Wet dreaming a masturbation

The politically bankrupt Anwaristas are drowned in their own concoction of manipulations, fabrication and lies due of excessive flooding of their own spewed secretion of a prolonged wet dream.

The Malay Mail online:

Anwar is our PM-to-be, Harapan Baru says after DAP endorsement

BY ZURAIRI AR

Sunday August 16, 2015
05:53 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim will be Malaysia’s next prime minister if the opposition claims Putrajaya the next federal polls, members of PAS splinter group Harapan Baru (HB) said, joining ally DAP in endorsing the jailed PKR leader for the post.

The leaders admitted that the matter has not been formally deliberated but said there has never been any doubt among them that Anwar is the only leader capable of uniting the opposition.

“HB has no problem with the suggestion, we feel he is a deserving candidate who can inject new hope, politically,” Parit Buntar MP Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa told Malay Mail Online over phone when contacted for comment on the nomination of Anwar as the PM-designate.

He cited Anwar’s track record, pointing out that the leader had successfully led Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for many years before he was sent to prison earlier this year for sodomy.

Mujahid acknowledged the demise of PR, however, but said that the opposition front was merely suffering a “minor hiccup”.

On Monday, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said in a statement that the soon-to-be-formed opposition coalition to replace PR will name Anwar as its PM-designate.

The pact that some have dubbed “Pakatan 2.0” and “Harapan Rakyat” is expected to comprise PKR, DAP and HB, which is expected to register next month as a political entity; other potential components have not been ruled out either.

HB secretary Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad concurred with Lim and Mujahid, and called Anwar an “iconic leader” who could still inspire the public even from behind prison walls.

“Even right now, in the crisis that is plaguing the country, we don’t see a cross-racial, cross-cultural leader rather than this iconic personality. There has never been any doubt, or any proposal for anyone else on our part,” said Dzulkefly.

“Leaders are really born out of struggle, they rise naturally. If you are debating just to find leader, then you are really in trouble. Leadership is like beauty, when you meet one, you will know it,” he added, quoting American scholar and author Warren G Bennis.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad explained that HB has yet to discuss its choice for its PM-designate as it is currently preoccupied with plans for the movement’s launch and registration scheduled for next month.

The lawmaker said, however, that he has no problem with selecting Anwar for the post as the leader has the backing of both the DAP and PKR.

Khalid also laughed off a suggestion that Anwar may bring down HB and the new coalition with his political baggage and disagreed with talk that because of his time in prison, the PKR stalwart has lost his relevance among the younger voters.

“As a victim of persecution, his length in prison is nowhere near Mandela. So I think time away is not a problem,” said Khalid, referring to South Africa’s first black president and revolutionary, the late Nelson Mandela.

“I think DAP’s suggestion was thanks to his struggle.”

Apart from hudud and other key issues, the topic of prime minister-designate had in the past been a point of dissension among DAP, PKR and PAS that had formed the PR pact.

Both DAP and PKR had wanted Anwar to take on the post should the pact ever claim Putrajaya but PAS refused to yield and insisted that there were other qualified leaders to fill the post, namely its own party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Anwar is currently serving a five-year jail sentence in Sungai Buloh Prison after his appeal to the Federal Court against his second sodomy conviction was dismissed on February 10.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/anwar-is-our-pm-to-be-harapan-baru-says-after-dap-endorsement#sthash.P8piac79.dpuf

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

There are so many very unrealistic about this wet dream.

First of all, Former Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is now being incarcerated as a hedious sexual deviant convict. It would be at least a little more than three more years before he could be considered out.

Even after Anwar is out, he would need to finish the interregnum period of five years post serving the sentence, before allowed back as a candidate to contest in any election. He would be about seventy six by then!

Second, these Anwaristas PAS leaders have been ostracised by their own party members and now out in the cold. They hardly have any real support of their former comrades.

Since they won because of the PAS machinery and grassroots support for the party, no way in hell they would ever be elected again, in their current constituencies.

Third point is that Anwar’s own party is crumbling and breaking up into pieces. Their own leaders have exodus the party and even the ones who are still steadfast with the cause, have been ostracised for not toeing the line of a party which was incepted for a personal problem and quest.

Fourth, DAP is at the strongest point now ever in their history of Malaysian politics the past 48 years, with 37 MPs. Almost all Chinese majority or near half constituencies are under their control. They are very aware of their position and what lies for them, which include experimenting with permutation of variables like Malay candidates in slightly or near majority Malay constituencies.

Hence they would calculate the benefits against risk for leveraging into another Opposition pack and would just do to protect their grounds if the new pack would just bring more risk of digression of their political positioning, at their expense.

The fifth point is that anything to do with Anwar carry no longer traction nor attention. DAP is very realistic that Anwar as a worthless political currency and would no longer bank on it.

Mujahid and the likes of politically bankrupt could imagine their own wet dream and continue their masturbation as only the handful of schizophrenic politicians are delightfully lost their whole figment of their political eroticism.

The rest of us, are very realistic people.

Published in: on August 16, 2015 at 12:00  Comments (3)  

PKR bunuh pemimpin sendiri

Pengarah Pilihanraya PKR dan penyokong tegar Anwar Ibrahim Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail mengaku memfitnah Mantan MB Selangor Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim dalam usaha menjatuhkan beliau secara ‘paksa’.

Laporan Bernama.com

Saman Fitnah Selesai: Saifuddin Nasution Mohon Maaf Kepada Abdul Khalid

SHAH ALAM, 14 Ogos (Bernama) — Kes saman fitnah Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim terhadap Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail berkaitan laporan mengenai isu Menteri Besar Selangor diselesaikan dengan baik selepas bekas Setiausaha Agung PKR itu memohon maaf kepada Abdul Khalid di Mahkamah Tinggi di sini.

Kenyataan permohonan maaf secara terbuka itu dibacakan oleh Saifuddin yang kini Pengarah Pilihan Raya PKR dan direkodkan oleh Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman M.Gunalan.

Terdahulu, Saifuddin berkata kandungan dokumen laporan ‘Keputusan Menggantikan Menteri Besar Selangor’ mengandungi beberapa kenyataan yang dikatakan bersifat fitnah, antaranya berhubung penyelesaian hutang di luar mahkamah antara Abdul Khalid dan Bank Islam, urus niaga melibatkan kerajaan Selangor dan Ecoworld Berhad, urus niaga penstrukturan air, sokongan Abdul Khalid untuk melaksanakan lebuh raya Kidex dan prestasi pentadbiran kerajaan Selangor di bawah kepimpinan beliau (Abdul Khalid).

Saifuddin berkata kandungan dan tuduhan dalam dokumen itu telah menjejaskan nama baik dan reputasi Abdul Khalid sebagai antara lainnya, Menteri Besar Selangor (pada masa material), Anggota Parlimen Bandar Tun Razak, Anggota Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Pelabuhan Klang, seorang bekas tokoh korporat dan seorang ahli perniagaan serta keluarga beliau.

“Saya menjelaskan bahawa dokumen tersebut ditulis dan diedarkan dengan tujuan memberi penjelasan politik mengenai keputusan parti (PKR) menggunakan kuasanya untuk mencalonkan seorang yang lain sebagai Menteri Besar Selangor. Dokumen itu tidak bertujuan untuk digunakan sebagai bukti muktamad bahawa telah berlaku sebarang atau apa-apa perlakuan rasuah atau salah laku.

“Dokumen tersebut telah menyatakan dan memberi gambaran bahawa Abdul Khalid adalah seorang yang korup, zalim, tidak boleh dipercayai, tidak bersikap telus, tidak jujur, tidak beretika, tidak amanah, tidak berintegriti, telah terlibat dengan perlakuan rasuah dan salah laku serta tidak layak menjadi Menteri Besar Selangor,” katanya.

Saifuddin berkata bagi pihak PKR dan dirinya secara peribadi, mereka melahirkan rasa amat kesal dan dengan ikhlas serta suci hati tanpa syarat memohon maaf kepada Abdul Khalid.

“Bagi pihak PKR dan secara peribadi, kami juga memberi akujanji kepada Abdul Khalid dan mahkamah ini bahawa kenyataan-kenyataan tersebut tidak seharusnya dikatakan dan kami akan memberhentikan daripada menyatakan serta tidak akan mengulangi kandungan dan tuduhan-tuduhan dalam dokumen tersebut serta apa-apa kenyataan yang berkaitan dengan dokumen tersebut,” katanya.

Abdul Khalid ketika membacakan Kenyataan Penerimaan berkata beliau menerima permohonan maaf daripada pihak defendan dan bekas menteri besar itu turut memohon maaf sekiranya beliau ada menyinggung perasaan mana-mana pihak termasuk Saifuddin.

Pada awal prosiding, peguam Edmund Bon yang mewakili Abdul Khalid memaklumkan kepada mahkamah bahawa kedua-dua pihak telah mencapai penyelesaian penuh menerusi Penghakiman Persetujuan dan mereka akan membacakan kenyataan masing-masing secara terbuka di mahkamah.

Selain Bon, Abdul Khalid turut diwakili peguam Joshua Tay manakala Saifuddin diwakili peguam William Leong dan Puspawati Rosman.

Kes itu sebelum ini ditetapkan untuk perbicaraan bermula Selasa lepas.

Bekas Ketua Pembangkang Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang berada dalam senarai saksi pihak defendan turut hadir di mahkamah hari ini menyebabkan galeri awam dipenuhi pihak media, anggota keluarga beliau, pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat dan orang awam.

Pada 18 Ogos tahun lepas, Abdul Khalid memfailkan saman terhadap Saifuddin secara peribadi dan atas kapasiti beliau sebagai Setiausaha Agung PKR serta pemegang jawatan PKR (ketika saman difailkan) berhubung pengedaran dokumen laporan ‘Keputusan Menggantikan Menteri Besar Selangor’, bertarikh 4 Ogos 2014 yang didakwa memfitnah bekas menteri besar itu.

Selain menuntut ganti rugi, Abdul Khalid memohon perintah menghalang Saifuddin atau wakilnya, pekerjanya dan kakitangannya daripada menerbit, mengeluar, mengedar, mencetak atau menyebabkan perkataan yang memfitnah beliau (Abdul Khalid).

— BERNAMA — BERNAMA

**********

Tindakan memohon maaf oleh Mantan Setiausaha Agung PKR dalam Mahkamah ini adalah pengakuan bahawa konco-konco Banduan Salahlaku Seks Luar Tabii itu bersalah memfitnah Khalid.

Ini juga merupakan bukti jelas bahawa pemimpin pemimpin didikan Mantan Ketua Pembangkang itu tergamak memfitnah pemimpin dikalangan mereka, hanya atas kerakusan merealisasikan kepentingan politik sempit mereka semata mata.

Usaha menjatuhkan Khalid ini juga menerima reaksi murka Tuanku Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. Baginda menitahkan ini secara langsung kerana berpendapat permainan politik sempit dan songsang-produktif PKR ini sebenarnya tidak mendatangkan kebaikan kepada negeri dan rakyat Selangor.

Namun demikian, pihak Anwasrita (samada dalam parti atau media yang menyokong mereka), membuat spin bahawa keputusan Saifuddin memohon maaf ini adalah atas nasihat Anwar dari Penjara Sg Buloh.

Laporan Malaysiakini:

11:37AM – 14 Aug 2015

Kes Khalid-Saifuddin selesai luar mahkamah

27 0

Saman bekas Menteri Besar Selangor, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim terhadap bekas Setiausaha Agung PKR, Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail diselesaikan secara baik di luar mahkamah hari ini.

Kes itu diketepikan selepas kedua-dua pihak berbincang selama dua jam.

Perbincangan tertutup bermula kira-kira jam 9 pagi antara Abdul Khalid selaku plaintif, Saifuddin sebagai defendan dan bekas ketua pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang hadir sebagai saksi untuk kes itu.

Saifuddin selaku defendan membacakan permohonan maaf itu di hadapan Pesuruhjaya Kehakiman Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam M Gunalan sebentar tadi.

Menurut Saifuddin, sebab saman itu ditarik balik atas nasihat Anwar sebagai perantara yang menyatakan negara sedang berdepan dengan masalah politik, ekonomi dan kos sara hidup yang meningkat.

Abdul Khalid menerima saranan tersebut malah berpesan kepada Saifudin bahawa penarikan saman itu adalah hikmah supaya beliau boleh memfokuskan kepada kerja lain dan PKR boleh memperkukuhkan parti.

“Saya dan Tan Sri khalid saling maaf memaafkan, Tan Sri Khalid pesan pada saya hikmah di sebalik penyelesaian, ‘saya (Khalid) boleh tumpukan pada kerja dan tuan (Saifuddin) boleh kukuhkan parti’. Dan saya bersyukur kerana ia berlaku di hujung bulan Syawal.

“Tadi perkara yang Anwar ingatkan kepada saya dan Khalid, negara sedang berdepan dengan pelbagai kemelut masalah politik, ekonomi dan juga kos sara hidup yang tinggi kepada rakyat.

“Tiga asas itu dipersetujui sebagai latar belakang untuk saya dan Tan Sri Khalid mencapai penyelesaian,” katanya kepada pemberita selepas sesi mahkamah itu berakhir.

Khalid diwakili Edmund Bon manakala Wiliam Leong yang juga Ahli Parlimen Selayang dari PKR mewakili Pengarah Pilihan Raya PKR itu.

Anwar sebagai perantara

Saifuddin menambah, Anwar yang pada mulanya hadir sebagai sepina bagaimanapun menjadi perantara dalam menyelesaikan kes ini.

Malah katanya Anwar dilihat lebih baik daripada peguam yang ada kerana mempunyai kebolehan mendamaikan kedua belah pihak dalam mencapai kata sepakat.

“Anwar asalnya datang sebagai saksi tapi berakhir sebagai orang tengah. Dia ada kemahiran itu, bahkan kemahiranitu lebih baik dari kemahiran peguam-peguam,” katanya.

Saifuddin menambah, Anwar turut menasihati Abdul Khalid sekiranya kes ini diteruskan ia akan melalui proses yang panjang.

“Itu adalah syor dan nasihat Datuk seri Anwar kepada khalid. Kata Anwar, Khalid kamu sebahagian dari kami proses ini akan ambil masa yang panjang jika diteruskan,” katanya.

***********

Hakikatnya, fitnah puak puak lingkaran ketat dalam pemimpin tertinggi PKR yang menelilingi Anwar Ibrahim telah gagal dan kini membuat kenyataan putar-belit untuk cuba mewayangkan keadaan bahawa krisis kepimpinan dalaman PKR sebenarnya tidak serious.

Amalan dan gejala fitnah sebagai senjata taktikal dan strategik golongan yang bankrap politik ini sebenarnya membawa kesan negatif kepada negara.

Antara akibat fitnah ini yang memberi kesan langsung kepada warga Selangor (dan Kuala Lumpur) ialah penyelesaian strategik isu air Selangor menerima tamparan dimana ianya tertangguh setahun lagi.

Ini secocok dengan pandangan Islam dimana dosa memfitnah ini lebih buruk berbanding dengan membunuh. Sedangkan dosa membunuh itu ialah jenayah keji yang seorang insan tergamak menganiaya seorang insan lain.

Sekiranya pemimpin tertinggi lingkaran-ketat PKR tergamak ‘membunuh’ dikalangan mereka sendiri, bayangkan motivasi dan gerak-kerja mereka keatas seteru politik seperti UMNO dan BN.

Ketamakan politik pemimpin tertinggi lingkaran-ketat PKR ini juga digambarkan jelas apabila baru baru ini semasa pemilihan parti, PAS menolak semua pemimpin mereka yang bersifat Anwarista.

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 20:30  Comments (4)  

Tumble dry spin

The critics, manipulators and liars of 1MDB for their sordid political agenda in the effort to demonise Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak have been caught spinning in their own recycled obsolete manipulation, fabrication and lies.

NST story:

Tony Pua recycling allegations, says Arul Kanda

14 AUGUST 2015 @ 12:13 PM KUALA LUMPUR: Allegations against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) by Member of Parliament Tony Pua are recycled, its President and Executive Director Arul Kanda said. “We note that YB Tony Pua has yet again recycled various allegations, which have in fact been answered by 1MDB since January 2015 via 48 press announcements that can be easily obtained on our website,” he said.

In addition, he said, the Auditor-General has presented an interim report answering many of the questions raised, in early July to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), of which Tony Pua is a member, and has committed to issuing a final report by the end of 2015. Pua is no doubt aware that 1MDB is the most investigated company in Malaysia, said Arul Kanda.

“We have shared, and will continue to share, all relevant information to the lawful investigating authorities such as the Auditor-General, Attorney-General, Bank Negara Malaysia, PDRM (The Royal Malaysian Police), MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency) and the PAC,” said Arul Kanda in a statement here today.

He said these independent, thorough and professional investigations are the appropriate forum to determine the truth about 1MDB. A trial by certain media or by certain opposition politicians, outside of due process and the requirements of the law, will not benefit anyone, he said, adding 1MDB is very much focused on the implementation of its rationalisation plan, which is going full steam ahead despite Pua’s recycled allegations.

“We are committed to stabilising the company, meeting our debt obligations and delivering strategic projects of national importance: Tun Razak Exchange, Bandar Malaysia and Edra Energy Bhd,” he said.–BERNAMA

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/96124

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

This is in the immediate response of DAP Chief Startegist and Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua challenging 1MDB President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda to a public debate.

The Malay Mail Online story:

Tony Pua challenges Arul ‘open book’ Kanda to public dialogue

Friday August 14, 2015
01:35 AM GMT+8
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 14 — DAP’s Tony Pua has challenged Arul Kanda Kandasamy to a public face-off over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to prove the latter’s categorisation that the state-owned firm was an “open book to investigation”.

Latching on to the 1MDB chief executive’s remark from an interview televised on Wednesday, the Petaling Jaya Utara MP also labelled Arul’s statement insincere and pointed out the information about the firm largely came from third-party sources including two newspapers and a website that were now banned.

“In fact there are so many simple questions that 1MDB has refused to answer in a straightforward and forthright manner. For example, is it true that 1MDB’s group debt has increased from RM42 billion to nearly RM50 billion to date?

“Why can’t Arul Kanda answer these questions to allay the fears of the public and the suspicion of gross mismanagement and misappropriation taking place in the wholly-owned Ministry of Finance subsidiary?” Pua asked in a statement.

The DAP national publicity secretary then said that the people most responsible for the firm’s damaged credibility were its executives for not being forthright and accountable.

Reminding Arul of the invitation he first made in January, Pua said such a debate was especially timely now given the over 20 per cent decline in the ringgit’s value versus the US dollar this year, which the DAP MP said may be due to the firm’s “battered image.”

“Surely, Arul Kanda can’t be afraid of someone whom he claims got all his facts wrong?”

In the interview broadcast by TV3 on Wednesday, Arul described 1MDB as the “most investigated company” in the country and “an open book with many investigations”.

He also lamented the postponement of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) inquiry into 1MDB, saying that the firm was eager to respond to the allegations against it.

The PAC hearings were suspended after its chairman and three Barisan Nasional MPs were brought into the Najib administration, prompting Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to halt its proceedings until a new chief is appointed.

The Cabinet has since refused to convene an emergency parliamentary sitting to appoint new members to the PAC, meaning the soonest that the watchdog can recommence its probe is in October when Parliament is next due to meet.

Prior to the suspension, the PAC had scheduled August 4 and 5 to question Arul and his predecessor, Datuk Shahrul Ibrahim Halmi, as part of their investigation into the state-owned firm’s dealings.

– See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/tony-pua-challenges-arul-open-book-kanda-to-public-dialogue#sthash.TQGsKZol.dpuf

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

Many of the critics, manipulators and outright liars of spinning and fabricating matters pertaining to 1MDB have been caught of-guard and with their pants down to the forth-rightness of Arul in an hour long Soal Jawab which was aired on TV3 two night ago.

Arul was very casual to state that 1MDB is the most investigated corporation in the country and they are very co-operative and transparent with the investigators and authorities, in determining the true picture about the Group and all the allegations made against them.

Pua accused 1MDB “1MDB committed the same offence but at a grander scale that Justo and Sarawak Report were doing”.

The challenge by Pua for Arul to go into the ring and do a shout-box is really immature. Arul would never be drawn into the political circus just to facilitate Pua’s bankrupt politics dwindling down.

Pua isn’t the only personality out to demonise Prime Minister Najib by attacking 1MDB with slander and lies. As the day goes by, this group of diverse people are losing steam and traction.

Hence, they have to resort to recycling their earlier allegations, which have proven to be addressed in some of the 48 media statements and releases issued by 1MDB. More and more facts have surfaced to substantiate that their allegations, attacks and lies are defective.

Of course, they have to re-invent and re-package their attacks and slander as well, to sordidly make it relevant and ‘fresh’.

Till then, we are continuously presented with these circus stunts which are fast losing audience and attention they crave. Truth will emancipate those who have been wrong. On the other hand, truth also isn’t that sassy and juicy for them to sensation and spin into controversial scandals.

Probably, in time the general public would find watching the tumble drier spin is more entertaining, if not mere educational. The very least, its science.

Published in: on August 14, 2015 at 15:00  Comments (4)  

Arul: Let the investigators do their work

1MDB President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda Kandasamy gave a landmark interview on TV3 Soal Jawab last night. His prompt and casual answers are reflective of his confidence on the highly controversial strategic investment corporation of he Malaysian Government.

Bernama.com transcript:

Full Transcript Of TV3 Interview With 1MDB President And Group Executive Director

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) — 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda spoke on wide-ranging issues raised about the sovereign wealth fund, including investigations into its affairs conducted by Bank Negara Malaysia, the Royal Malaysian Police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Arul also elaborated on the implementation of the 1MDB’s rationalisation plan that would be able to resolve its debts within four to six months.

He said 1MDB was on track to meet its strategic development objectives and did not encounter problems in wooing investors, but was saddled by political accusations and allegations.

Here is the full transcript of TV3’s Norzie Pak Wan Chek and Izwan Azir Salih’s conversation with Arul on the “Soal Jawab” programme last night:

PREAMBLE: 1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda, in a statement, has asserted that he was fully responsible for any action against the company after helming it. He gave the commitment to carry out his job professionally and to provide all the necessary information to assist the authorities seeking the truth behind 1MDB affairs. Arul was appointed to carry out a strategic evaluation of 1MDB and now he spearheads the implementation of its rationalisation plan which was tabled to the Cabinet on May 29. So far this plan, which is set to reduce the company’s debt level, is running smoothly. This was attested from the repayment of loans amounting to RM3.6 billion which was announced on June 8.

First and foremost, let us get to know Arul, who was previously a banker in Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the UK. You have experience in restructuring companies, but not many people know you well until after the 1MDB affairs become public knowledge.

QUESTION: It is understood that you have a legal background.

ANSWER: Yes, I have an LLB and a Masters in Law degree and studied in the UK for several years, after which in went into investment banking in London, Bahrain, Dubai and previously Abu Dhabi.

QUESTION: When you were given the responsibility to lead 1MDB, it was debt-ridden, its governance was questionable. What motivate you to accept the responsibility? Probably there were specific reasons related to the situation faced by 1MDB then?

ANSWER: There were many things that we needed to see before taking up a new post. As a professional, I was intrigued with the news that I heard and read on the internet and social media on 1MDB while I was in Abu Dhabi. I heard a lot about 1MDB and its challenges. I would like to know more about it and also with the background that I have in my work and the knowledge that I have on this kind of work. The opportunity to return home and to implement the rationalisation plan was an opportunity that I needed to take as a professional. And we have to try and see what we can do.

QUESTION: Were the circumstances described on 1MDB before similar after you had returned home?

ANSWER: Most of them were similar. Ironically, there were mostly negative news, but the audience needs to know that 1MDB is the biggest power producer in Malaysia. It also owns strategic areas in Kuala Lumpur and in other parts of Malaysia. So business is as usual, we carry out daily tasks, but there were challenges to be overcome, especially the company’s debts. So to me as a professional, we look at the whole picture, not part of it only. The whole picture is what I had identified before returning home, there but there were other challenges such as the political situation and so on – which is not my expertise. I am a businessman and a banker, not a politician, so it was a little difficult.

QUESTION: So, in other words, before you joined 1MDB you were mentally prepared to face the brickbats or the debts payable and so on and certainly you had a special plan to drive 1MDB towards a better direction?

ANSWER: Alhamdullillah, a workforce of about 1,100 professionals in 1MDB go about their daily duties to generate power, and develop TRX and Bandar Malaysia and so on. So to me, it’s running smoothly and we do not need to worry. But on the part of the financial burden, it takes a lot of air time in Malaysia, it is a bit difficult. But my background in the Middle East in the implementation of rationalisation plan was indeed my expertise, as well as legal and banking expertise. InsyaAllah, we can carry out the plan that was presented to the Cabinet on May 29, 2015.

QUESTION: Let’s talk briefly on 1MDB’s core businesses as to the general public it is a company bogged down by debts. Briefly tell us about 1MDB background.

ANSWER: It is rather difficult to give a brief story as it is actually a lengthy one, but I will try. It originates from the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) that was established as a sovereign wealth fund, so a government fund, but it was changed because it was then only for the state of Terengganu, so when Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak) became the prime minister, a decision was made to convert TIA to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

So with the change, the strategic direction of the company converted to a strategic development company. This means the company delves into projects in the interest of the country to become catalysts, create new way hybrids for the private and government sectors, and also to bring in foreign direct investment.

So, that’s the first chapter. Secondly, 1MDB model from the beginning was to develop projects through loans. Why? Why use debts? At that time, when we used loans to buy assets such as land or cash-generating power stations, so the debt burden could be borne.

And the government then injected RM1 million into the company, so that other government funds can be used to build schools, hospitals and so on. So the model can be leveraged and we can use government funds for other things.

But when we implemented projects by taking loans, what is important is the execution. It meant that the 1MDB’s plan was to carry out an IPO for the power generation company and secondly, to implement a master plan to develop its lands and break them into parcels for sale as well as to build infrastructure, for an example the Tun Razak Exchange. 1MDB will spend RM3 billion to upgrade Jalan Tun Razak to build infrastructure and direct connections to the highways – MEX, Smart and so on.

So all these activities were the responsibility shouldered and carried out by 1MDB. That was the 1MDB’s plan from the beginning. But after several years, various allegations were hurled against it, the critics and so on definitely complicated plans to run the IPO or sometimes even to sell land was difficult.

That’s where the mismatch was, an imbalance between incoming cash flow, the cash required to pay the debts. At that time, the government decided to implement a strategic review and after that a rationalisation plan to correct the situation as the original proposal could not be fully implemented. So we need to handle the matter through the rationalisation plan.

QUESTION: Is there a need for a business model like 1MDB in Malaysia and is there a duplication in the role played by 1MDB and Khazanah Nasional Bhd. Can you explain?

ANSWER: Basically both companies are complimentary, it means they support each other. If we were to see Khazanah Nasional, it has successfully managed government assets such as Tenaga Nasional Bhd, Telekom and others.

The government shares were transferred to Khazanah Nasional which also implements several new projects, including in Iskandar and so on. On the other hand, 1MDB carry out greenfield projects such as the takeover of land in TRX which used to have a hawkers market, a temple, a mosque and squatters.

As for Bandar Malaysia, it still has an air base there, so 1MDB has the responsibility to build eight new camps, namely six for the Defence Ministry and two more for the Home Ministry in several parts of the country at the cost of RM2.7 billion, so 1MDB has to develop them from scratch. There is nothing there and we have to develop the area which is different from the role played by Khazanah.

QUESTION: Tell us your vision of where you are taking 1MDB in the face of negative remarks and wild accusations.

ANSWER: I understand why the comments and criticisms were leveled against 1MDB, but we have the facts. My responsibility is to provide the facts on 1MDB so that the wrong assumptions can be corrected and we have been doing that. More than 48 press releases had already been dished out by 1MDB, a lot of information and facts were uploaded on our website, Facebook and Twitter and so forth in our strive to paint the correct picture on what is being done by us.

As we can see, 1MDB is among the biggest power companies in Malaysia, but that is not what we see. Unlike this table than can be pounded, electricity cannot be seen, and the same goes for TRX and Bandar Malaysia. When we look at the (Sungai Besi) air base and Bandar Malaysia, it looks as if there is nothing there, but as I mentioned earlier, 1MDB is building eight camps throughout the country and the project is in progress and will completed by the end of 2016.

It takes time and expenditure and so on, it’s 1MDB’s responsibility. Just like TRX, we are spending RM3 billion for infrastructure in TRX, but the infrastructure is not visible now as it is mostly below and so forth.

InsyaAllah, when we completed the infrastructure, the buildings will rise from there. Developing land to build new power stations will take time and it is something that cannot be seen physically or openly, but will materialise soon.

QUESTION: Most of 1MDB board members have outstanding business track records. Why then 1MDB is saddled with unwarranted remarks on its business performance? From your evaluation, what can you perceive on the company’s corporate governance before you took over the helm?

ANSWER: So, first of all, what is important for us is to find out what is 1MDB’s real problem. The real problem is cash flow which is mismatched. We have long-term assets that need to be developed overtime, but the cash flow coming our way should be used to pay debts as the problem was due to mismatch and liquidity, financial liquidity.

On governance, if we were to look back at several things that needed to be done, but for every decision made, what is important is that decisions were made correctly in the proper business context as well as in the context of time, which is also important.

When we looked back there were things that could have been done in other ways. So, at the time the decisions were made the context should be seen, and also whether all requirements were taken into consideration in coming to the decisions, and to me, they had been done that way.

In business, it’s different, there are plans implemented that failed due to internal or external factors. So what is important is that when we look at the challenges, we need to take action, if something was not done according to the requirements, it needs to be corrected and hence, we have the rationalisation plan at this juncture.

Q: You said earlier that 48 press releases have been issued and you have appeared on TV3 many times. Are you satisfied with the explanations, which on social media don’t seem too clear?

A: We are still making improvements on this matter. We are always improving and trying to make it better for ourselves. So for me, every time we issue an explanation or issue a press release, it helps us to give a clearer, truer and complete picture on 1MDB.

But the reality is, 1MDB is a complex and large company with about RM50 billion in assets, and it has other subsidiaries, and many transactions are done every day. We are also not listed on Bursa Malaysia. If there’s a need to come up with an explanation, we try to achieve a balance between carrying out our daily business and giving the explanation.

But to me, for most of the very critical questions that need answers, it is better investigations are carried out, because some are just accusations. Not many people are interested in the fact that the Cabinet has asked the Auditor General to investigate 1MDB.

So the process has come up with an interim report to the PAC, and to me the report is so complete, detailed and done professionally. So the answers we have given and in future will come from the ongoing investigations.

Q: Unfortunately, some of the investigations are still internal in nature and cannot be divulged to the public. In your opinion, what more can be done so that 1MDB can repay its debts in the time allotted?

A: The issue of debt repayment is the reason for the rationalisation plan, and as we are a company, the original plan was to buy land, an IPO and so on.

For now, the original plan cannot be implemented. So for this rationalisation plan, if the company has a liquidity problem or cash flow mismatch, there are really just three solutions.

The first is getting new funds from shareholders, or issue new equities. Secondly, we sell assets and repay the debts. And thirdly, we invite new funds from new investors. But for 1MDB we take the third approach.

So EDRA Energy is in the process of joining several local and international companies to buy some of the shares owned by 1MDB in the company. The money obtained will be used to settle the debts.

The value of EDRA is estimated at between RM16 billion and RM20 billion. Insyaallah (God willing), we will be able to repay the debts when we sell part of the company.

Secondly, in June 1MDB signed a township agreement with IPIC of Abu Dhabi. IPIC, a company owned by the Abu Dhabi government, is valued at US$60 billion. And the township is for IPIC to take over 1MDB’s debts, which actually have bveen guaranteed by IPIC. The principal and debts come to about US$3.5 billion. IPIC has also paid US$1 billion which we have used towards the debt settlement.

So if we exchange our assets with IPIC, 1MDB’s debt burden will be reduced by RM16 billion to RM17 billion.

Thirdly, 1MDB is in the process of bringing in development partners to Bandar Malaysia. The process is being implemented with about 40 companies which have shown inteterest in becoming development partners for Bandar Malaysia.

To me, if Bandar Malaysia is sold at RM550 to RM600 per square foot, its value would be between RM11 billion and RM12 billion.

If we combine the three, they will become proceeds towards debt settlement, and the three processes are proceeding smoothly, but it will take about four to six months to complete.

Q: 1MDB’s business model needs a high degree of confidence from lenders, companies that will help us generate capital. How is investors’ confidence, amid negative talk about 1MDB? Are we sure the ongoing process will be continued?

A: Alhamdullillah (praise be to God), 1MDB’s assets are fundamentally strong. Their strong fundamentals have given the investors confidence. They are focusing on the fundamentals. For example, the revenue from EDRA is about RM5 billion a year from energy, that will bring value to the company.

The Bandar Malaysia land is in KL. There is no land of such size near KLCC and the KL city centre, that’s the only land available. We add to the high speed terminal there two, or potentially three, MRT lines, the KTM Komuter and so on. The value of the land is not constrained by current prices.

What that means is, the opportunity is immense, that’s why the investors are willing to discuss. Look at KL Sentral, KLCC, Mid Valley — now there are all sorts of development there, but when it was started the confidence was low. However, investors could see the long-term vision.

Q: How would IPIC (through acquiring EDRA’s assets) find the property developers to buy land in Malaysia? Is this a normal procedure, or, as some would say, a not so wise move?

A: 1MDB’s original plan when buying separate utility companies was to combine them into a bigger entity. The objective then, in 2012 and early 2013, was to implement an IPO.

For the TRX and Bandar Malaysia land, the original objective was to come up with a master plan, get planning approval, and put in the infrastructure and sell a small portion of the land.

Acquiring assets using the debts, and selling the assets, will bring in new funds. The funds will be used to repay the debts. The difference is caused by cash flow mismatch and liquidity concerns. We were forced to come up with a new plan, which is to bring the funds to strategic investors, but the long-term plan remains.

In business, there are always difficulties, but what is important is the need to overcome the challenges, that is my goal. My job is to resolve the issue. That is why I was brought into 1MDB.

Q: Are we still on track, or are we far off-target?

A: Not to me. For instance, with TRX, we are in the process of selling the TRX land as in the original plan: with the entry of Main Board-listed companies to buy 17 of the 70 acres in TRX; selling the land to the Mulia Group, a prominent Indonesian company; and recently, to Affin Bank, which wants to build its headquarters.

So the plan is ongoing. With the power plants, we are still ongoing — 5,000 Megawatts every day — the difference is whether we sell the shares through an IPO or sell to strategic investors. In the current market situation, it is probably better for us to sell to strategic investors.

Q: The PM has said 1MDB’s debts can be settled in six months. With the current global economic condition, and the value of the ringgit against the dollar, is six months a sufficient time period for the debts to be repaid?

A: I am confident the time period is sufficient, considering the condition of the company and market. Like what was said before about EDRA, we shortlist interested local and overseas investors. Just like for Bandar Malaysia, 40 prominent companies from Malaysia and from outside — China, Australia, Singapore and the Middle East — are interested in buying the land.

These assets are long-term assets. We cannot look at it just from the current perspective, as they will take a long time. These companies understand we cannot take a short-term view but rather a long-term view.

Like I said, 1MDB’s assets are strong, and we can implement the rationalisation plan to solve this cash flow problem.

Q: In discharging your daily duties as President and Executive Director of 1MDB, do you faced any interference or are you given the freedom to make decision involving and affecting the direction of the company?

A: Corporate governance has several sections. As the management, we have a board of directors, shareholders. So, decisions must (be made) through or by using the stipulated methods of governance. Alhamdulillah (All praises be to Allah), for 1MDB, every major decision we made, either strategic review or rationalisation plan, is through the three segments. We collaborate and work together as a team. So, from the shareholders’ perspective, the Finance Ministry, board of directors and management are always collaborating and exchanging ideas for the implementation of team rationalisation plan.

Q: So, there is no interference?

A: Not of outside of that. We debate and discuss. For me, that is not interference, that is just the way for corporate governance, through the management of the board of directors and shareholders.

Q: About debt and settlement of debt, at the end of the day, will 1MDB be able to generate profit or will all income generated now be sufficient only to settle the debt and that no profits could be made by 1MDB?

A: We have two situations. Firstly, the current challenge is to settle the debt, which has two segments, namely interest and principal. The issue of ‘cash flow mismatch’ is the most important matter at this moment as we need to settle the debt to bring the company back to a stable position. That is our priority right now.

In the long term, if we can reduce the company’s burden of debt and bring it back to a stable level, by settling the debt using the company’s operating income, InsyaAllah (God willing), we will gain profit through the two (segments) which should be looked in a comprehensive manner. What matters most is that we must stabilise the situation in order to move forward.

Q: How do you plan to stabilise the situation with the current perceptions?

A: It’s difficult and the pressure is high, but we have plan and that plan is implementable, it’s a very realistic plan. For me and the 1MDB team, I always remind them to focus on the plan, no matter what the allegations or criticisms hurled at us. That’s normal in business and we have to accept that. The people have the right to voice out their opinion and if we can learn something from them, we have to take it into consideration and use it further develop the company.

Q: On the depreciation of ringgit, what action will 1MDB take to prevent its external debts denominated in the US dollar from continuing to burden the company? Is there any specific plan to address the problem?

A: There are two parts. Firstly, 1MDB has power companies in foreign countries, such as in Bangladesh and Egypt, and 1MDB is the largest independent power producer in both countries.

Besides, we also have power assets in Abu Dhabi and Pakistan, which are generating funds in the form of US dollars. This means that we have natural hedge for which cash flow is accepted in US dollars to pay off debts in US dollars.

Secondly, 1MDB also has various assets in the form of US dollars that could be pledged against the US dollars.

Q: When you sit down with reporter, you will definitely be asked unexpected questions. I want to know the sentiment of questions asked by investors interested in the TRX land, Bandar Malaysia and IPP. What is the sentiment and the costs that had to be borne, in terms of energy and arguments to convince the investors that their investment in 1MDB is a safe investment.

A: We look at the opportunity to invest, the questions are not just on the fundamental assets, but also on political allegations which are worrying the investors, for when we invest our money in certain project, of course the economic or political situation became an important matter for the implementation.

The method that we use is to show them the plans for our power companies and land for the long term, maybe 15 or 20 years from now, and investors will understand that from time to time, there will be some political and economic issues.

We see how Malaysia had gone through a number of challenges in the past 20 or 30 years, but the graph is going up and we have to remember that although, right now, there are concerns and worries about some issues, if proper steps are taken, eventually the situation will improve.

Q: So you are suggesting that the investors are not too upset with existing sentiment in the country after looking into the company’s long-term plan?

A: Yes.

Q: Regarding the Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) investigation which is still pending following the appointment of PAC members as part of the new Cabinet line up, how far the 1MDB is willing to tell the truth about the transactions and what happened in the company?

A: In 1MDB, not only the PAC. 1MDB is open to various investigations, from most investigation companies in Malaysia, from Bank Negara, MACC, PDRM, A-G, Auditor-General and the PAC, and each investigation is still ongoing and never stop, and we always give the required information to facilitate the investigations.

With PAC, we were ready to go to their office on Aug 4 to 6, but because of the changes taking place at the PAC, the meeting was postponed. We are prepared to go back to the PAC, if a new date is set, to present our facts.

The postponement has also made it difficult for us because as 1MDB, we really want to answer some questions and counter the allegations made against us, but when the meeting was postponed, we did not get that opportunity.

PAC, in my view, is the right institution. The best of all investigations to present, because there are opposition and the government. That means the questions that we will be asked are from both parties and it is our responsibility to convince not only the government, but also the opposition.

That is important.

Q: So, the joke made by members of the public and certain quarters that 1MDB would feel so relieved with the postponement is actually not true because you are ready to face the PAC?

A: It is indeed not true because my friends and I, including the board of directors, are all set to face the PAC.

Q: In your opinion Mr Arul, how comprehensive the investigations carried out by the PAC, Auditor General and the likes will be, taking into account the aspects of the allegations, which are not limited to 1MDB account?

A: For me, the investigations are being carried out so thoroughly as the Bank Negara has to look at the overall picture. PDRM, for example, with the several police report made against 1MDB, has been looking in detail into the reports and the same goes with the MACC. Each department has their own specialty in carrying out the investigations, not only on the accounts scrutinised by the Audit Department, but files and computers have also been taken from 1MDB, and that are not limited to the answers that were already given.

Q: How about the connection of certain individuals with some political leaders in country? Can it be investigated and is it under the jurisdiction of the investigating agencies?

A: To me, every investigating agency is doing their job in a professional and comprehensive manner. It is their right to carry out their duties and as a professional, I have also discharged my duties to the best of my abilities and Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) has stated publicly that if any wrongdoing was found, action will be taken. Now, it is up to the agency to carry out the investigations in a comprehensive and professional manner.

Q: Mr. Arul, let say something bad happens, like the rationalisation process did not run smoothly and the debts could not be settled within the stipulated time, will it affect the country’s economy?

A: That is an important question as the government has provided a guarantee for RM5.8 billion of 1MDB’s debt, and there is also a letter of support for RM11.5 billion, so it’s important for us to implement the rationalisation plan so we can settle the debts and not burden the government. Alhamdulillah, 1MDB assets are strong and currently, there are investors who have shown interest to purchase the assets at market prices. To us, the rationalisation plan is clear, for us to solve debt issues, but if for any reason it was not happening, we need to remember about companies such as Edra Energy, that we have other options which may be sold one by one. So, with such strong assets, our options are many and we can take reasonable time, as long as the principal and interest, for the debts can be settled.

Q: In a nutshell, are you confident and optimistic to lead the 1MDB out of this negative episode to become a company that can really made the nation proud?

A: To me, what is important is that the investigations must continue, the truth and the facts must be made public by the independent investigators. Don’t take our word on it in a transparent and professional manner. That is more important. It is not my duties to find fault, it is the responsibility of the investigating agencies. My responsibility is to settle the debts that are burdening the company.

With the support of 1MDB staff and shareholders, Ministry of Finance, InsyaAllah (God willing), we will be able to settle the debts. Overall, it looks good, for the future is clear. I’m confident, that’s why I’m here today. I returned to Malaysia to do my job.

— BERNAMA

Published in: on August 13, 2015 at 23:00  Comments (9)  

Charging the field without infantry

After the official break up of the (Un)holy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-backstabbing-strange-bedfellows, the Opposition are trying to solider on in the usual game hyping up anti-Ruling Government sentiments through mass demonstration. However, it is without their most tactical arm, the foot soldiers.

Pro-Anwarista news portal story:

PAS begins to feel the chill of isolation

BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR

Published: 11 August 2015 11:00 AM

The well-known and disciplined PAS Unit Amal security team, which had helped keep the order in previous Bersih rallies, will not be involved in the Bersih 4 rally at the end of this month following the break up of Pakatan Rakyat. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 11, 2015.
The well-known and disciplined PAS Unit Amal security team, which had helped keep the order in previous Bersih rallies, will not be involved in the Bersih 4 rally at the end of this month following the break up of Pakatan Rakyat. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, August 11, 2015.
PAS now appears to be out in the cold of various programmes being organised by civil society and other opposition parties following the break up of Pakatan Rakyat triggered by its decision to end ties with DAP.
The Islamist party has decided to organise its own version of a Bersih 4 rally after not being invited to be part of plans for the mega rally on August 29.

PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said that the party would only be sending three representatives to Bersih 4 as it was not being spearheaded by them.

“We decided to participate in Bersih but this Bersih 4 is not headed by us. The agenda is not by us, it’s by others.
“So we are only sending three from our side to the rally, we are not asking our members to join.

“We will have another gathering headed by PAS and we will invite others,” Hadi said during a speech in Ipoh on Sunday night.

Besides Bersih 4, the Islamist party has been cast aside from two other events, which were a meeting of opposition parties on July 29 and the handing over of a memorandum in support of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on August 6.

On July 29, opposition leader Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail called for a meeting among the opposition parties but it was cancelled at the last minute as DAP said it did not want to attend the meeting if PAS was involved.

PAS had decided to send three representatives to the meeting – deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, secretary-general Datuk Takiyudin Hassan and elections director Datuk Mustafa Ali.

The PAS leaders arrived at the PKR office in Petaling Jaya for the meeting but found that it had been canceled. Dr Wan Azizah held a meeting with non-governmental organisation (NGO) heads instead.

On August 6, all opposition leaders except PAS met at the MACC office to show moral support for the anti-graft agency which was the target of police investigations in relation to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) at the time.

The Malaysian Insider understands that PAS leaders were not informed nor invited to be part of the visit.

This led to the Selangor PAS Youth wing going it alone by sending its own memorandum of support to MACC the next day.

Now, PAS has found itself being shunned from plans for Bersih 4.

While all opposition parties, including PAS splinter group Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) were invited to plan the rally, PAS was left out of it completely.

This has raised questions if PAS would participate in the rally, given that its supporters have traditionally beefed up numbers in previous Bersih rallies.

PAS, as a highly-disciplined and organised party at the grassroots level, has also traditionally provided support with its Volunteer Corp (Unit Amal) which has helped to keep order and security in past rallies.

PAS leaders have been debating whether the party should officially endorse and lend support to Bersih 4 after being shunned.

The only PAS leader formally invited by Bersih 4 to the rally is deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Tuan Ibrahim announced at a PAS committee meeting last Saturday that the party would attend Bersih 4 and will send two representatives to meetings – vice-president Idris Ahmad and the party president’s press officer Kamaruzaman Mohamad.

But Hadi appeared to override this, with a subsequent statement to clarify that PAS did not intend to mobilise its members for the rally, and would only send representatives instead. – August 11, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/pas-begins-to-feel-the-chill-of-isolation#sthash.PD2VuIWq.dpuf

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

Mass demonstration is about organisers projecting the sense of massive if not overwhelming support of the willingness of the public to take to the streets in support or against any particular issues out forth.

That had always been the game of the Opposition. It became more profound when then Deputy Prime Minister and UMNO Deputy President Anwar Ibrahim was summarily sacked from post on 2-3 September 1998 and he dramatised the opportunity to project him being victimised for the championing against a corrupt regime.

The ‘Reformasi’ movement was born within days and it had been the same engine to drive other mass demonstrations, which DAP and PAS found it convenient to join forces and optimise the opportunity.

It worked very well, that several series of Opposition-staged demonstrations such as BERSIH, BERSIH 2.0, BERSIH 3.0, Blackout 505 and many more.

The fact is that PAS had provided the numbers of the foot soldiers which enabled the Opposition to project the sense of aweness, when they take any particular field. They systematically organise trips for ordinary kampung folk to be shuttle into the target zone to make up for the numbers.

Their Unit Amal also provided crowd control and security, which was quiet effective.

Now the Opposition consisting of DAP, PKR and reminiscence of the PAS fall out are trying to take the field, without the support of the main column of infantryman. They might not get the desired awed effect they wanted, especially when on issues alone, Malaysians are over fed with gross over-politicking.

It is the Opposition which require the PAS main body and not the other way around.

Published in: on August 11, 2015 at 12:00  Comments (20)  

Hurrah for the ex-servicemen!

Malaysian ex-servicemen should be happy to know that their retirement funds are being turned into very productive strategic investments, which would generate very healthy returns.

1MDB just announced that Affin Bank, a subsidiary of Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT), has acquired a parcel with a very sweet deal in Kuala Lumpur International Financial District (KLFID). It is part of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) development.

NST story:

Affin Bank buys TRX land for new HQ

10 AUGUST 2015 @ 6:53 PM

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd Real Estate (1MDB RE) has inked a deal with Affin Bank Bhd today to acquire a plot of land measuring 823,439 sq ft in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) to develop its new headquarters (HQ) for RM255 million.

The plot, earmarked for a 35-storey Prime Grade A office block, will bring the Affin Group’s financial services entities to co-locate under one roof and cater for the Group’s future expansion plans.

Affin Bank’s new head office would be part of TRX’s financial quarter, essentially the Central Business District of TRX that occupies the most visible corner of the site, fronting both Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Sultan Ismail.

“We are pleased with the progress we are making in our negotiations with local and international parties, and we are happy to have Affin Bank with us as we continue to realise our aspirations to create a world-class financial district,” said 1MDB RE CEO Datuk Azmar Talib in a statement.

The Sale and Purchase agreement was signed following extensive negotiations that began in 2012, and it covers the development rights to build a commercial tower for a consideration of RM255 million.

The development will have a Gross Floor Area (GFA) of 823,439 sq ft, with the price per sq ft GFA of approximately RM310. Affin Bank’s new head office has an attractive plot ratio of 15.2, while the entire TRX district – which will boast an urban central park and amenities such as on-site water treatment system and district cooling plant – has a plot ratio of 6.8.

At a separate press conference, meanwhile, Affin Bank managing director and chief executive officer (CEO) Kamarul Ariffin Mohd Jamil said:

“We have been sourcing for a suitable location that meets our requirement, with the right price. There was a need as the bank, together with other entities within Affin Group, has been growing and we need more space for everyone under one roof.”

He added that the land has been independently valued at RM261 million.

Kamarul Ariffin said Affin will pay 10 per cent deposit for the acquisition and the remaining 90 per cent upon presentation of the registration title.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/95573

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

The parcel came with a planning and development order of 15 times plot ratio, easily double the average plot ratio usually granted for land deals being flipped in the city. Affin’s plot ratio translates to the gross buildable area of 823,000ft. That should arrive to a net lettable area of 576,000 sq. ft.

At the expected average rental rate of RM10.00 psf/month four years from now, the property should realise a revenue in the neighbourhood of RM70 million per annum. That is effective 12% return on investment.

Considering that presumably the property would remain in the hands of the LTAT and an annual growth of 10% per annum in rental income and appreciated value, LTAT would tend to aggregate the absolute and paper gain in the neighbourhood of RM8.2billion within half a century.

That could be pro-rated to RM164million per annum.

This investment would definite add on top of the RM1billion profits that LTAT is making per annum, lately. The value of LTAT assets would definitely increase too, adding to the RM9.4billion which stands at the moment.

At the moment, each contributor to LTAT earns 15% dividend and 7% in bonus, plus another 1% bonus and 7% special bonus in the form of unit trusts to active members.

This is befitting to the call for those in the army to soldier on, “Biar putih tulang, jangan putih mata!“. It very much translate to ‘Who dares, win’.

Definitely the BoD of Affin Bank and LTAT did dare to commit into this strategic investment and not be clouded with anything else but to focus on the business at hand.

Affin Bank did get a sweeter deal as compared to Tabung Haji, which was more focused on developing a totally syariah compliant investment.

There is no reason for servicemen and ex-servicemen to doubt their welfare post-retirement from active service. This sweet deal is the Malaysian Government’s way of expressing a nation’s debt of gratitude to their sacrifice.

Published in: on August 10, 2015 at 19:35  Comments (8)  

Worsening into flip-flopping

Two wrongs would not make things right. However, it is better to stand and defend a wrong decision and rectify it later when the heat is lowered rather than be seen as spineless indecisive lot.

NST story:

Transfer of MACC’s Bahri, Rohaizad to be reviewed

BY THARANYA ARUMUGAM – 9 AUGUST 2015 @ 10:31 PM KUALA LUMPUR:

The Public Service Department (PSD) will review the transfer of the two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) senior officers to the Prime Minister’s Department.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said the duo would be meeting the PSD director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal and the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa tomorrow.

“With regards to the transfer of two senior MACC officers, I would like to inform that the PSD will review the decision.

“The two officials will meet with the (PSD) director-general and the Chief Secretary to the Government tomorrow,” he said in a statement tonight.

On Friday, MACC special operations director Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin and strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob were transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department with immediate effect. Bahri was among several officers questioned by Bukit Aman police in connection with the leakage of information concerning a probe into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull has since called for the two officers to be returned, and offered himself to be transferred instead.

On Sunday, former MACC Officers Association president Datuk Abdul Razak Idris has called for the transfer of two of MACC’s directors to be cancelled to avoid negative perception towards the government.

Read More : http://www.nst.com.my/node/95408

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

Standing by a decision made even though it was not well thought through and having a good understanding the implications of consequences isn’t at all as bad as reversing the situation the moment the shit hit the ceiling.

The bad decision summary decision of transferring out two senior directors of MACC for reassignment with the Prime Minister’s Department would be not as bad as flip-flopping the decision.

The Star story two days ago:

Published: Friday August 7, 2015 MYT 7:11:00 PM
Updated: Saturday August 8, 2015 MYT 12:19:54 AM

Two MACC directors transferred

BY RAHMAH GHAZALI

PUTRAJAYA: Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission directors have been transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department.

Special operations director Datuk Bahri Mohd Zin and strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob were told Friday they were transferred to the PM’s Department with immediate effect.

Bahri was among those questioned by Bukit Aman police in connection with the leakage of information in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd investigations.

Reporters stationed at the MACC headquarters here said they saw Bahri leaving the building “in a hurry.”

A staff said it was a “short goodbye” from Bahri as he walked out of the building with his colleagues at around 6.30pm to his Proton Inspira.
Bahri leaving the MACC office on Friday
At around 7pm, Rohaizad was seen walking quickly to the basement car park, refusing to talk to reporters.

“Thanks for coming here,” he said before driving off in his Proton Waja.

On Aug 3, CID officers from Bukit Aman spent two hours questioning Bahri at the commission’s headquarters in Putrajaya.

He was among several MACC directors questioned by the police the past week.

Bahri had reportedly said he vowed to “find perpetrators who are ordering the arrests” of MACC officers.

Sources told The Star that Rohaizad was transferred due to “disciplinary issues.”

It is believed the transfer could be due to his “soft approach” on Opposition leaders when they visited the MACC headquarters on Thursday.

Another source told The Star that the MACC officers were transferred for breaching the General Orders (GO).

“Government servants risk immediate transfer when they breach the GO,” the source said.

A staff, who requested anonymity, said staff at the office cried when they knew of the transfers.

MACC is not expected to release any statement, preferring “to let these matters to be put to rest,” said a source.

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

If the excuse is “Disciplinary”, then they decision should be enforced. Public Services Department exactly knows what and how to deal with errand officers.

Last week, the Police requested a remand order for MACC officers be held for questioning for the investigation on the leakage of information with regards to SRC and 1MDB. MACC Director of Operations Dato’ Bahri Mohd. Zin did speak to the media.

This is not an entirely a bad move as it should be seen as the existence of ‘check and balance’ within the Government and there is no need for a third party access for monitoring or supervision. It is also a demonstration of the fact that there is no law enforcement agency is as ‘An untouchable’.

Then again, it is not about the transfer would be seen as trying to cover up a series of wrong doings or reprimanding an emotional reaction to a law enforcement agency being scrutinised any another law enforcement agency. On the other hand, it is also reflective of the decision was not properly thought through and  scrutinised.

It would reflect how the Government is not stern and would pander to pressure from the gallery.

The Government already facing a spectrum of issues pertaining to poor perception and misconception. Some of them include for being soft and lacking on enforcement and dealing with rogues and errand personalities, which include public and civil servants.

Then there are also the deficiency questions of being decisive, quick and consistent.

This also would reflect that the political masters are sustainable to be bullied, even by the civil servants themselves. This doesn’t include the fact that in the age of ‘ICT Democracy’, the cvil servants could use the social media through underground means to canvass support from the public.

The Opposition did not fail to politically-capitalise the opportunity, despite DAP blaming the same agency for the summary death of one of their own six years ago

Of course the Government is afraid of the non-co-operation from strategic agencies such as a law enforcement body such as  MACC, if not mutiny.

However, the consideration of standing by on a decision no matter how poor it was derived, is very important to ensure its flow-through especially when the Opposition is already rallying up behind them as a false show of support to fully politically-capitalise the opportunity.

It is necessary to stand firm and follow through on any decisions made. Otherwise, flip-flopping would just open any opportunity of all stakeholders which include the civil servants themselves to disrespect the system they themselves designed and swore to uphold.

Published in: on August 9, 2015 at 23:59  Comments (23)  

The luxury of having valuable friends

In the current conundrum of getting into the carousal of cyclical political circus of the chronic confusing cramps, situation, information and perception rotate the right way up or criss-crossing three dimensionally in the gyro-cycle.

Convenient intepretations are offered despite many have very little comprehension, if not near total lack of understanding, right and properly presented information to chew on in the first place.

They instantaneously become self-professed knowledgeable, despite themselves being blind and misled with the manipulated, blemished and often wrong information. Of course, there is also a question of trust and in some, blind hopes and loyalty.

Hence, when events being unfolded outside their expecations and worse still, away from their imagination, they are likely sustainable to become incessant paranoids and magnetised towards conspiracy theories.

They conveniently piece and make a collage from a series of plot of stories in their head, gelled from their own quick street-philosophy stance and positions, made often from convenient piece-and-choose statements and snapshots of situation.

It is often made worse with presumptions based on rhetorics, convenience and the ones obvious to them. In reality, these issues are very complex and layered in nature and it cannot be intepreted or briefed in the simplistic presentation and bite-sized conclusions.

Scientifically, it is near impossible to have a simplistic solution to a complex situation. A linear formula would never work on the three-dimensional erratic plotted points.

This Malaysian infectious disease of street-talk-political-analysis was first seen to be near epidemic proportion during the roller-coaster ride arisen from Anwar Ibrahim being sacked from Cabinet and UMNO on 2 and 3 September 1998, respectively.

Despite the truth has been unfolded several times and Anwar has been proven to be a compulsive anal-buggeror, there are really pathetic souls walking about still bent on Anwar’s innocence and victimisation.

There are personalities who have access to very strategic and intelligence-in-nature category of  information, who are able to see the vector vision of any images that meet the eye.

The invaluable access to knowledge and information of this nature is a hybrid of derivatives from strategic network, exposure, experience and the science of processing and piecing the relevant and valuable bits from various sources.

However, it is pointless for persons like in this group of minority-behaving-they-represent-the-majority, being made trying to attempt of lightening their vision and perspective which most likely is already bent on the various versions and spectrum of conspiracy theories.

Jumping the gun with ignorance and prejudice would be likened to shooting a bat in the dead darkness based on echo deep in a cave.

This is the peril of the age of ‘ICT democracy’. Often, they draw up conclusion based on selected deduction and elimination processes, coupled with the lethal mixture shallow and presumptuous analysis, and ‘ghost stories’.

Time would be the best judge of situation. It is much more than having friends who are able to deposit exorbitantly unbelievable amount of cash into one’s bank account.

Published in: on August 7, 2015 at 03:30  Comments (29)  

Hunting the hunter

Royal Malaysian Police obtained a warrant of arrest from Kuala Lumpur High Court to seek and detain Sarawak Report Editor-in-Chief Clare Rewcastle-Brown for crimes “Detrimental to Parliamentary democracy”.

The Star story:

Published: Tuesday August 4, 2015 MYT 7:23:00 PM
Updated: Tuesday August 4, 2015 MYT 8:06:14 PM

Arrest warrant for Sarawak Report editor

BY NADIRAH H. RODZI

PETALING JAYA: Police have obtained an arrest warrant for Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown (pic).

Bukit Aman CID director Comm Datuk Seri Mohmad Salleh said in a statement on Tuesday that the arrest warrant issued by a Kuala Lumpur court was for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy under Section 124B and 124I of the Penal Code.

Section 124I deals with publication of false reports or makes false statements likely to cause public alarm via newspapers, periodicals or other printed publication or electronic means.

Jail term for the offences can be extended to between five and 10 years.

“We will proceed with applications to place her on the Aseanpol wanted list, as well as the Interpol red notice,” Comm Mohmad said.

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

The irony, Rewcastle-Brown has now been issued a warrant of arrest herself when a few days ago she lied about former Attorney General Tan Sri Gani Patail was sacked for the falsified warrant of arrest issued on Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak.

Like expected, Rewcastle-Brown is defiant about the warrant of arrest issued and conveniently throw in the ‘Right to express’ as her lame excuse for all the compounded and habitual slander and lies she did against Malaysian leaders and State and Federal Governments.

Pro-Anwarista news portal story:

Response to warrant of arrest from Malaysian police – Clare Rewcastle-Brown

Published: 4 August 2015 10:03 PM

I have been asked for a response on this latest move by the Malaysian authorities to attempt to extradite me by issuing a warrant for my arrest, which they say they will pass to Interpol.

My first comment is that this action could hardly be more counter-productive on the part of a government that is seeking to assure the world that it is a sane democracy.

My action has been to publish information, which some in power do not like. Yet, the “crime” they are accusing me of is of “an activity detrimental to democracy”.

It is they who are being detrimental to democracy by suppressing free speech and arresting people for questioning people in authority.
I am still unclear whether the agents of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak are accusing me of “forging false documents” or obtaining documents through “criminal leakages”, since they have simultaneously accused me of both in the past few days and have been rounding up all sorts of senior investigators to try and find out who might have passed me such leaks.

They need to make up their minds about this before they bring their charges and they really ought to produce some substantive and convincing evidence of their other accusation that I am part of some international plot intent on falsely accusing the prime minister of crimes for reasons unknown.

I am merely an investigative journalist who has been doing my job, by unravelling one hell of an international scandal involving people in high places and the grand larceny of public monies.

It is as simple as that – no plot and no vested interest. The interest of the public is my motivation and duty.

Conversely, the public are at liberty to reach their own conclusions over what has motivated the recent actions of the prime minister of Malaysia, who has spent the past few days, sacking, removing and arresting just about anybody who has been officially engaged in investigating the scandal I have been reporting on, that is, the missing billions from 1MDB.

Moreover, he has not just attacked my blog and myself, but other reputable news organisations, closing down two papers in Malaysia.

If the prime minister had nothing to hide in this matter and if my reports were false there would be numerous more orthodox and far less disruptive methods of dealing with me than sacking his deputy prime minister, sacking the Attorney-General, closing down the PAC, and dismissing members of his Cabinet.

He could simply have issued libel proceedings or he could have produced evidence (eg. correct bank statements and transfer documents) that would have shown my reports to be untrue. – August 4, 2015.

* Clare Rewcastle Brown is founder and editor of whistleblower website Sarawak Report.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/response-to-warrant-of-arrest-from-malaysian-police-clare-rewcastle-brown#sthash.6iqpPAd6.dpuf

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

If Rewcastle-Brown is truly a bonafide investigative journalist, then she has no reason to not participate in the investigation that has been brought against her. Infact, if she is charged in a criminal court, then it is her opportunity to prove herself with her research materials.

The Royal Malaysian Police will sought the assistance and authorities of the Interpol to track and arrest Rewcastle-Brown.

Rewcastle-Brown should also be investigated for criminal defamation for her slanderous stories against Malaysian leadership personalities such as (then Sarawak Chief Minister) Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud, Prime Minister Najib and Sabah Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Panglima Musa Aman.

In the video, Rewcastle-Brown arrogantly stated she wanted to defend herself by presenting herself in Kuching in person. By that extension, she should also willing to be brought to Kuala Lumpur for the investigation for the serious crimes against the Malaysian democracy that she has been accused of.

The past five years, she has been very incessant in her attacks against the Sarawak State Government (then under Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud), Sabah State Government (under Chief Minister Dato’ Seri Panglima Musa Aman) and now Prime Minister Najib.

Unlike a true journalist who is out to bring out the truth, Rewcastle-Brown never gave the opportunity for those she is gunning down in all the Sarawak Report writings any opportunity for the right to rebutt. In short, she used her journalism and research methodological skills to victimised politicians with her voracious and venomous presentation of stories and habitual lies.

The mercenary political writer is defiant that she is “A victim of extraordinary series of recent events” and the Malaysian democracy isn’t true and she would get fairness if ever her case was brought to the courts.

Channel News Asia story:

‘I’m not scared’: Sarawak Report’s Clare Brown on arrest warrant for her in Malaysia

“I am just the latest victim in an extraordinary series of recent events in Malaysia,” says the London-based founder of investigative journalism site Sarawak Report.

By Olly Barratt, Channel NewsAsia Correspondent
POSTED: 05 Aug 2015 01:23 UPDATED: 05 Aug 2015 05:11
VIDEOSPHOTOS

4865 52 1 Email
More

A A

LONDON: The founder of alternative news site Sarawak Report Clare Rewcastle Brown describes an arrest warrant put out for her as an “irrational” move on the Malaysian government’s part, done entirely for “domestic consumption”.

Malaysian police announced the arrest warrant on Tuesday (Aug 4), on the basis that Ms Brown is involved in “activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and for the dissemination of false reports which is an offence under the Malaysian penal code.

Ms Brown, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said she does not think Malaysian authorities have a chance of extraditing her.

The Sarawak Report website was recently blocked in Malaysia, for posing a “threat to national stability”, following reports that claimed Prime Minister Najib Razak had up to US$700 milllion deposited into his personal accounts from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). A Special Task Force probe concluded that the money deposited in Mr Najib’s accounts was from donations and not from 1MDB.

Below is Channel NewsAsia’s interview with Ms Brown.

Q: What was your reaction to hearing of the arrest warrant?

Ms Brown: Somewhat surprised. It seems very irrational and counterproductive to issue these sorts of threats that can’t be carried through.

Q: Why do you say that they can’t be carried through?

Ms Brown: Well, because I don’t think that they would ever get this petition through a court in a normal democracy like the UK, which is where I am. They are trying to arrest me for some kind of action against democracy, which is ironic given that it is the Malaysian government which has been taking actions against democracy by silencing free media and closing down my blog and indeed several newspapers and arresting a number of people who have done nothing more than raise some perfectly valid issues.

I don’t think they have got a chance in h**l of extraditing me from the UK.

Q: What is your response in terms of actions – will you be taking any actions in response to this warrant being issued? Will you need to talk to UK authorities? What do you do next?

Ms Brown: I’m besieged by media interviews at the moment, so I am going to be talking about Najib Razak on a very wide platform – so in a way, he could not have done anything more counter-productive than to provide me with that platform to discuss some of the issues that are causing considerable alarm at the moment in Malaysia.

I am just the latest victim in an extraordinary series of recent events in Malaysia – the Prime Minister sacked his deputy, sacked his Attorney-General, closed down the Public Accounts Committee; he has gone round arresting a whole lot of senior law enforcers investigating a very very concerning financial scandal in Malaysia and really everybody in Malaysia is asking: “Why?”

Well I am not sure if he is accusing me of forging documents or having criminally obtained documents, because obviously he can’t accuse me of both. I have been accused of both by him and his supporters but really they have to decide which they are going to charge me of, and Malaysians are left scratching their heads.

Q: The Special Task Force concluded that these monies transferred into the PM’s account were donations. What did you make of those conclusions?

A month on, and one might say several arrests, sacking and dismissals on, the Prime Minister has now finally had it announced through the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission that that was not anything to do with 1MDB money, which actually certainly I and I don’t know of any investigative reporters who said it was, he is saying that was just a donation, an anonymous donation and really Malaysians are asking: “Who donated and where did the money go? Is it correct that the Prime Minister should have been secretly donated US$700 million?”

Q: Do you recognise that it is easier for you to do this job here now than it would be in Malaysia?

Ms Brown: I have been accused of interfering in Malaysia and one of the reasons I have felt justified in concentrating on so many of the subjects around Malaysia that I have done is because so many Malaysian journalists and other Malaysians have said: “Thank goodness you’re able to print this because we can’t.”

There is maybe an illusion that there is a free media in Malaysia. There is not a free media in Malaysia, and I think what you’re seeing at the moment – the closure of respected business publications who have also been covering this enormous scandal, missing billions from the public development fund, just shows how little freedom of the press there is in Malaysia so that is partially why I’m doing it.

Q: With this warrant having been issued, will you ever be able to go back to Malaysia?

Ms Brown: I’m sure as long as Najib Razak is Prime Minister, I would be ill-advised.

Q: And how does that make you feel?

Ms Brown: I’ll live. I’ll continue to write about Malaysian issues and I’ll continue to interest myself in these matters – but you know, there are plenty of people in Malaysia who are suffering far worse than me as a result of these undemocratic actions that have been taken by the government at the moment. There are people in jail, there are people who have been arrested and not given their rightful access to legal representation. I’m not going to start feeling sorry for myself that I’m not allowed to be there too.

Q: And to return to where we started on the warrant itself being issued – how do you believe that reflects on the government of Malaysia?

Ms Brown: I think it is going to show the government of Malaysia up as being perhaps not quite under control at the moment actually. It’s such an irrational action, the rest of the international community is going to ask what is it that I’ve done that is detrimental to democracy, that’s the charge I’m facing. It’s an Orwellian charge, it is not a crime that exists in real democratic countries.

I think the Prime Minister has given up worrying what the rest of the world thinks about this action. I think this is purely for domestic consumption. I have had a lot of Malaysians ring up and say: “Clare, are you scared?” And I say, “I’m not scared, this isn’t about intimidating me, this is about intimidating his own domestic population.

– CNA/dl

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

Rewscatle-Brown is also implicated in the extortion case of former Petro Saudi executive Xavier A. Justo against his former employer, now actively being investigated by Royal Thai Police.

Of late, her credibility and journalism integrity is highly questionable if not greatly diminished after she was proven to either has been lying or falsifying evidence in her stories, intended to gun down the said leaders.

It is believed that Rewcastle-Brown is being funded by Neo Con Jews such as George Soros through organisations such as Open Forum and Global Witness, as part of the agenda to destabilise and topple democratically elected government.

Her manipulation of facts and intertwined with fabricated information tendered as ‘evidence’ and habitual lies, all concocted in well presented stories which seemingly guised as a well researched papers, is over.

The fact that since Justo has been busted in Thailand and started to spill out his beans where Rewcastle-Brown is heavily implicated in the extortion case investigation, she started to be on the defensive mode. It is a clear demonstration that she is guilty and her credence started to dwindle, downwards.

The tide for sister-in-law of the last Labour British Prime Minister who abetted his boss and conspired lie the British public for support to attack Iraq twelve years and subjected millions to anguish and pain based on lies of the ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’, has now turned.

She has just became the prey after her reign of terror her own game of lies in the cybersphere as the predator, came to an abrupt ended.

*Updated 1000hrs

Published in: on August 5, 2015 at 01:00  Comments (22)  

Big Brother is Watching!

The Singapore Government is reported to use spyware to go into its citizens’ computers and copy files, record Skype calls, read e mails, messages and access to password, all in the name of ‘national interests’.

Digital News Asia story:

Singapore is using spyware, and its citizens can’t complain

By Gabey GohAug 03, 2015
Leaked Hacking Team documents lists industry regulator IDA as a customer
Citizens have no rights to privacy, but Govt concerned about public trust

THE Singapore Government is using spyware that can copy files from your hard disk; record your Skype calls, e-mails, instant messages and passwords; and even turn on your webcam remotely – and if you’re Singaporean, you have no constitutional right to complain.

Yes, that’s right – the Singapore Constitution does not include a right to privacy. In addition, because of various pieces of legislation including the Criminal Procedure Code (amended in 2012) and the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act (amended in 1997), the Government does not need prior judicial authorisation to conduct any surveillance interception.

Indeed, the regulatory structure governing the surveillance of citizens is very much controlled by the Executive branch, with little judicial oversight, according to Eugene Tan, assistant professor with the School of Law at the Singapore Management University (SMU).

“I would say that we are in a state of affairs in which very little is known about what the Government conducts surveillance on, how it does it, and the regulatory controls in place.

“The courts have placed a lot of premium on the Executive’s assessment of what national security requires,” he told Digital News Asia (DNA) via email.

The use of surveillance tools – or spyware – by nation-states was brought to the forefront again in July after Italian spyware maker Hacking Team was hacked, and information on its business released on the Internet.

The leak of 300GB worth of data offered a look inside a segment of the security industry that is typically hidden in secrecy.

Disclosed documents showed that Hacking Team had 70 current customers, mostly military, police, federal and provincial governments across the world, and that it had recorded revenue above €40 million (US$44.5 million).

Three Malaysian government entities were named in these records: The Malaysia (sic) AntiCorruption Commission, the Prime Minister (sic) Office and an unknown entity known only as Malaysia Intelligene (sic).

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) was also listed as a current customer, after it renewed its maintenance contract with Hacking Team for the company’s Remote Control System software in February.

Malaysian civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan told DNA that if it were indeed true that the Malaysian Government was spying on its people, “then major violations of our fundamental liberties would have taken place.”

“Article 5 of the Federal Constitution provides that all persons have the right to life and personal liberty. Personal liberty here includes the right to privacy, as recognised by the Federal Court,” he said.

“So the law recognises the right to privacy. Spying on citizens is a violation to this right to privacy. As such, it contravenes Article 5 of the Federal Constitution,” he added.

The colonial context

Singapore, however, does not afford its citizens such rights. Tan told DNA that the regulatory regime in Singapore was geared towards concerns of national security from the outset.

“So matters like judicial authorisation and where the constitutional rights fit in were probably not incorporated from the start.

“We must remember that we inherited the colonial British apparatus in internal security matters, and so rights did not feature prominently,” he said.

However, Tan said that beyond legal controls, the Government is mindful that any improper use of surveillance apparatus and internal security laws would result in a massive loss of public confidence.

“So this abiding need to maintain the legitimacy, trust and confidence is foremost. It would be accurate to say that the regulatory regime in Singapore is [guided] by non-legal restraints like maintaining public confidence, rather than a reliance on legal mechanisms.

“In short, [it’s] a very different approach altogether from what we see in other liberal democratic controls,” he said.

Depth of surveillance unknown

In its June 2015 report entitled The Right to Privacy in Singapore: Stakeholder Report Universal Periodic Review 24th Session, Privacy International said that despite some evidence from security researchers, details of the capacity of the Singaporean Government to conduct surveillance and the scope of its surveillance infrastructure remain unknown.

Privacy International is a human rights organisation that works to advance and promote the right to privacy around the world.

“Yet, it is widely acknowledged that Singapore has a well-established, centrally-controlled technological surveillance system designed to maintain social order and protect national interest and national security,” the report said.

The surveillance structure in Singapore spreads wide from CCTVs (closed-circuit televisions), drones, Internet monitoring, access to communications data, mandatory SIM card registration, identification required for registration to certain websites, and the use of big data analytics for governance initiatives including traffic monitoring.

[Download the full Privacy International report here.]

In 2013, Citizen Lab of the University of Toronto found evidence that PacketShaper, produced by the US-based security firm Blue Coat Systems Inc, was in use in Singapore.

PacketShaper allows the surveillance and monitoring of user interactions on various applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Mail, and Skype.

Citizen Lab also found command and control servers for FinSpy backdoors, part of Gamma International’s FinFisher “remote monitoring solution,” in a total of 25 countries, including Singapore.

FinSpy is malware – a software program that gives its operator the ability to observe and control an individual’s computer or mobile device – produced by British-German company Gamma International.

However, the Singapore Government has denied using spy software.

Lack of concern

Asked about how the general Singaporean population felt about the carte blanche permission the Government has when it comes to surveillance, SMU’s Tan said it perhaps is a case of “ignorance is bliss.”

“There is implicit trust that surveillance is specifically for security concerns alone, and that there is no mass surveillance.

“Most of the time, people don’t think about these things. But all it takes is for one scandal to occur and the state of play will be very different,” he added.

Asked about what controls there were to prevent the use of private surveillance industry products to facilitate human rights abuses by the Government, Tan said he was not aware of any such controls in place.

“But the Singapore Government treads very carefully to ensure that it stays within the law and does not run afoul of its human rights obligations,” he said.

“And where there is use of third-party products, I believe the controls are robust, particularly with what information and surveillance data is provided to or obtainable by private vendors and how they are used,” he said.

Some laws in Singapore regulate the processing of personal data, including in the public sector, such as the Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act which criminalises unauthorised access to data. However, they do not regulate or address the lawful collection of data.

Other safeguards for privacy and personal data are included in the Official Secrets Act, the Statistics Act, the Statutory Bodies and Government Companies (Protection of Secrecy) Act, and the Electronic Transactions Act.

Laws that regulate data held by private sector entities include the Personal Data Protection Act, the Banking Act, and the Telecommunications Act; whilst other relevant legislation include the law of confidence, which addresses misuse and publication of confidential information.

Tan said that judicial review could be one mechanism by which concerned citizens could challenge the Government’s decisions and actions.

“But the difficulty is always obtaining evidence that one has been ‘surveilled’ indiscriminately or for unlawful purposes,” he said.

Refusal to ratify international covenant

The Privacy International report also noted that Singapore has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Article 17 of the ICCPR provides that “no one shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his honour and reputation.”

“This raises significant concerns in light of the fact that the legal framework regulating interception of communication falls short of applicable international human rights standards, and judicial authorisation is sidelined and democratic oversight is non-existent,” the Privacy International report said.

Tan said that Singapore has not indicated any intention to sign the ICCPR.

“But the Government here is conscious of the need to do right – especially by the law. So while the regulatory regime is relatively opaque, there are probably internal controls to ensure proper use of the extensive powers of surveillance,” he said.

But Tan also argued that the first challenge is to recognise that there is a need for a regulatory regime that is not centred exclusively on the Executive. This recognition is particularly relevant to the Government.

“Once there is this recognition, then there would be a need to consider the type of regulatory regime,” he said.

“In the Singapore context, we can be sure that the Government would rather [have] a regime that grants it generous latitude about how it conducts surveillance and the broad liberty to exercise discretion in making such decisions.

“A third challenge is the need for civil society to meaningfully engage the Government without the Government being concerned that a more robust regime would curb its operational effectiveness and efficacy – while ensuring that the maintenance of national security does not result in abuses of rights,” he added.

– See more at: https://www.digitalnewsasia.com/digital-economy/singapore-is-using-spyware-and-its-citizens-cant-complain#sthash.hN4mua6V.dpuf

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

If this report is true, see how the people just across from the southern-most city on continent Asia is dealing with getting tough on their own netizens.

The Singapore Government is very determined that the national interest supersede anything else.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak urged the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to get tough on those who abuse, misuse and adulterate social media platforms for sinister purposes which could destabilise the nation.

Considering that the Prime Minister personally has been demonised and major Federal Government ministries, agencies and commissions have been under constant attack, the strike against the abusers, misusers, hackers and habitual liars within the cybersphere should contained and reprimanded a long time ago.

Published in: on August 3, 2015 at 15:00  Comments (18)  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,359 other followers