Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

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Time. Is the single most important component and commodity in unravelling and making good the entire mess within Federal Government strategic investment corporation 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

That is what was said by an independent observer to one of the UMNO State Information Chief on late Sunday evening, right after party President Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak met an assembly of all Information Chiefs at Division, Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri level in PWTC.

Pro=Anwarista The Malaysian Insider story:

Najib promises to solve 1MDB saga by year’s end
BY RAM ANAND

Published: 14 June 2015 6:24 PM

Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak walks out from PWTC after briefing Umno division information chiefs on current issues. – The Malaysian Insider/Afif Abd Halim, June 14, 2015.
Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak walks out from PWTC after briefing Umno division information chiefs on current issues. – The Malaysian Insider/Afif Abd Halim, June 14, 2015.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today promised Umno leaders and pro-establishment non-governmental groups that he would solve controversies surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in two months, at the earliest.
Najib said so during a closed door session with Umno division information chiefs and NGOs at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today, according to one of the attendees.

Hasan Hamzah, who is de-facto leader of the group Gabungan Bertindak Perpaduan Melayu, said Najib had made this pledge and given a timeframe of between two to six months.

“Earliest is two months, but at any rate, he said he will solve it by the end of the year,” Hasan said when met at PWTC, which houses the Umno party headquarters.
Other Umno leaders, however, remained coy about the details of the closed door briefing which began earlier this afternoon.

The briefing today was held for Najib, who is also Umno president, to address party grassroots leaders on the recently-tabled 11th Malaysia Plan, the goods and services tax (GST) and other current issues.

Najib is hard-pressed, too, to explain allegations concerning 1MDB, which is his brainchild and which sits on a RM42 billion debt incurred in six years of operations.

Hasan said that since 1MDB is a business entity, solving it won’t be done in a short time.

“A lot of the allegations against 1MDB are just from the opposition. The PM admitted there are problems, but this is a business entity, it has enough assets,” he said.

“But it cannot be done immediately. So that is what the PM is asking for – time. If we give him enough time, he would be able to solve all the problems,” he added.

Hasan also urged Najib to meet former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as soon as possible to explain the same to the latter.

“It’s all about a clash of personalities, Tun had his way of administrating, now Najib has his own style,” he said.

Hasan said that Najib, without specifically referring to Dr Mahathir, had said that since Umno supports him, he would stay in the job and solve the problems.

“He said he cannot bow down to an individual’s pressure, whoever that may be,” he said.

“The PM is just disappointed. He feels we shouldn’t be fighting for an issue that is not big,” he added.

Dr Mahathir had repeatedly called for Najib’s resignation.

Hasan said that representatives from 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance were also in attendance during the briefing.

Meanwhile, Umno Youth information committee member Rozaidi Jamil said that if Najib had explained such details earlier, many of the controversies surrounding 1MDB would not have taken place.

“What was explained was very clear. If this was explained before this, we would understand. Why wasn’t it answered before?” Rozaidi said.

He also said that if Dr Mahathir had been in attendance today, even he would be supportive of Najib. – June 14, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/najib-promises-to-solve-1mdb-saga-by-years-end#sthash.lMlK324O.dpuf

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Needless to say, many are still fuzzy about what happened and what steps to be taken. Some are still skeptical. However, majority are still wishful that all are able to be made good for the betterment of many, especially the Malays.

“Give it time. All the mess would be made good and the money would be there and the benefits for all these strategic investments meant eventually for rakyat through programs which would alleviate their socio-economic standing would eventually transpire and materialise”.

And systematically bit by bit, 1MDB starts to unravel all the questions and malign allegations thrown at them. In the utter convenience, connivingly they have been disguised as “Questions people asked”, in the breadth without changing the tone, implicate Prime Minister Najib’s poor and weak policies, management capabilities and worse of all, carelessness.

Even the most technically competent critics have narrowed their scope to dissect all these new information being introduced into public consumption for the first time by 1MDB.

The Star story:

Published: Wednesday June 17, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Wednesday June 17, 2015 MYT 7:28:22 AM

1MDB answers its critics

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Develop­­ment Bhd has defended itself against criticism by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by addressing various issues, from the Cabinet being unaware of a fund-raising exercise for its start-up in 2009 to events leading to its investments in Cayman Islands increasing to US$2.318bil (RM8.57bil).

The fund that is wholly owned by the Finance Ministry has come under relentless attacks from not only Dr Mahathir but also some ministers for its cash-flow problems in meeting obligations for its debts of RM42bil.

Rebutting allegations that a Cabinet paper was not prepared for the Government guarantee that allowed 1MDB to raise RM5bil in Islamic bonds in 2009, the fund said the matter was prepared and approved by the Cabinet.

It also said the RM5bil Islamic bond issuance was fully underwritten by AmBank, which earned all the commission and not Goldman Sachs.

The other contentious issues raised by Dr Mahathir that 1MDB addressed were:

> The interest per annum on the RM42bil loan is RM2.4bil, and not RM3bil;

> The RM5bil Islamic debt paper was issued at a yield of 6.15%, not 7% as alleged, and that it was fair given the tenure of the paper stretching over 30 years;

> The RM2bil loan furnished by billionaire T. Ananda Krishan’s Tanjong group to 1MDB in February was in accordance with an agreement signed between both parties on Aug 7 last year;

> The Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) land was acquired for RM230mil, not RM320mil as alleged. 1MDB has to build the infrastructure for the TRX development that comes up to RM1,500 per sq ft;

> PetroSaudi International (PSI) injected oil fields in Turkmenistan and Argentina worth about US$2.7bil into a JV company which 1MDB paid US$1bil for a 40% stake. Dr Mahathir alleged that PSI did not “inject a single cent” into the JV company; and

> The 40% stake in PSI was later converted into an Islamic loan. 1MDB’s total exposure to PSI between September 2009 and June 2012 came up to US$1.83bil. The loans were converted to equity and eventually sold for US$2.318bil, an exercise that 1MDB claims earned it a return of US$488mil.

1MDB said the US$2.318bil was put in a Cayman Islands-registered fund and in return it received “fund units”.

“These fund units were owned by 1MDB via its 100% subsidiary, Brazen Sky, and held through BSI Bank Singapore as custodian,” it said in a statement yesterday.

The value of the investments held by Brazen Sky in BSI Bank came into question because the money is not in the form of cash but “units”.

In March, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak told Parliament that 1MDB’s investments had been redeemed and the “money” was placed with BSI Bank.

In May, the answer was amended to state that the investments had been redeemed and were in the form of “units”.

1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kanda­samy was also reported to have said on foreign media that he had seen the cash.

On this matter, 1MDB denied that Arul Kanda had said he had “seen the cash” and stated that there was a misunderstanding that led to the answer by Najib, who is also Finance Minister, in Parliament.

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That is actually good and moving forward because from now on, it would be the battle of wits for those who understand the complex intricacies of the capital and debt markets, coupled with the exercise to acquire and re-list large corporations in a very short span of time and opportunity.

That is not withstanding the ambitious and courageous corporate move to do mega super luxurious integrated property development programs, matching the intensity of new financial hubs in the likes of Shanghai, Singapore, Dubaii and Abu Dhabi.

Unless we are drawn into those who purposely wanted to throw spanners to the works every opportunity arises and destabilise the system for all the wrong reasons. The systematically crave to erode confidence and turn the people against the Ruling Party and Federal Government.

Pro-Anwarista Malaysiakini newsportal story:

7:23AM Jun 17, 2015
Malaysiakini

Report: PM’s brother to start new political party

643 79 3 40

Banker Nazir Abdul Razak, the younger brother of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, has initiated the formation of a new non-partisan political party to reach out to all races, the Asia Sentinel has reported.

The report said the new party seeks to “dramatically redraw the country’s political landscape” and put an end to divisive racial politics.

Nazir, who heads the CIMB Bank, is reported to have approached former deputy education minister Saifuddin Abdullah, one of Umno’s few liberal-minded leaders, to lead the new party.

“Nazir’s friends have advised him that he must emerge as the prime mover, or it won’t work.

“Saifuddin (photo), as much as he is respected as a moderate, doesn’t have the widespread clout to attract support,” says the report.

When contacted by Malaysiakini, Saifuddin declined to comment on the matter.

The Asia Sentinel report comes amid the start of Pakatan Rakyat’s disintegration and increasingly cozy ties between PAS and Umno.

This, said the report, has set the stage for possible political realignments, as BN component parties – MCA and MIC – might ditch Umno for more favourable partners.

Nazir, who is a widely respected banker and son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, could provide the platform for a new coalition, it said.

Muhyiddin ‘not acceptable’

Over the past few months, Nazir had shown himself to be critical of Putrajaya’s policies, especially in the handling of the 1MDB controversy, giving him an air of credibility.

And unlike other unsuccessful political upstarts, the report noted that Nazir and his business cohorts are very capable of raising the funds necessary.

Asia Sentinel added that former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the prime mover in the bid to oust Najib, is willing to wait until Umno’s annual general meeting late this year to install Muhyiddin as prime minister.

“Muhyiddin is hardly acceptable to Nazir’s moderates. He is a Malay nationalist himself and, at age 67, has amassed a fortune of suspicious size,” said the report.

“His son, Fakri, is also involved in many business deals, including a RM4.1 billion contract supplying 4G computers and Internet study to rural schools.

“He is partner to YTL in the project, called Bestarinet, which was reportedly engineered by Muhyiddin himself to YTL and which opposition leaders and teachers say is a failure.”

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Our advice is try to eye ball and keep up with this game where more mechanics of the complex investment banking play would be slowly surface. Otherwise, hold on to your horses and let those who are masters of the game do their job and reveal their work when it is time.

In simpler analogy, building sites are hoarded to allow the constructers and consultants finish their job without interference and the same time safety for the public is ensured. Only people involved and authorised have access to the progress of the project. Same goes to preparation of an elaborate meal for a banquet of heavy diners.

One would not get to see the end result until it is completely finished and that is when the critics should lash their thoughts and opinion. Not during the complexity and mess of the preparation for the banquet.

Probably it is too wishful to ask for ‘gloves off’ even though Ramadhan starts when the sun set this evening. Needless to say, in the suggestive words of the ‘good doctor’ to one to cease fire against one of then his most trusted loyalist slightly less than four years ago, “Try to tone down a bit lah”.

Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan Al Mubarak 1436H

Published in: on June 17, 2015 at 09:45  Comments (20)