Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cameron Ought To Cancel His Malaysian Visit

Cameron Ought To Cancel His Malaysia Visit

Cameron Ought To Cancel His Malaysia Visit

28 Jul 2015

(Reproduced with permission)

Today, Tuesday, David Cameron attends a conference in Singapore condemning corruption.

The British Prime Minister has made the issue of rooting out global corruption one of his key platforms as a world leader. He is absolutely right to do so, which is why he should not then carry on to visit Malaysia on this occasion, just as Najib Razak has carried out a shocking strike against all those who have questioned his own corruption.

Sarawak Report wholeheartedly agrees with Mr Cameron that corruption is without question one of the most dangerous forces threatening liberty and prosperity in our modern world and it has been growing exponentially.

Corruption begins at the top and works downward through societies, making it extremely hard to counter before it has done immense damage to the rule of law and well being of the people.

It then spreads outwards to other countries.

Malaysia, for example, has become notorious as the nexus for world timber corruption, with Sarawak-based companies causing havoc across the world’s remaining forest regions with their well-established practice of finding who in power can be bribed into allowing the destruction of their own country’s natural resource.

Cameron will himself point out in today’s Singapore speech how corruption has caused problems for his native London, as dirty money from across the globe has poured into the city, pushing property prices skywards and making it virtually impossible for Britain’s own upstanding citizens to live in their capital city.

Sarawak Report has referred to the problem regularly and pointed out how one of the world’s biggest investors in London property are none other than Malaysians.

How come, we have asked, has this small country of little apparent wealth managed to top the league in recent years for property investment in London, followed by Singapore?

In 2013, Malaysia and Singapore were the top two investors in London property, spending more than UK citizens themselves.  Did this, we asked, have anything to do with so-called ‘capital flight’ (siphoning of corrupt money) in advance of GE 2013, in case BN lost (which it nearly did)?

And yet, Mr Cameron was happy to pose that year outside Battersea Power Station, which had been bought and is now being developed by the Malaysian government-owned Sime Darby, which has been one of the biggest players in the criminal destruction of Sarawak’s native lands in the grab for timber and planting of oil palm.

Sime Darby has been moving into African timber areas latterly and has been condemned in those countries for similar criminal practices there.

Cameron is more than right to take his stand against corruption, but he needs to be extremely careful not to be caught out being hypocritical about it.  That is the danger of pointing out sin in others, even if it needs to be done.

Don’t be seen condoning Najib at such a time

When Cameron’s plan to include Malaysia in this South East Asia visit was drawn up at the start of this month, Sarawak Report wrote to the UK Foreign Office and High Commission in Malaysia to warn against it.

We pointed out that Malaysia is currently undergoing a political crisis where the very integrity of the man in charge, the Prime Minister, is in question.

We pointed out that Najib Razak has found himself unable to answer basic questions about the theft of billions of dollars from the 1MDB development fund, which he is personally in charge of and that he had equally been unable to answer why USD700 million of 1MDB related money had been traced into his own bank account.

Sarawak Report explained in its letter that to visit Mr Najib Razak in such circumstances would be seen in the eyes of Malaysians as giving this tainted Prime Minister a vote of international confidence and support by a respected friendly nation, with close historical and cultural ties.

He should not do that at this critical time, when what has been left uncorrupted in the Malaysian leadership and institutions are struggling to deal with this massive problem of high level malfeasance.

Illegitimate government?

Najib Razak, having failed to give a proper account over very many months of his actions over 1MDB has nevertheless indicated that the money that went into his account just before GE 2013 was “not for personal use”.

The acknowledgement has been widely understood to imply that this money was taken by him out of the public development fund in order to illegally bankroll BN’s election victory.

Staggeringly, such is the level of morality to which BN has sunk, in the Prime Minister’s own eyes this apparently serves as an excuse.

Indeed, when Sarawak Report exposed similar looting by the Sabah State Minister, Musa Aman (who passed a hundred million dollars of timber kickbacks into his personal accounts) the Federal authorities likewise let him off, because of his assurance that he had only been using the money to illegally rig the local elections.

For what it’s worth, we had in fact shown that Musa had put a good deal of this cash to his personal use, like educating his sons in Australia. But, Najib took no action against him and clearly expects that he too should be let off on the same grounds.

However, Najib has been rightly condemned throughout Malaysia by upstanding people of all political persuasions, races, colours and religions for doing what each of us know to be very wrong.

Even the much revered former strongman of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir himself, of Najib’s own UMNO party has turned against his former protege over 1MDB and has condemned this open admission of illegal funding in 2013 – going so far as to rightly say that it de-legitimises the result of GE 2013, meaning that Najib’s government has no legal status!

We all know what Najib’s response to any such concerns has been.  He has outrageously abused his judicial influence in order to drive the opposition leader (who got more votes than him at the election despite the rigging and gerrymandering) into jail.

Najib met the man who was to accuse Anwar the day before he made that accusation in his own house. Then, when the High Court threw out the case for lack of evidence it was Najib who astonishingly ordered an appeal against the acquittal!

So, is Cameron prepared to wade into this crisis at its very height and give an endorsement to this self-proclaimed ‘moderate Muslim democrat’ Najib Razak, just because he has some jets to sell? (we will come back to the matter of these jets).

If so, so much, the world will say, for Cameron’s words against corruption, because it is actions that count.

Interfering in a crisis?

Consider the absolute gravity of the present moment of this crisis and the crucial aspect of the next 24 hours, during which Mr Cameron’s last minute, snap decision visit is to be made.

Sarawak Report has itself been accused of interfering in Malaysia’s internal affairs by Najib’s own supporters, merely by exercising the right of a free press.  We have investigated 1MDB and exposed (along with other brave local journalists and also international papers) the shocking corruption that has outraged the Malaysian public and is now putting Najib under pressure.

In response, Najib has acted to shut us up, as well as Malaysia’s own most respected business paper The Edge, by illegally barring our site from the internet and illegally removing the printing licence of The Edge.

Today, in the face of an aghast public he has taken a further shocking step and sought to shut up his own internal party critics in the same manner.

In a desperate but ruthless attempt to save his own skin, he has conducted the first cabinet reshuffle of his entire career, purely with the objective of removing his critics over this matter of personal corruption and the stolen billions from 1MDB.

Najib has today booted out his own Deputy Prime Minister, who had taken on the role as the most senior member of his cabinet to speak out about Malaysia’s concerns at Najib’s apparent grand corruption.

Remember, Mr Cameron, that Najib has been clinging to his posts against Cabinet advice, instead of taking a holiday over the past few weeks, purely on the excuse that he needs to be there in KL to honour your state visit!

You will be arriving to meet a government where the Deputy PM and four of the cabinet’s other most upstanding senior members have just been sacked for expressing concern over corruption at 1MDB.

You will be greeted by a new Deputy PM, retaining a dual role as Home Minister, who has been publicly announcing that he is looking to have the UK citizen who writes Sarawak Report arrested and extradited by his “friends in Scotland Yard”, because he reckons she has “interfered” in the politics of Malaysia by exposing what everyone knows to be the truth about corruption.

By agreeing to publicly meet with these people you are going to be making a statement that everyone in Malaysia will register as an endorsement of the disgraceful actions that Najib has just taken to protect himself from criticism over corruption and equal endorsement of such threats against a British journalist going about an honest job.

Is that taking a stand against corruption?  And is this not the ultimate form of political interference you could possibly make in the domestic affairs of Malaysia to visit it right now?

All to sell some jets?

Consider the other illegal actions that the Malaysian Prime Minister has just taken in this past 24 hours of long knives preceding your visit.

Having spent months insisting that Malaysia waits and does nothing whilst the various ‘task forces’ investigate the allegations over 1MDB, the Prime Minister has now unconstitutionally sacked the key leaders of those task forces.

His announcement this morning that the Attorney General is to be dismissed owing to his “ill health” surprised the AG as much as anyone else, it has been confirmed. Gani Paital had been due to retire anyway in October, but told enquirers he is perfectly well.

It is unconstitutional under Malaysian law to sack the AG in this manner.

Likewise, the Chairman of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee, which has been conducting enquiries into the 1MDB matter with sober diligence, constrained as they are by the secrecy demanded of the Prime Minister, Nur Jazlan, has today been sacked.

Jazlan has made clear in recent weeks that he has resisted offers of promotion from the Prime Minister in return for resigning from the PAC.

It is clear to all concerned that Najib wants a tame Chairman, who can then be used to dumb down the work of the PAC, stop asking for the relevant witnesses to appear (Jho Low and Nik Kamil and others having gone into hiding abroad and the two CEO’s having so far refused to turn up at their appointed hearings).

Najib patently wants the new Chairman to also sack the DAP member of the committee. Tony Pua, who is one of the brightest politicians in Malaysia and who commands a lethally forensic knowledge of the issues relating to 1MDB.

Najib’s men want Tony out  before they start having to answer questions about what happened at 1MDB – and the PM is readily obliging them.

Does not this series of actions over the past 24 hours contrast mightily with Najib’s own words just yesterday when he told the Deputy Prime Minister:
“The investigation [into 1MDB] is ongoing and we should give those involved space to perform their duties."
“Therefore, all parties – especially those from the government, including Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – should wait for the findings of the investigation to be released.”
So much for giving those investigators “space” – because he realised he could no longer control these investigators, Najib within hours has sacked them instead.

Who is next on the list the public are asking?  The Head of the Central Bank Negara, who is also one of the leading members of the former Task Force set up by the Prime Minister himself?

Maybe also the IGP (Inspector General of Police) who has been a key defender of the PM/FM, but who on the other hand has been rather sitting on the fence, given the growing number of arrest warrants that have been issued against people related to 1MDB?

Power couple - who is behind the sackings? One close former insider has called them  "the Bonnie and Clyde" of Malaysia to Sarawak Report
Power couple – who is behind the sackings? One close former insider has called them
“the Bonnie and Clyde” of Malaysia to Sarawak Report

Indeed, Sarawak Report has learnt from insiders that the anonymous ‘Dato’ arrested yesterday was none other than Abdul Azeez, Rosmah Mansor’s crony chairman of the Tabung Haji pilgrim fund, which was raided earlier this year in order to settle 1MDB’s debt repayments (through a ludicrously over-priced land deal).

With Dato Azeez being so close to Rosmah it is likely that his detention will have caused the eruption of a particular well known political volcano in Malaysia – that of the temper of the first lady.

These dramatic, ruthless, extreme and downright petulant measures against everybody and everything currently troubling the all powerful first couple has all the hallmarks of a Rosmah Mansor strike.

After all, it was Rosmah who was in communication with Azeez, guiding and controlling his statements and decisions, during the Tabung Haji crisis…. has she decided in blind rage that enough is enough and it is time for a total round-up?

Are all these senior leaders of Malaysia’s institutions to be thus sacked and replaced by yes men in order to protect the corruption at 1MDB and Najib?

In which case, the corruption and destruction of the rule of law in Malaysia will have been completed.

Is this worth endorsing by Britain just in the hope of selling some Typhoon Jets Mr Cameron?

About those jets

Mr Cameron’s advisors should have told him how little prospect there really is for selling jets to bankrupt Malaysia right now.

Cameron has not been shy to acknowledge that trade is basically what this South East Asia trip has been all about.  He wants to come back to Britain boasting of an order sheet and to  thumb his nose at Europe, reminding it that Britain looks global not merely local when it comes to trade and contacts.

Good for him, but rightly he has also pointed out that trade should promote honesty, liberty and progress – not corruption.

Malaysia is facing a plunging ringgit and debts it can’t pay thanks to 1MDB and other rampant corruption in high places, which has pillaged the country’s institutions for years – till now much of the looting has been covered up, but now the unravelling has begun there is far worse to find out about.

Just yesterday, Sarawak Report exposed how the purchases of hundreds of millions of US dollars worth of diamonds and precious jewellery for Najib’s wife Rosmah have been financed by none other than the shady billionaire friend of Najib, Jho Low, the man behind all the dodgy dealings at 1MDB. How come?

What is clear is that all this has brought Malaysia economically to its knees.

So, unnecessary jets aren’t really on the agenda, although doubtless Najib will be keen to make polite promises, which he can’t keep on the matter.

Meanwhile, it is dishonest of Britain to make the argument that the combatting of Islamic extremism such as ISIS in the Middle East demands more fighter jets for places like Malaysia.

What will combat extremism is the investment that is needed in better infrastructure and civil projects.

What’s more, the force which has been most promoting extremism in Malaysia over the past several months and years has been Najib’s own secretive funding of ‘NGO’s” like ISMA and Perkasa, which have made it their business to stir up religious fundamentalism and hatred.

Najib’s reason?  Pure political cynicism, since it has served his purpose to radicalise PAS thereby breaking up the opposition coalition. This move has succeeded, but at what a price to the peace of Malaysian society and at what risk as fundamentalism spreads its canker.

Britain should not turn a blind eye to Najib’s dangerous games with extremism any more than his corruption.

Malaysia’s defence procurement has been historically riddled with corruption from the Scorpene submarine deals to its aviation purchases and Britain’s embarrassing “arms for aid” brush over the Pergau Dam.

And guess who has been the Defence Minister concerned over most of the years concerned? None other than the current Prime Minister who is so busy sacking everyone right now for criticising corruption at 1MDB.

It was Najib who presided over the vast kickbacks over the French Scorpene deal, which went into an account beneficially owned by his personally appointed “negotiator” Razak Baginda.

And, as all Malaysia knows, it was Najib’s own personal bodyguards who so brutally murdered the girlfriend of Baginda, who was threatening to squeal on that deal if she didn’t get a cut.

Everyone in Malaysia knows about the shocking cover-ups surrounding the Altantuya case, a woman blown into smitherenes by weapons grade C4 explosive by Najib’s bodyguards who are currently facing a death sentence, after a court case where the motive was never explored or explained.

Does Britain want to get into another deal like that one to sell a few more Typhoon Jets, or should Mr Cameron discover pressing domestic developments tomorrow and fly straight back home instead?

SARAWAK REPORT

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Trying to Wipe Out Evidence Of Massive CBT & Money Laundering


Smear Tactics Cannot Wipe Out Evidence

Smear Tactics Cannot Wipe Out Evidence

25 Jul 2015

(Reproduced with permission)


This post is also available in: Malay, Iban
 

The cast of characters as depicted by Bloomberg
The cast of characters as depicted by Bloomberg


If all was snowy white concerning the PetroSaudi 1MDB joint venture, surely by now the outraged executives concerned would have arrived in KL with the proof?


All the characters whom Malaysians have come to know well over this saga of stolen billions, Tarek Obaid, Jho Low, Patrick Mahony, Khadem Al Qubaisi and their colleagues, could have presented a clear account of the correct situation.

And the supposed lies by Sarawak Report and all the other critics of 1MDB (including Dr Mahathir, The Edge, numerous foreign journals, DAP and PKR) could have been shown up for the ‘orchestrated plot’ they are alleged to be part of.

However, instead these guys are hiding abroad.

Jho Low has completely disappeared, presumed in Taiwan, where link man Jerome Lee was also headed before being picked up and arrested by immigration authorities.

Jho's friend, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, a key organiser of both 1MDB and of the SRC transfers into the PM’s account has also evaded questioning by the Task Force and himself disappeared abroad.


And now the same Task Force has had to put out warrants for two further individuals originally identified by Sarawak Report Jasmine Loo (former UBG) and Casey Tang (1MDB) as people they wish to speak to, but who have disappeared.
Missing...
Missing…


Nevertheless, defenders of these individuals, who are in positions of power, continue to attempt to dismiss the whole matter as an “orchestrated plot” between unlikely bed-fellows for conflicting reasons.  They accuse Sarawak Report in particular of “tampering” and “distortion”.

The ‘evidence’ for this “tampering” relies on the ravings of a discredited man with mental problems in Sarawak – one Lester Melanyi, who is presently enjoying his 15 minutes of infamy.

Plus, some unproven assumptions by a security outfit hired by PetroSaudi itself, called PGI.

And now, it seems, something that may or may not have been said by one of our sources, the former PetroSaudi executive Xavier Justo, who was secretly (and illegally) interviewed by the Straits Times in a Bangkok jail, so his words cannot be tested or confirmed.

Justo has, by the way, yet to be charged or tried on allegations of extortion made by PetroSaudi, who have gone after the whistleblower rather than answering a single one of the specific allegations of illegal activities.

‘Tampering’ not possible, given the chain of events

Jho-Low-With-Paris-Hilton-Partying-21

It is therefore time to deal with the allegation that none of the revelations about the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture are true, because it was all a plot by Sarawak Report to get hold of some actual evidence from Justo and then set to work with an unknown IT expert to change the whole meaning of over three million emails, documents and transfers of cash, in order to “topple the government” for some purpose unknown (neo-colonialism being the latest accusation).

The chain of events shows why Sarawak Report could not have tampered with the material, because at the same time they acquired it it also went separately to the Edge and the Sunday Times…. and was then passed on to regulators and law enforcers in the United States.

The material has now also been offered to regulators and law enforcers in the UK and Switzerland and also by the Edge to law enforcers in Malaysia.

Indeed, the various transactions, which have been featured in the articles by Sarawak Report and indeed other publications, passed through numerous banks and regulators. Therefore, if our information had been ‘tampered’, this could easily be proven by testing it against the records of any one of them.

See just one example below of an urgent email trail about the transfer of money from 1MDB to Jho Low’s Good Star account at Coutts Bank in Zurich:

  Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
_____
From : jho.low@gmail.com
Date : Fri, 2 Oct 2009 12:28:01 +0000
To :
Subject : Fw: RESEND : URGENT REQUEST OF RBS COUTTS


Shld be cleared soon. Pls update tarek.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile
_____
From : Shahrol Halmi
Date : Fri, 2 Oct 2009 08:21:15 -0400
To : ‘jacqueline.ho@db.com’ ; Casey Tang
Subject : Re: RESEND : URGENT REQUEST OF RBS COUTTS


Jac, please use this address for GOOD STAR LIMITED.
P.O.Box 1239, Offshore Incorporation Centre, Victoria, Mahe, Republic of Seychelles
Thanks
_____
From : Jacqueline Ho
To : Casey Tang; Shahrol Halmi
Sent : Fri Oct 02 06:19:20 2009
Subject : RESEND : URGENT REQUEST OF RBS COUTTS
 

Dear Casey and Shahrol

Please see an email request from RBS Coutts to reveal the beneficiary name pertaining to 1MDB’s remittance.

In that sense, I believe RBS needs confirmation on the beneficiary’s name in order to complete their internal risk mitigating processes as no name was

We will await your instructions on whether to reveal the beneficiary name and address (please provide) to RBS Coutts.

As requested by them, we will have to send it out via email and an authenticated swift message so would appreciate a reply as soon as possible.

Best Rgds
Jacqueline Ho
Corporate Coverage
Deutsche Bank (M) Bhd
Tel: + 603 20317798
Mob: +6012 2059561
Email: jacqueline.ho@db.com

This e-mail may contain confidential and/or privileged information. If you
are not the intended recipient (or have received this e-mail in error)
please notify the sender immediately and destroy this e-mail. Any
unauthorized copying, disclosure or distribution of the material in this
e-mail is strictly forbidden.

—– Forwarded by Jacqueline Ho/db/dbcom on 10/02/2009 05:41 PM —–

Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom 
10/02/2009 04:55 PM
To Jacqueline Ho/db/dbcom@DBAPAC
cc Jeremy Lewis/db/dbcom@DBAPAC
Subject Fw: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

Jac,

RBS Coutts is requesting for bene’s full details.

Can we proceed to provide the necessary information. If so, appreciate if you could provide me with the relevant details.

Warm Regards,
Prakash Gopi
Global Market Operations
Deutsche Bank (M) Bhd
03-20536851

—– Forwarded by Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom on 02/10/2009 04:53 PM —–

Laurent.Schmid@rbscoutts.com 
02/10/2009 04:38 PM
To Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom@DBAPAC
cc Eliane.Humair@rbscoutts.com, Thomas.Tuerler@rbscoutts.com
Subject RE: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

Dear Prakash,

Please urgently confirm the full name of the final beneficiary of the funds per e-mail and authenticated swift (see details below) in order for us to apply the funds.

We are not in a position to credit the funds without full beneficiary details (full name, address, account no.).

Kind regards,

Mr Laurent Schmid 
Regulatory Risk 

RBS Coutts Bank Ltd
Lerchenstrasse 18
P.O. Box
8022 Zurich, Switzerland
Tel. +41 43 245 53 52
Fax +41 43 245 54 04
laurent.schmid@rbscoutts.com
www.rbscoutts.com 

____

From: Humair, Eliane (RBS Coutts, CH) 
Sent: 
Freitag, 2. Oktober 2009 10:27 
To: 
Cousin, Dominik (RBS Coutts, CH); Tuerler, Thomas (RBS Coutts, CH); Schmid, Laurent (RBS Coutts, CH) 
Subject: 
FW: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

TO URGENT

Eliane Humair
Investigations Department
RBS Coutts Bank Ltd
Stauffacherstrasse 1
P.O. Box
8022 Zürich
Telephone +41 (0)43 245 58 62
Facsimile +41 (0)43 245 57 99
eliane.humair@rbscoutts.com
www.rbscoutts.com
_____

From: Prakash Gopi [ mailto:prakash.gopi@db.com
Sent: 
Freitag, 2. Oktober 2009 10:22 
To: 
Humair, Eliane (RBS Coutts, CH) 
Cc: 
Jeremy Lewis; Krystof Balwierz 
Subject: 
Fw: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

Dear Eliane,

I have received this msg from Krystof Balwierz on behalf of yourself today.

May i urgently enquire what further details you require from DEUTMYKL since our MT103 msg had indicated that the funds were to be credited to acc 11116073.

Thank you.

Warm Regards,
Prakash Gopi
Global Market Operations
Deutsche Bank (M) Bhd
03-20536851

—– Forwarded by Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom on 02/10/2009 04:13 PM —–

Chooi-Fong Liew/db/dbcom 
02/10/2009 04:09 PM
To Krystof Balwierz/db/dbcom@DBCOM cc
Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom@DBAPAC Subject
Fw: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

Hi Krystof

I have forwarded the email to my colleague who is handling this. You can laise directly with him direclty.

Regards.
Chooi fong

—– Forwarded by Chooi-Fong Liew/db/dbcom on 10/02/2009 04:06 PM —–

Chooi-Fong Liew/db/dbcom 
10/02/2009 04:01 PM
To Prakash Gopi/db/dbcom@DBAPAC cc
Subject
Fw: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

Pls help.

—– Forwarded by Chooi-Fong Liew/db/dbcom on 10/02/2009 04:01 PM —–

Chooi-Fong Liew/db/dbcom 
10/02/2009 03:59 PM
To Connie Lam/db/dbcom@DBAPAC, Umadevi Maslamani/db/dbcom@DBAPAC cc
Subject Fw: REQUEST OF COUTCHZZ

HI

Pls note email below . Did you send the pymt instruction? Bene Bank unable to apply. Pls provide addl details via BKTRUS33.

Thanks.
Chooi fong

Any one of these banks and the regulators could point out if this email trail was false or had been tampered, in the same way that BSI Bank told the Singapore monetary authorities that a bank statement provided by 1MDB to Arul Kanda alleging earlier this year that there was some US$1.3 billion in their bank account was forged.

Chain of events

Jho Low's friend on the run Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil
Jho Low’s friend on the run Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil


Sarawak Report introduced Justo to the managers of The Edge in Singapore in February at a meeting at the Fullerton Hotel, as acknowledged.  We had learnt of Justo’s material almost a year before and had tracked him down and gained his trust.


The Edge were accompanied by a team of computer experts, Sarawak Report was alone.

It was agreed that Mr Justo should hand over the material and it was given to the experts.

The next day the experts made three copies of the material, one of which was handed to SR, one to the Edge and another copied for safe keeping.

SR immediately returned to London.   

It soon became clear that the material was very hard to access owing to the nature of the software.

Sarawak Report went to the Sunday Times, who then used their own computer experts to finally open the material.

The Sunday Times broke their own story on 1MDB at the same time as SR, based on their own analysis of Justo's documents

The Sunday Times broke their own story on 1MDB at the same time as SR, based on their own analysis of Justo’s documents


It was a copy of this decrypted material from the Sunday Times that was finally returned to Sarawak Report to utilise. The Sunday Times still has the original de-crypted copy.

Meanwhile, The Edge had to put its own computer experts onto their copy of the same material back on the other side of the world in Singapore. They too finally managed to open the file and completely separately have come to exactly the same conclusions about the nature of the PetroSaudi deal.

Sarawak Report had by then given its original copy of the material gained in Singapore (retrieved from the Sunday Times, who retain their decrypted copy) to a team of official investigators from the United States, who came to London to take a statement from Sarawak Report.

Apart from the material decrypted by the Sunday Times, Sarawak Report also had a disc of some key documents selected from the files by Justo, which showed a taste of what had been going on at the deal.

These had been given by Justo to Sarawak Report separately and they matched what was decrypted by the Sunday Times and separately by the Edge.

Justo subsequently sent a second copy of the entire material direct on a disc to Sarawak Report, which is placed in safe hands. If Sarawak Report had tampered with the original material it received, this also would differ from the version we used.

Likewise, the Edge received a second version separately from Justo at a later date. Again, this would have to differ from the version supposedly ‘tampered’ by Sarawak Report because it was sent separately to the Edge.

The Edge's closely argued analysis was based on documents received at the same time but separately to SR. How could we have tampered with them?

The Edge’s closely argued analysis was based on documents received at the same time but separately to SR. How could we have tampered with them?

Yet all the outlets who received the material came to the same conclusions about the nature of the 1MDB PetroSaudi deal, in particular that US$700 million had been siphoned out by a company controlled by Jho Low.

Indeed, it is now on record that the Chairman of the Board of 1MDB resigned over the matter shortly after the deal was done in 2009.

And, as numerous other news organisations and political and financial analysts have pointed out, the evidence from the PetroSaudi database provided by Justo corroborates a slew evidence and concerns about the deal that have been expressed for many years – and have landed the fund in a whole hell of a lot of debt right now.

So this wishful thinking by the defenders of the fugitives from 1MDB really won’t wash.

If all we had written was a whole lot of nonsense, the investigators from the Task Forces and the PAC would have thrown in the towel weeks ago and declared us mischievous liars. Instead, they have dug up piles more incriminating evidence and issued warrants of arrest to 1MDB executives who have start fleeing like flies.

Evil motives?

There is also the question as to why Sarawak Report would have got involved in a convoluted plot to distort such documents, which were quite explosive enough as it is?

We have been hacked, followed and bugged over past weeks, presumably in the hope of finding some commercial conspiracy that can be pointed to.  Maybe the hackers are coming up with some distortions of their own to allege just that.

Remember the facade?  All the Arab money that was to be invested in Malaysia?  Not one penny was forthcoming.....
Remember the facade? All the Arab money that was to be invested in Malaysia? Not one penny was forthcoming…..


However, Sarawak Report was motivated by something much more simple, straightforward and plainly understandable by most people.

This was a desire to reveal a massive scandal in Malaysia that symbolises the corruption and exploitation, which has resulted in the destruction of the Borneo Jungle and the theft of so many of the natural resources of Malaysia from its people.

This in turn symbolises a global problem, which is driven by greedy individuals across a number of countries.  The world’s banking regulators, governments and professional institutions need to work far harder and more honestly to prevent it.

If not, everyone else suffers as the rule of law is undermined.

This feels like a good enough motive to us – how about to everyone else?

Thanks to this problem, development in Malaysia has given way to debauched greed on the part of the very few at the top of the pile, as the image of the as yet hardly touched wasteland at the so-called Tun Razak Exchange symbolises in a nutshell.

These are the questions the perpetrators should have to answer – we and the others who have exposed this problem have been happy to be open about our side of the story.

Development or theft?
Development or theft?



Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Breakdown Of Separation Of Powers In Malaysia

The Breakdown Of Separation Of Powers In Malaysia

by Al Tugauw aka Sarawak Headhunter
Republic of Sarawak

The fundamental democratic concept or doctrine of separation of powers originated from the writings of Montesquieu in "The Spirit of the Laws", published anonymously in 1748.

He propounded the need for a constitutional government with three separate branches, the Legislative, the Executive and the Judiciary, each with distinct and separate powers and defined abilities that in theory would act to check each other and thereby to prevent abuse of power, developed through a system of checks and balances.

This was deemed crucial to the basic foundation of representative democracy that would see the ultimate power of the people reside in their elected representatives in the Legislature and to some extent the Executive and the Judiciary, collectively called the "Government".

Whether the separation of powers and constitutional checks have proved effective to curb abuse of power by persons prone to such abuse who may be elected to office still remains questionable. Governments run by such people tend to get out of control, especially when they have access to the wealth of the land by the powers vested in them, however "democratically".

The ultimate arbiter of abuse of power is supposedly the opinion and will of the people, expressed democratically through regular elections. However, even the so-called opinion or will of the people can be subverted by those in power, thereby rendering their positions actually illegitimate even if clothed with some vestiges of legitimacy.

Such subversion comes in many forms, such as police action, control of mass media, direct and indirect abuse of any and all branches of government, electoral system abuse (gerrymandering and disproportionate representation, electoral bribery, for example), money politics, outright bribery, corruption, influence peddling, intimidation, etc., some barely perceived as being abuse of power but often systemic in nature and justified by the abusers. 

Governments become oppressive and illegitimate especially when they ignore or even subvert the doctrine of separation of powers. They become extremely resistant to change and continue to exist only to perpetuate their own power, wealth and influence in the interests of a select few and not the general public good.

Such governments are difficult to remove or change, even though it would be in the best interests of the general public good that they be removed or changed.

That is the situation that Malaysia finds itself in now, with an almost complete breakdown of separation of powers in government.

"It is natural for a republic to have only a small territory; otherwise it cannot long subsist. In an extensive republic there are men of large fortunes, and consequently of less moderation; there are trusts too considerable to be placed in any single subject; he has interests of his own; he soon begins to think that he may be happy and glorious by oppressing his fellow-citizens; and that he may raise himself to grandeur on the ruins of his country".

 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Another First For Malaysia


An Israeli doctor says: "In Israel, medicine is so advanced that we cut off a man's testicles, put them on another man, and in 6 weeks he is looking for work."

The German doctor says: "That's nothing. In Germany we take part of a brain, put it in another man, and in 4 weeks he is looking for work."

The Russian doctor says: "Gentlemen, we take half a heart from a man, put it in another's chest, and in 2 weeks he is looking for work."

The Malaysian doctor laughs: "You all are behind us. 4 years ago, we took a man with no brains, no heart, and no balls and made him Prime Minister. Now, the whole country is looking for work!"

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Taib's Kleptocracy: Money Logging - On The Trail Of The Asian Timber Mafia

taib can steal so much, billions becos he is protected by PM who stole trillions. if one day we can rid ourself of central govt and have our own independent govt, we can still trace the money link and get some of the money back.  like Filipin Marcos.  we can never get our O&G money back sadly.

Book Review : Money Logging By Lukas Straumann, Bergli
A sad tale of the Asian timber mafia and the man who did more than anything to create it, Abdul Taib Mahmud.
On Oct. 3, 2011, a depressed, paranoid former chief operating officer for a San Francisco-based property company called Sakti International named Ross Boyert slipped a plastic bag over his head, taped it tight and suffocated himself to death in a Los Angeles hotel room. He was 61.
But Boyert, however delusionary he was when he died, left behind him an explosive legacy – the details of virtually all of the properties owned by Abdul Taib Mahmud, the longest serving public official in Malaysia. It is a breathtaking collection according to the documents that Boyert – who was fired by the Taib interests -- gave to a crusading journalist named Clare Rewcastle Brown. They show that Taib, through nominees, family members and other subterfuges, is worth in excess of US$21 billion.
Taib is not mentioned on the Forbes list of Malaysia’s richest, but if he were, he would be worth almost twice as much as the man listed as richest -- Robert Kuok, whose fortune is in property, sugar, palm oil and shipping. He would also be about halfway up the list of the world’s 50 richest billionaires although his name is not mentioned there either. That is because, according to this book by Lukas Straumann, Taib amassed his entire fortune illegally, as undoubtedly a handful of others have around the world that remains hidden. Nonetheless, according to Boyert’s documents and the research by Rewcastle Brown and Straumann, he is an engine of corruption the likes of which the world has never seen.
Taib built his real estate empire in Canada, the United States, Australia and the East Malaysia state of Sarawak on timber. Into the process, in his 33 years as chief minister, he staged some of the most depressing environmental destruction on the planet. An estimated 98 percent of the old-growth timber of Sarawak, a state three times the size of Switzerland, is gone, sold via timber permits to logging companies, many of them connected to him, that shipped the logs to Japan, China and across much of the rest of the world.
Using the documents furnished by Rewcastle Brown, and with considerable additional reporting, the story of Taib’s looting of Sarawak is told by Straumann, the director of the Basel-headquartered Bruno Manser Fund, an NGO named for a Swiss naturalist who fought to save the indigenous Penan tribe from the depredations of the loggers’ bulldozers, and who disappeared into the forest in 2000 and has never been found. It is an explosive book. Taib has threatened to sue Amazon if it distributes it. So far, Amazon has backed away from delivering it.
The book, Money Logging: On the Trail of Asia’s Timber Mafia, published by Bergli Books, also of Basel, tells the story of Taib’s rise to power, starting in 1965 as minister of agriculture and forestry. By the end of that decade, he would be Sarawak’s richest politician. Today he holds interests in property companies that own prestigious buildings in Seattle, San Francisco, Ottawa, London, Adelaide and in Malaysia itself. The major companies he controls through family members or by proxies, according to Boyert’s documentation, include Sakti International, Wallyson’s Inc., Sakto Group, Citygate International, Ridgeford Properties, Sitehost City and literally scores of smaller ones. He is believed to control more than 100 companies.
One of the most important things about this story is that Taib was first anointed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the father of Malaysia and the country’s first prime minister. Abdul Rahman was followed in office by five other prime ministers who sat in Kuala Lumpur and later the Putrajaya government complex and did nothing about him. It was hardly a secret that he was both looting the country and stealing, on a breathtaking scale, the resources that belonged to the Dayak, Murut, Penan and other local tribes that make up the peoples of Sarawak.
Nothing was done about him because he developed a political machine that could deliver votes to the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition in Peninsular Malaysia. Taib is a Muslim. Most of the Sarawak tribes are either Christian or animist. And, to the government across the South China Sea, it would have been unthinkable to have a non-Muslim government leader in charge. Later, during the current administration of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, it became clear that the Barisan’ very survival depended on Taib and his fellow Kleptocrat, Musa Aman, who continues stealing the people of the neighboring state of Sabah blind, although on a smaller scale.
What’s worse is that Taib’s activities in Sarawak, according to the book, spawned a series of giant timber companies including Concord Pacific, Samling, Shin Yang, WTK and Ta Ann Holdings – all of which have received backing from the international banking community including HSBC and others – and have expanded far outside of Malaysia to Cambodia, Australia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, Papua New Guinea and just about every other country with less than reputable governments and tropical timber to loot.
“Virtually all of this timber (from Papua New Guinea) was exported to China in the form of logs and other Asian destinations and the trickle-down of wealth in the country itself remained minimal,” Straumann writes. That is true of virtually every country in which the Malaysia-based lumber companies operated.
There is one more sad corollary to this story. As a Dec. 23, 2014 story in the New York Times about Costa Rica’s rainforests demonstrates, tropical forests will regenerate, and, given the space of time, return to their former state. The forests of Sarawak, if not all of Borneo, once one of the world’s greatest green lungs, will not. Sarawak’s forests are being replaced with oil palm plantations.
Taib has stepped aside as chief minister and is now the state’s governor. He ostensibly is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after the Swiss government forwarded allegations to the Malaysians of money-laundering into Swiss banks.
“It is up to his successors (as chief minister) to correct the state’s course of action and the government’s condescending attitude towards its indigenous peoples,” Straumann writes. “Now, the Malaysian judiciary and anti-corruption authorities need to live up to their responsibility. While it is a good thing that Sarawak’s last ‘White Rajah’ has finally stepped down, he does not belong in the governor’s residence. He belongs in jail.”
P/S : That last sentence is sadly unrealistic. Malaysia’s anticorruption commission and its judiciary have no intention of doing anything about Abdul Taib Mahmud. He remains far too valuable to the ruling coalition in Putrajaya to keep the state in loyal hands. He has announced plans to build a long series of dams on rivers to supply power that, given Borneo’s state of development, will never be needed. But skimming from the contracts will continue to supply a fortune to Taib and his familyMoney Logging

Book Review : Money Logging By Lukas Straumann, Bergli 
A sad tale of the Asian timber mafia and the man who did more than anything to create it, Abdul Taib Mahmud. 

On Oct. 3, 2011, a depressed, paranoid former chief operating officer for a San Francisco-based property company called Sakti International named Ross Boyert slipped a plastic bag over his head, taped it tight and suffocated himself to death in a Los Angeles hotel room. He was 61. 

But Boyert, however delusionary he was when he died, left behind him an explosive legacy – the details of virtually all of the properties owned by Abdul Taib Mahmud, the longest serving public official in Malaysia. It is a breathtaking collection according to the documents that Boyert – who was fired by the Taib interests -- gave to a crusading journalist named Clare Rewcastle Brown. They show that Taib, through nominees, family members and other subterfuges, is worth in excess of US$21 billion.

Taib is not mentioned on the Forbes list of Malaysia’s richest, but if he were, he would be worth almost twice as much as the man listed as richest -- Robert Kuok, whose fortune is in property, sugar, palm oil and shipping. He would also be about halfway up the list of the world’s 50 richest billionaires although his name is not mentioned there either. 

That is because, according to this book by Lukas Straumann, Taib amassed his entire fortune illegally, as undoubtedly a handful of others have around the world that remains hidden. Nonetheless, according to Boyert’s documents and the research by Rewcastle Brown and Straumann, he is an engine of corruption the likes of which the world has never seen.

Taib built his real estate empire in Canada, the United States, Australia and the East Malaysia state of Sarawak on timber. In the process, in his 33 years as chief minister, he staged some of the most depressing environmental destruction on the planet. An estimated 98 percent of the old-growth timber of Sarawak, a state three times the size of Switzerland, is gone, sold via timber permits to logging companies, many of them connected to him, that shipped the logs to Japan, China and across much of the rest of the world. 

Using the documents furnished by Rewcastle Brown, and with considerable additional reporting, the story of Taib’s looting of Sarawak is told by Straumann, the director of the Basel-headquartered Bruno Manser Fund, an NGO named for a Swiss naturalist who fought to save the indigenous Penan tribe from the depredations of the loggers’ bulldozers, and who disappeared into the forest in 2000 and has never been found. 

It is an explosive book. Taib has threatened to sue Amazon if it distributes it. So far, Amazon has backed away from delivering it. 

The book, Money Logging: On the Trail of Asia’s Timber Mafia, published by Bergli Books, also of Basel, tells the story of Taib’s rise to power, starting in 1965 as minister of agriculture and forestry. By the end of that decade, he would be Sarawak’s richest politician. Today he holds interests in property companies that own prestigious buildings in Seattle, San Francisco, Ottawa, London, Adelaide and in Malaysia itself. The major companies he controls through family members or by proxies, according to Boyert’s documentation, include Sakti International, Wallyson’s Inc., Sakto Group, Citygate International, Ridgeford Properties, Sitehost City and literally scores of smaller ones. He is believed to control more than 100 companies. 

One of the most important things about this story is that Taib was first anointed by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the father of Malaysia and the country’s first prime minister. Abdul Rahman was followed in office by five other prime ministers who sat in Kuala Lumpur and later the Putarjaya government complex and did nothing about him. 

It was hardly a secret that he was both looting the country and stealing, on a breathtaking scale, the resources that belonged to the Dayak, Murut, Penan and other local tribes that make up the peoples of Sarawak. 

Nothing was done about him because he developed a political machine that could deliver votes to the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition in Peninsular Malaysia. Taib is a Muslim. Most of the Sarawak tribes are either Christian or animist. And, to the government across the South China Sea, it would have been unthinkable to have a non-Muslim government leader in charge. 

Later, during the current administration of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, it became clear that the Barisan’s very survival depended on Taib and his fellow Kleptocrat, Musa Aman, who continues stealing the people of the neighboring state of Sabah blind, although on a smaller scale. 

What’s worse is that Taib’s activities in Sarawak, according to the book, spawned a series of giant timber companies including Concord Pacific, Samling, Shin Yang, WTK and Ta Ann Holdings – all of which have received backing from the international banking community including HSBC and others – and have expanded far outside of Malaysia to Cambodia, Australia, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Congo-Brazzaville, Papua New Guinea and just about every other country with less than reputable governments and tropical timber to loot. 

“Virtually all of this timber (from Papua New Guinea) was exported to China in the form of logs and other Asian destinations and the trickle-down of wealth in the country itself remained minimal,” Straumann writes. That is true of virtually every country in which the Malaysia-based lumber companies operated. 

There is one more sad corollary to this story. As a Dec. 23, 2014 story in the New York Times about Costa Rica’s rainforests demonstrates, tropical forests will regenerate, and, given the space of time, return to their former state. The forests of Sarawak, if not all of Borneo, once one of the world’s greatest green lungs, will not. Sarawak’s forests are being replaced with oil palm plantations.

Taib has stepped aside as chief minister and is now the state’s governor. He ostensibly is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission after the Swiss government forwarded allegations to the Malaysians of money-laundering into Swiss banks.

“It is up to his successors (as chief minister) to correct the state’s course of action and the government’s condescending attitude towards its indigenous peoples,” Straumann writes. “Now, the Malaysian judiciary and anti-corruption authorities need to live up to their responsibility. While it is a good thing that Sarawak’s last ‘White Rajah’ has finally stepped down, he does not belong in the governor’s residence. He belongs in jail.” 

P/S: That last sentence is sadly unrealistic. Malaysia’s anti-corruption commission and its judiciary have no intention of doing anything about Abdul Taib Mahmud. He remains far too valuable to the ruling coalition in Putarjaya to keep the state in loyal hands. 

He has announced plans to build a long series of (52) dams on rivers to supply power that, given Borneo’s state of development, will never be needed. But skimming from the contracts will continue to supply a fortune to Taib and his family (not forgetting also the timber that will be cleared).

Additions in red by Sarawak Headhunter