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Malaysian Leader in Billion-Dollar Scandal Is Invited to White House



WASHINGTON — President Trump has invited Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia to visit the White House in September despite Mr. Najib’s involvement in a billion-dollar corruption scandal.

The White House said in a statement on Wednesday that the visit was intended to “strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia.”

The invitation represents a significant boost to Mr. Najib’s international standing and is likely to put to rest rumors in Malaysia that he would be arrested the next time he stepped on American soil. In July, the Justice Department filed a civil complaint in a money-laundering case outlining how Mr. Najib, identified as “Malaysian Official 1,” received $731 million from a government fund he oversaw. Investigators around the world are tracking the money trail to his bank accounts in what has become a billion-dollar scandal.

Critics say the visit, scheduled for Sept. 12, also demonstrates that the Trump administration places concerns about corruption well behind other issues. Mr. Najib is yet another visitor to the Trump White House with a history of suppressing free speech and intimidating the political opposition, said Robert G. Berschinski of the advocacy group Human Rights First.

The invitation is “just another sign that this White House pays only lip service — if that — to the idea that promoting human rights or fighting corruption redounds to the benefit of the United States,” he said.

Since abandoning the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that would have tied together a dozen nations and 40 percent of the world’s economy, the Trump administration has been casting about for ways to regain its lost clout in Southeast Asia, a region increasingly dominated by China.

When Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson visited this month to attend a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, he confronted a resurgent China everywhere he went. Without the trade deal, Mr. Tillerson had little to offer to counter China.

So instead, the Trump administration has tempered longtime American criticism of poor human rights records or corruption allegations as it seeks to advance its interests in the region. Mr. Tillerson visited President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines, who has been accused of encouraging thousands of killings by the police.

Mr. Duterte said after the meeting that Mr. Tillerson had “considerably toned down” American criticism of the Philippine drug war, a charge Mr. Tillerson’s spokesman later denied. Mr. Tillerson then visited Thailand despite a 2014 coup by the country’s military.

Elina Noor, of the Institute of Strategic and International Studies Malaysia, said Mr. Najib’s visit to the White House “would underline Najib’s stature as a respected leader and statesman warmly welcomed in the United States at the highest level, simultaneously quashing controversial allegations against him.”

Malaysia was part of the Trans-Pacific accord, but Mr. Najib has more recently expressed skepticism about joining the trade pact without the United States — a position bound to endear him to Mr. Trump.

Over the years, Mr. Najib has been accused of having ties to a murder, taking kickbacks from the purchase of military hardware and helping concoct a criminal prosecution against a rival.

But he is expected to easily win re-election in 2018 and is considered an important partner to the United States in the region. – Read more New York Times

Click Read: DoJ 1MDB – We will not allow US to be a place where corrupt individuals can hide assets and lavishly spend money

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Stop fooling yourselves in thinking Malays need you, Lim tells Umno


DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang says Umno no longer commands the support of Malays after a senior party leader admitted that the community has many other parties to choose from. – The Malaysian Insider pic

KUALA LUMPUR August 27, 2017 – UMNO can no longer say it commands the support of the Malays after a senior party leader told members that the community has many other choices within the opposition coalition, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said.

Negri Sembilan Memtri Besar Mohamad Hassan in his speech at the opening of the Sembrong division Umno delegates’ conference in Kluang yesterday, told party members they can no longer be complacent because the Malays now have many choices such as PAS, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

Wading into this, Lim said Mohamad’s comment was the “best rebuttal to claims by Umno leaders that Malays will perish” if Umno is defeated in the coming general election.

“Umno can no longer think that the Malays need it but instead it is Umno that need the Malays in order to survive,” Lim said in a statement today.

The DAP veteran said Umno have held on to power by “generating the fear” that if Umno is defeated in a general election, Malays will lose political power and “become strangers in their own land”.

“This is a great lie, for the Malays will not lose political power if Umno is evicted from Putrajaya, so the question of the Malays recovering political power does not arise,” Lim said, adding that Umno’s leaders must answer two questions with regard to how the Malays are under threat.

“How can Islam and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malays for over five decades?

“What have the Malay leaders been doing for five decades if Malays are still under threat?”

He said the country’s demographic “reality is the surest guarantee” that the Malays will not lose political power whatever happens to Prime Minister Najib Razak or to Umno in the next general election.

In 1970 Malaysia’s population comprised 44.32% Malays, 34.34% Chinese, 8.99% Indians, 11.89% non-Malay Bumiputeras, 0.67% others.

In 2010, the percentage of Malays increased to 55.07%, Chinese reduced to 24.34%, Indians dropped to 7.35%, non-Malay Bumiputeras maintained at 11.94% and 1.3% others.

During the 13th general election in 2013, 52.63% of the voters were Malays, 29.68% Chinese, 7.31% Indians, 8.96% non-Malay Bumiputeras and 1.43% others.

Out of the 165 Parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia, 114 are Malay majority seats, representing some 70% of the total, with 22 being Chinese majority seats (13%) and 29 mixed seats. There is not a single Indian majority seat.

Meanwhile, Lim also noted that Umno vice-president and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein claimed during the same Umno meeting at Sembrong yesterday that the opposition will spread more lies as the election nears.

“We in Umno are not taught like that. We will fight the culture of lies with honesty and sincerity, not follow their example,” Hishammuddin was quoted as saying.

Lim said, “I am most flabbergasted by Hishammuddin’s most amazing claim, as I have for decades been the target of Umno propaganda, lies and demonisation campaign.”

Lim claimed the three lies routinely used against him were that:

“I had led illegal street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur sparking the May 13 riots in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, when in truth, I was never in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 period as I was in Kota Kinabalu in Sabah.

“I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam when no Umno leader could produce an iota of evidence in my political history of half a century to show that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

“And, that I am campaigning for a Christian Malaysia when I am not a Christian.” – Read more TMI

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Click Read: DoJ 1MDB – We will not allow US to be a place where corrupt individuals can hide assets and lavishly spend money

CLICK READ: To stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

DoJ: We will not allow US to be a place where corrupt individuals can hide assets and lavishly spend money


U.S. Seeks to Recover Approximately $540 Million Obtained From Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund – Thursday, June 15, 2017

by United States of America Department of Justice – [DoJ]

The Justice Department announced today the filing of civil forfeiture complaints seeking the forfeiture and recovery of approximately $540 million in assets associated with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

Combined with civil forfeiture complaints filed in July 2016, seeking more than $1 billion, and civil forfeiture complaints filed last week seeking approximately $100 million in assets, this case represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Assets now subject to forfeiture in this case total almost $1.7 billion.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Blanco, Acting U.S. Attorney Sandra R. Brown of the Central District of California, Assistant Director Stephen E. Richardson of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division, and Deputy Chief Don Fort of the IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) made the announcement.

According to the complaints, from 2009 through 2015, more than $4.5 billion in funds belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of 1MDB and their associates.

1MDB was created by the government of Malaysia to promote economic development in Malaysia through global partnerships and foreign direct investment, and its funds were intended to be used for improving the well-being of the Malaysian people.

“The Criminal Division is steadfast in our efforts to protect the security, safety, and integrity of the American financial system from all manner of abuse, including by kleptocrats seeking to hide their ill-gotten or stolen wealth,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco. “Today’s complaints reveal another chapter of this multi-year, multi-billion-dollar fraud scheme, bringing the total identified stolen proceeds to $4.5 billion.

This money financed the lavish lifestyles of the alleged co-conspirators at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people. We are unwavering in our commitment to ensure the United States is not a safe haven for corrupt individuals and kleptocrats to hide their ill-gotten wealth or money, and that recovered assets be returned to the victims from which they were taken.”

“These cases involve billions of dollars that should have been used to help the people of Malaysia, but instead was used by a small number of individuals to fuel their astonishing greed,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Brown.

“The misappropriation of 1MDB funds was accomplished with an extravagant web of lies and bogus transactions that were brought to light by the dedicated attorneys and law enforcement agents who continue to work on this matter.

We simply will not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefit of citizens of other nations.”

“Today’s filing serves as a reminder of the important role that the FBI plays in rooting out international corruption. When corrupt foreign officials launder funds through the United States in furtherance of their criminal activity, the FBI works tirelessly to help hold those officials accountable, and recover the misappropriated funds,” said Assistant Director Richardson. “I applaud all my colleagues and our international partners who have worked to help recover an immense amount of funds taken from the Malaysian people, who are the victims of this abhorrent case of kleptocracy.”

“Today’s announcement is the result of untangling a global labyrinth of multi-layered financial transactions allegedly used to divert billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia and fund the co-conspirators’ lavish lifestyles,” said Deputy Chief Fort. “The IRS is proud to partner with other law enforcement agencies and share its world-renowned financial investigative expertise in this complex financial investigation. It’s important for the world to see, that when people use the American financial system for corruption, the IRS will take notice.”

As alleged in the complaints, the members of the conspiracy – which included officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates – diverted more than $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds. Using fraudulent documents and representations, the co-conspirators allegedly laundered the funds through a series of complex transactions and shell companies with bank accounts located in the U.S. and abroad.

These transactions allegedly served to conceal the origin, source and ownership of the funds, and ultimately passed through U.S. financial institutions to then be used to acquire and invest in assets located in the U.S. and overseas.

The complaints filed today allege that in 2014, the co-conspirators misappropriated approximately $850 million in 1MDB funds under the guise of repurchasing certain options that had been given in connection with a guarantee of 2012 bonds. As the complaints allege, 1MDB had borrowed a total of $1.225 billion from a syndicate of banks to fund the buy-back of the options. The complaints allege that approximately $850 million was instead diverted to several offshore shell entities.

From there, the complaints allege, the funds stolen in 2014, in addition to money stolen in prior years, were used, among other things, to purchase a 300 foot luxury yacht valued at over $260 million, certain movie rights, high-end properties, tens of millions of dollars of jewelry, and artwork. A portion of the diverted loan proceeds were also allegedly used in an elaborate, Ponzi-like scheme to create the false appearance that an earlier 1MDB investment had been profitable.

As alleged in the earlier complaints, in 2009, 1MDB officials and their associates embezzled approximately $1 billion that was supposed to be invested to exploit energy concessions purportedly owned by a foreign partner. Instead, the funds were transferred through shell companies and were used to acquire a number of assets, as set forth in the complaints.

The complaints also allege that the co-conspirators misappropriated close to $1.4 billion in funds raised through the bond offerings in 2012, and more than $1.2 billion following another bond offering in 2013.

A civil forfeiture complaint is merely an allegation that money or property was involved in or represents the proceeds of a crime. These allegations are not proven until a court awards judgment in favor of the U.S. – Read more source DOJ

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I’ve paid my dues over Anwar’s black eye, says ex-IGP


Former IGP Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor speaking to The Malaysian Insight during a special interview. – The Star pic

KUALA LUMPUR 26 Aug, 2017 – PAS has no need to raise the matter of Anwar Ibrahim’s black eye as it has been settled with jail time and a fine, said the former police chief who punched the sacked deputy prime minister 18 years ago.

Abdul Rahim Noor said the incident was long past, and declined to elaborate on what had happened between him and Anwar after the latter was sacked from government and imprisoned in 1998.

Rahim was inspector-general of police at the time.

“Why should PAS raise the issue of the black eye incident? Even the Memali incident has not been brought to court, but my issue with Anwar has been settled by the court ,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

He was responding to PAS vice-president Idris Ahmad, who, in a war of words over the 1985 Memali tragedy, had told him to “shut up” and stop blaming PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang for his role in influencing people to oppose the government, leading to the the police siege in Memali village, Kedah, which killed 18 people.

In a tit-for-tat, Idris raised the issue of Anwar’s black eye, caused by Rahim who punched him while Anwar was in police custody.

Anwar had been sacked by then prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamed on September 2, 1998, and arrested and jailed on September 20.

Rahim was sentenced to two months’ jail and fined RM2,000 for hitting Anwar after the Court of Appeal upheld the sentence on April 2001.

He stressed that the statements he had made regarding the Memali incident were not meant as an interference in political matters.

“If I wanted to be a politician, I would have done so after I retired and joined a political party. It wouldn’t matter if it’s the ruling party or the opposition.

“(But) I don’t have any power to stop anyone from saying that I want to interfere in politics.”

Rahim has been commenting on the Memali incident as he had been Special Branch director previously and had known of intelligence about PAS members inspired by Hadi’s speech, or “Amanat Hadi”, to oppose the government in militant fashion.

“Amanat Hadi” refers to a speech Hadi made on April 7, 1981, in which he declared Umno and Barisan Nasional as an infidel government that ruled like colonialists.

Rahim said Hadi’s speech had influenced religious teacher and PAS grassroots leader Ibrahim Mahmud and his followers to think they were fighting a righteous cause.

Ibrahim, 13 civilians and four police officers were killed and many others injured in the siege around Memali village.

The government issued a White Paper on the matter in 1986, but some eyewitnesses and surviving family members have disputed it and blamed the government for harming innocent civilians. – Read more TMI

CLICK READTo stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

Hadi’s influential 1981 speech could have led to more tragedies, says ex-IGP

Thank God that the Memali incident was the only tragedy that resulted from Hadi’s fiery rhetoric, says former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Noor.

KUALA LUMPUR Aug26, 2017 – MALAYSIA is lucky that the Memali incident has been the only tragedy to have stemmed from PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s influential speech, “Amanat Hadi”, former inspector-general of police Abdul Rahim Noor said.

Hadi’s speech in Terengganu in 1981, when he was the state PAS commissioner, had not only influenced militant leader Ibrahim Mahmud, better known as Ibrahim Libya, who was killed in Memali, but also many members of the party’s youth wing, who were arrested before they could cause trouble, Rahim said.

“Hadi had incited people by telling them that if they died in their struggle to fight Umno, which he said was a party that had embraced the policies of its colonial masters, they would be martyrs,

“Thank God, all that happened was the Memali incident; if there had been more incidents all the country, if there had been another Ibrahim Libya in Johor, Penang and other places, our country and the police will be finished,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

On November 19, 1985, four police officers and 14 civilians died when security forces laid siege to Memali village in Baling, Kedah, where Ibrahim, who was also a religious teacher and PAS grassroots leader, was hiding with members of his militant group.

Hadi’s speech on April 7, 1981, declared Umno and Barisan Nasional an infidel government who ruled like colonialists.

The speech split the Malay community along PAS and Umno lines, and led to Muslims on both sides of the political divide to call each other kaffirs, or infidels, hold separate prayers with different imam, and boycott neighbourhood gatherings if their rivals were involved.

Rahim said Hadi’s speech had inspired Ibrahim and his followers to take what was a political struggle a step further.

Rahim was the Selangor police chief at the time of the Memali incident.

Three months later, he was appointed Sabah police chief and a month later he was called back to Kuala Lumpur where he was promoted to Special Branch director.

As director of the police intelligence branch, Rahim said among the first files he had opened were the file on the Memali incident, which had occurred about four months before he arrived at the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman.

Rahim recalled the briefing he received from the deputy special branch director who was monitoring the movements of radical Islamist groups in Malaysia at the time.

He said apart from Ibrahim, there were three PAS Youth members then who had been influenced by Hadi’s speech.

“I don’t want to mention names because it might anger some people. They were also influenced by Hadi’s mandate.

“But the police managed to arrest the members before any untoward incident occurred. They were caught two to three months before the Memali incident.”

Rahim, who served as IGP from 1994 to 1999, reiterated that PAS was not involved in Ibrahim and his followers’ plans.

“It was not Hadi who ordered Ibrahim Libya to act in such a manner, but his (Hadi’s) influence was strong.

“But PAS also didn’t do anything to prevent Ibrahim Libya and his followers, as far as I know. We are also not sure if there was any communication between them.”

Rahim said PAS had also declared Ibrahim and his 13 followers martyrs after they were killed.

Not a political ploy

Interest in the Memali incident was renewed when a member of the audience asked Dr Mahathir Mohamad a question on the siege he Nothing To Hide 2.0 forum earlier this month.

Dr Mahathir, who is now chairman of opposition pact Pakatan Harapan, was prime minister at the time. Musa Hitam was deputy prime minister and home minister.

Violence erupted while Dr Mahathir was speaking, and Hadi had later blamed it on his failure to give a satisfactory answer to the question on Memali.

Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi had subsequently said the government was ready to hold a royal commission of inquiry into the Memali tragedy, which PAS has welcomed.

But Rahim said he didn’t think the Memali incident was “manufactured”.

“I don’t think there is any politician, no matter what his ideology is, who will condone what happened.

“The incident had involved many people’s lives and the police took action according to the law, as mentioned in the White Paper,” he said, referring to the official government record of the incident which was presented to the Dewan Rakyat in 1986.

Rahim said the police taking part in the siege were in a tense situation and could not possibly have thought of “calling the prime minister to ask for permission to open fire”.

“Those who are trying to implicate Dr Mahathir in the Memali incident should ask why Ibrahim Libya tried to attack the authorities and incite people to go against the government,” he said.

Rahim previously said that a RCI would only reveal Hadi’s role in the incident. He said there was no need for an RCI and that the government should instead table the White Paper in Parliament and allow debate on it. – Read more TMI

CLICK READTo stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

Dr Mahathir appeals to PAS not to spoil everything


Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad says PAS will splt the Malay vote and allow Barisan Nasional to win. – The Star pic

by Sheridan Mahavera

TERENGGANU 26 Aug, 2017 – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made a plea to PAS as the coalition he leads attempts to make a breakthrough in Terengganu, the bastion of the rival opposition party.

“Please, don’t become a spoiler,” said Dr Mahathir, on his first visit to the east coast state as Pakatan Harapan chairman.

“I am saddened about PAS. They can never be a government. They are being spoilers. They are going to split the Malay vote between Umno, PH and themselves, and allow BN to win.”

PAS has announced that it will be leading the coalition it founded, called Gagasan Sejahtera Rakyat, into the 14th general election.

As it is not bound by an electoral pact with either Barisan Nasional or Pakatan, it will contest against both in at least 100 parliamentary seats nationwide.

Analysts have said that historically, the BN almost always wins when there are multi-party contests as votes for the opposition are then split.

PH’s ambition of seizing federal power is under severe threat if it cannot form a pact with PAS, which has declared itself the “kingmaker” in the next election.

PH plans to contest in Kelantan and Terengganu where PAS has a long and deep history. The Islamist party currently rules Kelantan and holds 14 out of 32 Terengganu’s state seats.

In his speech at the Save Malaysia ceramah in Besut last night, Dr Mahathir said PAS had managed to capture only 13 parliamentary seats at most when it contested alone in the past 13 general

“When it cooperated with DAP, it could win 27 parliamentary seats,” Dr Mahathir said.

“So how can they be a kingmaker? Please, you don’t have to be a spoiler.” – Read more TMI

CLICK READTo stay in power, Najib is wooing PAS, mixing religion with politics

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