Abu Talib: Probe on 1MDB almost complete

Source: Malay Mail

Former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman arrives at Ilham Tower, Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

Former attorney general Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman arrives at Ilham Tower, Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 22 — 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) special committee chairman Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman said the multiple investigations into the troubled state-owned investment fund are almost complete.

He told reporters, after meeting Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief Datuk Mohd Shukri Abdull and his predecessor Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, that the 1MDB taskforce had briefed him on the latest developments.

“Investigations are progressing well and almost ready to be submitted to the Attorney General Chambers for its attention,” he said as he was leaving Ilham Tower here, where the meeting took place. Read more

Report: Putrajaya widening 1MDB dragnet to BN politicians, law firms

Source: Malay Mail

File photo shows a man walking past a 1MDB billboard in Kuala Lumpur  — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — The multi-agency probe on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal could entangle Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians or political parties that received the state investment company’s funds.

According to Singapore daily The Straits Times (ST), the investigation would also be expanded to include law firms that handled transactions for such personalities and entities.

Citing senior government officers and financial executives, the ST said 1MDB case investigators are scrutinising the flow of funds from 1MDB-linked firms and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts to BN politicians.

The officials would not identify the politicians or law firms as the ongoing investigations were now at a “sensitive” point, the paper reported.

The ST noted allegations that 1MDB changed from its initial nature as an investment fund into a “private political slush fund” for BN, adding that there were claims of BN politicians being funded by 1MDB money. Read more

Swiss parliament rejects call to return 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia

Source: The Star Online

ZURICH: Switzerland’s parliament rejected on Thursday a bid to amend the law handling ill-gotten bank profits seized by authorities that had aimed to return more than US$100mil (RM390mil) linked to scandal-hit sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to the Malaysian people.

Champions of the campaign had acknowledged they faced an uphill struggle to get the idea through parliament, whose lower house shot the plan down at the request of the government.

Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis told lawmakers the measure was too broad and violated the separation of powers between the government and the courts. He said current law allowed repatriation of assets seized from toppled regimes.

He cited an accord signed with the World Bank in December under which Switzerland would return to Nigeria about US$321mil in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha.

Confiscated bank profits from dubious deals are a different story. Normally they flow into the general Swiss budget. Read more

Australian PM’s son says he was sidelined for blowing whistle on 1MDB scandal

Source: The Edge Markets

Alex Turnbull, son of the Australian Prime Minister, has claimed he was sidelined at Goldman Sachs after he had blown the whistle on billions of dollars of questionable deals involving 1MDB.

The Australian reported that while Alex was working with Goldman Sachs in Singapore in 2012-13, the bank had raised US$6 billion in bonds for 1MDB. Read more

Top GOP donor sought $75M fee if DOJ ended probe into Malaysian scandal: report

Source: The Hill

Top GOP donor sought $75M fee if DOJ ended probe into Malaysian scandal: report

© Getty Images

A longtime Republican donor allegedly sought to make tens of millions of dollars if the Department of Justice (DOJ) dropped its investigation into an investment deal connected to the Malaysian prime minster.

Elliott Broidy and his wife, attorney Robin Rosenzweig, reportedly discussed in emails over the past year arranging a consulting contract with Jho Low, the businessman at the center of an investment scandal that ensnared Malaysian leader Najib Razak.

One email includes a proposal for a $75 million fee for the couple if the Justice Department dropped its investigation into the scandal, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Trump ally offered to help Jho Low in DoJ’s 1MDB probe, says report

Source: Free Malaysia Today

jho-low-afp-1

Citing emails, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says a top Republican donor close to President Donald Trump discussed setting up a consulting contract with businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low. (AFP pic)

PETALING JAYA: In the latest turn of events surrounding 1MDB, a US paper claims a top Republican donor close to President Donald Trump was in negotiations for a US$75 million (RM295 million) fee if the Department of Justice (DoJ) dropped its investigation into the state fund.Citing emails from Elliott Broidy and his wife, Robin Rosenzweig, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said they had discussed setting up a consulting contract with businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low. Read more

1MDB will shut down after debts paid, says Irwan Serigar

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Pro-democracy group Bersih had staged an 1MDB protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia back in November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Edgar Su

TROUBLED sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will be shut down once it settles all its debts, company chairman Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah was quoted as saying by media reports.

This comes a day after Swiss authorities say they will absorb RM400 million in 1MDB-linked funds languishing in Swiss bank accounts.

At a press conference in Universiti Malaysia Kelantan last night, Treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar said the debts would be paid from revenue obtained from the government’s mega projects such as the development of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) building, the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the second Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project.

“Soon, residents who own a place in the TRX city will pay rent, and we will also sell land plots of Bandar Malaysia which will be developed with public transport such as high-speed train, ECRL and MRT,” Irwan was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times daily.

“Through this, we will pay the debts… Rome wasn’t built in a day, we will not get the revenue immediately, instead it will take more than 10 years to generate income from the long-term development.

“Once the debts are paid, there will be no need for 1MDB.” Read more

Malaysia drops seven spots in anti-graft ladder

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Transparency International-Malaysia chairman Akhbar Satar says Malaysia’s ranking is likely to fall in the next few years until major corruption scandals are resolved. – The Malaysian Insight pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 22, 2018.

FAILURE to resolve major corruption scandals, like 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), Tabung Haji and Felda, is one of the main reasons Malaysia’s ranking fell in a global corruption index, an international anti-graft group said today.

“These scandals affected our score,” said Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) chairman Akhbar Satar at the launch of the Corruption Perceptions Index in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

Until these scandals are resolved satisfactorily, Akhbar said, Malaysia’s ranking is likely to further fall in the next few years.

Malaysia fell to No. 62 in the index last year, down seven spots from 2016, marking its lowest position since the index began in 1995.

The CPI ranks 180 countries by perceived levels of public sector corruption, according experts and business people. It uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.

Malaysia, since its 2014 score of 52, has been dropping every year, passing the halfway point in 2016 (49) and reaching 47 in 2017.

“We are at the same spot as Cuba. We should be better than them,” said Akhbar. Read more

Yes, 1MDB showed failings, lapses in governance, says Najib

Source: Free Malaysia Today

Picture of najib

Picture drawn from Free Malaysia Today

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Razak today issued a frank admission of 1MDB’s failure, adding that there had been “valid cause for concern” over the state company’s affairs which have triggered investigations in several parts of the world.

“Now, I am not going to brush over this issue. There were indeed failings at the company, there were lapses in governance,” Najib told some 1,000 people at the Invest Malaysia 2018 conference today.

But Najib said the 1MDB issue had been politically exploited, adding that there was “a concentrated campaign” to sabotage the Malaysian economy.

He said the government was aware of 1MDB’s failings, which was why it had launched an investigation involving multiple authorities.

“Their findings were taken on board – and the company’s board was dissolved, its management team changed, and its operations reviewed,” he said.

1MDB was created by the government to promote long-term economic development for the benefit of the Malaysian people.

Read more

Court frees Zaid Ibrahim of offensive blog posting charge

Source: The Malay Online

Picture of zaid ibrahim

Three years ago, Zaid was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) under which stipulates that another person who was annoyed had to be called to give evidence. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 11 ― DAP member Datuk Zaid Ibrahim was today acquitted by the Cyber Court over an allegedly offensive blog post he made in 2015.

Justice Zaman Mohd Noor who made the ruling, said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case.

“The prosecution failed to sufficiently establish the case as there is a need to call the victim, [to ask] whether he is annoyed and how he felt. “Therefore the accused is released,” he said.

Three years ago, Zaid was charged under Section 233(1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA) under which stipulates that another person who was annoyed had to be called to give evidence, which in this case would be the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Read more