Vowing to defend the Armed Forces pension fund from being pilfered by top government leaders, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR party has demanded that the Najib administration come clean on a RM160million deal to buy back land belonging to the Ministry of Defence.
The PKR response follows news a day ago that a unit of the Armed Forces’ pension fund (LTAT) had agreed to pay RM30 million to a controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan and RM130 million to a firm controlled by Raja Ropiaah, the Selangor Umno Women’s chief.
PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli accused Prime Minister Najib Razak and Defense Minister Zahid Hamidi of “gross abuse of power”, describing the latest transaction involving 223 hectares of Defense ministry land in Bukit Raja, Selangor as “outright bribery” and the “worst-ever case of bad investment I have seen”.
“It is plain and simple that the RM30million to acquire 80% of Astacanggih (Deepak’s firm) and the RM130 million paid (to Raja Ropiaah’s firm) for almost non-existent land is clear abuse of power by Zahid Hamidi. I dare say that Najib had tasked Zahid to handle this by whatever means necessary,” Rafizi, a UK-trained auditor, told a press conference on Saturday.
“You can ask any investment or research analysts and they will tell you this is not good investment practise. So why does the federal government enter into such a bad investment. One can only conclude this is meant to silence Deepak and to close the entire issue.”
Deepak, once a close friend of Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor, had in 2007 bought the land from Raja Ropiaah’s firm Awan Megah for about RM120mil at RM12psf. But the deal has been “stuck” and the titles still not released to Astacanggih unit Cebur Megah.
This resulted in Deepak suing Ropiaah and Awan Megah for specific performance and “criminal intent”, the Defense ministry as well as the land and mining office Pejabat Tanah dan Galian for not releasing the land titles to Cebur Megah.
Deepak also accused Ropiaah of ‘stealing’ and on-selling one of the three parcels of land to GuppyUnip Sdn Bhd at RM16psf. The case was heard at the Kuala Lumpur High Court late last month, with Deepak personally taking the stand. It was adjourned to December 14 but deferred pending a settlement that Deepak has since insisted was “forced” on him and his firm.
“It is true that my shareholders and me have sold our shares in Asta Canggih for RM30 million which is our actual cost price of RM13 million for Raja Ropiaah, RM8 million in political contributions, RM7 million of financial costs and RM2 million in legal and miscellaneous costs. This was an ultimatum that was forced upon us,” Deepak said in a text message on Friday.
Protecting pension fund of Armed Forces
The business bickering culminated in Deepak squealing on the ‘dark hands’ behind the deal. He accused Najib’s family of accepting millions of ringgit for Najib’s abusing his authority in approving the deal.
Najib, who was then the Defense minister, has still not made any response to the series of damning allegations despite mounting public disgust and pressure from his own political party.
Rafizi slammed Najib for refusing to account to the public and accused him of quietly conspiring with Zahid to enter into “such a dubious” deal that would clearly place the Defense Ministry’s pension fund in a disadvantaged position.
“The fact that behind the silence, such a transaction has been sewn up to silence Deepak indicates there must have been some truth in his accusations. Deepak’s disclosures must have frightened Najib so much that he has got Boustead to enter into this deal,” said Rafizi.
“It is very cheeky for the prime minister to instruct the Defense minister to do such a deal. In any other country, a public inquiry would have been called. PKR will do all it can to frustrate the deal as this involves the LTAT, the pension fund of the Defense ministry. It has become ridiculous. You have already lost RM250mil to one minister and now you are going to lose RM160 mil of pensioners’ money to another minister.”
Rafizi was referring to the RM250mil NFC cattle-breeding fiasco that the family of Umno Women’s chief Shahrizat Jalil has been accused of being involved in.
Najib will have to win back S’gor for the deal to go through
In the Deepak-Ropiaah case, Rafizi pointed out that the land had never changed hands in the first place and questioned why the Defense ministry was buying back its own land.
“PKR will write to the Selangor state government to stop this deal. Previously we kept quiet because we weren’t sure how true Deepak’s allegations were. But now, after the Boustand announcement to the Bursa, all the pieces are starting to fit together.At the recent Umno assembly, Zahid said he would look into the matter and find a way to resolve it. After that, there was silence. We thought it was just Najib up to his usual ways of refusing to answer to the public. Then Boustead made their announcement yesterday,” said Rafizi.
“This is clearly a deal pulled together deliberately to keep Deepak quiet. But it doesn’t seem to be working. How can Zahid imagine such a deal can work? It will require the green light from the state government because the land is in Selangor. Deepak is now saying he is not going to shut up because he got only RM30 mil and Ropiaah received RM130 mil. We say to Deepak, don’t worry. We will do our utmost to frustrate this deal because the pensioners’ money is involved. In fact, we need to thank Tan Sri Khalid for insisting on checking all the details and not allowing the transfer to go through.”
Rafizi agreed the title to the land would probably have changed hands by now if not for the Opposition winning control of the Selangor state government in the 2008 general election. According to Rafizi, if Najib wanted the deal to go through the only way was if “he wins back Selangor”.
The state is the richest and has the biggest economy of Malaysia’s 13 states. Najib has previously vowed to take back Selangor “at all costs”. The state is now led by PKR chief minister Khalid Ibrahim.
Mindef unit paying RM160 million for land that still belongs to it
In a filing to the stock exchange, Boustead Holdings Bhd, a unit of LTAT, announced that its wholly-owned unit Bakti Wira Development Sdn Bhd had acquired an 80 per cent stake in Astacanggih Sdn Bhd for RM30 million.
Bakti Wira Development and Astacanggih also signed an agreement with Awan Megah earlier on Friday to acquire 80.94ha of freehold land in Klang, Selangor, for RM130 million. Describing the deal as an opportunity to expand its land bank, Boustead said the share purchase and land acquisition would be funded via bank borrowings and internally-generated funds.
“Moreover, the land was adjacent to 283.28ha of development land held under Jendela Hikmat Sdn Bhd, a company which the group and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera jointly holds 60 per cent equity interest. The demand for industrial land in this location has been on the uptrend with the completion of UMW’s latest storage and testing plant in Bukit Raja, Klang,” said Boustead.
Rafizi and Selangor Pakatan representatives will be scrutinizing the deal’s fine-print over the weekend and plan to hold another press conference on Monday.
“In the afternoon, we will go with some of the pensioners to Bakti Wira’s office to inspect the documents. The pensioners have a right to know what happens to their money,” said Rafizi.
The Black Rose
So far, Ropiaah has not commented on the transaction. Previously, when contacted by Malaysia Chronicle, she had said she would refer Deepak’s allegations to her lawyers.
In his response to the Boustead announcement on Friday, Deepak vowed he would continue with his “revelations”. Deepak has not only exposed Najib’s hand in the Bukit Raja land deal but has revealed that both the PM and his wife Rosmah had asked him to “facilitate” the withdrawal of a damning statutory declaration made by a private investigator implicating Najib in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and the Scorpenes corruption case.
Apparently, more and “hotter” scandals are due to be exposed to test the already embattled Najib, who has been facing tremendous pressure from within his own Umno party to step down and pass the reins to his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin before calling for general elections.
“The irony is that Raja Ropiaah who ‘stole’ the land from us was paid RM130 million, guess that is real power, isn’t it?” said Deepak, who in a text message to Malaysia Chronicle promised to push on with his tell-all book on Rosmah – ‘The Black Rose’.
From Huffington Post
By Azeem Ibrahim
It is an accepted cliché that power corrupts and is usually in reference to a country’s leaders and their ability to amass private fortunes at the expense of their electorate. But the real tragedy is how corruption corrodes civil society. It creates cynicism, anger or voter apathy, with people losing confidence in politicians and therefore losing their connection with democracy. If the problem cannot be solved through the ballot box because of a corrupt electoral system, then a country is really in trouble.
Malaysia may not be in big trouble yet. While it still has a robust free press and whistleblowers are protected, the current issues have a chance to be addressed fairly. But the media is under pressure to conform and whistleblowers have been arrested instead of the corrupt officials. One of the foundations of the fight against corruption is the need to protect the messenger, and while many countries are being urged to adopt such legislation, it is only effective if respected and enforced.
Malaysia ranked 60th out of 182 nations last year in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, down four places from 2010, when 178 countries were included. Two recent scandals have rocked the establishment party of UMNO, bringing disrepute to people in high places from the Prime Minister down. The Scorpene submarines deal has exposed the hypocrisy of leaders who pledge to end corruption yet proceed as if winning elections is all about self-enrichment.
Malaysia was a signatory of the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) in 2008 with a legal obligation to “prevent, investigate and prosecute” cases of international corruption. However, a complaisant majority party and judiciary allow for delays in hearings, refusals to release documents and in the case of the submarines deal, to deny that French law has jurisdiction over Malaysian transactions. The French government however, is actively pursuing its own inquiry and has released over 153 documents making it clear that apart from individuals, the ruling party (UMNO) was the biggest beneficiary, receiving commissions, bribes and support fees in the millions.
In spite of government harassment, the civil rights organization, SUARAM, is determined to uncover the truth in its pursuit for accountability and stated in a May 2012 press conference in Bangkok, that it will continue to make the results public as the case proceeds in the French Court.
Another scandal has recently become public and tarnished the reputation of a former government minister and family members when it was revealed that National Feedlot Corporation funds were misused for the purchase of condominiums using Malaysian government funds. Government patronage over the years has involved highway construction and defense contracts and a variety of other government arrangements with UMNO cronies. Prime Minister Najib Razak, who chairs the Finance Ministry Acquisition Committee, is in the powerful position of being able to award contracts and to charge whistleblowers instead as a smokescreen to protect his friends.
PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim has condemned such politically-motivated charges and his party is setting up a National Oversight and Whistleblower Centre to offer future informants protection via legal and monetary aid. Anwar promises to end corruption and dissatisfaction with UMNO and has been reinforcing the popularity of the PKR. But while the integrity of the electoral process is in doubt and the institutions responsible for anti-corruption and the rule of law have been compromised, it is difficult to foresee how the next election will play out.
It is ironic that the shining example of democracy, the U.S., has also been undergoing problems with electoral integrity, as right-wing public officials attempted to purge electoral rolls of potential Democratic electors, proving that nothing is safe, even in a democracy, if the judicial system is underpinned by a right-leaning Supreme Court.
Anwar Ibrahim is being hounded by the Prime Minister Najib Razak and the ruling party UMNO, and after surviving trumped up charges and years in prison under a previous administration, Anwar is used to having his reputation slandered by the opposition. However, the victimization is proving counterproductive as his popularity is increasing and his message of moderation, inclusion and hope is resonating with his growing coalition as well as the center.
Anwar may not yet have the following to counter the strength of UMNO, with its entrenched 20 years of patronage creating a loyal party base especially in rural communities, but he certainly has the attention of those who want to see Malaysia’s democracy strengthen and mature. The educated voters of Malaysia hope that Anwar Ibrahim will be their country’s next Prime Minister, leading Malaysia to an incorruptible leadership role in the global community.
Dr Azeem Ibrahim is the Executive Chairman of The Scotland Institute and a Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding.
Pemandu teksi memainkan peranan penting dalam membawa perubahan politik di negara ini berikutan merekalah antara kelompok yang paling dekat dengan rakyat, kata Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
“Sebab itu saya ‘salute’ pemandu teksi. Mereka inilah yang menyampaikan derita rakyat,” katanya sambil ‘tabik’ kepada 400 pemandu teksi pada Himpunan Raksasa Pemandu Teksi bersama Pakatan Rakyat di Dewan Svik, Petaling Jaya, malam tadi.
“Saya tahu orang teksi benci kezaliman. Dari 1998 sampai sekarang, ketika TV3, Utusan tutup berita tentang kita (pembangkang), pemandu teksilah yang sebar cerita sebenar,” katanya yang menyifatkan isu berkaitan pemandu teksi bukan perkara kecil walaupun selalu dipandang enteng oleh pemimpin Umno BN..
“Sebab ini isu ‘human dignity’, soal maruah manusia. Untuk pemimpin BN, pemandu teksi seolah-olah tidak ada harga. Mereka (BN) bermati-matian pertahan kontrak berbilion.
“Pemandu teksi tak minta balak, IPP, kontrak. Hanya mahu permit. Permit pun mahu disapu pemimpin Umno-BN!” katanya disambut teriakan Reformasi.
“Sebaik kita tawan Putrajaya, kita umum harga minyak turun. Dan dalam beberapa minggu, kita umum segera permit untuk setiap pemandu teksi,” katanya.
Ketua Umum KEADILAN itu berkata, peranan pemandu teksi, meskipun bukan ahli mana-mana parti gabungan Pakatan Rakyat tetap besar dalam perjuangan.
“Kalau tak boleh edar risalah, tak mengapa. Mungkin bahaya sebab nanti polis periksa kereta. Tapi boleh gunakankan suara.
“Pemandu teksi orang yang paling bijak dan sabar. Berpuluh-puluh penumpang setiap hari. Sebab itu kita hormat mereka kerana menjadi ejen perubahan,” katanya.
PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim today said that former information minister Zainuddin Maidin should know well enough which ministry is involved in procurement of Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) aircraft and should direct allegations of misappropriations to the defence minister at the time.
Referring to Zainuddin’s blog posting alluding to Anwar’s alleged involvement in abuse in procurement during the latter’s time as finance minister, Anwar said that the Finance Ministry has limited involvement in such dealings.
“To decide on this, it is Mindef. The Finance Ministry is only required to come to enter when negotiating on pricing. The Finance Ministry is called in to determine if the price is fair,” he said.
Zainuddin (right) had in a posting dated Dec 25 said that Anwar must respond to “word from inside the TUDM that when he was deputy prime minister he used his influence in order to make TUDM purchase the CN235 (aircraft) from Indonesia”.
Zainuddin, who was also Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief, claimed that the aircraft were purchased to “strengthen ties” between Malaysia and the republic “which at the time was led by President BJ Habibie”.
Citing unnamed sources, he claimed that only six of the eight aircraft purchased were delivered.
Anwar: Zam’s not too bright
According to TUDM’s website, the first batch of the CN235 was delivered in 1999. However, Indonesian military analysis portal AnalisisMiliter.com says they were ordered in 1995.
The defence portfolio was held by now Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak from 1990 to 1995, while now Land Public Transport Commission (Spad) chairperson Syed Hamid Albar held the post from 1995 to 1999. Najib returned to the Defence Ministry from 1999 to 2008.
Habibie served as president of Indonesia from 1998 to 1999, while Anwar was sacked from the cabinet in September 1998.
Scathingly, Anwar said such comments made by Zainuddin displayed the “semi-literate nature of this personality”.
Zainuddin courted controversy when he labelled Anwar and Habibie “dogs of imperialism” in an article published by Utusan Malaysia on Dec 10.
The article was designed to mock Anwar for inviting former Indonesia president BJ Habibie to speak at Universiti Selangor on Dec 6.
Following this, Zainuddin has been writing several pieces on his blog attacking both Habibie and Anwar, even after Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono had complained about the row.
Anwar said he is mulling over legal action against Zainuddin and Utusan Malaysia over the Dec 10 article.
29 Disember 2012 (Sabtu)
1) 11.00 – 2.00 ptg – Ceramah Perdana APS / PR
Lokasi : Restoran Singgah Singgarung, Tuaran
2) 3.00 – 5.00 ptg – Ceramah Perdana PPPS / PR
Lokasi: Perkarangan St. Peter Church, Kg Bundu,
Kuala Penyu, Beaufort
3) 7.00 – 10.00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana Wanita PKR Sabah
Lokasi : Tanjung Aru Plaza, Kota Kinabalu
30 Disember 2012 (Ahad)
1) 9.00 pagi – Perasmian Konvensyen Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah,
Lokasi : Star City Convention Centre, Kota Kinabalu
2) 3.00 – 5.00 ptg – Ceramah Perdana Demi Rakyat
Lokasi: Dewan SJK (C) Yu Yuan, Sandakan
3) 6.00 ptg – Solat & Tazkirah Maghrib
Lokasi: Surau Perumahan Taman Malanta, Sandakan
i. YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
ii. YB Dato’ Seri Panglima Lajim Ukin
iii. YB Dato’ Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing
iv. YBhg Tamrin Jailani
v. YB Dato’ Seri Chua Jui Meng
vi. YB Zuraida Kamaruddin
vii. YBhg Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin
viii. YBhg Tan Sri Ibrahim Menuddin
ix. Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat Sabah
Malaysia Called Most Corrupt Country for Business
In the 2012 Bribe Payers Survey, Malaysian companies were found most likely to take a bribe. The WSJ’s Sam Holmes explains why the government’s high-profile anticorruption campaign isn’t working.
To view video, please go to this link:
27 Disember 2012 (Khamis)
1) 6.00 – 11.00 mlm – Forum Pemandu Teksi Bersama Pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat
Lokasi: Dewan Sivik MBPJ, Jalan Yong Shook Lin, Petaling Jaya
2) 8.30 – 12.00 mlm – Ceramah Perdana Merdeka Rakyat – (P- Seputeh)
Lokasi: Seri Desa Entrepreneur Park, Taman Entrepreneur Kuchai,
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur
i. YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
ii. YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee
iii. YB Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa
iv. YB Nurul Izzah Anwar
Merry Christmas to all Christians in Malaysia!
May this festive season bring peace, joy and hope to all Malaysians.
As Christmas is the time to gather with family and with the people we love and cherish, let us give thanks to what we have and remember the less fortunate and those in need of shelter and the simple things we take for granted.
The Christian community is a vital part of our multi-cultural and multi-religious society. The relationship between the state and the Christian community should be warm and built on trust, and the fundamental liberties of all Christians as guaranteed by the constitution must be protected and upheld. This is essential for Malaysia to move forward as a nation united for peace and prosperity. A nation divided cannot achieve greatness.
So, on this auspicious occasion, may I reiterate that the happiness, security and prosperity of all Malaysians must remain the cornerstone of our nation’s strength and resilience to face the challenges ahead. Let us remain united under the banner of peace, freedom, reform and justice for all.
Let us be committed to a Malaysia of equal partnership and a common goal. My colleagues in Pakatan Rakyat and I have worked hard over the years to reaffirm our commitment to a Malaysia for all Malaysians. In that spirit we would like to wish again a Merry Christmas to all our Christian brothers and sisters across the country.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
LEADER OF THE MALAYSIAN OPPOSITION
Selamat menyambut Hari Natal kepada masyarakat Kristian di Malaysia! Moga musim perayaan ini membawa keharmonian, kebahagiaan dan harapan kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia.
Hari Natal adalah masa untuk bersama keluarga dan masa bersama dengan orang yang tersayang. Marilah kita bersyukur dengan kenikmatan yang kita ada dan tidak dilupakan juga kepada yang kurang bernasib baik.
Masyarakat Kristian memainkan peranan penting dalam masyarakat berbilang bangsa dan berbilang agama dalam negara kita. Hubungan antara masyarakat Kristian dan kerajaan seharusnya dibina atas kepercayaan dan semangat kerjasama, dan kebebasan fundamental mereka seperti yang termaktub dalam Perlembagaan wajib dihormati dan dilindungi. Ini adalah perkara yang sangat esential untuk Malaysia bergerak maju bersatu demi keharmonian dan kesejahteraan. Negara tidak tampak hebat dengan masyarakat yang tidak bersatu.
Sempena dengan kehadiran musim perayaan ini, saya ingin ulangi bahawa kegembiraan, kestabilan dan kesejahteraan seluruh rakyat Malaysia harus menjadi batu pengukur kepada kekuatan negara bangsa ini dan kemampuan untuk mengharungi cabaran di hadapan. Marilah kita bersatu di bawah panji keamanan, kebebasan, reformasi dan keadilan untuk semua.
Saya bersama teman-teman dalam Pakatan Rakyat bekerja keras bertahun-tahun untuk memastikan komitmen kami bahawa Malaysia ini adalah milik seluruh rakyat Malaysia. Dalam semangat itu, kami ingin sekali lagi mengucapkan Selamat Hari Natal kepada seluruh masyarakat Kristian di Malaysia.