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Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Asset declaration: Guan Eng tops 'income' list, followed by Dr M


Details regarding the income of Pakatan Harapan and Parti Warisan Sabah lawmakers, who have declared their assets to MACC, have been published on the commission's website.
MACC said it would publish the full details after “technical problems” are resolved.
At present, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng topped the list with an income of RM86, 464.92 followed by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad with RM75, 861.57.
As for Lim, the website stated that his wife and children have also declared their assets. Whereas for Mahathir, only his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Ali has declared.
Mahathir's son Mukhriz, who is also the Kedah menteri besar, is among the 77 Harapan MPs who have yet to declare their assets.
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is in the ninth spot with an income of RM59,048.33.
Her husband PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim and daughter Nurul Izzah are not on the list.
MACC said a total of 46 lawmakers have declared their assets, but the website contains 47 names. There are no details for two of the names on the list - Minister in the Prime Minister's Department P Waythamoorthy and Johor exco member Wong Shu Qi.
The commission also said that 19 out of 30 lawmakers with government posts have declared their assets. -Mkini

Cops have recorded Deepak's statement over Altantuya's murder case, says IGP


KUALA LUMPUR: Bukit Aman has recorded the statement of businessman J. Deepak in connection with the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case, says Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun.
The Inspector-General of Police said police will also take statements of relevant parties as part of the investigation.
"We will take all the necessary statements from persons relevant to the case.
"Once our investigation is complete, we will forward the investigation papers to the Deputy Public Prosecutor," he told a press conference after attending the seminar on strengthening integrity in the police force held at the Royal Malaysia Police College Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (Nov 1).
On Monday (Oct 29), Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh urged the Home Ministry to get statements from Pekan MP Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in connection with allegations that they were involved in Altantuya's murder.
Ramkarpal had said the revelations were made by Deepak, who was previously said to enjoy good ties with the couple, in an interview which was uploaded on the Internet recently, but the recording has since been deleted.
He said what Deepak brought up in the interview was important to the case as it could pinpoint the motive behind the murder of the Mongolian model.
"Deepak had clearly stated that Pekan was involved in the murder (of Altantuya)," Ramkarpal said.- Star

‘WE ARE IN DISARRAY, I TOO DON’T KNOW WHY’ – IN SHOCK ADMISSION, UMNO NO.2 MAT HASSAN SHOWS HE’S AS INCOMPETENT AS ZAHID: NO WONDER UMNO MPs ARE JUMPING SHIP – WHO WANTS TO BE STUCK IN A ‘VISION-LESS’ PARTY THAT CANNOT CONTRIBUTE TO THE COUNTRY, IN FACT THE FASTER THEY JUMP THE BETTER FOR THEM & THEIR CONSTITUENTS

THE country’s largest Malay party remains in a disorganised and confused state, almost six months after suffering its worst electoral defeat, admitted party deputy president Mohamad Hasan.
Mohamad said as a party with a large number of lawmakers, Umno should not be in a directionless state.
“How can we strengthen? Face reality, we have lost. We are no longer a government party.
“We must change our ways, not move as a government party but as an opposition party,” he was quoted as saying by the Malay-language Utusan Malaysia.
Mohamad said party members should temporarily forget about returning to power, but focus on reclaiming the trust of the Malays.
He said Umno needs to be built up with the values and ideology that can be accepted by the people, especially the Malays who had rejected Umno in the 14thgeneral election.
The former Negri Sembilan menteri besar said Umno will need 10 years to recover and rise again.
Until then, he said the party needs to be the check and balance and call out government policies that do not benefit the people.
“We should be focusing our attention on being critics of the Pakatan Harapan government, which, until now, doesn’t seem to have a clear direction,” he said.
“What are their policies, I’m not even sure. They look preoccupied with finding fault with the Barisan Nasional government.”
the malaysian insight

Umno wants cops to provide documents on RM116.7 million cash raid


Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Amar Singh at a press conference to announce the items seized during raids on premises linked to Najib Razak.
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno today sought to compel the police to provide documents related to the party’s suit to recover RM116.7 million in cash seized by the authorities as part of investigations into state investment fund 1MDB.
The former ruling party called on the police to provide a copy of the police report used as basis for the raids, the full list of cash seized, the report on the seized money and the pictures of the cash.
It claimed in its discovery application that Commercial Crime Investigation Department chief Amar Singh was in possession of these documents but did not want to disclose them.
Umno’s lawyer Hariharan Singh said High Court judge Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamed would hear the party’s bid to get the documents from the police on Dec 4.
He added that the court had not set a date to hear the police’s bid to strike out Umno’s recovery suit.
“We received the formal striking out application from the police and government two days ago,” he said, adding that the police wanted the suit dismissed on grounds that Umno had no legal standing to file it.
Umno, through its executive secretary Rauf Yusoh, filed the recovery lawsuit against the police and government on Sept 21.
The party named Amar, his deputy Mohd Sakri Ariffin, police officer R Rajagopal, the inspector-general of police and the government in the lawsuit.
Sakri was the officer who had led the operation to seize the money.
In his statement of claim, Rauf said Umno had entrusted its president to source and manage political funding and donations for the general election.
He said only the party president had access to the election funds or full knowledge of the funds.
Rauf said any balance of the election funds and other assets would be handed over by the outgoing Umno president to the incumbent.
He said RM160 million was entrusted to Najib Razak, which was the balance of election funds from the 14th general election.
He added that the police had conducted a search and seizure at a luxury apartment at the Pavilion Residences on May 17.
In a press conference on May 25, he said, Amar announced that RM114 million in cash was seized by the raiding team.
But on June 28, Umno said, Amar announced that the amount seized was RM116.7 million, not RM114 million.
Umno is seeking, among others, a declaration that the search and seizure on the said premise was illegal; an order to return the RM116.7 million to Umno; an order to return the RM43 million difference between RM160 million and RM116.7 million to the party, and damages. -FMT

Malaysia needs a strong region to grow together


Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad affirmed recently that his cabinet only deserves "40 to 50" (out of a potential 100) points for its performance so far.
While he was quick to add that this was certainly "better than the previous (kleptocratic) administration" of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, Mahathir did not clearly specify the external constraints that impose themselves on Malaysia, too.
Yet, there are plenty of problems in the contiguous region that forms the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) that make for a cabinet or government that cannot perform fully.
Take the Rohingya Muslim issue in Myanmar, for example. It shouldn't occur at all. Nevertheless, it does exist, as what the United Nations (UN) calls a crisis verging on a "genocide". How does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs solve or manage that?
Naturally, the Rohingya Muslims trapped in Malaysia are reluctant to return. What was originally a problem of Myanmar, as Defense Minister Mohamad Sabu correctly noted last week, has become a "Malaysian" problem.
This is one issue that the cabinet cannot solve even if it intends to do so, since the foreign minister of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi, to this day, refused to even utter the word "Rohingya" despite her previous human rights credentials (which had been proven to be a false facade).
Just as alarmingly, other member states of Asean, such as the Philippines, have yet to secure and pacify Mindanao as well.   
Not surprisingly, fears of kidnapping in Mindanao often spilled over into Sabah, too, which immediately ruined the tourism of that state, even if tourism is the number one revenue earner of the "state beneath the wind".
Singapore, on the other hand, is opposed to any development fund of the region, according to the late Dr Surin Pitsuwan, secretary-general of Asean from 2008 to 2013, in an official interview I did with him in 2008.
Without a common pool of (development) funds, the connectivity of Asean across human, infrastructural and institutional ambit - which according to the original Master Plan on Asean Connectivity is vital to the creation of a single region - remains too weak to make Malaysia an attractive gateway to regional market, let alone a market for Malaysia.
M’sia depends on Asean
Thus, the fact is Malaysia is as good as how connected or collectively resourceful the region is.
Unless Asean can implement its many well worded plans, including the Master Plan on Asean Connectivity, it is merely a charade -indeed a chimera- that does not help uplift the performance of Malaysia in any significant way.
More importantly, Malaysia is a self-described trading state. What it can, or cannot do, depends on Asean's overall seriousness to make the region a central actor in the region, regardless of the fields and issues at play.
Without Asean taking the haze issue seriously, for instance, Indonesia will continue with its forest burning. When Indonesia's plantation clearing problems begin to mount, Malaysia's palm oil access and prices are affected in the European Union (EU) too.
Thus, Asean affects Malaysia deeply. Just as the peace in the region once helped Malaysia to become an emerging power in the region, the lack of progress in Asean has also hampered Malaysia from transforming Asean into a promising market.
Indeed, to the degree Asean does not take its own Asean Charter or many rhetorical plans seriously, Malaysia cannot prosper with it.
The Hanoi Plan of Action (HAP) in 2010, for example, mapped out the future of Master Plan for Asean Connectivity by 2025. The HAP even identified various sources of multilateral, bilateral and financial sources of funding.
But to this date, other member states of Asean haven’t stepped up yet, even if Thailand has identified the route forward by developing its Dawei Port and other mutually beneficial plans first.
Singapore, in turn, accounted for more than 50 percent of all the incoming Foreign Direct Investment into the region alone in 2010. Yet, as a whole, the development gap between Malaysia and Singapore appears to be widening.
In the Bertelsmann Transformation Index, which measures the institutional integrity and strength of a country, Singapore is sixth while its closest rival Malaysia is twenty-second.
Other member states of Asean rank even further away from the two.
To put it more bluntly, Asean is moving at different speeds, and Malaysia is held back by such drawbacks, especially if Putrajaya does not know how to transform Asean too. Nor does it have the habit of doing so, since for decades the concept of non-intervention has served as the diplomatic underpinning of Asean.
Indeed, the competitive nature of the world which operates 'outside' of Malaysia, is often understood, not deeply, but based on intellectual fads or vogues.
Concepts like globalisation, industrial revolution 4.0, digitisation, honeycomb economy and platform economy are often bandied about in Malaysia.  
But there is no telling if Malaysian decision makers do understand the speed and scale with which the country has to adapt itself to these concepts; or if other member states of Asean are quick to comprehend them too.
Collectively, without such a deep and broad understanding of these ideas, in and across Asean, win-win solutions are difficult to find in and out of Malaysia to allow the ministers to perform at 100 percent.

PHAR KIM BENG is a multiple award-winning head teaching fellow on China and the Cultural Revolution at Harvard University. -Mkini

Altantuya case: Police recorded Deepak's statement regarding Najib, Rosmah




The police are working to complete their probe into the alleged involvement of former premier Najib Abdul Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu, said inspector-general of police Fuzi Harun.
Speaking to reporters this morning, Fuzi said they have recorded a statement from businessperson Deepak Jaikishan, who made the allegation during an interview with Al-Jazeera recently.
"We will take all the necessary actions including recording statements needed (to facilitate the investigation).
"We have recorded some, including Deepak's. The rest will follow soon.
"I can't give the exact timeline (for the questionings), as we need make an appointment, see the right time to interview him.
"We will solve this as soon as we can," he said during a press conference after the launching of an anti-corruption seminar at Royal Malaysian Police College in Cheras this morning.
While Fuzi did not elaborate who he meant by "him", it is believed that he was referring to Najib.
[More to follow] - Mkini

Amar Singh pooh-poohs Justo's 'Najib best PM' claim


Federal commercial criminal investigation department director Amar Singh Ishar Singh has rubbished the claim that former PetroSaudi International executive Xavier Justo was made to declare that Najib Abdul Razak "was the best prime minister".
Responding to a Malay Mail report, the top cop said he had led a police team to record Justo’s statement back in 2015, but added that such a question would have been "irrelevant".
“Clearly, the question of who being the best prime minister is not relevant to the case being investigated.
“Thus, we would definitely not ask such an irreverent question,” he was quoted saying by the Malay Mail yesterday.
Amar stated that police were recording Justo's statement in relation to 1MDB-related emails purportedly leaked by Justo which were published by Sarawak Report.
At the time, Justo was incarcerated at a Bangkok prison for his role in attempting to blackmail and extort his former employer, PetroSaudi, a Saudi Arabia-based oil and gas company, with data he had taken from them.
Thai police alleged that Justo had leaked documents from PetroSaudi, relating to its joint venture with 1MDB, that were published by Malaysian and international media, which formed the basis of money-laundering investigations into the fund.
He was sentenced to three years' imprisonment but was released after 18 months in Dec 2016 after being granted royal amnesty by Thailand's King Maha Vajiralongkorn.
The Malay Mail had yesterday quoted Justo claiming that he was forced to admit that Najib was “the best prime minister”, as part of a forced confession to Malaysian police officers, including Amar.
He reportedly said that he was under the impression the admission was part of several instructions imposed as a condition for his release.
The Swiss national reportedly told a conference on financial crime in Kuala Lumpur that: “The Malaysian delegation was of three Malaysian policemen and they told me to say I was a bad man, I liked money and (PetroSaudi chief executive officer) Tarek (Obaid) and PetroSaudi were nice.
“And also I had to say Najib was the best PM ever ... of course, I don’t know if he was.
“They (Malaysian police) had 55 questions, all I had to do was follow what I was told and that’s it."
Justo also alleged at the conference that he believed Malaysian authorities had a hand in his continued detention in Thailand, even after he was allegedly told he was to have been deported back to Switzerland.
“But three days after the Malaysian police came, I found out that they denied my deportation," he reportedly said.
Thai Justice Minister Paiboon Koomchaya had in 2016 denied that the country bowed to international pressure in denying Justo's request to serve the remainder of his jail term in Switzerland, saying that the decision was made "in accordance with Thai law". -Mkini

Documentary on ex-PM Abdullah's life launched


The life of former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, 79, is now immortalised in an hour-long documentary titled 'Statesman's Legacy Documentary: Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi', which was launched in Putrajaya yesterday.
The documentary tells of Abdullah's story since he was student, undergraduate, civil servant and his involvement in politics, his sacking as a member of the cabinet and his appointment as the fifth prime minister in 2003 until his resignation in 2009.
The documentary was launched by the Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri Abdul Rahman Abbas during a preview of it in Putrajaya.
Included in the documentary are the high diplomatic skills Abdullah possessed as foreign minister from 1991 to 1999.
Abdullah had led a delegation to Peru to free the Malaysian Ambassador to Peru at that time, Ahmad Mokhtar Selat, who was held hostage by the Tupac Amaru communist guerrilla group with diplomats from other countries in the Japanese ambassador's residence in Lima, in December 1996.
Ahmad Mokhtar was freed about five hours after Abdullah departed for home from Lima after meeting President Alberto Fujimori.
Another of Abdullah's contributions to the documentary was the Islam Hadhari idea which was accepted internationally which led to the setting up of the Hadhari Centre for Islamic Civilisation Studies at Kyoto University, Japan.

Also included were interviews with the former deputy prime minister of Thailand, Surakiart Sathirathai, who described Abdullah as a statesman and leader at the regional level.
The documentary was produced by the Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi Legacy Organisation in collaboration with Prime Works Studio.
- Bernama

IGP: Police to investigate all Justo's claims


The police will investigate Xavier Justo's claim that its officers had coerced the 1MDB whistleblower into giving a statement in Bangkok three years ago, said inspector-general of police Fuzi Harun.
This included the former PSI executive's allegation that the police had forced him to say that Najib Abdul Razak was the "best prime minister".
"We will look into all Justo's claim.
"I am aware that this might be related to the recording of his statement in Bangkok (in 2015). We will look into it," Fuzi said during a press conference after launching an anti-corruption seminar at the Royal Malaysian Police College in Cheras this morning.
Last night, Justo, during an interview with Astro Awani, claimed that police officers including Amar Singh, who is now the Commercial Crime Investigation Department director, had coerced his statement when they came to question him over the 1MDB scandal.
He said that the police team came with 55 questions, which they allegedly coerced him into giving answers according to what they wanted.
[More to follow] -Mkini

MP urges Kadir Jasir be probed for alleged remarks against Kedah Sultan


Sungai Petani MP Johari Abdul today urged police to investigate Bersatu Supreme Council member A Kadir Jasin under the Sedition Act 1948 over an alleged royal insult.
Speaking during a press conference in Parliament, Johari claimed that Kadir had made the allegedly seditious statement against Sultan Sallehuddin Sultan Badlishah in an Oct 30 post on his blog.
"Kadir had narrated incidents that happened on Tuanku's coronation day, how he raised his hands to pray, how he hoped that lyrics to the state song would be taken as guidance, but at the same time his writings contain elements of sedition towards Tuanku," said Johari, who is also Gurun assemblyperson.

Johari referred to the commentary that was also published by other media as "Rakyat perlu tahu peruntukan belanja buat raja" (The people need to know about the allocations for rulers).
"With this, I urge the police to investigate Kadir Jasin under the Sedition Act, because what he wrote can cause prejudice towards Tuanku Sultan Sallehuddin."
Malaysiakini has contacted Kadir Jasin for his response. - Mkini

Budget 2019: What movers and shakers want to see



PETALING JAYA: A cloud of anticipation surrounds Budget 2019, the first by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration and which Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has warned will be a “difficult one”.
For retired top civil servant Rebecca Sta Maria, one of the most important things she hopes to see in the budget is clarity in government policies.
This is especially so regarding policies related to increasing the ease of doing business and the implementation of the sales and services tax (SST), the former international trade and industry ministry secretary-general told FMT.
Sta Maria, who is now chairman of the board for the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS), is also keen to see what’s in store for the e-commerce ecosystem, from e-payments to consumer protection and seamless logistics.
“I hope trade and business facilitation will be high on the agenda,” she said.
Other movers and shakers also shared their hopes and expectations for Budget 2019, to be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat tomorrow.
AmBank Group chairman Azman Hashim
“We have to understand that these are not normal times as so many new debts have been discovered. The government has to reduce expenditure where it can and increase revenue where it can. It is a longer-term plan.”
Affin Hwang Investment Bank chief economist Alan Tan
“Although the government has hinted that the budget will include ‘belt-tightening’ measures, I believe the austerity policy will likely focus on enhancement of spending efficiency, with the re-prioritisation of programmes and projects.
“This being the first budget for the new government after the 14th general election, we believe that other budget proposals will focus on sustaining economic growth, especially domestic demand, and reducing the burden of the rising cost of living, such as measures to raise income and purchasing power, especially for the B40 households.”
IDEAS chief executive Ali Salman
“The government should be able to announce priorities in spending cuts rather than introduce new taxes as per PH’s promise. It has taken positive steps by reviewing and revising some major infrastructure projects, and now is the time to come up with a coherent policy announcement on these spending cuts.
“The government should also offer special measures to encourage small and medium enterprises (SMEs) which comprise 97% of our firms, as these SMEs create jobs and wealth for the average Malaysian.”
Mydin Hypermarkets managing director Ameer Ali Mydin
“I hope the government will remove all subsidies and use the money to prop up the economy through development projects, though these may not necessarily be big projects.”
Malaysian Retailers Association president James Loke
“The government needs to attract more tourists to Malaysia and, at the same time, see that locals have more disposable income to boost domestic consumption.
“These are understandably challenging times for the country but more certainty from the government in terms of policies would help ensure stability of businesses, consumer and market confidence. We also hope to see policies which ease the cost of doing business.”
Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers vice-president Nathan Suppiah
“We hope to see the construction of dedicated roads to the ports to enhance the movement of goods. This will be beneficial for those involved in the import and export of goods.”
Sunway Malls and Theme Parks chief executive Chan Hoi Choy
“The electricity rebate that was in place since 2015 was rescinded in the second half of 2018, escalating the business cost for all malls and mall tenants. We hope the electricity rebate will be reinstated and reviewed on a six-month basis.
“We also wish to see a higher allocation for tourism promotion as for the last six years, tourist arrivals have fallen short of target. For the mall industry, though 90% are still driven by domestic consumption, malls located in tourism destinations can have up to 20% visitor-ship from international travellers.
“The upside to this is that shopping, according to Tourism Malaysia, now forms the biggest expenditure in tourism receipts. Initiatives on visa-free travel should also be considered to help drive these arrivals up.” - FMT

Najib must answer for RM24b settlement with IPIC


QUESTION TIME | Attorney-general Tommy Thomas’ statement on Tuesday on the efforts to recoup US$5.78 billion, or a massive RM24 billion at current exchange rates, paid or to be paid by failed 1MDB to an Abu Dhabi state investment company raises many questions.
If the former finance minister and former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, who signed the settlement agreements together with former Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar, wants to shed some real light on the issue, then he has to address some serious questions.
But first, let’s look at what Thomas is doing here. There is a settlement agreement between International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC - wholly owned by the Abu Dhabi government), IPIC subsidiary Aabar PJS, 1MDB and Minister of Finance Inc.
The Malaysian government will apply to the English Courts to set aside the May 9, 2017 agreement via arbitration in London.
Under the settlement, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78 billion to IPIC and the bond trustee over a five-year period. So far, US$1.46 billion has been paid, leaving a balance of US$4.32 billion, with the next interest payment of US$50 million due on Nov 11 this year.
“The basis of Malaysia’s legal challenge in the High Court in London is that the consent award was procured by fraud or in a manner contrary to public policy,” Thomas (photo) said.
“The court application relates to the knowledge of IPIC and Aabar of the serious allegations made by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak, who was also the moving spirit and ultimate decision maker in 1MDB.
“Such knowledge on their part was acquired, ‘inter alia’, no later than the time when the DOJ’s Press Conference was held by the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, in July 2016 when she announced the filing by DOJ of several civil suits for the freezing of assets purchased by fraudsters from stolen proceeds, and popularly described as the greatest kleptocracy in modern history.
“…Malaysia takes the position that IPIC and Aabar were aware of the fraud of Najib Razak. He was principally responsible for 1MDB and Minister of Finance Inc consenting to the award.
“Every system of law would hold that he could not possibly have acted in the best interests of his country and his company. Indeed, he did not. Fraud is an established ground to challenge the consent award for public policy reasons.
“We are pleased to report that the application will be filed today (Tuesday) in the High Court in London. Malaysia will claim that as a result of the fraud, we are relieved from any obligation to pay the balance of the US$4.32 billion to IPIC or Aabar under the consent award, and additionally have a right to recover the US$1.46 billion already paid,” Thomas said.
That’s as clear as it can be. Najib has publicly stated that the full settlement agreement needs to be made public and he acted according to the interests of the country - but is that really the case? So far, details of the settlement have been rather sketchy.
Based on IPIC’s filings to the London Stock Exchange, on which some of its bonds are listed, this is what IPIC said about the settlement:
“Under the terms of the Settlement, IPIC will receive an amount of US$602,725,000 by 31 July 2017 and a further amount of US$602,725,000 by 31 December 2017.
“Separately, 1MDB and MoF Inc, undertake to IPIC to assume responsibility for all future interest and principal payments under the two bonds issued by 1MDB Group companies that are guaranteed by 1MDB and IPIC; (i) US$1,750,000,000 fixed rate 5.75 percent notes due 2022 issued by 1MDB Energy (Langat) Limited and (ii) US$1,750,000,000 fixed rate 5.99 percent notes due 2022 issued by 1MDB Energy Limited.
“The parties have provided suitable undertakings and indemnities in respect of the performance of obligations under the Settlement. The parties have also agreed to enter into good faith discussions in relation to payments made by 1MDB Group to certain entities.”
It looks like the total sum of RM5.78 billion involves repayment of two bonds totalling US$3.5 billion and all interest payments involved up to when the notes are due in 2022.
Transactions detailed in DOJ reports
According to the DOJ reports, US$1.367 billion were stolen from the US$3.5 billion in bonds, of which US$238 million went to Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, and US$30 million to Najib himself.
Also, two key Aabar PJS officials received substantial amounts.
They were Khadam Abdullah al-Qubaisi (photo), the then managing director of IPIC and chairperson of Aabar PJS, who received US$473 million; and the then CEO of Aabar PJS Mohamed Ahmed Badawy, who got US$66.6 million.
This was done by a transfer to a dummy company incorporated in the British Virgin Islands which had the same “Aabar PJS” name and whose directors were Qubaisi and Husseiny, implying complicity by these top-ranking officials of both IPIC and Aabar PJS in the robbery. (Details of these and other transactions are in my book 1MDB The Scandal that Brought Down a Government.)
Najib needs to explain at least the following:
  1. Why did he make such a lopsided arrangement with IPIC and Aabar PJS when their own officials were so complicit in the crime?
  2. Did he inform the cabinet and get approval for this?
  3. Did he get advice from the attorney-general, and what was it? Did he provide written advice? If he did not, why not? Is Najib an expert on legal matters?
  4. Who advised him to agree to this settlement? Was there a panel of lawyers, accountants and financial experts? If not, why not, especially when it involved RM24 billion?
  5. Did he take advice from other government officials such as the auditor-general and the accountant-general? If not, why not?
  6. Najib has said that this was in the interest of the country. How so?
  7. Is it an attempt to cover the misdeeds at 1MDB because it certainly seems to be so? Otherwise, how do you explain such sloppiness?
For all his bravado, Najib has little solid explanation for the allegations and charges that have been made against him with respect to 1MDB.
His reply at the recent Al Jazeera interview that he thought that the US$680 million donation was from Saudi Arabia rings terribly hollow and trite as any reasonable person will immediately ascertain where exactly such a huge amount of money came from.

P GUNASEGARAM says false pride and arrogance always goeth before a fall. Email: t.p.guna@gmail.com. -Mkini