water body” into a “commercial and services” zone.

8.     This is not the first land grab scandal in Selangor by MCA, but the first discovered in Petaling Jaya.

Therefore, we questioned:

1.     What is the role played by Datin Paduka Chew, whether directly or indirectly to support the land grab?

2.     Did Datin Paduka Chew object to or at any point of time attempted to stop the land application by MCA given that she was fully aware of the transaction?  Or did she close one eye and placed the interest of MCA above that of her voters?

3.     Does Datin Paduka Chew, as a very senior MCA party leader believe that the land grab by MCA is an ethical exercise and not a breach of trust of the people who have voted for her and her party then?

4.     If Datin Paduka Chew still have any conscience left in her, would she agree with us that the land be returned to the state government so that it can remain as a “water body”, acting as a buffer to prevent flooding along Sg Kayu Ara in Kg Chempaka?  Or at the very least, would she agree that it is only proper for a political party pay the full premium for the land which was alienated by the state government?

We find absolutely nothing defamatory in the above questions and facts, which were expressed in the purported defamatory video published by Yeo on her Facebook and our joint press conferences over the issue.  Hence there is absolutely no reason for the video to be taken down.

Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun is free to sue Yeo and/or Pua as that is her prerogative.  However, our genuine advice to the former Deputy Minister is, if she is concerned about her political reputation being damaged, she will be much better off winning the hearts and minds of the people by declaring that all parcels of land alienated by state governments all over the country to MCA be returned to the respective state governments, failing which the premium for the parcels of land be paid in full.

Tony Pua & Yeo Bee Yin

Monday, September 18, 2017

Did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak make empty and meaningless promises to the President of the United States just to curry favour and show off?

In the viral 6-minute meeting between Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and President Trump, accompanied by their respective delegations, the Malaysian Prime Minister pulled out all stops to impress the American President.

Dato’ Seri Najib did not waste time with pleasantries and started his speech with how much Malaysian firms and funds will purchase from, and invest with US companies.  He said “Number one, we want to help you in terms of strengthening the US economy.”

Among the most controversial promise by Dato’ Seri Najib was for the Malaysian Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to investment an additional “three to four billion dollars” to “support... infrastructure redevelopment in the United States.”

Ordinary Malaysians, and in particular, contributors to the EPF are up in arms over the Prime Minister’s callous promise to the American president. How is it that we are now spending billions of our saving to support “infrastructure redevelopment in the United States” when we are in desperate need for the same in Malaysia?

The irony cannot be greater when only recently Dato’ Seri Najib Razak secured a RM55 billion loan from China’s Export-Import Bank in order to award a contract to China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC) to build the controversially priced East Coast Rail Link.  We don’t have money to build our own infrastructure and our Prime Minister wants to help make America great again?

However, perhaps after realising the political damage which his ‘promises’ to President Trump have caused, the Prime Minister is now telling Malaysians something different.

In his Malaysia Day speech given in Kota Kinabalu, he said “when I said that the EPF wanted to invest in the US, they (opposition) said it was no use and it was better to invest in our own country.”

The prime minister explained that the EPF had funds totalling RM760 billion which could be invested not only in the US, but in 39 other countries.  “The decision was not made by politicians, it was made by its investment committee,” he added.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak even taunted the critics as “shallow, not that smart”.

The Prime Minister is obviously trying to be disingenuous here, promising President Trump one thing, but justifying something completely different to Malaysians.

Since Dato’ Seri Najib claimed that “the decision was not made by politicians”, we would like to ask him if the EPF investment committee has already made the decision to invest “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”?

We are not questioning the right for EPF to invest overseas.  It is EPF’s prerogative to invest a certain amount of funds overseas after the necessary analysis and due diligence have been carried out by the investment committee.  However, as far as Malaysians are aware, there has been no such definitive resolution or commitment by the EPF to make the “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”.

Hence, if indeed investment decisions at the EPF are “not made by politicians” as justified by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, and that EPF has also not made any decision to invest “three to four billion dollars” to “support infrastructure redevelopment in the United States”, then we can only conclude that our Prime Minister boasted empty promises to the American President.

The question then is, why did Dato’ Seri Najib Razak have to go out of his way to impress the Trump administration?  The answer appears to be obvious, from his stay the the Trump Hotel to his boasts at the White House, the Prime Minister pulled out all stops to curry favour the American President in order to hope that the United States government will go easy on the single largest anti-kleptocracy money laundering seizure in the country.

We call upon the EPF and Khazanah Nasional to maintain independent financial discipline, free from political pressures and interference, in carrying out their investment mandates.  This is to ensure that the life-savings of Malaysian workers and the assets of the Malaysian people will remain safe and secure, protected for generations to come.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must sue Newsweek and CNN for calling him a “crook” to redeem not only his reputation, but also the pride and honour of Malaysians

Internationally renowned journal, Newsweek published an article by former World Bank President, Paul Wolfowitz with the headline “Trump meeting with Malaysian crook Najib reeks of the swamp” on 13 September 2017.

At the same time, internationally renowned broadcaster, CNN reported the meeting between President Trump and Dato’ Seri Najib Razak in its “Conflict of Interest Watch” story.  They reported “Najib’s alleged role in what the United States Justice Department called an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian fund, money that the Justice Department says should have been used to help the Malaysian people but instead was used by a small number of individual to fuel their, quote: "astonishing greed".

There is absolutely no question that the reputation of Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has been torn to shreds by the international media.  The Prime Minister’s vain attempts at lifting his profile as an adored international leader invited to the White House by President Trump have not only failed to achieve his goals, but destroyed whatever semblance of credibility he might have had left.

Worse, he isn’t the sole or biggest victim of being labelled an international “crook”.  The utlimate victim is Malaysia and its citizens as we have no where to hide our faces as we have been shamed almost beyond redemption.  We have lost our honour and pride when the leader of our country becomes an infamous “crook” while Malaysia earns the kleptocracy badge.

What ‘face’ do we have left when our Prime Minister goes to the United States to help make America great again by offering their economy our crown jewels worth some RM60 billion, but all we get from the US media is mud thrown at our faces?

We call upon the Prime Minister to put together the best team of international lawyers to sue Newsweek and CNN for defamation and publication of “fake news” to redeem not only his reputation, but our honour and pride.

After all, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is well-known for going to the Court to protect his so-called reputation.  I have been at the receiving end of two such defamation – one in 2014 and one in 2017 with regards to 1MDB, both of which are still undergoing the legal process.

At the very least, the Prime Minister’s lawyer, Datuk Hafarizam Harun should inform both Newsweek and CNN that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is open to an apology.  He has offered me the same option just two days ago, claiming that the Prime Minister “is open-minded and would accept an 'I am sorry Mr Prime Minister'” in order for a legal settlement to be reached.

However, if Dato’ Seri Najib Razak doesn’t even have the courage to salvage his reputation and credibility internationally by suing Newsweek and CNN, then the entire world would only be convinced that he is guilty as charged.  In which case, there would of course be absolutely no reason for me to offer Dato’ Seri Najib Razak any apology for pretty much saying the same things.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak offered President Trump our crown jewels worth billions of dollars and got nothing in return

The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s 6-minute meeting in the Oval Office has become the laughing stock for tens, perhaps hundreds of millions of people around the world.

The historic meeting with President Trump should have been a triumph for Dato’ Seri Najib, a testimony that Malaysia has arrived under his leadership to be treated as an equal partner to the United States.

Instead, the video of the meeting which has gone viral around the world showcased a desperate Prime Minister paying tribute to his imperial masters.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak boasted of a US$10 billion (RM42 billion) deal by Malaysia Airlines to acquire Boeing jetliners and even publicly offered to “persuade” AirAsia to purchase GE engines.  That’s like giving not only your daughter’s hand in marriage to the emperor, but trying to offer the cousin’s as well!

As a matter of fact, Malaysians have no idea how the deeply loss-making Malaysia Airlines which needed a RM6 billion bailout from Khazanah in 2014 can afford potential US$10 billion acquisition of aircrafts from Boeing.

The Prime Minister then further offered another “three to four billion dollars” from Malaysians’ Employee Provident Fund (EPF) to “support... infrastructure redevelopment in the United States.”
The icing on the cake was that Khazanah, our sovereign wealth fund, would also invest more money in United States companies, having already invested more than US$400 million to date.

And all we got in return was a “Thank you very much. Appreciate it.”  You could almost imagine Trump quietly saying “You can go now” in his head.

Malaysians have never felt more shocked and shamed at the international stage.  The Prime Minister offered our crown jewels worth some RM60 billion in a vain attempt to please President Trump’s “Make America Great Again” campaign, and we got absolutely nothing in return.

President Trump didn’t even try to pretend that Malaysia got anything in return – for example, the promise of ‘potential’ investments or increased imports of made-in-Malaysia products or visa-free travel for Malaysians to the United States.

We are outraged at Dato’ Seri Najib Razak pawning our assets “to strengthen the United States economy” for his own personal agenda, when the precious funds could be used to rescue our own floundering economy.

We call upon the Prime Minister to call for a special 2-day Parliamentary sitting upon his return from the United States to discuss and debate his 6-minute debacle with President Trump.  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak must justify to the 30 million Malaysians why he behaved like the leader of a vassal state to the US ‘imperialists’ within days after we celebrated 60 years of independence.

Issued by,

Pakatan Harapan 1MDB Action Committee

Tony Pua, DAP MP Petaling Jaya Utara
Sim Tze Tsin, PKR MP Bayan Baru
Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, Amanah Strategic Director
Dr Rais Hussin, PPBM Strategic Director

Monday, September 04, 2017

Najib’s admission that the Government would be dysfunctional if not for GST is a direct admission of Barisan Nasional's dismal failure in financial management

The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak told the crowd at the TN50 dialogue with women yesterday that without the GST the Government would have collapsed financially, and hence Malaysians should be thankful that the he has implemented the GST.

"I am not kidding you, I am not fooling you. I am the minister of finance, I know if we minus RM42 billion from the country's revenue, you will be in a standstill and the government will be dysfunctional.

Dato’ Seri Najib further added, “You can only spend whatever money you have. You will be in deep trouble if you have to borrow money from 'Ah Long' (loan sharks).”

The Prime Minister could not be more wrong on two counts.

Firstly, why is it that a country like Malaysia which is blessed and rich with income from natural resources suddenly so desperately dependent on GST revenue after 60 years of independence?

Without the GST, Federal Government revenue has increased consistently from RM123.5 billion in 2006 to RM185.4 billion (2011) to RM219.1 billion in 2015.  The above represents a 77.4% increase in revenue in the 10 years before the GST was implement, or an annual compounded growth rate of 6.5% - well above the average annual GDP growth rate.

If during those years, the BN government has consistently boasted of strong economic growth and development – why is Dato’ Seri Najib now crying out loud that the Malaysian government would suddenly collapse without the GST?

The above itself debunked the Prime Minister’s second claim that we “will be in deep trouble if [we] have to borrow money from ‘Ah Long’.

The very reason why the BN government is forced to implement the GST today to collect more taxes is precisely because we have indeed borrowed heavily over the past decade.

Our Federal Government debt has increased from RM306.4 billion in 2008 to RM655.7 billion by the end of 2016.  Hence the government’s debt increase of 114% far outstrips the revenue increase of 77%!

In the language of the Prime Minister, it is precisely because the reckless BN government has borrowed from the Ah Longs that Malaysians are now forced to bear the heavy burden of the GST.
The next question to ask is, why has the BN government borrowed so much and where have all the money gone?

The answer is simple – waste, corruption and kleptocracy in the BN administration as epitomised by the 1MDB scandal which will cost the Malaysian tax-payers at least RM42 billion.  While 1MDB headlines the extent of the graft and abuse of power in the Najib-led government, it is by no means the only significant scandal under the BN administration.  Annual Auditor-General reports over the past decades lay bare the malaise in the entire government machinery with nausea-inducing details of leakages, mismanagement and misappropriation.

This brings the inevitable conclusion that while the GST might rescue the BN administration for the time-being, it merely papers over the symptoms of the cancer afflicting our country.  Until such a time where the brazen culture of waste, corruption and kleptocracy is eradicated from the Malaysian government, no matter how much new taxes revenue the GST (or any other new taxes) generate, it will never be enough.

As the Malay proverb goes, “besar periuk, lagi besar keraknya”.