Thursday, January 21, 2016
Sarawak Report can reveal that a second Jho Low company, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited, has paid hundreds of millions of dollars into the personal accounts of both the Malaysian Prime Minister, Najib Razak and also the ex-Chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Aabar fund, Khadem al Qubaisi.
Aabar, a subsidiary of the IPIC sovereign wealth fund, has been enmeshed in a series of highly questionable and loss making deals with the scandal-torn Malaysian development fund 1MDB, which is directly controlled by Razak, using Jho Low as his proxy.
A Sarawak Report investigation has established that Blackstone, a BVI registered company which gives an address in Singapore, has been cited as the sender of a series of enormous dollar currency payments to both men between 2011 and 2012. Our information includes telegraphic transfer documents passed through the American banking system.
The off-shore company uses a tactic familiar to watchers of Jho Low, in that it apparently seeks to give the impression that it is associated with the US global investment giant, the Blackstone Group. However, there is no link whatsoever between the legitimate multi-national and this secretive shell company.
In fact documents obtained by international investigators have ascertained that the signatory for the company is none other that Jho Low’s deputy, Seet Li Lin.
Seet also acted in the same capacity for the notorious company Good Star Limited, which lies at the heart of the 1MDB scandal and of which Low was the sole shareholder.
The records show that before it was liquidated in early 2013, just three years after starting operations, Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited transferred well over half a billion dollars into accounts belonging to the two men. This was exactly the period when two major loss-making power purchase deals were funded through billion dollar bond issues raised under a joint guarantee by the two funds. Much of that money appears to be unaccounted for, forming a large part of 1MDB’s current debt problems.
Documents obtained by Sarawak Report show that four separate payments were made to Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Luxembourg account at Banque Privee Edmond de Rothschilde Europe (headquartered in Switzerland) in 2012. The sums were enormous.
Firstly, on 29th May 2012 Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners transfered US$158,000,000 million into Al Qubaisi’s account, held under the name of the The Vasco Trust, of which he was the sole beneficial owner.
Three further payments on August 3rd, October 31st and December 4th comprised US$100,750,000, US$129,000,000 and US$85,000,000 respectively.
It makes for a total of just under half a billion dollars – over two billion ringgit at current exchange rates, paid from a shady BVI company into the hands of the salaried Abu Dhabi fund manager over just six months.
Insiders have confirmed to Sarawak Report that these payments were regarded as kickbacks linked to Al Qubaisi’s involvement in 1MDB.
There was just one other major external transaction paid into Al Qubaisi’s Vasco account during the same financial year – US$20,750,000 was transferred from the other secret Jho Low owned company Good Star Limited on 20th February 2013.
Had there been a shortfall on the agreed Blackstone transfers, which was made up by Jho Low’s other company Good Star?
Otherwise, can the now sacked Mr Al Qubaisi explain these extraordinary secret payments into his accounts, just in the very period when Aabar and 1MDB were entering into a series of ‘joint investment’ deals from which billions have gone missing?
There is an even more serious angle to this explosive set of discoveries.
Sarawak Report has learnt that the on-going 1MDB investigation into Najib Razak’s AmPrivate Bank accounts in KL has also established that enormous payments came in from the very same source a few months earlier.
In 2011 Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited paid a total of US$170 million into the same private account belonging to Najib Razak which later received US$680 million in 2013, as reported by Sarawak Report, along with the Wall Street Journal.
Sarawak Report has already reported there had been earlier payments, which had brought the final sum in the account to well over a billion dollars. After the election over US$600 million was in fact sent exported back into personal accounts belonging to the Prime Minister in Singapore (now frozen) and the AmBank account closed.
We are now able to disclose that the first of those series of payments, totalling US$170 million came from Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited (BVI) and it was supported by the very same identical letter of guarantee provided by the bogus sheikh ‘Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud’, which also backed the later US$680 million ‘donation’ in 2013.
As we have detailed, Saud Abdulaziz Majid al-Saud has turned out not to exist and the series of identical letters provide no details of his address or credentials.
No wonder the task force investigations into 1MDB ended up querying these enormous payments as part of their remit into Malaysia’s missing development funds.
The official investigators had clearly concluded (before they were rudely shut down, arrested, sacked and in one case murdered) that these transfers into Najib’s accounts were directly linked to the disappearances of vast sums of money from the company’s accounts.
So what of this BVI based company, which suddenly transferred so much money into the accounts of the bosses behind Aabar and 1MDB?
Blackstone Group does indeed have a subsidiary called Blackstone Real Estate Partners Asia. However, the major global player has responded to enquiries to confirm that the almost identically named Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners (BVI) has nothing to do with their business.
Research into the shadowy world of BVI corporations has revealed that this particular shell company was incorporated on November 1st 2010 under the name of Foreign FX Trading Limited and changed its name to Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners on 26th May 2011:
Having transferred the hundreds of millions of dollars into both Najib and Khadem Al Qubaisi’s accounts the company was put into liquidation on 30th April 2013, just before the Malaysian general election.
Sarawak Report contends that the explanation for this series of events is that Blackstone Asia Real Estate Partners Limited (BVI) was merely another of Jho Low’s secretive vehicles for transferring money, which he habitually named to sound as if they belonged to more credible working concerns.
Other such companies which we have identified as being linked to Jho Low’s laundering activities are PetroSaudi International Limited (Seychelles); SRG (Strategic Resouces Global); Aabar Investments PJS Ltd and Merryl Capital.
The same London based company, Offshore Incorporations Centre, was employed to incorporate both Good Star Limited in the Seychelles and the Blackstone bogus company in BVI. Sarawak Report has already confirmed that international investigators have now established that the sole shareholder of Good Star is indeed none other than Jho Low.
Prime Minister Najib must surely now address what has now become increasingly plain and obvious, which is that much of the money recorded as having gone missing from the 1MDB/Aabar joint ventures, appears to now have been traced into bank accounts belonging to the two main players in these transactions – himself and Khadem Al Qubaisi.
The facilitator in the Blackstone BVI transactions was plainly once more Jho Low, using yet another of his web of off-shore vehicles to shift the cash, before he liquidated it (like Good Star) in an attempt to obliterate the evidence.
Posted by Al Tugauw at 9:31 PM
Wednesday, January 20, 2016
20 Jan 2016
Reproduced with permission
Amongst the shocking items of evidence understood to have been passed by the MACC’s 1MDB corruption enquiry to the Attorney General were credit card bills run up by the PM for his personal shopping on the public company SRC International’s named company credit cards!
AG Mohamed Apandi, who replaced sacked Gani Patail in August after Najib heard charges were about to be brought on the matter, is clearly playing for time, having yesterday returned the entire dossier to the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) for ‘further clarifications’.
Apandi, of course, comes up for retirement in just 3 weeks time on February 11th, when he will hit 65. Najib’s uber-loyal prosecutor Shafee Abdullah is already sworn in to replace him, which ought now to enable Apandi to escape this hot potato (he hopes) and to pass it on to Malaysia’s most famous legal thug.
Najib must in turn be hoping that Shafee will simply thrust the whole dossier in the bin and continue to act as his one man legal attack unit against anyone who threatens the ‘Big Boss’.
One month, two credit cards and over three million ringgit!
However, Shafee will be landed with an uncomfortable cover-up to deal with, simply because so many people now have the details from the dossier and are willing to leak them – to outfits such as Sarawak Report.
Last year we already reported that Najib and his wife splashed huge sums of money during August 2014 on credit cards for their European holiday. We are now able to furnish further details of the expenditure, information which we are reliably informed is included in the MACC dossier, which Apandi has decided to sidestep.
The two cards involved were a Visa card issued by CIMB (no: 4585 8180 0000 5496) on which RM449,000 was spent and a Master Card issued by Maybank (no: 5289 4380 0003 8961) on which RM2.8 million was spent in the course of the month of August in 2014.
Items funded included hotels, meals, jewellery purchases and other personal luxury expenditures in the South of Europe, including Italy and Monaco.
The devastating detail, which makes this expenditure so toxic for a Prime Minister who has spent the last year trying to explain the source of his ostentatious wealth, is that both cards were in name of the company SRC International, which began as a subsidiary of 1MDB before it was taken over by the Finance Ministry directly (Najib is also Finance Minister).
SRC International was famously launched with a RM4 billion loan from the public pension fund KWAP and has from the very beginning been embroiled in controversy over its opaque operations and lack of accountability. The Chief Executive of SRC was none other than Nik Faisal Arif Kamil, who is currently a fugitive in Indonesia and at the centre of the scandal relating to the missing monies from 1MDB and tycoon Jho Low’s sale of UBG.
After public demands for greater accountability over SRC in the 1MDB accounts, Najib in his dual capacity as Minister of Finance took the company directly under the Ministry of Finance and opposition parties have consistently campaigned for proper accountability over whatever has happened to the mission RM4 billion pension fund ‘investment’.
The crisis of confidence deepened after Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal reported in detail how RM42 million was funnelled in late 2014 early 2015 by Nik Kamil from SRC into Najib’s personal accounts in KL – an allegation that the Prime Minister has signally failed to refute.
This new information that Najib was also using SRC International’s company credit cards to fund his private jet-setting the previous August helps to further explain how it is that the establishment in KL is buzzing with the news that a slew of suggested criminal charges have now been brought against Najib by the MACC, which was the task force responsible for examining the SRC angle of the 1MDB corruption probe.
Opposition DAP MP Tony Pua has constantly repeated his complaint that virtually none of the RM4 billion borrowed from KWAP has been properly accounted for by SRC. His concerns were not allayed by a Prime Ministerial statement last year, which referred to an investment in a Mongolian coal mine as the major venture in which SRC was involved. After all, Sarawak Report was able to expose that investment as a relatively minor expenditure, worth at the most US85 million.
Jho Low’s games with names have included SRC International
Sarawak Report has also pointed out that the Prime Minister’s proxy, the businessman Jho Low, has been further identified as the owner of the similarly named SRC Global, which was involved in a private business venture to buy out Canada’s Coastal Energy together with the sacked former Abu Dhabi Aabar fund manager Khadem Al Qubaisi, who had extensive dealings with 1MDB.
It is just one of a series of dealings involving Low where confusion of ownership appears to have been deliberately sown the use of names similar to companies owned by 1MDB or other major concerns.
Investigations show that the same circle of contacts Najib Razak and his family, Jho Low and Khadem Al Qubaisi have appeared time and again in a series of business dealings both public and private, but all funded by Malaysia’s public money raised by the Prime Minister.
AG’s hot potato
Yesterday’s boomeranging of the MACC dossier makes plain that Apandi is set on sitting out this particular dilemma and passing on the entire toxic mess to his eager successor, Shafee Abdullah. It offers Shafee the choice of becoming identified as wholly complicit in a cover up if he then closes the case or of turning on his key client for the past decade.
Certainly, this would not be the first time that Shafee will have been called on as a fixer of scandals involving the present Prime Minister. In fact, Shafee has been on hand for just about every other major reputational danger that has enveloped Najib in the past.
It was Shafee who waded in to help during the Altantuya murder case and organised for top suspect Najib’s proxy Razak Baginda to be removed as a defendent; Shafee who was found to have together with Najib interviewed the accuser of Anwar Ibrahim the day before that young man reported a sodomy allegation and then he again who prosecuted the case against the opposition leader, despite complaints over the conflict of interest and Shafee who appeared in the hospital, apparently representing no one, on the day of the assassination of the AmBank founder Hussein Najadi, in order to inform the family that the body would be given a Muslim burial the very next day – before they could reach KL.
This time, however, Najib’s master fixer may find the evidence less amendable to disappearance as he steps into his new job at the centre of an unprecedented political scandal in Malaysia, not least because the SRC investigation itself pales into insignificance compared to the vast sums that also reached Najib’s private accounts from a series of BVI companies – guaranteed by a Sheikh, who turned out not to actually exist.
[More on Najib’s finances to come for the readers of Sarawak Report]
Posted by Al Tugauw at 4:39 PM
Tuesday, January 19, 2016
17 Jan 2016
Reproduced with permission
The new Attorney General Mohamed Apandi may by now be wishing he had not taken the job.
His predecessor was unconstitutionally booted out by the Prime Minister in July for bringing forward charges based on the purloining of millions from the pension fund KWAP into Najib’s own private accounts.
Now the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has completed its investigation into the matter and placed a dossier on Apandi’s desk, which according to several sources, contains no less than 37 separate charges against Najib, based on the same evidence.
Moreover, Apandi is aware that this evidence has now been widely distributed and is known to all the top brass in UMNO, making a protracted cover-up extremely hard to achieve.
In November this AG had issued a bald lie following the brutal kidnap and shocking murder of Kevin Morais, who had been the public prosecutor tasked with drawing up the original charges for the MACC. Apandi stated that Morais had had no role in the investigation.
However, it is now widely established that Kevin was indeed the key prosecutor on the case and he is believed to have been the source of the leak of the original charge sheets drawn up against Najib to this news portal.
Before he was abducted (and on the advice of Sarawak Report to the then anonymous whistleblower) Morais also sent the contents of his laptop file on the investigation to a number of trusted confidants – these are now waiting to see if Malaysia’s own forces of law and order are going to do their job or if they will need to release the information separately.
It makes for a difficult situation for Apandi and Special Branch are known to have been trawling the friends and relatives of Kevin Morais in an unsuccessful bid to secure the return of these sets of documents.
Since these authorities seized the relevant laptop from Kevin’s flat shortly after he was abducted, they are also fully aware of just how much information was passed out by the whistleblower before he was silenced. He himself had explained his motives in a series of emails to Sarawak Report at the time. His sentiments included these words on behalf of those in the civil service trying to bring out the truth:
““The police continue to be rather aggressive in trying to uncover the sources of the leaks. And not actually trying to nab the lunatic on top of the pyramid, running this country to the ground just so his arse is saved… and I’m not sure if we’ll be able to stop this lunacy.”
The information now thus at large from the investigation is said to include copies of the bank statements showing how RM42 million, which was passed into one of Najib Razak’s personal accounts from 1MDB, under the auspices of “Corporate and Social Reponsibility” payments, was actually spent by the Prime Minister.
It was back in July that Sarawak Report together with the Wall Street Journal published details from the 1MDB investigation that showed the exact trail of the money: an original RM4 billion had been borrowed from the KWAP public pension fund by a subsidiary of 1MDB named SRC International Sdn Bhd; then between December 2014 and February 2015 a total of RM42 million was siphoned out of SRC through two intermediary companies controlled by 1MDB executive Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil (Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd) and Datuk Shamsul Anwar Sulaiman (Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd). The latter has already been arrested and interviewed by investigators, whilst Nik Kamil has fled to Jakarta.
Najib has said that none of this public money was spent on personal things. However, those who have seen the relevant bank statements have told Sarawak Report that there were several expensive shopping items recorded, many bought on foreign trips.
The whistleblower himself had detailed to Sarawak Report during email correspondence in August:
“Actually, the spending .. was rather mundane. Credit card bills, shopping, suppliers to the last elections that had not gotten paid because BNM had frozen the accounts of other proxy companies, that sort of stuff.”
It is the shocking source of this money that is most damaging in this case – public pension fund money, which was spent by the Prime Minister on his family’s notorious ostentatiousness and extravagance abroad. Can it get worse than that?
Unfortunately, the answer is that yes it can and it is the further evidence against Najib which is making the situation even more impossible for the Prime Minister and his allies to contain, not least because whilst the SRC scandal is localised, the other graft allegations involve massive dollar currency transactions and implicate foreign banks, which the FBI and other international regulators are now publicly investigating.
“It is not RM2.6 billion it is RM4 billion”!
Indeed, for the Najib loyalist Apandi the problems merely begin with that MACC dossier, which has been sizzling on his desk since before Christmas, awaiting action.
On top of those 37 charges relating to SRC International there remains the issue of the far larger sum of money paid from a number of mysterious off-shore entities into a separate AmBank account belonging to the Prime Minister.
Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal have also published the details of two of those payments, made from a BVI entity named Tanore Finance Corporation just before the general election.
Sarawak Report has further detailed how the money came into Najib’s AmBank account, via the Abu Dhabi Aabar fund’s Falcon Bank, just days after Goldman Sachs had negotiated a massive US$3 billion bond issue in order to fund a supposed strategic partnership between 1MDB and Aabar.
Records show that much of the money from the series of bond deals between these two funds has gone missing and the Chairman of Aabar was sacked shortly after the 1MDB scandal broke last year.
What is now widely known in UMNO’s upper circles, thanks to further investigations by Malaysian task forces, is that this RM2.6 billion transaction in March 2013 was just a portion of the money which went into Najib’s same AmBank account during the period after 2011.
As Sarawak Report has already pointed out, there were at least two further sets of payments again worth billions of ringgit.
Most of this money, which Najib now claims was supposed to help UMNO win in elections, was never spent. The majority was sent back to into Najib Razak’s private account in Singapore straight after the election was over and the KL account was closed.
These facts, now widely known within UMNO’s top circles, make a mockery of the lame and unsubstantiated excuse eventually provided by Najib that this was money donated by an anonymous Middle Eastern royal, who was supposedly in the habit of handing vast sums to friendly foreign politicians to assist in their elections.
Not only would such a secret private political donation by a foreign potentate have been illegal, but the money plainly ended up in Najib’s private foreign bank accounts, where much of it remains frozen in Singapore.
The UMNO warlords have now acquired all the details, Sarawak Report has been reliably informed – and they are naturally furious on all counts. This is a genie that cannot be returned into the bottle. One UMNO insider has told Sarawak Report that all the party bigwigs now know:
“He didn’t just take the famous RM2.6 billion, it was RM4 billion and more”!
The game is up, but has Najib grasped the new realities?
It is because of this intractable mess that, behind a facade of UMNO unity and relentless PR about the ‘crisis being over’, stealthy talks were carried out at the highest levels in a series of locations over the New Year holiday break.
“Appearances are being maintained”, one insider told SR, “there have been the usual lavish events and appearances and of course Rosmah is still determined not to let go, but there have been negotiations in Tokyo and Dubai. Najib knows the game is up, but he does not appreciate the reality of his situation. He is a dead duck and yet he is trying to negotiate a safe exit along with a guarantee of all the stolen money! The others will not agree.”
There are other factors prolonging Najib’s stay in office. UMNO’s top brass may have agreed that he must go, but they are fighting over who succeeds. Zahid has made clear that he aims to take over from his Deputy Prime Minister’s position. However, others have pointed out that this forceful politician was promoted by Najib himself in response to the corruption crisis, replacing the Deputy Leader of UMNO, Muhyiddin Yassin, now banished from the inner circle of government and therefore far less contaminated by events.
The UMNO constitution also demands that it is the party that should choose its leaders, which puts Muhyiddin Yassin in line for the succession, not Zahid. Thus the arguments are not about whether Najib should go, but over who should succeed him and on what terms Najib should leave.
Nowhere to go!
The other major sticking point delaying Najib’s departure is the thorny issue of his criminal actions. The Prime Minister knows the game is up, say insiders. With the economy in free fall and the country enmeshed in top-down corruption, he sees little glory either to be gained from hanging out for a further election win.
“He wants out, but he can’t get out” speaks another source. “He has run the economy into the ground and has charges levelled against him, but he still thinks he should get a royal goodbye”.
Plenty of others would like to see Najib and Rosmah both jailed. After all, the money in Rosmah’s own frozen accounts in KL is also in the order of hundreds of unexplained millions, with plenty of stories in the wings relating to crony contracts and the exploitation of public funds.
Yet the ‘First Couple’ are not only hanging out for full immunity and safe passage abroad in the course of the on-going negotiations with their colleagues, they also want to keep the dosh!
UMNO warlords who have failed to see eye to eye with Rosmah on this matter are said to have found themselves treated to scurrilous accusations from her client blogger, the UK-based ‘RPK’, a form of retaliation which has not been appreciated.
The present deadlock has been further strengthened by the fact that Najib appears to have encountered a worrying shortage of willing foreign bolt holes.
Turkey has rejected his asylum request and various Middle Eastern countries have simply failed to reply to his entreaties.
The much vaunted Kazakhstan is apparently not actually Rosmah’s kind of place. Besides, the couple’s new in-laws, while not lacking in pretension, are regarded as persona non grata with the powers that be.
What all this means is that beneath the apparent calm awaiting Najib’s presentation of his gloomy, revised 2016 budget (a stark recognition of the dire state the economy has reached under his watch) there is an explosive situation waiting to erupt. When it does, the changes are likely to come quickly.
Yet, whilst all this festers, insiders have told SR, Najib is falling prey to every political and financial demand. The wounded PM can’t say no to anybody as he attempts to shore up his support:
“Everyone is going for bribes and contracts and then when that is not enough they come back for more bribes” detailed one disgusted onlooker. “They are feeding on the carcass of Malaysia’s blighted economy, while Najib tries to stay in office that little bit longer”It is a given of politics that once a Prime Minister starts to open even the discreetest of negotiations about his exit there can really be no going back. But, how this fraught situation will be ultimately resolved and what will happen to Najib when the dam bursts is still a guessing game for the insiders, who have been speaking to Sarawak Report.
Posted by Al Tugauw at 1:00 AM
Sunday, December 20, 2015
19 Dec 2015
Reproduced with permission
Europe has woken up to the corruption and human rights abuses in Malaysia, thanks to the dedication and advocacy of brave campaigners… and also to the astonishing, headline catching abuses of Najib Razak himself over the past weeks.
This is a time when Europe is concerned about extremism and violence targeted mainly at their own countries.
Even so, the representatives here were not prepared to be gulled into accepting Najib’s clampdowns on his own people and his own party under the excuse of so-called anti-terrorism measures. They can see that by stamping on people’s liberties and rights Najib is creating the conditions for terror and instability, not the other way around.
The resolution shows Najib has fooled nobody in the world but himself and the self-interested flunkeys whom he has paid to support him. The full resolution of the European Parliament is below and you can watch the debate on the resolution here:
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on Malaysia,
– having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2014 on the future of EU-ASEAN relations(1) ,
– having regard to the Statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 15 April 2015 on the recently adopted amendment to the Sedition Act in Malaysia,
– having regard to the Statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 17 March 2015 on the arrest of Nurul Izzah, opposition Member of Parliament in Malaysia,
– having regard to the Statement by the EEAS Spokesperson of 10 February 2015 on the conviction of Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim,
– having regard to the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights,
– having regard to the Statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 9 April 2015 on draft anti-terror and sedition laws,
– having regard to the joint press release by the EEAS on the EU-ASEAN policy dialogue on human rights of 23 October 2015,
– having regard to the EU Guidelines on Human Rights Defenders,
– having regard to UN Universal Periodic Review session of October 2013,
– having regard to the report of the Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons of June 2015,
– having regard to the second Universal Periodic Review of Malaysia before the UN Human Rights Council, and its recommendations, of October 2013,
– having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,
– having regard to the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders of 1998,
– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) of 1966,
– having regard to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT) of 1984,
– having regard to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Human Rights Declaration,
– having regard to Rules 135(5) and 123(4) of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the EU regards Malaysia as a key political and economic partner in South-East Asia; whereas the EU and Malaysia are negotiating a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement and a Free Trade Agreement;
B. whereas the space for public debate and free speech in Malaysia is rapidly narrowing as the government resorts to vaguely worded criminal laws to silence its critics and quell public discontent and peaceful expression, including debates on matters of public interest; whereas these laws include the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act and the Peaceful Assembly act, amongst others;
C. whereas on 3 December 2015 the National Security Council Bill was passed in the Malaysian Parliament by a majority vote; whereas the bill grants the National Security Council led by the Prime Minister sweeping powers to declare a state of emergency in any area deemed a security risk, giving broad powers of arrest, search and seizure without warrant;
D. whereas under the Sedition Act alone at least 78 people have been investigated or charged since the beginning of 2014;
E. whereas former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was sentenced on charges of sodomy in February 2015 following a politically motivated prosecution which resulted in criminal proceedings that failed to meet international standards of fair trial; whereas he has been denied appropriate medical care;
F. whereas LGBTI people in Malaysia are criminalised under the country’s anti-sodomy law and regional laws prohibiting cross-dressing, and face political hate speech, arbitrary arrest, physical and sexual assault, imprisonment, and other abuses;
G. whereas Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque (Zunar) is facing charges under the Sedition Act following critical tweets against the government with regard to the sentencing of Anwar Ibrahim; whereas blogger Khalid Ismath and academic Azmi Sharom face similar charges;
H. whereas the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission has questioned the Prime Minister in connection with graft allegations after the discovery of over 600 million euros in his bank account without any justification of source and purpose, as well as on separate allegations that hundreds of millions of euros were missing from deals involving a state firm he launched, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB);
I. whereas media outlets and publishing houses have faced restrictions under the Printing Presses and Publications Act following reporting about these allegations, and whereas lawyer Matthias Chang and politician Khairuddin Abu Hassan were arrested following their investigations into these allegations;
J. whereas the High Representative raised concerns regarding the abusive use of criminal laws during her visit to Malaysia on 5-6 August 2015;
K. whereas, according to the UN and NGOs, the Malaysian police forces have increasingly resorted to acts of torture, late night arrests, unjustifiable remands and selective prosecution;
L. whereas Malaysia continues to practice the death penalty with up to 1 000 prisoners currently on death row;
M. whereas Malaysia is a Member of the UN Security Council and the current ASEAN Chair, and the 27th ASEAN Summit was held in Kuala Lumpur from 18 to 22 November 2015;
1. Reaffirms the EU’s strong commitment to the Malaysian people with whom the EU has strong and longstanding political, economic and cultural ties;
2. Deplores the deteriorating human rights situation in Malaysia and in particular the crackdown on civil society activists, academics, media and political activists; expresses concern with regard to the spike in the number of people facing charges or arrest under the Sedition Act;
3. Is particularly concerned about the adoption of the National Security Council Bill and urges its withdrawal; calls on the government to maintain a proper balance between the need to safeguard national security and the imperative to protect civil and political rights;
4. Urges the Malaysian Government to immediately release all political prisoners, including former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, and to provide them with appropriate medical care, and to drop politically motivated charges, including those against cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque (Zunar), blogger Khalid Ismath, academic Azmi Sharom, political dissidents Khairuddin Abu Hassan and Matthias Chang, and human rights activists Lena Hendry and Maria Chin Abdullah;
5. Urges the Malaysian authorities to repeal the Sedition Act and to bring all legislation, including the Prevention of Terrorism Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Peaceful Assembly Act, and other relevant provisions of the penal code, in line with international standards on freedom of expression and assembly and the protection of human rights; calls on the Malaysian authorities to facilitate peaceful assemblies, and to guarantee the safety of all participants and their freedom of expression across the whole country;
6. Urges the establishment of the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), as recommended by the Police Commission of Inquiry in 2005, to investigate allegations of torture and deaths in police custody;
7. Underlines the importance of independent and transparent investigations into the graft allegations, and of full cooperation with the investigators; urges the Malaysian Government to refrain from putting pressure on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and media;
8. Deeply deplores the rise of supremacist groups which contribute further to the creation of ethnic tensions;
9. Encourages the Malaysian Government to open a dialogue with opposition parties and civil society stakeholders;
10. Calls on the Malaysian Government to ratify key international human rights conventions, including the ICCPR, the ICESCR, the CAT, the ICERD, ILO Convention 169, the ICC Rome Statute, as well as the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its optional protocol;
11. Asks the Malaysian Government to extend a standing invitation to all the UN Special Procedures, thereby enabling special rapporteurs to visit Malaysia without asking for an invitation;
12. Reiterates its position that the death penalty is a cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment, and calls on Malaysia to introduce a moratorium as the first step towards the abolition of the death penalty for all offences and to commute all death sentences to prison terms;
13. Calls on the EU and its Member States to coordinate policies towards Malaysia, in line with the EU Strategic Framework on Human Rights, in order to encourage reform on the above issues of concern through all possible means, including in the context of the UN where Malaysia is a non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2015-2016;
14. Urges the EU Delegation to Malaysia to step up efforts to finance projects on freedom of expression and reforming repressive laws, and to use all appropriate tools, including the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights, to protect human rights defenders; urges the withdrawal of the anti-sodomy law and calls on the EEAS, in line with the EU guidelines on the protection and promotion of the rights of LGBTI persons, to step up its work on the rights of LGBTI people in Malaysia who face violence and persecution, and to aim in particular towards the decriminalisation of homosexuality and transgenderism;
15. Reaffirms the importance of the EU-ASEAN policy dialogue on human rights as a useful tool to exchange good practices and promote capacity-building initiatives;
16. Calls on the Commission to make sure that human rights concerns are duly taken into account during future negotiations on an EU-Malaysia FTA and PCA;
17. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the parliaments and governments of the Member States, the parliament and government of Malaysia, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the governments of the ASEAN Member States.
Posted by Al Tugauw at 1:25 PM