Hornbill Unleashed

March 4, 2015

Whistleblower: Lots more on 1MDB and Jho Low

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

There are “thousands of documents” on the dealings of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and businessman Low Taek Jho’s role in the state investment arm in the possession of whistleblower Sarawak Report.This was revealed by its editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown in an email interview with Malaysiakini.

In recent weeks, Sarawak Report ran a series of exposés on 1MDB’s 2009 joint venture with Petrosaudi Ltd, highlighting alleged irregularities in the joint venture, and more importantly, publishing damning email communications that purportedly took place among the brokers.

The email indicated that the joint venture, into which 1MDB injected US$1 billion (RM3.62 billion), was being used as a “front” to channel the money into a company controlled businessman Jho Low, who allegedly retains close ties with the family of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. (more…)

Adenan did it in less than an hour but Putrajaya struggles on

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Adenan in a jovial mood during a TV programme on Feb 25Too often Malaysians can’t get what they want from Putrajaya, which is why there are no answers to issues like ‘pendatang’, those calls to boycott Chinese businesses and close Chinese vernacular schools, and religious bigots and extremists having a field day.

Putrajaya either keeps mum or issues statements that confuse and raise more questions than answers.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Umno-led Barisan Nasional government is incapable of straight talking that too many times even coalition members were forced into shameless public debates because of communication breakdown. (more…)

Transparency International adds pressure to Putrajaya on 1MDB

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Government-owned strategic investment fund 1MDB is attracting more attention over its allegedly dubious deals overseas with Transparency-International Malaysia the latest organisation seeking answers. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 3, 2015.Government-owned strategic investment fund 1MDB is attracting more attention over its allegedly dubious deals overseas with Transparency-International Malaysia the latest organisation seeking answers.

Pressure is mounting on Putrajaya as anti-graft organisation Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has joined in the calls for an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the government-owned strategic investment fund embroiled in a financial scandal.TI-M said a “special high level task force” was needed to probe the debt-ridden 1MDB, adding that an audit of its accounts by the Auditor-General’s office would not suffice as its financial irregularities had drawn international attention and cast doubts over Putrajaya’s commitment to transparency and accountability. (more…)

Has Najib lost the confidence of his cabinet members?

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A news report claimed that the Cabinet last week rejected a proposed RM3 billion cash injection for the debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

If The Malaysian Insider Feb 27 report titled “Cabinet rejects RM3 billion for 1MDB as debt repayment options narrow” is accurate, it is one of the most damning news for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

However, the report is based on sources and the accuracy is yet to be verified.

Is it possible for the Cabinet to reject the proposal by the Finance Ministry (MoF)? (more…)

Zaid backs ex-foe Azmin for opposition leader

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In 2010, Zaid Ibrahim quit PKR amid a bitter contest for the number two post with Azmin Ali.

Zaid then accused Azmin, who is now the Selangor menteri besar, and Anwar Ibrahim of being responsible for the irregularities and discrepancies in the party elections.

But now, the former law minister has endorsed Azmin as the best candidate to replace Anwar as the opposition leader in Parliament.

“Azmin has the resources and the political skills to replace Anwar. (more…)

Umno veep keeps mum on 1MDB scandal

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Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has refused to respond to reports that the Cabinet had rejected 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB)‎ request for a RM3 billion cash injection. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 3, 2015.Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal today refused to respond to reports that the Cabinet had rejected 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB)‎ request for a RM3 billion cash injection.

Shafie, who is the Rural and Regional Development Minister, said he did not have to answer when reporters asked him to comment on the issue.

“‎Where did you hear about that? I don’t have to respond,” he told reporters today after officiating the 49th MARA Day celebrations in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

El Putera

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It is said, “What’s in a name; that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet?” I am not a true Shakespearean and therefore I will claim the popular heritage of this idea and ideal.

This same rose however is on the cover of the first book that I am publishing, consisting of about 40 columns of mine related to the lack of good governance over the ‘Allah’ issue in Malaysia. The actual title of the book can be the subject of another column, so I will not reveal it yet.

But, after March 1 (i.e. my wife’s birthday) the book is ready for sale at the publishers, SIRD in Petaling Jaya. I will make no profits from this print-run; while the publisher only seeks to cover his costs. (more…)

Selangor MB, exco members call on Southeast Asia Anglican Archbishop

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Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali having a light moment with Archbishop of Anglican Province of Southeast Asia Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok at Bishop’s House, St Thomas Cathedral in Kuching during a courtesy call yesterday.

The Gombak MP and Bukit Antarabangsa assemblyman was accompanied by, among others, several Selangor exco members and state PKR chairman Baru Bian.

Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali led a delegation for a courtesy call on Anglican Province of Southeast Asia Archbishop, Rev Datuk Bolly Lapok at Bishop’s House, St Thomas Cathedral here yesterday. (more…)

Hudud doctors, laws and the ever-changing world

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It is simply too naïve to deduce that once a person is punished, society in general will take note of this and hence the very same crime committed by this person will not be repeated by others.

Death sentences and the number of prisoners who have been executed have not deterred people from committing murder. It was never the right remedy nor the right punishment.

There are other types of crime being committed and when caught and brought to justice, the perpetrators would get the punishment that society felt they deserved. (more…)

Sarawak, Selangor top leaders in landmark meet

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Selangor is ready and willing to see how it can better attend to the welfare and well-being of the large number of Sarawakians who are currently living and working in Selangor.

This was one of the matters discussed during an unprecedented meeting this morning in Kuching between the Menteri Besar of Selangor Azmin Ali and Sarawak’s Chief Minister Adenan Satem.

The two leaders also discussed several other areas that the two state governments could work together in the interest of the people of the two states. (more…)

PKR: Ringgit plunge – not traders – keeping prices up

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It is the depreciation of the ringgit’s value – not the unscrupulous actions of certain traders – that is keeping the prices of goods high despite the recent drop in oil prices said PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli today.

Rafizi pointed to the latest Producer Price Index (PPI) which showed that although the overall prices of locally-manufactured goods had dropped by seven percent over the past year, import prices remained the same meaning the combined prices for goods remained at the same levels.

Hence, he said, the government should not be looking at traders, but should looking at ways and means to bring down the import prices which in turn wpuld bring down the overall prices of goods and services in the local market. (more…)

No easy feat to oust Najib

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Unlike Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his successor is cast in a different mould.

He had collaborated with Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remove his predecessor from office. And now, Najib Abdul Razak finds himself in a similar situation.

With opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim incarcerated and the opposition struggling with internal problems, the situation appears ripe for the juggernaut in Umno to be unleashed again.

The attacks have intensified, especially the premier’s links on the reported problems faced by his brainchild 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). (more…)

March 3, 2015

Najib must explain emails on 1MDB

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Regardless of the motives behind the latest expose on 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Prime Minister Najib Razak has been urged to answer to whether the materials produced are true.Anti-corruption NGO Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) also urged that all public institutions, namely the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Auditor General’s office as well as the Public Account’s committee to begin a full audit on 1MDB.

Pua said that Najib cannot disassociate himself from the “heist of the century”.

“The prime minister certainly cannot disclaim responsibility by claiming that he ‘was not involved in the day-to-day operations of 1MDB’,” said Pua in a statement this morning. (more…)

When the judiciary looks to others to defend itself

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It is sometimes said that justice is always on trial. And that the judiciary, compared to the legislature and the executive, is the least powerful branch.

So when the government leaped to the defence of the Federal Court immediately after the judges there eventually sent Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to jail for sodomy on Feb 10, the verdict came as no surprise.

Prior to that, we have seen how the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail defended the court on what he claimed as attack on the judiciary by certain lawyers. He did the same a few days after the apex court’s verdict was criticized all over the world. (more…)

High time MACC stepped into 1MDB scandal

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Cynthia Gabriel and its legal advisor Ambiga Sreenevasan2NGO wants particular focus on USD 700 million siphoned out from the government-owned strategic investment company.

C4, the Centre to Combat Corruption & Cronyism, has called on the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) to immediately begin investigations into the financial scandal that the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) has become.

In particular, said C4, MACC should focus on allegations that USD 700 million had been siphoned out from the government-owned strategic investment company into a company owned by a Penangite, one Jho Low. (more…)

Ex-judge, senior lawyer want Shafee disciplined

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Senior lawyer and government-appointed prosecutor Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who has for the past few weeks held open dialogue sessions on Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II conviction, is in further trouble with his peers.

Now, a former Court of Appeal judge and a senior lawyer have presented a motion to the Bar Council for the 69th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Bar to condemn Shafee’s behaviour.

Retired judge VC George and senior lawyer Tommy Thomas further want the Bar Council to refer the  Umno-linked lawyer to its disciplinary board and take steps to prevent him from continuing to bring the legal profession into disrepute. (more…)

Illegal loggers in Sarawak to face heavier penalties

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Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem is taking a strong stand against illegal logging in his state, including amending the relevant law to include jail time for those behind such activity. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2015.Sarawak will impose heavier penalties against illegal loggers once an amendment to the forestry ordinance is passed in the State Legislative Assembly sitting next month.

Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem said the amendment would be to increase and enhance the penalty imposed including a higher amount of compound, the details of which would be furnished during the tabling of the amendment.

“Under the new amendment, those caught in possession of illegally fell logs must explain how they had obtained the log,” he told reporters at a news conference in Kuching today. (more…)

Why BN will retain power in Sarawak polls

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Talk of an imminent Sarawak state election has gained momentum as Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem receives accolades for his first year as the state leader.He took over as chief minister of Sarawak on Feb 28, 2014. The current term of the present state government ends on June 16, 2016.

Sarawak is a resource rich state but its human development indicators under 50 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule raises questions on who has benefited from the wealth of the state.

It is the second poorest state in the country. The Sarawak government says, “There is a long way to go in eradicating poverty in the state and the focus now is on helping the hardcore poor.” Sarawak has only seven rural clinics out of 212 government-run health facilities in the country. (more…)

Lawyers move to discuss Shafee’s conduct after Anwar’s sodomy trial

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Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah arriving at the Federal Court in Putrajaya before the verdict was read on opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy appeal, on February 10. His actions in the days after the conviction will now come under scrutiny by the Malaysian Bar at its annual general meeting on March 14. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 2, 2015.

Two senior members of the Malaysian Bar have urged the Bar Council to take action against lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for his conduct after the sodomy conviction of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Lawyer Tommy Thomas and retired Court of Appeal judge Tan Sr V.C. George said that from the time the Federal Court convicted Anwar on February 10, Shafee, has behaved in a repugnant and obnoxious manner which has brought the legal profession into disrepute.

In a motion submitted to the Bar Council ahead of its annual general meeting (AGM) on March 14, the two senior lawyers also urged the incoming council for the 2015-2016 term to lodge a report against Shafee with the Disciplinary Board. (more…)

Azmin assures Christians of religious freedom

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Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali, today met with Sarawak Christian leaders at the Anglican Bishop’s House, Kuching to assure them that PKR will protect moderation and justice for all.

Azmin last year resolved the Bible issue in Selangor when he oversaw the Selangor Islamic Department (Jais) return the Bahasa Malaysia and Iban language holy books seized from the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM).

A source said Azmin today also told church leaders that PKR will work with them so Malaysia remains multi-religious and multi-cultural. (more…)

This is why 1MDB is in financial ruins today

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Top right: Jho Low and Mahony (below)Was 1MDB’s development money channelled towards pleasure and debauchery, as well as good causes in the West, instead of helping the intended poor of the country from whence the money has come?

According to an exposé by whistleblower site Sarawak Report on Feb 28, the answer is in the affirmative. And the culprit appears to be billionaire tycoon Jho Low.

What makes the Sarawak Report revelation more interesting is that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also appeared to have played an indirect role in 1MDB signing off a deal which saw billions of Ringgit being siphoned out of the government owned sovereign fund. (more…)

Empower young girls, educate young men

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It takes two to tango and we must not fall into the trap of thinking that girls don’t want sex, too.

The statistics compiled by the National Registration Department (NRD) are alarming:

• Between 2000 and 2008, there were 257,000 children who were born out of wedlock.

• In 2006 the NRD recorded a figure of 38,258 illegitimate babies, which rose sharply to 44,234, in 2007.

• The figures for 2008, 2009 and 2010 are 46,822, 52,378 and 52,982 illegitimate babies respectively. (more…)

Anwar the political prisoner

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How prophetic that in 2020, the ideals of a wealthy nation enjoying economic prosperity, social well-being and a world class education, will all be overshadowed by one major event; the release of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim from jail.So, instead of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad being lauded for his vision of a self-sufficient industrialised nation, the irony is that there will be a celebration of Mahathir’s long-term foe being freed.

If our ministers are to be believed, we are already blessed with world class educational institutions. As for social well-being, our prime minister and his family’s socialite existence have made headlines around the world. (more…)

Lack of transparency and accountability. This is why, Najib!

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Soon after Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak became prime minister in 2009, he unveiled his “People’s First, Performance Now” motto while his Indonesian counterpart Joko ‘Jokowi’ Widodo was elected based on the belief that he can be the “people’s president.”

While the two seemingly share a similar philosophy for their administrations, founder of think-tank Regional Initiatives for Governance, Human Rights & Social Justice (RIGHTS) Yusmadi Yusoff noted that the manifestation of their leadership is often completely at odds with one another. (more…)

Did 1MDB pay Aabar US$1 billion to terminate options?

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The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today's edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today’s edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.

The stories on 1MDB and the money trail of the first US$1 billion it invested as it appears in today’s edition of The Edge Malaysia. – March 2, 2015.
In 2012, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), using subsidiaries, issued two bonds totalling US$3.5 billion (RM11.55 billion) bonds to finance the acquisition of power assets from Tanjong and the Genting Group. (more…)

When eyes refuse to see, ears refuse to hear and mouth refuses to speak

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Between Sarawak and Malaya, while there are similarities, their differences are so pronounced that it does not take much effort to comprehend why Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s government is trying so hard to heal the growing polarisation.

The problem is the healing jobs are not quite dissimilar from when you have people looking for the missing MH370 jetliner using bamboo sticks, coconut fruits and some cheap carpet when better, rather proven, ways raise more questions than answers.

Of course, there are times things like bamboo sticks, nuts and mats, plus some jampi spells, work rather well with beetle-chewing grandmas in the absence of Panadol, minyak gamat and the likes. (more…)

March 2, 2015

Najib’s stepson the key for Low, says report

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Controversial money man Taek Jho Low’s tunneled his way into the Malaysian elite circle through Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor and her son Riza Aziz, Sarawak Report said.

The whitsleblower website said Penangite Low got into Rosmah’s good books after meeting her son while at school in the UK in 2004.

“Insiders say that Jho Low’s key initial Malaysian contact was the PM’s stepson Riza Aziz, whom he met while at school over in the UK.

“Low spent plenty of time ingratiating himself with Riza’s mother, Rosmah Mansor (below), whom he generally refers to as ‘Madame’ or ‘First Lady’,” the report alleged. (more…)

PetroSaudi, 1MDB say funds payment above board

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PetroSaudi says the company has paid Malaysia's 1MDB in full and is therefore no longer tied to the company financially or legally. – Pic taken from PetroSaudi website, March 1, 2015.

PetroSaudi International (PetroSaudi) today denied reports that funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) went to third parties, adding that its subsidiaries had received the entire cash for a joint-venture company, while 1MDB confirmed that it received back its investment in full from the deal besides making a profit.

The privately owned oil exploration and production company in a statement today said that upon 1MDB’s exit, PetroSaudi had paid the Malaysian strategic investment fund in full and both parties no longer had any financial or legal relations. (more…)

‘World class’ and Malaysia’s Higher Education 

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Children Education

PenDaPaT is a registered national society made up of concerned citizens on higher education in Malaysia. We take this opportunity to express our humble thoughts and views about the ongoing debate of whether Malaysia’s higher education is ‘world class’.

We are of the opinion that there are elements in Malaysia’s higher education that can be considered as ‘world class’, but at the same time, we also wish to point out rooms for improvement.

However, there is first a need to consider carefully what we mean by ‘world class’. We believe it is important to recognise and acknowledge that university rankings are merely a benchmark. They are by no means a yardstick of quality. A lot of universities around the world are doing well in whatever they are entrusted by their societies, and this may not always translate into positions on the university rankings. (more…)

1MDB funds went to PetroSaudi, no one else’

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All funds by fully-government owned firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd invested into a joint venture with Petro Saudi International in 2009 was channelled into Petro Saudi entities, the Saudi Arabian oil company said.

Its statement comes after Sarawak Report and London’s Sunday Times published an expose alleging that 1MDB banked in US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) of the funds for the joint venture into a company linked to controversial money man Jho Low.

“PetroSaudi stated categorically that funds from 1MDB went to Petrosaudi-owned entitites and any other inference is false,”Bernama reported today. (more…)

PMO: 1MDB exposé may be ‘politically-motivated’

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The Prime Minister’s Office dismissed an expose on how 1Malaysia Development Bhd purportedly banked US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) into a company linked controversial high roller Jho Low as “politically-motivated”.

“Views expressed by certain quarters concerning 1MDB should be examined in light of political motivation.

“However, if any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” it told the UK Sunday Times.

PMO added that PM Najib Abdul Razak (below), who chairs 1MDB’s board of advisors, does not run 1MDB’s day-to-day operations and that 1MDB’s accounts are audited by Delloite. (more…)

Jho Low allegedly siphoned off US$700 million from 1MDB, says website

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Whistleblower website Sarawak Report claims that Jho Low channelled US$700 million to a company called Good Star Limited, which was owned by Low. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 1, 2015.	Businessman Jho Low orchestrated the 2009 joint venture between 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and PetroSaudi International to allegedly siphon off US$700 million from the strategic development fund, whistleblower website Sarawak Report has claimed.

The UK-based website revealed that the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture company’s US$700 million loan repayment to PetroSaudi in 2009 was a front and the funds channelled to a firm allegedly owned by Low, called Good Star Limited.

The US$700 million loan repayment provision was part of the joint venture contract between Petro Saudi International and 1MDB, Sarawak Report said, citing documents it had obtained. It also published those documents with its report. (more…)

‘RM2.5bil 1MDB funds sent to Jho Low’s firm’

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The RM2.5 billion (US$700 million) listed as a loan repayment from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to PetroSaudi International during 1MDB’s joint venture with PetroSaudi in 2009, was channelled to a company controlled by tycoon Jho Low, online news portal Sarawak Report alleged yesterday.

It claimed it obtained confidential email exchanges and the whole joint venture agreement worth RM3.6 billion between 1MDB and PetroSaudi made in September 2009.

Last week, Sarawak Report revealed contents of the joint venture agreement which stated that 1MDB had to undertake to repay a RM2.5 billion loan that PetroSaudi had taken from its parent company. (more…)

Quantity, not quality, in local varsitities

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Harith Ahmad, scholar, scientist and a distinguished professor, thinks that it is the lack of racial harmony that prevents Malaysia from taking the lead in the development of science and technology. Given the racial considerations in the realm of public policy, innovations and inventions are never top priority.

I think he was quite mild in his criticisms of the Malaysian political and social system. He did not go into the details as this would have been very unpleasant to himself as an academic and scholar.

But nonetheless, it is not very often that Malay intellectuals like him who are associated with public universities to criticise the system. We must thank him for his bold and well-placed critique as to why science and technology remains in its infancy in Malaysia. (more…)

‘I won’t repeat myself,’ says Bar council chief

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Bar Council president Christopher Leong says he will not be issuing an apology or entertaining any statements made by the group of around 100 Malaysian Bar members, who call themselves the G100.

The G100 had already demanded twice for Leong to apologise over the statement he made on Feb 11 on the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy.

Previously, Leong had already replied to the group in his statement last Thursday where he said gave a detailed explanation on his earlier statement.

“Just because they wish to repeat themselves does not mean that I have to. I have already given my comment during the Chinese New Year weekend last week,” Leong told Malaysiakini today. (more…)

Najib does not run 1MDB, Putrajaya tells UK daily

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UK paper The Sunday Times today quoted Putrajaya as saying that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not in charge of 1Malaysia Development Bhd. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 1, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not involved in the daily operations of the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), UK paper The Sunday Times quoted Putrajaya as saying.

The paper, which had collaborated with whistleblower website Sarawak Report to expose the role of businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low in allegedly siphoning off US$700 million (RM2.5 billion) from 1MDB, was told by Putrajaya that 1MDB was run professionally and had had its accounts audited by international auditors.

“The Malaysian government said the prime minister was not involved in the day-to-day operations of 1MDB, which is run by a professional and experienced team. Its accounts were audited by Deloitte,” The Sunday Times reported in a March 1 article. (more…)

March 1, 2015

Ayer Molek was symptom of malady

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“You have come here to hammer me?”

This desperate query from a cornered Eusoff Chin, a former Chief Justice, came in the course of the inquiry into the VK Lingam videotape by a royal commission in January 2008.

The inquiry had opened a Pandora’s Box of judicial misdeeds, with the ex-CJ close to its epicentre.

It was a tragicomic moment as both Eusoff and the lawyer representing the Malaysian Bar had come to a point where the enormity of an episode – a holiday to New Zealand during which the CJ and wife were photographed in the convivial company of a senior lawyer – could no longer be evaded. (more…)

Paying more at the pumps? Blame 1MDB

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The abolition of fuel subsidy system has not only made consumers vulnerable to fluctuation of global crude oil prices but also the volatility in the ringgit as many will discover at petrol pumps tomorrow.

While the government is only expected to announce the official fuel retail prices for March tonight, PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli has warned that it will be significantly higher.

Rafizi (right) said the marginal increase in global crude oil price is made worse by the weak ringgit, which is in part caused by the more than RM40 billion debt woes plaguing government-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). (more…)

Will sixth PM survive his sixth year in office?

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Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak appears to be in a precarious position.

His list of woes is long – 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in the roast pit, Rosmah Mansor in Seri Perdana, Sirul Azhar Umar in Australia, Anwar Ibrahim in Sungai Buloh, brothers on the opposite side and Dr Mahathir Mohamad lurking in the shadows.

With such baggage on his shoulders, speculation is rife on whether the sixth prime minister will complete his sixth year in office.

And there is also news of his cabinet having turned its back on him. (more…)

Walk the talk, Sarawak DAP tells Najib

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Sarawak DAP today reminded Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to keep his promise and not pay lip service in his request for all Malaysians to join him fight against all forms of extremism in the country.

“Walk the talk,” state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said, in response to the prime minister’s appeal which he made last night at the Kuching North City Hall’s (MBKS) Chinese New Year (CNY) open house in Padungan.

Najib made the request in front of more than 5,000 people – most of them Chinese – who had thronged the city’s community hall for the dinner and to watch the fireworks display and appealed to them to join him in the fight to preserve Malaysia’s peace and stability. (more…)

Who will emerge victorious in this greatest ever political saga?

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Many Malaysians are now at the edge of their seats as the political volatility boils, especially in Umno.

It is only a matter of time before someone gets seriously scalded politically. And it will only be because in Malaysian politics, there are no permanent enemies or friends.

That makes a lot of difference in politics and it is the most critical factor for the agenda of politicians. It is this that makes it so awesome in Umno politics and all so difficult to predict.

Currently, all eyes are on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s struggle for political survival. (more…)

Home ownership still a dream for Malaysians as prices remain beyond reach

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Home ownership is still beyond the reach of many Malaysians mainly because of the price as shoppers discovered at a property fair organised by Selangor's PKNS in Shah Alam yesterday. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, March 1, 2015.

At a property fair in the SACC mall, in the heart of Shah Alam, shoppers’ faces were grim as they milled around the miniature displays of houses, each with a price tag ranging from around RM300,000 to RM1.4 million.

“It’s unreasonable,” said Roslan Mat Sarji, 47, as he studied the glossy pamphlets prepared by the Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS), the fair’s organiser.

“I’m helping my son look for a house, but the ones on offer here are all out of our range. We can’t afford this.” (more…)

The tell-tale signs of an insecure government

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Four decades ago, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, fought the communists. Today, Najib fights cartoonists.

Under Najib’s rule, human rights lawyers, academics, cartoonists, a thinking rakyat and the alternative media, have replaced the communists of his father’s era. They are considered the new threats to national security. The reason for the government’s fear is simple. The fear encircles Najib’s government. The PM and his Cabinet are very insecure. They are afraid, of losing power. (more…)

So what’s with Sex Ed 101 in our schools – BN says ‘aye’, PAS a firm ‘nay’!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim has reportedly said that sex education will be introduced in 2016 for boys aged 16 years and above to increase awareness on sexual health issues. It should be specially noted that the said minister comes from PBB, a Sarawak-based member of the Barisan Nasional.

PAS, which is part of PKR, or at least its clerics, have expressed great opposition to this proposal. It says that it will promote the viewing of pornography and that from past experience when Sex Ed was implemented in schools from 1994 to 2010 it had proven “ineffective in reducing unwanted pregnancies” using an incremental figure between 2012 and 2013 as a measure. (more…)

Idris’s statement bracing, and disappointing

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Education Minister II Idris Jusoh’s opinion piece, defending his description of Malaysian universities as world class (published Feb 25), is refreshing – and disappointing. Kudos to him for responding to criticisms in this manner, instead of deriding detractors or going into “I was misquoted” mode.

However, his article merely inflates his original contentious remarks: Malaysian universities are world class because they are a popular destination for international students and Universiti Malaya has a decent spot on the QS university rankings. He hardly brings anything new to the public arena.

In fact, some of the evidence he presents refutes his own position. He also tries to portray critics as having their hearts in the wrong place, instead of fixing his head on confronting their arguments directly. (more…)

Being Optimist

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

Bloom where you are planted! Choose to bloom anyway, despite all odds.

THE air was thick and intimidating in the crowded chamber that unusual morning.

An ordinary ex parte application would mean that you are to appear before the Honourable Judge alone but usually not a judicial review that you are required by law to serve on the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

The six pairs of learned eyes were testing: “Do you really think that you can get this through?” (more…)

February 28, 2015

Another ‘mamangkis’, a distress call of a Christian native in Borneo

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

Yet another cry of distress and a violation of the paramount law of the land. Another ‘mamangkis’ by a native of Borneo!

This time, the distress call has come out loud and clear from Jilius Yapoo, a 47-year-old rubber tapper from Kg Kaiduan in Kinarut, Sabah, who was shocked to discover that his teenage daughter was converted into Islam without parental consent as required by the law.

The mamangkis is a war cry used by pagan ancestors of local natives to rally warriors for battle against the enemy. Now it has been adopted as a clarion call of Christian natives in Sabah for revival. (more…)

Anwar should be allowed to attend parliament 

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat has already made a decision that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim remains as the parliamentary opposition leader and Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh until His Majesty the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong decides on his petition for clemency after consultation with the Federal Territories Pardons Board. This process may take anything between six months to a year before a decision is made.

This decision of the Speaker is consonant with Article 48 (3) and (4) (c) of the Federal Constitution.

The State Opening of Parliament by the King is a great state event and the only occasion when the Sovereign attends Parliament in person to open the new legislative term and to read the gracious speech from the Throne outlining the government’s policies and legislative programme for the coming parliamentary year. (more…)

One million Quran and the road to more chaos and uncertainty!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

It was announced by the Islamic Information and Service Foundation that it was planning to distribute free to Malaysians one million translated copies of the Quran in Tamil, Chinese, English and Malay. Its purported goal was to lessen the misconception and alleviate the fear of Islam among non-Muslims.

This very notion in itself is already flawed and very misleading. In Malaysia, no non-Muslim has any fear at all of this religion. In fact non-Muslims in Malaysia know more about the religion than some of the followers themselves.

Islam has already been made as part of the curriculum in the national education policy. The students have already been made to be acquainted with the religion and there is no cause whereby they should be afraid of the religion. (more…)

Is Najib facing a rebellion?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 9:00 AM

kadir najib2Kadir Jasin speaks of two recent developments that indicate not everyone in Putrajaya supports 1MDB.

Veteran journalist and persistent 1MDB critic A Kadir Jasin appears to be suggesting that some kind of rebellion, maybe not amounting to a revolt, is possibly brewing in the halls of power against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

In a blog entry today, he refers to two recent developments related to 1MDB – the reported Cabinet rejection of the company’s request for a cash injection to the tune of RM3 billion and the Public Accounts Committee’s call for an immediate audit of the company. (more…)

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