Mahathir is riled Can Najib absorb stumble, and regain his stride?

najib-pening

Razak Boys and Tun Rahah

What 1MDB has not done is make enough money to cover its huge debt, although determining anything is difficult because no up-to-date accounts have been filed.Today, Pua said, the entire operation appears to be built on debt, although with audited financial reports delayed it is impossible to say for sure. Its managers are seeking to cover the losses through additional borrowings and money raisings, including a US$4.75 billion one engineered by Goldman Sachs, the international investment bank, that cost 1MDB 10 percent of the offering, a phenomenal amount for “commissions, fees and expenses” according to the prospectus. By comparison, Tenaga Nasional, the state-owned energy utility, paid a 2 percent fee on a US$300 million money raising. SMBC Aviation Capital, which leases jets to Malaysian Airlines, paid 0.5 percent on a US$1 billion capital raising. The fees paid to Goldman worked out at US$1.54 billion, Pua said.

Low, who has accompanied Rosmah on forays to New York to meet celebrities including Lionel Ritchie and Paris Hilton, landing in the pages of the New York Post, involved 1MDB in backing his failed 2011 bid to buy three prestigious London hotels – Claridge’s, the Connaught and The Berkeley, according to documents filed in the Chancery Division of the UK’s Royal Courts of Justice.“I was the finance head for oil companies  before I entered politics,” Rafizi Ramli, strategic director and secretary-general of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat, told Asia Sentinel. “Nobody I knew had ever come across PetroSaudi before. We tried to check what it was. It was incorporated in the British Virgin Islands. While it is normal for financial investors to enter into ventures, how could a government commit such a huge sum of money with a greenhorn company with no known track record, incorporated in a haven for dodgy money, in an industry where capital risk is so huge?”

Malaysia's PM Razak and wife Rosmah Mansor arrive at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center before the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Summit in Nusa Dua, Bali

Najib’s party  UMNO will now face the fallout of sharper polarisation over Anwar’s jailing, amid widespread perceptions that his prosecution was motivated by political vengeance.There’s something rotten about the whole thing,The government denied interference in Anwar’s case. “Democracy,” wrote that unreconstructed imperialist Winston Churchill, “is the worst form of government except for all those other forms which have been tried from time to time.” Many ministers in government seem to have little work. Most files are apparently vetted by the PMO.The party is now run by Rosmah like most rivals, the UMNO has dumped organisation for one woman

There is a growing, acrimonious rift in the Razak family, much of it over the deeply indebted government-backed investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and Najib’s siblings’ relationship with the Prime Minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, partly because of her ostentatious flaunting of enormous wealth.  Rosmah, in addition to concerns about her behavior, is believed to have convinced her husband to initiate the 1MDB fund, which is backed by the Ministry of Finance.

One of the questions circulating in Malaysia’s business community is whether the family feud might result in problems for CIMB, the fast-growing Malaysia-headquartered bank that Nazir heads and which has become one of Southeast Asia’s leading financial institutions. Observers say CIMB owes at least some of its rapid growth to its connections to the family and hence to UMNO. “Its political connections are probably no longer a slam dunk asset for Nazir,” a business source with connections to the government told Asia Sentinel.

“The brothers openly criticize Rosmah at dinner functions and family events,” a well-wired source told Asia Sentinel.  “I have heard them myself. Nazir’s family has moved to Oxford, where he spends 60 to 70 percent of his time. His elder brother Nizam spends time with his family in Boston. The two elder brothers Johari and Nazim also cannot get along with Rosmah.”The Powerful Rosmah Mansor

It was Nazim, according to two sworn declarations, one by a business associate of Rosmah and the other by the late private detective Perumal Balasubramaniam, who played a role in forcing Bala, as he was known, out of the country in 2008 after he issued an initial statement that Najib himself had been the lover of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian woman murdered in 2006 in one of Malaysia’s most notorious killings and who was peripherally involved in a massive bribery case involving the sale of French submarines to Malaysia.  After Bala made the statement, he was told to get out of Malaysia and was given a hefty bribe to do so. Allegedly it was Nazim, a Kuala Lumpur architect, who took Balasubramaniam to the Hilton Hotel in Kuala Lumpur to write a statement recanting his version of the relationship between Altantuya and Najib. 

The acrimony is so bad that some of the family have spent their Hari Raya holiday – the celebration at the end of the fasting month – in Phuket and Singapore to avoid going to the Prime Minister’s obligatory open house, the source said.

The squabble has broken into the open at a time when Najib is underMahathir and his wardsattack from a wide variety of sources including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who pushed out Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in 2009 to replace him with Najib.

1MDB and the Penang-born tycoon whose brainchild it was – and his connection to the Najib family – were the subject of a long and critical New York Times article on February 8.  The article has since  served as red meat to the Mahathir forces and Muhyiddin Yassin, the Deputy Prime Minister who is said to be eyeing Najib’s job.

Hints of the rift began in January 2014 ,when Nazir wrote a long article in Kinibiz, the business edition of the widely read independent online publication Malaysiakini, which is highly critical of the government.

In the article, Nazir wrote a remembrance of his father, Tun Abdul Razak, Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, titled “Remembering My Father, Tun Razak.” Among other things the father was said in the article to have refused to use public funds to build a swimming pool for his children at the government-owned Prime Minister’s residence. He personally paid his family’s expenses on government trips, Nazir said, and was committed to national unity between the three major ethnic groups, the Malays, Chinese and Indians.

The article stood as an obvious public rebuke to the Prime Minister, who has been accused of remodeling the Prime Minister’s residence (Seri Perdana in Putrajaya) at vast public expense at the urging of his wife, using the government’s public jet for private junkets and refusing to rein in Malay superiority NGOs such as PERKASA and ISMA, whose strident rhetoric has led to a poisonous racial situationIn 2008, a boisterous young man by the name of Jho Low Taek, a Penang-born Wharton grad with a taste for Cristal champagne and Broadway blondes, approached Malaysia’s Terengganu state government with a proposal to use the state’s authority to sell RM10 billion (US$2.87 billion)  in bonds to start a state-backed investment fund. That proposal has led to what Tony Pua, a Democratic Action Party lawmaker, has called “the mother of the mother of the mother of all scandals in the history of MalaysiNajib, the head of the 1MDB advisory board, has faced a barrage of questions from opposition lawmakers in Parliament for weeks and an attack on his own flank from former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his allies, including former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, over what can only be regarded as an astonishing level of mismanagement.

The question was why Malaysia needed another government-backed investment fund in the first place, especially one dreamed up by a young friend of the PM’s family. It has Khazanah Nasional Bhd., the 23-year-old investment holding arm that manages Malaysia’s assets and makes strategic investments, and the Employee Provident Fund, which also invests employee pension funds. Both are creatures of the Ministry of Finance.
The Terengganu Sultan, Mizan Zainal Abidin, had misgivings over the plan by Jho Low, as he calls himself, so the 27-year-old Low went to the parents of a friend he had made among Malaysia’s privileged elite in the UK. While anti-colonial rhetoric still spews at home, Malaysia’s wealthy have always known where to send their scions. Jho Low was at the exclusive 450-year-old Harrow, with his friend Riza Aziz at nearby 150-year-old Haileybury, which trained English youth for service in India. Riza’s mother is Rosmah Mansor, Najib’s second wife.
Thus the proposed Terengganu Investment Authority metamorphosed into 1Malaysia Development Bhd., also under the Ministry of Finance. Today 1MDB has accumulated debt of RM36.25 billion (US$10.4 billion) that is only covered by repeated accounting upgrading of the value of property handed to it at a knock-down price by the government to get it started – a 196-hectare former air force base near the center of Kuala Lumpur.
In recent months, the government, in an attempt to build up the fund so it can be listed, has strong-armed at least three no-bid contracts for 1MDB to build coal-fired and solar power plants. One of those power plants, in Port Dickson near Malacca, was awarded to 1MDB despite a lower bid from a joint venture of YTL International Bhd and SIPP, partly owned by the Sultan of Johor, who is said to have been enraged by the loss and is demanding privately that SIPP be given its own no-bid contract for another plant.

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 Low Taek Jho was  involved in the press attacks by his paid bloggers  against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and The Edge publisher Datuk Tong Kooi Ong  Low Taek Jho was  involved in the press attacks by his paid bloggers  against Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Nazir Razak and The Edge publisher Datuk Tong Kooi OngNazir has long worried about the negative influence of Rosmah, in particular, on Najib and has complained to friends and associates about it,” said a longtime western political analyst in Kuala Lumpur. “Of course, Rosmah knows this and despises Nazir in return and badmouths him to Najib.  So it goes.”

Riza AzizIn another article, printed last week in Kinibiz, Nazir said that after the first article appeared  anonymous attacks began on his family and his children from bloggers believed to be connected to Taek Jho Low, the flamboyant young Penang-born financier who has parlayed his UK school connections into what appears to be a vast fortune – and embroiled Najib in government debt generated by 1MDB, the subject of an extensive Asia Sentinel report on Dec. 8, 2014.

Jho Low, as he is known, became a friend of Rosmah’s son Riza Aziz during his school days in the UK at Harrow, while Riza was at nearby Haileybury.  After first vainly approaching the Sultan of Terengganu to use the state’s oil revenues to start a sovereign investment fund, Jho Low turned to Najib, then the defense minister. On Jho Low’s advice, 1MDB appears to have invested vast amounts in a series of misguided adventures.

In Kinibiz last week, Nazir said the attacks, constituting “lies andNazir Razak slander,” cross the line. His statement follows a series of comments by businessman and publisher Tong Kooi Ong, who had also been subjected to anonymous blog attacks that Tong claimed were due to The Edge Malaysia newspaper’s extensive and biting coverage of 1MDB.

The Edge Malaysia is part of The Edge Media Group, which Tong owns. On Feb. 6, Tong said he had ascertained the identity of the blogger going by the name ‘ahrily90’ and had served a legal letter to Jho Low, who has previously denied any links to the attacks.

1MDB says Ananda’s RM2bil aid is ‘speculation’

 No wonder even Mahathir is riled
Arul kanda has not guts to tell the truth. And yet I’m sure he accepts a fat salary paid by the rakyat. Yet another Malaysian with no scruples nor conscience. Many things he can say about jho lows involvement , cayman monies, bail out by one man, wolf on Wall Street, properties in New York and he remains silent while accepting the rakyats money. Why are they no men or women of intergity in the government or who work for the government ?
 If it really came from a , astro prices are going up the rates
Where did 1MDB get funds to settle the earlier loan? Isn’t it that they have taken an unfavourable termed loan to settle the bank loan? AK was said to have asked for an undertaking from an non 1MDB entity for balance that 1MDB owed him citing ” not want to be seen as getting favourable terms from a Govt entity”, but it is this loan that has got 1MDB to be in trouble over and over again! SO, now, he loans an equivalet amout to 1MDB?, isn’t it that he is setting terms for himself,a very act that he “didnt want to be seen as getting favourale terms from a Govt entity”? Beware of this migrant devil in white knight robes? These loan agreements w AK’s firms would have been stamped wouldn’t they?Or, they have it done in overseas to escape local Stamp Tax duties? IRB, pls investigate and the rest, pls get a copy from stamp office!A private company owned by taxpayers held in trust by the government for them and the owners of the company the taxpayers cannot get more info on what’s happening or how the company is faring?
.When Mahathir began his campaign against Najib more than a year and a half ago, it was given little chance. The former Prime Minister had been out of office for more than a decade and was regarded as a loud but irrelevant force. But political analysts in Kuala Lumpur say his campaign has been gaining traction over the 1MDB issue“Realistically Najib’s situation is untenable,” a member of the Mahathir faction said. “Certainly he will fight back but whether he resigns or not point is he is he cannot function as PM.”The vehicle for his surrogates’ attack on Najib is 1MDB, the five-year-old state investment fund which as of March had amassed debts of RM49.1 billion (US$14.04 billion) against assets of RM51.4 billion, registering losses of Malaysian ringgit 63.5 billion at the end of the quarter, mainly on huge finance costs.

Mahathir and his allies have been dissatisfied with Najib’s performance for more than two years over a wide range of other issues as well, however. The 1MDB issue, described as “the mother of the mother of the mother of all scandals”Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a Penang-based United Malays National Organization Deputy District Chief, filed the request for a “detailed and comprehensive” investigation including the interrogation of 1MDB’s board of directors and representatives of any companies that might be implicated.Ananda Krishnan’s apparent willingness to help settle 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) RM2 billion loan has raised questions if the billionaire had been promised something in return.

The concern stems from the fact that 1MDB is a wholly government-owned company, which could have bearing on taxpayers.

Indeed quite puzzling when the CEO of 1MDB asserted that “if Ananda was involved in settling such a large sum of debt to CIMB and Maybank on behalf of 1MDB, there would have been an announcement.” The banks are only interested to get back what they have lent and on time. Whether their customers borrower from Paul or Peter does not really matter to them. And if at all there is really a private lender to 1MDB, the banks would not make such announcement as this is banking secrecy.
On Rosnmah’s order was Altantuya  Brutally Murdered
The stories linked the crime to Malaysian defense procurement irregularities, a bribery investigation in France and a court case that saw the two bodyguards convicted of murder but no higher-ups implicated in ordering the death of the 28 year old woman, who was pregnant at the time and had been romantically linked to a close friend of Najib’s.
Here are the stories
2015
January 13:  Shock Altantuya Murder Verdict in Malaysia. Federal Court rules Mongolian woman’s killers were guilty after all
2014
July 9:  Altantuya Comes Back to Haunt Malaysia. A spectacular murder covered up by the government comes alive again
2013
August 23:  Malaysia Frees Altantuya’s Murderers. The tragedy of a brutal killing compounded by courtroom farce
July 30:  Submarine Furor Returns to Malaysia. Central figure in bribe case seeks to paint company at center of the scandal as legitimate
March 15:  Central Figure in Malaysian Submarine Murder Case Dies. Private detective who tied Prime Minister to relationship with murdered woman has heart attack.
2012
December 21:  Malaysian Carpet Dealer Names a New Figure in Scandal. Deepak Jaikishan names well connected lawyer in murder cover-up
December 13:  More Spectacular Malaysian Scandal Revelations. Carpet seller implicates, PM’s brother in bid to silence murder witness
December 4:  Torrent of Revelations Against Malaysian PM Continues
A rattled Najib tries to figure out how to counter allegations of criminal cover-up
November 28:  Cracks Open in Malaysia’s Murder-Sub Scandal. A key figure says he helped PM’s wife get a witness out of town
November 27:  French Lawyers Seek Malaysian PM Najib to Testify in Sub Scandal.  Highly doubtful that is going to happen, though
November 26:  Pesky French Lawyer Seeks to Return to KL. Sub scandal lawyer, booted out in 2011, scheduled by opposition to address parliament
October 23:  France Goes Slow on Bribery Reform. OECD report finds “serious deficiencies” in following up corruption probes
October 20:  Explosive Altantuya Revelations Coming?. Retired Malaysian Police Chief schedules mysterious Bangkok press conference Monday to announce “new revelations” in murder for hire case
October 18:  The Murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Six years on, troubling questions remain about the Mongolian beauty’s death, and who ordered it
June 27:  Altantuya in Paris. The murdered woman went to France with the man previously accused of her murder
June 26:  Malaysian Mindef Chief to Speak on Sub Scandal. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to defend government against corruption allegations
June 25:  Deep and Dirty: Malaysia’s Submarine Scandal. Leaked prosecution documents show a pattern of official misdeeds in two countries
June 25:  The French-Malaysian Submarine Scandal: the Documents. The 133 official documents uploaded onto this website are from the Directorate-General of the French National Police and the Judicial Police Directorate’s anti-organized and financial crimes unit.
April 30:  A Mystery Company in Malaysia’s French Sub Scandal. Is it just a sign on a Hong Kong door?
March 18:  Investigating Judges Named in Malaysia Submarine Graft Case French case draws closer to Malaysian officials
February 28:  Delayed Controversial Murder Appeal To Be Heard March 9.  Maybe, if it isn’t delayed again
January 26:  Altantuya Killers’ Appeal Up Soon. Case reopens doubts about Malaysian justice system
2011
July 22:  French Lawyer Detained in Kuala Lumpur. Leader of a team investigating kickbacks to Malaysian and French politicians is taken off a plane at KLIA
July 19:  Malaysia’s Sub Scandal Resurfaces. French prosecutors edge closer to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak
May 17:  WikiLeaks and the Altantuya Murder. Cables show the US embassy in KL feared “prosecutorial misconduct” during the sensational 2009 trial
April 15:  The Malaysian Murder that Won’t Go Away. Raja Petra backs off on claim linking Rosmah to Altantuya but questions remain
2010
November 22:  France’s Sub Scandal Resurfaces. Torpedoes Running!
November 5:  Closing the Books on Murder in Malaysia The episode of a sensational killing of a Mongolian translator appears to be about finished
June 30:  Mongolian Translator’s Murder Case Still Alive Mongolian government says it will fund a civil suit against Malaysia and Altantuya’s onetime lover
April 28:  Malaysian Submarine Scandal Ramps Up. French Lawyer Looks for Answers for Scandal in Kuala Lumpur 2009
November 13:  Najib and the Murdered Mongolian. The Malaysian murder case that won’t die
April 27:  French Legal Team in Malaysia to Probe Sub Deal Massive corruption suspected in billion-dollar deal tied to Prime Minister Najib
April 9:  Altantuya’s Killers Judged Guilty. But the case leaves an indelible stain on Malaysia’s political and legal systems
March 20:  The Confession that Never Was. A statement by the confessed murderer of Altantuya Shaariibuu raises more questions
March 9:  Again, What Did Najib Know and When Did He Know It?
An influential French daily newspaper raises new questions over the murder of a Mongolian translator in Malaysia
2009
December 7: The Murder that Won’t Go Away. Malaysian Prime Minister Najib again ducks questions over the death of a Mongolian translator
November 18:  Cherchez The French .Who got what for the sale of French submarines to Malaysia?
June 29:  The French Connection.In arms deals involving the French government, the chances of corruption are high
2008
November 24: Malaysia’s Mongolian Murder Mystery Continues.  The acquitted Abdul Razak Baginda does little to dispel suspicions over Deputy Prime Minister Najib’s involvement
November 4: The Fallout From a Malaysian Murder Verdict. The acquittal of a top political figure in the murder of a Mongolian translator appears unlikely to stop controversy
October 31: Political Analyst Freed in Mongolian Murder Case . If Abdul Razak Baginda didn’t order two elite cops to kill a Mongolian translator, who did?
October 20: A Malaysian Murder Trial to Nowhere .Two years after Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered, her accusers continue to sit in a courtroom
July 27: Bringing Najib to Malaysia’s Witness Stand. Unless Malaysia’s political opposition, it’s questionable if justice will be done
July 24: Malaysia’s Najib Ducks a Court Appearance. A high court judge rules that the Deputy Prime Minister doesn’t need to answer questions about a murder
July 21: Murder Most Foul .Malaysia’s legal pursuit of Anwar Ibrahim is destroying the country’s reputation
July 4: A Malaysian Private Eye Recants an Explosive Statement. Complete reversal on charges against Malaysia’s Deputy Prime minister raises questions of political pressure
June 23: Malaysian Deputy Premier’s Wife Allegedly Linked to Murder.An influential Malaysian Web journalist alleges that Najib Tun Razak’s wife was present when the Mongolian translator was murdered in 2006
April 30: Malaysian Deputy Premier Denies Murder Links. Najib Tun Razak says he had nothing to do with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. So why won’t he testify in court?
January 21: Malaysian Trial Drones Into Oblivion . Slain Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu sinks further from public consciousness
2007
October 15: Whatever Happened to Altantuya Shaariibuu? Timid prosecution, long delays and avoiding a powerful witness in a sensational murder case raise questions about Malaysia’s judicial system
September 10: What did Najib know and when did he know it?. Malaysia’s Mongolian murder trial raises more questions than it answers
September 3: Malaysia’s Politically Charged Murder Trial Resumes. Delays, avoidance of the powerful mark trial over murdered Mongolian beauty
August 6: Rot and More Rot in Malaysia’s Judicial System. The “retirement” of two top prosecutors is the latest fallout from the Mongolian murder trial, but the problems run deeper.
July 23: Some seriously troubling questions in Malaysia. An unbelievable spectacle took place in the bizarre murder trial of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaaribuu on June 29. Karpal Singh, the lawyer for the victim’s family, attempted to ask a question about a “government official” allegedly seen in a photograph with the victim. At that point, both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer sprang to their feet in unison to block the question.
July 13: Prosecution Setbacks in Mongolian Murder Case. Drama in a Malaysian courtroom as the prosecution treads water amid allegations of political pressure.
July 7: Maybe Najib Rides it Out. Despite a damaging week of revelations in the Mongolian murder case, clout and connections are likely to keep Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister where he is.
July 4: Witness Recounts Threats in Malaysian Murder Trial.Star witness says she was coerced as prosecutors challenge inconsistencies.
July 1: Najib and Altantuya: A Picture Connects Them.Testimony in a Malaysian courtroom links the Deputy Prime Minister to a lurid  murder case
June 22: Fury, Scorn and Murder in a Malaysian Courtroom. Sex, violence and political intrigue emerge in stunning testimony over a Mongolian beauty’s brutal slaying.
June 3: Mongolian beauty’s Malaysian Murder Case Postponed. Politically charged trial of three accused murderers is delayed as prosecution team is suddenly changed
March 30: Malaysia’s Deputy Premier Najib in Trouble? Pressure mounts in Kuala Lumpur to put the brakes on a scandal-tainted Malay politico
2006
November 8: Murder and Politics, Malaysia Style.Ruling party to debate its future while the slaying of a fashion model ensnares prominent politico

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