28 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Medical Treatment: A Rebuttal to claims by D-G of Health

28 September 2015

We refer to the statement by the DG of Health on 26th September 2015 claiming that the medical professionals are providing all necessary treatment for DSAI.

We strongly disagree. Urgent and essential medical treatment has been unreasonably delayed until the present day.

The D-G of Health claimed that there are 17 experts managing DSAI’s medical treatment. However this is of no avail to DSAI as urgent surgical treatment continues to be delayed. DSAI’s chronic right shoulder injury has worsened and has left him in a state of constant pain. This has been raised by DSAI, his family and lawyers ever since his imprisonment in February 2015.

It was almost 3 months before even an MRI was carried out to ascertain the exact condition of the shoulder, despite repeated pleas for treatment by DSAI. Since then the panel of doctors have told DSAI that surgery is required to the right shoulder. Despite more requests and pleas by DSAI’s family and lawyers, he has yet to be taken to hospital for the surgical procedure.

The D-G of Health claimed that a senior physiotherapist has been assigned to him. However, DSAI only received physiotherapy about once a month and even this was at the prison itself where there are no proper facilities for physiotherapy to be carried out effectively. He should be taken several times a week to the hospital for intensive physiotherapy as recommended by the orthopaedic specialist.

Now with his worsening condition, surgery has become essential.

The DG now claims that they are allowing an orthopaedic consultant chosen by DSAI’s family to give a second opinion. However this request was made much earlier by DSAI and family, and has never been allowed to date.

Why this unexplained delay?

We note that although 17 experts are said to be involved, the person in charge remains Tan Sri Dr S.Jeyaindran. Dr Jeyaindran was also a prosecution witness against DSAI in the sodomy prosecution.

What is equally worrying is that the Minister in charge has again appointed Dr S.Jeyaindran to examine DSAI now, when he is the very the same physician consultant who was involved in treating DSAI in 2003 during his then imprisonment. Even back then, DSAI had complained about the lack of adequate medical treatment for his back problem. Those complaints were very real because DSAI was flown immediately to Munich for complex surgery on his back upon his release in September 2004.

We therefore demand on behalf of DSAI and his family that:-

1. Dr S Jeyaindran be removed as the leader of the panel of experts and as DSAI’s physician;
2. That DSAI be warded immediately, and allowed to consult the orthopaedic surgeon of his choice and that the surgery be carried out promptly.

Issued by,

Sivarasa Rasiah
N Surendran
Latheefa Koya

Lawyers for Anwar Ibrahim

21 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 21 September 2015:

“I welcome the round table gathering of representatives from PAS, KEADILAN, DAP and Amanah and NGOs expected to take place on Tuesday.

This is an important preliminary step in forging a representative, participatory and inclusive alliance of political parties, NGOs and personalities to bring much-needed change to the country.

The aim of the gathering is not simply to forge a political alliance; ours is a greater endeavour to save the country by uniting all forces committed to reform, justice and the rule of law.

From this prison, I sense the anxiety and concerns of the Rakyat on the economy and fall in currency, increase in racial rhetoric and the continuing 1MDB scandal which remains unresolved.

In this critical situation, we must set aside differences and move forward to forge a viable, just and democratic alternative to the current government.”

Fahmi Fadzil
Communications Director
Parti Keadilan Rakyat


Kenyataan Media: Perutusan DS Anwar pada 21 September 2015

Berikut merupakan perutusan DS Anwar Ibrahim yang disampaikan melalui peguam beliau pada 21 September 2015:

“Saya terima baik usaha rundingan meha bulat yang akan disertai wakil-wakil PAS, KEADILAN, DAP dan Amanah serta NGO-NGO pada Selasa ini.

Ini merupakan langkah awal yang penting bagi mewujudkan muafakat yang melibatkan semua pihak termasuk parti-parti politik, NGO dan individu-individu yang amat diperlukan demi membawa perubahan kepada negara.

Tujuan pertemuan ini bukan hanya untuk mewujudkan muafakat politik; usaha kita lebih dari itu, iaitu untuk menyelamatkan Malaysia dengan menggembleng tenaga semua pihak yang komited kepada reformasi, keadilan dan kedaulatan undang-undang.

Walau saya di penjara, saya tetap dapat merasai kerisauan dan kebimbangan rakyat terhadap isu ekonomi dan kejatuhan nilai mata wang ringgit, penggunaan retorik perkauman yang semakin meningkat dan skandal 1MDB yang tidak berkesudahan.

Dalam keadaan genting ini, kita perlu mengetepikan perbezaan dan maju ke hadapan untuk membentuk alternatif yang berdaya maju, adil dan demokratik berbanding kerajaan sedia ada.”

Fahmi Fadzil
Pengarah Komunikasi
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

21 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Washington Post

THE OBAMA administration has made a heavy bet on the Malaysian government of Najib Razak, whose majority Muslim nation collaborates on several key U.S. national security initiatives: counterterrorism, counterproliferation and balancing against China’s regional ambitions. In December, President Obama invited Mr. Najib to a round of golf during his Hawaiian vacation, a rare show of friendship for a foreign leader.

Since then, however, Mr. Najib has been evolving into an increasingly unseemly pal. In February, the country’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned on blatantly trumped-up charges, just under a year after the coalition Mr. Anwar led won the popular vote in national elections. That was the tip of a broader campaign to suppress the opposition; key leaders were indicted under a sedition law that Mr. Najib once promised to repeal, and a leading cartoonist was prosecuted for tweets. Mr. Anwar’s daughter, parliament member Nurul Izzah Anwar, was recently told she was being investigated under an anti-terrorism law.

Then came the news that close to $700 million had been transferred to personal bank accounts of Mr. Najib before the 2013 election. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Malaysian investigators believed the money came from companies linked to a troubled state investment fund headed by the prime minister. Mr. Najib responded with a brazen crackdown on those investigating the fund, firing a deputy prime minister and the attorney general and gutting a parliamentary investigative committee. Two newspapers that had been pursuing the scandal were shut down. When the opposition organized a massive protest demonstration last month, authorities banned the movement’s signature yellow color.

Mr. Najib once positioned himself as a reformer who would lead a quasi-authoritarian state to genuine democracy. Now he is trying to consolidate his position by appealing to the worst currents in Malaysian politics: ethnic chauvinism and Islamic fundamentalism. In answer to the opposition, the ruling party, which relies on support from the majority Malay population, staged its own rally in which senior officials crudely attacked the Chinese and Indian minorities. Mr. Najib is meanwhile toying with the idea of allowing Islamic sharia law to be imposed in one province, a key goal of Malaysia’s fundamentalists.

In a visit to Kuala Lumpur last month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had “raised concerns” with Mr. Najib about freedom of expression and Mr. Anwar’s imprisonment. But mostly the Obama administration is sticking with the sullied prime minister. In July, the State Department delivered a questionable promotion to Malaysia in its human trafficking ratings; Mr. Obama is still scheduled to visit Malaysia for an Asian summit in November. The administration appears to be counting on Mr. Najib to deliver Malaysia’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asian free trade deal that Mr. Obama hopes to make part of his legacy.

Nevertheless Ms. Nurul, who visited Washington this week, had a good question for the administration officials she met: “For all that you are investing in Malaysia, are you getting your money’s worth?” Mr. Najib may cooperate with U.S. intelligence agencies and the trade representative, but his repression and pandering to racists and Muslim extremists risks destroying the foundations of the alliance. The next time Mr. Obama meets his golfing buddy, he ought to make that clear.

21 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


U.S. opens money-laundering investigation amid international 1MDB probe; Malaysia police arrest critic of prime minister

The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said.

The scope of the investigation wasn’t known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks.

The international investigations center on entities related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help drive the economy. The fund is having difficulty repaying more than $11 billion of debt and is at the center of investigations that are destabilizing the government.

A Malaysian government probe found that nearly $700 million moved through banks, agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before being deposited into Mr. Najib’s alleged private bank accounts ahead of a close election in 2013, the Journal reported in July.

The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn’t detailed what happened to the funds that allegedly went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.

Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing and denied taking money for personal gain.

Late Friday, a former member of Malaysia’s ruling party who had raised questions about money transfers to the Malaysian prime minister was arrested on charges of attempting to undermine democracy, his lawyer Matthias Chang said.

The arrest of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who remained in custody on Saturday, prevented him from traveling to New York where he planned to urge U.S. authorities to investigate the transfers, Mr. Chang said.

A spokeswoman for the FBI’s New York office said that no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Mr. Khairuddin or had any previous contact with him.

Two of the transfers were made through the Singapore branch of a Swiss private bank and routed via Wells Fargo & Co. Wells Fargo declined to comment.

The Swiss attorney general’s office has opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB on suspicion of corruption and money-laundering. It has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, officials said in August.

Last week, 1MDB said none of its executives or board members were the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general’s office, and that none of its accounts were frozen there.

Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are investigating allegations related to the fund. 1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen and that it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.


18 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Mystery deepens around fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak

Questions around a troubled Malaysian state investment fund and missing money in the Middle East have widened to include as much as $1 billion more.

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that officials in Abu Dhabi were trying to understand why a $1.4 billion transfer that the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said it made to a counterparty in the Middle Eastern emirate wasn’t received. Now, those officials are questioning a further $993 million that 1MDB reported it paid to the Abu Dhabi fund, the International Petroleum Investment Co., but which also appears to be largely missing, people familiar with the matter said.

Officials from 1MDB and IPIC didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The questions deepen the mystery around 1MDB, which was set up by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to invest in Malaysia’s economy. The fund is now struggling to repay more than $11 billion in debt and is at the center of a corruption scandal that is destabilizing Mr. Najib’s government.

Earlier this year, a Malaysian government investigation found almost $700 million entered the prime minister’s private accounts through entities linked to 1MDB ahead of a close election in 2013. The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn’t detailed what happened to the funds that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.

Attempts to reach Mr. Najib weren’t successful. He has denied any wrongdoing or taking money for personal gain.

The link to the Abu Dhabi fund came in 2012, when it agreed to guarantee $3.5 billion in bonds issued by 1MDB to fund the purchase of some power plants. In return, IPIC was given options to buy a stake in those power assets. But last year, both sides agreed to end that deal with 1MDB agreeing to buy back the options for an undisclosed price.

1MDB said it made a transfer of nearly $1 billion to an IPIC subsidiary in November as partial payment for the options, according to copy of a draft report by Malaysia’s auditor general that was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Neither the financial records of IPIC, nor its wholly-owned subsidiary Aabar Investments PJSC, for 2014 mention of the receipt of the money. They say only in a footnote that as of the end of 2014, 1MDB owed IPIC $481.3 million in outstanding payments for the options. No substantial amount of money was received by IPIC, the people familiar with the matter said. It isn’t clear how IPIC arrived at the $481.3 million figure and how it relates to the nearly $1 billion transfer 1MDB says it made to IPIC.

The missing $1 billion is the second payment that 1MDB reported it made and IPIC said it didn’t receive. Financial statements from 1MDB and a report by the Malaysian auditor general, which is one of a number agencies investigating 1MDB, show that the fund made a separate payment of $1.4 billion to IPIC. That payment was described as collateral for the loan guarantees that Abu Dhabi provided on the bonds issued by 1MDB. Last week, the Journal reported that payment also was missing and that Abu Dhabi officials were looking into it, according to people familiar with the matter.

The 1MDB fund said last week that it stood by its audited financial accounts and that its auditor, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., had made “specific and detailed” inquiries into the collateral transfer before signing off on the accounts. Deloitte declined to comment.

On Aug. 14, the Swiss attorney general’s office opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB and against what it called persons unknown for suspected corruption and money laundering. It also has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts. Swiss authorities on Tuesday said Malaysia has agreed to allow its prosecutors to question witnesses.

Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are continuing to probe the fund. The Malaysian fund said it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.

18 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


In Malaysia, the 3Rs – race (the Malay race), religion (Islam) and royalty (the Malay Sultans) – ideology (code word for Malay supremacy) and strategy has underpinned the ruling party’s grip on the Malaysian community. Since the twelfth general election in 2008, however, the efficacy of this ideology and strategy appear to be on a downward slide, especially among urban Malaysians. The critical question now is: What extent will the prime minister and the leaders of UMNO use the politics of Malay supremacy to remain in power?

One of the most outspoken is the Sungai Besar United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) division chief, Datuk Jamal Md Yunos, who is organizing a “red shirt” rally for Sept. 16 (which coincidentally is Malaysia Day) to teach the Democratic Action Party (DAP) Chinese not to be rude to Malays. He has also warned non-Muslims to avoid Kuala Lumpur. Already rumors are spreading and the recent Low Yat riot comes to mind.

But the story is rapidly evolving. After fierce criticism from a wide spectrum of society, including from former UMNO stalwarts and public disavowal from prominent Malay associations,  the ‘theme’ has now changed. It appears that it is no longer Himpunan Maruah Melayu (Rally for Malay Dignity), but rather a Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu (Rally for Citizens Unity). Questioned for its legality earlier, the rally is now legal according to Malaysia’s Inspector General of Police. It is now being organised by the Malay martial arts sports association, Pesaka (the National Silat Federation), whose chair is the former Malacca Chief Minister, and current UMNO senator, Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam.

Despite the cosmetics, the motive remains.

It’s a common practice for leaders in the Malay community, especially from UMNO, to rally their supporters by appealing to race, religion and royalty; the symbols of Malay supremacy in Malaysia. Legitimate challenges within Malaysia’s narrowly defined democratic space are interpreted as “humiliating Malays” by those at risk of losing power. This is entirely predictable and was seen most clearly at Malaysia’s thirteenth general elections. It is important to note that its antecedents are likely in the creation of the Malayan state.

The force of this ideology was seen most vividly at Malaysia’s third general election in 1969, when UMNO performed poorly and ethnic riots between Malays and Chinese took place on May 13. Accounts vary as to what actually happened, but the underlying message was that while Malaysia is a “democracy,” power must always remain with the Malays, and preferably under UMNO. Otherwise, the loss of Malay supremacy would see them become marginalized within their own nation (as argued by their proponents).

Since then, the specter of May 13 is often raised for a host of different reasons, from justifying affirmative action for the Malays to banishing ideas for further democratization. Ironically, it is the DAP – the most successful opposition party and predominantly Chinese – that is always the reason given as to why another May 13 could happen.

The specter of May 13 is also commonly used by beleaguered UMNO leaders to rally their supporter. When UMNO was split in 1987, a certain UMNO Youth leader was alleged to have unsheathed a keris (Malay dagger) and reportedly vowed that the keris would be bathed in Chinese blood. UMNO general assemblies (including its Youth and Women’s assemblies) are routinely filled with symbolism such as this, accompanied with cries of protecting and “ennobling” (memartabatkan) the Malay race, the Malay language, the Malay culture, the Islamic religion and the Malay Sultans.

The current Deputy Home Minister, Nur Jazlan, wrote the following in 2011:

The party has failed to offer new ideas to attract the young Malays to support its ideology, which in recent years has drifted more to the right. The prime minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, through the concept of One Malaysia has tried to bring UMNO back to the center space of national politics, where race and religious tolerance is at equilibrium.

But his message doesn’t seem to resonate with the majority of the delegates and even among his bench of Supreme Council members, who may have come to a conclusion that another event of racial and religious strife in the country is the best way to retain Malay power.

The Deputy Home Minister concedes that the thinking at the highest levels in UMNO is that racial and religious strife can bring benefits to the party.

In cables leaked exclusively to The Sunday Age by WikiLeaks, several of Singapore’s highest ranked foreign affairs officials – Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan and Tommy Koh  – raised serious concerns over key politicians in Malaysia, including the then-Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported the following:

According to one cable detailing a meeting in Sept. 2008, Kausikan told U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense for East Asia David Sedney that ”the situation in neighboring Malaysia is confused and dangerous,” fueled by a ”distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese ”flee” Malaysia and ”overwhelm” Singapore.

”A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia,” Kausikan said, citing the need for Najib Razak – now Malaysia’s prime minister – to ”prevail politically in order to avoid prosecution” in connection with a 2006 murder investigation linked to one of Razak’s aides.

”Najib Razak has his neck on the line in connection with a high-profile murder case,” Kausikan said.

Ho’s March 2008 assessment of Malaysia, given to another U.S. official, is also unflattering, and includes claims that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been ”throwing stones” at his replacement, Abdullah Badawi.

”The political knives will be out for Abdullah’s son-in-law, United Malays National Organization politician Khairy Jamaluddin, whom nobody likes because he got where he is through family ties,” the cable records Ho saying. ”As for … Najib Razak, he is an opportunist. Although he has not been critical of Singapore, he will not hesitate to go in that direction if it is expedient for him to do so. Najib’s political fortunes continue to be haunted by the … murder scandal.”

Prime Minister Najib Razak is under intense pressure to resign. To compound his already numerous problems, a recent documentary by Al Jazeera once again raises serious questions of his alleged involvement in the murder of a foreign national.

If Najib’s supporters are of the opinion that sparking social unrest would be to his advantage, they may want to look back in history on how his father came to power.

If supporters of UMNO begin to think that such disturbances are likely to help it retain power in Malaysia, it would indeed be a frightening prospect, especially as divisions within the party have become all too apparent. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad appeared at a recent anti-government rally, urging UMNO’s members of parliament to replace Najib and has condemned the ‘red shirt‘ rally.

Those assessments made by Singapore’s foreign affairs chiefs on Malaysia are increasingly looking spot on.

18 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


Nurul Izzah Anwar, daughter of jailed former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is pinning her hopes on the United Nations or United States taking up his case, she said yesterday.

Anwar was convicted last year of sodomising an aide and jailed for five years, but his supporters regard the former deputy prime minister as a political prisoner held on trumped-up charges.

This week, Nurul Izzah was in Washington to meet officials from the White House, State Department and Congress to lobby on her 68-year-old father’s behalf.

Current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been weakened by a corruption scandal, and Anwar’s camp hopes international pressure will be the key to reopening his case.“America needs also to understand the impact of allowing such an important voice like Anwar to be silenced just because of political considerations,” Nurul said.

“And I think if we allow this authoritarian regime to hijack the agenda you will only see a worsening situation in terms of extremism.”

Once an ally of former Malaysian strongman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar has already served jail time for sodomy but emerged to lead the opposition movement.

Washington has expressed its concern several times over his treatment, and in August, US Secretary of State John Kerry said he had taken up the matter directly with Najib.

Anwar’s international legal team has filed a motion with the UN Security Council’s human rights committee and hopes next month to be rewarded with a statement condemning his incarceration.

“Our hope is that between the UN opinion and the increased authoritarian consolidation under way in Malaysia… and Najib being under investigation… all these things together create the image of Najib as a man under siege,” one lawyer said.

15 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Berikut merupakan perutusan DS Anwar Ibrahim yang disampaikan melalui peguam beliau pada 15 September 2015:

“Saya mengecam tindakan beberapa anggota Umno dan lain-lain yang terlibat dalam kejadian pembakaran patung yang menyerupai pimpinan DAP. Ia satu tindakan yang memalukan lagi tidak beradab, dan juga mempunyai elemen perkauman.

UMNO di bawah pimpinan Dato’ Sri Najib Razak semakin tidak bertoleransi, dan semakin tidak bertanggungjawab dengan memperalatkan isu perkauman dan keagamaan untuk kekal relevan.

Taktik memburuk-burukkan pimpinan pembangkang mirip sifat pemerintah autoritarian.

UMNO dan pimpinannya perlu berani berdepan dengan pembangkang dan masyarakat sivil melalui perbahasan yang sihat dan berasaskan logik.

Ketiadaan keberanian ini dicerminkan dalam tindak-tanduk Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, Menteri Dalam Negeri yang sering menggunakan undang-undang menindas seperti Seksyen 124B Kanun Keseksaan, Akta Hasutan dan Akta Mesin Cetak dan Penerbitan untuk mendiamkan pengkritik.

Undang-undang mesti diguna untuk melindungi masyarakat, bukan untuk menggertak dan menakut-nakutkan rakyat.”

Fahmi Fadzil
Pengarah Komunikasi KEADILAN
15 September 2015


DS Anwar’s message to the public

DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 15 September 2015:

“I condemn the actions of the Umno members and others who instigated and participated in the burning of effigies of DAP leaders. It was a disgraceful and uncultured act, which a carries a racial slant.

The UMNO leadership under Najib Razak is increasingly intolerant, irresponsibly relying upon race and religion in an attempt to remain relevant.

The tactic of demonizing opposition figures is reminiscent of authoritarian statecraft.

UMNO and its leaders must have the courage to face the opposition and civil society in healthy and reasoned debate.

This lack of courage is also mirrored in the frequent resort by Home Minister Zahid Hamidi to oppressive laws such as Section 124B of the Penal Code, the Sedition Act and Printing Press and Publication Act to silence criticism.

Laws must be wielded to protect society, and not to cow and intimidate the people.”

Fahmi Fadzil
KEADILAN Communications Director
15 September 2015

12 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

DSAI conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 9 September 2015:

“Saya amat kesal dengan keputusan Menteri Dalam Negeri Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yang menyekat perjumpaan peguam-peguam dengan saya bagi tujuan perjalanan kes-kes di Mahkamah.

Ini adalah suatu pelanggaran hak saya mendapatkan nasihat guaman dan menghalang tugas dan tanggugjawab peguam-peguam saya.

Tindakan ini telah menafikan saya daripada berbincang dan memberi arahan mengenai kes-kes Mahkamah, yang mana saya terlibat dalam sejumlah 16 kes sivil dan jenayah.

Umpamanya, pada hari ini, peguam-peguam saya N Surendran dan Dato’
Ambiga Sreneevasan tidak dibenarkan berjumpa dengan saya walaupun mereka perlu mengambil arahan mengenai kes-kes Mahkamah yang akan berlangsung pada 15 September dan 5 Oktober masing-masing.

Sebelumnya, peguam dihalang berjumpa walaupun ada afidavit untuk diikrarkan pada kadar segera.

Hormati undang-undang dan proses Mahkamah dengan membenarkan peguam jalankan tugas dengan sempurna dan tanpa gangguan!”

Fahmi Fadzil
KEADILAN Communications Director

12 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?

Berikut merupakan perutusan DS Anwar Ibrahim yang disampaikan melalui peguam beliau pada 9 September 2015:

“Adalah wajar pertahankan hak dan keadilan bagi semua kaum dan rakyat Malaysia termasuk mempertahankan kepentingan masyarakat Melayu.

Namun kita tidak wajar mengapikan isu perkauman yang dibantah oleh Islam dan budaya Melayu, seperti yang dirancang melalui perhimpunan baju merah pada 16 September.

Kenyataan Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi serta sekerat pemimpin Umno lain bahawa ahli Umno bebas untuk menyertai perhimpunan sedemikian, memperlihatkan kegagalan moral pada kepimpinan mereka.

Yang pastinya apa yang dirancang adalah untuk mengalih pandangan dari kemelut politik dan kegawatan ekonomi yang terus melanda negara.

Rakyat tidak wajar terpedaya atau termakan oleh taktik pecah-belah seperti ini.”

Fahmi Fadzil
Pengarah Komunikasi KEADILAN
10 September 2015

9 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


At issue is a $1.4 billion payment from 1MDB that officials at an Abu Dhabi investment fund said is missing

The corruption scandal around an economic-development fund in Malaysia is spilling beyond the country’s borders, as officials at a United Arab Emirates state investment vehicle raise questions about more than a billion dollars in money that they said is missing.

Abu Dhabi has long been a source of support for the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was set up six years ago by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to develop new industries in the Southeast Asian country. Now, as 1MDB tries to fend off a cash crunch, its backers in Abu Dhabi are asking what happened to a $1.4 billion payment the fund said it made but which they never received, two people familiar with the matter said.

The dispute comes as Mr. Najib is battling a separate scandal linked to 1MDB. Malaysian investigators are examining the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars into the prime minister’s alleged private bank accounts through entities linked to 1MDB. The disclosures have sparked a political crisis and set off a handful of investigations around the world, destabilizing the government and damaging confidence in Malaysia’s economy.

Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing and said he didn’t take money for personal gain.

The U.A.E. is trying to sever its ties to the fund and restructure the entity that provided it with financial support, the people said.

The disputed payments are related to the purchase of power plants around the world by the Malaysian fund in 2012. A state investment fund in Abu Dhabi, the International Petroleum Investment Co., or IPIC, guaranteed the $3.5 billion in bonds that 1MDB issued to finance the purchase, according to the bond offering documents. In return, IPIC was to receive options to buy a 49% stake in the power plants as well as collateral for the bond.

According to 1MDB’s financial statements, the Malaysian fund made a collateral payment of $1.4 billion. A draft report into 1MDB’s activities by Malaysia’s auditor general, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, said the payment went to a subsidiary of IPIC called Aabar Investments PJS.

IPIC’s consolidated financial statements, however, contain no reference to the receipt of the payment. Two people familiar with the matter said IPIC and Aabar never received the money. It isn’t clear what happened to the funds. 1MDB didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The dealings between the two countries shines a rare light on the workings of sovereign-wealth funds, which have increased significantly in size and are backed by wealthy governments but often lack transparency. The interactions between the two funds also are attracting scrutiny in Malaysia.

“This relationship is beyond a normal business relationship,” said Tony Pua, a member of the Malaysian opposition Democratic Action Party who sits on a parliamentary committee that also is investigating 1MDB.

Ibrahim Al Abed, a spokesman for the U.A.E., declined to comment, as did the country’s ambassador to the U.S. The office of Mr. Najib, who also is chairman of 1MDB’s board of advisers, didn’t respond to questions. IPIC and Aabar didn’t respond to requests for comment on the transfers.

The U.A.E.’s focus on its dealings with 1MDB is the latest in a series of inquiries into the Malaysian fund.

A Malaysian government probe found that nearly $700 million moved through banks, agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before being deposited into Mr. Najib’s alleged private bank accounts ahead of a close election in 2013, the Journal reported in July.

The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn’t detailed what happened to the funds that allegedly went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts. Malaysia’s anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn’t specified.

The allegations drew tens of thousands of yellow-clad protesters into the streets of the capital last month. Malaysia’s currency, the ringgit has fallen to a 17-year low in part due to concerns over the fund.

The 1MDB fund was created to spur economic development by investing in lucrative industries and attracting foreign partners to help finance projects. The fund has rolled up over $11 billion in debt to fund purchases of assets, largely made up of power plants and real estate in Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, Sri Lanka and the U.A.E.

The 1MDB fund’s assets have failed to generate enough cash, and at times it has rescheduled debt payments.

1MDB said it hopes to repay the debt by selling assets, which the fund’s management has said are valued at more than its borrowings.

The U.A.E.’s rulers in April dismissed IPIC’s managing director for a number of reasons, including issues related to 1MDB, according to the people familiar with the matter, and replaced him with the emirate’s energy minister.

The new management team is investigating the previous managers’ actions and relationship with 1MDB, according to the people. They also are in the early stages of crafting a restructuring plan for IPIC, which itself has become heavily indebted, they added.

To help shore up the Malaysian fund, IPIC’s new managers this year cut a deal with Malaysia’s finance ministry to inject $1 billion into 1MDB to cover a maturing bank loan and agreed to take over the $3.5 billion in power-plant bonds it had guaranteed. In return, the Malaysian government will transfer an equal value of assets to IPIC.

In the beginning, Malaysia touted ambitious goals for the fund. Mr. Najib sought to use 1MDB to raise Malaysia’s economic development and standing in the world by going beyond its dependence on exports of raw materials such as natural gas, palm oil and rubber.

Mr. Najib early on turned to the Middle East, a region with which Malaysia has strong ties based on trade and a shared religion in Islam. Over the next few years, the U.A.E. pledged to invest billions of dollars in projects through 1MDB, including a plan to turn Kuala Lumpur into a global financial center named after Mr. Najib’s father, Malaysia’s second prime minister.

Little of that money ever flowed. Instead, IPIC agreed to back the Malaysian fund’s power-plant bonds, leading to the payments that are the focus of IPIC’s inquiries.

Aabar, the IPIC subsidiary, also helped 1MDB during a disputed audit. According to the Malaysia auditor general’s draft report, 1MDB fired KPMG LLP as its auditor in late 2013 after the firm declined to sign off on 1MDB’s accounts unless it received more details about $2.32 billion the fund said was invested in a Cayman Islands account.

Aabar stepped in and guaranteed the Cayman Islands funds, an official for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd., which took over as 1MDB’s auditor, told a closed-door meeting of the parliamentary committee probing 1MDB, according to a transcript of the proceedings reviewed by the Journal. This guarantee was never made public. Deloitte later signed off on the fund’s accounts. KPMG and Deloitte declined to comment.

Malaysia’s auditor general plans to issue a full report on 1MDB later this year. The central bank last month said it had completed another report into 1MDB, but details haven’t been made public. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission also is probing allegations that cash flowed into Mr. Najib’s alleged accounts.

Two of the transfers into Mr. Najib’s alleged bank accounts totaling $681 million came from unknown sources via an account held by a British Virgin Islands-based company at Falcon Private Bank, a Swiss bank owned by Aabar, the U.A.E. fund, according to Malaysian investigation documents reviewed by the Journal. Falcon Bank declined to comment.

Swiss authorities said in August that they have opened a criminal probe into what they called suspicious transactions between Switzerland’s banking system and 1MDB. On Sept. 2, they said they had frozen funds valued at tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts linked to the fund on suspicions of corruption and money laundering.

9 September 2015


Pendapat Anda?


The storm sweeping over emerging markets has hit Malaysia at an especially fraught moment, with Prime Minister Najib Razak embroiled in a $700 million funding scandal. The country’s economic difficulties are bad enough by themselves. The political turmoil makes them all the harder to deal with.

Najib denies accusations that almost $700 million found its way from a state investment fund into his private accounts, and Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission has declared that the money represents donations from anonymous Middle Eastern sources. This explanation failed to satisfy the thousands of protesters who took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur last month to demand Najib’s ouster.

Leaders of the ruling United Malays National Organization, which has governed the country since independence in 1957 and has long prized loyalty over accountability, will certainly support Najib when they meet on Wednesday. But they need to ask themselves whether maintaining the political status quo is worth the continuing damage to Malaysia’s financial reputation and prospects for growth.

China’s slowdown and plunging oil prices — Malaysia derives 22 percent of its income from oil-related sources — have hammered the ringgit, which has fallen for 11 weeks running. The currency stands near lows last reached during the 1997 financial crisis. The central bank has spent almost a fifth of its reserves trying to halt the slide. Although a full-scale crisis may not be imminent, the country is among the most vulnerable in Asia to a rise in U.S. interest rates.

The situation requires a government that commands trust. Yet while Swiss authorities have started a criminal investigation into the fund, Najib has stalled a domestic probe by removing the attorney general and reassigning four members of a committee coordinating the inquiry. He’s dismissed as unpatriotic the crowds of largely Chinese and Indian protesters calling for him to step down. Such efforts at damage control risk further undermining the credibility of Malaysia’s institutions and polarizing its racially mixed society.

Foreign investors are watching. Ratings company Fitch has so far maintained its A- sovereign rating, noting that “weak governance is already factored” into its judgment. The country’s anti-corruption commission “lacks genuine independence,” according to Transparency International, and the prime minister has too much influence over the appointment of judges. Weak campaign-finance laws leave too much scope for political patronage. Parties can spend freely between elections and don’t have to account for contributions. An anonymous $700 million donation wouldn’t, in itself, be illegal.

If UMNO now chooses to bolster its support by pandering to its rural Malay base, pro-growth economic policy may be sidelined. Powerful government-linked companies are stifling innovation and crowding out private investment. Reform is needed, but it’s politically challenging. Najib once promised to roll back government policies favoring Malays. That no longer looks feasible. A brain drain of able minorities is likely to continue.

Indeed, the greatest danger is that growing racial and religious polarization might fracture Malaysia’s multiethnic society. Some UMNO leaders have flirted with the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, which favors the imposition of Sharia law. Even normally circumspect neighbors are worried.

It looks unlikely that Najib will subject himself to a truly independent and transparent investigation. U.S. President Barack Obama, who’s scheduled to visit Malaysia for a regional summit this fall, may be able to exert some quiet pressure. But ultimately, UMNO leaders will have to choose: What kind of Malaysia are they trying to build?

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