The Council of Rulers through Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal yesterday issued a statement in their concern about the matter pertaining to 1MDB and the matter has been presented as being perceived not solved within the period which caused public uneasiness.
News Straits Times story:
Solve credibility issues fast, Malay Rulers urge leaders
8 OCTOBER 2015 @ 2:42 PM
** The following is the full text of the statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal, Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, after the pre-council meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara on Tuesday. The 239th meeting of the Conference of Rulers, ended on Wednesday.
“The Malay Rulers are sensitive to the rakyat’s unease and worries over the criticism of the government’s credibility and integrity in administrating the country. “The discretion of the Malay Rulers has been sought to help resolve the problems affecting the country at the moment.
“The Malay Rulers have a religious obligation to ensure that peace and prosperity can continue to prevail in the country in a stable political atmosphere, with the people living in harmony.
As such, the Malay Rulers, after a joint discussion, feel that they have an obligation to issue a statement concerning the questions and controversies affecting the country at the moment, which is the 1MDB issue.
“The Malay Rulers are aware that the government is presently conducting an investigation. The Rulers stress that there is a need for the government to complete its investigation into 1MDB as soon as possible. If there is any proof of wrongdoing, the government must take stern action on the party concerned. All those concerned should extend their sincerest cooperation for the investigation to achieve its objectives.
“The findings of the investigation must be reported comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people will be convinced of the sincerity of the government which should not conceal facts and the truth. Failure to provide a convincing clarification and answers might result in a crisis of confidence.
“As a consequence, the people believe, whether based on reality or perception, that this is among the causes for the plunge in the value of the Malaysian Ringgit, impacting the country’s financial market and economic climate negatively and at the same time adversely affecting the world’s view of Malaysia.
“The Malay Rulers are concerned that if the issue is not handled wisely and allowed to prolong, it could jeopardise the country’s economy, the people’s livelihood, as well as threaten public order and national security.
“With this, the Malay Rulers remind all leaders to always adhere to the principles of upholding the Constitution and the rule of law, as prescribed in the Rukunegara. To ensure that the government receives the people’s trust, that its leaders are respected, that political stability is guaranteed and that the economy continues to grow, all leaders must constantly ensure that justice is meted out equitably and transparently based on the law.
“To this end, enforcement agencies and regulatory institutions such as the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara, Attorney-General’s Chambers and the judiciary, as well as related government bodies should be worthy of God’s trust and the people’s faith and carry out their duties transparently, and with credibility and integrity.
“Leaders must always give priority to issues such as security, tranquility, peace and harmony as well as place national interests and the people’s concerns above their own.
“The Malay Rulers view seriously issues affecting race and religion and would like to remind leaders of political parties and non-governmental organisations not to sensationalise racial and religious issues to garner the people’s support for their parties or for themselves.
“The Malay Rulers wishes to remind that the long-prevailing interracial and inter-religious harmony and solidarity has been the main pillar for the stability of an independent, peaceful, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.
“As such, the harmony and solidarity of the people should be safeguarded at all times and never be sacrificed for shallow political aims.”
It is believed the statement was issued after HRHs had their pre-council meeting.
It is a very important underlying notion that HRHs highlighted that criminals should be brought to face all the necessary law enforcement and legal processes.
On the other hand, the statement was used, echoed and manipulated by many parties in the expansion their political contention and agenda, on top of aggravating the matter further. Undoubtably, it is to erode the public confidence against the Government.
Especially with the intent to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak. Opposition leaders already criminalised him even before investigations are completed.
What is interesting is the Attorney General’s statement on the progress of the 1MDB investigations.
With reference to the statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal on behalf of the Malay Rulers on 7 October 2015 and prior adverse or negative statements and comments against the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) on the delay in the completion of the investigation related to 1MDB and a decision thereon, the AGC wish to state the following.
The Task Force on investigations into 1MDB has never been dissolved or disbanded and the AGC has never made any statement to that effect. In fact the investigations conducted by the respective agencies were never at any time halted or hindered. The Attorney General has been constantly monitoring and giving instructions to the relevant agencies whenever the investigations were referred to the AGC, including instructions to expedite investigations.
As of today the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have not completed their investigations as some key witnesses’ statements have yet to be recorded.
As for the Central Bank of Malaysia (CBM), the investigation was conducted into 1MDB for an offence under paragraph (4)(b) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Exchange Control Act 1953 namely, knowingly or recklessly making a statement which is false in a material particular. The investigation paper (IP) was submitted to the AGC on 21 August 2015.
Having studied the IP, the Deputy Solicitor General 1, Datuk Tun Abd Majid bin Tun Hamzah, decided that there was no offence committed by the 1MDB officials and directed that no further action should be taken. The IP was returned to CBM on 11 September 2015. Hence the decision had been communicated to CBM on the same day.
However, on 1 October 2015 CBM transmitted a letter of request to AGC to have the decision reviewed. Having considered the request and the fact that there was no new evidence made available, the Attorney General decided to maintain the decision made earlier.
In this respect, the AGC would like to state that what had been in the news between 12 September 2015 until today concerning the IP still being with AGC and that discussions were ongoing, is inaccurate and not true.
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CHAMBERS MALAYSIA
The clarification was to set the record state on the investigations that are being carried out simultaneously by different agencies in different angles and jurisprudence on 1MDB.
It is important that prior HRHs issue a formal statement, the matter should be seen to be researched thoroughly first. Unless there are amongst HRHs who probably wanted to use the forum of Council of Rulers, to indirectly make a political statement even on behalf of others.
It is without a doubt 1MDB is a matter of public concern.
Deputy Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quick to respond to the concern raised by HRHs.
The Star story:
Published: Thursday October 8, 2015 MYT 6:59:00 PM
Updated: Thursday October 8, 2015 MYT 8:49:22 PM
DPM: Govt taken note of Malay Rulers concern over 1MDB
BY AKIL YUNUS
PETALING JAYA: The Government has given the assurance that proactive measures are being taken to address the concerns of the Malay Rulers pertaining to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said the Executive had taken note of and welcomed in good faith the contents of the statement from the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal on Tuesday.
In the statement issued following a pre-council meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara, the Malay Rulers said that Government should complete the investigation into the 1MDB controversy swiftly and take “the appropriate stern action” against anyone involved as failure to do so could lead to a crisis of confidence in the current leadership.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Cabinet members “fully uphold and respect the system of constitutional monarchy and also the concept of separation of powers among the various organs of Government as enshrined in the Constitution.”
“This includes provisions relating to the powers of the Conference of Rulers,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said in a statement.
Here’s a translation of Dr Ahmad Zahid’s statement, which was in Bahasa Malaysia:
“Government duly takes note of the statement by the Conference of Rulers during its pre-council meeting. Verily, it shows that the principle of constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy in Malaysia complements one another.
The Government is committed in upholding the separation of powers, hence every organ of the Government must be allowed to function as described in the context of the Federal Constitution. This includes provisions relating to the powers of the Conference of Rulers.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the Cabinet fully uphold and respect the system of constitutional monarchy and also the concept of separation of powers among the various organs of Government as enshrined in the Constitution.
All decrees by the Conference of Rulers are kindly noted and the Government has already taken the necessary proactive measures to address these issues. Indeed, the people’s prosperity and rule of law should be given priority in any decision and statement of all parties.
Hence, the probe on any party whatsoever should adhere to the rule of law, while any demand to speed up or slow down investigations should not happen.
Nevertheless, the Government would like to emphasise that all the information regarding the investigation will be conducted in a fair and open manner. The legal system enshrined in the Constitution is clear and if any party is found guilty, then action will be taken.
It has been made known that the Government is currently in the process of achieving a debt rationalisation plan for 1MDB. The plan has been well-received by local and foreign investors.
The Government will in the near future present all of 1MDB’s transactions for debt reduction through divestment of company assets. The Government has always cared for and respected the Council of Rulers’ decrees.
Therefore, national economic stability, the recovery in the value of the Ringgit, racial harmony, and reducing the cost of living are all primary focuses for the Government.
Every effort is being taken to ensure that these issues can be resolved in the near future.
It is hoped that there will not be any party, which issues statements to paint an image as if the Government is not making any effort to confront these issues, which have been polemicised. Give the relevant authorities the opportunity and space to resolve these problems in the best manner possible.”
However there are other more serious matters that warrants the attention and perhaps the official statement of the Council of Rulers. The immediate instance is the ‘Islamic State’ (IS).
The fact is that IS is a global terrorism problem, where Muslims have been seen and portrayed as extremists and brutal protagonists using the religion of Allah as an excuse and the drive to inflict pain and brutal murder on others, even fellow Muslims.
It also a fact that more and more Malaysians have been discovered to be involved and arrested for activities pertaining to IS. For the record, 123 Malaysians have been arrested for IS.
What is interesting to note, so far none of those who have been arrested by the Police for IS is a Non Malay and/or Non Muslim.
Amongst those who have been arrested are members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces. The number is eleven.
Straits Times story:
ISIS arrests: 6 security personnel among 10 held in Malaysia
The six security personnel were arrested along with four others in a sting operation conducted across six states on Wednesday, said the Royal Malaysian Police. They are suspected of planning to obtain weapons to launch terror attacks.
PUBLISHED AUG 21, 2015, 5:00 AM SGT
Amy Chew Regional correspondent In Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian police arrested six security personnel, allegedly linked to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group, for planning to obtain weapons to launch terror attacks, just days after bombs exploded in neighbouring Thailand.
The six were arrested along with four others, bringing the total number of suspects to 10, in a sting operation conducted across six states on Wednesday, according to the Royal Malaysian Police.
The arrests of security personnel have raised concern that ISIS is targeting this particular group for recruitment as they are trained fighters with access to weapons. In April, two air force personnel were arrested for their links with ISIS.
The 10 newly arrested suspects, aged between 24 and 42, include two civil servants, one former interior designer and one kindergarten teacher.
“We believe they were planning to acquire weapons to launch attacks in Malaysia,” said Inspector- General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar in a statement yesterday.
One of the civil servants is a woman who married a Malaysian ISIS member via Skype while he was fighting in Syria. Her husband has returned to the country and was arrested last month, a senior counter-terrorism official who asked not to be named told The Straits Times.
The suspects are believed to be spreading ISIS ideology, collecting funds to assist the militant group and arranging for Malaysian ISIS members to go to Syria.
“Investigations also revealed that they were assisting returning ISIS fighters to enter the country,” Tan Sri Khalid added.
Mr Khalid said that the suspects were also recruiting people for ISIS and hiding information of the group’s activities.
Malaysia tightened security in April after police arrested 29 ISIS suspects who were in the final stages of planning to blow up strategic buildings in Kuala Lumpur and the administrative capital of Putrajaya. They were also planning to kidnap VIPs for ransom.
The latest arrests bring the total number of ISIS suspects nabbed since last year to 121.
Probably HRHs would consider paying a little more attention to the IS matter. Firstly, all HRHs are Constitutional Head of Islam in their respective states. IS is a matter where the teachings of Islam have been adulterated for militancy purposes.
Many unarmed non combatants have been executed brutally even in front of cameras and benefit of global viewership, in the name of IS’s sinister interpretation of Islam. Despite the horrid cold blood murders, many are drawn to their struggle.
IS operatives are very effective in their recruitment and issuance of instructions which include to execute killings and bombings, through conniving ways of social media and communication tools.
Secondly, IS managed to find its way in the imagination and aspiration of many Malaysian Muslims. This should be a very worrying matter since they see the ‘Jihad’ brought through the IS struggle is a salvation against the peril of modern life, especially against the interests of Muslims universally.
The third point is that all HRHs are Regimental Head of various Armed Forces outfits. His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong is the Field Marshall of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
It is very alarming that eleven members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces, who have received training in handling weapons, have been arrested by the Police for IS related activities. This itself is a matter of grave concern.
Hence, HRHs should want to highlight for all Armed Forces services and outfits pay a little more attention on the servicemen and servicewomen and take necessary steps to avoid them being influenced and drawn into the falsehood of militancy in the name of Islam through the IS sinister jihad.
The fourth point, it is obvious that Malaysia has been added as a nurturing ground for a growing global terrorism and extremists adulterating the teachings of Islam for crimes against humanity purposes.
Regardless, the rising number of Malaysians arrested for IS is very alarming. This warrants an attention with issuance of statement of the Council of Rulers, if at all they wanted to highlight on a matter of public interest involving crime.
Inadvertently, this shall pave the way for the unique monarchy system of the Council of Rulers as rotational Head of State and Constitutional Head of Islam to stand up in the eyes of the global citizen sternly against international terrorism and militancy.