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SATURDAY, 25 JANUARY 2020

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

1st MD of Malaysia Airlines Abdul Aziz dies, aged 87

Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman helmed Malaysia Airlines from 1982 to 1991.
PETALING JAYA: Malaysia Airlines’ first managing director, Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahman, passed away in his sleep at the Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur hospital in Ampang last night.
He was 87.
“Our heartfelt condolences to the family and relatives of the late Tan Sri Aziz Bin Abdul Rahman, former chairman of Malaysia Airlines System Berhad, who passed away peacefully late last night,” said the National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (Nufam) on its Facebook page.
Aziz joined then Malaysia Airlines System in 1971 and held the post of CEO and MD from 1982 to 1991. He left the company with a RM5 billion surplus when he retired.
The Kelantan native was among the former MAS employees and retirees who offered their services to turn around the country’s troubled flag carrier last year amid calls to shut down the loss-making airline.

A report yesterday stated that MAS will need up to RM21 billion of taxpayers’ money to stay afloat until 2025. - FMT

Analyst tells why Zuraida’s sacking could kill Anwar’s prime ministerial ambition

Dr Mahathir Mohamad will welcome more MPs to strengthen his party, including Zuraida Kamaruddin and her supporters in the event she is sacked from PKR. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Any decision to sack Zuraida Kamaruddin could backfire on PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, and ultimately affect his chances of taking over from Dr Mahathir Mohamad, said an analyst.
Political observer Azmi Hassan said it would be in PKR’s best interest to retain Zuraida, who has been issued a show-cause letter by the party’s disciplinary board.
Azmi predicts that Zuraida and her supporters could find a new home in PPBM.
“And Mahathir would benefit, because more MPs for PPBM would mean his position is stronger and he will have the clout to stay on as prime minister,” he told FMT.
“Anwar loyalists would not want that,” he said.
Mahathir has promised to give way to Anwar after the Apec summit in November, but Anwar loyalists have called for a transition in May, when Mahathir would have completed two years in the top post.
Zuraida is aligned to deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali, who has openly supported Mahathir to complete the five-year term.
Zuraida is facing possible sacking from PKR over comments seen as critical of Anwar at a pro-Azmin event last month.
Yesterday, 45 PKR leaders urged the disciplinary committee to halt further action against Zuraida, saying the move was ill-intentioned and would only worsen the party’s internal rift.
Azmi said the disciplinary committee may find excuses to sack her, but warned that it would only increase tension between Anwar and Azmin, both of whom have “prime ministerial ambition”.
A party insider told FMT that Zuraida may be let off with a warning.
“But it all depends on the tone of her response,” said the source who is close to Anwar’s inner circle.
“We are waiting to see the tone of her letter. If her tone is apologetic, it shows she wants to patch things up with Anwar.
“But if her reply is harsh, we will have to push for her sacking,” he told FMT.
Another source said he was sure Zuraida would not be sacked.
He said this was based on the decision not to sack Anwar’s key ally, his political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak, despite the latter’s condemnation of Azmin in the wake of the gay sex video affair.
In August 2019, the PKR disciplinary board said it was satisfied with the explanations given by Farhash.
The source said Zuraida’s long absence from party meetings would also not work against her.
“If Zuraida can show that she had ministerial commitments on the days she was absent, she may be let off,” he said. - FMT

Health Ministry warns against buying flu vaccines online


Deputy Health Minister Lee Boon Chye has warned people against buying influenza A vaccines online in the midst of a shortage in private hospitals.
“The Ministry of Health has never approved the sale of vaccines online,” he said, according to a report in The Malaysian Insight today.
Lee explained that the vaccines sold online may be expired or counterfeit, as vaccines are produced overseas according to the specific strain of virus at the time.

This means that vaccines manufactured a year ago may be ineffective now due to potential mutations.
“In other words, the vaccine you gave last year or the previous year is different from this year, hence it doesn’t rule out the possibility that those sold online could have expired,” said Lee, who is a trained doctor.
Vaccines also require special handling, he said, which makes it risky to send vaccines through the post.
“There are standard operating procedures for storing vaccines, which have to be kept under low temperature. If the temperature is not controlled, the vaccine will not be effective. Therefore, buying vaccines online is really not encouraged,” he said.
Hospitals have to apply for an import permit from the ministry to import vaccines.
Deadly coronavirus
A Facebook post by a 24-hour clinic in Bangi has revealed that there have been incidents where parents were buying vaccines elsewhere and bringing it to their doctors to inject into their children.
The clinic said many people had requested a similar service but that it would not use vaccines from unknown origins for its patients.
It was previously reported that private hospitals have been struggling to meet the demand for the influenza A vaccine amid a flu outbreak.
Separately, the Penang Health Department has been instructed to be on high alert for the potential spread of coronavirus, a new strain of flu virus linked to the deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS).

Chinese health authorities reported yesterday that at least 17 people have now died of the respiratory infection, almost tripling the death toll in a day.
“In conjunction with Visit Malaysia 2020 and Experience Penang 2020, I will ensure all units from the health department will be extra vigilant in exercising caution to prevent the virus from spreading.
“Thermal screening will be compulsory at all gates for international flights at the Penang International Airport.
“This proactive measure is to ensure the spread of the contagious virus can be contained,” said state health committee chairperson Afif Bahardin, as reported by The Star.
Emergency meeting
Penangites who have just returned from China, where coronavirus was first reported, within the last 14 days with symptoms such as cough or fever are encouraged to immediately get screened, he said.
It was previously reported that there was an emergency meeting between the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Chinese authorities yesterday to determine the next steps to tackle the coronavirus.
To date, the virus which is also known as the Wuhan virus, has infected at least 549 people, almost all of them in Hubei province, where Wuhan is the capital.
The Health Ministry has said it would monitor the outcome of the meeting, which would determine the next course of action for the country. - Mkini

Day 73: Prosecution to complete cross-examination of Najib today



The criminal trial of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak involving the alleged misappropriation of funds from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters day 73 today at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysiakini brings you live reports of the proceedings.

Summary of Najib’s SRC RM42 million case

Najib is facing 7 charges relating to RM42m involving SRC International, a former 1MDB subsidiary.

The prosecution may be able to wrap up its cross-examination of Najib Abdul Razak on the 73rd day of the former prime minister's RM42 million SRC International trial.
Yesterday, DPP V Sithambaram indicated to the Kuala Lumpur High Court that he may be able to complete his cross-examination of the accused in today's hearing.
Today would mark the 10th day that Sithambaram has been questioning the former prime minister since Dec 18 last year, following the beginning of the trial's defence stage in December.
Yesterday, Justice Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali allowed Najib's application for an Australian handwriting expert to examine the authenticity of his disputed signatures on 13 key documents.
Proceedings yesterday saw Najib testifying that he prevented then second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah from going to Switzerland to try to recover RM3.6 billion of SRC International's frozen funds there because Husni did not prepare a cabinet paper on the matter.
The same proceedings also saw Najib and Sithambaram in a heated exchange on how the accused could confirm his signature on a photocopied letter granting mandate in relation to one of his bank accounts and yet could not ascertain the authenticity of his signature on the 13 disputed key SRC documents.
[More to follow] - Mkini

Yoursay: Alas, it’s much easier to be in the opposition than to govern


YOURSAY | ‘Many do not come with a ready mindset and capabilities.’
Mazilamani: Former Bersih coordinator Ambiga Sreenevasan, even you have lost your voice and presence. We don't hear you much as before.

In the past, you protested and objected to the weaknesses seen in the previous BN-led government. You were also one of those who ran with the pack promising changes and brighter days.
What we are now seeing are gloomy days but still accept them as relatively better days than under the BN government. I, for one, knew that things will not change much since all of our politicians seem to have attended the same school of broken promises.
Indeed, why should they lend their voice when they have already secured or place themselves in desired positions? Politicians will forever remain politicians.
JW: It is exactly right, Ambiga, about some of these people who were fearless turning into cowards now. I think, for whatever reason, they are mainly afraid of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. But why? I just don't get this.
These once fearless parliamentarians appear to be happy to serve only one term. Perhaps this experience is enough for them to pad their CVs in order to get more lucrative positions and financial rewards in the private sector.
Dswami: Yes, DAP leaders Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Gobind Singh Deo, Hannah Yeoh, Teoh Nie Ching, Yeoh Bee Yin and Ong Kian Meng all excused away the appointment of former education minister Maszlee Malik by saying "give him a chance".
I bumped into Kit Siang in the 80s at a food court, approached him and told him: “Sir, keep up the good work for all of us, whilst we serve in the armed forces, in the infantry, rangers, for all of you, so that no one can call you disloyal; we in a group comprising Ibans, Indians and Chinese and a Malay.
“We have placed our lives on the line so that you can fight for equality for all of our brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers and our friends.”
All I want is to ask you, now that we have placed you in a position of power with our blood, sweat and tears, what happened? I expect an answer.
I doubt you will give us one. That’s my assessment of you. You have deviated from your struggle.
Clever Voter: It's easy for Ambiga to criticise but she, unlike others, had the opportunity to make a difference but she chose to stand at the side. Many before her were only noisy politicians who would shoot from the hip, had no accountability and more so, they had no direct stakes.
Today, a few of her friends had taken office and probably even shocked at the sort of entitlements and benefits they were given. Let's face it, they are only human.
But more importantly, translating their wish list into practicalities isn't going to be easy. These elected representatives do not work alone.
The frustration of not seeing the new government implementing what they promised is understandable. Many do not come with a ready mindset and capabilities.
It is true that many do not have experience of public speaking, chairing meetings and problem-solving. Even the size of the new offices is a cultural shock. Imagine having people used to coffee shops and now have a taste of five-star hotels.
The bureaucracy is mind-boggling. The amount of paperwork is discouraging. Easily, more than half do not deserve to be where they are. It's unfortunate this is how a democratic system works, and one can assume they may not even be there sooner than one thinks.
The country is experiencing a massive paradigm shift. There will always be a temptation to stay or retain, and that's what many do to be on the safe side. One lesson for all, a conqueror is not necessarily an ideal administrator. It's something completely different.
Evin K: Fearlessness doesn't always mean shouting on rooftops and staging street demonstrations. Sometimes, the brave thing to do is to take a back seat and instead, and do the work needed for effective reforms to take place.
Many of the who's who from former opposition parties are now part of the government of the day. This doesn't help the stability and the economy of the country if they are expected to continue pandering to certain crowds and openly oppose the very government they're in.
Let us not forget that it is their very open opposition in the past that brought down the mighty Umno/BN regime in the first place.
If they're expected to continue opposing the very government that they are part of today as well, then this new government will be a short-lived one and fall in the next general election.
True institutional reforms take time, it's not an overnight feat or something that is to be achieved in only two years - Rome wasn't built in a day.
It is easy to stay on the sidelines and criticise everything that doesn't bode well to our whims, but toiling away in the background in getting the work done takes more guts than it is being given credit for.
Annon: You are right, Evin K, Rome wasn’t built in a day but it has been two years now. Two long years and time is not on our side, get it?
All those DAP men and women are suddenly dumb, deaf and blind, except for Charles Santiago, Ronnie Liu and P Ramasamy. What about the rest? Are they high tripping on power?
Hang Babeuf: People don't like this government? Well, neither do I and I also despair these days. On my part, I pity rather than hate the government.
You dislike them? Okay, that is your right. But why attack Ambiga and lay the blame at her doorstep? That’s ridiculous.
The blame is theirs, the members of this so-called government and ours. We elected a coalition that was nicely positioned at the time to defeat the Najib Abdul Razak and Umno - which was something that needed to be done.
But we elected a government that was not ready to govern, that was ill-prepared for office, that had barely begun to think about the task and the major challenges that they would surely face.
It's their fault and ours. Not Ambiga's. Grow up, everyone! - Mkini

Mum charged with daughter’s death

Hauled to court: Nurul Shamira being brought to the magistrate’s court in Johor Baru.
JOHOR BARU: A single mother was charged at the Magistrate’s Court here with killing her two-year-old daughter.
Nurul Shamira Mazlan, 22, was accused of intentionally causing the death of her only child, Nur Shahana Abdus Quddus, who died at Sultan Ismail Hospital here on Jan 13.
She nodded after the charge was read to her in front of magistrate Rashidah Baharom yesterday.
Nurul Shamira, who is jobless, was alleged to have committed the offence between Jan 5 and 11 from 11am to noon at an apartment in Jalan Kempas Indah, Taman Kempas Indah, here.
She was charged under Section 302 of the Penal Code, which carries the mandatory death sentence upon conviction.
No plea was recorded.
Rashidah set Feb 24 for the next mention of the case pending chemistry and post-mortem reports.
The deputy public prosecutor was Benedict Choong Kai Qi while the accused was represented by counsels Mohd Norazihan Adnan, Muhammad Ashraff Mohd Diah and Jack Sumatra.
The accused and her 33-year-old boyfriend were reported to have been arrested by police after the victim died from what were believed to be injuries sustained from physical abuse.
The victim was said to have had multiple injuries, including bite marks on her arms and abdomen.
Muhammad Ashraff said the boyfriend had since been released on bond and would be a witness during the trial. - Star

BOMBSHELL: NAJIB’S 8 LEGENDARY LIES – SO AWESOME & EXTRAORDINARY – THEY COULD PUT HIM IN JAIL EARLIER THAN EXPECTED

Najib Razak has proven himself to be a legendary liar. But as his trial involving misappropriation of RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd enters the New Year 2020, his lies have gotten so extraordinary that it’s beyond believable anymore. At the 72nd day of his criminal trial, the former prime minister has finally made some admissions which could incriminate himself.
Already, it was deemed as an insult to the peoples’ intelligence that despite his role as Finance Minister, Prime Minister and Adviser Emeritus, he has claimed ignorance over embezzlement to the tune of tens of billions of dollars right under his nose. While the U.S. authorities have secured vital witnesses, Najib actually has zero credible material witness to support his story.
The latest documents released by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) identifying Najib Razak as the man who had received US$681 million kickbacks from 1MDB have been extremely damaging. Yet, the shameless and disgraced crook was determined to cook more lies, no matter how ridiculous they might sound in the court. Here’re some of them:
Najib Declare 700 Million As Donation - Obama Laugh
{ Extraordinary Lie #1 } – Najib Claims He Didn’t Know RM42 Million Was SRC’s Money, But Spent Them Anyway
Najib insisted that he did not know the RM42 million (three tranches of payments of RM27 million, RM5 million and RM10 million) deposited into his personal bank accounts between 2014 and 2015 was SRC’s money. However, when grilled by prosecutor Sithambaram, the despicable former premier admitted he spent every sen of the money.
Yes, the defiant Najib argued that he spent the money because he did not know it was SRC’s money. Had he known about the source of the money, he probably won’t spend it. Using his logic, drug warlords too could also argue that they had no idea the money they spent from their personal bank account was money from drug trafficking.
{ Extraordinary Lie #2 } – Sometimes Najib Can Verify His Signature, Sometimes He Can’t
Today (22 Jan), Najib Razak finally said he was able to verify his signatures on some photocopied documents, including a letter for the appointment of Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (former CEO of SRC International) as his personal bank account mandate holder in AmBank. Of course, Najib had to admit otherwise who the heck appointed Mr. Faisal in the first place.
Ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak - World Biggest Crook
But last month the same Mr. Najib insisted he had problems verifying his signatures on six documents related to the SRC shareholders’ minutes and one document about an instruction to transfer money to his personal accounts with AmBank. So when incriminating photocopied documents were produced in court, Najib would conveniently unable to recognise his signatures, otherwise he could.
{ Extraordinary Lie #3 } – Najib Blocked His Deputy From Recovering RM3.6 Billion Frozen In Switzerland Due To Lack Of Plan
A massive RM3.6 billion belonging to SRC International – part of the RM4 billion loan from the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) – were frozen by the Switzerland government on suspicion of money laundering. When former second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah told Najib of his plan to lead a delegation to the Swiss to recover the money, he was blocked and put in cold storage.
Husni, who had served from 2009 and 2016 in Najib’s cabinet, was told by his boss not to get involved and not to interfere. The minister also claimed he had personally met Najib more than 20 times to express his concerns about the RM4 billion loans by SRC from the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP). But he was treated like an “office boy” on matters regarding SRC.
Switzerland Attorney General Michael Lauber - Najib Razak and 1MDB Scandal
If the money parked in Switzerland was clean and legitimate, why on earth did Najib stop his second finance minister from claiming it? Why did Najib allow the Swiss to rob the money belonging to the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP)? On Jan 9, 2020, the former PM claimed Husni was blocked because his deputy did not have a “proper plan” to retrieve the funds from the Swiss.
Amusingly, Najib admitted that he actually didn’t tell Husni that his plan to go to Switzerland was disapproved because of the lack of a proper plan. Now, Najib said even he himself didn’t have any plans to retrieve the RM3.6 billion from the Swiss authorities. And he has the cheek to lie that Husni’s plan was rejected due to lack of a plan. Clearly, Najib never wanted the “dirty money” back.
{ Extraordinary Lie #4 } – Najib Used Own Credit Card To Buy Gift For Qatar Because He Wanted To Save Public Funds
Najib admitted he bought a gift worth a staggering RM3.3 million at a Swiss luxury jeweller De Grisogono in Italy in August 2014 for the wife of former Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Ahmed Jassim Al Thani. But he claimed he paid it with his own credit card as he did not wish to use taxpayers’ money because the gift was expensive. Najib also claimed the ex-Qatar leader was his close friend.
1MDB Scandal - Money Trail From SRC Into Ex-PM Najib Razak Accounts - April 30, 2019
Yes, this is the first case in the world where a state leader refused to use public funds for official business despite the fact that he was supposed to do so. Interestingly, Najib was earning a monthly salary of just over RM78,000 before stepping down in May 2018 after his regime was defeated in the General Election. It would take 42 months (3.5 years) of his earnings to pay for the RM3.3 million gift.
However, Najib’s Platinum Mastercard and Platinum Visa credit card expensesused to purchase the jewellery – coincidentally and conveniently – were paid with the RM42 million transferred from Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd (which had gotten the money from Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd, which in turned received the funds from SRC International) into Najib’s personal bank account.
{ Extraordinary Lie #5 } – Najib Sacked Untrustworthy CEO Faisal, But Trusted Him To Manage His Bank Accounts
Uma Devi, AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan branch manager, had testified that Mr. Najibtook no action and made no complaint from 2011 to 2015 despite so-called irregularities in the signatures of signatories he appointed via authorisation letters to the bank. Ms Uma also confirmed that all cheques in Najib’s accounts can only be signed by him, not even SRC CEO Nik Faisal.
Uma Devi - AmBank Jalan Raja Chulan Branch Manager
Today, Najib said after former SRC International director Ismee Ismail alerted him that Nik Faisal cannot be trusted due to financial mismanagement, the former prime minister cum finance minister saw it fit to maintain Nik Faisal as the mandate holder of his personal accounts. Even though Faisal was removed as CEO of SRC, surprisingly, he was maintained as a member of the SRC board of directors.
Mr. Najib’s incredible twisted logic was that despite knowing Nik Faisal’s lack of integrity, the scope of his untrustworthiness was only confined within SRC International, and not his personal bank accounts. In other words, ex-premier Najib believed Nik Faisal would not steal money from his private bank accounts because the thief somehow only likes to steal from SRC.
{ Extraordinary Lie #6 } – Najib Never Checked Bank Statement, Not Even RM2.6 Billion Donation
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak told the court that he never checked his bank statements which were sent to his private residence at Jalan Langgak Duta – even to see if the RM2.6 billion so-called donation from the royal house of Saudi Arabia came through. Surely even Jeff Bezos, the world’s richest man worth an estimated US$116 billion, would check his statement for such a huge donation.
Najib SRC Corruption Trial - BlackBerry Conversation - Jho Low and Joanna Yu - 2
After all, it was not every day that Najib received US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) from the House of Saud. It would be once in a lifetime opportunity to see RM2,600,000,000.00 printed on your bank statement. Yet, the Malaysian leader who was earning only RM78,000 a month didn’t bother to check his bank statement for the transactions.
Last month, the disgraced Najib told the court that he didn’t know the balance of his bank accounts, but he had a “sense” that there’s money in his private account and it was this sense that he depended to continuously write cheques amounting to millions of Ringgit. If he didn’t check his bank statement, how did he know the Saudi royal family would give him free cash without strings attached?
{ Extraordinary Lie #7 } – Najib Believes The Arab Letters (Which Were Faked), But Not Bank Statements
When prosecutor suggested that the photocopied letters from Arab royalty which were sent to Najib in relation to the donations were faked, he disagreed. Yet, the crook could not produce the original copies to verify the authenticity of the photocopies. Najib claimed he was in possession of them once upon a time. He said the originals were in the Prime Minister Office.
Najib Razak and Sheikh Arab Jho Low - 1MDB
When Najib uploaded the Arab letters to his Facebook page, hilariously, the letters carried different signatures, despite claiming to be from the same Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. The biggest joke was that some of the contents of the letters were similar (copy and paste) to a letter written by Eric Tan Kim Loong to Jho Low (both individuals believed to be the same person).
The letters, which appeared to be begging the readers to believe that the money were donations, were addressed to Najib’s private residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, and not the Prime Minister Office. It smells a rat when Najib’s hotshot lawyer – Shafee Abdullah – didn’t think it was important to produce Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud asa material witness to clear a good Muslim like Najib.
Not only the photocopied letters were faked, they were also produced as an afterthought. Najib can insist all he likes that the letters were genuine, but documents released by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last month has identified Najib Razak as the despicable former prime minster who received US$681 million kickbacks from a project called “Project Catalyze”.
1MDB Scandal - How Najib Becomes A Billionaire and Fund His Wife’s Diamonds
{ Extraordinary Lie #8 } – Despite Donations, Najib Never Expressed His Gratitude In His Letters To King Abdullah
The court was told that Najib had written two letters to the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia in 2012 and 2013. That was after the allegedly donations from the king between 2011 and 2013. Yet, despite receiving donations of US$100 million, US$375 million and US$800 million in three occasions, neither the letters expressed any gratitude for the jaw-dropping donations.
If you donate US$1000 to WWF (World Wildlife Fund), you can be sure of receiving a “Thank You” letter. At the very least, you will receive an acknowledgement of this gift by email. But in the case of Najib, the state leader was rude enough not to thank King Abdullah despite over US$1 billion in donations. Najib has a fabulous explanation.
Najib explained to the prosecutor that he thanked King Abdullah (who has already died) only when they met face to face, but not mentioned in the letters. Apparently, the letters were not considered proper or official diplomatic channel, but verbal conversations are. His ability to lie was both amazing and entertaining.
Najib Razak - SRC Trial - Facing Defeat with Worry Expression
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