Society has become less tolerant, say moderates

Source: FMT News

Sisters in Islam and other moderates say the Malay community was less judgmental and more tolerant of each other three decades ago.

Sisters in Islam and other moderates say the Malay community was less judgmental and more tolerant of each other three decades ago.

KUALA LUMPUR: The country’s economic progress over the past 30 years has done little to uplift people’s mentality with Sisters in Islam (SIS) saying it “has gone from bad to worse”.

SIS Assistant Programme Manager Azareena Aziz said the Malay community in urban and rural areas were less judgmental and more tolerant of each other three decades ago.

“We used to be a moderate society then. For instance, 20 years ago, in my village there was a transgender. Everyone treated him with respect. No one was rude or thought he was a lesser person

“But now, the community does not accept a transgender. There are threats against that person.

“Looking at the past 30 years, which way are we heading now? Read more

Malaysian Authorities Must Treat Grave US Department of Justice Allegations with Utmost Seriousness and Undertake an Immediate Inquiry – Malaysian Bar

Press Release

Malaysian Authorities Must Treat Grave US Department of Justice Allegations with Utmost Seriousness and Undertake an Immediate Inquiry

The Malaysian Bar is deeply disturbed by the grim disclosures contained in the complaint filed by the United States Department of Justice (“DOJ”)[1] “to forfeit assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (“1MDB”)…”[2]  The DOJ has made serious allegations of siphoning or diversion of funds, fraud, and the misuse of the banking system for illegal activities, by the individuals and entities named in the complaint.

Various persons have in the past weeks sought to interpret the DOJ’s 136-page complaint.  It is appalling that some have deliberately set out to distort the proceedings, and have attempted to create confusion, ostensibly to protect­ wrongdoers.  In the interest of upholding the rule of law and the cause of justice, the thrust, purpose and ramifications of the DOJ proceedings must be appreciated.

The legal proceeding commenced by the DOJ seeking the forfeiture of assets — including rights to profits, moveable assets and real property — constitute a civil action.  These assets, located primarily, but not exclusively, in the United States, are alleged to be proceeds from criminal conduct.  The DOJ maintains that this is the largest single asset seizure action ever brought under its Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.[3]

The DOJ’s court document states that the assets to be forfeited represent “a portion of the proceeds of over [US]$3.5 billion misappropriated from 1MDB.”[4]  It has been reported that the United States authorities intend “to recover more than [US]$1 billion that was laundered through the United States and traceable to the conspiracy.”[5]  In this regard, it would appear from the court document that the United States authorities possess comprehensive knowledge of the movement of the alleged misappropriated funds, have sighted relevant documentary evidence, and even reviewed telephone conversations.  The substance, depth and reach of the allegations are compelling, and should not be ignored.  The affected parties will have the opportunity to challenge the DOJ’s action in court, hence the process is transparent and adheres to the principles of natural justice.  Read more

1MDB case: KL trying to settle

Source: Straits Times

Malaysia is keen to reach a settlement with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund over a US$6.5 billion (S$8.7 billion) dispute with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), as the stand-off heads into arbitration next month.

The talks with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) will help the government decide on legal action against 1MDB’s previous management or directors over the soured dealings, Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani told The Straits Times in an interview last week.

The stand-off over a debt asset swap between the two state funds forms part of a financial scandal engulfing Prime Minister Najib Razak that led to calls for him to resign.

The Najib administration faces public pressure to take action against senior 1MDB officials responsible for the financial mess.

“It doesn’t look good for two countries to fight over a business transaction. This is all about getting two parties to sit down and discuss and thrash out whatever differences that we have,” Datuk Johari said in the interview. Read more

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