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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Umno division chief snubs Muk‎hriz’s call to apologise to Kedah sultan

Datuk Seri Muk‎hriz Mahathir’s supporters at a protest against moves to oust the menteri besar on Friday. Barisan Nasional assemblymen have ignored his call for them to apologise to the sultan. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 31, 2016.Datuk Seri Muk‎hriz Mahathir’s supporters at a protest against moves to oust the menteri besar on Friday. Barisan Nasional assemblymen have ignored his call for them to apologise to the sultan. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 31, 2016.
Datuk Seri Muk‎hriz Mahathir’s supporters at a protest against moves to oust the menteri besar on Friday. Barisan Nasional assemblymen have ignored his call for them to apologise to the sultan. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 31, 2016.A Kedah Umno‎ division chief today refused to comment on Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muk‎hriz Mahathir’s call for his detractors to apologise to the Kedah sultan.
“No comment. I have nothing to say,” said Datuk Nawawi Ahmad who‎ was among those who attended the January 20 press conference urging Mukhriz to step down.
Mukhriz said the press conference had offended the Kedah sultan, as it was held on the same day as his 88th birthday celebration.
But when contacted about the matter, Nawawi, who is the Langkawi MP, refused to respond to Mukhriz’s claim.
Several assemblymen, including the executive councillors who did not attend last week’s executive council meeting, also did not answer their mobile phones after Mukhriz issued the statement calling for an apology earlier today.
Mukhriz today urged the Kedah Umno division chiefs who called for his ouster to apologise to the Sultan and Kedah Regency Council for their actions.
He said their actions did not represent the majority of Umno nor the wishes of Kedah folk.
Mukhriz said the six state executive councillors who failed to attend the exco meeting last Wednesday must also apologise, as they had incurred the wrath of the palace for failing to perform their public duty.
“Until this struggle is resolved, every executive councillor‎ and assemblymen must carry out the duties entrusted to them by the sultan and his people, as enshrined in the Kedah laws,” said Mukhriz in a statement.
Fourteen Kedah Umno division chiefs and wing leaders announced ‎in the press conference that they had lost confidence in Mukhriz’s leadership.
Media reports said 19 Umno representatives in the state assembly had signed sworn statements in support of Mukhriz’s removal.
But Mukhriz’s fate could be sealed tomorrow, when the Kedah Regency Council meets all 21 Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen to resolve the issue.

Speculation confusing public, says Mukhriz on fate as MB

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir waves to photographers at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas, Kedah, today.  – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 31, 2016. Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir waves to photographers at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport in Kepala Batas, Kedah, today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, January 31, 2016. 
Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said he was in the dark over who would replace him as the new Kedah Menteri Besar despite speculation on names that had been submitted for the post.
Mukhriz, who is facing an ouster by Kedah Umno division chiefs, said there was too much speculation on his fate and who would fill the post, leading to public confusion.
"I don't know, there are all kinds of allegations at this point.
 "I don't know which one (is true)," he said after landing at the Sultan Abdul Halim airport in Kedah this evening upon returning from Kuala Lumpur.Some 100 supporters greeted him upon arrival.
The Kedah Regency Council is set to meet all 21 Barisan Nasional state representatives tomorrow and Mukhriz has confirmed his attendance for the meet.
The assemblymen are expected to be in audience with the Regency Council chairman Tunku Temenggong Tan Sri Tunku Sallehuddin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah, and two other members, Tunku Laksamana Datuk Seri Diraja Tunku Abdul Hamid Thani Ibni Almarhum Sultan Badlishah and Puteri Sulung Sultan Kedah Tengku Panglima Besar Datuk Seri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz.
The political strife in Kedah has lasted over a week now since a press conference led by Kedah Umno deputy liaison chief Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah on January 20 which called for Mukhriz to be removed due to loss of confidence in his leadership.

Muhyiddin barred from speaking at sports do held at a school

Sacked education minister Muhyiddin Yassin found himself in an awkward position when he was told he could not speak at event he was invited to.
The event - the launch of a local football league - was held at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan USJ4 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, he said.
According to the former deputy prime minister, school administrators told him they “received instructions from certain parties not to allow (him) to speak”.
“Nevermind. I expected this,” he wrote on his Facebook page.
He said he still managed to mingle with those who attended the launching of the local youth football league, organised by the Kelab Sukan Komuniti Subang Jaya at the school.
The Umno deputy president also uploaded a picture of him taking a posing for a photograph with an attendee.
Muhyiddin Yassin added 9 new photos.
Politician699,654 Likes
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Saya telah diundang oleh Kelab Sukan Komuniti Subang Jaya untuk melancarkan Liga Bolasepak Belia Komuniti Subang Jaya di SMK USJ 4 petang tadi. Malangnya, saya diberitahu pihak sekolah telah menerima arahan daripada pihak tertentu untuk mengarahkan penganjur supaya tidak membenarkan saya berucap. Tidak mengapalah. Saya telah menjangkakan perkara ini akan berlaku. Walaupun tidak berucap, saya sempat beramah mesra dengan tetamu yang hadir sebelum berangkat pulang. Tahniah dan selamat bersukan saya ucapkan kepada anak-anak yang mengambil bahagian dalam acara yang dianjurkan
Muhyiddin was dropped from cabinet along with Umno vice president Shafie Apdal, when they voiced out their concerns over state investment firm 1MDB.
Ironically, many opposition politicians including now Selangor exco in charge of education Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Subang Jaya assemblyperson Hannah Yeoh were previously barred from entering schools when Muhyiddin was education minister.
Although still Umno number two, Muhyiddin has been sidelined in the party with most of his party duties taken over by party veep Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Zahid was appointed deputy prime minister in the cabinet reshuffle in last year. -Mkini

Cheaper petrol, diesel at midnight, tonight

Petrol and diesel retail prices continue to slide, with RON95 to cost RM1.75 at midnight Feb 1.
This is down 10 sen compared to January prices.
RON97 will cost 20 sen less at RM2.05 per litre and diesel will be cheaper by 25 sen at RM1.35 per litre, Sin Chew reported.
This is the second month in a row that fuel pump prices have gone down.
While this may be happy news for motorists, the slip in oil prices signals tough times ahead for oil-producing Malaysia.
Earlier this month, national oil company Petronas said it aims to cut RM50 billion in operating and capital expenditure in the next four years, in the face of sliding oil prices.
The oil and gas industry is also undergoing rounds of retrenchments.
This prompted Bank Simpanan Nasional to halt loans to oil and gas employees, due to default risk.
The oil price plunge has also forced the government to embark on a "budget recalibration" exercise, fearing further economic slump. -Mkini


Dato’ Sri Mohamed Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak was born to rule. Son of Malaysia’s second post-independence prime minister and nephew of its third, he entered parliament at the age of 23, inheriting his father’s seat and was handed several senior portfolios before being appointed prime minister himself in 2009.
Najib heads the powerful United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the pre-eminent political force. His national and personal dominance symbolises the bumiputera (ethnic Malay) ascendancy in a country with large, constitutionally disadvantaged ethnic Indian and Chinese minorities.
But as the intense firestorm sparked by last week’s arbitrary dismissal of potentially career-ending corruption allegations against him suggests, Najib is also seen by growing numbers of fellow citizens as unfit to rule the country whose leadership he inherited as if by right. His time in government, especially since the 2013 general election, has brought an expansion of repressive laws, multiplying human rights abuses and curbs on media freedoms more reminiscent of Russia than of a supposedly functional, pro-western democracy closely allied to Britain and the US.
Human Rights Watch summed up Malaysia’s crisis of governance in its 2016 World Report and country-file: “The ruling Umno-led coalition has remained in power since 1957 through electoral manipulation, censorship, intimidation and use of criminal statutes to punish political opponents. After losing the popular vote in the 2013 elections – but maintaining a legislative majority through gerrymandering – the government renewed its crackdown on freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and passed new laws permitting preventive detention without charge… Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim remains imprisoned on trumped-up sodomy charges after a politically motivated, unjust trial.”
The latest furore besmirching Najib’s shaky reputation concerns a 2013 payment of $681m into his personal bank account, a transfer that only came to light thanks to a Wall Street Journal report last July. After months of closed-door investigations and Najib’s repeated denials of wrongdoing, Mohamed Apandi Ali, Malaysia’s attorney general, declared last week that the money was a private gift from the Saudi royal family and there was no evidence of improper or corrupt activity. Nor was there any connection with graft allegations swirling around the debt-laden state fund, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), which Najib oversaw, he said.
This has been met with widespread scepticism. Why was the gift made to Najib and what was it for? Why was most of the money apparently later returned to the Saudis, and what happened to the $61m that was not? Why was the transfer routed circuitously through the British Virgin Islands and Hong Kong? And why, particularly if, as Najib claims, the money was a political donation to boost Umno election campaign funds, was it deposited in his personal bank accounts?
Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak addresses a conference in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on 28 January, 2016.
Those taken by surprise by Apandi’s act of absolution include the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (Macc), which investigated the affair. An anonymous source there subsequently told the Reuters news agency that the commission recommended last month that Najib be charged with criminal misappropriation. Apandi rejected the advice. The Macc is now seeking a review of the attorney general’s decision, while those in Najib’s camp want an inquiry into the leak.
Saudis also found the decision surprising. The royal family would “never” place political funds in a private individual’s account, officials told the Malaysia Chronicle. This may or may not be true. A “well-placed Saudi source” told the BBC’s Frank Gardner that the money was paid direct to Najib, on the orders of the late King Abdullah, to help him defeat Islamist hardliners in the 2013 election.
Najib says he has been vindicated and Malaysia must move on. This is fantasy. The scandal will live on in the minds of voters who have more reason than ever to distrust those who presume to lead them on the basis of privilege, wealth and inequality.
It lives on in the minds of the FBI and investigators in Switzerland and Hong Kong still probing 1MDB.
And it shines a spotlight on Malaysia’s worsening democratic deficit, whether defined in terms of shady campaign finances, electoral manipulation and foreign interference, human rights abuses, weak and unreliable governance – or downright venality. - http://www.theguardian.com/


Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir today urged the state’s Umno division chiefs and wing leaders who called for his ouster to apologise to the sultan and the Regency Council for their actions.
He said‎ their press conference nearly two weeks ago had offended the sultan, adding that they did not represent the majority of Umno nor did they carry the wishes of the Kedah people.
Mukhriz said the six executive councillors who failed to attend the Kedah executive council meeting last Wednesday must also apologise, as they had been remiss in carrying out their duty.
"I urge all 14 Umno division chiefs who were involved, directly or indirectly‎, with the press conference on January 20, 2016, and the six state executive councillors who did not attend the executive council meeting on January 27 immediately apologise officially to the Kedah sultan and the Regency Council.
"Until this struggle is resolved, every executive councillor‎ and state assemblymen must carry out the duties entrusted to them by the king and his people, as enshrined in the Kedah  constitution," said Mukhriz in a statement today
His statement comes as the Kedah Regency Council has summoned all Barisan Nasional (BN) state assemblymen to Wisma Darul Aman tomorrow, and is expected to decide on the new menteri besar the same day.
Mukhriz said he was informed that the sultan and the Regency Council were furious at the six executive councillors who did not attend last week's meeting.
‎"As executive councillors, their refusal to attend the executive council meeting jeopardises the administration and plans arranged by the state government to carry out programmes and development activities for the people of the state.
"I was told the Kedah sultan and the Regency Council were also angered by the disobedience shown by executive councillors," said Mukhriz.‎
Meanwhile, he said, the press conference had tarnished the celebrations of the Sultan kedah's 88th birthday, which was held the same day.
He added that it was irresponsible for the 14 division chiefs to "drag" the Umno wings and youth leaders to the press conference.
‎He said several who attended it later told him they had not been aware‎ of the meeting's purpose.‎
"As the Umno Kedah liaison chief, I humbly apologise to the Sultan of Kedah and the Regency Council over the actions of a few Umno members, which have tarnished the sultan's honour and the birthday celebrations," said Mukhriz.
Mukhriz Mahathir
Fourteen Kedah Umno division chiefs and wing leaders announced ‎in a press conference on January 20 that they wanted Mukhriz removed as menteri besar.
Media reports said 19 Umno representatives in the state assembly had signed sworn statements in support of Mukhriz's removal.
The report also said the palace had requested for a formal letter on Mukhriz's status in Umno, and that Mukhriz was summoned for an audience at 4pm Friday.
On Friday, Najib announced that his meeting with the Kedah Regency Council went smoothly and the proposed list of candidates to replace Mukhriz had been submitted and not rejected by the palace.
He did not reveal the list and said Mukhriz would remain as Kedah menteri besar and the state Umno chief until further notice. – TMI


Prime Minister Najib Razak, reluctantly, has announced a revised Budget 2016. Clearly, it was a tough job to further decorate the budget so that it doesn’t sound too gloomy. When Budget 2016 was unveiled in Parliament last October, the crude oil price was at US$48 (RM199) per barrel. Today, it stands at US$35 (RM145), after a rebound from US$27 a barrel.
When Najib unveiled the Budget 2016 last October, he trumpeted lots of goodies – a growing GDP, reduced fiscal deficit, reduction of poverty, lower unemployment, more free money through BR1M and whatnot. But even then, the national budget was a problematic one because the “Operational Expenditure” of RM215.2 billion constituted 80.5% of overall budget.
What this means is for every RM100 of revenue collected, a disturbing RM80.50 goes to running the government such as salary, rental, maintenance, utilities bill, travel expenses and the list goes on. After getting used to lavish spending and cuts in the initial Budget 2016, there was little room for Najib to get anymore money, lest he wished to cut government servants’ wages.
Malaysia Government Servants
Prime Minister Najib Razak - Emperor Crown
In the latest budget revision, PM Najib Razak who holds a second job as the Malaysian Finance Minister has presented 11-calibration. Out of them, only 2 recalibrated measures should interest you – EPF and GST. The notorious 6% GST has been retained, for obvious reason. Since its introduction on 1 April, 2015, a staggering RM51 billion was collected.
Naturally, Najib can afford to smile and grin from ear to ear because without this new cash-cow, his government would have collapsed. And he took the opportunity to remind (or rather threaten) the Malaysian’s 1.6-million civil servants, majority of whom support Najib’s UMNO political party, that they cankeep their jobs because of GST.
Malaysia GST - Collected RM51 Billion
But was it true that the 1.6-million government servants would be jobless had the GST not implemented? Petronas said it will pay RM16 billion in dividend to the government this year (2016), down from RM26 billion in 2015 and RM29 billion in 2014. In his 2016 Budget, PM Najib estimated Malaysia’s oil related revenue at RM31.7 billion this year compared with RM44 billion in 2015.
In other words, the government would collect RM12 billion less from Petronas, including dividend, taxes and export duties this year. Big deal!! But Najib regime is pocketing RM24 billion every year, thanks to the abolishment of fuel subsidy. The RM24 billion in saving is more than enough to cover the RM12 billion temporary losses from Petronas.
Fuel Hike - Car Long Queue
This also means even without the RM51 billion in GST collection, there’s no reason to cut any of the 1.6-million government servants if the money is prudently spent. Essentially, the money collected from 6% GST is extra money“forced” from the 30-million reluctant Malaysians. But hey, RM51 billion in government’s pocket is better than in peoples’ pocket.
In a family of five, Najib administration has squeezed at least RM8,500 from each family in 2015 alone. And whenever the finance minister likes, he can increase GST’s rate further. That’s precisely why the 6% GST remains in the 2016 budget revision. GST is an extremely lucrative cash-cow for Najib’s own survival because he can use it to give “gifts” to 191 UMNO division chiefs (*grin*).
Najib Razak - Laughing - GST Collection RM51 Billion
The smartest move in his budget recalibration was the 3% reduction in EPF contribution by employees. It would be great if employees pay 3% less but the same quantum is offset by the government. But that was not the case. EPF contributors are forced to spend their retirement fund in “advance” so that the government doesn’t have to find money to make ends meet.
By Najib’s own estimation, the reduced EPF contribution would boost spending by RM8 billion. It was a clever move because the government would have the opportunity to slap 6% GST on the RM8 billion to make additional RM480 million. It was like a bank forcing you to take “cash advance” on your credit card so that they can charge you processing fee.
KWSP - EPF Building
EPF contributors would have 3% less in their saving – every month – from March 2016 until December 2017. Therefore before one applause and get excited about having extra cash to spend every month, one has to realize that the so-called extra cash was yours in the first place. Because financial wizard Najib Razak didn’t know how to get money, he has chosen to squeeze it from your retirement fund.
Actually, the government is broke. Allocation to the Poor Students’ Trust Fund (Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pelajar Miskin) was cut from RM200 million to merely RM10 million. Higher Education Ministry’s budget was reduced by RM2.4 billion to RM13.378 billion. Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry saw a 60.76% reduction to its budget from RM1.659 billion to RM651 million.
Marina Mahathir - Najib Razak Korek EPF Retirement Fund
The Transport Ministry saw a budget reduction of RM648 million. Energy, Green Technology, and Water Ministry was short by RM605 million. Defence Ministry saw its budget cut by RM459 million. These budget cuts, announced during 2016 Budget last October, would save RM5.3 billion. But Najib wantedRM8 billion more of your EPF money. -http://www.financetwitter.com/


The **it is hitting the fan outside the country now. The Swiss have uncovered RM16.8 billion ill gotten money laundered through the Swiss banks. They have asked the AG for help. Here be the news:
1. Swiss uncovered US$4b (RM16.8b) misappropriated from M'sian state companies
on-going investigations by Swiss authorities
Swiss in Sept froze "tens of millions of dollars" held in Swiss accounts
Swiss A-G's office criminal proceedings against two former 1MDB officials
bribing, misconduct in public office, money laundering, criminal mismanagement
four cases of criminal conduct from 2009 to 2013 have come to light
carried out by means of complex financial structures
Swiss prosecutors asked Malaysian for mutual legal assistance
"Malaysia obliged under international Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA)
1MDB said "cooperation was subject to advice from relevant local authorities"
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/1mdb-says-not-contacted-by-foreign-legal-authorities#sthash.03Ucxvbv.dpuf
2. A-G says will first need to review Swiss findings
Swiss prosecutor formally asked M'sia help with 1MDB
misappropriations amounted to about US$4b (RM16.8b).
Apandi said first need to review the Swiss findings
Apandi in announcing his "no further action" said since no evidence of wrongdoing with regards to the RM2.6 billion donation and SRC International, there would be no need to grant the MACC its request for mutual legal assistance from foreign authorities – January 30, 2016.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/a-g-says-will-cooperate-with-swiss-counterparts-on-1mdb-probe#sthash.GObV30mO.dpuf
My comments : This is now a situation of 'kemaluan besar' for the entire country. This is NOT a Dr Mahathir conspiracy. This is the Swiss Attorney General. They seem to have a better grasp of things like ethics, integrity, honesty and 'do not tell lies'. Not the best in the world but they are not "Swiss" for nothing.
We are Third World so over here in Putrajaya these words are still 'work in progress'.
The Swiss are investigating corruption, money laundering, CBT (criminal mismanagement) over US$4b or RM16.8b.
Here is my question : should we add this RM16.8b on top of that RM27b plus RM4b making it RM48b (give or take) or is it still part of that RM27b? Ini RM16.8b mana mari?
A friend who is another astute observer told me months ago, if the FBI, Interpol or the Swiss call and no one picks up the phone, then what? Or what if the local boys do not cooperate with the FBI, Interpol, Swiss etc? What recourse will the FBI or Interpol have? The same question applies to the Swiss now. What if their calls, lettters and requests go unanswered?
Or their queries are answered two years or three years down the road. Or they get some junior clerk to answer their queries. The to and fro alone can exhaust any inquiry by the Swiss.
I hope the Swiss make public the extent of their investigations and what they have uncovered thus far.
Just yesterday another friend said 'the noose is tightening'.
The French have also delivered an indictment against one Bernard Baiocco, 72, former president of Thales International Asia (Thint Asia) in the Scorpene corruption investigation.
Here is the news
French court indicts man in Scorpene kickbacks, says report
former boss of French company accused of kickbacks to former aide of Najib indicted for “active bribery of foreign public officials” according to AFP
Bernard Baiocco, 72, former president of Thales International Asia (Thint Asia) indicted Dec 15 last year, for paying commissions to Razak Baginda, analyst who was acquitted of 2006 murder of Mongolian citizen Altantuya Shaariibuu.
On “complicity in misuse of corporate assets”, Baiocco indicted with director of shipbuilder DCN International, which sold two Scorpene submarines to M'sia
Suaram filed complaint with Paris civil court in 2012 over scandal
Suaram suit against DCNS for paying 114.9 million euro illegal commissions to Perimekar, partly owned by Razak, close confidante of Najib
So the noose does tighten. The FBI and other investigations are still ongoing.
Just thinking : what if one of these countries issues a warrant of arrest?
Malu lah. Imagine our Head of State arrested by say Detective Sargeant Buzz Mohawk at the JFK International Airport !!
If such a thing happens, can we send an aircraft carrier task force to rescue our Head of State?
Obama is president only until November 2016. If Donald Trump becomes the next president, well he has said it plainly that "he dont like them Mexicans too much".
Even if no arrest warrants are issued masih tak cukup malu ke? Indictment by the French, the Swiss investigating RM16.8b stolen money from Malaysia linked to 'government officials'?
Which gomen official? It cannot be the Pegawai Daerah of Sungai Pari.
(Sungai Pari is in Ipoh, my hometown, but there is no Daerah Sungai Pari.)
This is unprecedented not just for Malaysia but the entire world. It is becoming quite bizarre.