Union of the snake

Self proclaimed Islamist party PAS has now recluse back as a party of clerics and adopted their conservative approach and philosophy towards Islam.

Pro-Anwarista TMI story:

PAS ulama to decide direction of Malaysian politics, says Economist

Published: 19 June 2015 1:58 PM

PAS’s ulama faction has been tipped by newsweekly The Economist as the pivot of Malaysian politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 19, 2015.
PAS’s ulama faction has been tipped by newsweekly The Economist as the pivot of Malaysian politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, June 19, 2015.

The direction of Malaysian politics hinges on PAS’s ulama faction, especially in its response to the disintegration of opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat, says The Economist.

The weekly newspaper reported that the Islamist party’s conservative wing was the decision maker after it trounced its moderate members at the recent muktamar.

“Much hinges on how PAS’s dominant conservative wing chooses to proceed. The party’s ageing leaders seem to think that time is running out to introduce hudud in Kelantan and look willing to reach some form of accommodation with Umno, despite a history of antagonism, in order to achieve it,” it said.

It added that support from PAS, however tacit, would boost Umno’s chances of stringing out its long reign.

“But it would also see Malaysia’s poisonous politics split more cleanly along ethnic lines – hardly a heartening thought.”

Pakatan’s collapse came after PAS motioned to sever ties with DAP during its muktamar. The move originated from the Islamist party’s ulama wing and was forced through the assembly of the party’s main body, much to the anger of some grassroots delegates.

On Wednesday, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail confirmed that officially the pact was over.

Former opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is serving time in prison, yesterday urged his former allies to work together to maintain Penang, Selangor and Kelantan, the three opposition-led states.

He also told party leaders to work together with non-governmental organisations to bring change and “reject the Barisan Nasional government’s greed for power and corruption”. – June 19, 2015.

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It is obvious PAS’s partner in crime of the (un)holy-marriage-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows is clear about their union is over where as PAS is dilly-dally being in denial admitting where exactly their position is.

Another Pr0-Anwarista story:

PAS in denial for saying Pakatan not dead yet, says Teresa

Published: 19 June 2015 1:04 PM

PAS is experiencing “denial syndrome” for not acknowledging that its motion to cut ties with DAP had brought about the demise of Pakatan Rakyat, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said today.

Yesterday, PAS election director Mustafa Ali said PR had only “fainted” and not dead despite DAP declaring the coalition had ceased to exist and PKR saying it could no longer function.

Kok, who is also DAP national vice chairperson, said Mustafa’s remark was “laughable” and failed to understand the consequences of his party’s motion in its recent muktamar or congress, which was passed without debate.
“His remarks also prove that he has not accepted the reality that PAS has killed off PR and that PR no longer exists,” Kok said in a statement today.

Although some PAS leaders have argued that the motion was not final, Kok said it was clear the muktamar was the highest decision-making body in the party.

“Mustafa and many PAS leaders are political veterans and there is no way that they did not understand the meaning and effect of the clear-cut motion.”

She also denied that DAP had made the decision to leave the coalition, saying it “repeated violations” of the common policy framework and PAS’s motion which effectively killed PR.

“Mustafa should not, therefore, attempt to shift the blame for PR’s demise on DAP, especially when he is totally aware that for close to a year, PR has existed only in name but not in fact due to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s violations of the Leadership Council’s decisions.” – June 19, 2015.

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It is not sure why PAS is very sluggish if not in denial about their failed coalition with Pakatan Rakyat. Nor the game that PAS is playing.

The grassroots which provided the actual machinery during any general or by-election not only for Pakatan Rakyat but any of the Opposition parties when they contest is dependent on PAS supporters and party workers.

PKR is the most which benefitted from PAS’s operational generosity.

Published in: on June 19, 2015 at 15:00  Comments (5)  

A strong reminder

Foreign Minister Dato’ Sri Anifah Hj Aman in his official capacity  issued a very strong statement to an international media, pertaining to the current political conundrum which is stirring a lot of confusion, spiralling a lot of manipulation, amplification of lies and ridiculing too many people be it Malaysians or people dealing with Malaysia.

OPEN LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITOR

1.     It is regrettable to see Tun Mahathir seeking to undermine his own country in the international media as part of a personal political vendetta.

2.     It is irresponsible of any citizen, let alone a former prime minister, to spread lies and distortions about state owned companies – saying for example that RM42 bn is missing from 1MDB to create public anxiety, when in fact these are audited debts backed by RM51 bn assets. These reckless claims have affected market sentiment towards Malaysia.

3.     Furthermore, it is telling that he continues to mount his attacks, rather than wait for the findings of the enquiries currently being undertaken by Malaysia’s central bank, Auditor General, and parliament’s bipartisan Public Accounts Committee. This shows that Tun Mahathir is not interested in answers from the appropriate lawful authorities. Rather, he is just using 1MDB as an excuse to topple the serving prime minister, Najib Tun Razak.

4.     And all because his personal demands, as Tun Mahathir himself has acknowledged, are not being met. Prime Minister Najib, as Malaysia’s democratically elected leader, will do what he thinks is right for the nation, and will not allow rule by proxy.

5.     Tun Mahathir told the New York Times that UMNO “lacks vision and talented people”, that it “has become a repository of patronage-seeking politicians”, and that members “try to keep out people who are more intelligent than themselves”. But it is Tun Mahathir who led the party for 22 years. It was he that, during his time, worked to cultivate ‘yes men’ and entrench his position – even introducing a quota system for the UMNO presidency to prevent challengers – rather than bringing in talent and strengthening the party. It is Prime Minister Najib who democratised the party constitution to make it far easier to challenge him for his job.‎

6.     For Tun Mahathir to accuse Prime Minister Najib of acts “verging on criminal” is simply outrageous, and entirely false. It is a measure of the reforms put in place under Prime Minister Najib’s administration that Tun Mahathir has the freedom to be so vocally critical of the party and government he once led.‎

7.     But Tun Mahathir is abusing that freedom, and his privileged standing as a former prime minister, to indulge in reckless and baseless personal smears against Prime Minister Najib and his family. Most Malaysians would rather see Tun Mahathir retire gracefully than continue to damage the standing of his own country for personal political gain.

Y.B. Dato’ Sri Anifah bin Haji Aman
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia‎

Published in: on June 18, 2015 at 23:58  Comments (16)  

Diversion shelling to facilitate retreat

The Oppositions' guild, dead (2008-2015)

The Oppositions’ guild, dead (2008-2015)

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member DAP Chief Propaganda Tony Pua is prejudicially attacking 1MDB President and Ground Exec Director Arul Kanda Kandasamy ahead of the latter appearance in front of the Parliamentary Select Committee, as a diversion away from the Opposition woes.

Pro-Anwarista Free Malaysia Today story:

Pua: Arul Kanda a ‘liar extraordinaire’

Shane Fuentes | June 17, 2015
The 1MDB President and Executive Director was an “unscrupulous liar and a man without any honesty and integrity”.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition begs to differ with a 1MDB statement on Tuesday that its President and Executive Director Arul Kanda Kandasamy never said he “saw the cash” (at a Singapore bank).


“He is on record as saying he had ‘seen the statements’, referring to the fund unit ownership and redemption,” noted Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in quoting from the statement.


“This is an outright lie to cover up another lie,” said Pua who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary.
In an interview with the Singapore Business Times published on 7 February 2015, he recalled that Arul Kanda clearly stated that while the funds amounting to USD1.103 billion would not be repatriated back to Malaysia, it would be kept in US dollars “as we have USD6.5 billion (RM23.06 billion) in bonds out there, in which interest payments come up to nearly USD400 million (RM1.4 billion) a year.”


He pointed out that the 1MDB President specifically said, “the cash is in our accounts and in US dollars. I can assure you (about that)… I have seen the statements”.


“It was therefore disingenuous for 1MDB to just quote Arul Kanda having ‘seen the statements’ without also quoting the sentence, ‘the cash is in our accounts and in US dollars’.”


“This proves that Arul Kanda was an unscrupulous liar and a man without any honesty and integrity.”
It begs the question, he added, why Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the Board of Directors of 1MDB still trusted such a person to manage and “turnaround” the country’s largest scandal-ridden company in history.


He reiterated that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President Arul Kanda was a liar extraordinaire. “His many responses within the statement did not address the key questions which key critics have raised many times previously.”


He was commenting on the 1MDB statement which, among others, made reference to the balance of USD1.103 billion of investments located in Cayman Islands which was redeemed in January this year and parked with BSI Bank Singapore. The controversy was whether this amount was “cash” or in “assets”.


Pua conceded that strictly speaking, some of the figures which were cited in former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s “1MDB Story” in his blog was inaccurate. “However, the gist of his arguments was definitely sound.”
Pua doesn’t buy the statement conceding that there was a misunderstanding on information provided by 1MDB to the Ministry of Finance (MoF). “This conceded ‘misunderstanding’ was completely unbelievable.”


Firstly, he wants to know whether Arul Kanda was so incompetent as to make a mistake between USD1.1 billion cash as opposed to assets or “units” of indeterminate value.


Secondly, if there was indeed a “misunderstanding” in the response provided to the MoF, the fact remains that Arul Kanda did not immediately correct the massive mistake on 10 March when the “cash” answer was provided and widely published.


Instead, he said, the 1MDB Chief waited until more than two months later on 19 May after he had posted the question again in Parliament, before issuing the correction. “If I didn’t ask the question, the truth would never have surfaced. Such a massive delay in clarifying the mistake was the height of irresponsibility by the 1MDB President.”


He asks: “Was Arul Kanda forced to finally admit that there was no “cash” in BSI Bank as a result of being caught with his pants down, after Singapore authorities handed evidence to Bank Negara Malaysia?”


Arul Kanda, he reiterated, had tried to bluff gullible Malaysians that 1MDB got back all it’s money and even “made a profit of USD488 million” in the entire Petrosaudi to Cayman transactions.

“He even cooked up the excuse that the money needs to be kept in US dollars because it was needed to service the interest of 1MDB’s US dollar bonds.”

*****************

Pua made this outrageous attacks despite Arul yet to appear and be questioned by the PAC. It is a demonstration that he is not interested to unravel the truth especially Arul is compelled to address all the queries during the PAC proceeding.

Arul was given the six weeks notice by MoF to appear before the PAC on 5 August.

Despite these outlandish attacks against Arul, he remains positive that PAC would be fair for him to present himself and 1MDB. It is no mystery Pua’s outrageous attacks are aimed to tarnish Arul’s credibility ahead of the proceeding.

Bernama.com story:

Arul Kanda Confident PAC Will Give Fair Opportunity To Explain 1MDB Position

KUALA LUMPUR, June 17 (Bernama) — 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)’s President and Group Executive Director, Arul Kanda, says he is confident that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) will give fair opportunity to explain on the strategic development company’s position.

“Notwithstanding the various public statements on 1MDB from PAC member Tony Pua (Petaling Jaya Utara Member of Parliament), I have every confidence that the honourable members of the committee will allow me a fair opportunity to explain 1MDB’s position, to a lawful authority per the requirements of due process,” he said in a statement today.

Arul Kanda and the former Chief Executive Officer of 1MDB, Datuk Shahrol Halmi, will face the Parliamentary body on Aug 5, 2015.

“The purpose of my appearance before the committee is to respond to questions that its members may have,” he said.

Arul Kanda was referring to various statements on 1MDB and himself attributed to Pua.

— BERNAMA

****************

If Pua as PAC member is not satisfied with information provided by Arul during the PAC proceeding, then there are avenues to address these deficiencies.

Definitely calling Arul as a “Liar extraordinaire”, especially before the PAC heard him out is not it.

The fact is that Pua as the DAP Propaganda Chief, is using the character assassination of Arul as a diversion from the real fact that the (un)holy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows of Opposition parties crumbled down and came to an end.

This further affirmed by Opposition Leader in Dewan Rakyat Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also PKR President.

Pro-Anwarista TMI story:

Pakatan Rakyat is dead, says PKR chief Wan Azizah

Published: 17 June 2015 6:47 PM
PKR confirmed today that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) had officially ceased to exist following PAS’s decision to cut ties with DAP, and DAP’s own announcement yesterday declaring the end of the seven-year-old pact.
PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said the lynchpin party of the opposition pact regretted both these actions, by PAS and DAP, respectively, but said that their actions meant that PR could no longer function.

“In light of this, the political coalition that is Pakatan Rakyat no longer functions formally,” Dr Wan Azizah, who is also the federal opposition leader, said in a statement this evening.

“PKR expresses regret on the resolution that was accepted without debate at the 61st PAS Muktamar and subsequently the DAP Central Executive Committee’s announcement of the end of Pakatan Rakyat that PKR considers hasty,” Dr Wan Azizah said, noting that this stance was approved by the party’s political bureau at its meeting last night.
She was referring to the motion adopted without debate at PAS’s annual general assembly earlier this month to cut ties with DAP. The motion had originated from the Islamist party’s ulama wing, and was forced through the assembly of the party’s main body, much to the anger of some grassroots delegates.

PAS leaders, however, have said the motion did not represent a final decision, as the matter still had to be decide by the party’s Shura council of scholars and clerics.

But DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng moved ahead with a challenge to PAS representatives in the Penang state government, of which he is chief minister, to quit their appointed positions. At least five have done so, including PAS progressives Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and former deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

DAP then went ahead to declare the end of PR, a decision it made at a meeting of its central executive committee on Monday night.

Dr Wan Azizah’s statement was silent on whether PKR would continue to work with DAP, despite calls by Selangor DAP chief Tony Pua to “choose” between DAP or PAS in running Selangor – Malaysia’s richest state and also PR’s crown jewel which it has held as a model of government should it take federal power someday.

PKR leads the Selangor government and has three PAS exco members. In the 56-seat state legislature, PKR has 13 seats, and DAP and PAS 15 each. Barisan Nasional (BN) has 12 and one is an independent.

However, the PKR president said today that the party was thankful for the “spirit and cooperation” of PR in Selangor under party deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali, who is the menteri besar, and under DAP’s Lim in Penang.

“In the same spirit, and based on the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework, PKR will continue to give support to the Menteri Besar of Kelantan Datuk Ahmad Yaakob,” she said, referring to the PAS government in the northeastern state of the peninsular.

She said PKR would still work at building a coalition, not limited to political parties, to defeat the ruling BN. – June 17, 2015

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pakatan-rakyat-is-dead-says-pkr-chief-wan-azizah#sthash.l4qXGqKn.dpuf

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The three parties came to the juncture where their political philosophy, objectives, approach, manoeuvres  and dynamism of leadership not only no longer match, but arrived to a point of deep distrust and disloyalty.

The fact is that this is not the first time the working relationship between the Opposition failed and crumbled. First it was Gagasan Rakyat (Semangat 46 and PAS as Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah joint forces with DAP and PBS) from 1990-1995.

Then it was the Barisan Alternatif, which was a precursor to Pakatan Rakyat which came into form on 1 April 2008 after the three Opposition parties managed in 12GE on 8 March 2008 to wrestle five State Governments (Selangor, Perak, Penang, Kedah and Terengganu) from Barisan Nasional and BN for the first time being denied the 2/3rd majority in Dewan Rakyat.

The inability for the three Opposition parties to come together and legally form an entity (similar to Barisan Nasional, which is registered as a political party) is a demonstration of adverse political philosophy, objectives, approach, manoeuvres and dynamism of leadership which was guised poorly.

This is despite grassroots and party supporters consistent pressure for the Opposition Leaders to get their act together and legally form the unified political entity.

Pakatan Rakyat crumbled came be summed up in very few points. Anwar Ibrahim, the Opposition Leader who gelled all the parties with diverse interests, philosophies, objectives and MO is exhaustively incarcerated. All Opposition parties had serious internal disputes and conflicts.

That resulted in change of policies especially when the Ulama’s threw out all the leaders within PAS who are Anwar Ibrahim supporters and revert back into their Islamist stance. That enabled Majlis Syura to decree that co-operation with DAP should be severed and PAS Muktamar two weeks ago adopted the proposal.

The previous modus operandi of the Opposition is would to do tactical retreat before they reassemble and come again as a united force. This is regardless would merely be superficial or formed legally as a political entity in their sordid desire to bury BN and come to power.

In the words of DAP Emperorissimo Lim Kit Siang “Pakatan Rakyat cease to exist. What Mujahid said it is interesting. We need to ‘die to reborn again’. We should move on and rekindle and waste on unnecessary polemics”.

“The hopes of the people is badly damaged. We must give the people a new hope. The aspiration for 13GE for change, is still relevant and still alive in 14GE with the political realignment that must take place”.

This cheap political stunt by the Petaling Jaya MP as an honourable member of the PAC rubbishing Arul prematurely in the prejudicial manner is one of those shelling of smoke canisters as the main body of army withdraws for a tactical retreat.

The readers of BigDogDotCom should also be reminded that Tony Pua made all these allegations outside the augur chambers of the Dewan Rakyat.

Published in: on June 18, 2015 at 00:30  Comments (17)  

Seeing light at the end of the tunnel

1mdb_logo_21022014_large

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.”

****************

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)  

Putih mata, tiada hendaknya

Artist impression of the TRX

Artist impression of the TRX

The 67,954 sq. ft. residential plot which Tabung Haji took up within Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) that became highly contentious after a blog maliciously drawn controversy with the connotation that 8 million plus depositors’ funds are being made to “Bail out 1MDB financial woes”, is still available and yet to be hived-off.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal story:

Tabung Haji yet to sell 1MDB’s TRX land despite claims of ready buyers

BY RAM ANAND Published: 15 June 2015 11:41 PM

Pilgrims fund Lembaga Tabung Haji has yet to finalise the sale of its parcel of land at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project, which it bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in April, Putrajaya said today. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said Tabung Haji was still evaluating potential buyers, even though its chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim had in early May said that the sale will be completed in “a week or two”.

“Tabung Haji is still evaluating all the offers in its effort to make the best decision so that the whole process remains Shariah compliant,” Jamil Khir told the Dewan Rakyat today in response to a question from Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara). The minister did not provide a specific timeline as to when the sale will be completed.

“We must be very thorough and careful in this sale, it involves the interests of the Muslims, so it’s important that we look after their interests,” he said. Pua later said that the delay was an indication that Tabung Haji was struggling to sell the land.

“The response from the minister is clearly an excuse to cover up the fact that Tabung Haji is having difficulty convincing any buyer to purchase the land for a price higher than what it has paid,” the DAP lawmaker said. Pua said the process to determine a bid for a piece of land would not take six weeks, and warned that a failure to complete the transaction as promised would only prove that no other buyers were interested in the land.

Tabung Haji purchased the land for RM188 million in April to develop a residential tower, 43 times the price the debt-ridden 1MDB had paid for the same plot, which it had bought from the federal government four years ago.

Mindful of a backlash and sensitivity among its depositors over the purchase, Tabung Haji quickly vowed to sell off the land at a profit soon after buying it, saying it had ready buyers which proved that the land had appreciating value and was a profitable venture.

Azeez said the decision to sell the land was on the advice of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also chairman of 1MDB’s advisory board. – June 15, 2015. –

See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tabung-haji-yet-to-sell-1mdbs-trx-land-despite-claims-of-ready-buyers#sthash.7ZsWR2Ym.dpuf

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If this story is true, then TH should not hive-off the only residential parcel within the TRX mega development area.

DAP Chief Propaganda Tony Pua has no right to give unsolicited opinion, because he does neither has the qualification to represent the TH depositors nor qualify to be a depositor to begin with. In fact, he is grossly out of place to make any comments about the TH deal in TRX.

The parcel could be made into a very productive asset with the current development order of 10.47 plot ratio. It means the land now could have a development area (gross floor area – GFA) of 710,000 sq. ft. Of that, a net build up and lettable area of 500,000 sq. ft.

The layout of TRX

The layout of TRX

At current market prices of similar luxurious residential in the area of between RM9.00-12.00, a prudent rental income of RM4.5-6million per month should be attainable.

That is between RM55-72million of income per annum, which is syariah compliant.If factored to the market four years away  on an expected to cater for demand of growth for high end properties, then an annual revenue of RM80-85million could be projected.

There are some points that the public should consider. The RM2,774 psf price that TH paid to TRX isn’t outrageous at all considering that TRX would be spending about RM1,500.00 psf to provide infrastructure for the mega development, which include 3 MRT lines.

The process for the acquisition of this parcel was made across the board, by professionals. TH was pre-qualified by valuers CH Williams in June 2014 and the due diligence by both parties were made from that point. The initial offer by TRX for the parcel was at the value of RM210million.

TH businesses which include income from property investments are being ploughed back as subsidy to undertake pilgrimage on top of dividends paid to depositors annually

TH businesses which include income from property investments are being ploughed back as subsidy to undertake pilgrimage on top of dividends paid to depositors annually

However the came into agreement in Dec 2014 for the deal to be sealed at RM194million. Then came the opportunity for TH to evaluate the proposal for the development of the TRX Signature Tower. After deliberation, TH investment panel deemed that the TRX Signature Tower is unable to be a property of wholesome ‘Syariah Compliant’ because of the nature of potential tenants.

Hence, they decided only for the parcel meant for luxurious residential. So the deal  initial 67,954 sq. ft. parcel was put in back burner and wasn’t inked till April 2015, when TH agreed to pay RM188.5million provided it was done in a bullet payment.

By far, TH got the first mover advantage for TRX where they are in the position to draw the first offers to take up the lease when it is completed. This could be substantiated by the other buildings that is coming up around the area.

It was said the plot where the Harrods Hotel is being built at the moment is acquired and valued at RM7,000 psf.

Star Property story:

Bukit Bintang Harrods Hotel part of RM30bil to be pumped into Malaysia by Qatar

Posted on January 29, 2013 | 5162 views | Topic : Featured, News & Articles. The Harrods Hotel in Kuala Lumpur Artist’s impression of the Harrods Hotel mixed development project at the corner of Jalan Raja Chulan-Jalan Conlay

By Chee Su-Lin | sulin.chee@thestar.com.my

Due to sit on the land off Jalan Raja Chulan that is now occupied by the Seri Melayu restaurant and Chulan Square (which are slated to be demolished), the new Harrods Hotel mixed development recently broke ground and is expected to be completed by 2018.

Besides the hotel, the project comprises two residential towers with apartments, an office building and a retail podium, with direct connectivity to Pavilion mall. The link is not just physical.

The mixed development is a joint venture between Tradewinds Corporation Bhd (controlled by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar), the Pavilion Group (controlled by Malton Bhd’s Datuk Desmond Lim, among others), and Qatar Holding LLC (controlled by Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund).

The latter two were also owners of Pavilion mall before it was listed as part of the Pavilion REIT. Qatar Holdings bought out London’s famous Knightsbridge shop from Egyptian Mohamed Al-Fayed in 2010. Since then, the new owners have aimed for Harrods to become a “global enterprise that defines the luxury retail and leisure sectors”. Dr Hussain briefing on the Harrods Hotel Dr Hussain brought with him good news of billions of dollars of investment from Qatar.

The company in fact already has stakes in several luxury companies, including French conglomerate LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton, US jeweller Tiffany and German car maker Porsche.

Since the credit crunch of 2008 and 2009, Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund has become the world’s global banker of sorts, having also picked up shares in British bank Barclays, British supermarket Sainsbury’s, and US film studio Miramax, among others.

Qatar decided for Malaysia to house one of the world’s first three Harrods hotels because of the country’s good investment environment and because Malaysia gets up to 25 million tourists every year, said Qatar Holding LLC vice chairman Dr Hussain Ali Al-Abdullah at the recent groundbreaking ceremony.

Qatar plans to invest a total of US$10bil (RM30bil) into the country over the next three to four years. Around half of this will be pumped into Johor’s petrochemical hub in Pengerang, he said. Qatar was also a cornerstone investor in Felda Global Ventures, injecting US$100mil (RM300mil) into the listing.

Asked on whether this money would continue to be invested into the country if the government were to change in the next general elections, Dr Hossein said, ““We love Malaysia and we love the people of Malaysia so we will always invest in Malaysia.”

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The fact is that good parcels around the financial and high end districts of Kuala Lumpur especially around the ‘Golden Triangle’ and KLCC neighbourhood are somewhat scarce. TH landed a good opportunity to build a luxurious residential building, where even in the current market, the demand is in high and encouraging.

TH BoD announcing the hasty decision to hive off the 1.6ha TRX parcel a month ago

TH BoD announcing the hasty decision to hive off the 1.6ha TRX parcel a month ago

TH BoD should seriously reconsider Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s ‘suggestion’, especially the heat on the the pressure on the question of the parcel made contentious through social media had withered.

Indonesian Mulia Group’s acquisition of the TRX Signature Tower which was initially offered to TH provided the ‘Putih Mata‘ effect to many level headed Malaysians, including the non-Muslims who are not depositors in TH.

The Star story:

Indonesia’s Mulia Group to develop TRX’s Signature Tower

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: Indonesia leading property developer Mulia Group will develop the international financial district Tun Razak Exchange’s (TRX) landmark Signature Tower building. TRX’s master developer 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd and the Mulia Group signed a sale and purchase agreement for the development rights of the plot.

The land transaction is valued at RM665mil. A joint statement released on Wednesday said the Signature Tower building will be a highly visible focal point for TRX. As it will be TRX’s tallest building and have its largest floor plates, the tower is poised to be a Prime Grade A office space in Kuala Lumpur. Mulia Group is the latest investor in the TRX after Lend Lease International, a global property and infrastructure group, which is developing the RM8bil Lifestyle Quarter.

The other investor is Veolia Water Technologies, whose water management technology will halve potable water use in TRX. Commenting on Mulia Group’s entry, 1MDB RE chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib said: “We are pleased to have the Mulia Group on board towards realising the potential of the Tun Razak Exchange. This significant investment underscores foreign investor confidence in Malaysia.”

The Mulia Group, which has a leading market share for premium commercial properties in Jakarta, developed, owns and manages seven premier office buildings in Jakarta’s central business district, including the Wisma Mulia 1 and 2. Wisma Mulia 1 and 2 are ranked amongst Jakarta’s tallest and most prestigious office buildings that together house key global and local blue-chip companies in Indonesia.

The Mulia group has also developed and managed internationally renowned hotels, and residential and shopping mall properties. Mulia Group president director and owner Eka Tjandranegara he was excited to embark on the project to develop the Signature Tower to become the new landmark of Kuala Lumpur city. “Our Mulia Group wishes to be an integral part of this iconic state-of-the-art development not only for Malaysia but for the region and beyond.”

“We see TRX’s potential to further develop the city’s role as a financial capital, and the Tun Razak Exchange aids our growth and expansion plans. I am committed to personally seeing this project through, drawing from our vast experience,” he said.

The Mulia Group’s properties also include their award-winning Hotel Mulia Bali which essentially comprises of The Mulia, Mulia Resort & Villas in Nusa Dua, Bali. In the past two years, the resorts have been awarded six prestigious awards by Condé Nast.

TRX’s significant investment in its infrastructure is to create a truly accessible world-class financial hub. Tenants can connect to the city centre and the rest of Greater KL, via the largest integrated underground MRT interchange station.

The MRT will connect TRX to the proposed High Speed Rail terminus station at Bandar Malaysia, linking TRX to Singapore’s financial centre.

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Later in the month (next two weekends to be exact), 1MDB real estate arm would reveal the mega master plan of the Bandar Malaysia after the request for proposal (RFP) has been issued last week.. The 486 acres mixed mega development where 220,000 people are expected to work, live and past through daily, is expected to bring a gross development value (GDV) of RM145-150 billion. 

The perception and expectation of 1MDB is expected to change and confidence of moving forward towards the right direction would slowly be restored.

That is hopefully would add confidence that TH did make the sound business decision and should keep and develop the 67,954 sq. ft. TRX residential plot, at the right time and opportunity. Thus, provide the 8 million plus TH depositors the feeling of ‘Putih mata, tiada‘.

*Updated Tuesday 16 June 2015 0800hrs

MPs have stood up and in strong messages urging that TH to hold on to the 67,954 sq. ft. parcel meant for luxurious residential within the TRX mega development.

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday June 16, 2015 MYT 9:38:00 AM
Updated: Tuesday June 16, 2015 MYT 9:40:00 AM

MPs urge Tabung Haji not to sell TRX land

BY YUEN MEIKENG AND RAHIMY RAHIM
KUALA LUMPUR: Several Barisan Nasional MPs have urged Lembaga Tabung Haji to keep the parcel of land it bought from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) as it could appreciate in value.

“From a businessman’s point of view, perhaps it is better not to sell the land first. What’s wrong with keeping the land if it could appreciate in value?” Liang Teck Meng (BN-Simpang Renggam) said during a minister’s winding up speech for the debate on the 11th Malaysia Plan in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday.

Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh (BN-Kalabakan) added Tabung Haji is not a RM2 company, implying that it has vast experience in investments.

“Don’t sell the land because if we keep it, we stand to gain from it as it will increase in price,” he said of the parcel of land located at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX).

Amran Ab Ghani (BN-Tanah Merah) also urged for Tabung Haji to reconsider selling the land, saying that those who criticised the decision had ill intentions.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said he would take note of the MPs calls and convey them to the Tabung Haji board to review.

He said all investments are made based on business transactions and not from orders from him or the Government.

Earlier, to a question by Tony Pua (DAP-Petaling Jaya Utara) on the update of offers to buy the TRX land, the minister said Tabng Haji was still evaluating the best offers.

“When we sell the land, we do not just want a return of our capital but we want to make a profit,” he said.

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Clearly, the sentiments are for doing the right thing quite against the one being spooked for the sinister instigation by a cowardice blogger who is believed to be obsessed to topple Prime Minister Najib.

*Updated 1100hrs

Published in: on June 15, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (21)  

Separating the trees from the wood

Media organisations which are indirectly acting on behalf of personalities in sordid attempts to riddicule the heightened attacks against controversies such as the ‘1MDB scandals’ ought to be able to separate the battles they wish their ‘enemies’ to be drawn into.

In the aggressiveness of Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s strong criticism and eventually evolved to attacks in the past 10 weeks which demanded Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak to resign, the retaliation is somewhat amateurish if not childish.

TV3 trained its guns at Proton, for defaulting on the Teksi 1 Malaysia (TEKS1M) program and poor quality Proton Sagas. The anguish of taxi drivers is being harped for four nights in a row.

Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak endorsement of the Proton Exora as the Teksi 1 Malaysia

Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak endorsement of the Proton Exora as the Teksi 1 Malaysia

It is because Tun Dr. Mahathir last year came into Proton Board of Directors (BoD) as the Chairman.

The TV3 story is an attempt of a sinister agenda in nature, to indirectly rubbish Tun Dr, Mahathir who incepted Perusahan Otomobil Nasional as the national car project more than thirty years ago and still is very fond of the idea to make Malaysia an automobile producing nation.

These prime time reports failed to highlight the complete information to the few points as contentious, in which being presented otherwise as a propaganda to condemn Proton.

Good times. The endorse for Proton Saga. Today, TV3 says many taxi drivers are angry with this model

Good times. The endorse for Proton Saga. Today, TV3 says many taxi drivers are angry with this model

One, taxi drivers face problems getting their warranties void and Proton dishonouring them. The other is the delay in the delivery of Proton Exora as part of Federal Government via SPAD program of the introduction of  Teksi 1 Malaysia.

These Proton cars were delivered with Campro engines. Most of the taxi drivers converted them to be NGV-enabled, so that they can save on fuel bill since for a long time government disallowed for the increase in fare for taxis even though operation costs escalate.

What the TV3 story failed to allow Proton to explain is that the warranty void arisen from the tempering with the engine.

The late delivery of Proton Exora is because ‘initial instructions’ was about to supply high-specs taxi (to match the ones that is being used as TX4 in London etc.) but taxi operators refuse to pay for the increased in price and prefer the lower-specs instead. There is other contentious issue of SPAD has been seen as lacklustre in playing the role to ensure that the financing of these Proton Exoras is made easier for operators and drivers.

President Jokowi being showcased with Proton latest indigenous product Iriz by Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir at Proton plant in Shah Alam

President Jokowi being showcased with Proton latest indigenous product Iriz by Chairman Tun Dr. Mahathir at Proton plant in Shah Alam, accompanied by senior Cabinet Minister Dato’ Sri Mustapha Mohamad and Dato’ Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamid

This is highly inconsistent and bent towards politically inproductive since in the recent inaugural visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Proton was showcased as one of the industry that is Malaysia’s pride.

Those who are responsible to issue ‘instructions’ for TV3 to do this must also stop and in which ever ways start to realise that there are multiple times more happy Proton users and loyalists from the four million produced and sold in past thirty years as compared to the disgruntled ones. Slighting them in any way and degree would inevitably jeopardise confidence or even support towards Prime Minister Najib and his administration. Certainly even more than the imagination of gaining political mileage otherwise.

Its baffling to even think that media professionals and experienced journos are able to be cowed by political-king-maker wannabes for something which could only be viewed as such a childish lame political prank.

Published in: on June 14, 2015 at 15:00  Comments (23)  

Vox Populi Versus Curia Regis

HRH Tunku Makhota Johor's statement on the last minute cancellation to appear at Sukaguam's event in PWTC on 5 June 2015. Pix taken from Astoawani.com

HRH Tunku Makhota Johor’s statement on the last minute cancellation to appear at Sukaguam’s event in PWTC on 5 June 2015. Pix taken from Astoawani.com

A Ruler has been warned for HRH’s blunt scathing remark meant for the Prime Minister, when the latter heeded the advice of the Police for last minute cancellation of a disquiet event to engage several NGOs last week.

The Star story:

Published: Saturday June 13, 2015 MYT 3:02:00 PM
Updated: Saturday June 13, 2015 MYT 3:16:40 PM

Stay out of politics or get whacked, Nazri tells TMJ

PETALING JAYA: The Crown Prince of Johor has been told to stay out of politics if he wishes to remain above the law.

“He should keep out of politics because otherwise, he will be subject to the same rule and we will whack him,” said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The Tourism and Culture minister was referring to a scathing remark by Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim last week against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for not attending a tell-all public forum.

“Rulers and royal families are above the law. If you want to be a politician then say so, so we can hit you back for what you say.

“But if you hold an important post, as a royalty in a state and start saying things, if we hit you back, don’t get angry,” he told reporters after officiating an event in Universiti Malaya, Saturday.

Nazri added that the royalty should keep out of politics because “we are the ones protecting the royalty”.

On June 5, Tunku Ismail posted on Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page, saying:

“How can you have a dialogue called Nothing2Hide featuring a person who has everything to hide? obviously he won’t show up”.

The remarks were aimed at Najib for not showing up at the Nothing2Hide dialogue at Putra World Trade Centre last week.

The event was called off by Inspector General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar citing “security and safety reasons.”

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The Prime Minister is answerable to the people. There are proper forums for the Prime Minister, who is appointed as the Head of Government by His Majesty Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong in fulfilling the Westminister-styled Constitutional Monarchy democracy, to address the concerns of the people.

One of it is the Parliament.

Engaging the people via events such as live debates whether in an auditorium or televised, or dialogue sessions with NGOs and invited personalities, like last week’s Sukaguam event in PWTC is a privilege rather than a right.

The Prime Minister is compelled to heed advice from Chiefs of agencies responsible for security and defense even if it would immediately cause unpopularity, dissatisfaction or even wrong connotation.

This include HRH Tunku Mahkota Johor’s message, which was made available on social media for only a few hours before it was taken off-line.

It is wrong for a Ruler to express his personal opinion in a snide quip openly through public domain, especially it would compound to the public dissatisfaction towards the Prime Minister and government of the day.

The Ruler must know that he ought to properly choose  where and how to address this thoughts, even with the intention to tell off the government.

That is only proper because HRH is bound by the system where he has a role to play and he cannot conveniently wear different hats to fit his whims and fancies, especially when the spirit, nature and manner the messages that he is uttering would have profound political and confidence effect.

HRH Sultan of Johor handing over a personal donation of RM1million to Chief Minister of Sabah Musa Aman for the recent Kinabalu Earthquake Tragedy

HRH Sultan of Johor handing over a personal donation of RM1million to Chief Minister of Sabah Musa Aman for the recent Kinabalu Earthquake Tragedy

A Ruler is expected to uphold the confidence for the government which was elected by and for the people. This include leading or setting examples for the people to emulate, in assistance when a calamity or tragedy has fallen.

It is imperative for the confidence remain intact as the policy and machinery which ensure their entire administrative and commercial system is managed and driven by the democratically elected political masters.

This right to inequivocably uphold public confidence is part of the  raison d’être  of the immunity provision accorded to HRH Rulers as Constitutional Heads.

The Minister is right if any of HRHs prefer to relinquish this honour and role and instead ‘toil with the soil’ on political matters, then they must be prepared for the repercussion of being an ordinary politician.

As the cliche’ goes, ‘Politics is dirty’.

Probably members of the ruling houses may not want to be reminded of the skeletons in their closet and how politics could manifest facts in the manipulated and amplified fashion that it stays on in the peoples’ mind, for a long time.

The true test is to face the people when the people have the ‘immunity’ to exercise their right, such as in an election. Then one would truly know the actual feeling of the people towards oneself.

Is the game afoot?

Published in: on June 13, 2015 at 15:30  Comments (24)  

Missing the another elephant in the room

They say obsession overpower any sense of rational. All the concentrated attack on the purportedly ‘mismanagement, negligence, deceit and/or elements of criminal practices’ which include “Disappearance of monies” of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and all its history and dealings, in sundry, and phalanx against all attempts to answer and straight things right simply shut the eye towards the other elephant in the room.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Putrajaya confirms Pembinaan PFI debt pile near RM27b

BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY

Wednesday April 1, 2015
11:01 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 — Putrajaya confirmed today that the little known Finance Ministry-owned Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd currently still has an outstanding debt worth nearly RM27 billion.

In a written reply to Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming yesterday, the ministry said that PPFI’s audited financial statement for the 2013 financial year was submitted to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) on March 4 last month and confirmed a debt of RM 26,609.6 million.

“For your information, PPFI is a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) fully-owned by the Finance Ministry Incorporated, formed on September 28 2006.

“The purpose for the company’s foundation is to obtain funding for development purposes and other programmes identified by the government,” the ministry said.

Ong had asked the ministry to state PPFI’s debt to date and why the firm’s annual accounting report for 2013 had not been submitted to SSM.

On March 11, Ong said that PPFI, an obscure firm that had that racked up RM27.9 billion in liabilities in 2012, could have easily doubled up on its debt by now if left unchecked.

He had claimed that just last year, the company took on an Islamic Bai Muajjal loan with the Employees Provident Fund with a RM19.5 billion ceiling, potentially bumping up PFI’s liabilities to over RM47 billion.

“The spending of the government-owned company does not appear anywhere in any of the federal government budget accounts which means that all expenditure are ‘off-budget’ items,” Ong claimed in a statement.

He also claimed that the lack of transparency on the part of PPFI is to “hide” government spending from the actual budget and could easily turn into another 1MDB.

According to the Auditor-General’s report in 2013, PPFI had the third highest liabilities among all government-owned entities at the end of 2012. Its total liabilities were RM27.9 billion, behind national oil giant Petronas and sovereign fund Khazanah Nasional.

Ong claimed that more questions arose after the Federal Land Commission signed a deal in November to pay RM29.2 billion in rental to Pembinaan PFI in staggered payments of 30 blocks spread out over 15 years from February 15, 2013 right up to August 13, 2027.

“The Prime Minister, who is Finance Minister, must ensure transparency in the spending, borrowings and debt repayment involving Pembinaan PFI to avoid another 1MDB scandal from occurring,” said Ong.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/putrajaya-confirms-pembinaan-pfi-debt-pile-near-rm27b#sthash.axgLyRqT.dpuf

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PFI was a creature created as a commercial entity with MOF Inc as the only shareholder by then Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop to expedite projects for underlined and planned by Federal Government in the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) and 10th Malaysia Plan (10MP).

This commercial entity shall undertake all the projects to be delivered under a privatisation scheme of ‘build-operate-lease’ programs with a ‘fast track’ project management system where the company raise the funds from Ministry grants and allocations and provide the project management team (PMT), as an in-house ‘One Stop’ facility to construct and manage.

Then these facilities shall be leased to the said government agencies.

Pembinaan PFI throughout raised a lot of borrowings, which include unsecured and without Federal Government guarantee to raise the financing for the projects undertaken.

The Star story:

Published: Wednesday March 18, 2015 MYT 6:39:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday March 18, 2015 MYT 6:50:41 PM

PAC: No issue with Syarikat Pembinaan PFI’s finances

BY RAHMAH GHAZALI
KUALA LUMPUR: The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has found no issue with the financing of Finance Ministry- owned firm, Syarikat Pembinaan PFI Sdn Bhd.

PAC chaiman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that the Federal Government has put together a “sound” vehicle to raise funds for public infrastructure projects.

He said the funds were raised via bond issuance, subscribed by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) and the Retirement Fund Inc (KWAP) for 15 and 10-year tenures respectively.

“This is innovative financing. It is quite a safe venture in the sense that the Government still owns the land and the appeal to own the land is based on bonds.

“It is just a case of money going from the left pocket to the right pocket,” he told a press conference after a meeting with Treasury secretary-general Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah in Parliament, Wednesday.

Nur Jazlan said based on Dr Irwan’s testimony, Pembinaan PFI had so far utilised RM28bil as of 2013 for public infrastructure projects, through “generally open tender”.

“Most of the projects were procured through open tender but they can still use other methods based on their needs,” he said.

Nur Jazlan, who is also Pulai MP, said the bonds were not secured on Government guarantees and the financing would not add to its debt.

He further assured that EPF and KWAP were getting a good deal with a return higher rate of than normal for Malaysian Government Securities (MGS).

“On top of MGS, the pension funds in turn, earn interest at 15 basis points,” he said, adding that that the mechanism was just to speed up funding for main public infrastructure projects.

Nur Jazlan said Pembinaan PFI had utilised the fund for 547 projects in the first phase and 339 projects in the second phase on public infrastructure works such as schools and police stations.

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What is interesting is that Pembinaan PFI was never under anything remotely ‘intense’ scrutiny, unlike the strategic investment group for the Federal Government 1MDB. The principle is the same; borrow money from market and undertake fast track projects, for the agenda and purpose of the government.

The mere difference is that Pembinaan PFI is a purely construction company and 1MDB does strategic investments, which include energy and taking on the role as a master developer and catalyst for ambitious high end property development programs.

Needless to say, there would be issues that could be found, highlighted and harped on, if and when the books of Pembinaan PFI  were to be scrutinised. However, it was and still is a potentially contentious ‘political issue’ which is quite nonchalant.

It is for the near obvious but simple reason. The PFI game is not under the eye-scope of the ‘Sarawak Report’ snipers and the likes.

Published in: on June 11, 2015 at 11:00  Comments (11)  

Mourning for Kinabalu

image

We, Malaysians, stand together and mourn for the 18 lives lost for the Kinabalu Earthquake Tragedy last Friday.

May their soul rest in peace.

Our prayers are also for all those brave men and women on duty and volunteer to bring back home those who are injured and trapped and recovery of the remains of those who perished.

Published in: on June 7, 2015 at 23:54  Comments (3)  

Carpe diem, profligatus

In the confusion of poor strategic and tactical communication and the two month old ‘Melayu-Spring’, UMNO lost its golden opportunity to rally up support, fortify position and projection of strength as the backbone of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional in the midst of the Oppositions’ lowest ebb, all and sundry.

Pro-Anwarista story on PAS’s last Annual Convention in Kuala Selangor:

Motion to cut ties with DAP without debate sparks anger in PAS muktamar

BY JAMILAH KAMARUDIN

Published: 6 June 2015 10:16 AM

Son of former PAS president and Rembau delegate Mohammad Faiz Fadzil today questions the decision not to debate the motion to sever ties with DAP. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, June 6, 2015.
Son of former PAS president and Rembau delegate Mohammad Faiz Fadzil today questions the decision not to debate the motion to sever ties with DAP. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, June 6, 2015.
The final day of PAS’s 61st annual congress began on a heated note this morning when delegates protested against the muktamar’s decision‎ to accept a motion to sever ties with DAP and yet remain in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) without debate.

In announcing the motion, PAS information chief Datuk Mahfuz‎ Omar told delegates that it was a “sensitive” issue, but defended the decision not to debate it on the grounds that several top leaders had agreed to it.

‎This prompted Rembau delegate Mohammad Faiz Fadzil to question why such an important motion was passed without debate.

“Why can’t we debate this sensitive‎ issue, especially since it involves PAS’s direction? How are we to answer our members?” said Faiz, who is the son of former PAS president Datuk Fadzil Noor.
“We can’t just divorce them, yet remain under the same roof. This is a lopsided coalition.

“Why did Datuk Mahfuz say this is a sensitive motion? If you’re brave enough to raise this motion,‎ let the delegates debate it and explain what you mean by ‘sensitive’.”

A delegate from Kota Raja also stood up to remind the top leadership seated on the stage not to take the matter lightly.

“We have rights in the muktamar. Decisions made in the muktamar should be discussed in the muktamar, not in WhatsApp of Facebook,” said the delegate.

‎”Those in Selangor know how important the tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) is. Don’t take it lightly.”‎

Mahfuz rose and said his remark about “sensitivity” was in reference to the consequences the motion would have on Pakatan Rakyat-led states.‎

“I am only carrying out my duties. We may lose our positions, but we must be steadfast in our battles and trust in Allah, even though we will be alone once again,”‎ said Mahfuz.

In their motion, the PAS Dewan Ulama as well as the Tumpat PAS division demanded that the party not give up its core goals for the sake of victory, ‎and called for its coalition partners to respect each party’s stance and policies.

‎The Dewan Ulama passed the emergency motion during its assembly in Gombak on Wednesday.‎

The motion was first tabled by Dewan Ulama central committee member Mokhtar Senik, who said DAP’s actions had crossed the limits of acceptable behaviour.

Temerloh MP Nasruddin Hassan Tantawi said yesterday that the Dewan Ulama passed the motion as retaliation for the many blows DAP had dealt to the Islamist party.

However, Hadi told reporters yesterday that the Dewan Ulama’s motion was not the party’s official decision, adding that it had to be brought to the Shura Council first for further discussions.

Two other motions approved today without debate were the full support for the ‎Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II 1993 (Amendment 2015), and the demand for the Education Ministry to teach Quran and hadith in primary and secondary schools. – June 6, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/motion-to-cut-ties-with-dap-without-debate-sparks-anger-in-pas-muktamar#sthash.wTHF0lRO.dpuf

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The Ulama’s with PAS coup of all strategic posts over pro-Anwarista Erdogans in this round’s party election is a demonstration that the self-proclaimed Islamist centric party is trying to regain their tradition role and philosophy.

The Star’s political columnist Joceline Tan’s story:

Published: Saturday June 6, 2015 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Saturday June 6, 2015 MYT 6:42:02 AM

Tsunami wipes out big names

BY JOCELINE TAN
PAS members are still coming to terms with the massive sweep by the pro-ulama group but the reality is that the party is set to put the religion upfront and centre from now on.

IT was the morning after the “ulama tsunami” and many in PAS were still trying to absorb what had happened.

Even the winners were amazed at their near perfect victory. The losers, many of whom were lumped with the professionals group, were equally amazed but in a less positive way.

The normally garrulous Mohamad Sabu was, for once, at a loss for words after losing badly to Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, the new No. 2. When pressed by reporters for a reaction, he said he accepted the result but was “puzzled”.

The incumbent deputy president was probably still in a state of shock after getting only 24% of the votes.

It was quite a humiliating defeat and, on hindsight, he had it coming. He had failed to defend his own party leader and instead defended those who attacked his party.

Mat Sabu’s popularity outside the party had failed to translate into votes inside the party and his political future is now in question.

If there is a lesson to be learnt from the outcome of the PAS election, it is that you cannot expect support from party members if you are perceived as being less than loyal to your own party.

You cannot act deaf and dumb when others attack your party president. Worse, you cannot, like Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin, join in the attacks.

In 2013, Hanipa got the third highest votes in the central committee but, this time, he was shown the door together with Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad who was regarded as his “guru”.

“DAP is partly to blame for what happened to this group. The things that DAP said about our president, it was nonsense to many of us. Our members could not stand it,” said an aide to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

The other shocker about the election result was the way delegates booted out big names, including MPs and assemblymen, without a second thought.

Former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin was also out in the cold, although he came in No. 4 in the central committee in the 2013 election.

Big personalities and positions seemed to matter less to the delegates than defending their Tuan Guru and Hadi.

The “ulama tsunami” also wiped out the so-called “Anwaristas”, the group which joined PAS after the sacking of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

They rose up in PAS over the last 15 years and tried to change the party’s image and direction. But the journey has ended for them just as it has ended for Anwar.

The professionals have blamed their loss on the “menu voting” employed by the pro-ulama. But there is no money politics in play and no one can force the delegates to follow the menu unless they support the line-up.

The professionals have given outsiders the impression that they represent the thinking in PAS but the reality is that they have only about 30% support in the party.

At least Malaysians now have the correct picture of what PAS is largely about – Islam, ulama leadership and hudud law.

The new central committee is dominated by people who are on the same page as Hadi. The new central leadership line-up is also stacked with religious scholars and Hadi is planning to balance things by filling the appointed positions with professionals.

Hadi was apparently just as surprised as everyone else about the sweeping victory by the pro-ulama group. When a top aide informed Hadi of the result last evening, he was quite incredulous and had asked the aide to check again.

When the results were announced yesterday and Hadi was named as the winner, he had looked down, his lips had moved silently in thanksgiving and he blinked several times as though to hold back tears. It was quite an emotional moment for him.

Hadi has been quite stressed by the last few months of internal infighting. However, it was nothing compared to the stress he went through during the Selangor Mentri Besar crisis.

Some in the professionals camp have claimed that Hadi changed after a heart attack when in Istanbul. They said he became less accommodating and has become difficult to reason with. They think the heart attack affected him psychologically.

His heart had stopped and it is a miracle that he is still alive and going strong. Near-death experiences do tend to change people. He changed but not in the way the professionals claimed.

Hadi is a God-fearing man and he sees his near-death experience as a signal from Allah to do the right thing for the party and that is to take the party back on the Islamic path.

He was given a new lease of life and he wants to make full use of it. He feels that too many compromises have been made and it is time to place the religion upfront and centre again in the party.

It was the same for the late Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat who had given his heartfelt support to his successor’s move to implement hudud law in Kelantan. Political expediency had prevented him from doing it when he was the Mentri Besar and he gave his unreserved blessings.

Some have claimed that the PAS election would have turned out differently if Nik Aziz was still alive.

They are wrong. Nik Aziz would have stood by Hadi and defended him to the hilt and the ulama tsunami would have been even bigger.

>The views expressed are entirely the writer’s own.

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The fact is that UMNO leaders in the past few weeks were drawn into very childish, worthless and unproductive political games, which is based on the aggregate of misguided information, sinister political agenda, perception and gossip. Worse of all, banking and even gambling on false hopes.

UMNO leaders especially those at Supreme Council and State Liaison levels should reflect on how BN leaders in Sabah and Sarawak recently managed to rally a thumping rakyat support for Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak, in his trying moments here in Semenanjung.

Sabahans and Sarawakians are focused on issues of moving forward and not an inch be misguided and/or affected in any way by sordid “National scandals” such as 1MDB and GST.

They perfectly understand to move forward and achieve the desired strategic destination, they would have to work with the Prime Minister and his administration.

UMNO leaders should pull up their socks and be focusing on the real fight. Even supreme leaders within the (Un)Holy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows aka Opposition acknowledges openly their problem of opposing philosophies and objectives, deep mistrust and false co-operation.

Pro-Anwarista newsportal Malaysiakini story:

4:00PM Jun 5, 2015
By Susan Loone

Guan Eng: PAS’ main target now DAP, not Umno

56 7 0 12

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng says Umno is no longer PAS’ main target as he said the Islamist party continued to bash DAP during its annual muktamar in Gombak, Selangor.

Lim was responding to the PAS party election results which were known late last night where the party president Abdul Hadi Awang’s faction – consisting mostly ulama – swept clean most of the top posts.

“The results are expected,” Lim said today when asked to comment about his close ally, former PAS deputy president Mohamed Sabu, who failed to retain his post.

Asked if the DAP would be making a decision as to its position in Pakatan Rakyat following the new developments in PAS, Lim (photo) said a statement would be issued after the ongoing PAS muktamar.

“Let them continue their DAP-bashing […] somehow I feel Umno is no longer their main target already,” Lim said at a press conference in Penang.

“The people can make their own assessment,” added the Penang chief minister noting that the PAS Dewan Ulama had passed a resolution urging the party to sever ties with DAP.

Lim, however, said the existing cooperation between DAP and PAS would remain unchanged in Penang.

However, it would be up to PAS to decide whether they want to remain in their positions in Penang, Lim added.

‘Sidelined claims incorrect’

PAS leaders and members have been appointed to various posts in the state including those in the Penang Island City Council and the Seberang Perai Municipal Council as well as in village and development security (JKKK) committees and mosque committees.

On PAS being allegedly ‘sidelined’ in Penang, Lim said the claim was incorrect.

“If you look at the posts offered to PAS leaders, they are more than those offered to them in other Pakatan states and this even though PAS has only one state assemblyman in Penang” Lim said.

“If they are not happy about it (their number of posts), they can ask for a revision,” he added.

Lim said those who claimed that PAS was marginalised in Penang were probably ‘frustrated’ they were not given any positions.

The ‘sidelined’ claim was made at the muktamar by PAS Penang Dewan Ulama delegate Mohd Hanif Harun who is the board member of the Kolej Islam Technology Antarabangsa Pulau Pinang (Kitab).

Kitab is under the purview of the Majlis Agama Islam Pulau Pinang, and its president is PAS Permatang Pasir assemblyman Salleh Man.

“This shows that he (Mohd Hanif) is incorrect. Please do not slander us, as slander is worst than murder,” Lim said.

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UMNO leaders here in Semenanjung should reflect how painful and very slow it was for them to heal wounds from very ugly internal conflicts. And battle scars will always remind them of the deep ill feeling. Time and again, history has proven that.

It is very unproductive to play the tactical games now, in the manner it is being played.

In the past UMNO has proven itself as a nationalist party of the masses led by noblemen and intellectuals, who managed to rally the overwhelming support of the rakyat and negotiate and co-operate with other political entities of different ethnicity.

UMNO leaders too managed to convince His Royal Highnesses to represent Malaya, the Malays and Malayans to negotiate with the colonialists for the Independence. In a short period of several rounds of sitting around tables, they  brought forth a nation, in the highest systematic and structured order and form.

All without shedding a drop of blood or even a breadth of insult thrown.

They did it again in 1962-3. The Federation of Malaysia was born as a result. UMNO leaders then earned the trust and confidence of more people to administer the bigger Federation.

Since 13GE, UMNO leaders should be paving the way for BN as a coalition of 13 parties in a package, to overcome all the issues which matters most to majority of the rakyat. Furthermore, in the gross absence, flaws, intra and inter spats and self-contradictions by the Opposition on their own time and space.

The opportunities do presented themselves. The aftermath of the great flood in Kelantan last moonsoon season was a great opportunity. So was the when MB-Khalid Ibrahim unceremoniously removed in a coup d’etat which upsets HRH Sultan of Selangor, upon the failure of the ‘Kajang Move’. The more recent is Kelantan State Assembly enactment of the Hudud Bill.

All are opportunities, for carpe diem.

If UMNO leaders remain to be blinded by their short term tactical games and not at all focusing on the strategic end game, then the survival of the Malays shall end when Barisan Nasional no longer enjoy majority mandate in the current maximum Parliamentary term of slightly lesser than three years.

Then it would be all, profligatus.

Published in: on June 6, 2015 at 13:00  Comments (9)  
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