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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rafizi claims two Umno leaders linked to Godfrey Group

PKR vice-president issues photos showing Shahrir Samad and Nur Jazlan Mohamed with a woman who allegedly signed a contract with an American lobbyist close to the Trump administration.
Rafizi-RamliPETALING JAYA: PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli today urged two Johor Umno leaders to state whether they have any connection with the reported effort to use Godfrey Group Limited to pay US$250,000 (RM1.07 million) to a former campaign aide of President Donald Trump to lobby for Malaysia.

The Pandan MP said in a statement that Felda chairman Shahrir Samad and deputy home minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed knew an individual named Florence Goh, who allegedly signed the lobbying contract on behalf of Godfrey Group.
He attached with his statement several photographs showing individually Shahrir or Nur Jazlan together with Goh at a number of official opening programmes in Johor Bahru.
Rafizi also claimed that Goh was the president of an NGO, Care United Johor Baharu, of which Shahrir was adviser.
“I call upon Shahrir and Nur Jazlan to issue statements (on this matter) because Malaysians have the right to know what connection Goh has with the Umno leadership to the extent that she can assume to represent the government in dealing with a lobbyist in the United States.
“If she really used the name of Malaysia as stated in the denial issued by the prime minister’s office, then Nur Jazlan as deputy minister of home affairs should be the first person to direct that legal action be taken against Goh,” he said.
US news portal The Daily Beast reported that the company, The 45 Group owned by Healy Baumgardner Nardone, who was a member of the Trump presidential campaign, had made a declaration of receiving RM1.07 million from a company with an address in Johor Bahru. It had also listed the prime minister’s office in Putrajaya.
The declaration was required under the Foreign Agents Registration Act in which those involved in lobbying American public servants must disclose details to the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
According to the official forms filed by Nardone, the fee payment was made on May 9.
The portal also reported that Malaysia now faces two issues in its relations with Washington: one involving allegations that Malaysia’s trade practices harmed US interests and the second concerning investigations by the DoJ relating to the 1MDB scandal.
Rafizi had previously questioned the need for Najib to lobby Trump and urged the prime minister to reveal the owner of Godfrey Group.
According to him, a search at the Companies Commission of Malaysia found that the company did not exist. Instead, there was a company with a similar name registered with the commission and owned by a 70-year-old Chinese man.
Meanwhile, FMT is still trying to reach Shahrir and Nur Jazlan on Rafizi’s claim. -FMT

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