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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Najib's July 31st Election Deadline!

Najib's July 31st Election Deadline!
All the signs are growing that Najib plans for a snap mid-year election and no wonder.
Yesterday’s ‘settlement’ with IPIC/Aabar was a total cave-in for Malaysia and it has left the Prime Minister horribly exposed with a very large bill indeed, due July 31st.
As DAP Finance Spokesman Tony Pua has pointed out, 1MDB surrendered on every point over its dispute with Aabar and the Abu Dhabi sovereign fund IPIC, agreeing to pay back the entire $1.2 billion bail out of June 2015, plus to take on all the remaining expenses on the two so-called ‘Power Purchase Bonds’ taken out by 1MDB in 2012, backed by a supposed guarantee from Aabar’s parent company IPIC.
IPIC spelt the terms out fully (and rather smugly) in its statement to the London Stock Exchange on Monday.  The first payment from 1MDB to IPIC is $602,725,000, due at the very latest July 31st,. The second is an identical payment due by the end of December, the IPIC statement confirms.
What IPIC did NOT do, as Jho Low’s spinners had desperately been trying to make out in advance, was to make referrence or give any credence to the claim that under the agreement Malaysia would be finding the money from 1MDB’s dodgy (i.e. non-existent) funds in its Brazen Sky account.
That ridiculous spin was left to 1MDB’s own cheeky little statement yesterday, which left out all the hard detail on the embarassing numbers but went long on claims that 1MDB would find the money to pay back IPIC by “primarily by the monetisation of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.
“As per the settlement, 1MDB will, amongst others, make certain payments to IPIC and will assume responsibility for all future interest and principal payments for two bonds issued by 1MDB Group companies due in 2022.
These obligations will be met by 1MDB primarily via monetisation of 1MDB-owned investment fund units…” [short on figures, long on ridiculous spin – 1MDB statement]
Journalists had been told by ‘insiders’ (i.e. Jho Low) that these ‘units’ where the ones allegedly held in 1MDB’s Brazen Sky account, which was frozen when Singapore closed down BSI Bank over money laundering the proceeds of thefts from 1MDB – thefts which Najib Razak continues to refuse to acknowledge took place.
There has been no indication that the account has been released and all the evidence indicates it had nothing of value in it anyway.
Yet Najib tried to give the ‘monetisation of units’ spin further momentum by issuing a separate statement through the Prime Minister’s Office:
“The government is pleased that IPIC and 1MDB have resolved their differences in an amicable manner.
We also note the monetisation of all 1MDB-owned investment fund units.
These significant events represent the continued positive progress made by 1MDB which is nearing the completion of its rationalisation programme” [Statement by Tenku Sariffuddin, Press Secretary to the Prime Minister]

The deadly admission 

However, there is a deadly admission hidden in plain sight within this ‘settlement’, which Najib Razak has attempted to ignore, but which Tony Pua has spelt out in his reponse:
“1MDB’s concession to the settlement terms is a direct affirmation and confirmation that 1MDB have lost US$3.51 billion worth of payments which have purportedly been paid to IPIC and its subsidiary, Aabar Investments PJS.” [Tony Pua]
After all, the Prime Minister and 1MDB have continued, in the face of all the evidence, to claim that payments totalling $3.5 billion were paid to Aabar/IPIC as a ‘deposit’ to back the supposed guarantees of the Power Purchase loans.
IPIC have replied categorically that they never asked for such payments and never received them.
Last July a US Department of Justice investigation confirmed in a court deposition what everyone had long suspected, which was that the money was in fact paid to a series of bogus off-shore companies with names that made them sound as if they were subsidiaries of Aabar. In particular, Aabar Investments PJS Limited in the BVI, incorporated by the CEO of Aabar and it Chairman, but separate entirely from the Abu Dhabi group.
The DOJ provided a comprehensive money trail, showing how the money went from 1MDB into the fake BVI Aabar account, then on to a company owned by Jho Low called Blackstone Asia. Jho Low then used Blackstone Asia to pay huge kickbacks to the then Chairman and CEO of Aabar for performing that little favour (both those men are now in jail in Abu Dhabi) and divested the rest of the money on a massive spending spree, which included sending US$30 million directly to Najib’s account.
Yet Najib and his 1MDB CEO, Arul Kanda, have simply continued to deny this fact to the Malaysian public. They have claimed throughout this dispute that the money did indeed go to IPIC, which was why they were arguing that IPIC ought to have used it to bail out its debts.
After all, if the US$3.5 billion ‘deposit’ had been paid, why would 1MDB not expect IPIC to make that US$1.2 billion bail out from the money set aside for the purpose?  There can be no doubt that if the money had actually been paid, 1MDB would have won that London arbitration battle hands down.
The fact that 1MDB has plainly been unable to satisfy the court proves the money wasn’t paid and Najib is lying.  Tony Pua has totted up all the payments the Finance Minister still claims 1MDB made to IPIC, as laid before MPs in the Public Accounts Committee last year:
The money 1MDB still alleges it paid to IPIC totals $3.5 billion and yet yesterday's settlement is an admission that IPIC never received it.
The money 1MDB still alleges it paid to IPIC totals $3.51 billion and yet yesterday’s settlement is an admission that IPIC never received it.

Bets are on for a July election!

Which is why many are now laying bets on the likelihood that Najib is going to cut his losses and go for an election BEFORE he has to come up with that hefty US$602 million payment owed to IPIC on July 31st!
The reason being that there is no money to be made from selling 1MDB’s fictional ‘units’ and so in the end that cash is going to have to be raised direct from the taxpayer through his Ministry of Finance, which is ultimately responsible for meeting the commitment.
Once that happens then all the lies and nonsence will be once and for all exposed – and Malaysian’s will be faced with the realisation that Najib will probably have to raise taxes to pay for it all.
Better that comes out in the wake of a hoped-for election win, Najib is reasoning, rather than any time in the run-up to a vote that has to be held latest next year!
“Ministry of Finance doesn’t even itself have that money at the moment, which is why they are buying time. They will have to find it and it will involve bumping up GST or some similar manoeuvre”
One insider has told Sarawak Report.
So, if electioneering has started showing signs around where you live, you have the answer why.  The party will be on you the voter and you the taxpayer! -Sarawak Report

Api Besar Di Kerteh Bakal Padam?

Melewati Api Besar, masih jauh lagi perjalanan untuk dituju. Api Besar merupakan kawasan perindustrian minyak dan gas di Kerteh Terenganu, berdekatan dengan Paka.

Penduduk tempatan memberi gelaran Api Besar kerana terdapat banyak api besar yang tak pernah padam di situ. Api untuk memproses minyak dan gas. Tetapi ia bakal terpadam?

Sejak industri minyak global merudum, projek makin berkurang. Penduduk sekitarnya yang rata-rata bekerja dalam industri minyak dan gas paling terkesan.

Projek tiada maka mereka tiada kerja. Ia diburukkan lagi tindakan kerajaan memindahkan banyak projek ke Pengerang, Johor, untuk memusatkan kawasan minyak dan gas di Pengerang, menurut mereka.

Semakin sukar untuk penduduk tempatan mendapat pekerjaan. Ada di kalangan mereka terpaksa memilih untuk berhijrah dan bekerja di Pengerang.

Ada yang ke Port Dickson malah ke luar negara. Ramai yang tinggalkan anak bini di kampung, kerana kesukaran membawa mereka bersama.

Kadar pengangguran yang tinggi menyukarkan kehidupan rakyat. Mengikut laporan dikeluarkan oleh akhbar yang telah terkubur akibat tindakan zalim kerajaan memerintah, The Malaysia Insider, kos sara hidup di kawasan Paka adalah antara yang tertinggi di Malaysia.

Ini disebabkan Paka dan sekitarnya merupakan kawasan minyak. Penduduknya dilimpahi dengan kemewahan industri minyak dan gas.

Kini industri telah suram, penduduk tiada pekerjaan, tetapi harga barang tidak pula menunjukkan penurunan.

Mengharapkan wakil rakyat yang dilantik mereka sewaktu pilihan raya lebih menyakitkan hati. Selera rakyat tempatan di sini memilih lebih kepada serban berbanding kebolehan.

Wakil rakyat di sini hidup bersama rakyat, berpakaian, berumah sama seperti rakyat. Mereka benar-benar berjiwa rakyat.

Namun kemahiran mereka lebih kepada menjadi imam solat, khatib khutbah dan mengepalai majlis agama. Ini bukanlah ciri yang teruk, malah dituntut kepada semua pemimpin.

Akan tetapi yang lebih diperlukan ialah yang boleh menyelesaikan masalah rakyat. Yang mampu mencipta dan menambah peluang kerja rakyat.

Bagaimana rakyat mahu khusyuk solat jika kepala diserabutkan dengan tiada duit membeli makanan untuk anak bini?

Akhirnya perjalanan sampai ke destinasi yang dituju, sebuah pejabat kecil tetapi cantik di Gong Badak Terengganu – tempat bakal berlangsungnya Jelajah Dialog Hati ke Hati bersama rakyat Terengganu anjuran PKR.

Jelajah dialog ini dirancang menjajah seluruh ceruk negara. Peluang untuk rakyat meluah perasaan.

Apa guna jika perdana menteri umumkan ekonomi baik, tetapi petani masih hidup dalam kemiskinan, nelayan masih kais pagi makan pagi kais petang makan petang.

“Negeri Terengganu terlalu bergantung kepada hasil minyak, mesti wujudkan industri baru yang boleh memberi peluang pekerjaan kepada rakyat.

“Di samping kerajaan perlu mewujudkan satu unemployment benefit yang bukan bersumber dari cukai baru, untuk melindungi pekerja, terutama sektor minyak dan gas,” kata Rafizi Ramli bila disoal berkaitan pengangguran pekerja minyak dan gas.

Negeri Terengganu sudah cukup bertuah kerana dikurniakan minyak. Yang diperlukan ialah pemimpin yang cekap memerintah.

Ketika pemimpin sibuk bercakaran di parlimen, ketika pemimpin sibuk mempermainkan isu agama dan bangsa untuk kepentingan diri, ktika ada pemimpin tidak berhati perut merembat RM2.6 bilion duit rakyat, dakyat di Kerteh, Paka dan sekitarnya masih pening bagaimana nak teruskan hidup kerana tiada peluang kerja.

Api besar bakal terpadam selamanya?

- Ahmad Firdaus Mohd 


PETALING JAYA – Parti Bersatu Sabah secretary-general Datuk Johnny Mositun (pic) has agreed with Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan’s suggestion to bring back English-medium government schools to Sabah.
“Over the years the general standard of English has declined, and this has made it difficult for young Malaysians going abroad to train and study in various fields, especially technical subjects,” said Mositun in a statement on Monday.
He added that this meant that these students would lose out when applying for jobs in the service industry and in multinational companies.
Mositun said the proposal by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department would do much to improve the fluency of English used by students in Sabah.
“The re-introduction of English-medium schools will certainly help to reverse the current situation,” he said.
Abdul Rahman proposed on Saturday that English-medium government schools in Sabah be reestablished, starting with a pilot project in selected primary and secondary schools.
“It is a fact that English is the most widely used language in global communications today,” said Mositun, adding that Malaysians would lag behind in areas such as academia and business without English mastery.
He said the state government should emulate Sarawak and formally request the Education Ministry to implement Abdul Rahman’s proposal.
“This is not to say Bahasa Melayu is not important. Malay-medium schools can continue side by side and we could eventually have a dual-language national school system,” he said.
Mositun added that he is also in favour of Sabah recognising the Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) qualification for universities and other education institutions.
According to him, the state has many Chinese schools and large numbers of Sabah bumiputra students attend them.
“These schools have played a major role in our state’s education development since colonial days. It would be a good thing if our state government recognised the UEC just as Sarawak has done, and we should petition the Federal Government to do the same,” he said.


KUALA LUMPUR ― An Indian law enforcement agency said it will examine Dr Zakir Naik’s recent visit to Malaysia, after Putrajaya confirmed that the fugitive preacher was granted permanent residency (PR) here five years ago.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED), which recently served a non-bailable warrant against Dr Zakir, also said it is aware of his visit to an April 16 event by Malay rights group Perkasa here, where he was given honorary membership and an award.
“We are looking into it,” an unnamed high-ranking ED officer was quoted saying by New Delhi-based daily Hindustan Times.
Indian authorities were also quoted saying that they will continue to explore their options under the mutual legal assistance treaty with Malaysia, although it does not cover arrest warrants.
“Efforts to bring him back will continue,” another unnamed government official was quoted saying.
Earlier this month, a court in Mumbai reportedly issued a non-bailable warrant for Dr Zakir’s arrest, in connection to a money laundering case filed against him by the ED, an agency under the country’s Ministry of Finance tasked with fighting economic crimes.
Last week, a special court under India’s National Investigation Agency (NIA) in Mumbai issued another non-bailable warrant against Dr Zakir in a probe over his links to terrorism.
The NIA, which has a registered criminal case against the medical doctor by training, reportedly told the court that Dr Zakir failed to respond to three previous summons, adding that it will seek Interpol’s aid to secure the return of the preacher now residing in Malaysia.

Dr Zakir reportedly left India to avoid arrest after several perpetrators of a terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh claimed to have been inspired by his sermons, which prompted the NIA’s case against him under India’s Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
The preacher is a polarising personality in Malaysia, alternately held in esteem by some in the Muslim community and reviled by those of other faiths due to his provocative teachings.
The local Hindu community, in particular, remains aggrieved with the preacher owing to remarks he previously made regarding their faith.
Perlis Mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin last penned a poem criticising “cow worshippers” for seeking Dr Zakir’s expulsion, but withdrew it yesterday and apologised after drawing the ire of the local Hindu community.


MALACCA: The first thing that bank officer Ali Arami did after tying the knot on Saturday was to present an ang pow to his former school.
The RM500 for the Pay Fong High School may not be huge, but the gesture was enough to make the school management respond in a special way.
Ali, 27, and his bride Rima Princess Dewi, 26, who also went to a Chinese school, have been made “Ambassadors of Unity” by the vernacular school.
“The experience of studying in a Chinese school has made me a more complete Malaysian. My teachers taught me to respect other races and see all of us as one.
“I am indebted to my school for what I am today,’’ said Ali of his six years at the school.
The special guests at the wedding ceremony, held at the Malacca library complex, were school principal Ng Swee Lai and its teachers.
Ali left the school in 2008. Rima studied at SMJK Yok Bin here.
The couple wore Chinese and Korean traditional wedding costumes. They also posed in their official Malay attire for their photo shoot.
Ng praised the couple for helping with the school’s initiative to promote unity.
“Ali has not forgotten his alma mater,” she said.
“He has come back to play basketball with the sports teacher and also kept in touch with the others.
“He has also been contributing financially to the school, and got his wife to help out,’’ said Ng, who was invited on stage to receive the couple’s ang pow.
She said the school’s policy was to get its students to live in harmony, adding that Ali had been “an inspiration”.
A wushu exponent, the Mandarin-speaking Ali went on to study at the Bukit Jalil Sports School to become a stunt artist.
He has appeared in Malay films and Hong Kong action movies, and was once a stunt double for actor Aaron Kwok.

‘It was just for drama,’ says Raja Bomoh over antics

He repents after his arrest and being charged in court for insulting Islam and causing people to have a negative perception of the religion.
PETALING JAYA: “Raja Bomoh Sedunia” Ibrahim Mat Zin has claimed that all his eccentric antics before this was all pure drama.
“All of it was drama, the shaking of the bamboo sticks. I couldn’t see anything inside.
“I was told to shake the sticks. I took the coconuts as if they were bombs. I didn’t know what I did was wrong.”
He told a press conference today that he was sorry for his past misdeeds and he had repented for mocking Islam, Star Online reported.
Ibrahim, 66, promised not to repeat his antics which had drawn international attention as they were often carried out, with the help of assistants, during national crises in the presence of international media.
Ibrahim first drew attention in March 2014 when he conducted two rituals at KL International Airport to “locate” the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. He followed that up with another ceremony by the seaside near Malacca to “float” the aircraft.
In March, Ibrahim performed a ritual outside the Hospital Kuala Lumpur mortuary where foreign and local reporters had gathered to cover the assassination of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
He also performed a ritual, using his trademark coconuts and bamboo binoculars on a beach in Bagan Lalang, Negeri Sembilan, to “thwart” any efforts by North Korea to attack Malaysia with its missiles.
Ibrahim was charged in the Syariah Court on Tuesday after he was picked up by police at a Segamat hotel on April 21 over his ritual acts.
Ibrahim pleaded guilty to charges of insulting Islam and causing people to have a negative perception of the religion.
The press conference today was organised by the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department (Jawi).
Ibrahim claimed that he was instructed by an unidentified “someone” to conduct the rituals.
“When that person asked me to do it, I was the one who was at the receiving end.
“I slept at the Dang Wangi lock-up for two days and in Jinjang for three days. I have repented, I promise that I will stop all these rituals,” he said, also renouncing his “Raja Bomoh” title.
Jawi director Abd Aziz Jusoh said Ibrahim had been released on a good behaviour bond for six months.

His behaviour will be monitored by the Federal Territory mufti’s office. - FMT

C4: Disclose source of US$1.2 billion payment to IPIC

It says Malaysians are worried that taxpayers’ money will be used in the settlement involving 1MDB.
PETALING JAYA: The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) wants the government to disclose where it will source the US$1.2 billion (RM5.25 billion) to settle its debt with Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
C4 executive director Cynthia Gabriel said Malaysians are worried that taxpayers’ money would be used in the settlement between IPIC and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), both national companies under the governments of the United Arab Emirates and Malaysia respectively.
She said Prime Minister Najib Razak needed to immediately clarify the settlement without further delay.
She said Malaysians have every right to get answers to controversies involving loss of public funds which are causing mounting financial instability in the country.
“We have a right to know and a right to be assured that the rising cost of living isn’t going to get worse because of blatant abuse and mismanagement,” she said in a statement today.
Cynthia criticised the government for “attempting to paint a rosy picture” that the dispute between 1MDB and IPIC had reached a settlement.
“The government, in its statement, also stated that this move demonstrated that significant progress has been made to resolve the debt-ridden 1MDB,” she said.
An announcement at the London Stock Exchange yesterday said IPIC will receive US$602,725,000 by July 31 and a further US$602,725,000 by Dec 31 under the terms of the settlement.
1MDB and Malaysia’s MoF Inc (Minister of Finance Incorporated) also undertook to assume responsibility for all future interest and principal payments on the two bonds issued by 1MDB that were guaranteed by IPIC and 1MDB, the announcement added.
In a statement yesterday, 1MDB confirmed the settlement as part of arbitration proceedings between the two parties before the London Court of International Arbitration.
It added that 1MDB would also assume responsibility for all future interest and principal payments for the two bonds due in 2022.
“These obligations will be met by 1MDB, primarily via monetisation of 1MDB-owned investment fund units,” it said, adding that the first tranche of about US$50 million had been received. -FMT