Pakatan Harapan Rakyat Sabah

Jumaat, 21 Oktober 2016

I Only Just Found Out - Says DiCaprio

I Only Just Found Out - Says DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio has finally, after months and years of denial, come out to say he will hand back donations funded by 1MDB.

In a statement (his first on the subject) he said:

“Several months ago in July, Mr. DiCaprio first learned through press reports of the [U.S.] government’s civil action against some of the parties involved in the making of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’,” an LDF spokesperson said in a statement. “He immediately had his representatives reach out to the Department of Justice to determine whether he or his foundation, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF), ever received any gifts or charitable donations directly or indirectly related to these parties, and if so, to return those gifts or donations as soon as possible.”

We appreciate Mr DiCaprio’s first step, disingenuous though it clearly is. The wealthy actor ought, of course, to tot up the various monies and favours he has received from projects and parties funded by 1MDB, at least from the date that extensive publicity in Hollywood made it plain there were serious problems with the company Red Granite and his palm oil pals from Malaysia.

To pretend he only just found out about the problem is merely bad acting, at a time when full sincerity was needed. For example, take this article from Deadline (read throughout Hollywood) about DiCaprio over two years in 2014, which was one of many to highlight the issues being raised by Sarawak Report over his film Wolf of Wall Street:

‘Wolf Of Wall Street’ Producers Send Second Cease & Desist To Former UK PM’s Sister-In-Law Over Blog Posts Alleging Corruption

January 27, 2014 3:56pm

EXCLUSIVE: The legal war of words over where the money to make The Wolf Of Wall Street came from has just heated up again. Late last week, lawyers for financiers Red Granite and principals Riza Aziz and Joey McFarland sent another dense cease and desist letter to UK-based blogger Clare Rewcastle Brown and her Sarawak Report over her alleged “recent unlawful and outrageous activities in violation of our clients’ rights, including your persistent fabrication and dissemination of false information about our clients and their business.” As of yet, no official legal action has been taken against Brown over her numerous posts about Red Granite, where its money comes from, and who its investors really are. Still, in a 7-page letter (read it here) sent Friday, Red Granite attorney Sunny Brenner of Santa Monica firm Loeb & Loeb says: “Make no mistake: Our clients will not hesitate to take whatever steps they deem necessary or appropriate to safeguard their rights and protect their reputations, and your time to take the necessary corrective action is rapidly running out.”

Brown, sister-in-law of former UK PM Gordon Brown, told me today from the UK that she has no intention of pulling down her posts, which have been published over the past month. “I believe the substance of my articles are correct and much of what I have printed is drawn from already published material in the United States,” she said. “If there are any unintentional inaccuracies, I am always willing to address and correct and indeed apologize for them. However, the pages of blanket and contradictory criticisms from Mr. Aziz’s lawyers only have one objective, which is to threaten and intimidate me into withdrawing my articles in their entirety. This I have no intention of doing.”

Red Granite was first announced in 2011 with a Kanye West concert and a big Cannes party. The producers behind Friends With Kids and Out Of The Furnace provided all of the approximate $100 million budget for the Martin Scorsese-directed Wolf. After winning the Lead Actor in a Comedy/Musical at the Golden Globes, Leonardo DiCaprio singled out producers Aziz and McFarland with thanks “for not only being collaborators but for taking a risk on this movie.”

Like the previous letter sent January 2, Friday’s Loeb & Loeb letter details a litany of allegations against the the Sarawak Report posts slamming Red Granite, which includes that Aziz finances movies partially through “illicit funds emanating from the Malaysian government” where his stepdad is PM and that McFarland was a party planner for Paris Hilton and others on the celebrity circuit. Needless to say, lawyers for Red Granite deny all the “untruths,” as the January 24 letter calls them. Both letters demand that Brown retract “all of the false and misleading statements concerning our clients that Sarawak Report has published” and post corrections, pay legal fees, stop trying to get on the company’s property and take down any pics from Wolf or screen shots. It also incorrectly cites a Deadline article by my colleague Pete Hammond as being by Brown. The January 22 Sarawak Report post was called “Dumped From The Oscars” and refers to our piece on the Academy finalizing the producer credits on Wolf from the day before.

With all that, where would Red Granite actually go after Brown if it  were to sue? The most likely jurisdiction is the UK, where libel laws are considerably more favorable to the allegedly defamed than in the U.S. However, changes that took effect on January 1 tightened up British law to reduce what was seen as a rising tide of libel chill. A new “serious harm threshold” requires claimants to determine whether they have actually suffered defamation and not just been lipped off. Additionally — and which could be significant for a UK website writing on Malaysian matters concerning an American company — so-called libel tourism measures now require a strong British connection before bringing a matter to the courts. Lastly, the Defamation Act of 2013 has a specific mechanism outside the courts for handling cases where someone believes they have been attacked online.  The process funnels would-be victims to try to settle the matter with the individual(s) who posted the material in question. All of which is to say it might be a while before Red Granite is hauling Brown and Sarawak into court here or over there.

Selasa, 18 Oktober 2016

Speakers Ought Speak For Parliament

Speakers Ought Speak For Parliament

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia today said questions related to the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil complaint on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should not be answered in the present sitting as it is tantamount to subjudice.

He said the issue is still a court matter and therefore, the minister involved (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak) should not answer related questions.

Pandikar said he would instead give a written explanation on his decision today to those who had submitted questions on DoJ’s civil complaint. “I have made my decision, unless there is a private motion (on the issue). “I did not make the decision in haste, but it was made after taking into account the legal implications on the country involved. “Whatever decision made in this sitting will also be known by those in other countries due the advancement of information technology,” he said.

His decision however, was questioned by Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Gelang Patah) and Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong), who claimed that the proceedings were not in Malaysia and Pandikar’s controversial ruling would set a precedent to similar cases in the future.

In his firm response, Pandikar said both DAP members of parliament should first read the written answer before making any allegations against him. “We do not want to create a negative perception before the time comes for the minister involved to answer the questions,” he said.

Source:Speakers Ought Speak For Parliament, New Straits Times


One assumes that the holder of the august office of Speaker cannot be ignorant or that at least his advisors cannot be so.

Therefore, one can only lament that he is exploiting ignorance in others and cultivating the dissemination of false information about the law.

Sub-judice rulings exist to prevent the influencing of juries in criminal cases. As Malaysian Government officials have repeatedly said, so far the 1MDB case in America is not a criminal case.

Furthermore, although the vast majority of Malaysians rightfully believe there ought to be a case under way in Malaysia relating to this matter, there is not.  So, it is not sub-judice on those grounds either.

So, sadly the Speaker is talking nonsense and it is plain it is in order to slap silence on a subject that ought to be of primary importance in Parliament and which the Prime Minister ought to answer to.

The reason for his behaviour is obvious. In real Parliamentary democracies the Speaker is chosen by MPs to represent them and ensure fair play.

In Malaysia the Speaker is appointed by none other than the Prime Minister himself, to represent him and to shut up anybody causing difficulties to him by doing their job in representing the people in Parliament.

By silencing Parliamentarians on the subject of primary importance of the day the Speaker is indulging in Activities Detrimental to Democracy, which is the charge Najib has laid against this blog for exposing his own criminal thefts.

Rabu, 12 Oktober 2016

SHAME ON 'SCUMNO'! As Singapore And Swiss Point Finger At Najib Once More

SHAME ON 'SCUMNO'! As Singapore And Swiss Point Finger At Najib Once More

12 October 2016

Politically exposed person

There were more shockwaves created by 1MDB on Tuesday with a series of coordinated announcements by Switzerland’s regulatory agency FINMA and the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

These included another banking shutdown; more arrests in Singapore; threatened arrests in Switzerland and for the first time the formal naming of Jho Low and his father in the BSI affair.

At the centre of all these charges and accusations lay the glaring, monster-payments, stolen from the Malaysian development fund and then channelled by these guilty parties into the KL bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The CEO of FINMA, Mark Branson, was quoted calling 1MDB:

“one of the largest cases of suspected corruption in recent times. The global financial system has been blatantly misused. Suspect financial flows in the billions have been shifted through banks of multiple nationalities and financial centers on three continents, and warning signals ignored.” [FINMA Statement]

However, as everyone in Malaysia knows, Najib’s UMNO party will claim that ‘no wrong-doing has been proven’ and that the Prime Minister ‘was not mentioned by name’ as the politically exposed person, described as having received $681 million into his bank account in March 2013 and then returned $620 million from KL to Singapore following the GE13 election (as admitted by Najib).

FINMA/ MAS Statements Decoded

As actions continue to be taken to clean up and punish the facilitators of Najib’s thefts officials have made little effort to disguise the transactions they are referring to.

Just last month SR had predicted that the sudden resignation of Falcon Bank CEO Eduardo Leemann signalled a chaotic situation at the bank, owned by Abu Dhabi’s Aabar fund, whose own top managers had been exposed as key collaborators in Najib’s removal of billions from Malaysia in the US Department of Justice suit of July 20th.

First arrest of a European banker over 1MDB – BSI’s HansPeter Brunner remains grounded in Singapore following questioning, his passport confiscated.

Today MAS shut down Falcon’s Singapore branch; fined the bank US$4.3 million for 14 separate breeches of money laundering regulations and sensationally announced that the Commercial Affairs Department had arrested its Swiss Manager Jens Sturzenegger.

There had been a repeated pattern of failings when it came to due diligence and Anti-Money Laundering procedures at the bank, MAS said, not only at branch level but Head Office in Switzerland.

It was then that MAS pointed its finger directly at the focal 1MDB case in this affair and at the Prime Minister’s relationship with the two Aabar fund bosses, Chairman Khadem Al Qubaisi and CEO Mohammed Al Husseiny, both arrested in Abu Dhabi on evidence of having conspired in the looting of 1MDB.

Al Husseiny was Chairman of the Board of Falcon during the period in 2013 when $681 million was passed into Najib’s KL account and then $620 million received back again a few months after the May election. And, according to MAS:

“[Falcon’s] Head Office failed to guard against conflicts of interest when managing the account of a customer who was associated with the bank’s former Board Chairman Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny. The former Chairman misled and influenced the Singapore Branch into processing the customer’s unusually large transactions despite multiple red flags.” [MAS Statement]

That customer (as any ‘idiot’ can tell, in the words of Rahman Dahlan) was Jho Low’s agent, Eric Tan, who was sending hundreds of millions of dollars to Najib Razak.

FINMA’s own parallel statement on Falcon Bank filled the gaps on MAS’s story. The Swiss said their own investigation covered the period from 2012 – 2015, identified by Sarawak Report as the period during which Aabar first assisted in the theft of billions from 1MDB, then the laundering of the money:

Falcon Private Bank Ltd. has seriously breached money laundering regulations by failing to carry out adequate background checks into transactions and business relationships associated with Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB which were booked in Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong…. The breaches in question relate to business relationships and transactions in the context of the alleged corruption scandal surrounding the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.”

Original 2012  power purchase loans by 1MDB were funnelled through Falcon – Jho Low’s side-kick Jasmine Loo received her kickback into an account at Falcon  Anyone with links to political figures is considered a ‘PEP’, including Jho Low, his father, Jasmine Loo, Eric Tan, Al Husseiny, Al Qubaisi

Not only has FINMA therefore fined Falcon CHF 2.5 million; banned the bank from entering into relationships with ‘foreign politically exposed persons’ for three years and threatened it will remove its banking licence at any further breech, the regulator also equally sensationally announced that it has launched ‘law enforcement proceedings against two of the bank’s former executive office holders’ back in Zurich.

Potential candidates for such a prosecution include the former CEO of the bank Eduardo Leemann, who had earlier lectured journalists that what the banking industry needed was less regulation not more:

In the frame? Leemann was anxious to please his Aabar bosses

The responsible Falcon top managers, FINMA explained, failed to take appropriate action over suspicious 1MDB transactions involving around $3.8 billion dollars, which triggered standard banking ‘red alerts’, even when asked by staff to do so [red alert points added in bold]

“Assets amounting to approximately USD 3.8 billion were transferred to accounts at Falcon and associated with the 1MDB Group during that period. These funds were generallymoved on quickly. The business relationships and transactions booked in Switzerland and at Falcon’s Singapore and Hong Kong branches were unusual and involved a high level of risk for the bank both through their nature and theamounts transacted. Although management’s attention was drawn to these matters, it repeatedly failed to properly investigate the business relationships, specifically those with politically exposed persons (PEPs), and high-risk transactions; “

Second major Falcon Bank transaction involved Tanore Finance Corporation’s transfers to Najib

Again FINMA focused on the known transactions related to Najib, managed by a Malaysian agent of Jho Low, called Eric Tan.

Tan was also referred to in the US Department of Justice indictment in July as the stated beneficial owner of the Tanore Finance Corporation account in Singapore, which passed the US$ 681 million to Najib in March 2013.

According to FINMA:

“Falcon also had a client relationship with a young Malaysian businessman [ERIC TAN] with links to individuals in Malaysian government circles [JHO LOW]. The bank did not verify how this individual had been able to acquire assets of USD 135 million in an extremely short period of time or why a total of USD 1.2 billion was transferred to his accounts at a later date – a transaction which was clearly at variance with the information he had provided when opening the account. Falcon also failed to adequately investigate the commercial background to pass-through transactions amounting to USD 681 million and the repayment six months later of USD 620 million via these accounts despite conflicting evidence.”[FINMA Statement]

Sarawak Report has identified the transactions referred to in this case as those linked to Tanore Finance Corporation, which passed money raised by a Goldman Sachs bond issue for 1MDB raised in March 2013 straight through to Najib’s KL bank account in one single day… ready to finance UMNO expenses for the election Najib was about to announce.

The Department of Justice has already detailed how the money raised by Goldman was transferred in the course of a single day – 21st March – through a complex financial path on to Najib. From Goldman it had been transferred to New York Mellon bank, then all on the  21st March $1.5 billion was sent to first BSI Lugano (now also closed by regulators owing to breeches linked to 1MDB); then distributed amongst three off-shore investment funds; then sent to Eric Tan’s Tanore Finance Corporation account at Falcon Bank in Singapore and then finally (all on the same day) forwarded to Najib’s AmBank account in KL

Staff at lower levels in Falcon Bank immediately raised the red alert with their senior management about this huge and suspicious transaction, says FINMA.  But, their rightful protests were ignored at the highest levels in the bank, purely because of pressure from the Najib’s Aabar co-conspirators on the Board.

“Falcon ..failed to adequately investigate the commercial background to pass-through transactions amounting to USD 681 million and the repayment six months later of USD 620 million via these accounts despite conflicting evidence. In this context, an internal Falcon email states: “We started this six months ago and now we have to go through with it – somehow”…. A number of bank employees expressed serious concerns to their managers about the relationship with the Malaysian businessman because of numerous suspicious factors and key questions remaining unanswered. One internal email relating to the transfer of USD 1.2 billion states: “We can’t find any reason/motivation/statement why this transaction has to pass through FPB [Falcon] and not from [Bank X] directly to the respective parties […].” Nevertheless, these internal warnings were not followed up satisfactorily.  Although the bank’s decision-makers were aware of these internal concerns, they decided to carry out the transactions. The focus was always on trying to process the transactions on time. One senior manager warned the Singapore branch carrying out the transactions: “Head Office is watching you”.

The DOJ indictment has already confirmed that both the Falcon Bank ex-Board Members involved, Aabar CEO Al Husseiny and Aabar Chairman Al Qubaisi received kickbacks from the 1MDB stolen money for utilising Falcon in this way.  The banks Swiss management were willing to allow it, FINMA says.

Members of the board of directors initiated the business relationships

Two representatives of the bank’s owners who were on the board of directors initiated business relationships with the 1MDB Group and with individuals from their immediate circle. The managers responsible for these relationships therefore attached great significance to them and were concerned to ensure that they operated smoothly.
According to their own statements, they assumed that the two board members represented the will of the bank’s owners as far as these relationships were concerned. Both board members pursued their own illegitimate purposes.”

Again, whilst all these parties are now facing the destruction of their careers, fines and far worse punishments, the author of the crime remains Najib Razak, protected by UMNO in KL.

Further major announcements point to Najib also

Further 1MDB related announcements the same day emphasised the criminal nature of the enterprise set up and orchestrated by Prime Minister/ Finance Minister Najib and managed through his agent Jho Taek Low.

In July Sarawak Report broke the news that UBS Bank had handled major transfers for 1MDB, through an account in the name of the fake off-shore Aabar PJS Investments Limited BVI, held in Singapore.

Sarawak Report illustrated how this UBS account was used tofunnel hundreds of millions of dollars in fast transfers (often the money remained for less than one day in the account) of 1MDB related money – the purpose being to fool the fund’s accountants that money had been returned from a bogus Cayman fund investment of non-existent profits from 1MDB’s original PetroSaudi deal.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore has announced that as a consequence of its negligence, apparently over this ’round-tripping”, UBS has been fined US$1.3 million for 13 breaches of MAS Notice 626:

“The inspections revealed several breaches of AML requirements and control lapses.  There were deficiencies in the on-boarding of new accounts, weaknesses in corroborating the source of funds, inadequate scrutiny of customers’ transactions and activities, and failure to file timely suspicious transaction reports.

UBS did not file suspiscious transaction reports on these fast flow transactions until long after

Also in the frame is the Singapore Bank, fined $10 million for ten similar breaches linked to 1MDB (Sarawak Report has yet to obtain the details).

The MAS made clear that it has yet to complete its findings on Standard Chartered Bank, which also acted as a clearing bank and receiving bank on a number of these deals and also hosted the vast Jho Low account for the bogus off-shore company Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners, which funnelled large sums to Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Rothschild account in Luxemboug and into further kickbacks to Najib’s AmBank account, to Jasmine Loo and to Al Husseiny.

Jho Low and his Dad cited in further BSI arrests

Yak Yew Chee, ex-BSI manager finally arrested for his handling of suspicious Jho Low accounts as well as SRC and 1MDB/Brazen Sky transactions

For the first time also the welter of Singapore announcements included direct referrals to the lynch-pin Jho Low and his father’s roles in the 1MDB money-laundering system as two more arrests were also made relating to the now defunct BSI.

Yak Yew Chee, who has faced questioning for months and a colleague, Yvonne Seah Yew Foong were finally arrested, making the total of employees arrested from the former bank to four. They are charged with failing to alert to suspicious transactions on Low’s account and to forgery of references for Low.

The suspicious transactions related to the $700 million stolen from 1MDB’s joint venture from PetroSaudi, according to court papers. This was the money, which had been siphoned into Low’s Good Star account in RBS Coutts Zurich. Low and his father later transferred the money a number of times before using it to buy investments in the United States under the guise of ‘family’ money, according to the DOJ.

The charges against Yak and Seah relate to the transfer on Nov 2, 2012 of US$153 million from a Coutts Zurich account of Good Star, a firm Mr Low controlled, to the BSI Singapore account of Abu Dhabi-Kuwait-Malaysia Investment Corp. Three days later, the US$153 million was moved to Mr Low Hock Peng’s BSI account. On Nov 7, US$150 million was moved to another BSI account held by Mr Jho Low. And from his account, US$110 million was transferred to a Swiss account of Selune, a firm he beneficially owned. [Straits Times]

However, whilst authorities the world over are prosecuting in all directions over 1MDB’s vast web of stolen money, Najib remains in KL ‘cleared’ of all charges by his own appointed Attorney General and UMNO party stalwarts.

Much of Malaysia’s stolen money has been spent on keeping UMNO big wigs quiet, as this global scandal just grows and grows.

Selasa, 4 Oktober 2016



Posted: 03 Oct 2016 02:13 PM PDT

“Apa yang menarik ialah Lajim yakin lompatannya ini akan menggoncang politik Sabah dengan mengambil kira situasi yang memerlukan orang Sabah  memikirkan semula hala tuju politik negeri.”

Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin tidak marah kepada saya ketika memberitahunya bahawa saya ada menulis dalam Utusan Malaysia pada 30 Julai 2012 muka surat 12 dengan tajuk"Berjayakah Lajim bersama SRF?" dengan menganggap beliau sebagai ‘KATAKBESAR’.

Bukan itu sahaja, melalui blog ini saya turut menulis satu ponting dengan tajuk “LAJIM 'KATAK BESAR' AKAN MELOMPAT JIKA DIRASAKAN PERLU MELOMPAT...”


Dia tertawa. Saya amat memahami perangainya  kerana sering minum dan bertukar fikiran bersamanya sama ada di Kuala Lumpur atau Kota Kinabalu sebelum ini.

Malah, kata-kata nista terhadapnya seperti 'gunting dalam lipatan' atau 'biawak hidup' dalam UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN) sebelum ini beliau anggap sebagai asam garam politik.

Baginya, yang penting  mengatur langkah untuk bergerak lebih jauh.

Pada  satu temu bual dengan Utusan Malaysia yang disiarkan pada 22 Januari 2010, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin pernah berkata rakyat Sabah boleh menukar pemikiran mereka dalam tempoh 24 jam untuk sokong sesebuah parti.

Contohnya USNO kalah pada 1975 pun disebabkan ramai ahli USNO masuk parti Berjaya. Dan Berjaya tewas pada 1985 pun disebabkan ahli Berjaya masuk PBS.

“Itulah uniknya rakyat Sabah, kalau nak tukar baju, dia nekad tukar,” demikian tegas Lajim.

Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Klias ittu yang pernah 'melompat' dari Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) ke UMNO pada 1994, adalah antara penyumbang penting kepada bertapaknya UMNO di Sabah.

Sejarah melakarkan Lajim membuat lompatan katak paling besar dan begitu berjasa kepada UMNO pada tahun 1994 apabila menjadi katak pertama yang melompat ke UMNO.

Sumbanannya itu membawa kepada tumbangnya kerajaan negeri yang dibentuk oleh Parti Bersatu Sabah walaupun berkuasa dengan majoriti dua kerusi Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah ketika itu.

Sejarah juga melakarkan, kerana lompatan Lajimlah jalan terbuka untuk beberapa pemimpin mendapat tempat penting dalam kerajaan Sabah dan Persekutuan. Tan Sri Sankaran Dandai, Datuk Seri Osu Sukam, Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Datuk Seri Shafie Afdal serta Datuk Seri Hanifah Aman tidak boleh menafikan betapa 'lorong' yang dibuka oleh lompatan penting Lajim itu mendatangkan peluang politik dan kedudukan dalam parti untuk mereka.

Sumbangan Lajim yang dikaitkan dengan usaha Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang ketika itu dikatakan menjadi 'dalang' kepada usaha menumbangkan PBS mempunyai sesuatu yang tersirat hingga kini khususnya hubungan Lajim dan Anwar.

Pemimpin muda yang ada dalam UMNO Sabah ketika ini sebenarnya ‘masih berhingus’ ketika itu  dan tanpa mereka sedari, kalau bukan kerana tindakan Lajim itu, mereka tidak akan berada di tempat mereka sekarang.

Kemudian Lajim melompat lagi.

Pada pertengahan Januari 2010, Lajim membuat lompatan kecil sahaja dengan mengumumkan perletakan jawatannya sebagai Ahli Majlis Tertinggi, Ketua UMNO Bahagian Beaufort dan pengerusi BN Beaufort berkuat kuasa serta-merta.

Lajim yang ketika itu  masih Timbalan Menteri Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan mengumumkan tindakannya yang diputuskan menjelang Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-13 (PRU-13) bukanlah sesuatu yang mengejutkan, jika mengikut politik ala-Sabah.

Di sebalik kata-kata dan anggapan bahawa Lajim bagaikan 'gunting dalam lipatan' atau 'biawak hidup' dalam UMNO dan BN serta pelbagai lagi, Lajim ternyata mengatur langkah untuk bergerak lebh jauh.

Jika sebelum ini Lajim membuat 'lompatan katak' selepas pilihan raya tetapi beliau tidak sabar lagi untuk melakukan lompatan ketiganya yang beliau yakin mampu  mencipta sesuatu yang baik untuk 'dirinya dan rakyat Sabah'.

Lajim yang menang kerusi Parlimen Beaufort  pada PRU12  (2009) gagal mempertahankannya pada PRU13. Bertanding atas tiket PKR pada PRU13 beliau hanya mampu menang di kerusi DUN Klias dan dilantik sebagai Ketua Pembangkang di Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah.

Ternyata lompatannya itu tidak menyebabkan lemas walaupun terjatuh di dalam Laut China Selatan. Beliau berupaya berenang ke tepian.

Kini beliau membuat lompatan kali ketiga yang agak besar. Kali ini juga dibiat sebagai persediaan menghadapi PRU14.

Kelmarin, Lajim dengan semangat dan perjuangan baru mengumumkan meninggalkan jawatannya sebagai Pengerusi Perhubungan PKR Sabah bersama=sama dengan beberapa pemimpin lain.

Lajim mengetuai lompatan yang disertai sama oleh ADUN  Moyog daripada PKR, Terrance Siambun; Setiausaha PKR Sabah, Datuk Majjol Mahap dan Ketua Wanita PKR Sabah, Johair Matlani.

Selain pemimpin PKR, turut bersama beliau ialah ADUN Likas daripada DAP, Junz Wong; Timbalan Pengerusi DAP Sabah, Joan Goh; Naib Pengerusi DAP Sabah, George Hiew dan tujuh lagi Exco DAP Sabah turut meninggalkan parti dan menyatakan soko­ngan kepada Lajim.

Lajim menjelaskan beliau dan pemimpin yang ber­samanya akan memberi fokus kepada parti politik tempatan baharu yang akan ditubuhkan nanti.

Nyata sekali beliau dan rakan-rakannya kini hilang keyakinan terhadap kemampuan PKR dan DAP untuk mendapat sokongan rakyat Sabah dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Beberapa ketua cabang PKR dikatakan turut menyertai beliau iaitu dari Kota Marudu, Papar, Tuaran, Putatan, Kimanis, Sipitang, Keningau, Beluran, Batu Sapi dan Silam.

Beliau turut mengessahkan  permohonan pada 19 September lalu kepada Jabatan Pendaftaran Pertubuhan (ROS) untuk menubuhkan sebuah parti politik baharu yang akan disertai oleh pemimpin ber­kenaan serta penyokong mereka.

Parti tersebut akan mencari jalan untuk bekerjasama dengan parti politik tempatan yang lain bagi menewaskan BN  dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Pada PRU13 lalu, BN memenangi 48 kerusi DUN daripada 60 yang dipertandingkan, PKR 7, DAP 4 dan satu kerusi STAR.

Bagi Parlimen, BN memenangi 21 kerusi daripada 25 yang dipertandingkan, DAP 2 dan satu kerusi masing-masing dimenangi PKR dan Bebas.

Beliau mengakui sudah  berbincang dengan Datuk Seri Mohd. Shafie Apdal (bekas Naib Presiden UMNO) berhubung kerjasama itu tetapi masih belum ada kata putus dibuat sehingga kini.

Apa yang menarik ialah Lajim yakin  lompatannya ini akan menggoncang politik Sabah dengan mengambil kira situasi yang memerlukan orang Sabah  memikirkan semula hala tuju politik negeri.

“Saya dan rakan-rakan telah berjumpa dengan segenap lapisan rak­yat Sabah terdiri daripada kakitangan kerajaan, petani, nelayan, peniaga dan banyak lagi yang me­nyuarakan hasrat untuk melihat parti-parti tempatan Sabah bergabung,” katanya ketika membuat pengumuman tersebut di Kota Kinabalu, kelmarin.

Bagi Lajim, Sabah perlu dibebaskan daripada belenggu 'simpanan tetap' kepada mana-mana kuasa politik yang "hanya mahukan sokongan rakyat Sabah untuk ke Putrajaya" tanpa menghormati sepenuhnya kedudukan negeri itu sebagai wilayah yang setaraf dengan negeri lain dalam Malaysia

Isnin, 3 Oktober 2016



Posted: 02 Oct 2016 01:46 PM PDT

Menteri Perdagangan Antarabangsa dan Industri, Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed diminta berterus terang mengenai punca sebenar kejatuhan tujuh anak tangga penarafan negara dalam konteks  Daya Saing Global (GCR) 2016-2017.

Laporan terbaru yang diumumkan Forum Ekonomi Dunia (WEF) baru-baru ini, menyebut Malaysia berada di kedudukan ke-25 daripada 138 ekonomi, turun dari tangga ke-18 tahun lepas tetapi kekal sebagai ekonomi paling kompetitif dalam kalangan negara membangun Asia.

Menurut Mustapa,  biarpun kedudukan terbaharu itu mengecewakan, ia sebaliknya mengukuhkan lagi pendirian kerajaan untuk mengambil pendekatan sewajarnya pada kadar lebih pantas dalam usaha mempertingkat daya saing Malaysia.

Selain itu Mustapa juga sewajarnya menjelaskan persoalan ditimbulkan oleh WEF mengenai piawaian urus tadbir serta pencegahan rasuah di Malaysia.

Sebagai anggota kanan Kabinet dan teknokrat dilatih sejak zaman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,  Mustapa juga perlu memberikan nasihat yang realistik serta praktikal kepada kerajaan.

Mustapa menyalahkan isu persepsi mengenai perkembangan politik dalam negara serta keadaan ekonomi menjadi sebahagian besar punca penurunan kedudukan Malaysia dalam laporan daya saing global.

Isu itu timbul berikutan tindakan tidak bertanggungjawab segelintir pihak yang terus menyebarkan tuduhan tidak berasas.

Wartawan veteran, Datuk A Kadir Jasin semalam  menegaskan semua pihak perlu akui bahawa sejak setahun lalu, isu urus tadbir dan rasuah berkaitan 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) muncul sebagai faktor yang mencemarkan nama negara kita di persada antarabangsa.

Beliau turut mendakwa, persekitaran makroekonomi kita juga lebih lemah daripada sebelumnya akibat faktor luaran dan dalaman. “Ini mengakibatkan kadar pertumbuhan ekonomi kita jatuh.

Beliau memetik data Jabatan Perangkaan Negara, ekonomi Malaysia yang berkembang pada kadar 4.0 peratus tahun ke tahun pada suku tahun berakhir Jun lalu, berbanding 4.2 peratus dalam suku tahun sebelum itu.

“Sudah lima suku tahun atau 15 bulan berturut-turut, pertumbuhan ekonomi kita merosot. Kenaikan kadar kepenggunaan awam dan pertambahan perbelanjaan kerajaan gagal imbangi kejatuhan eksport,” katanya.

Antara punca kemusykilan ialah amalan sesetengah pelabur asing meminjam modal daripada institusi kewangan tempatan untuk membangunkan projek mereka.

“Bagi kebanyakan kita, apabila kerajaan menghebahkan sekian banyak projek pelaburan asing diluluskan, fahaman kita ialah modal asing mengalir masuk membiayainya.

“Jadi apabila tersiar berita mengatakan syarikat pemaju hartanah Indonesia, Mulia bercadang meminjam RM1.8 bilion daripada bank-bank tempatan bagi membangunkan menara singature di kompleks kewangan TRX, Jalan Tun Razak, kita kehairanan.

“Kemusykilan kita belum terjawab. Sebalik saya mendengar ada percubaan memaksa bank-bank tertentu dalam sektor Bumiputera-Islam untuk memberi pinjaman tersebut walaupun mereka keberatan,” katanya.

A Kadir seterusnya berhujah,  bahawa sebanyak lebih kurang 10 buah syarikat negeri China telah mengumpul modal di negara kita dengan melakukan pengeluaran awam permulaan (IPO). Tetapi harga saham mereka merudum apabila diniagakan di Bursa Malaysia.

Ada yang jatuh melebihi 80 peratus dan mengalami pelbagai masalah berkaitan perakaunan.  

“Sekarang timbul pula kemusykilan baru yang juga melibat isu pelaburan. Pada 28 September lalu, agensi Bernama melaporkan bahawa daya saing global kita merosot tujuh anak tangga dari 18 kepada 25 bagi tahun 2016/17,” tegas A Kadir.

Penarafan ini dikeluarkan oleh WEF yang berpangkalan di Switzerland. WEF diakui sebagai salah sebuah badan bebas yang berwibawa dalam kegiatan menggalakkan kerjasama ekonomi antara sektor awam dan swasta.

Setiap tahun, sejak 2004, ia mengeluarkan laporan bertajuk Global Competitiveness Report yang mengukur daya saing negara-negara di dunia. Satu lagi kegiatannya ialah menganjurkan WEF setiap tahun di Davos, Switzerland.

Ada 12 kriteria yang diambil kira oleh WEF bagi mengukur daya saing sesebuah negara iaitu institusi, prasarana, persekitaran makroekonomi, kesihatan dan pendidikan utama, pendidikan tinggi dan latihan, kecekapan pasaran komoditi, kecekapan pasaran buruh, pembangunan pasaran kewangan, kesediaan teknologi, saiz pasaran, kecanggihan perniagaan dan inovasi.

Mustapa yang memetik pujian oleh WEF, antara lain, menyebut: “Dalam kalangan ekonomi membangun, Malaysia terus mendahului negara-negara serantau dengannya, walaupun mengalami kemerosotan selepas enam tahun kemajuan.”

WEF bagaimanapun menyebut bahawa Malaysia perlu memperbaiki urus tadbir (governance) dan memerangi rasuah.

Mustapa mengatakan adalah penting untuk diambil perhatian bahawa semua negara yang berada di kedudukan di atas Malaysia adalah negara maju dan berpendapatan tinggi.

Bagi A Kadir pula, di sebalik apa yang dikatakan positif oleh Mustapa,  yang menjadi persoalan sekarang ialah bukan saja penarafan (ranking) kita jatuh tujuh anak tangga.

Tetapi WEF juga mempersoalkan piawaian urus tadbir serta pencegahan rasuah di Malaysia.

Kerana itu, apa jawapan sebenar yang sepatutnya diberitahu kepada rakyat?

Jangan sampai orang biasa yang bukan pegawai tinggi atau Menteri pula yang terpaksa memberikan jawapan yang sebenarnya.

Adalah tidak elok jika Menteri atau kerajaan dilihat cuba 'menyembunyikan sesuatu' dan tiba-tiba ada pula orang biasa yang terpaksa mengajar mereka cara  memberikan jawapan yang telus dan meyakinkan!

Jumaat, 30 September 2016

Familiar Story Plays Out Against The Native Landowners of West Malaysia

Familiar Story Plays Out Against The Native Landowners of West Malaysia

30 September 2016

What means but a blockade were left to landowners ignored when they complained about illegal logging?

While Najib and his profligate wife wandered round Berlin talking mega-trade deals earlier this week, native landowners back home were experiencing a cruel injustice at the hands of the state.

It is Najib’s job to protect the rights of all his voters, yet according to the  Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC) the folk of Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan had their blockade against illegal logging on their land dismantled by armed police, who were accompanied by a gang of 30 un-uniformed thugs.

Such scenes have played out many times in Sarawak in East Malaysia as the backdrop to the wipe-out of the third largest jungle in the world, in a matter of a mere three decades.

These lands and timber do not belong to the loggers, oil palm concession holders or to their political cronies, who had organised their licences for a price, they belong to the native people who were granted these territories as their right at the foundation of Malaysia.

What we have seen in Sarawak, time and again, is the muscling of native peoples out of their land rights by brute force, backed by corrupt political figures and agencies such as the police.  Now here in West Malaysia in 2016 it turns out that we are seeing the very same forces playing out in remaining forest areas and no one is lifting a finger from Najib’s government, it seems, to counter such injustice:

‘Police’ and thugs bring down Orang Asli blockade

The blockade set up by Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Kelantan (JKOAK) on the logging road at the Petei junction to Pos Simpor was torn down yesterday by a group of3 policemen in uniform accompanied by over 30 men.

About 160 Orang Asli from the surrounding area were manning the blockade whenthey arrived at 2.20pm in 9 vehicles belonging to the logging company. The convoy allegedly brought media representatives with them.

When Mustafa b. Along, 29, representing the community refused to cooperate with them and remove the blockade, he was arrested and held in one of the vehicles. Manglo b. Tegau, 24, and Salim Tegau, 31, were subsequently arrested when the community stood their ground. The ordeal lasted 40 minutes before they were released after the blockade was removed.A chainsaw was used to dismantle the blockade despite the Orang Asli standing their ground. Thechainsaw narrowly missed cutting the leg of one of the Orang Asliman, landing to cut his slipper. During the chaos, anunidentified young man with a rifle fired twice into the air, not far from the blockade. The Orang Asli believed that it was done to frighten and provoke them.Once the blockade was dismantled, a lorry carrying logs drove from inside the barrier, forcing the Orang Asli away from the road.

The blockade was set up on 27 September after formal letters to relevant bodies failed to halt logging activities on their customary land at Pos Simpur, Pos Gob and Kuala Bering.

Last bid to protect their land

On 13 September, JKOAK sent a notice to the logging company demanding that they stop their logging operation.

On 20 September, a group of 31 Temiars went to to the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), and lodged a formal protest and complaint to them. (All this while the MTCC has been certifying that the logs form Kelantan have been obtained in a sustainable and scientific way, while recognizing indigenous rights at the same time.)

On the same day, they handed a memorandum to the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM) on the issue.

The group had also lodged complaints and reports at the Department of Orang Asli Development (JAKOA), the Prime Minister’s office, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development (KKLW) and the Kelantan state.

According to Mustafa, they were not consulted before the logging started early this year. Neither have they receive a reply to any of their complaint letters.
A police report was made at 2am today. JKOAK has confirmed that they will continue keeping up the blockade to defend their customary land. [press release by COAC].

Where was the police chief for the area during such an operation carried out using transport belonging to the logging company itself?

This clear corrupt practice, condoned by people in high places, is the people’s increasing daily lot, suffered not only in the dictatorships of East Malaysia now, but clearly in West Malaysia also.

Full scale logging, destroying Malaysia’s unique environment against the wishes of the people

This scenario is exactly what happens when a government is preoccupied only by its own survival and is willing to bribe, threaten and break every rule in order to ensure it. For Najib, the actual job of governing, which is to ensure basic justice and protection for the people, has long ceased to be a priority.

Selling more chainsaws? It is Germany’s shame that they have welcomed this kleptocrat to Berlin.

Instead, he is focussed on paying off his UMNO henchmen, so they keep supporting and protecting HIM.

Such corruption within the leadership quickly filters down, so that the smaller beasts will start looking for their own pickings, protected in the knowledge that the tainted man at the top can no longer move against their evil deeds.

Beneath them come the companies and thugs, who directly exploit vulnerable people like these landowners in Kelantan.  As for the police? They have long since learnt their role is not to uphold the law, but to service the criminal classes who are in charge – and take their cut.

This disgraceful incident is just one snapshot of the growing breakdown of law and order and exploitation of the weak that bad governance brings and which is now besetting West as well as East Malaysia.

But what does Najib care, if he can make some mega-trade deal to keep the Germans sweet?As for his wife? With an opportunity to shop in Europe, she will only have been troubled by the choice of colour of her latest hundred thousand dollar handbags.

Germany, meanwhile should keep a steady eye on theirown banksand the danger that their involvement in corruption in Malaysia could fall under with widening spotlight of 1MDB, whose bankers included Deutsche Bank itself.

Isnin, 26 September 2016

mned Dangerous - Why Sarawak Should Not Build More Mega-dams

Damned Dangerous - Why Sarawak Should Not Build More Mega-dams

26 September 2016

What benefit the destruction?

Both the massive Bakun Dam and the recently built Murum Dam still sit half-idle.

So, people might sensibly ask, why on earth is the Taib/Adenan regime so keen to keep building more and more of these white elephants in Sarawak with the announcement of Baleh just last week?

They, of course, will argue that ‘projections’ show that there will be a vast and increased demand for this hydro-power imminently. They will also promise an influx of the world’s heavy manufacturers, eager to take advantage of cheap power and bringing tens of thousands of job opportunities along with them (mainly for imported foreign workers).

Mega-dams are hyped as the engine of a ‘great leap forward’ for the state. Before it was timber, then it was oil palm, now the people are told their luck will finally come in with dam powered industrialisation.

Why not listen to the people?

But, the real incentive is self-enrichment as all the evidence shows.

The first profits are to be had from the logging of once protected regions and river basins, with all the licences as usual going to family and cronies of the political decision-makers.

Next, the huge sums  borrowed by the state to finance these monster projects are ripe for creaming off, again by those same decision-makers and their cronies.

Added to this is the fact that Sarawak’s main construction conglomerate, CMSB, is still principally owned by Taib’s own family (despite efforts by the British CEO to disguise that fact in recent years) and it holds the state monopoly on the provision of cement.

Finally, all the transportation and cabling contracts go to Taib related companies as do the construction contracts developed to utilise the power. There are simply billions of ringgit of easy profit to be made by these politically connected outfits from a nice fat mega-project like a dam.

Meanwhile, as past experience in Sarawak shows, the people themselves experience the loss of their lands and livings, dislocation to grim re-settlement areas and paltry compensation with very little economic benefit to themselves. To add insult to injury many of these displaced people (in whose name the projects were invariably promoted) still live without access to the benefits of hydro-electricy or running water.

Simply too dangerous to be trusted 

Mistakes risk catastrophe with mega-dams

Mega-dams still pose the riskiest engineering challenges of the present day and the technology remains experimental.

And yet Sarawak has engaged Chinese companies, which are only starting to develop such projects on their own and the result has been a string of safety and construction scandals.

At both Bakun and Murum Sarawak Report has uncovered evidence of unsafe practices, cover-ups, short-cuts and repeated violation of protocols with regard to the rights of affected communities.

To remind just how dangerous, slip-shod and untrustworthy the State has been in its past handling of previous dam projects, we below are linking to earlier stories reported on this site, which have yet to be resolved.

In the light of those we ask on what grounds can anyone trust the present State Government to undertake yet another such dangerous project as the Baleh Dam announced last week?

Issue 1 – Safety

Way back in 2010 Sarawak Report obtained exclusive video and documents showing that the concrete mix for the face of the monster Bakun Dam was being routinely watered down by workers without adequate quality control managers on site. Experts warned as a result of a catastrophic potential for cracking and erosion of the main wall of this the second highest dam in the world:

Caught on video – concrete at Bakun was routinely watered down on site

This issue was first denied and then ignored. So no surprise when four years later Sarawak Report learnt of similar staggering negligence with respect to the construction of the key steel monster turbines constructed in China for the Murum Dam.

Not until the turbines were delivered to the construction site and two had been installed did Sarawak Electricity’s CEO, Torstein Sjotveit, decide to check the quality of these crucial pieces of machinery and they turned out to be severely and dangerously flawed.  SEB’s response was to launch a cover-up – Sarawak only learnt about the severe and dangerous problem after the details of the devastating report were leaked by insiders to the blog:

Dangerous precedents – 75 workers died when this flawed turbine failed in Russia in 2009

Sjotveit then first denied the problem and then blamed Sarawak Report for ‘misinforming’ people that it could not be fixed on site. Experts have told Sarawak Report that SEB have taken an immense risk trying to fix the flaws on site and that failure to perform a perfect job could cause the vast engines to tear through the wall of the dam, with prospects of catastrophic damage.

The Murum cover-up was set in the context of the sudden deaths of two key senior Sarawak engineers at SEB:

However, these are by no means the only cases of dire warnings and cover-ups unearthed by Sarawak Report regarding its history of building dams.  Later in 2014 we discovered a copy of the long demanded Environmental Impact Assessment on the Murum Dam, which Taib had begun as a secret project back in 2008, without any attempt to consult on the wider safety of the project.

That EIA issued several dire warnings at the decision to build Murum Dam up river from Bakun without taking extensive steps to further strengthen the wall of the original Bakun Dam.

Murum sits 70 km up a river gorge above Bakun, meaning that any failure of Murum (caused by a faulty turbine perhaps?) would funnel a huge body of water into Bakun Lake. This was a danger not foreseen and not prepared for in the earlier construction of Bakun’s (flawed) concrete wall – risking what the EIA described as a ‘Catastrophic Cascading Failure’ of both dams.

Projected flooding in the event of a failure of Bakun

Shockingly, the EIA calculated an ‘Extreme Risk’ factor in the event of the construction of such a dam, without the said precautions, focussing on the fact that half a million people (half Sarawak’s population of native people) live within the flood range of a Bakun rupture. Even more shockingly, the state government chose to suppress the report and do nothing, while proceeding with the construction of Murum Dam:

Risk of catastrophic consequences

“The impacts of dam break [at Murum] are mentioned in Section 7.3: Such event is potentially disastrous because it is likely to result in the cascading failure of Bakun Dam downstream. The downstream impacts would be phenomenal as mentioned” [Section 7.4 Murum EIA]

Given the potential for disastrous consequences to Bakun of any failure of Murum Dam, the EIA had recommended a thorough re-evaluation of the strength of Bakun’s structures and the implementation of a civil Emergency Action Plan (see SR’suploaded copy of the report).  However, the State Government preferred to keep the matter quiet.

It is for these reasons that Sarawak Report contends that the Sarawak State Government and its agencies have demonstrated themselves not fit and trustworthy to be in charge of the construction of further dams within the state, given the self-interested motives of its politicians and their cavalier attitude to warnings and flaws within these huge and dangerous projects

Issue 2 – Human Rights

Equally shocking is the Sarawak State Government’s record with regard to the rights and compensations for native people displaced by these massive mega-structures which have already displaced thousands of people in the state.

Consultation, compensation and respect for community wishes have been ignored as projects have been driven forward in conditions of secrecy and deceit.  The scandal of Bakun is well-known, but Sarawak Report uncovered a swathe of separate scandals during the period of construction of Murum, showing that no lessons had been learnt.

It was only after the ‘Resettlement Action Plan’ was leaked to Sarawak Report, just a few weeks before the flooding of the dam that the Penan communities in the area learnt for the first time of the derisory compensation and relocation package planned by the State Government and SEB.

The Penan camped for 77 days to protest the plans

The Penan communities then camped out for a 77 day blockade to challenge the dam, before being forced out by rising waters.  So much for consultation.

The resettlement of the Penan, as subsequently covered by Sarawak Report, is yet another exercise in failure, cover-up and a callous disregard of human rights by the state authorities who continued to persist in arguing that the purpose of the dam was to ‘improve’ and ‘modernise’ the lives of these displaced communities:

Dumped! – starvation rations are supplied once a month to the isolated Murum resettlement camps

Issue 3 – Debt and Economic Consequences

For all these reasons – corruption, shoddy construction, human rights abuses – Sarawak Report believes that the State Government is not to be trusted in the construction of mega-dams.

The supposed wealth creating benefits that are so frequently advertised to mitigate such disadvantages have also been widely exposed as an economic myth and wishful thinking.

To the contrary the economic consequences of constructing mega-dams are generally disastrous for developing countries, as a body of evidence from numerous respected institutions have pointed out.

This weekend Sarawak’s own Save Rivers campaign, which led the successful rejection by the people of Baram against the previous planned mega-dam, has itself come out against the plan for Balah for these same compelling reasons.

Mega dams are obsolete and destructive. That is why thousands of dams are being dismantled in developed countries which recognise those ugly facts.

Mega dams are removed because their negative effects far outweigh the fictional benefits. That is why even in the United State of America, which is the world’s top economy, dams are continuously being removed. So, between the years 1912 to 2015, there have been 1,300 (one thousand three hundred) dams which have been removed in the USA alone….While several developed countries are removing their dams, Sarawak seems to be completely oblivious to only sane options and chose alternative energy source and stubbornly pursuing a venture which have multitudes of negative impacts

Says Director Peter Kallang in his statement summing up the situation. Instead, Chief Minister Adenan and his boss Taib Mahmud have raised billions to build these monsters and they want that money spent!

Selasa, 20 September 2016

Thai Law Is Arbitrary?

Thai Law Is Arbitrary?

20 September 2016

The decision to deny former PetroSaudi International employee Andre Xavier Justo his request to serve the remainder of his jail term in his country, Switzerland, was made “in accordance with Thai law”.

According to Thai Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya, under the country’s law, anyone requesting to transfer the remainder of his jail sentence must have “not less than one year” left in his jail term.

“But the remainder of the jail term of this prisoner (Justo) is nine months, which did not meet the transfer (of prisoner) treaty law. Thus, the decision to deny the request.”

“This law does not discriminate against anyone, and is effective for every prisoner who is eligible for the transfer. The Correctional Department’s decision is in accordance with the rule of law,” he told Bernama in a telephone interview today.

Source:Thai Law Is Arbitrary?, Bernama


Unfortunately, the rest of the world is coming to the conclusion that Thai law is arbitrary.

First, an ‘amnesty’ reduces a sentence and promises are made that a prisoner will be released home.

Then (following meetings with Najib who wants this witness silenced) there is a u-turn and now an announcement that the reduction in the term has  actually EXTENDED the time the hostage remains in Thailand.

Xavier Justo was convicted on the basis of a forced, false confession, taken under conditions of blackmail in his jail by a paid agent of PetroSaudi, whom the Thai legal system had apparently allowed to usurp their due process.

Justo was denied his lawyer present and told if he cooperated in making this confession, then PetroSaudi would get him out.

Under which Thai law was this permitted?

Isnin, 19 September 2016

BN 'NGO Leader' Issues Death Threat to Sarawak Report Editor - As Pahang MB Gets The Chop!

BN 'NGO Leader' Issues Death Threat to Sarawak Report Editor - As Pahang MB Gets The Chop!

19 September 2016

It seems that Najib’s regime has entered a killer phase.

Sarawak Report has learnt that the removal of Pahang Menteri Besar, Adnan Yaakob, is scheduled for this coming Wednesday 21st September, when his replacement is due to be sworn in.

Adanan Yaakob, ex-Pahang Menteri Besar

Although just days ago the state leader had demonstrated that he was in the peak of health (wielding a pen between his toes to make his point) he has apparently lost the trust of Rosmah Mansor.

So chop!

Adnan himself is yet to have been told that the change would be so sudden, Sarawak Report can exclusively reveal.

Three other UMNO state leaders have also been marked out for a similar termination, with snap elections now planned to consolidate the position of the beleaguered Prime Minister and his wife, who are facing a powerful coalition of disaffected forces in the wake of the 1MDB exposes.

‘Interference’ brings death!

Meanwhile, Sarawak Report’s earlier revelations regarding Najib’s interference in the case of whistleblower Xavier Justo, who had been due for transfer back home to Switzerland from Thailand, has received a poisonous response from an ‘NGO’ also known to be closely tied to Rosmah Mansor (wife of the Prime Minister).

Respect Najib, Support BN – Rao’s job

Meeting with the Thai Premier last week Najib had demanded that the neighbouring country should cancel Justo’s transfer back home to Switzerland, in return for key concessions on cross border cooperation.

Justo, who says he was imprisoned under false charges brought by the 1MDB joint venture partner PetroSaudi, is a key witness against the Malaysian Prime Minister in the global investigations into 1MDB.

He was due to be returned to Switzerland under prisoner transfer protocols at the end of last month.

However, following Najib’s intervention,  the Thais have now indicated they will hold on to their controversial prisoner.

In a ‘compromise solution’ they rejected a bid by Najib to extradite the top informant back to an uncertain fate in Malaysia.

The development has triggered a diplomatic row with outraged Swiss officials, who had negotiated the transfer under existing protocols and it threatens a political showdown with Thailand’s closest European ally.

Plainly, Najib’s cyber-army are unhappy with Sarawak Report’s ‘interfering’ revelations about Najib’s interference. Tweeting Theresa May, the British Army and BBC News today, Ramesh Rao threatened:

“Better to advise Clare @ Sarawak Report to stay away from Malaysia affairs (sic), before we Malaysians Catch n Burn her alive”

The planned transfer was cancelled after Najib put the issue on the agenda of bi-lateral negotiations – but Rao says SR lied

Just a joke?

It might be tempting to dismiss this fellow as just a joke, were he not so fully funded.

Ramesh Rao press conferences have become a regular but sinister entertainment in Malaysia – Rao (left) and Lester Melanyi

Rao flew to the UK earlier this year, with a fellow ‘NGO’ member, attempting to ‘report’ Sarawak Report’s Editor to the UK police. They referred him to the Malaysian High Commission, before he flew tweeting home to KL.

The same Ramesh Rao was involved in approaching DI Bala and extracting a reversal of his Statutory Declaration way back in the 2006 Altantuya murder case, according to documentation viewed by Sarawak Report.

This established him in the inner circle of Rosmah/ Najib supporters and again last year it was Ramesh Rao who organised a press conference at which Bala’s widow Selvi was cornered into an ‘apology’ to Najib and Rosmah, for which she had been paid. Selvi later retracted that apology to an Australian TV crew and said she had been tricked.

Selvi later said she had been tricked for cash

The same Ramesh Rao had likewise paid the bankrupt, stroke victim, former Sarawak journalist Lester Melanyi to issue statements claiming Sarawak Report hired forgers.

The claims were comprehensively disproved, after it was shown that Lester had produced bogus photographs of the alleged forgers.

Despite being comprehensively debunked, these bogus allegations were nevertheless immediately used by the Communications Ministry as grounds for issuing an unprecedented online ban, blocking the Sarawak Report website in Malaysia.

Finally, it was Ramesh Rao who again presented to the media the so-called ‘confession’ videos produced by the Altantuya hitman, Najib Razak’s bodyguard, Sirul Azhar Umar from his Australian jail cell.

Sirul’s notorious ‘sarong’ video from jail

The purpose of these videos were once again to produce exonerations for Najib from the man who had earlier threatened to blackmail the Prime Minister by ‘spilling the beans’ on who had ordered the murder.

So, when the mysteriously well-funded Ramesh Rao issues death threats like those today, they are better publicised, since he is well-connected in Malaysia.

Most threatened by the exhibition of such malign and murderous intentions is Xavier Justo himself, a man many Najib-supporting Malaysians may very well wish dead – and who is presently insufficiently protected in a crowded cell in Bangkok, Thailand.

Ahad, 18 September 2016

Confirmed - Najib Demanded That Thailand Should Not Release Justo!

Confirmed - Najib Demanded That Thailand Should Not Release Justo!

18 September 2016

Najib has dangled projects like a high speed train in Thailand – but in return demanded extradition of key 1MDB witness Xavier Justo

Switzerland’sLe Temps newspaperhas today cited Swiss official sources as confirming that Malaysia’s Najib Razak took the opportunity of his official visit to Thailand and key talks on border cooperation, in order to personally interfere in the case of Swiss national Xavier Justo.

Justo is a key witness in the 1MDB scandal, which has now directly implicated Razak in stealing billions from Malaysia’s development fund and diverting much of the money into his own personal bank accounts in KL.

The US Department of Justice has traced much of the rest of the stolen cash to key co-conspirators, in particular Najib’s proxy in 1MDB, Jho Low, and also his stepson Riza Aziz, who bought multi-million dollar properties and funded the film Wolf of Wall Street with the money.

Jho Low, who was named in the DOJ indictment and has remained a fugitive from Malaysia for at least a year, also attended the talks in Thailand, according to Le Temps.

Political Prisoner

Malaysian fugitive Jho Low joined Rosmah and Najib in Thailand – he is believed to have established a base in Bangkok

The news confirms that Najib is seeking to make this witness against him into a political prisoner in a third country.  It is also plain he is prepared to use the Malaysian national interest in cross border negotiations as a bargaining chip to get his way.

Thailand is desperate to build a wall between the two territories to counter terrorists and is also interested in a high-speed rail link to Singapore.  It has now been learnt that Najib had sought as part of any deal to force the Thais to extradite Justo on spurious legal grounds to Malaysia!

The gambit was made by the Malaysian Prime Minister at a top level meeting with the Thai Premier, but was apparently rejected, not least on the grounds that the Swiss and also American authorities have been pressing for Justo to be allowed to serve the remainder of his controversial sentence back home in Switzerland.

Under the well established terms of bi-lateral agreements on prisoner transfers between the two countries, Justo should by now already have been released by the Thais in any case. Private assurances have been given to the Swiss that the transfer would take place before the middle of the month.

However, the thwarted Najib is understood to have demanded that if he could not lay hands on Justo then the Thais must at least prevent the Swiss recovering their national either!  Yesterday, he appeared to have achieved his end as the Thai authorities signalled to the Swiss that under amended rules they considered him no longer eligible for release (his remaining sentence now being less than a year).

Diplomatic showdown!

Didier Burkhalter, the Swiss Foreign Minister said to be mulling an unprecedented visit to Bangkok to demand the return of their political prisoner!

The U-turn is believed to have caused consternation and fury in Berne, where the Swiss Government plainly now regard their national as being held as a political prisoner for criminal reasons.

The case against Justo has now been exposed as highly flawed, in that he was forced into a confession by his accusers from the company PetroSaudi, who are highly implicated in the 1MDB case and who were allowed undue interference in the case.

Both the Swiss and the Thai authorities, who were previously led to believe that Justo had attempted to extort money and was involved in forging data, now realise that his disclosures were correct and have provided vital evidence exposing major thefts from the Malaysian public purse.

According to Le Temps, if Justo remains a victim of Malaysia’s cover-up, his Swiss lawyers have made clear that there will be open protests at the highest level. The Swiss Foreign Minister has himself indicated that he is willing to fly personally to Bangkok on an unprecedented mission to demand the return of their national, say sources of Le Temps.

Such a move would undoubtedly provoke world headlines and be bad news for Thailand’s reputation as a safe tourism destination. It would also damage the long-standing relationship with the Thai King’s favourite European country.

But, it is clear that on this issue the Swiss, together with the Americans, are serious.

Planned extradition to Malayia?

What Najib had planned to gain by extradition can only be surmised.

Judging by Malaysia’s past treatment of prisoners with evidence against Najib, showcase apologies are likely to have been extracted in the run-up to the next election. Doubtless also, Justo would be tried under the panoply of new ‘anti-terror’ laws and the legislation against ‘activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy’ (eg embarrassing the Prime Minister) which can allow imprisonment for 20 years.

The Swiss are plainly deeply anxious that Najib will continue to attempt to extract this witness against him from neighbouring Thailand, in a case that looks set to pitch western democracies and legal systems up against Najib’s now arbitrary government in Malaysia.

Read a translation of theLe Tempsarticle below:

Thailand refuses to hand over to Switzerland the number one witness in the 1MDB scandal:

During an official visit to Bangkok the Malaysian Head of State Najib Razak cut short the transfer procedure of Xavier Justo, the Genevois responsible for triggering the theft of the century case in  Southeast Asia. It has forced all hands to a diplomatic battle within the Swiss authorities

Xavier Justo, the star witness in a case of misappropriation of Malaysian public money, was on the verge of getting his transfer from the Asian prison to Switzerland. Thai authorities have finally decided to keep him in his cell in Bangkok. Reason given: the Genevan has no more than a year to serve.

“My reading of this decision is that it derives more from political rather than legal considerations. I thank the Swiss authorities still have avoided the worst, “says Christian Lüscher, Xavier Justo’s lawyer. The worst? According to our information, it appears that Thailand yielded to Swiss pressure not to deliver the Genevan prisoner to Malaysia, where his life was endangered. But not to lose face with its main regional partner, Bangkok would in return reject his request for transfer to Switzerland.

Special Task Force:

The green light for the transfer of Xavier Justo, by virtue of a bilateral agreement existing between Switzerland and Thailand, was due on 31 August. The deadline was extended by two weeks. Finally the verdict did not arrive until Friday. Was that owing to it being the day after the departure of Prime Minister Najib Razak after the official visit to Bangkok or coincidence? Our sources indicate that the strong man of Kuala Lumpur was accompanied by Jho Low, a central character in this vast matter of alleged corruption and whose identity appears in particular in the investigation of the US court documents.

According to our information, Berne is ready to send out the big guns, diplomatically speaking, to attempt to gain reason from Thailand. It would notably include sending Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter personally over to Bangkok.

Sentence reduced by half:

Xavier Justo had drawn from the server of the company PetroSaudi compromising data related to the financial scandal of the Malaysian fund 1MDB, which he delivered to the press. He was sentenced to three years in civilian prison for having, according to Thai justice, tried to blackmail his former employer. The former Director of the multinational company in Geneva had received, after his transfer request, a halving of his sentence for good behavior (royal pardon).

For her part, Laura Justo, who gave up everything to Thailand to seek refuge in Switzerland, claims innocence on behalf of her husband. She accuses PetroSaudi of extorting false confessions from her husband and to have threatened retaliation against her if she spoke out about it.

Jumaat, 16 September 2016

Unrepentant Mike Smith!

Unrepentant Mike Smith!

15 September 2016

Despite criticism of Smith’s super-regional Asia strategy while running ANZ, the former senior HSBC executive is still one of Australia’s best-connected businessmen in the region …

Fresh from a three-month break in Europe and his 60th birthday celebrations over the weekend, Smith is turning his attention back to Asia in his latest “ambassadorial” role advising PricewaterhouseCoopers. It is not dissimilar to the advisory role he currently has with ANZ.

Smith’s successor, Shayne Elliott, is reining in ANZ’s investment in Asia although the bank says it is not back tracking. While his critics will point to Smith’s Asia strategy as a reason why he should not be advising companies on doing business in Asia, Smith shrugs off that kind of commentary as “uninformed” and that it was always an investment that played to the medium to long term. “We are oppressed by this social sound bite these days where next Thursday is long term. If you think like that you are going to come a cropper….

Smith believes Australian companies are in danger of missing the boat in Asia because they are more comfortable in the English-speaking market and see the region as too risky.

“It is not a question of should I get closer to Asia. The question the boards should be asking themselves is can they afford not to?”


Source: Unrepentant Mike Smith!, Financial Review


Today it has emerged that Arianne de Rothschild, President of Edmond de Rothschild BPERE and a swathe of top brass at the bank handed in their notice on July 20th. That was the day of the US Department of Justice filing which implicated their bank in the laundering of money stolen from 1MDB.

The same indictment squarely implicated ANZ (of which Mike Smith was CEO at the relevant time) for managing a series of eye-popping transactions into Najib Razak’s billion dollar AmBank account.

ANZ is the major shareholder of AmBank and as part of Mike Smith’s ‘Asia expansion’ all the most senior officers in KL were staff on secondment from ANZ.

The former owner of AmBank, Hussein Najadi, had raised loud concerns about what was going on at the bank, but Mike and his team failed to take notice. They didn’t even bother to check further when Najidi was shot dead and his son began a crusade to highlight the suspicious circumstances linked to the bank.

Eventually, after Sarawak Report leaked the information on Najib’s shocking accounts and after several regulatory investigations were launched, Smith and his team sacked a couple of junior operatives who had managed Najib’s accounts. Later, in September of last year he too decided to take an early retirement.

But, now he is back preaching! He is plainly confident that Australian regulators will continue to look the other way over this disgraceful episode.  But, those seeking his advice should remember it’s not about whether you should do business with Asia, but HOW you do that business which matters.