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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Najib vows to build ‘safer, more prosperous and equitable society’

On the cusp of the new year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said his goal for 2016 is to increase safety, wealth and equanimity in Malaysia.
In a tweet this morning, Najib acknowledged that 2015 was a memorable year and his goal for next year is to “build a safer, more prosperous and equitable society.”
“2015 has been a memorable yr. My goal for the coming yr is to build a safer, more prosperous & equitable society. Looking forward to 2016!” he said.
He has been at the centre of the scandal involving the operation and financial management of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which has accumulated RM42 billion in debt, when allegations surfaced that US$700 million (RM3 billion) was found in his bank accounts.
Investigations into 1MDB were initiated by various governmental agencies including Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee and Auditor-General’s department.
Vocal critics of 1MDB and the allegations involving Najib resulted in the reshuffling of the Cabinet, resulting in Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin losing his deputy prime minister post to former home minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.
Outspoken Public Accounts Committee head Datuk Seri Nur Jazlan, along with four other committee members, were promoted to the Cabinet as deputy ministers, resulting in the appointment of new Parliamentarians to member the committee.
It also precipitated the replacement of former Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail, who vacated his post after Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa announced that Abdul Ghani’s service was discontinued on health reasons.
Abdul Ghani was heading a multi-agency taskforce investigating the claims of misappropriations of funds involving Najib and 1MDB.
However, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah announced in July this year that a preliminary report by the Auditor-General’s department found no evidence of wrongdoing by 1MDB or that US$700 million was transferred to the bank account of the Prime Minister.
Bank Negara had also concluded its investigations, and the recommendations for action to be taken was submitted to the new Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Ali, who later cleared 1MDB of any wrongdoing, rendering the recommended actions to be taken unnecessary.
The ringgit was also the worst performing currency in the region, declining 18.5% on low crude oil prices, political turbulence and the Federal Reserve rate hike among others.
Najib’s leadership had also instituted several controversial policies, such as the National Security Council Bill 2015 which provides for the National Security Council (NSC) – chaired by the prime minister – to take command of the country’s security forces and impose strict policing of areas deemed to face security risks.
It was widely criticised for its wide powers on security provided to the prime minister.
His leadership has also been ridden by increasing racially-tinged propaganda by Malay-rights groups.  – The Edge Markets

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