Hornbill Unleashed

May 30, 2015

Reconsider appeal decision, See tells EC

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

The Election Commission (EC) has been criticised for failing to perform its constitutional duties to uphold integrity and to secure public confidence.

In pointing out that EC should reconsider its decision to appeal against the Kuching High Court’s recent ruling on its proposed re-delineation of Sarawak electoral boundaries, Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How said EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof should be cautioned that EC risks losing the moral authority to be an independent commission entrusted to conduct free and impartial elections.

“It is the rights of the EC to appeal against the decision of the Kuching High Court declaring the EC notice dated Jan 5 to publicise the effect of its proposed recommendations on delineation and delimitation of state constituencies in Sarawak null and void and ordering that a fresh notice be republished. (more…)

‘Shafie’s remark shows he’s leaving Bugis ship’

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

Cabinet minister Shafie Apdal’s claim that ministers cannot be held responsible for the 1MDB scandal is not only a renunciation of their collective responsibility, but also of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, says Lim Kit Siang.

Shafie said yesterday ministers had fulfilled their obligations by raising questions on the debt-laden finance ministry firm, in which Najib is the advisory board chairperson.

“(Shafie is) striking a posture that is tantamount to breaking ranks with the PM and declaring he is not prepared to swim or sink with Najib on the 1MDB scandal. (more…)

Cross to rise again in Taman Medan

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The cross where it once stood, outside the Taman Medan shoplot where the church is located. Protesters forced the church to bring the cross down on April 19. – Facebook pic, May 29, 2015.The church in Taman Medan which removed its cross following a protest last month will return the Christian symbol to its place on its building soon, said the senior pastor of the church.

Rev Paul Packianathan of the Community of Praise Petaling Jaya Church told The Malaysian Insider that the church leadership has decided that the cross will be put up again and that the timing would depend on the availability of the contractor they have commissioned for the job.

He also said that nobody could deny the church its symbol of faith. (more…)

1MDB’s TRX and Bandar Malaysia to be standalone entities

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Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah says funds raised via the rationalisation plan to separate the TRX and Bandar Malaysia projects will help reduce 1MDB's debt. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 29, 2015.

1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) two real estate developments will be separated into stand alone companies as part of a rationalisation plan to reduce its massive RM42 billion debt.
Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district project and Bandar Malaysia development will be run as separate entities with full autonomy and accountability for their operational and financial performance.

“Whilst options are being pursued with respect to the monetisation of Edra Energy, the Ministry of Finance will remain a key shareholder in TRX and Bandar Malaysia, which will raise equity via third party investors. (more…)

NGO threatens to sue Dr M for RM100b losses

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

Amid Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s tirade against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, a mysterious new NGO has emerged, making exactly the same allegations against the former prime minister.

Citizens for Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) chairperson Mohd Zainal Abidin said billions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money went down the drain during Mahathir’s tenure as prime minister between 1981 and 2003.

“It is time for Mahathir to come clean on all his financial scandals and answer Malaysians on what went wrong during his administration. (more…)

‘Pak Lah didn’t splurge, but still quit early’

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

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today poured cold water on Najib Abdul Razak’s insistence that he is democratically elected and will therefore serve his full term as prime minister.

Mahathir pointed out that Najib’s predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (photo, below) had it better, as he was not plagued with allegations of a luxurious lifestyle, yet decided to quit before completing his term as prime minister.

“Before this, there was no talk of a prime minister’s lavish spending, of purchases of expensive things, of a life of luxury. (more…)

No nearer to unravelling mystery of missing billions

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

Shahbudin_1mdb_600_1Interesting to see how the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee deals with the lies, says political analyst.

The 1MDB scandal has produced one lie after another in recent days, political analyst Shahbudin Husin alleges in his latest blog posting.

“It would be interesting to see how the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) deals with them,” he remarks. (more…)

Shahrir defends meeting 1MDB’s Arul, says it is to understand issues

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BN Backbenchers Club president Tan Sri Shahrir Samad (left) is seen in a meeting with 1MDB group president and executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy (partly hidden, right) and public relations consultant Paul Stadlen (white shirt) at a hotel near KL Sentral on Wednesday night, in this picture made available to The Malaysian Insider. – May 29, 2015.Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chief Tan Sri Shahrir Samad said today he met with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and that the meeting was for him to understand in depth the issues faced by the debt-laden firm.

According to a report by portal BNBBC.my, the Johor Baru MP said as a Barisan Nasional federal lawmaker and president of the club, he had to understand all important issues in a comprehensive manner and this does not solely include 1MDB only.

“It means the support and stand of BN parliamentarians are based on fact and correct information, and it is not merely on loyalty towards party,” he was quoted as saying about the meeting. (more…)

Accountability is not in our culture, my dear Zaid

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

“…It was a different time, when leaders took responsibility seriously,” read part of the tweet of former minister Zaid Ibrahim, questioning why no other ministers resigned or took responsibility for the ongoing 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB ) saga.

The debt-ridden investment arm has courted controversy over its huge RM42 billion government guaranteed loans with almost nothing to show for it and reported losses running in the millions.

The matter of the debt has been linked to the severed downgrade of the country’s credit standing as well as affecting the health of our currency and the possibility of taxpayers having to foot the bill to service the loans once the debts are recalled. (more…)

Dr M: 1MDB presumed guilty until money is found

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

The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) management must be presumed guilty unless large sums of its money that remain unaccounted are found, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says.

Mahathir was referring to 1MDB’s US$1.103 billion (RM4 billion) investment in the Cayman Islands, the status of which remains a mystery.

“With money claimed to have been invested in Cayman Islands and despite claims that it had been brought back and is now in Singapore, the money cannot be demonstrated to be there in tangible form. (more…)

Dubai white knight gallops to 1MDB’s rescue

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

UAE’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) will pay 1MDB’s US$975 million (RM3.57 billion) debt to an international banking consortium which is demanding payment four months ahead of schedule.

This was announced by Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, who submitted a proposal to cabinet today on the restructuring plan for 1MDB.

“I am pleased to announce that 1MDB has entered into a binding agreement with the IPIC and its subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar). (more…)

1MDB partners pump US$1 billion into troubled strategic fund

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

1MDB, the debt-laden government-owned strategic fund, will get some much-needed cash from its Middle East partners to help make loan repayments to banks. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 29, 2015.

Troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) Middle East partners will inject US$1 billion into the debt-laden strategic fund for early repayment of a US$975 million syndicated loan led by Deutsche Bank, the Finance Ministry said today.

The funds from Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and its Aabar Investments unit (Aabar) will be paid by June 4, ahead of the September deadline to repay the loan, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said in a statement today. (more…)

TRX, Bandar M’sia to slog for 1MDB

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

Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia, two major developments under 1MDB, will be used to raise funds and help pay off the company’s massive debts, Finance Minister II Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah announced today.

Husni said under this rationalisation plan which was presented to the cabinet this morning, TRX and Bandar Malaysia would be separated from 1MDB as independent entities.

They will then raise equity through third parties and then channel funds to 1MDB to help pay off its debt. (more…)

GST is to bail out gov’t ‘adventures’, says Dr M

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

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today the goods and services tax (GST), which the rakyat are bearing, is the result of Putrajaya’s “adventures” in accumulating debt in companies such as 1Malaysia Development Bhd and Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd.

“Of course adventures such as the 1MDB and Pembinaan PFI only result in unsustainable borrowings.

“And when these adventures lose money, the financial burden of the government is increased. (more…)

May 29, 2015

EPF, Tabung Haji and KWAP should not bail out 1MDB

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Critics of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (IMDB) have been relentless in launching one scathing attack after another against it and this will surely intensify in the days and weeks ahead.

Calls for action against 1MDB’s top guns from both sides of the political divide have grown louder. Even Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin recently joined in the chorus demanding that the IMDB board of directors be sacked and probed as well.

For months, the likes of DAP’s Tony Pua, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli and former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, have been speaking up against the government’s investment arm. (more…)

CM Adenan, stop telling MACC how to do their job

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

In a long awaited crackdown, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) swooped down and froze over 500 company and individual accounts as part of its integrated operation against the scourge of illegal logging in Sarawak.

Naturally, the companies cried foul, calling the ongoing Ops Gergaji, “extreme and disruptive”, adding that it had crippled the daily operations of member companies that were not involved in the timber trade.

What is surprising is the stance taken by Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem who has reportedly asked the MACC to consider freeing some of the accounts it froze to enable the companies to pay the workers’ salaries. (more…)

Billions promised, but Sarawak schools still in sorry state

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Entry into the teaching degree programme (PISMP) has been stringent as candidates must obtain five outstanding results in Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) to be eligible to take the teacher qualification test (UKCG), and seven to join Program Pelajar Cemerlang (PPC).

But Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin thinks this is not enough. He said there is a need to use the psychometric test when recruiting new teachers.

This, according to him, will ensure PISMP and PPC candidates will graduate with a high knowledge discipline involving the physical and spiritual aspects. (more…)

Dr M: Tax man probed me but not the mega-rich

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

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today lamented that he had to face routine raids from the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) when he was a practising doctor but super rich ministers today get off scott-free.

“Government officials who live beyond their means are normally probed by LHDN.

“But when ministers or public individuals are known to live overly wealthy lifestyles, no investigation is conducted,” he said in a blog posting today.

Mahathir said even he did not have such a privilege when he ran a clinic. (more…)

Sarawak Report grills 1MDB’s Arul further after denial

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

Sarawak Report today questions 1MDB's Arul Kanda Kandasamy over a transaction with Jho Low's company. – Screenshot of Sarawak Report's website.Whistleblower site, Sarawak Report, now wants 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) president Arul Kanda Kandasamy to explain the firm’s transaction with Good Star Limited, a company controlled by businessman Low Taek Jho, after he denied furnishing a false statement to Bank Negara today.

In a statement, Sarawak Report said it has evidence that a false bank statement was used to support claims that there was cash in the state investment arm’s account in BSI Bank Singapore.

Putrajaya had said recently that the money redeemed from the Cayman Islands are actually assets in US dollars in BSI Bank. (more…)

Dr M: 1MDB S’pore sling a bid to dodge tax man?

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

Continuing the diatribe, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked if 1MDB was involved in money laundering, with the knowledge of its advisor – Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The former premier questioned if this prompted the money from Cayman Islands to be kept in Singapore.

“Singapore scrutinises all money coming in and going out of the country to prevent money laundering. (more…)

Pandikar told to lasso runaway Najib on 1MDB

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

Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia has been urged to rein in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak for dodging questions in Parliament over the controversial 1MDB.

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said Pandikar should decide on the matter if he was serious about parliamentary reform what with Najib citing parliamentary standing orders in refusing to answer questions about the debt-ridden company.

“Pandikar should intervene and rule whether the prime minister had abused the parliamentary standing orders to avoid answering pertinent questions about the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal – which will be the first step towards parliamentary reform in Malaysia,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

Mahathir warns BNM against 1MDB cover-up

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

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned Bank Negara against covering up for debt-ridden 1MDB.

Mahathir said doing so would expose the central bank to criminal prosecution.

He was responding to Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz (photo) who on Tuesday confirmed receiving reports from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on 1MDB but refused to divulge details. (more…)

Kadir on Najib’s likely ‘steps’ to entrench himself

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

kadir-jasin_najib_1mdb_new_600Cabinet reshuffle will set off a chain of events to thwart Mahathir and help Najib stay on as Prime Minister.

A veteran newsman has taken to his blog to venture that the people are more interested, at this point in time, on former Prime Minister Mahathir’s Mohamad’s poser on whether Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak lied in Parliament.

Former New Straits Times Group Editor in Chief Kadir Jasin was commenting on Najib using his blog, Mahathir-style, to nitpick “after months of tentative and conflicting responses” on criticisms against him. “The question on whether Najib has misled the Parliament on 1MDB’s so-called USD1.03 billion deposits in Singapore has the potential of creating a messy legal issue for the Prime Minister,” said Kadir. (more…)

Cabinet should reject any 1MDB bailout plan

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

Tomorrow, Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah, is set to unveil a bailout plan for 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

He will attempt to sway Cabinet opinion with fancy talk of matching assets with debt and restructuring.

Husni will try to argue that this plan will help solve the 1MDB problem and he will try to seek Cabinet’s approval on the matter.

All eyes will be on the eight powerful ministers who sit in Cabinet, who are secretly or not so secretly opposed to using more public funds to bailout 1MDB. (more…)

Six steps Najib must take to stay in power

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

Now that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has declared that he will serve out his term, the PM must go on an all-out offensive to secure his post.

Here are six steps Najib should take, according to veteran journalist Kadir Jasin:

  • Reshuffle cabinet to by ousting unfriendly elements like Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and Rural Development Minister Shafie Apdal;
  • Make Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi DPM while turning over the Finance Ministry portfolio to his cousin and incumbent Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein. Zahid can also control the Defence Ministry;
  • Take over the Home Ministry, so he can declare emergency at any hint of a vote of no confidence in Parliament;
  • Hire a poison pen writer “of calibre” to smear former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, with PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim writing the preface for the book in exchange for a few days break from prison;
  • Replace Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail with Umno lawyer Mohd Hafarizan Harun; and
  • Make 1Malaysia Development Bhd debts go away by getting businessman Jho Low to arrange to sell 1MDB assets to his Arab friends.”This would mean that 1MDB’s assets including government land that it bought cheaply and the independent power producers that it bought above market price would fall into foreign hands.”This could be the strategic aim of 1MDB,” Kadir said snidely in a blog post today.

(more…)

Najib and Blatter in the same boat

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

Right now, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is in the same situation as Fifa president Sepp Blatter in wanting to complete his term in office on the grounds that he was democratically elected and therefore has a mandate to implement his agenda in the time he has left on his term.

The comparison is not arbitrary: Umno, like the world governing body of football, has been in a freefall in terms of integrity for a long time and the shenanigans enveloping the sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, is symptomatic of all that is wrong with the political party, just as yesterday’s arrests in Zurich of seven top ranking officials is emblematic of the moral corruption that has dogged Fifa the past few decades. (more…)

Int’l disbelief over M’sian ignorance of ‘death’ camps

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

Not many are buying the Malaysian government’s claim that it had no knowledge of the human smuggling camps uncovered close to mass graves found in Perlis, metres from the Thai-Malaysian border.

UK anti-discrimination NGO Equal Rights Trust said its 2010 report outlines the existence of high human trafficking activity on the Thai-Malaysian border but there was no government action.

Trafficking victims who escaped also told the NGO five years ago that Malaysian police and immigration officials assisted traffickers for cash, and described in detail the camps on the border. (more…)

Dr M: Why the double standards in criminal investigations?

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

The sniping between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Najib Razak doesn’t seem like cooling off anytime soon.

The elderly statesman is adamant about continuing his verbal attack against the premier, despite the latter having publicly retaliated in his speeches recently.

In his latest blog posting today, Mahathir has yet again trained his guns on the embattled 1MDB, questioning whether there was any element of money laundering involved in the transfer of USD1 billion funds from the Cayman Islands to Singapore. (more…)

1MDB roadmap to be presented to Cabinet tomorrow

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The Finance Ministry will be presenting a roadmap for 1MDB to the Cabinet tomorrow. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, May 28, 2015.The Finance Ministry will table a roadmap for 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to the Cabinet tomorrow to counter negative perceptions on the strategic investment fund company.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah said the plan would be able to solve the problems plaguing 1MDB in the near future.

“We must strengthen the 1MDB restructuring, matching its businesses with the financing made. (more…)

Is it possible to step out from the legacy of the old guard?

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

For both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, it is time perhaps for the youth to take over and step out from under the legacy of their elders.

Power comes with perks, no doubt. But also responsibilities. To gain power is not easy. But what is even more difficult is to let go of power. It is all too easy to get comfortable in the seat of power.

What more, when the power has been entrenched within the same system for over half a decade. (more…)

May 28, 2015

AG files appeal against court ruling on S’wak redelineation

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof,spr,sarawakNotice on its recommendations for the proposed redelineation exercise lacked crucial information for the public.

The Attorney General’s Chambers has filed an appeal against the Kuching High Court’s recent ruling on the Election Commission (EC)’s proposed redelineation of Sarawak’s electoral boundaries.

EC chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said the appeal was filed at the Kuching High Court this morning, although the commission had not been officially informed. (more…)

Najib to Dr M: Don’t parrot opposition lies on Rosmah

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has chided Dr Mahathir Mohamad for echoing the opposition’s “malicious rumours” about his wife Rosmah Mansor and family.

“For example, in a recent speech in Ipoh, he (Mahathir) cited a fictitious statement that the opposition has been peddling through the use of a doctored Utusan Malaysia article.

“Also, he regurgitated a false smear started by the opposition at the time of the last general election that my wife owned a RM24 million ring.

“It is a lie, and the company that owned the ring clarified in detail at the time that such a ring was never bought by Rosmah,” he said in a continuation of his frequently asked questions (FAQ) series. (more…)

Putrajaya to bar Bibles with ‘Allah’ in West Malaysia under proposed SOP

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

Malay-language Bibles containing the word 'Allah' may be restricted under new proposed guidelines shown to Christian leaders. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 28, 2015.

A new set of guidelines being proposed by Putrajaya could see Malay-language Bibles with the word “Allah” being barred from Peninsular Malaysia, going against the pledge by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in April 2011 to allow the holy books to be distributed nationwide.

The draft standard operating procedure (SOP) was unveiled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, to Christian leaders in Sabah and Sarawak in April, and to the Christian Federation of Malaysia (CFM) on May 18.

The general principle in the new rules is that Christian publications with the word “Allah” cannot be imported into Peninsular Malaysia, and if brought in, can only pass through with Sabah and Sarawak as their final destinations. (more…)

Jho Low told the truth on Najib, 1MDB

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

tony-pua_Jho-Low_1mdb_600The Opposition has demanded that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak recuse himself immediately from any further involvement with the 1MDB investigations and decision-making in the Company. Instead, it wants Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to be given full authority immediately over the direction of investigation of 1MDB.

In addition, the Opposition wants the Auditor-General to report directly to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) over its findings, entirely bypassing Najib to avoid any “potential conflict of interest”.

Finally, all major investments, restructuring and business decisions of 1MDB henceforth, must be approved directly by the Cabinet, and not the Prime Minister alone, as dictated in the company’s Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A). (more…)

Exempting vulnerable groups should not be an afterthought

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

Most of the Malaysian public are already feeling the pinch caused by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) that has inevitably resulted in a rise in the cost of living for everyone across the board.

That is why the government is considering exempting certain groups of people from the tax.

National news agency Bernama quoted Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan as saying the government will consider a proposal for the GST to be exempted for certain groups of people like the disabled, students and the poor, who are registered with eKasih, a centralised national poverty data bank. (more…)

Zaid: Why aren’t ministers quitting over 1MDB?

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

Concurring that the entire cabinet should be held responsible for the 1MDB imbroglio, former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim questioned why the ministers were not resigning over the matter.

In a series of tweets today, Zaid said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak could not be expected to follow the principle of good governance if members of his cabinet were not willing to follow suit.

He was responding to Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who said on Monday that Najib should not be held solely responsible for 1MDB. (more…)

The 21 years of mismanagement that brought MAS to its knees

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

National carrier MAS has suffered years of mismanagement and previous efforts to steer the company on to better fortunes failed to deliver the results hoped for, say most observers. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 27, 2015.Beginning September, Malaysia Airline System Bhd, the company Malaysians know as the national carrier since 1972, will cease to exist.

It would instead be replaced by a new company, Malaysia Airlines Bhd, to be fully owned by Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional before a planned re-listing in Bursa Malaysia by 2019.

This, however, is not the first time MAS has been subjected to a turnaround plan or a bid to save the airline. It has happened several times over the course of 22 years, beginning in 1994. (more…)

Rizalman caught with pants down, allegedly

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

Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, Malaysia’s former attaché to New Zealand was literally caught with his pants down when he was charged with indecent assault by touching Tania Billingsley in her bedroom while not wearing his lower clothing.

This is an alternative charge offered to the 39-year-old Rizalman at the Wellington High Court, besides two other main charges.

The details of the new charge was made available to Malaysiakini.

The former diplomat is staring at a maximum jail sentence of seven years if convicted. (more…)

Focus turns to PM’s son after Deloitte complaint

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

Following a complaint filed against Deloitte over the 1MDB saga, the focus has now turned to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s son, who is a partner at the international audit firm.

Nizar Najib is an executive director, financial advisory services (FAS) with the firm which has drawn flak over its handling of the 1MDB accounts.

Commenting on this, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli, a fierce critic of 1MDB, raised the issue of possible conflict of interest.

“It is a matter of time before the public figures out that Najib’s first son – Nizar – is a partner at Deloitte (albeit in a different business unit). (more…)

I will stay as PM for full term, says Najib

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

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today continued to deflect calls for him to step down, declaring that he will complete his term as the country’s premier.

“I was democratically elected by both the party and the people, and, as I have the mandate, will complete my term as party president and prime minister.

“My priority is to ensure that we achieve Vision 2020 and the economic, governmental and political transformation that will benefit all Malaysians,” he said in a latest frequently asked question (FAQ) section posted on his blog. (more…)

Back off, let next generation run the country, Najib tells Dr M

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took to his website today, the second time in 10 days, to refute allegations from his benefactor-turned-detractor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying that most of the accusations against him were “unfair and misleading”.

Insisting that he accepted the criticism with an “open mind”, Najib told the former prime minister to back off, saying although elders of the nation should be respected, it was time that they let the next generation run the country.

“Malaysia is a democracy. I was elected by Umno, and by the people of this country, to lead them. (more…)

PM: Mahathir twisting 1MDB facts to attack me

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

Bad blood between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak continues to flow with the latter accusing the former premier of twisting facts.

Despite the avalanche of allegations against the firm, Najib however claimed that the issue has been blown out of proportion.

“Mahathir has used the financial challenges facing 1MDB as an excuse to attack me. It is true that 1MDB is facing challenges, but not at the level being alleged.

“Indeed, some of the allegations that have been made have no grounding in reality, for instance Mahathir’s claim that I am responsible for a loss of RM42 billion on 1MDB’s balance sheet,” he said. (more…)

Sad to say Dayak unity does not go beyond Gawai

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

Come June 1, Dayaks – meaning the Iban, Bidayuh and the Orang Ulu – will be celebrating Gawai, that annual festival that marks the end of one farming year and ushers in the next.

But June 1 is just the official date, first made so on June 1 1965, after some very commendable efforts by several leading Dayak figures of that time to get the festival recognised by the government then.

It was said that the idea for Gawai Dayak started way back in 1957 in a BBC Sarawak radio forum, which generated a lot of interest among the Dayak community. (more…)

‘Najib must explain if he was caught red-handed’

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

Parliament should suspend its ongoing debates on the 11th Malaysia Plan immediately for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain his role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says.

This follows reports that the prime minister’s written approval is required for any financial commitments made by 1MDB’s precursor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), and questions on whether that rule is still in effect.

Lim said if it is true Najib has to give his approval for 1MDB’s deals, then the prime minister would have done a “public and parliamentary charade” by claiming that he is not responsible for the firm’s day-to-day operations because he was merely the chair of its board of advisers. (more…)

How did billions end up in Jho Low’s account, Sarawak Report asks Najib

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

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the one who calls the shots in 1MDB and must explain how billions of ringgit from the fund had gone to a company controlled by businessman Low Taek Jho. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 27, 2015. With revelations that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the one who ultimately calls the shots in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Sarawak Report said he should explain why billions of ringgit from the fund had gone to businessman Low Taek Jho.

The whistle-blower site said someone must explain the US$1.16 billion (RM4.2 billion) which went into an account controlled by Low, who is better known as Jho Low.

The site said in a posting today that since Najib was the only person authorised to sign off investments by the fund, he would have known about the investments and had approved them personally. (more…)

May 27, 2015

Et tu Tok Nan? – and we had such high hopes of you!

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Fifteen months ago when Adenan Satem was handpicked by Taib Mahmud to succeed him as Sarawak’s fifth chief minister, many Sarawakians had initially felt apprehensive but yet somewhat hopeful that a new helmsman at the steering wheel of the state may signal some change at last – after 33 long years of a stringent and tight-fisted rule of one man.

Some naysayers were extremely doubtful as Adenan had himself too risen from the ranks of the same group of PBB veterans and had been seen as more of a follower than a person who could break away from the herd and make for himself his own legacy.

The last five or six months had seen some fresh political will as Adenan began to make waves which endeared him to a large section of the people who had hitherto been known to be very anti-Taib and his past policies. Many were now starting to change their minds. (more…)

PM: 1MDB top guns won’t run away from PAC

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

Prime Minister Najib Razak has assured that 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) current and former top executive will appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

“The officials will appear before the PAC, they are not running away,” he said when asked if they would do so, according to Bernama.

Speaking at a press conference at the end of his three-day official visit to Japan, Najib, who is also the Finance Minister, said the officials had something to sort out.

“They will show up…they will come,” he said after a dialogue with students at the Tohoku University here. (more…)

M’sia first after China to bar ‘Umbrella’ activist

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

Malaysia has set a bad precedent by being the first country out of China to bar an Umbrella Revolution activist, said Joshua Wong who was deported by Malaysia immigration on Tuesday.

He said he had only expected China to ban him, following the Occupy Hong Kong movement which fought for genuine and free general elections in Hong Kong, he said.

“If my memory did not fail me, this is the first ever country which has nothing to do with the Umbrella campaign, that has banned a Hong Kong student activist,” the 18-year-old said in a statement on Facebook. (more…)

Stick to redelineation rulings, Bersih warns EC

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

Electoral reform group Bersih is irked by the Sarawak government’s attempt to legitimise the Election Commission’s (EC) public inquiries in relation to the state’s redelineation exercise.

This is despite the Kuching High Court on May 15 ruling that the notice for redelineation was not in compliance with the requirements of the federal constitution and ordered for the notice to be republished with more detailed information.

The same court yesterday added an additional order, ruling that the initial notice is null and void and has no legal effect. (more…)

Nazir calls 1MDB’s no-show ‘unacceptable’

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

The prime minister’s brother Nazir Razak has described 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) failure to testify at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing scheduled for today as “unacceptable”.

“Your company has triggered a national crisis and you can be too busy to face Parliament? Unacceptable,” he said in a posting on Instagram.

He was referring to 1MDB president Arul Kanda and former chief executive officer Shahrol Halmi’s abrupt request for a 30-day extension before testifying to the PAC, citing important overseas appointments.

The duo only made the request four days before the hearing despite receiving two-weeks notice from the PAC. (more…)

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