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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

PAS: How much will be spent to save PM’s political life?

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PAS is wondering about the total value of the federal government’s pledges to voters in the upcoming by-elections.
Furthermore, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the June 18 contest is considered an important referendum, which can extend a political lifeline to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
“In the 13th general election, BN’s campaign was said to have been aided by the donation of an Arab ‘merchant’ (saudagar).
“Whose funds would be used for the two by-elections?” he asked in a media statement.
Tuan Ibrahim also questioned the source of the funding for the recent Sarawak state election, where BN scored a landslide win.
He noted how Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said revealed that the federal government promised 400 projects worth RM792.34 million for Sarawak during the election period.
Based on what was rolled out for the Sarawak polls, Tuan Ibrahim did not discount that the upcoming by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar would witness a tough fight between BN and PAS.
He reiterated his call for the opposition parties to remain united in the wake of concerns that three corner fights would split votes in favour of BN.
“I believe nobody among the opposition wishes to see the PM and BN leaders making statements like ‘rakyat accept GST’, ‘rakyat believe there are no wrongdoings in the RM2.6 billion donation’, ‘rakyat believe PM is not involved in 1MDB’, ‘BN government is clean’ and so forth after winning the polls.

“It is hoped that the opposition which does not wish to help PAS, do not make it easier for BN to win in the two seats,” he said.
PAS splinter Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) has expressed its preparedness to contest in both the seats and urged PKR to cease negotiations with PAS.
Selangor DAP has also backed the proposal for Amanah to do battle in the two seats. -Mkini

‘Jamil Khir trying to make aberrant normative’

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Federal minister Jamil Khir Baharom’s view that a ban on unilateral conversion of minors is unconstitutional is so out of sync with constitutional theory as to be bizarre, said DAP MP for Ipoh Barat M Kulasegaran.
“He’s trying to make what is aberrant normative,” said Kulasegaran.
Jamil Khir had offered the view in Parliament, in response to Kulasegaran’s written question on when unilateral conversions of minors would be banned, that such a ban would be unconstitutional.
“In all probability, as the basis for the minister’s view, Jamil is placing a narrow construction on the word ‘parent’ in the relevant clause pertaining to religious conversion of minors which if done unilaterally is disallowed,” asserted Kulasegaran.
The DAP national vice-chair said the stipulation in the constitution on interpretation of words in the general clauses of the document clearly state that words appearing in the singular should be taken as plural and those appearing as plural should be interpreted as plural.
“But from 2002, the Bahasa Malaysia editions of the constitution had begun supplanting the Bahasa term for parents which is ‘ibu bapa’ with ‘ibu atau bapa’ and this has engendered the confusion that now pervades the interpretation of stipulations barring unilateral conversions in cases where parents have become estranged or are divorced,” said Kulasegaran.
He said Jamil’s opinion that a bar on unilateral conversions was unconstitutional flies in the face of a 2009 cabinet directive that children of estranged or divorced parents must adhere to the religion of the parents when they were married and not when one spouse elects to convert.
“Though that cabinet directive did not have the force of law, it was reasonable and fair in the construction it placed on the gender equality and freedom of religion clauses guaranteed by the constitution,” pointed out Kulasegaran.
He said that though no further developments on the contentious issue were forthcoming after the 2009 cabinet directive was issued, the formation last year of a five-member cabinet committee to recommend measures to alleviate the issue was a promising initiative.

“More so when one member, Health Minister S Subramaniam, announced in January that the prime minister had agreed in principle to consider amending the law so that children cannot be converted to another religion without the consent of both parents,” said Kulasegaran.
He said that in the light of these developments, Jamil Khir’s view that barring unilateral conversions would be unconstitutional was “bizarre and not in keeping with ministerial consensus and prime ministerial inclination on the issue”.
“The PM must urgently put right this matter and steer a resolution of this vexed issue that is in accord with constitutional guarantees on gender equality and equal treatment under the law,” argued Kulasegaran. -Mkini

Anwar under a 'clampdown' after letter he wrote was leaked

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PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar said today that since the publication of the letter written by Anwar Ibrahim that had been leaked out, her father has been subject to a clampdown.
A result of the leak, she said, family members have a tough time meeting with him.

"Lawyers also find it difficult to meet him. They are only given access of one hour a week to meet him for documents to be signed and to receive instructions from my father," Nurul Izzah said.
It is understood that the Prisons Department has conducted an internal inquiry following the leak of the letter.
Anwar is now also subjected to body checks before before he leaves the prison, said a source familiar with the opposition leader.
[More to follow]
-Mkini

Najib doesn’t need to tell anyone about RM2.6b, says ex-law minister

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Former de facto law minister Nazri Abdul Aziz said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had no obligations to inform anyone that he received a RM2.6 billion political donation.
Nazri, who is also Umno supreme council member, said Najib only needed to alert Bank Negara Malaysia of a large tranche of cash coming into the country and need not keep anyone else in the loop.
“He never told us (the supreme council). He didn't have to tell us. He just to have get approval from Bank Negara, that’s all,” he said when met at the Parliament lobby.
Nazri said this after Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi last week revealed Najib told the council the central bank gave the clearance for the transaction.
“(Former Umno president Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) led us in five general elections.
"He did not tell us how much money he collected. It’s normal practice, okay? Why is it okay when Mahathir did it, but for Najib not okay?
“Najib collected money into his accounts, at least I know how much he collected. Mahathir, five times (he led us in the) general election... I don’t know how much he collected to this day,” Nazri said.
He pointed out that BN fields candidates in all 222 parliamentary seats and more than 500 state seats in a general election, and each seat requires deposits.
This requires funding, he added.
“I want to tell you, I was minister of law for nine years. No offence was committed when Najib collected RM2.6 billion to finance the BN election machinery. Every party does that,” he said.
Asked why Najib did not come clean about when the funds were found in his accounts last year, Nazri retorted: “Did he have to?”
Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali in January cleared Najib of wrongdoing over the RM2.6 billion donation.

Apandi said it was a donation from a member of the Saudi royal family.

Prince Sultan Abdulaziz, son of King Salman, told reporters last week that the kingdom never gives money to destabilise existing regimes.
"Saudi Arabia has never given money to upset existing political regimes, even if we don't agree with them," he said.
However, he could not give more details on the donation to Najib as he has no background information on it.- Mkini

Will Singapore Issue Warrants For An ASEAN Head of State?

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Well if Singapore does do that then tens of millions of people in a neighburing country will be eternally grateful.  (Only about  200 treacherous traitors will be very unhappy.)

Decades of distrust towards Singapore will evaporate overnite. 

People will rejoice, oil lamps will be lit, laddhu and halwa sweetmeats will be dished out (sugar free or kurang manis ones for me), people will dance in the streets, the stock market will bounce back, the local currency will recover 20% of its lost value, businesse will move again and the dark and gloomy times will be lifted. 

So will Singapore just go ahead and do it?

Yesterday I was in a meeting with a former ASEAN Head of State. He is very sceptical if the UK, the Swiss, Singapore etc will take any real action.  He says the Brits want to sell their weapons. So they will overlook many things. He says everyone has their own agenda. He is not convinced that foreign countries will do much to help rid a neighbour of a corrupt tyrant. 

Ok here is some relevant news about Singapore arresting an Indon businessman and some analysis. 

Businessman's arrest for forest fires is "slap in the face" for Indonesian government, AsiaOne News

Jakarta Globe
Tuesday, May 24, 2016
  • Tensions between Indon and S'pore simmering 
  • kerfuffle developing over S'pore court warrant for Indon businessman
  • involvement in last year's forest fires. 
  • warrant after businessman failed to turn up for interview with S'pore authorities 
  • S'pore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied Indon claims that formal complaint against warrant had been lodged by Indon Embassy in S'pore
  • S'pore felt it had every right to prosecute those deemed responsible
  • based on the 2014 Transboundary Haze Pollution Act
  • S'pore's move was both logical and laudable. 
  • slap in the face for Indon govt. 
  • swift action embarrassing reminder of Jakarta's unmistakable sluggishness 
  • S'pore's foreign ministry described Indonesia's reaction as "puzzling." S

Ok so Singapore will arrest an Indon businessman for a crime committed in Indonesia but which had impact on Singapore (transboundary crimes). This is referring to the haze that comes from Indonesia.

Will Singapore arrest an ASEAN Head of State for involvement in transboundary financial crime which has already had a huge and negative effect on Singapore's reputation as an international financial hub?

Here is that anonymous comment from Singapore again :

Anonymous said...

NO WAY OUT

more from Swiss and Singapore in coming days weeks.
and Dept of Justice FBI will arrest Riza and charge 
issue red notice for Jho Low . all coming up next.

Yes, next will be some of the 6 more bankers charged
Falcon Bank also will lose the license in Singapore.
Standard Charted Bank even though majority owned by Sing Govt will face fines 
for remitting US$100's millions for fake Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia etc
wired US150mill to Najib and US500 mill odd to the phoney arabs !

I think Eric Tan and Jho Low will get Interpol Red Notice warrants next week

and happily since S'pore closed a bank, I think they will issue N__ib warrant too 

since some of his money frozen in his name and some accounts via nominees

Wednesday, May 25, 2016 8:05:00 AM

My comments :  Will Singapore issue a warrant of arrest for an ASEAN Head of State? The Indonesians will be shocked as well, but in admiration. It will be a huge vote of confidence in Singapore as a 'no nonsense' nation. 

Will Singapore stick to the Law?
Will Singapore stick to its principles?

You can only issue warrants of arrest for criminals.  All else is tertiary.   

Its Denying Bangladesh MOU All Over Again, Petronas' Denial Makes Russian Minister Look Stupid.

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Remember our Minister went to Dhaka in Bangladesh to sign that MOU with the Bangla government to import 1.5 million Bangla worker (or 500,000 Banglas x three years).  Then it was revealed that Zahid Hamidi's brother would be involved in importing the Banglas. Zahid threw a tantrum and made the announcement that no Banglas would be imported. Period.

That flip-flop also caused severe embarrassment for the Bangla government. The Dhaka Press went to town criticising their government over the knee jerk by Zahid Hamidi.

In similar fashion Petronas has denied any negotiations to sell any of its oil and gas assets to the Russians.  

This again will severely embarrass the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak who made a lengthy statement about the same subject at the sidelines of the most recent ASEAN - Russia summit in Sochi in Russia.  

"Last Friday, Russian state news agency TASS reported Energy Minister Alexander Novak as saying state-controlled Zarubezhneft was in talks with Petronas regarding the purchase of its assets."



That news about the Russians negotiating to buy out Petronas' assets has gone viral. The local print media has gone quite predictably quiet on the issue.

So Petronas has denied everything.  Very good. Mission accomplished. So our oil assets are safe. They will not be sold to the Russians.
Just to clarify some things.

Here is some compiled stuff about this :

   
1.  A reminder about Zarubezhneft  :
 
Zarubezhneft is a Russian state-controlled oil company that specializes in exploration, development and operation of oil and gas fields *outside of Russian territory.*

If Petronas tries to spin this that Zarubezhneft is looking to acquire Petronas' share of *Russian* assets, it will be a lie. 
  • Zarubezhneft deals in oil and gas that is not within Russia. 
  • Zarubezhneft undertakes foreign Oil & Gas investments, outside Russia.

2. http://themalaysianreserve.com/new/story/petronas-may-sell-stake-russian-og-firm
 

Zarubezhneft would not buy shares of Russia's Rosneft, because Zarubezhneft deals with non-Russian O&G. 

This Rosneft sale is NOT what Tass was referring to.  

My comments : Zahid's flip flop on the 1.5 million Bangla workers (24 hours after signing an MOU with Bangladesh)  embarrassed the Bangla government.

Now Petronas' denial about selling assets to Russia will likewise embarrass the Russians, especially their Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Our name will really stink as a country that cannot be trusted. That the gomen can sign MOUs, negotiate deals etc and then just deny everything overnite.

Malulah Malaysia.

No Compromise (Even with Najib) : The Full Media Statement From MAS Singapore

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BSI Bank to shut down in Singapore

Singapore, 24 May 2016…The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) announced today that it has served BSI Bank Limited (BSI Bank) notice of intention to withdraw its status as a merchant bank in Singapore for serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff.

2   In addition, MAS has referred to the Public Prosecutor the names of six members of BSI Bank’s senior management and staff to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences.

3   BSI Bank has been operating as a merchant bank in Singapore since November 2005 where it offers private banking services.  It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BSI SA, a bank founded in 1873 and headquartered in Switzerland.

Assurance for customers of BSI Bank

4   Clients and customers of BSI Bank are assured that the Bank is solvent and has assets in excess of its liabilities and commitments.  It also has the full support of its parent bank, BSI SA, in Switzerland.  MAS is working closely with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the home regulator of BSI SA, to oversee an orderly closure of BSI Bank in Singapore.

5   MAS notes that FINMA has approved the acquisition of the entire BSI Group by EFG International, a bank authorised by FINMA and headquartered in Switzerland. In the interest of the customers of BSI Bank, MAS will allow the transfer of the Singapore subsidiary’s assets and liabilities to the Singapore branch of EFG Bank AG or to the parent entity, BSI SA. 

Withdrawal of merchant bank status

6   In 2011, MAS inspected BSI Bank and found policy and process lapses at the front office and weak enforcement by control functions.  The lapses were rectified. 

In 2014, MAS inspected the bank again and uncovered serious shortcomings in its due diligence checks on assets underlying the investment funds structured for the bank’s customers. Given repeated findings of weaknesses in its control regime, MAS instructed BSI Bank’s management to increase scrutiny of the bank’s risk management processes and internal controls. 

A more intrusive third inspection by MAS in 2015 revealed multiple breaches of anti-money laundering regulations and a pervasive pattern of non-compliance.

7   MAS’ decision to withdraw BSI Bank’s status as a merchant bank takes into account the repetitive lapses as well as the 2015 inspection findings which revealed:   
  • widespread control failures which led to numerous serious breaches of various anti-money laundering regulations
  • poor and ineffective oversight by the senior management of BSI Bank
  • unacceptable risk culture, with blatant disregard for compliance and control requirements as well as MAS’ regulations
  • numerous acts of gross misconduct by certain staff

8   Specific regulatory lapses include the processing of multiple unusual transactions which were essentially pass-through trades often without economic substance. 

Approvals of such transactions were based purely on faith of client representations despite deficient documentation and concerns raised by the bank’s compliance officers.
9   This is the first time that MAS is withdrawing its approval for a merchant bank since 1984, when Jardine Fleming (Singapore) Pte Ltd was shut down for serious lapses in its advisory work.

Referral of BSIS senior management and staff to the Public Prosecutor
10   MAS found considerable evidence of gross dereliction of duty and failure to discharge oversight responsibilities on the part of BSI Bank’s senior management.  Their ineffective governance led to a poor risk culture, which prioritised questionable customer demands ahead of compliance with anti-money laundering regulations and the bank’s own internal controls.
11   Several of the bank staff also committed wilful acts of misconduct, such as:  
  • making material misrepresentations to auditors
  • abetting improper valuations of assets; and
  • taking instructions from persons other than customers’ authorised representatives on matters relating to customers’ accounts

12   The severe lapses and failings in BSI Bank, which led to MAS’ decision to withdraw the bank’s status as a merchant bank, were the result of the actions or omissions of these individuals.

13   MAS has referred to the Public Prosecutor the names of the following six members of BSI Bank’s senior management and staff to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences:
  1.  Mr Hans Peter Brunner, former CEO
  2.  Mr Raj Sriram, former Deputy CEO
  3.  Mr Kevin Michael Swampillai*, Head of Wealth Management Services
  4.  Mr Yak Yew Chee, former Senior Private Banker
  5.  Mr Yeo Jiawei**, former Wealth Planner; and
  6.  Ms Seah Yew Foong Yvonne, former Senior Private Banker

* Mr Swampillai is currently suspended by the bank.
** Mr Yeo is currently in remand and has been charged by the Public Prosecutor for various offences.


Imposition of financial penalties

14   MAS has also served BSI Bank notice to impose financial penalties amounting to S$13.3 million for 41 breaches of MAS Notice 1014 - Prevention of Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism. The breaches include failure to perform enhanced customer due diligence on high risk accounts, and to monitor for suspicious customer transactions on an ongoing basis.

MAS’ expectations of financial institutions

15   MAS requires financial institutions in Singapore to comply strictly with its regulations on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism.  Like all major international financial and business centres, Singapore faces an inherent risk of being used as a conduit for illicit financial flows. Financial institutions operating in Singapore are therefore expected to have rigorous systems and processes to thwart this risk, including high standards of vigilance in on-boarding clients and monitoring transactions.

16   Mr Ravi Menon, Managing Director, MAS, said, “BSI Bank is the worst case of control lapses and gross misconduct that we have seen in the Singapore financial sector. It is a stark reminder to all financial institutions to take their anti-money laundering responsibilities seriously. Controls need to be robust, surveillance vigilant, and the management culture must emphasise professional integrity and risk consciousness.” 

17   MAS is conducting supervisory reviews of several other financial institutions and bank accounts through which suspicious and unusual transactions have taken place.  MAS will not hesitate to take actions against these institutions if they are found to have breached regulations or fallen short of expectations.

18   Mr Menon said, “MAS is absolutely committed to safeguarding the integrity and reputation of Singapore’s financial centre.  On this, there can be no compromise.