Hornbill Unleashed

September 7, 2014

Is Malaysia turning into a police state?

Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has been advocating moderation as the panacea to all global conflicts, appears to be displaying the opposite in handling national matters, according to Dr Lim Teck Ghee. — Reuters picturePATHMA SUBRAMANIAM

The recent crackdown on freedom of expression and dissent has analysts warning that Malaysia is not far from turning into an authoritarian state contrary to the democratic, moderate and progressive image the Barisan Nasional (BN) government shows the world at large.

Putrajaya’s attempts to maintain public order in the 21st-century through colonial-era laws is a risky one, the pundits add, with a nod to the growing resentment over the recent arrests and prosecution of federal opposition politicians, students, an academic and the latest, a reporter for a web-based news agency under the Sedition Act 1948 since Election 2012.

“It is very clear that the country has gone on a sharp downward path with the most recent round of sedition cases and the way in which little or no distinction is made between the exercise of political power and how the law is selectively and arbitrarily interpreted and implemented,” Dr Lim Teck Ghee told Malay Mail Online in an email interview. (more…)

Slew of sedition charges demonstrate Najib’s weakness

(From left) Mahathir and NajibNathaniel Tan

Few things should be considered worse than breaking a promise. This is true in our day to day lives, and is even more true if you are a head of government.

In July 2012, even the New York Times felt it was worth covering Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s now long unfulfilled promise:

“Prime Minister Najib Razak said the current Sedition Act, enacted in 1948 when the Malaysia was under British rule, “represents a bygone era in our country” and will be replaced with new laws he called the National Harmony Act. ”

Promises are important because the degree to which we keep them determines our credibility — something our prime minister apparently has a severe dearth of. (more…)

Putrajaya never promised to repeal Sedition Act, says Shahidan

Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim says multiracial Malaysia still needed the Sedition Act. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 5, 2014.MD IZWAN

Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim says multiracial Malaysia still needed the Sedition Act.

Minister Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim is insisting that Putrajaya never promised to abolish the Sedition Act but only to review it, two years after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak went on record to repeal the colonial-era law.

This revelation by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department comes amid a blitz against opposition politicians, an academic, a news portal and one of its reporters under the 1948 legislation.

Shahidan said Najib’s previous remarks that new laws would replace the Sedition Act did not mean the colonial-era law would be abolished. (more…)

Sedition charges against critics hurting Najib’s reputation, reports The Economist

Najib is hurting his reputation as a supposed reformer for the country with the recent spate of arrests of the government's critics under the Sedition Act. - The Malaysian Insider pic, September 5, 2014.Economist

Global business magazine The Economist has questioned Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s credentials as a reformer in the wake of a blitz on opposition politicians, an academic and a journalist using the colonial era Sedition Act.

Repealing the dreaded Internal Security Act and embracing economic liberalisation in his first term in office, 2009-2012, became the basis for his supporters calling Najib a “reformer”, but the events of the past two weeks have caused a major dent to his reputation, the publication said.

Three opposition parlimentarians have been charged with sedition since August 19 for making statements critical of the government, namely PKR vice-president N. Surendran, PAS central committee member Khalid Samad and PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli. (more…)

Malaysian Bar: Sedition Act panders to extremists

BOO SU-LYN

Christopher Leong (right) answers questions during the launch of the ‘Mansuh Akta Hasutan’ campaign at the Bar Council, September 4, 2014. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

The Sedition Act 1948 was never intended to create national harmony but it encourages extremism instead, Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong said last night.

He said the colonial-era law panders to extremists and perpetuates disunity as it is wielded whenever others claim to be insulted or disrespected.

“The Sedition Act is the antithesis of democracy, rule of law and justice,” he said at the official launch of the #MansuhAktaHasutan campaign by the Bar Council’s National Young Lawyers Committee (NYLC) last night to repeal the Sedition Act. (more…)

Sarawak BN parties may clash over new seats after redelineation exercise

DESMOND DAVIDSON

Two major Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties in Sarawak may be facing off over new constituencies which will be created following the Election Commission’s highly-anticipated redelineation exercise.Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) is eyeing at least two of the “three to four additional seats” from the redelineation exercise, while Parti Pesaka Bumiputera (PBB) wants more than half of the new seats.

PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing (pic) said that it is looking at Hulu Rajang as a possible constituency to redelineate, adding that he is pleased the constituency is being considered.

Hulu Rajang, the largest parliamentary constituency in the country, in terms of size has only two state seats – Baleh and Belaga – both held by PRS. (more…)

Hadi gears up for clash with Anwarists

FMT

The one-hour dialogue session held by PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang in Terengganu yesterday was hard-hitting and most revealing. In a no holds barred event, Hadi admitted what most people had suspected all along but could not confirm.

Now Hadi has confirmed it. And what he confirmed is certainly most damaging to Pakatan Rakyat, PKR, Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Rafizi Ramli.

Hadi confirmed that PAS had approached Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to propose him as Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate for Prime Minister, as alleged by Rafizi. But they did so, said Hadi, at the behest of DAP and PKR after they, too, had approached Tengku Razaleigh and had failed. (more…)

Corruption Kills……

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Report and others have worked to draw attention to corruption in Sarawak and Malaysia, which ranks as one of the worst places in the world when it comes to corrupt exploitation of the people by the governing elite.

Our evidence and exposes have illustrated the problem time and again, where abuse after abuse has been perpetrated by those in power in Malaysia.

Sarawak is a country rich in natural resources, where the small population ought to be able to live comfortably, if the wealth of the state were distributed more equitably and if the landscape was managed sustainably. (more…)

September 6, 2014

Show real leadership, PKR Sarawak tells PM amid sedition crackdown

DESMOND DAVIDSON

PKR Sarawak has ripped into the prime minister’s assurance that the government remains committed to its 1Malaysia philosophy, calling it nothing more than lip service amid the government’s crackdown on dissent.

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) said he took Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s remarks that every citizen “had a place under the Malaysian sun” with “more than a touch of cynicism”.

Najib had said this when speaking at a forum called “Strengthening the Voice of the Moderates, Moving Forward Together” on September 4 in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

‘Hadi Move’ rocks PAS and PKR, threatens split

Radzi Razak

Before PAS leaders could even reel from the confusion that the Islamic party has submitted two name lists to the Selangor palace for the post of menteri besar, this puzzlement quickly turned into shock and outrage when the contents of the list came to light.

In what has now come to be known as the “Hadi Move”, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s office, in an apparent defiance of the party’s central committee decision, submitted its own list of candidates to replace Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, who has lost the state assembly’s majority support.

Going against the Islamic party’s repeated insistence that it was not coveting the menteri besar position and respected PKR’s prerogative to nominate its candidate, Hadi’s office omitted PKR from the first list submitted to the palace. (more…)

Najib says it again, Sedition Act will be repealed

Speaking at an Umno delegates meeting in Jerlun, Perak, prime minister Najib has repeated his statement from two years ago that the Sedition Act will be repealed. - The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, September 5, 2014.

TMI

Speaking at an Umno delegates meeting in Jerlun, Perak, prime minister Najib has repeated his statement from two years ago that the Sedition Act will be repealed.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has reiterated that the Sedition Act would be abolished, to be replaced by the proposed National Harmony Act.

The Prime Minister said this today in his speech at the opening of the Jerlun Umno divisional delegates meeting in Kedah today, Bernama reported.

He added, however, that matters pertaining to religion and race would not be neglected, saying that the government would not allow freedom that did not adhere to the principles of accountability regarding Islam, other faiths, as well as the special privileges of the Malays and the Malay Rulers. (more…)

Court overturns open verdict on Beng Hock

Hafiz Yatim

The Court of Appeal in Putrajaya today unanimously overturned the coroner’s open verdict following the inquest into the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock.Due to the importance of the case, which has gripped public attention for the past five years, the court has written three separate judgments on its decision.

Justice Mah Weng Kwai is first to read his judgment. The other two judges who sat with him and who will also read out their decisions are Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof and Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

Justice Mohamad Ariff heads the three-member bench. (more…)

August 16, 2014

Flight data shows gov’t jet traipsing in Europe

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Koh Jun Lin

Publicly available flight information appears to back website Asia Sentinel’s claims that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak went on a European holiday, after a working visit to Netherlands to deal with the Flight MH17 issue a fortnight ago.

Information from the popular flight tracking website FlightRadar24 shows that the Royal Malaysian Air Force VIP transport plane 9M-NAA had been seen at several European airports, including at some of the locations named in the report.

However, there is no public data on who was on board the aircraft. (more…)

August 3, 2014

Banknote graft injunction to protect senior leaders, says Australian government

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Employees from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s subsidiary companies – Securency and Note Printing Australia – were alleged to have bribed foreign officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam from 1999 to 2004 to win banknote printing contracts. – The Malaysian Insider pic, August 2, 2014.TMI

A superinjunction obtained by the Australian government in the banknote scandal was the best way to protect senior political figures from disparaging remarks, the Australian embassy in Indonesia said.

In a statement, the embassy said the naming of prominent Southeast Asian leaders in the order last week does not imply any wrongdoing on their part.

“The orders are to prevent publication of information which could suggest the involvement in corruption of senior political figures in the region. (more…)

Pakatan leaders vow to strengthen troubled pact

Mkini

Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders today pledged the strengthen the opposition coalition amid strains within its component parties, which are at odds over whether to replace Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

In a joint statement today, it said the rise of Pakatan was a product of the rakyat’s support and the coalition will work to ensure that its members remain together.

“The spirit of understanding and camaraderie in Pakatan Rakyat is the basis of its strength and integrity to bring political, social and economic change and reform in this beloved country. (more…)

August 1, 2014

Najib, Pak Lah and Mahathir also named in banknote graft case, says WikiLeaks

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Mahathir (2nd left) and Najib are both named in the injunction obtained by the Australian government which bars Australian media from reporting on a case involving the payment of bribes to secure currency printing contracts in Malaysia. - The Malaysian Insider pic, July 30, 2014.TMI

Mahathir (2nd left) and Najib are both named in the injunction obtained by the Australian government which bars Australian media from reporting on a case involving the payment of bribes to secure currency printing contracts in Malaysia.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his two predecessors and several former ministers have been named in the gag order obtained by the Australian government that censors the media there from reporting about a multi-million dollar corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed on 30-07-2014.

The case involves the Reserve Bank of Australia’s subsidiary companies Securency and Note Printing Australia. (more…)

Probe role of M’sian PMs in banknote graft case

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CYNTHIA GABRIEL

The Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4), is profoundly appalled at the revelations by WikiLeaks on a gag order and super injunction invoked by the Australian government on a multi-million dollar international banknote graft case, involving the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), with no less than three generations of Malaysian prime ministers mentioned.

This case came to light following leaks on Australia’s gag order on allegations of multi-million dollar inducements to officials in Malaysia and other countries made by subsidiaries of RBA, Securency and Note Printing Australia, in the supply of RM5 polymer notes. (more…)

July 29, 2014

M’sian oil palm linked to disgraced PR firm

Mkini

Disgraced UK-based FBC Media, a firm accused of producing fluff content on major television networks under the guise of genuine programmes for those who would pay, had purportedly also offered its services to the government backed Malaysian Oil Palm Council (Mpoc).

This is according to whistleblower site Sarawak Report which released what is said is “a dossier of damning proposals” made by the discredited FBC Media to Mpoc to improve Malaysia’s tarnished oil palm industry image.

“It confirms the strategy of ‘greenwash’ to deliberately mislead the world’s public about the true nature of this massive agribusiness, which is tearing up the Borneo jungle and displacing its inhabitants. (more…)

July 21, 2014

Legality of Marina Park project in Miri questioned

Dukau Papau

Sarawak PKR today questioned the legality of the construction of a multi-billion ringgit Marina Park City project in Miri by Samling Group, which is closely linked to those in political power.

It also accused some Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) leaders of being involved in the project, which has become a very ‘hot’ issue in the city.

“Documents made available to our Miri MP Dr Michael Teo Yu Keng indicate that the original planning and engineering approvals will take away the existing approved car parks at Jalan Sri Dagang or the Miri Waterfront Commercial Centre,” state PKR vice-chairperson See Chee How said. (more…)

June 26, 2014

Taib’s son bought Ferrari for eight-year-old, divorce trial told

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Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Abdul Taib arrive Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court, October 11, 2013. — Picture by Saw Siow FengSYED JAYMAL ZAHIIDJUNE

Sarawak tycoon Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir told his divorce retrial today that he had bought a Ferrari Modena worth RM950,000 for his son when the boy was only eight, in a testimony meant to counter allegations of negligence by his ex-wife.

The son of Sarawak governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud said the used Ferrari was one of the assets provided to Shahnaz Abdul Majid and their son, Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud, now 20, after they were separated in 1999. (more…)

June 25, 2014

Bekir in tears while testifying on divorce

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Ahmad Fadli KC

Former Sarawak chief minister’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib testified in the Syariah High Court in Kuala Lumpur today that he only filed for divorce against his former wife Shahnaz A Majid after 12 years because he did not want to see her living alone.

“I did not want to see her living alone and not have any husband when I did not return home (to Damansara),” he said in testifying over his former wife’s RM100 million mutaah (gift) claim from him.

Abu Bekir halted his testimony after saying this, as he found it hard to control his tears. (more…)

June 13, 2014

Low: Taib no royal, graft probe continues

Mkini

Former Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud did not gain immunity from corruption investigation when he was appointed governor of Sarawak, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low said today.

In a written reply to Parliament, Low said that Taib will also not be charged in the Special Court for any offence as the position he holds does not equate him to being the monarch of Sarawak.

“Even though the Yang di-Pertua Negeri performs the functions of a ruler in a state, he does not fall under the definition of a ruler under Clause (2) Article 181 (of the third and fifth schedules of the Federal Constitution). (more…)

June 12, 2014

Bekir: RM191mil for child maintenance is madness

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Mkini

The Sarawak governor’s eldest son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today described the RM191 million child maintenance claim made by his former wife Shahnaz A Majid as “madness” and “unprecedented”.

“There is no sense and sensibility to all her claims in our divorce,” added Mahmud Abu Bekir in a statement released today.

Last week, when testifying at his former wife’s mutaah (gift) claim of RM100 million, Mahmud Abu Bekir told the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court that allegations of his wealth had been hugely exaggerated following forged documents Shahnaz allegedly obtained from a private Canadian investigator. (more…)

June 11, 2014

I didn’t grab land in Serian, says Manyin

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 PM
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Winston Way 

The minister accuses the opposition of making ridiculous accusation

Sarawak Infrastructure Development and Communications Minister Michael Manyin Jawong has dismissed the opposition’s charges that he grabbed land in his rural constituency, saying that despite the accusation, he still managed to win “handsomely” during the last Sarawak state election.

He said both he and his Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) colleague, Roland Sagah, who is the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly deputy speaker, had been charged by the opposition of grabbing three-quarters of the land in Serian. (more…)

June 4, 2014

Crony capitalism in Malaysia has to go, son of YTL founder says

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YTL Corporation Bhd Group Managing Director, Tan Sri Dr Francis Yeoh speaks during Pemandu's Global Malaysia Series programme at Bukit Kiara, Kuala Lumpur, June 3, 2014. — Picture by Yusof Mat IsaMELISSA CHI

Malaysia has to free itself from the constraints of “crony capitalism” and stop racial and religious rhetoric in order to compete on the global stage, business tycoon Tan Sri Francis Yeoh said today.

The group managing director at YTL Corporation and eldest son of founder, billionaire Tan Sri Yeoh Tiong Lay said 85 per cent of YTL’s business are in Britain, Singapore and Australia because these countries do not tolerate corruption, practice meritocracy and stand for the rule of law.

“For example in Singapore, we own a third of Singapore’s electricity, there is no subsidy of any kind, there is no cronyism of any type. (more…)

Filthy rich? I was framed, Taib’s son tells court

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Ahmad Fadli KC

Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib testified in court today that his wealth has been hugely exaggerated through documents forged by a Canadian private investigator.

Testifying in a divorce case, Mahmud Abu Bekir shot down allegations that he had billions of dollars worth of assets.

Abu Bekir was answering questions from lawyer Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar in the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court today. (more…)

May 31, 2014

Governor Taib’s shadow still looms large in Sarawak?

Francis Paul Siah

As a writer and a Sarawakian, I’m mindful to accord the utmost respect and reverence to the highest office of my home state and its holder — the office of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak and the current occupant in the Astana, Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Responsible journalism dictates that we give due respect to the dignified office of the Head of State and its holder who is and should be “above politics”. Editors and journalists are duty-bound to exercise utmost care and decorum when writing about the Head of State who, in most cases, perform largely ceremonial duties.

But here’s the tricky part – what if the Head of State or governor (as in the case in Sarawak) is allegedly still engaged in politics or is believed to be actively involved in political manouverings in the state? (more…)

May 28, 2014

Sarawak ex-CM’s son had RM9 million in bank accounts, court told

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 Shahnaz Majid is seeking some RM400 million from her ex-husband Mahmud Abu Bekir as settlement for their divorce. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 26, 2014.DIYANA IBRAHIM

A bank employee today testified that Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir, son of former Sarawak chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, had RM9 million in four bank accounts.

CIMB Customer Resolution Department assistant vice-president P. Magendran Pillai was testifying in the suit by Mahmud’s ex-wife Shahnaz Majid, who is seeking some RM400 million as settlement for their divorce, including matrimonial property and “mutaah” (Islamic conciliatory payment).

Earlier, Mahmud’s lawyers Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din failed in their bid to stop Magendran from revealing details of the bank accounts, saying it contravened the Banking and Financial Institution Act (Bafia) 1989 that protects privacy of bank clients. (more…)

May 24, 2014

Terengganu crisis resolved at the expense of democratic principles

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM
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Najib (Left) and Ahmad (Right) greeting each other at Ahmad's daughter's wedding reception recentlyAbdul Aziz Bari

Najib (Left) and Ahmad (Right) greeting each other at Ahmad’s daughter’s wedding reception recently
Terengganu crisis resolved at the expense of democratic principles

If we were to draw an analogy between the recent Terengganu political crisis and a football match it would be like a match that was wrongly prolonged in order to allow the preferred team to score the winning or the equalizing goal.

In any case that was not the only occasion when Umno-BN was given the advantage by the keepers of the system who are supposed to be neutral and should only have democracy and the Constitution as their guiding principles. (more…)

May 21, 2014

No more bailout, allow MAS to fail

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Medecci Lineil

In market economy, there are always firms and families struggling to make ends meet. MAS, a government–linked company, is no exception to this rule.

Now here’s the thing. For years with each bailout, Malaysian taxpayers were told this was in the best interest of the nation. And we were told this bailout was necessary to save the jobs of thousands of Malaysians in MAS. That is what MAS and government would have the public believe.

And I don’t believe that.

Something has to be done now. (more…)

May 16, 2014

What In The Devil’s Going On In Tasmania?

What In The Devil’s Going On In Tasmania?

Sarawak Report

The Australian Government has just given a foreign-owned company yet another in a series of huge subsidies to cut down the Tasmanian forest.

Sarawak-based Ta Ann has received a $7.5million hand-out, making almost $45million in total over the past 7 years, even though the Malaysian company can’t seem to turn a profit on the business.

So, what is the next thing we see?

Well, the next thing we see is $136,000 dollars of the Ta Ann budget disappearing into a lump-sum purchase of home grown wine, produced by Ta Ann’s own local Chief Executive – one Evan Rolley, formerly of the Tasmanian Forestry Department! (more…)

May 15, 2014

Only 28pct believe gov’t can tackle corruption

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Lawrence Yong

The number of people who believe that the government can tackle corruption has shrunk to its smallest in five years, the latest survey by Transparency International (Malaysia) shows.

The survey, in which face-to-face interviews were conducted with about 2,000 Malaysians from all 13 states, revealed that 45 percent of them were asked for a bribe in the past 12 months.

Conducted in March and April this year, it indicated that only 28 percent believe that the government is effective in tackling corruption.

In a similar 2013 survey, 31 percent said they agreed the government was effective. (more…)

May 12, 2014

Stop Baram, fully utilise Bakun, Murum, Batang Ai

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 6:59 AM
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Athi Shankar

Sahabat Alam Malaysia wants the Sarawak Government to heed Baram’s protesting natives.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) wants the proposed Baram hydroelectric project stopped.

SAM president SM Mohamed Idris urged the state government to listen to the demands of protesting natives.

He said Batang Ai, Bakun, Murum and other dam-affected communities around the world had described and relived the perils of forced relocation on human well-being. (more…)

May 10, 2014

US law firm says misappropriated ‘family money’ backed ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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wolf-partyJohn Berthelsen

A Los Angeles-based law firm is charging that embezzled or misappropriated funds from a foreign nation – apparently Malaysia – were used to fund the Hollywood movie production and financing company Red Granite, which made the Oscar-nominated movie “The Wolf of Wall Street,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and directed by Martin Scorsese.

The charge, by the law firm of Freedman & Taitelman, alleges that “family money” from Riza Aziz, the son of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor, was used to create Red Granite. The company was founded in 2009 by Riza, whose full name is Shahriz bin Abdul Aziz, and Christopher “Joey” McFarland. (more…)

May 6, 2014

GST: Najib & Co delusional

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Zainal Ajamaingst-300x199

It is no good claiming that other countries are imposing the same GST without really studying holistically the economic structure of those nations especially their wage model.

gstPrime Minister Najib Razak is of the opinion that the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is important for the government and good for the country.

But GST is a regressive consumption tax. This means that the more a person consumes the more tax that person has to pay.

This type of tax has been imposed by other countries throughout the world with diverse consequence. (more…)

May 5, 2014

How 1MDB Bankrolled Jho Low’s Private Equity Splash!

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How 1MDB Bankrolled Jho Low’s Private Equity Splash! FURTHER EXCLUSIVESarawak Report

Following our earlier exclusive expose Sarawak Report has unearthed further exclusive evidence proving the links between the mystery tycoon Jho Low and Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund One Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

It shows that in 2011 1MDB bankrolled a multi-million euro debt buy-out in Ireland, which formed a key plank in Jho Low’s strategy to get a controlling share of a London Hotel chain for his Wynton private equity group.

This new evidence flies in the face of denials as late as last month by Low that he has had any involvement or received any benefit from the public fund. (more…)

Governor Taib to sink teeth into onshore oil and gas next?

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Hazlan Zakaria

While officially retired from active politics in Sarawak, after having alleged to have sucked dry the riches from its lands and forests, state Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, apparently has no plans to let go of the Borneo state’s natural resource jugular.

I know I named him as the Last King of Sarawak, but that was done more in relation to Idi Amin’s “Last King of Scotland” moniker than of any real royal intent but perhaps there is some regal right royal ‘bone’ in him, after all.

Some say that he still rules the state executive. This, by proxy of Tan Sri Adenan Satem, seen by many of his detractors to be a weak leader who will lean heavily on what Taib says. (more…)

April 30, 2014

Taib linked to money-laundering in Canada

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FMT Staff

BMF said it unusual for a highly-reputed Canadian financial services provider to conduct multi-million-dollar transactions with “unusual” terms.

In the latest twist following the HSBC scandal, Canada’s largest insurance and finance provider Manulife Financial seems to have landed itself in a mess over its ‘unusual’ mortgage transactions with the Taib clan.

Manulife president and CEO Donald A. Guloien will on Thursday have to explain to company shareholders why it  provided six ‘unusual’ mortgages totalling Canadian $146 million (RM438 mil) to Sakto. (more…)

April 8, 2014

Mystery Thickens Over Missing Millions Meant For Schools

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Mystery Thickens Over Missing Millions Meant For Schools

Sarawak report

The company cited as the vehicle for SUPP leader Peter Chin’s pre-election plan to build 15 Sarawak schools has categorically denied any involvement in the project.

The KL based developer See Hoy Chan has told Sarawak Report that it had no knowledge of the RM559million proposal, which was rushed through and approved by the PM and Deputy PM’s offices in the weeks just before the election.

Details revealed in our original expose cited a list of 15 badly needed schools in Sarawak and Peter Chin recommended the consortium One BU Redha Services, comprising the Taib crony company Redha Services and One BU Sdn Bhd to build them. (more…)

RM45 million wasted in Ipoh airport upgrade as potholes prevent bigger aircraft landings

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An RM45 million upgrade for the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh is now subject of a state Public Accounts Committee probe after it was discovered that the runway extension was done shoddily. Potholes are preventing larger aircraft from landing there. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 7, 2014.V. ANBALAGAN

An RM45 million upgrade for the Sultan Azlan Shah Airport in Ipoh is now subject of a state Public Accounts Committee probe after it was discovered that the runway extension was done shoddily. Potholes are preventing larger aircraft from landing there.

Some RM45 million of public funds had been spent to upgrade the Sultan Azlan Shah airport in Ipoh so that bigger aircraft can brings loads of tourists to the silver state.

The problem: the finished product does not meet safety standards and only propeller aircraft can now use the ‎runway pockmarked with potholes. (more…)

April 3, 2014

‘Little to show for RM16bil spending on defence’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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Mkini

DAP’s Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Abd Aziz has demanded answers why Malaysia has not sent its two Scorpene submarines to assist in the search and recovery operation for the missing Malaysian Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370.

Mohd Ariff - who blogs under the handle ‘Sakmongkol 47′ – raised questions as to what the country has to show for its expenditure on defence, which has gone up from RM13.8 million in 2011 to RM16.1 billion in 2014.

“How is our defence spending structured? Is it structured to enrich a few Umno cronies or is it structured to strengthen our defences?” (more…)

March 8, 2014

Balingian set to cement Taib’s Melanau legacy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Hazlan Zakaria

With the Balingian by-election set for March 29, PBB looks set to deploy a Melanau candidate for the state seat, a move observers see as a means to cement former chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud’s legacy.

The Melanau-majority seat located within the Mukah parliamentary constituency has long been a PBB stronghold held by the former strongman and should continue to serve as a bastion for the party.

It is seen to be a loaded seat, and whoever gets picked to stand on the BN/PBB ticket will certainly play an important role in shaping the political landscape of Sarawak in the future. (more…)

Taib: The last king of Borneo

Hazlan Zakaria

One must admit that newly minted Sarawak Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud has struck quite a romantic pose. He can be considered the last remaining symbol of Borneo sovereignty, amidst the crashing tide of federal arrogance from the peninsula.

Romance as in the hypnotic draw that surrounds him, not necessarily of the romantic love kind. Nevertheless the “dashing” Taib did dazzle a younger woman to agree to be his current wife.

And dashing too Taib seems to be — to many Sabahans and Sarawakians, even those politically opposed to him, who flock to his banner when he announced that rule over Sarawak is for locals and Umno should stay the hell out, in sentiment if not the same words. (more…)

Top lawyer under probe for statutory declaration on Altantuya’s murder

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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TMI

Senior corporate lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham is being investigated by a three-man Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board (ASDB) committee for professional misconduct for allegedly preparing a statutory declaration (SD) for the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam (pic), who was not his client.

The contentious SD was to counter Bala’s first sworn statement which had incriminated Datuk Seri Najib Razak and several other personalities in relation to the 2006 murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the ASDB decided to hold the proceedings after finding there was a sufficient prima facie case against the lawyer for professional misconduct. (more…)

Taib to be spared DAP attacks, but state to remain under scrutiny

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Anna Chidambar

With the recent stepping down of Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud as Sarawak chief minister, opposition parties in the state are hopeful that it will weaken BN’s footing in Sarawak.

Whether it is mere wishful thinking or otherwise, they rationalise that “It cannot be denied that Taib’s political strategies and acumen are quite exceptional and a very hard act to follow.”

Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said: “As the governor, Taib can still advise Chief Minister (Tan Sri) Adenan Satem. However, when it comes to politics in Sarawak, money still plays a big part. Taib’s family has immense monetary clout to strengthen their political power. (more…)

Half a Billion Ringgit! The Turnover On Taib’s Latest Foreign Property Venture

Half a Billion Ringgit!  The Turnover On Taib’s Latest Foreign Property Venture

Sarawak Report

Sarawak Report can reveal that the turnover on the Taib family’s latest foreign property venture in the UK has been over half a billion ringgit (100 million pounds sterling) so far and it is still rising.

The Ridgeford Properties development in Bolsover Street, Central London, which comprises several flats, has now sold most of the units in its current 2nd stage of development for a price totalling £98,145,182 (RM537,000,000), according to research by the Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fund into the UK property register.

Some of the most expensive penthouse flats are yet to have been sold, meaning that the final sum will go well over the hundred million pounds mark. (more…)

March 7, 2014

Taib’s son escapes contempt charge

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 7:00 AM
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Ahmad Fadli KC 

Sarawak governor’s son Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib today escaped contempt of court proceedings brought by his former wife Shahnaz A Majid.

Syariah High Court judge Azzeman Omar delivered his verdict after hearing Bekir’s explanation.

This follows the court’s order for Bekir to pay more than RM900,000 as interim child maintenance for the couple’s only son.

“The court accepts the justification of the respondent and the committal application (for contempt of court) is rejected,” Justice Azzeman said. (more…)

Taib to relinquish interests in commercial enterprise?

Anna Chidambar

The High Court’s advice to Sarawak Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud to relinquish all his commercial interests is seen as an indirect acknowledgement of his involvement in commercial enterprise and thus a small victory for those opposing his appointment.

This advice was made by Sabah High Court judge Chew Soo Ho when dismissing an ex-parte application on Feb 27 by Padungan state assemblyman Wong King Wei for an injunction to stop Taib from accepting his appointment as the governor. (more…)

Low: ‘People-sanctioned’ Taib is rightful governor

Lawrence Yong

Governance and Transparency Minister Paul Low said today that he saw no reason to stop Abdul Taib Mahmud from becoming state governor after 33 years as chief minister, despite allegations against him for corruption and abuse of power.

In the week before he resigned as Sarawak’s chief minister, two NGOs and a news weekly alleged that he had used his position to enrich his family. Taib has consistently denied any wrongdoing.

Low also said that he sided with the GE13 voters, who found no fault with Taib. (more…)

Taib knew united Sabah, S’wak dangerous to Umno

taib mahmud sabah sarawakZainnal Ajamain

With one single bold announcement Taib Mahmud turned Malaysian politics on its head and broke the hidden agenda to “isolate” Sabah from Sarawak.

Taib Mahmud set the “benchmark”, to paraphrase Sabah’s Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, for his brave rejection of Umno from Sarawak and to uphold the Malaysia Agreement 1963.

Within days of his bold announcement at the PBB Supreme Council meeting last month, political players, observers and analysts knew a historic moment had occured in Borneo. (more…)

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