Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have only gotten a relative sum amounting to “peanuts” if he had received US$30 million (RM90,899,927.28 million at the time of the charge) from multi-billion ringgit bonds raised by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in comparison to funds amounting to US$577 million diverted from 1MDB bonds to fugitive Low Taek Jho and a fake Aabar entity, Najib’s lawyer suggested today.
Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said this while cross-examining the 12th prosecution witness Azmi Tahir.
Azmi, a former chief financial officer of 1MDB, was testifying in Najib’s power abuse and money laundering trial involving the alleged misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.
Shafee was going through the transactions that followed after 1MDB subsidiary 1MDB Energy Limited (1MEL) took on debt via the issuance of a US$1.75 billion bond in May 2012 in order to fund the purchase of an independent power producer.
Shafee listed various transactions in a chart he showed to Azmi, including how US$907.5 million of the US$1.75 billion bond was paid out on May 22, 2012 to 1MEL, and that a sum of close to US$577 million was on the same day then transferred to a British Virgin Islands company known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited — now known to be a fake entity that had a strikingly similar name to the actual company Aabar Investments PJS.
Wow! For the first time in the seven years it has taken (almost to the day) to get this far in holding Malaysia’s crook ex-Prime Minister to account he (or at least his counsel) has admitted that yes he did filch from the fund.
But…. according to Mr Shafee (who is himself waiting to be tried for filching money also) Najib should be given credit for only taking $30 million out of a trail that saw $577 million stolen in total from the first bond issue the fund took out through Abu Dhabi using Goldman Sachs.
What a modest man his client turns out to be… by comparison, is the argument with which Shafee seeks to beguile the court and melt the hearts of the Malaysian people and the world. Just a poxy $30 million when in his position he could have taken so much more.
Except, Najib did take a whole lot more as everyone knows full well and as will be made perfectly clear at later stages of the trial when the full picture of larceny is dissected. Remember the $681 million that went into Najib’s account just two days after the third and final bond was raised – that came from 1MDB and from that bond issue.
What’s more other sums were pouring into the same KL account – $170 million from Julius Baer in Hong Kong was one – that took the PM’s personal war chest to over a billion dollars in advance of GE 13 before he later shipped the majority back out of the country and into a swathe of hiding places round the globe.
And what about the half billion that went to his wife’s diamond and jewellery habit? Does that not count? And the quarter of a million to his step son’s movies and who really owned that yacht?
In short, what an idiot admission to have finally made after years of claiming first no money had disappeared from the fund, then that it had all been the scheme of Jho Low!
The State Government has appointed Sabah Foundation as a local partner to implement the controversial carbon trading deal known as the Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA).Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said that the state Cabinet endorsed the decision last Wednesday for Sabah Foundation to work closely with Singapore-based firm Hoch Standard Pte Ltd over the NCA.“Hoch Standard will assist Sabah Foundation in this new role by providing the necessary technology and know-how to ensure the implementation of the NCA will be done accordingly,” he said.
“Sabah Foundation will sign a separate service agreement with Hoch Standard. Under the service agreement, Hoch Standard is expected to pay Sabah Foundation 5 per cent of its gross revenue from the NCA for the Sabah Foundation’s activities related to the NCA.”It is believed that Hoch Standard will be paid some 30 per cent of earnings from the carbon deal.Sabah Foundation is a state body that was set up to further educational opportunities for Sabahans but has since diversified into other economic investments and activities to boost its income.
Given the deputy chief minister’s exposed position over this notorious affair you might have thought the Sabah state government would have wheeled out someone else to make this announcement about an alleged state cabinet decision to keep the discredited Carbon Cowboy scam alive (aka the Nature Conservation Agreement).
However, clearly no one else is prepared to touch the issue. Equally clearly Sabah’s deputy CM has remained determined to double down and leverage his ‘kingmaker’ position as the defector who has kept the present coalition in office by keeping alive this this astonishingly outrageous but lucrative proposal.
The billions in potential private profit earmarked under this so-called NCA Agreement are due to go to an anonymously owned BVI company called Lionsgate. Perhaps Mr Kitingan can enlighten Sabahans as to the shareholders given it is he who has driven this deal? So far he has refused to do so.
Meanwhile, his latest ploy is to attempt to fig leaf the “Incomplete”, “illegal”, “inequitable”, “absurd”, “unfair” arrangement (to quote Sabah’s own Attorney General) by dragging the already discredited Yayasan Sabah into the mix as the new ‘local partner’. This is an organisation that has sadly been enmeshed in numerous timber kickback scandals over the years as the forests it was meant to conserve were mowed down.
Indeed, some of those scandals involved the very same Mr Kitingan who was charged in 1990 with receiving over a million ringgit in timber kickbacks whilst himself director of the Yayasan foundation (his brother being chief minister of the state). His aide de camp at Yayasan was the same Stan Lassa Golokin who is now the ‘authorised representative’ of the Singapore private company Hoch Standard Pty Ltd that is party to the ‘NCA’.
As for the laughable claim that “Hoch Standard will assist Sabah Foundation in this new role by providing the necessary technology and know-how” might one remind readers that Hoch Standard is a one thousand dollar special purpose vehicle set up to sign the agreement that gives it a guaranteed 30% of the putative $80 billion that Sabah could stand to earn in profits from carbon sales under this arrangement. All costs of the arrangement will be carried by the state and there is a cast iron penalty clause.
Hoch Standard therefore is a shell company without staff, expertise, resources or anything else beyond the dubious record of Mr Golokin to recommend it as an advisor to Yayasan Sabah. By agreeing now that in return Hoch Standard will pay 5% of its loot to the foundation Kitingan has merely agreed to a minor haircut on the deal in what he plainly sees as a compromise having been caught red handed trying to loot the state.
Everyone knows the situation is preposterous and outrageously corrupted. However, the present Sabah government is in hock to Kanga Kitingan and his Hoch Standard, Lionsgate consortium. So, rather than bring in the cops they are giving in, in just the same manner they let the timber kickback king Musa Aman off his string of kleptocracy charges.
Meanwhile, the same Kitingan who achieved his good election result by preaching racial politics against Sabah’s settlers is now abandoning those voters by agreeing to tackle the necessary concessions he had promised to oppose.
If the present state government is unable to act against Kitingan Sabahans should accept the fact that corrupt actors will never work in the public interest and vote the lot of them back out.
Mambong assemblyman Datuk Dr Jerip Susil has revealed that Sarawak might pass a law or Bill on carbon credit trading this year.
When that happens, the state will be the first in Malaysia to do so.
Dr Jerip, who is also Assistant Transport Minister said, “This year, Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg is going to enact a law or Bill to ensure that there is carbon credit trading (in the state). By June this year, there will be laws to ensure how to do carbon credit trading. It will be one of the big things coming this year.
“Our neighbouring country, Indonesia is already far ahead with carbon credit trading.
“After all, with the climate changes in the world, there are people who are going to pay a certain amount of money for preservation of forest and timber in the jungles. But we need laws for that, so either by May or June, the law will be there..
“There is also going to be a huge conference in Sarawak this year on how to do environmental sustainability in all these areas because Borneo is one of the oldest rainforests that still exist (in the world),” he said during the official launch of the new logo for Persatuan Usahawan Bidayuh Penrissen (PUBP) at a renowned hotel here on Saturday (Feb 19).
“Imagine all the Bungs – Bung Penrissen, Bung Bratak, Bung Sepit – all the mountains, all the Tapang trees being preserved and every Tapang tree being paid five United States dollars every year,” added the assistant minister.
Back in 2006 the Editor of Sarawak Report was invited to Sarawak to attend a grand ‘Environment’ Conference…. about conserving the oldest rainforest in the world.
What she discovered was that the then Chief Minister, having grabbed control of all the levers of power and positions of state, had in fact been mowing down the 150 million rainforest as fast as he could cash it in. In the process he had magically become a multi-billionaire. Sarawak Report was formed and has been watching these greedy hypocrites ever since.
Now his successor has plainly decided to follow much the same playbook. Having conducted a preposterously stage-managed election in the middle of Covid to secure his position against his rivals Abang Jo has now likewise taken control of every position worth having in the government to make absolutely sure no one can question anything he does. Parliament tends to sit for a fortnight a year in Sarawak.
However, now that most of the once abundant rainforest is in fact destroyed he is looking to his various options. On the one had he is seeking to destroy what little jungle is left along the borders with Indonesia where his government this week said it was applying to Putrajaya to get support to ‘develop’ the region to take advantage of Indonesia’s plans to move huge numbers of people to destroy the other side of the border to build a new capital (having sunk the previous one).
On the other he hopes to make money out of pretending there is jungle to claim carbon credits off besides the areas he is seeking to log and destroy.
A basic education is needed for these power grabbers who are blinded by the dollar signs in their eyes. REDD credits are not going to be offered to a country who destroys what jungle they have, whilst promising to grow something somewhere else. And palm oil plantations do not count as ‘conserving jungle’ either – nor do Acacia or other plantations. To brag about the oldest jungle in the world when you are responsible for having destroyed it is an obnoxious advertisement for the rest of the world as well.
The present rulers in Sarawak do not love nature, the trees or the people and animals they love cash. They want all the symbols of extreme wealth without realising these are things you cannot eat and that the resources they are destroying are finite. However, those who are proposing to pay for carbon credits do understand these things and they will not invest in a sham that does them no favours with regulators or their governments.
It is time these greedy old men were replaced by a more sensitive and educated younger generation who might just be able to repair some of the epic damage that has been done to save a living habitat for their own children and beyond.
Everything is alright about Sabah’s Nature Conservation Agreement (NCA), said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
“It is going good (well). Those who make noise, they do not understand or because they have some personal or private interests, that is why they said something.
“Actually nothing is not good, everything is good, the only thing is that we do not open about it (NCA) earlier,” he told reporters after the launching of “We Be-Leaf” initiative programme at a preschool here.
Last year, the 100-year agreement was secretly signed between Sabah government and Singapore’s private firm Hoch Standard that would look into carbon and nature trade deals involving up to 2 million hectares of state land.
Jeffrey, who is also state Agriculture and Fisheries Minister, had said that the Chief Minister had instructed him to realise the carbon trade deal.
Following the expose, conservationists and politicians have come forward to object to the deal due to lack of transparency.
So, the Deputy Chief Minister has had the brass necked cheek to accuse those who have raised the alarm over the disgraceful secret plot to put billions of dollars worth of Sabah’s carbon assets into the hands of a private company of having “personal interests” in the matter!
Thus does he highlight the exact concern about his own management of the shady arrangement which his own government’s Attorney General has now slammed as “Incomplete”, “illegal”, “inequitable”, “absurd” and “unfair”.
However, in the process of making this libellous allegation against his critics, before hilariously claiming he can say no more because the matter is ‘sub judice’ (it is not yet a criminal case so sub juice does not apply), Kitingan made a major admission. He said that the Chief Minister had put him in charge of the whole process of setting up this carbon trade deal.
So we are now confirmed that Kitingan is indeed the man responsible for this entire scandalous state of affairs. He drove through the secret ‘negotiated’ contract that was NOT put to tender nor any form of consultation either. He CHOSE the private company Hoch Standard with whom this deal that is so contrary to the interests of the people of Sabah was made.
So, Mr Kitingan, who is the anonymous shareholder of Hoch Standard, namely the beneficial owner of Lionsgate in the British Virgin Islands? If anyone knows the answer it has to be you.
It is this anonymous entity that holds the ‘private and personal interest’ in this bogus Nature Conservation Agreement not those who rightly criticised the deal for all the reasons that have been pointed out by the state’s own chief law officer.
Unless Mr Kitingan is prepared to stop hiding behind his ludicrous and baseless excuse that the matter is now the subject of a civil action (which accords no privacy rights in the manner he suggests) and unless he is prepared to provide this simple piece of what ought to be public information about who owns Lionsgate, then the people of Sabah are fully entitled to come to an obvious conclusion.
That conclusion would be that the owner is either Mr Kitingan himself or interests connected to him. In short, that the “private and personal interest’ is his own.
A senior officer, Rostam Affendi Salleh, then wrote to MACC chief commissioner Azam Baki to inform him of their doubts. A police report was also lodged by MACC, naming Shahrum, Khirulnizam and two others as suspects in the alleged wrongdoing.
Shahrum was subsequently arrested.
In the course of their investigation, police found that he had used the seized cash and made several purchases, including:
The court ordered all the assets to be forfeited by the government.
So, a junior MACC officer stole over a million ringgit of money confiscated from the country’s crooked spy boss, stolen from the country’s crooked prime minister and he spent it on luxuries and show off tat.
What to expect when those he learns from and looks up to all behave in the same childish and undignified way, whilst so many are living off the proceeds of dishonesty and crime?
Everywhere one looks amongst Malaysia’s leadership you see a combination of loud claims of religiosity followed by the worst possible spoilt brat behaviour, immorality and showing off. Whether it is the son of the leader of the PAS ‘Islamic’ Party happy to pose on expensive super-bikes (apparently it wasn’t his), the son of the would-be returning prime minister (of Wolf of Wall Street fame), the family of Taib Mahmud (or just about any Sarawak politician) or the son of the Sultan of Johor (gold jet) the example shown is of shallow, undignified and childish behaviour – and the showing off of questionable wealth.
There is one significant difference. The lowly copycat has been scooped up in a trice, was convicted and punishment in the form of jail and a lashing, whilst the boastful bullies who run the country continue to strut about flaunting their impunity and brushing aside election rejection like a fly on their sleeves.
Justice now urgently needs to be seen to apply to all in Malaysia – starting with the crooked ex-PM – or else the wrath of an abused Almighty will imminently afflict the nation in the form of economic collapse, famine, infighting and all the other consequences of poor governance and resource destruction.
Outrage as Malaysian female minister advises husbands to beat their ‘stubborn’ wives ‘gently’ to discipline them for ‘unruly’ behaviour
A Malaysian female minister has sparked outrage after she advised husbands to beat their ‘stubborn’ wives ‘gently’ to discipline them for ‘unruly’ behaviour.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff, the deputy minister for women, family and community development, was accused of ‘normalising’ domestic violence by urging men to strike their wives to show how strict he is and ‘how much he wants her to change’.
In a two-minute video posted on Instagram called ‘Mother’s Tips’, the deputy minister firstly advised husbands to ‘discipline’ their ‘stubborn’ wives by speaking to them.
As the news media across Europe falls around in disbelief over the words of this ‘woman’s’ minister from Malaysia, Sarawak Report would seek to suggest her views do NOT represent most women of her country.
But, certainly it does resonate for quite a lot of reactionary men to whom she plainly wants to pander within her own government.
Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff does not articulate what qualifies one as a ‘disobedient’ wife during her homily of advice. Given that she suggests removal from the marital bed as an early punishment one assumes it is not reluctance towards one’s dear beloved.
However, in the eyes of most of the sort of men who would agree with her line of thinking, her own entire lifestyle is surely utterly disobedient in itself?
What does Ms Yusoff think she is doing putting herself forward as a decision making official in her country’s Parliament when there is a kitchen to cook in, a house to clean and more babies to produce or be looked after?
She appears to be extremely above herself riding around in a ministerial car, going to an office, giving speeches, being photographed and telling others what to do. This is man’s work!
Indeed, Ms Yusof’s husband appears to have been neglectful of his duties in not reining her in much sooner…. although perhaps the salary is nice to have?
She should take a deep breath, because according to her own advice she could be in for a gentle beating and a change of quarters and daily duties!
Through a press release on Jan 12, Azam’s lawyer Megat Abdul Munir, announced the filing of the defamation action. The MACC chief is suing Lalitha in his personal capacity…
Lalitha has since said she stood by her reports and criticised the MACC’s attempt to rope in the police to investigate her.
Azam came under the spotlight over his ownership of 1,930,000 shares in Gets Global Berhad (previously KBES Berhad) on April 30, 2015, worth around RM772,000 at the time.
The share ownership in 2015 and 2016 raised questions on whether it is commensurate with his income as a public servant.
In a special press conference on Jan 5, Azam did not dispute the ownership of the shares but claimed they were bought in his name by his brother. The shares have since been transferred to his brother.
Nearly a week later, on Jan 18, the Securities Commission (SC) announced that it had concludedits inquiry into the case and that it is unable to conclusively establish that a breach under Section 25(4) of the Securities Industry (Central Depositories) Act 1991 (SICDA) had occurred.
However, following criticism, the SC clarified that Azam had “control” over his own trading account and found no evidence of proxy trading.
It is a very common reaction for powerful males to move to sue to shut up criticism that has resonated with the public. It provides a short term answer to the problem, allowing them to say “It wasn’t true and I have sued”.
After that, they hope, the noise will die down and their big bucks will force a settlement after which they can tell their questioners “I sorted that person out in court. It was all lies”.
Except, the risk in this tactic is the act of putting a nose around one’s neck that can pull very tight indeed…. especially if they are indeed guilty of the matter they have been criticised for and if the person they are suing happens to be a determined lady.
In this case Azam seemed to have gained satisfaction from his enforcement colleagues at the SEC who backed out of prosecuting him for breaking rules (the police having rightly refused to take criminal action against Lalitha over a minor flaw in her CV – which Azam had outrageously attempted to get them to do).
However, now they have been pressed as to why they let the MACC chief off the hook on what appears to have been a blatant breach of stockmarket rules – i.e. allowing his brother to use his account – the SEC have turned out to be less than helpful after all.
The reason they let him off the hook, it is now explained, is because he WASN’T allowing his brother to use his account as he was using it himself! With that Azam’s entire defence has gone pouf in terms of his rebuttals against Lalitha whom he is suing for writing about those share deals.
The court case is ongoing and the noose just tightened. Looks like Lalitha is going nowhere and the noise is as loud as ever!
MACC has lodged another police report against whistleblower Lalitha Kunaratnam, who is currently fighting a lawsuit brought by its chief commissioner Azam Baki.
This time, an MACC officer claimed that Lalitha had lied to the court by stating that she is a researcher with the Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center).
The whistleblower, who is being sued by Azam for write-ups about his share ownership in public-listed companies, had put the job description in her statement of defence.
However, MACC is disputing Lalitha’s claim, saying that she was no longer an employee of C4 Center since Dec 2020.
So the brave big boys of the MACC are not content with merely suing young Lalitha in a civil court, they have decided on a criminal charge and the best crime they have been able to come up with is that she pumped her CV!
Lalitha allegedly claimed she worked longer as a researcher for C4 than was actually the case, possibly to give herself a little more sense of backing as she exposed the highly questionable and extraordinarily well funded share dealing of the MACC boss.
The MACC boss says it wasn’t him but his brother using his account (for reasons unexplained). This is against the law but the SEC has said it has found nothing wrong.
However, the public remain outraged and the MACC have clearly decided that the only way to solve their problems is to destroy Lalitha in every way possible. Maybe they think this will deter other whistleblowers…. just in case there might be any chance of other less than flattering information out there about the MACC hierarchy? Just a thought.
So, every parent (including those at the MACC) whose budding young off-spring might have somewhat over-burnished their credentials as they search for jobs had better now live in fear. A police report might loom from the agency set up to investigate high level corruption by officials of the state.
What we can be certain (after a solid track record of blindness in this regard) is that the legions of top politicians and officials who have been caught blatantly lying about their bogus qualifications and degrees will remain untouched.
No police reports from the MACC against them!
The Orang Asli community in Kelantan has blamed a recent tiger attack on the loss of habitat due to logging but state Forestry Department director Abdul Khalim Abu Samah has a contrarian view.
Khalim argued areas that are deforested are actually good for tigers.
He claimed that after an area is deforested, new vegetation will grow which will encourage the presence of new animal species that serve as food to tigers.
“Based on expert research, areas that have been deforested are actually good for the tiger population.
“The tiger population will become larger when small trees grow in the deforested area. The area will see the presence of animals such as mouse deers which is food for tigers.
“It will be easier for tigers to hunt their prey,” Khalim said.
In contrast, he claimed that it was difficult for tigers to find prey in a forest reserve.
The Orang Asli who have lived in forests for centuries should be given credit for knowing what they are talking about, whilst it is extremely sad to see that a senior forestry official does not.
Perhaps he would like to name the “expert” he is referring to who says that tigers benefit from having their forests cut down as it makes it easier to hunt the no longer-existent prey, which themselves lived off the jungle? We thought not!
One can only assume that this official is aware where his own makan is coming from at least (namely his bosses who are taking the money from the logging) even if it is hard to believe his claim to be unaware that habitat loss is the single most important factor in species extinction.
His remarks are so self-evidently stupid and uneducated that it is clear that Kelantan Forestry Department ought to be investing in a basic primary school level science education for its leading lights – and the state government ought likewise to be providing for schools to start educating children about the vital facts of life when it comes to the environment on which all human beings also depend.
This man is not fit to manage forests and those who employ him are not fit to manage the state. Kelantan would clearly do a million times better if the wise Orang Asli, who actually understand the workings of the habitat on which Abdul Khalim and his ‘God fearing’ bosses and indeed all of us depend, were put in charge.
To put it in language that these religious experts might better understand (since science is plainly beyond their brains) God made earth the way it is so that man could live on it. If we raise it to the ground in a greedy grab, killing everything to make fast easy money for a few decision makers (which is by the way known as a sin), without even saving the seed to replant and reproduce, then we have spurned God’s gifts of life and we deserve to wither and starve in the desert we have created.
Does Abdul Khalim understand it better when put that way?
The Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) will open an investigation after receiving a police report made against MACC chief Azam Baki following his admission that his account was used by his brother to buy stakes in several companies.
According to a report by Harian Metro, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said it was understood that Azam (above) was currently being investigated under the Securities Commission Malaysia Act 1993.
“We have just received a report and if the offence is committed under the Securities Commission Malaysia Act, they will investigate.
Azam Baki regards himself as innocent of wrong doing and able to justify his actions in every respect. Following the resignation of the most respected member of his commission’s Advisory Board in protest, that Advisory Board has issued a declaration of support for his position.
He will have his day in court (having sued a detractor) and his opportunity to be grilled about why he even had a share trading account, let alone millions of ringgit worth of shares, compared to his businessman brother who apparently did not and had to borrow his.
However, there comes a time (and for him it is now) when resignation becomes the only honourable thing to do, whether one believes oneself to be right or not. It is about perception and Azam Baki holds one of the most sensitive jobs in the country which deserves to be held by someone who is trusted by all. Instead, he is hanging on for all he’s worth and lowering the reputation of his office and his country by putting his own position first.
Six members of the Advisory Board, which was not entitled to ‘clear’ him in the first place, have now resigned. The police have announced they are investigating. Put simply, for very many people in Malaysia Azam Baki’s excuses for his bulging share account fail some basic smell tests. Worse, in making his threadbare excuse Azam, Najib-like, has thereby implicated himself in another form of wrong-doing which is the misuse of his account.
All the country has now been educated, thanks to the rules having flown around the social media, that the rules of the Stock Exchange forbid the use of one person’s share trading account by someone who is not the registered owner of that account. The top law man in the anti-corruption agency ought surely to have known this rule or kept a proper accountant to manage his affairs. Yet this is Azam’s best excuse: that his brother was illegally using his account, meaning the millions worth of shares being traded under his name were not his own.
Hmmmm. It is the same sort of excuse that Najib gave when he claimed the stolen 1MDB money in his account was in fact a kind ‘donation’ by a foreign power to help him win and election. The court of public opinion registered their view of that excuse and likewise this one. Reacting in the same way that Najib also did, Azam has gone on the warpath against detractors, wielding the powers entrusted by his office to try to save himself. He has secured a bogus exoneration and used it to sue an activist who pointed out his shortcomings.
And, like the corruption ridden BN regime, now sadly back in office, Azam is working against a background of dubious reputational issues which the entire country has been watching with growing dismay over several months involving thefts and misdemeanours by MACC staff from his close ranks and under his watch.
Azam should understand that the institution of resignation is a good one. It offers a form of dignity that an eventual punishment does not and immediately brings public sympathy through the recognition that one has put the country and its institutions before oneself. Whatever mess he has got into, innocently or not, he will thereby distance his organisation and its work from that odour and all would thank him.
His present attitude only underlines his perceived unsuitability for the position that he holds whether eventually found innocent or not.