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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

NAJIB 'HIDES' as irate British investors demand JUSTICE at World Islamic forum

NAJIB 'HIDES' as irate British investors demand JUSTICE at World Islamic forum
LONDON/KUALA LUMPUR - It is ironical. While British Prime Minister David Cameron was busy lauding his Malaysian counterpart's 'fight' against extremism, thousands of miles away in the Southeast Asian nation, human rights activists were busy doing the opposite.
Indeed, rights groups such as Suaram and Amnesty International had their work cut out in Kuala Lumpur, debriefing Malaysian citizens on what had transpired at the United Nations review on human rights where Malaysia's worsening racial discrimination and eroding democratic space had raised grave concern among member states.
The startling, even surreal, display of political hypocrisy from Najib and Cameron was also underscored in London, where a group calling itself the British Victims of Investing in Malaysia had held a protest outside the Excel International Convention Centre, where Najib was participating in the World Islamic Economic Forum or WIEF.
Najib is the patron of the Malaysian-mooted WIEF, while Cameron the guest of honor.
"It was a well-attended and loud protest highlighting the suffering of British Investors who have invested in Malaysia. Many VIPs viewed the protest as their cars entered the event," the group, which calls itself the BVIM for short, had said on its Facebook.
Surreal hypocrisy
But despite the BVIM's best efforts, the Malaysian leader did not come out to meet them or send any messengers to speak with their representatives.
"I won't comment on Cameron, who should know what to do to help his own citizens. It is a good opportunity for him to raise the issue with Najib rather just gush out meaningless praise when there is so much evidence to the contrary," Opposition Member of Parliament for Ampang Zuraida Kamaruddin told Malaysia Chronicle.
"For Najib, as the leader of Malaysia, he should not hide but be open about this issue because it is a long outstanding case and has the support of many top people from both UK as well as Malaysia. These people are not frauds or troublemakers but investors who took the initiative to invest in our country. They deserve to be treated better and not be snubbed like this by our PM."
The BVIM has the support of 15 British Members of Parliament and House of Lords member Nazir Ahmed.
They were protesting the lack of action by the Malaysian authorities into their alleged embezzlement at the hands of a senior Umno politician Azim Zabidi.
Umno is Najib's political party and he had previously met and promised the BVIM a fair probe into their case. But so far, little if any progress has been made.
“It is ridiculous that after more than two years since we lodged a criminal case in Malaysia, that no charges have been made or people arrested. I will tell all my friends, colleagues and the people I meet never to invest in Malaysia,” said Steve, a bank worker from London.
The reality on the ground and the grand speeches on the podium
Made up of 60 families, the BVIM protested for 4 hours - from 5pm to 9pm on Tuesday. They demanded action against Malaysian firm Doxport Technologies Sdn Bhd, which they alleged had cheated them of £2.5m (RM12.7 million) in 2008.
Azim, the chairman and director of Doxport Technologies, was also the former Umno treasurer. Hence the concerns of a Malaysian cover-up due to Azim's close connections with the top leaders in his country.
Azim has held many high corporate positions in Malaysia. He was also a director at Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the company at the centre of the scandal-ridden Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project. Azim was chairman at Bank Simpanan Nasional from 1999 to 2009 and vice-president of the World Savings Bank Institute from 2006 to 2009.
The BVIM also wants action against Doxport senior execs - managing director Sivalingam Thechinamoorthy and director Gurmeet Kaur.
Where is the rule of law in Malaysia?
The disgruntled Bitish investors had in 2011 lodged complaints with the Bukit Aman police headquarters, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission and the Companies Commission of Malaysia.
BVIM also issued a statement on Tuesday, questioning Malaysia's "rule of law" in protecting foreign investors.
“I invested my life savings because I liked Malaysia, my family is really suffering and it seems the law means nothing in Malaysia. I hope no one invests in Malaysia and suffers like us," said Mohammed, a bus driver from London, who had invested his life savings into the Malaysian firm.
The British investors had been told their money would be used to purchase switches for Telekom and equity in Doxport.
When they found out that there were no such Telekom switches operating in Malaysia, they reported the company to the authorities.
Earlier this year, they also filed a lawsuit against Azim and the company.
Malaysia Chronicle

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