Hornbill Unleashed

February 3, 2016

Are we civic-conscious bankrupt humans?

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

Being civic minded seems to be the last thing on our minds these days, or at least some of us. In the most recent case, someone thought he was worthy enough to use the ladies’ only parking bays because he got out and got his wife to drive him. He has since apologised to the people who “felt offended”, but isn’t this more of a widespread issue?

Every now and then, we will find photos on social media showing that Malaysians of all ages, races, and upbringing parked in a handicap spot, or refuse to budge from the priority seats on the trains or even the seats at the airports.

And some of the testimonies we hear from those who happened to mention this wrong to the errant driver get brushed off with excuses of “being too busy”, or “I park here all the time”, or sometimes even threats of violent behaviour. (more…)

Foreign governments pile pressure on Malaysia over financial scandals

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

Foreign authorities say investigations into financial scandals involving state-owned firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) are turning up more information. – AFP pic, February 2, 2016.Malaysia may have absolved its prime minister in a huge corruption scandal, but foreign authorities investigating suspicious global fund flows are making clear the affair is far from over and that the net may be tightening.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali last week cleared Datuk Seri Najib Razak of wrongdoing in accepting a mysterious US$681 million payment (RM2.6 billion) from overseas, sparking accusations of a cover-up in a case that has shaken Najib’s government to its core.

But within days, authorities in Switzerland and Singapore upped the pressure, pointedly responding that investigations into an array of Malaysian money movements were forging ahead and releasing new information. (more…)

‘Kedah rebels underestimated proactive rulers after 1MDB crisis’

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

Kedah Umno leaders underestimated the royalty, who have become increasingly proactive following the 1MDB crisis, in their bid to oust state Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, says veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin.

“They seem to have forgotten or ignored the fact that the Malay rulers have become more proactive and radical in facing the country’s crisis following the 1MDB scandal.

“The majority of Malay rulers have begun exercising their constitutional right, discretion and moral authority in matters of governance,” he said in a blog posting . (more…)

Education Ministry to look into Muhyiddin’s claim of being barred from speaking at school event

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

Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid says his ministry will investigate Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's claim that he was barred to speak at a school event last Sunday. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 2, 2016.Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said he would look into claims by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that he was barred from speaking at a sports event held at a Subang Jaya school two days ago on “orders from certain parties”.

In a Facebook posting yesterday, the minister said the ministry would check with the Youth Football League organised by the local community and an NGO at SMK USJ4 in Selangor.

“The ministry will check on the Youth Football League organised by the community and an NGO, which used the school premises, and that the school barred him from speaking.

“We will also investigate the school authorities and the organiser,” Mahdzir wrote on Facebook yesterday. (more…)

Rulers step in to stop the rot

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

“Kepada pihak berkuasa, berkas mereka yang menghasut Bangsa Johor untuk membenci dan mempromosikan perkauman. Jangan pilih kasih, cari jalan penyelesaianya ke akar umbi,” -Sultan Johor, Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar

In the last few months, two Sultans have spoken out publicly to share their concerns about the dangers of racial and religious extremism taking root in the country.

The first was the Sultan of Johor who in a facebook posting in both English and Malay languages on 15 September 2015 warned:

“Let me reiterate, there is no place for hatred and racism here in Johor Darul Ta’zim. It was never welcomed, nor will I ever welcome haters and racists here in Johor. If anyone who want to practice hatred and racism in Johor Darul Ta’zim, the home of the Malays, Chinese and Indians- Bangsa Johor, please leave Johor immediately. That is an order!” (more…)

Banker’s accounts frozen in Singapore’s 1MDB probe

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

Singapore’s central bank and white-collar police said yesterday in response to queries on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that authorities have seized ‘a large number’ of bank accounts in connection with possible money-laundering in the country. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, February 2, 2016.A private banker at Grupo BTG Pactual SA’s Singapore unit had his bank accounts frozen and was questioned in a probe related to a Malaysian debt-ridden government investment fund, Bloomberg reports today.

Yak Yew Chee, employed by BSI Bank in Singapore, has filed a request to the Singapore High Court to have access to his funds, according to two people with knowledge of the case, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public yet.

The people didn’t say when Yak’s accounts were frozen, when he was questioned or specify the amount of funds affected.

The Straits Times reported that Yak was the relationship manager for 1MDB Global Investments Ltd, Aabar Investment PJS Limited and SRC International Sdn Bhd and Low Taek Jho. It also said a check with the High Court shows that a criminal motion will be heard on Friday at 10am. (more…)

Apandi under Najib’s thumb, says Dr M

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

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has ridiculed attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s explanation that monies found in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bank accounts were donations from foreign royalty.

“I think the attorney-general is under the control of the subject of the investigation, the prime minister,” the UK’s Financial Times quoted him as saying.

The publication also reported that Mahathir has dismissed Apandi’s explanation as “a lot of nonsense” and vowed to “continue to expose the wrong things that he (Najib) has done”. (more…)

Najib is controlling A-G, Dr Mahathir tells Financial Times

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

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he doesn't believe the Saudi royal family donated RM2.6 billion to the prime minister in 2013. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 2, 2016.The attorney-general (A-G) is under the control of the prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told business paper Financial Times (FT) over the government prosecutor’s decision not to frame charges against Datuk Seri Najib Razak due to a lack of evidence.

“I think the attorney-general is under the control of the subject of the investigation, the prime minister,” Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the paper today.

Dr Mahathir, who has become Najib’s fiercest critic, also described as “nonsense” A-G Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s reason not to take action because the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) donation had come from the Saudi royal family.

Apandi had said that there was no wrongdoing because Najib had returned US$620 million in August 2013. (more…)

‘S’gor MB post may fall to DAP in three-cornered fights’

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

A senior academician today warned that a failure by Pakatan Harapan in Selangor to ensure straight fights against Barisan Nasional may result in the menteri besar’s post falling into DAP’s hands.

Sinar Harian quoted Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) senior lecturer Md Shukri Shuib as saying that he believes the DAP will take over the menteri besar’s post as it has indicated interests to field Malay candidates that could lead to potential three-cornered fights.

“The formation of Pakatan Harapan including in Selangor’s context will make it easier for the DAP to get the menteri besar’s post when the party’s Malay candidates have won (in 14th general election). (more…)

Report: M’sian minister launches scathing attack on Swiss AG

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

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak has accused the Swiss attorney- general (AG) of “breaking protocol and circulating misinformation” over its investigations on state-investor 1MDB, according to Britain’s the Guardian daily.

“It’s very unusual, and against normal protocol, for a senior official of one country to speak publicly on the internal matters of another country. Yet that is what the Swiss AG has done,” Salleh reportedly told the Guardian in response to a request for assistance from Swiss AG Michael Lauber over its own investigations on alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds.

In what the daily described as being the most scathing statement on the matter from a Malaysian minister, Salleh also said: “These premature statements appear to have been made without a full and comprehensive appreciation of all the facts.” (more…)

Be open about Tabung Haji financials or resign, PKR lawmaker tells fund’s top managers

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

PKR has called Tabung Haji chairman and CEO to be transparent over the warning letter from Bank Negara, otherwise they should resign. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 2, 2016.Lembaga Tabung Haji chairman Datuk Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and chief executive officer Tan Sri Ismee Ismail should be transparent over the controversies surrounding the pilgrims’ fund or resign, PKR’s Nurul Izzah Anwar said.

The party vice-president said Azeez still had not disclosed sufficient information to disprove Bank Negara Malaysia’s warning letter that the fund’s liabilities outweighed its assets and could hamper its ability to issue dividends to contributors.

“As the assets are less than its aggregate liabilities, according to Section 22 of the Tabung Haji Act 1995, Tabung Haji cannot declare dividends by law.

“As Tabung Haji’s financial year ends on December 31, 2015, we are left with depending on the 2014 financial report. (more…)

Bar Council: AG’s move to clear PM ‘unsustainable in law’

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

Bar Council president Steven Thiru has described attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s move to clear Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of any wrongdoing as “unsustainable in law”.

This is in relation to the investigations into US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts as well as further deposits from state-owned SRC International.

“The decision of the attorney-general to exonerate the prime minister of any criminal offence appears to be unsustainable in law.

“The decision seems premature, lacking in facts, bereft of particulars, and founded on questionable or inadequate reasons,” Thiru said in a statement. (more…)

Jho Low and 1MDB’s banker named in Singapore probe

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

Singapore media has named Yak Yew Chee, a bank relationship manager for billionaire Jho Low, as among the individuals being probed by the city state in the growing controversy involving Malaysian state-owned fund 1MDB.

He was named by Singapore Straits Times and Singapore Business Times, citing unnamed sources.

The reports said that Yak also served as relationship manager for 1MDB Global Investment Ltd, Aabar Investment PJS Limited and SRC International Sdn Bhd, all entities that are or have been linked to 1MDB. (more…)

A-G’s decision not to charge Najib premature, says Malaysian Bar

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

Malaysian Bar president has raised questions on the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali's decision to not frame charges against the prime minister over the RM2.6 billion he received. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 3, 2016.Attorney-General (A-G) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision not to frame charges against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for lack of “sufficient evidence” appears to be unsustainable in law, the Malaysian Bar says.

“The decision seems premature, lacking in facts, bereft of particulars, and founded on questionable or inadequate reasons,” its president Steven Thiru said in a statement last night.

As such, he said, the advice of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) two oversight panels to engage the A-G regarding his decision was not surprising.

On January 26, Apandi declared that there was “insufficient evidence” to frame charges against the prime minister in relation to the RM2.6 billion donation he received and the RM42 million, which was transferred to his accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd. (more…)

February 2, 2016

Adenan set to build own Cabinet without top trio

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Picture this: Alfred Jabu, William Mawan and Wong Soon Koh not picked to contest in the coming state election.

Jabu is the chief of the Pesaka wing of Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB), Mawan is Parti Tenaga Rakyat Sarawak (Teras) president and Wong is United People’s Party (UPP) president.

All three are leaders of their respective parties and they will not be going to the battlefield as any leaders of political parties normally do.

Hard to swallow, isn’t it? (more…)

Adenan ‘has uppper hand’ in announcing election date

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

The decision by Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem to “announce in advance” the 11th state election date, has sent the whole town talking.

Being no stranger to making bold decisions, Adenan caught many by surprise when he, at a function in Santubong late Friday night, announced candidly that the state election is to be held on April 30 while nomination is on April 18.

Adenan chose to move away from the norm of his contemporaries, who preferred to keep the sacred date a top secret until much later, and the announcement, has been received positively by many in and outside the political sphere.

Political scientist Associate Prof Dr Jeniri Amir said the announcement had indicated two things, that the 71-year-old ‘supremo uno’ was not only confident of winning the state election, but also to win with a bigger majority. (more…)

Impossible to get national life back on track

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

Right on cue, the prime minister promptly issued a statement welcoming the attorney-general’s decision to clear him of any wrongdoing.

All the black marks on the record book of Najib Abdul Razak were erased.

Certainly, Najib was not waiting with abated breath to hear the “momentous” decision of Mohamed Apandi Ali. It was all in the script.

All Apandi had to do was to read out what had already been decided from the day he walked into the office at the Attorney-General’s Chambers vacated by the previous “sick” top prosecutor. He was appointed for just one purpose: to put the record straight on his scandal-tainted boss. (more…)

Singapore seizes bank accounts in 1MDB probe

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

Singapore said today it has seized a large number of bank accounts in connection with possible money-laundering offences related to investigations into alleged financial mismanagement at Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Singapore is cooperating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States on the investigations into 1MDB, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department, the city-state’s white collar police, said in a statement.

“In connection with these investigations, we have sought and are continuing to seek information from several financial institutions, are interviewing various individuals, and have seized a large number of bank accounts,” the two agencies said in the statement. (more…)

Malaysia’s rep sinking along with Najib’s RM2.6 billion scandal, says Aussie daily

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

The attorney-general’s decision not to charge Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the RM2.6 billion donation from the Saudi royals has tarnished the country’s reputation, says the Sydney Morning Herald. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 1, 2016.Malaysia’s reputation is sinking along with the brewing financial scandal surrounding state investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the recent decision to clear the prime minister of any wrongdoing in accepting RM2.6 billion from the Saudis, the Sydney Morning Herald (SMH) says today.

In a stinging commentary, the Australian daily zeroed in on Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision not to charge Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board, of any criminal wrongdoing over the US$681 million deposited into his bank accounts in early 2013.

“Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali issued a ‘move along, nothing to see’ order to anyone worried about the donation of such a princely sum to a sitting prime minister’s personal bank account in a country claiming to be a representative democracy,” the editorial said. (more…)

The “high-income nation” conundrum

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

In the last week or so, we have been told by Minister for International Trade and Industry Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement  (TPPA) is necessary to achieve a “high-income nation”.

So, what is a high-income nation?Well, if we follow the World Bank, it is any nation that achieves a gross national income (GNI) per capita of US$12,735 in 2014 calculated using the Atlas method.Well, if such is true, then Malaysia is already on its way by earning a GNI per capita of US$10,850 in 2013, and even US$11,120 in 2014 – a mere US$1,615 from the figure mentioned by the World Bank to achieve “high-income status”.

And yet, now our government in the form of Mustapa is suddenly saying that this is not achievable without the TPPA – something that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak openly said, as reported by The Malaysian Insider, that we were on the way to achieving in September 2015, without even mentioning the need for the agreement. (more…)

Deny BN two-thirds majority in Sarawak, Guan Eng tells voters

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

Barisan Nasional currently holds the majority of state seats in Sarawak, but DAP says the ruling coalition must be denied another strong victory in the upcoming state election. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 1, 2016.​Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) can only change if voters there deny Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem a strong victory, DAP said today.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the ruling coalition must be denied a strong victory in the upcoming Sarawak election to remind Adenan to stand up to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also BN chairman.

Lim said Sarawak had been treated like one of the country’s 14 states rather than one of the three entities that formed the Federation of Malaysia.

“Only with a strong opposition in the state, Adenan can tell the federal government to agree or they will lose. To strengthen Sarawak, (the way) is to let them know that they can lose. (more…)

Zeti’s imminent exit highlights succession risks

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

For 16 years, Malaysia’s internationally-lauded central bank governor bolstered the economic credibility of a country otherwise facing a slew of emerging market challenges, ranging from currency crises to a commodities markets crash.

As Zeti Akhtar Aziz prepares to step down as head of Bank Negara Malaysia in April, questions about succession are framed by uncertainties clouding the Southeast Asian economy, notably a collapse in commodity prices and a political scandal that has drawn international scrutiny, according to market participants.

They say their angst centres on three key risks – the future of the central bank’s current independence, policy continuity and the competence of Zeti’s replacement. If the central bank cuts rates too early or too fast, it could spur capital outflows from Malaysian debt. On the other hand, a rate rise to defend the currency could hurt the economy. (more…)

Post-Mukhriz effects may make Najib cry

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

Today is the D-day on which we will know who will replace the Kedah Mentri Besar.

If at all Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir as Kedah Menteri Besar is removed, that would not be the end of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s problem, for Mukhriz has roots deeper than his alone.

When Najib chopped off his deputy PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the upheaval that ensued has settled down, at least for now. He can keep dropped Muhyiddin at bay, by stopping him speaking in schools and in such places, as Muhyiddin does not hold the influence that Mukhriz’s roots have. Muhyiddin, although can be put on the same level of political influence that Mukhriz has, does not have a father whose roots go really deep and tangled in Umno for more than two decades. (more…)

Normal for Swiss to inform public about criminal cases, say lawyers

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

Switzerland is investigating funds moved into the country, which are linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd. – Reuters file pic, February 1, 2016.It is normal practice for Switzerland’s prosecuting authority to announce the progress of criminal investigations, especially for high-profile cases, a lawyer says.

Datuk N. Sivananthan, who is counsel at the International Criminal Court, said Switzerland practised greater transparency on such matters and took steps to keep the public informed.

“I see nothing wrong about it as they are very open about it,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Sivananthan was responding to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s statement that the Swiss attorney-general (A-G) should not have made public his request for Malaysia’s help with its investigations into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). (more…)

Swiss to hand over ‘significant evidence’ on RM16.8 billion to Malaysia soon

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

Swiss Attorney-General Michael Lauber’s office has uncovered evidence of illegal transactions and wrongdoing linked to state investor 1MDB. – Reuters file pic, February 1, 2016.The Swiss attorney-general’s office would be handing over “significant evidence” of illegal financial transactions involving Malaysian companies to its counterparts here soon, it said in an email, adding that it hoped Malaysia would provide further assistance.

“The OAG is hopeful that our colleagues in Malaysia will examine the evidence we have gathered and provide us with further assistance, as the two attorneys-general agreed last September,” the email from the Office of the Attorney-General of Switzerland (OAG) said.

The OAG said the attorneys-general from both countries agreed to cooperate with one another during their meeting. (more…)

Now Kedah Regency Council wants to meet state opposition reps

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

It has been widely speculated Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir would be replaced as Kedah Menteri Besar after losing the support of his partymen. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 1, 2016.In a twist to the Kedah Menteri Besar saga, the Kedah Regency Council has now summoned all opposition assemblymen to Wisma Darul Aman tomorrow.

This comes after the council met all Barisan Nasional assemblymen this afternoon but had not made any decision on replacing the menteri besar.
Earlier today, it was widely speculated that Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir would be replaced after losing the support of his partymen.

PKR’s rep for Bakar Arang Simon Ooi Tze Min confirmed that they had been summoned to meet the council tomorrow afternoon. (more…)

Singapore says seized bank accounts as part of 1MDB probe

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

Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad, whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, has been investigated by Malaysian authorities following accusations of financial mismanagement and graft. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, February 1, 2016.Singapore said today it has seized a large number of bank accounts in connection with possible money-laundering offences related to investigations into alleged financial mismanagement at Malaysian state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Singapore is cooperating with authorities in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States on the investigations into 1MDB, the Monetary Authority of Singapore and the Commercial Affairs Department, the city-state’s white collar police, said in a statement.

“Singapore does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds. Since the middle of last year, the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have been actively investigating possible money-laundering and other offences carried out in Singapore. (more…)

No comment, our AG is independent: Swiss embassy

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

The Swiss embassy in Kuala Lumpur has declined to comment on Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s criticism of the Swiss attorney-general’s office (OAG).

According to a staff at the embassy, this is because the Swiss AG is an independent body.

“We can’t comment because the OAG is independent from the government.

“The government also does not comment on open criminal proceedings,” she told Malaysiakini.

According to OAG’s website, the office is answerable to a supervisory authority appointed by Switzerland’s legislative arm, the United Federal Assembly. (more…)

Shell sells off M’sian refinery to Chinese firm

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

Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday it had agreed to sell its shares in Shell Refining Company in Malaysia to a unit of a private Chinese refiner for US$66.3 million.

It marks the first overseas refinery acquisition by a private Chinese refiner, shortly after Beijing allowed dozens of the country’s independent, small oil plants to import crude for the first time.

Shell will sell the 51 percent stake to Malaysia Hengyuan International Ltd, while the remaining shares are held by institutional and public shareholders, a Shell spokeswoman said.

Malaysia Hengyuan International Ltd is a unit of China’s Shandong Hengyuan Petrochemical Company. (more…)

Bersih 2.0 wants longer campaign period for Sarawak candidates

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

Bersih 2.0 chairman Maria Chin Abdullah is urging the Election Commission to grand candidates in the Sarawak elections an extended campaigning period. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 1, 2016. Electoral reform group Bersih 2.0 wants the Election Commission (EC) to give candidates contesting in the coming Sarawak elections at least three weeks to campaign, said its chairman Maria Chin Abdullah.

She said a longer period was necessary for candidates representing political parties and independents to meet voters to explain their manifestos.

“A longer campaigning period is vital because the state is as large as the peninsula and reaching voters in the interior is challenging,” she told The Malaysian Insider.

Maria said this in response to Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem who indicated last week that he would propose to the Yang di-Pertua of Sarawak to dissolve the state legislative assembly in April. (more…)

Agong: Public should unite to face current challenges

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

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah today reminded the people of the need to unite as one, casting aside racial and political differences to combat current challenges.

He said this was most important as the global economic situation was more challenging due to the drop in oil prices and property values.

“This global phenomenon would surely have a direct impact on Malaysia’s economy, so I hope the people of Malaysia, especially those in the Federal Territories, will continue working hard and with the determination to make our beloved Malaysia prosper. (more…)

It’s not over, 1MDB as Swiss say RM16.6 bln diverted

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

It is a known fact that Malaysia’s political establishment has been shaken by the issue surrounding 1Malaysian Development Bhd (1MDB), which have been at the centre of one of the country’s worst political scandals.

The seemingly never-ending scandal is likely to weigh on the economy and may eventually spur a ratings downgrade, Oxford Economics said recently.

That’s bad news for Malaysia, which is already suffering from a slide in the price of commodities, an important portion of the economy and a key source of revenue for the government.

The currency has tumbled and the government’s debt levels have increased, fuelling investor concerns. (more…)

‘AG must charge SRC officials who transferred funds’

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

As an effort to salvage Najib Abdul Razak’s image, attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali should charge the SRC International Sdn Bhd officials who transferred funds into his personal bank accounts.

“Apandi should charge those involved in ‘clandestinely’ transferring RM42 million (plus another RM27 million) from SRC International to his (Najib’s) personal accounts and helping to pay his credit card spending.

“After all, it was Apandi himself who ‘revealed’ these facts to the press,” veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin said in his latest blog post today.

Kadir’s call comes after Apandi revealed at a press conference last week that Najib had “no knowledge” that funds from SRC International, a former 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) subsidiary, were transferred into his personal bank accounts. (more…)

‘M’sia to get Swiss evidence on 1MDB in coming days’

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

The office of the Swiss attorney-general will soon hand over to Malaysia evidence of allegedly dubious transactions by 1MDB .

Swiss AG’s office information chief Andre Marty said the documents would be sent in the “coming days” in an e-mail reply to The Malay Mail Online.

However, Marty declined to comment further, citing Swiss secrecy laws.

“The Swiss AG’s office is hopeful that our colleagues in Malaysia will examine the evidence we have gathered and provide us with further assistance, as the two attorneys-general agreed last September,” Marty said in a separate e-mail to The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

Razak Baginda – common link between Scorpene and Altantuya

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

Razak Baginda, the Malaysian PM’s former special adviser is the common denominator in two controversial issues.

He is linked with the gruesome murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, and he is the front man, who brokered an allegedly crooked deal to purchase two Scorpene Submarines from France.

Baginda cannot be too happy with the recent turn of events, in France. In 2012, Malaysian NGO Suaram took the French state-owned company DCNS to court for allegedly paying illegal commissions totalling €114.9 million to Perimekar Sdn Bhd.

We were warned that it would be years before new developments are seen. DCNS manufactures naval defence systems. Baginda is the part-owner of Perimekar. (more…)

Swiss AG: Najib not a suspect in our 1MDB probe

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

Najib Abdul Razak is not one of those suspected of wrongdoing in the Swiss probe into misappropriation of US$4 billion from 1MDB, the Attorney-General’s Office (OAG) of Switzerland said.

“In the ongoing criminal proceeding of the OAG, Mr Najib Razak is not one of the public officials under accusation,” Andre Marty, spokesman for the OAG told the Nikkei Asian Review.

This comes after the Swiss OAG revealed it suspected former Malaysian officials and ‘persons unknown’ are involved in the misappropriation of funds from state-owned firms. (more…)

No political will to get to bottom of 1MDB crisis

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

Our government through our Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi issued a startling statement saying “the Swiss attorney- general should not have made public his request for Malaysia’s help into 1MDB probe”.
More specifically, it was related to the US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion) suspected misappropriations by 1MDB and possible violations of Swiss law. But who are we to say that to the Swiss?

By the same virtue, was it right for our attorney-general to say publicly through the media that the billions paid into accounts under our prime ministers was made by the late King of Saudi Arabia who, of course, cannot verify that claim? Signs from the Saudis are not so positive on that statement. (more…)

‘Aim for Malaysia to be in top 30 in CPI is a fantasy’

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

The target of Najib Abdul Razak’s administration for Malaysia to be in the top 30 countries in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI) seems nothing but a ‘pipe dream’.

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said Najib’s dream would be impossible, citing the CPI ranking and score for the 177 countries and the 21-year series of the CPI.

“There is no reason or ground for anyone to believe that the target of Malaysia being ranked in the top 30 of the CPI in 2020 is a realistic or achievable one,” Lim said in a statement .

Malaysia, he said, achieved the dubious distinction of being one of the few countries that had been downgraded both in the CPI ranking and score and had also lost out to countries with a lower CPI ranking and score in 1995. (more…)

‘No open war’, MACC’s Bahri lodges police report

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

Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission special operations director Bahri Mohd Zain lodged a police report against a blog posting by Raja Petra Kamaruddin, alleging “open war” in the anti-graft body.

Raja Petra in a blog posting last week alleged that Bahri is in engaged in an “open and bitter war” with MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed over the RM2.6 billion donation case involving Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Bahri said the blog posting also slandered him by accusing him of being a “DAP agent” who wants to topple the Umno-led government.

“My actions during my time with the MACC were carried out professionally according to laws and regulations and in order to defend its freedom,” Bahri said in a statement, quoted by The Star. (more…)

Anti-hopping law might just be good for Sarawak

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

Throughout Malaysia’s political history, the ruling government did not have the will to enact the anti-hopping law to curb political defections.

Such a law, if put in place, would not benefit the ruling party anyway as defections happened more often in the opposition than in the party in power.

In fact, Barisan Nasional (BN) was responsible for bringing down the Sabah government in 1994 and the Perak government in 2009 through such defections.

In the case of Perak, the three state legislative representatives (two from PKR and one from DAP) did not even have to switch allegiance. All they did was to declare themselves independents to tilt the favour towards the state BN government. (more…)

Malaysian investment funds sell off plum London properties

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

Malaysian investment funds are selling off their prime property in London in what London’s Financial Times noted was a sign of ‘growing financial woes’ at home.

“It’s no secret that Malaysian funds […] are having to repatriate money. We’ve definitely seen a trend of them selling,” Richard Divall, head of cross-border capital markets at real estate advisers Colliers, was quoted as saying.

“But they got into London very, very early (after the financial crisis) so they are making huge profits.”

This was also in line with the Malaysian government’s call for more local investments to spur an economy hit by plunging oil prices. (more…)

We’re just demanding what is ours, Perkasa tells Rafidah

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

The Malay rights pressure group Perkasa today flayed former minister Rafidah Aziz, for saying it is embarrassing that Malays still want crutches today.

The NGO’s education bureau chairperson, Sirajuddin Salleh, said Rafidah is wrong to say Malays are begging for help, because the Malays are actually taking what is “rightfully” theirs.

“Perkasa would like to remind Rafidah and all Malaysians that Malays are not begging for special treatment but taking what is rightfully theirs as natives of this country,” he said in a statement.

“We must remember that Malay rights are just part of the quid pro quo arrangement negotiated to gain independence,” he said. (more…)

Arrest me, ex-SB number two Hamid dares IGP

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

His sudden transfer to the Prime Minister’s Department last year has not cowed former police Special Branch deputy director Hamid Bador.

In a statement today, Hamid said he has done nothing wrong as is willing to go to jail if “the inspector–general of police gets instructions from the sky to arrest” him.

“I am even more resolute when I think of the upcoming Police Day on March 25. I am resolute to sing the police song Polis Sedia Berkhidmat. I will sing this song when I am in the lock-up.

“Everyone has a price for which they can be bought or compromised […] my price is for those involved to own up and repent,” he said. (more…)

Does gov’t know what is speech freedom?

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

We are five years away from touching the year 2020 mark, a year with a vision set by the former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a deadline of becoming a developed nation.

An Opposition MP once said that to achieve this, the country needs to have a certain level of speech freedom.

However, it is 2016 now and Malaysia still records high numbers of detainees that have been charged with the Sedition Act 1948. These charges have also been deemed to be the government’s move to silence the opposition politicians.

And this has resulted in the civil society including the opposition to call for the repeal of the Sedition Act. For it is evident through the arrests of activists and politicians who were seen speaking in public – reformation is needed in the country. (more…)

Have no fear, stay the course: ex-SB boss to MACC

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

Former Special Branch deputy director Hamid Bador today advised MACC officers to stand their ground and defend the agency’s integrity.

His call comes as pressure mounts for action to be taken against MACC special operations director Bahri Mohd Zain for saying the MACC will appeal attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s decision to close the cases involving Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

“To all MACC officers, I urge you to not fear any threat by anyone. Defend the sanctity of your role and fulfil your agency’s obligations,” Hamid said in a statement. (more…)

February 1, 2016

Najib, Zahid go on campaign blitz, after Sarawak polls date proposal

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Najib Abdul Razak and his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi spent a busy weekend in Sarawak, signalling a gearing up for the Sarawak election.

This comes after Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem last Friday proposed April 18 as nomination day and polling day on April 30.

The Election Commission said dates should only be set after the assembly is dissolved while elections must be held by June.

Najib yesterday attended a BN supreme council dinner at the state legislative assembly building in Kuching while Umno veep Ahmad Zahid spent a whole day at various community programmes. (more…)

Pakatan Harapan to field candidates in all 82 Sarawak seats

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

PKR state chairman Baru Bian, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and candidates for the Sarawak elections seen at the launch of the party’s southern zone election operation centre. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 31, 2016. Pakatan Harapan has vowed to ensure that all 82 state seats are contested in the Sarawak elections, including Barisan Nasional strongholds such as the Tanjung Datu seat held by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.

PKR candidate for Tanjung Datu is Jajolkipli Numan, 51.

But he was absent from the launching of the PKR southern zone election operation centre today where 22 confirmed candidates were announced.

Adenan has been the incumbent since 2006. (more…)

Surely, EC will agree with Adenan’s proposed polls dates

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

So Adenan Satem’s proposed dates for the 11th Sarawak Election have been revealed by none other than the chief minister himself.

He told an election seminar in Santubong two days ago that he had proposed April 18 as nomination day with polling on April 30 to the Election Commission (EC).

I see no reason for the EC not to accept the dates proposed by the chief minister. In all likelihood, the proposed dates are as good as a done deal.

It’s interesting that Adenan had gone one up on the EC on the announcement of the polling dates. This is the first time it happened. (more…)

Twists and turns of Najib’s RM2.6 billion

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak still insists that the RM2.6 billion ‘gift’ from Saudi Arabia in 2013 was not for his personal use. – The Malaysian Insider pic, January 31, 2016.When Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the RM2.6 billion donation controversy has been “comprehensively put to rest”, the Internet promptly responded with memes ridiculing the attorney-general’s (A-G) decision to close the case.

From comedians to artists, local blogs to international news wires, many found it hard to believe that it was okay for a leader of a democratic country to accept billions of ringgit from an unidentified foreign funder.

Najib urged Malaysians to “move on” from the issue but questions still abound despite the A-G’s findings that there was insufficient evidence to implicate Najib.

The Malaysian Insider revisits what is known so far about the billions in his account, since July 2 last year when The Wall Street Journal first broke the news that RM2.6 billion was channelled into Najib’s private bank accounts. (more…)

In Sarawak, BN leopard won’t change its spots, says Nurul Izzah

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Amid Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem’s popularity, PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar warned that it would change nothing to vote for him in the upcoming state election.

She said Adenan’s popularity is reminiscent of the time when former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the reins of power from his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad – euphoria following a leadership change.

“We must be able to tell the difference what is the public face of democracy and the real behind-the-scenes face of Adenan Satem’s autocracy. (more…)

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