Friday, August 18, 2017

Why MACC may want to do away with the orange pyjamas altogether

Kuala Lumpur, 18 Aug: Of Isa Samad, I've written on this blog too many times, none of them with great fondness. But when photographs of this ex-Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar, ex-Felda-FGV Chairman, ex- Umno Vice President, and soon probably ex-SPAD acting Chairman splashed the front pages of the local dailies middle this week, clad in the unmistakable orange pyjamas of SPRM (the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission), I hesitated in making a posting.  The pomp and the parade ... there's something not right about the whole thing. Lawyer N. Surendran, who is also a Member of Parliament, may have a moral point here. It is not just humiliating but premature to dress Isa in that bright orange uniform and paraded him in front of the media as if he had been charged and found guilty. When, in fact, you were just producing the suspect in court for a remand order to question him further on suspicion of corrupt practices.

Anyone in this orange would look like a crook 
This is not to say that the blazer Isa had on when he was arrested by the anti-graft officers was less of an eye-sore! A sober, dark suit or batik or a Baju Melayu complete with songkok would probably have done better for his PR.
Before the arrest
I fully agree with YB Rais Yatim, the seasoned politician from Jelebu, about the need for hemah or discretion on the part of the MACC in upholding the dignity of every person they deal with:

Rarely, I am also with Akhbar Satar, the Transparency Insternational-Malaysia  president. Let Justice Takes Its Course. But the first person who should listen to his advice is Akhbar himself.  One minute he says we must always bear in mind that Isa is innocent until proven guilty. The next minute, he proclaims that Isa's arrest is a signal for the government to End political appointments in GLCs. Akhbar, moronically or not, has already found Isa guilty!
Sometimes I think Akhbar is no different from some Opposition politicians who would go out of their way to discredit MACC whenever one of theirs is taken into custody for alleged corruption is expected. To them, the Commission is doing their job only if others, preferably their political rivals, are involved. It's the childishness in these politicians that we've come to expect and which is holding the MACC back. When it suits them, they hail themselves as "friends of MACC". 

No more friends after arrest of Phee Boon Poh

Saturday, August 05, 2017

Zahid tightens the noose

Puchong, 5 Aug 2017: Those quick to write off Zahid Hamidi after Mahathir Mohamad's onslaught did so at their own peril. As I see it, Zahid has not only turned the table on Mahathir but is slowly tightening the noose around the Old Man's neck. Mahathir's only salvation is IF Zahid were to suddenly lose the recording he claimed to have made of the meeting that he had with Mahathir.

Zahid: Yes, I met Mahathir, and I can prove what transpired

The deputy prime minister also says the meeting received Najib Razak's blessing.zahid-mahathir

JERLUN: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today admitted he had a meeting with Dr Mahathir Mohamad days after his appointment as the deputy prime minister in 2015, but denied the former prime minister’s claim that it was to seek support to topple Najib Razak. 
Speaking to Jerlun Umno division members today, Zahid said he kept a recording of the meeting, adding that it also had the blessing of the prime minister. 
“I want to state that it took place with the prime minister’s blessing, 10 days after I was appointed the deputy prime minister,” he said. 
“The recording is still with me. They forget easily, but I don’t.”  [Read more H E R E]

Readers will recall on July 31, in an angry response to Zahid calling him son of Iskandar Kutty, Mahathir made two claims: 1. Zahid had RM230 million in his bank account when he was Umno Youth chief some 20 years ago (when Mahathir was PM) and 2. Zahid had begged for his "sympathy" to replace Najib as PM, less than two weeks after Zahid was made Deputy Prime Minister.

Khairuddin Hassan, the Mahathir loyalist who had lodged a police report against Zahid for calling Mahathir son of Iskandar Kutty, said Zahir was bluffing. The DPM won't respond to a lackey; he will wait for Mahathir himself to call his bluff.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

If Zahid Hamidi had RM230 million in his account ...

Call him s/o Iskandar Kutty at your own peril!
 "Perhaps Zahid has forgotten his asset declaration made to me as prime minister when he was appointed as Umno Youth chief. When I asked where he obtained the RM230 million in his bank account, his answer was unclear. If he can remember, he should explain where such large amount of money came from." - Zahid had RM230 million when he was Umno Youth Chief 
TTDI, 3 Aug 2017: Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi has yet to respond to his ex-boss' allegation that he had RM230 million in his bank account some 20 years ago.

Until then, I will assume that Dr Mahathir Mohamad was telling the truth (even though Mahathir admits there is no proof that Zahid had RM230 million in his account). 

But because Mahathir Mohamad took no action against Zahid following the so-called discovery, I will also assume that the RM230 million wasn't ill-gotten money. 

Or perhaps it was not so out-of-the-ordinary for Umno politicians to have that kind of money during Mahathir's era.

Which makes me wonder ... 

If a just-appointed Umno Youth chief had that kind of money in his bank account back then, just how much did the Umno president have in his? 

Tuesday, August 01, 2017



The name Abdul Wahid Omar first appeared on my radar when I was a journalist with the Business Times, shortly before he went to Telekom Malaysia as its chief executive. Before long, he had taken over  the helm of Maybank, the country's biggest commercial bank, and just as quickly, it would seem, he accepted the call of the Dewan Negara to be Senator and a Minister in PM Najib Razak's Cabinet. Some of us assumed power would eventually get to this man's head and that he would soon eat his own words about being a one-term Cabinet Minister.  But AWO was true to his words. And before we knew it, he's completed a sterling first year as Chairman of PNB, Malaysia's biggest and most important fund management company. 
AWO's first year message as PNB Chairman:

Assalamualaikum & Selamat Sejahtera,

1. Today 1 August 2017 marks my first complete year as Group Chairman of Permodalan Berhad (PNB). Let me begin by expressing my gratitude to YAB Prime Minister & the Government for entrusting me to lead PNB. I must say Dato' Abdul Rahman Ahmad (DARA) and I have been fortunate to have received the baton from Tun Ahmad Sarji and Tan Sri Hamad Kama Piah a very solid national institution of integrity in PNB. We are grateful for the support from our people in PNB from day one which enabled us to 'get cracking' immediately.

2. The first year has been action-packed, productive and fulfilling with the following achievements, among others:-
i. Smooth leadership succession at Chairman, CEO and board levels. Recruited DARA as CEO on 1 October 2016. Effected board succession on 1 January 2017 and streamlined management structure at group level. 
ii. Announced PNB Strategic Plan 2017-2022 "STRIVE 15" on 26 November 2016 aimed at building PNB into a Distinctive World Class Investment House. Adopted a more open and engaging approach. Focus on immediate execution of the 15 initiatives under the Strategic Plan. 
iii. Announced four major value creating corporate exercises namely ;
- Sime Darby Demerger to create 3 'pure plays' of Plantations, Property and Multinational Distribution & Logistics. On track for listing by mid December 2017.
- UMW Holdings demerger and recapitalisation of UMW Oil & Gas. Demerger completed July 2017. Recapitalisation in progress.
- Acquisition of SILK Highway to enhance PNB's Prolintas toll road concession portfolio in preparation for IPO in 2019. Acquisition completed June 2017.
- Merger of SP Setia and I&P Group to create one of the largest and most profitable property development groups in Malaysia. Expected completion November 2017. 
iv. Intensified efforts towards greater Shariah compliance resulting in Jabatan Mufti Selangor issuing 'Harus' fatwa or permissible edict for ASNB products in April 2017 in line with the National Fatwa edict in 2008. Only Penang is pending review. 
v. Successfully migrated to a new IT system on 28 June 2017 to enable ''passbook-less'' transactions to be undertaken. Online transactions currently under beta / trial at will also be officially enabled from 1 September 2017.
3. Alhamdulillah, market reaction has been positive with total market capitalisation of the six PNB strategic companies increasing by RM40 billion YoY since 1 August 2016 or RM29 billion YTD in the first 7 months of 2017. This represents an increase of 28.2% YoY or 18.9% YTD, higher than the increase in KLCI of 6.5% and 7.2% respectively. 
Another positive development is that Maybank's market capitalisation has also breached the RM100 billion mark in June 2017, a major milestone in Malaysia's capital market history.

4. We are grateful to Allah SWT for His blessings. None of the progress made would have been possible without the solid support and assistance from our Board members, management and staff of PNB, ASNB and our group companies. Thank you. Special mention to the Board members and management of our strategic companies in particular Sime Darby, UMW Holdings, UMW O&G, SP Setia, I&P Group and Prolintas for driving and supporting the value creation initiatives announced thus far.

5. Whilst we have made good progress at PNB, we still have a lot to do towards achieving our aspiration. As we move down the list of our strategic companies for value enhancing activities, we will also start  engaging with our core companies (where we have at least 10% shareholding) with a view to improving their total shareholder returns (TSR). We also plan to work closely with other institutional investors for greater shareholder activism aimed at enhancing corporate governance and performance of public listed companies.

6. After one year at PNB and with the management team led by DARA fully in place, I plan to also allocate some time to support some of our strategic companies in their transformation or performance improvement. Four days ago on 28 July 2017, the Board of Sime Darby Berhad announced, among others, my appointment as the Chairman of Sime Darby Property Berhad (SDP). SDP will be a separately listed entity upon completion of the Sime Darby demerger exercise. With total land bank of 18,000 acres in prime location such as City of Elmina, Bandar Bukit Raja, Serenia City, Alya KL and Malaysian Vision Valley, SDP can be regarded as having the 'dream land bank' of many property developers. I pledge to take on this additional responsibility to the best of my ability for the benefit of SD Property, its shareholders, PNB and the 13 million unit holders.

7. I thank you for all your help, support and guidance and I look forward to your continued support to me, ARA and PNB group companies. Let us all be constructive and play our respective part for an inclusive, sustainable, equitable and prosperous Negaraku Malaysia.

Thank you and with best regards.


01.08.17 .

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mahathir's cronies vs Najib's cronies

So who are his business cronies?

KL, 24 July: Someone sent me Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman's piece Tun Mahathir, Bapa Sebenar Pengangkutan Awam [I've retitled it Syed Saddiq: Why Mahathir had to give it to his cronies]. So I went through the article by the youth leader of Mahathir's new party. It was a piece written in defence of the former prime minister. Well, I suppose, after all the praises for Najib Razak over the much-awaited MRT project, Mahathir needed defending. But someone else could have done a better job. I cringed when Syed Saddiq admitted, unwittingly or no, that Mahathir did award major transport projects to this cronies. As if that was not bad enough, he went to explain why that  was necessary (perlu) and encouraged (harus) at the time ...

And there we were telling the Americans, the IMF and fellow Malaysians that all those allegations about Mahathir corruption, cronyism and nepotism (with apologies to Zahid Hamidi, who went to jail for making those allegations against Mahathir publicly) were lies ...  
"Alaa, cronyism under Najib is as bad if not worse," a staunch Mahathir supporter told me. 
Really? Then please give me the name of one Malaysian individual who deserves or qualifies to be called a crony of Najib Razak. There were countless when Mahathir was PM, as Syed Saddiq is telling you, even if we were to accept the words of the likes of Francis Yeoh and Samsuddin Abu Hassan that they were actually not cronies of Mahathir's, or the Government's but had made fortunes based on their own blood, sweat and tears blah blah blah ...

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The MRT, if Pakatan came to power ...

“I want to tell Najib Razak. Without wastage, we under Pakatan Harapan with the former deputy prime minister and prime minister can execute the MRT project with a wider network and a lower cost.” - Nurul Izzah: Pakatan can build better MRT line for cheaper

KL, 18 July: Firstly, there are two former DPMs under Pakatan Harapan, not one. 

Secondly, the Lembah Pantai MP should acknowledge the job well done with regards to the MRT. Sure, she's free to say that she and the coalition of two former DPMs and one former PM can do all kinds of things better and cheaper if they come into power again (yes, again), but the fact is they are not in power anymore. The two former DPMs and the former PM of 22 years had their chances. They did give the rakyat Proton as a gift and the Petronas Twin Towers as a present and the colossal Putrajaya as a memento of their rule. Perhaps Nurul Izzah thinks she can build better cars and taller towers and more beautiful bridges if she comes into power. But talk is cheap. 

Thirdly, the people appreciate the fact that they now have the MRT. Whether or not they think it is Najib Razak's "gift" to them, let them tell you themselves. Whether they will vote BN again because of that, they will let us know at the next general election. The people deserve the government they elect, and right now they deserve the MRT delivered by this government that they had elected. Live and let live, YB.

Nurul Izzah can be productive without having to wait for Pakatan to come into power. She can, for example, make a wishlist of things the MRT operators can do to serve her constituents better. Or a list of dos and don'ts so that the people use the MRT properly and safely, good habits which will actually reduce wastage and save costs in the long run. 

Sekali sekala, give out positive vibes. Apa salahnya kan, YB?

Saturday, July 08, 2017

What's even more remarkable than Mahathir's "remarkable political U-turn" ...

Updated July 9:

Comical. That's how Minister senior Cabinet minister Salleh Said Keruak describes Mahathir's latest antic. Salleh said if Mahathir is saying that he had jailed Anwar Ibrahim unjustly for sodomy, then the former PM should apologise to his former heir apparent for doing what he did (which included influencing the court's decision at that time). 

Original article

Puchong, 8 July 2017: We were talking about U-turns just the other day, wondering what else Dr Mahathir Mohamad, 92, would trade next just to save his own soul. 

True enough, Malaysia's Prime Minister for 22 years until 2003 (and who has said he wouldn't mind being PM again if the Opposition wins the next general elections) has found a way to bend backwards even farther. This time he's said that Anwar Ibrahim (whose name, by the way, is today synonymous with sodomy because of Mahathir) "is a victim of political vendetta". 

The Guardian has described it as "a remarkable political U-turn ahead of a general election next year" [Father of modern Malaysia backs jailed former deputy in attempt to oust PM]. 

Mahathir convinced the British newspaper in a special interview in London that a new administration (with Mahathir himself as the temporary PM, which he didn't say) would "seek a royal pardon to allow (Anwar) to re-enter politics".

" In the case of Anwar we can make a case that he was unfairly treated. The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the King to give a full pardon for Anwar,” Mahathir said. “In which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM. I can have no objection to that.” 

PM Najib Razak has responded to Mahathir's remarkable U-turn. A clear sign that the Old Man's panicky, he said.

"... this U-turn is not about the coming general election ... Mahathir knows that the RCI findings could lead to criminal prosecution, so he cannot afford to have individuals highly relevant to the case such as Anwar testifying against him," Najib said.

Najib added that it was "ironic that Mahathir now needs Anwar, the man he sacked and jailed". 
He added that Dr Mahathir's endorsement of Anwar comes after 20 years of Mahathir "vilifying him and using every possible means at his disposal to eliminate Anwar from the political process, including arresting him under the now-repealed Internal Security Act, prosecuting and jailing him and a sustained campaign to attack his moral character".

p.s. The U-turn on Anwar is remarkable, indeed, but we saw it coming even if the editors at The Guardian didn't. What I find more remarkable than the Anwar U-turn is his U-turn on Lim Kit Siang. I know many, many people who  still cannot get over it. We spent countless hours those days listening to the Old Man talking trash about the DAP leader. For Mahathir to unabashedly swallow his own words and sidle up to Kit Siang, it finally dawned upon us that here was someone who would do anything and sell anyone by whatever means to meet an end.

At the rate he"s going, I'm betting that before the general election Mahathir will say sorry to the nation for what he did to the Judiciary and seek the forgiveness of the likes of sacked Tun Salleh Abas, the Chief of Justice who was sacked and humiliated, and Datuk Syed Idid, the High Court judge who was threatened with imprisonment. 

He would tell us that these fine Yang Ariffs were victims of some conspiracy that, of course, did not include him ....

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Good news annoy some people

Read the rest of the Bloomberg report h e r e. The MalayMailOnLine prefers the headline Malaysia shrugs off scandal to become second quarter star. 

Kuala Lumpur, 29 June: Any which way you want to see it, things are looking up for our maligned currency.  But for it to surge now, at the heels of the much-publicised action by the US Department of Justice, which many suspect was designed to send the Malaysian economy and politics plunging into another round of crisis, is especially satisfying. To me, it is the clearest sign yet that the people who matter don't give two hoots about the DOJ's rhetorics. And if they don't, there is no reason why we should be spending so much of our time trying to discredit the DOJ and those annoying politicians who are using the DOJ to prop up their political agenda. Our time and resources are better spent on spreading the good news about ourselves. For example, on how petrol and diesel prices have dropped again for the fifth week in a row! A reader DM me this morning re the Ringgit: 
"How fortunes keep changing Bru. Unfortunately, this kinds positive news is not pushed enuf. And virally on social media by the comms guys in charge of Govt. Sigh."
Well, we all can do more, Dear Reader. 

But for now, may I ask all Malaysians to pray that the Ringgit and the economy continue to do well. 

Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

TTDI residents: We don't need a highway through our homes. let alone a SIX-lane highway!

"It is an unnecessary project. It is not needed. It's not because the population needs it. It's because they are building something (so) they need to build this highway .." - Datuk Nuraina A. Samad, longtime resident of Taman Tun Dr Ismail

TTDI. June 21: Want to build a highway? Please, we need a super highway linking Puchong and Damansara. The existing Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong is a tolled, pitiful two-lane  (some stretches have been expanded to three and even four lanes) highway, it had not been able to accommodate the crazy volume of traffic from the very beginning. The only part of the LDP that has more than two lanes is the toll booth! Twenty lanes, if I'm not mistaken!!

Can we have the six-lane highway there?

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DOJ-ed and Confused

KL, 20 June: If you, like me, find it difficult to keep up with the DOJ's issue because of the spin, counterspin and counter-counterspins, try checking the boxes below would help. At the very least, these will help prevent you from turning into yet another moron:

1. Is there genuine complaint or a frivolous complaint?
2.if the complainant is Khairuddin Abu Hasssan and his Tonto, then the political bias would be quite clear [Read Was the DOJ's announcement Mahathir's idea?]
3. If No 2 is correct, then follow the money trail to show that the DOJ documents are actually Mathias and Cronies writings and link it back to the c4 (or is it 5) conspiring Tan Sris [Read Who is the Fourth Tan Sri who "betrayed" the unholy anti-Najib Conspiracy?]
4. Look at the inclusion of Abu Dhabi fund into the DOJ case and ask the question, why? 
Is it because 1MDB is no longer in the nexus due to the recent deal with Abu Dhabi? That clearly states that 1MDB monies trail ends in Abu Dhabi accounts and management
5. Maybe DOJ has a case BUT against Abu Dhabi because it's the Abu Dhabi guys' monies that were used to fund Leonardo Di Caprio, the movies, the diamonds.
Again, is there a genuine complaint by Abu Dhabi authorities?
6. Has DOJ written to Malaysian Govt for info, help etc ? WHY NOT? 
Because it's a civil case . And they can't ask any help from any govt on such cases.
7. Has a criminal investigation been opened in 1MDB "related" cases in the US, and have they requested for info from KL? WHY NOT?
8. All 1MDB cases that have involved convictions to date is because of "CORRUPT BANKING PRACTICES". The 1MDB itself has not been charged in any of these cases. And that too in the most "transparent, clean and incorruptible" Singapore and Switzerland (Read Singapore convicts fifth person in 1MDB-related cases)

There you are! 
Still confused? 
Then let the law take its course. Let the DOJ investigate. I don't subscribe to the notion that the American courts or systems are greater than our own AG, PDRM, MACC, PAC etc (look, they have Trump as President, how great is that?) but what choice do we have, right?

And for as long as DUE PROCESS is followed and the investigations are untainted, I'm sure we would honour them.

At our end, there's nothing wrong in wanting to know who the complainants behind the DOJ's case are. I mean, why so shy? Of course we also want to know if Dr Mahathir Mohamad through Daim Zainuddin paid RM50 million for the DOJ to do what it's doing [Syed Saddiq knew the DOJ attack was coming].

p.s. If all these still don't help, you just need to remember one thing. In the DOJ's own words, too:

“A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the U.S.”

Monday, June 19, 2017

Pujut saga continues

KL, 19 June: It isn't business as usual for Pujut assemblyman Dr Ting Tiong Chun, either, as the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly is appealing a High Court decision last Saturday that reinstated the DAP man as an elected people's representative. Dr Ting had gone to court after the State Assembly on May 12 disqualified him for having held an Australian citizenship once upon a time. Read more h e r e
The Malaysia Government is clear about where it stands on dual-citizensbhip:

The nine lives of Isa Samad

Taman Tun, 19 June: PM Najib Razak has a weird sense of humour., sometimes His decision to appoint Isa Samad as acting Chairman of SPAD, the Commission that oversees the crucial and often volatile public transportation sector, actually made me laugh. Wakaka!

Sulaiman Mahbob's appointment as FGV Chairman, to replace Isa Samad, is not as funny. It could actually bring FGV to greater heights!

Interestingly, it has also been established that the FGV Board chaired by Isa (and attended by Sulaiman) had basis to initiate disciplinary action against its now-suspended CEO Zakaria Arshad. So, it is still not business as usual at FGV yet.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Nothing like his dad (in conjunction with Happy Father's Day)

I was hoping it was another Jagdeep Singh Deo and not the son of the late Karpal. What a blemish to the memory of that great man! And on the eve of Father's Day, too! I wouldn't even blame the DAP for such despicable behaviour even though Jagdeep is one of them. 
A piece of wisdom for other Jagdeeps out there:

Happy Father's Day, dads. Raise the children well. And pray they don't have what Jagdeep was smoking.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Pujut shocker: So now anyone - even a foreigner - can be Malaysian ADUN?

Bangsar, 17 June: The blogger Life of Annie's nonchalance towards the latest DOJ's shocker Part 2 (pls read Couldn't care less) didn't shock me, really. I think it describes, more or less, what Malaysians in general feel about the antics involving the US Department of Justice and the enemies on both political sides of the political divide (pro-Najib, pro-Tun). Malaysians hope that the DOJ does not drag its sloppy feet any longer and proceed with the promised legal battle between the US Government and Jho Lo & Reza Aziz. So we can all get on wth our lives. Amiin.

As for now, the real shocker to Malaysians is the court ruling in favour of Pujut assemblyman, who allegedly is, in effect, an Australian.

So does the court ruling mean that anyone, even a Malaysian who holds the citizenship of another country, can stand for election in Malaysia and go on to become an Assemblyman or a Member of Parliament? 
Does it mean a Malaysian can have dual citizenship?

As I understand it, the answer to both questions is, still, NO. 
Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Zahid Hamidi made this very clear that "a Malaysian will automatically lose his Malaysian citizenship if he is found to have dual citizenship". 
His deputy Nur Jazlan Rahmat further stressed that once a Malaysian has lost his Malaysian citizenship because he is found to hold a citizenship of another country, he cannot re-apply to become a Malaysian. [Tak boleh mohon semula kerakyatan - BH, 12 May 17]

So the law on this is quite clear.
Where the Sarawak state assembly Speaker might have erred, or so said the judge in the Pujut case, is that in disqualifying the Pujut assemblyman, the Speaker was exercising a power that was not his to begin with!
The BH story on the court ruling Dr Ting Tiong Choon Kekal Adun Pujut clearly quoted the Justice Dougas Cristo Primus Sikayun on who the powers belong to:

Yes, the authority over matters related to citizenship lies with the Federal Government. 

So if I were Dr Ting Tiong Choon, I put off the celebrations ...

Friday, June 16, 2017

Crying Wolf (on The Wall Street)

PJ, 16 June: It's been a year since the US Department of Justice made that explosive lawsuit announcement involving 1MDB. Since then, the Americans have elected a new President, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has confirmed his desire to be Prime Minister of Malaysia once again, and the DOJ's lawsuit hasn't moved an inch. The department's latest "action" has similar elements and juicy bits that featured in its "action" of last July's. So why aren't Malaysians not debating it like they did last July? I belong to several dozens of WhatsApp groups but only one is discussing the DOJ's action and by "discussing" I mean one individual has been providing all the links to DOJ news that might be spun against PM Najib Razak. Does that mean we are immune to news involving alleged corruption and stealing of billions from our coffers?
Or are Malaysians generally not buying what the DOJ's claiming, especially since nothing has come out of their last action?

This time around, what's different is the response by the Malaysian authorities. The Attorney-General Chamber was lightning quick with his response Nothing new, no evidence, Apandi dismisses DOJ's latest suit. The Prime Minister's Office has also slammed  DOJ's unproven allegations and suggested that there may be ulterior motives involved.

Even Jho Lo is challenging the DOJ to prove its claims in the court of law!

Tweet attributed to Jho Low slams latest DoJ action

 | June 16, 2017 
WSJ reporter, in sharing a tweet said to be from Jho Low, says it is the first statement in over 2 years by the Malaysian financier who, US authorities allege, is the central figure in the scandal involving 1MDB.
PETALING JAYA: Penang-born tycoon Low Taek Jho has reportedly responded to the US Justice Department’s (DoJ) move to seize another US$540 million in assets purportedly stolen from 1MDB and used to fund extravagant spending.

In a tweet attributed to Low and shared by Wall Street Journal reporter Bradley Hope, the tycoon, popularly known as Jho Low, reportedly slammed the DoJ, saying it had not proven that any improprieties had occurred.
“The US Department of Justice’s latest move continues its inappropriate efforts to seize assets despite not having proven that any improprieties have occurred.
“This week’s activity from the DoJ is a further example of global overreach in pursuit of a deeply flawed case.
“We look forward to the court being presented with the actual facts which demonstrate that the DoJ’s case is completely without foundation,” the tweet read.
Hope, who shared the tweet today, said it was Low’s first statement in over two years.
“Jho Low’s first statement in more than two years, following DoJ’s new suits against his assets incl. $250m yacht #1MDB #Malaysia,” he said on his Twitter account.
Low has, in the past, denied any wrongdoing.
The DoJ’s latest move follows court cases launched last year in which Washington sought to confiscate more than US$1 billion allegedly embezzled by businessmen with political connections in Malaysia, bringing the total amount US officials say was stolen to US$4.5 billion.
The items cited in the new suit as subject to seizure include a Park Avenue condominium, diamond jewellery, shares of fitness club operator Fly Wheel Sports Inc, a painting by Pablo Picasso titled “Nature Morte au Crane de Taureau” and rights to the 2014 film “Dumb and Dumber To”.
The government also wants to seize a luxury yacht, the Equanimity.
Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali dismissed the suit, saying the DoJ had yet to provide any evidence of misappropriated funds from 1MDB.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), meanwhile, suggested that the allegations were aimed at smearing certain individuals and had arisen from input by political opponents.
In a press statement today, the prime minister’s press secretary Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad said: “We are also concerned by the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to domestic political manipulation and interference. This suggests a motivation that goes beyond the objective of seizing assets.”

The 1MDB issued a statement that basically says it is not a party to the DOJ's latest civil suit. Read 1MDB; No contact made by the US DOJ. The irony is this: it was the DOJ that made out 1MDB as the victim of the crime that has formed the basic of its lawsuit in July last year and the latest one.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

From trains to toilets ... Malaysia has no maintenance culture?

“Sometimes it may be one technician who made a mistake on the ground, or we didn't do our checks properly. When the system breaks down, the government gets the blame,”  he told his audience this afternoon, who laughed in response to his observation. - Strive for zero defects, else I'll be blamed, PM tells Prasarana

KL, 14 June: Last Thursday, at a the PM spoke about the need for Prasarana event, the PM stressed the need for an excellent maintenance culture. He may have said it in a light-hearted manner [Strive for zero defects, else I'll be blamed, PM tells Prasarana] but no one doubted that he was dead serious. The billions his administration is investing to get Malaysians the region's public transport will be less appreciated by Malaysians if those entrusted to maintain the infrastructure sleep on the job.

It's not just the trains. An tourist flying out this morning was horrified by what he saw at the KLIA. To whom it may concern, it isn't a laughing matter.

p.s. The tourist sent some other pictures which I thought are rather too gory for my dear readers

Monday, June 12, 2017

Nazri's poor tact

Don't hurt our feelings, Sabah's Anifah Aman tells his friend Nazri - Astro Awani
Read Anifah's full text h e r e
Nazri shouldn't have been so him - The Mole

Original story

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Puchong, 12 June: Nazri Aziz's tourism tax may well be good for the industry. Especially for Sarawak and Sabah, as claimed. So all the Tourism Minister needed to do was to convince the industry and the people that it is so. 
But Nazri, as we all know, can be so incapable of the easiest of tasks. His belligerent response to the Sarawak Tourism Minister's request to defer the July 1 implementation of the tax is the latest example of this serious handicap. 
And it's going to haunt him, the Tourism Board, and last but not least, his boss the Prime Minister. 
Because the Sarawakians, sweet and friendly as they are, can be belligerent if you disrespect them. In fact, anyone would.

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And Sarawakians are not just taking Nazri to task on the social media. Their Chief Minister has issued a formal statement, too: 

KUCHING: The state government has decided to withdraw Sarawak’s sole representative in the Malaysia Tourism Board with immediate effect. 
"The state government deems that the participation of its representative in Tourism Malaysia is not necessary, as (it duplicates) the role and functions of the Sarawak Tourism Board," the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement today.
The abrupt move comes amidst a nasty spat between Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, the state minister in charge of Tourism, over the new tourism tax.
Nazri recently explained that collections from the new tax will be distributed to all states, including Sarawak.
Nazri also labelled Karim “inexperienced” and a “young minister” for raising concerns over the tax, and reminded the latter that there are "bigger gangsters" than he.
His remarks triggered the wrath of netizens as well as Sarawak Barisan Nasional leaders, who described his statements as "harsh", "uncalled for" and “immature.” 

So out of the window the Federal government's RM654.62 million tax shall go, I reckon. Unless Nazri says sorry, I don't see how Sarawak would go along with the proposed measure. And then we can all imagine how the Sabahans will react. 

In the end, Najib Razak will have to step in, once again. Like he had to with FGV, in order to try and undo Isa Samad and Zakaria Arshad's mess. Like he is doing with Prasarana re the GLC's inability ti maintain and operate our public transit systems. 

But that's another story for another day.

Friday, June 09, 2017

The Muslim Dilemma

KL, 9 June: Two weeks into Ramadan, I thought I'd share this untitled rambling of an Anonymous that has been making its rounds on social media.  I don't subscribe to Anon's defeatist and damning conclusion but his/her observations are thought-provoking and good reminders of where Muslims in Malaysia are. Or, rather, are not.

Afghanistan= Destroyed
Iraq= Destroyed
Pakistan= Destroyed
Somalia= Destroyed
Syria= Destroyed
Yemen= Destroyed
Egypt= on the verge of destruction
Iran= Ready to be destroyed
Qatar= Ready to be Destroyed 
Number of Muslims killed in the last 20 years= More than 2 million
Number of Muslim Refugees= 59.9 millions
Number of illiterates in the Muslim world= 43 percent of about 2 billion
Number of people living below the poverty line=60 percent
With their destruction, millions of dream destroyed, millions of lives were shattered, and millions lost the will to live. 
And the debates among Muslim scholars and communities 
The right of triple talaq of Muslim men
Should moon be actually sighted or can we trust Allah's system of the lunar cycle?
Can a woman lead the prayer?
Can non-Muslims be allowed to visit mosques?Can a copy of the Quran be given to non Muslims
Can a menstruating woman visit the masjid and sit inside the masjid
How many hair a Muslim woman can show when wearing the hijab?
How many dates one should eat during iftar, the sunnah way
Can eight rakas of taraweeh be preferred over 20 rakas.
Did the aya announcing the finalization of deen refer to the appointment of Ali, RTA at Yum Ghadeer. 
How to declare Shias Kafir
How to declare Sunnis kafir
How to declare anyone who does not agree with my interpretation of Islam as a deviant? 
How to put down those who disagree with me? 
What is the status of those who who do not know how to recite the Quran with proper tajwed? 
How many items were served on the iftar party
How big the iftar parties are in the Muslim world.
Do you really think that it is a nation worthy of the divine message?
Do you really think that Muslims can be a positive factor in any part of the world.
If we think that way we are delusional.  

Thursday, June 08, 2017

All the good news in a day

Two Dins don't think Idris Jala is the right guy. [Stories at the end of Original article)

The perfect front page

Original article:
Bangsar, June 8: To a newsman, a good day at the office is one that ends with the best stories making the front page of tomorrow's paper. Today's Utusan Malaysia has that kind of front page: the FGV saga, a new Chairman at Media Prima, PKR's Sivarasa mohon ampun from Sultan Selangor,  a former IGP exposing yet another lie hurled at 1MDB, and another major corruption bust by the MACC. Notice the absence of political rhetorics on the front page of Utusan today ..

Incidentally, someone asked me last night if Idris Jala was the best person to help manage the leadership crisis in FGV.  Look at Idris' track record when he was sent to troubled Malaysia Airlines and his work at Pemandu offering the Government cures for all kinds of the nation's ailments.  Look also at the rebound of FGV shares prices, which reflects the market confidence in Idris. 
My view is that PM Najib Razak could not have sent in a better trouble shooter. Which does make me wonder, at the same time, what had made him put Isa at Felda and FGV in the first place!  
The Sarawakian's first task, if he asks me, is to tell both Isa Samad and Zakaria Arshad to shut up. Both men have said too much. Idris should also warn Isa not to threaten the Press, or anyone else, with lawsuits. This is not a family feud or a Negri Sembilan clan war. To make things easier for himself and fairer to all parties involved, Idris may want to ask Isa to go on leave pending his investigation/report. 
Can't ask him to resign, because in Isa's own, emphatic, words (which were exactly Zakaria's words): "I did no wrong". 

Read also:

1. Muhyiddin: Mengapa Idris Jala, bujanya firma akautan bebas?
2. Khairuddin: Adakah Idris Jala pakar menyiasat?