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Friday, June 30, 2017

Another Blockbuster From The Thingy

It's early morning where I am right now. No laptop. Only smart fone. Here is more explosive news;


http://www.sarawakreport.org/2017/06/najibs-mega-payments-time-for-explanations-more-exclusive-data/ (read below)

Najib's Mega-Payments - Time For Explanations MORE EXCLUSIVE DATA


Najib's Mega-Payments - Time For Explanations MORE EXCLUSIVE DATA
Extended data from task force investigations into payments from Prime Minister Najib Razak’s 1MDB-funded AmBank accounts has now been received by Sarawak Report.
It shows that a number of companies and individuals received very large sums indeed, usually through a series of payments from the Prime Minister.
Given it has been confirmed by the US Dept of Justice and local task force investigations that this money originated from thefts from 1MDB, it is time these entities explained the reason why they were paid.
Sarawak Report has already listed payments to Najib’s family, his close lawyer contact Shafee Abdullah, Sarawak crony Bustari Yusuf, UMNO HQ and allied political parties.  We have also highlighted the evidence that millions in cash were also extracted and presumably circulated to various entities.  What about these further companies and individuals?

Centre For Strategic Engagement (CENSE)

Off-line since our previous expose.
Off-line since our previous expose
In our original article featuring the agency CENSE (Centre for Strategic Engagement) we identified RM1.3 million paid to them by Najib.  Since then their website has been down, undergoing ‘maintenance’.  However, further figures now obtained show that the company and also its individual directors received much more substantial payments in the time period 2012-15.
The company also set up a Chinese business radio station under the CENSE trademark, which also received payment from Najib:
The strategic engagement appears to have included broadcasting supposedly objective business news on a business radio station
The strategic engagement appears to have included broadcasting ‘business new’s on a business radio station
Director Soong Fui Kiun received a number of direct payments in her own name from Najib’s account number 2112022009694, including RM1.5 million on 22/10/12 and RM1 million on 11/1/13.  She received a further two payments of RM1 million on 14th March and 18th April 2013, making a total of RM4.5 million received in her own name.
Extensive work for Najib Razak
Extensive work for Najib Razak
A further ten separate payments to CENSE itself between October 2012 and February 2015 from the same account totalled RM6.75 million, including a half million ringgit payment to CENSE Media.
Rita Sim, Sim Sai Hoon, received a personal payment of RM1.2 million 4th April 2012.

Election Goodies?

Other companies, who seem to be in the occupation of providing so-called ‘election goodies’, including handout packs, satchels and so forth, also received much more than originally realised.  The company Solar Shine Sdn Bhd received 35 payments between February 2012 and February 2015 totalling a staggering RM117 million.
Red Bag Industry Sdn Bhd received 15 payments in the run up to the election totalling RM13.28 million.
Another communications company named MASCOM Communications received nine payments during the pre-election period totalling RM15.4 million. Likewise, an outfit named Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd, which is run by an employee from Najib’s own office and a senior executive from Astro satellite TV. Sarawak Report has already revealed the company receieved RM68 million, according to the same figures.
Jakel Trading, on the other hand, is a luxury furnishing shop that indicates more personal spending.  Sarawak Report has obtained further figures which show that Najib paid the store a whopping RM44 million.  Likewise, the Prime Minister paid a total of RM17 million to the Yayasan Rahah Foundation, which was established by his mother. Once again, this money  came from the accounts funded by money taken from 1MDB.

Semarak Konsortium Satu Sdn Bhd

Malaysians ought surely to be interested to know the function and purpose of another company to which the Prime Minister forwarded no less than 38 payments during the same period totalling RM23 million.
Semarak Konsortium Satu Sdn Bhd is controlled by the Director and 50% shareholder of the company, Mohd Omar Bin Mustapha alongside Rozita Binti Ramelan, who appears to be his wife:
Owners of
Owners of
Sarawak Report has already identified Omar bin Mustapha as a key provider of speeches for Najib through his company Ethos Consulting.
SR previously exposed this operative;s connections with the PetroSaudi Director Tarek Obaid and his brother Nawaf Obaid in a clear black propaganda campaign that was waged against opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in the United States during 2010.  However, the payments to Semarak Konsortium were later, between March 2011 and February 2014.
So, what were Omar and his wife being paid for this time out of 1MDB money?
Another chap connected to Najib’s Office also appeared to receive several repeat cheques.  This was Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh, who is described in Wikipedia as “one of the longest serving Political Secretaries to the Deputy Prime Minister (Then) and Prime Minister of Malaysia”.  This plainly trusted worker, who is also senior within UMNO in Kota Bharu, received six separate payments from Najib’s later account 2112022011906 funded by SRC totalling RM1.9 million.
The property developer Lim Soon Peng also received more payments than previously recorded, according to our now extended figures.  There were nine separate payments totalling just over RM3 million. What for?

More election expenses

The company Brandworth Corp. received a RM6.5 million cheque on 3rd May 2013 and earlier RM5.69 million on 8th April.  According to blogger RPK, who owns and runs the Malaysia Today website, “Brandworth Corporation is a company that managed Barisan Nasional’s media strategy in the previous general election”.  
RPK claims Brandworth was raided by the MACC in October 2015, presumably not least because it had been secretly funded by Najib from stolen 1MDB cash.
Pushing messages via social media
Pushing messages via social media
Another company to get multi-million ringgit payments from the same accounts during the same period was Media Link Direct, which received five payments between March and April 2013 totalling RM10.5 million.
This company specialises in pushing materials online to social media, which is a handy election tool.  Again Najib helped himself to 1MDB money to fund this advantage that was not available to the opposition parties operating within the funds they could legitimately raise.
Another high earner, apparently within the same field at the same time, was the company Zeal High Tech Solutions, which received RM4.5 million 2nd April 2014 and RM9 million 29th March.  Zeal is also in the business of pumping messages through social media, presumably part of Najib’s ‘Cyber-warfare’, funded by theft:
” Zeal’s speciality is what we call Customized Information Delivery OR CID systems. CID systems allows you to customize and deliver the information you want to your target audience, knowing full well that that you are delivering the exact information your target audience needs.”
A number of politicians pop up in the list as receiving cheques here and there. Sarawak’s Jacob Sagan received a standard hand out of RM200,000, whereas Richard Riot got RM100,000.  Ahmad Maslan on the other hand got a handsome RM1 million.

Director General of Military Intelligence!

There are other names and companies on the list, but one in particular stands out.  On 8th of April 2013 Najib Razak paid a check to ‘Ketua Pengarah Perisikan Pertahanan’ (DPPP), for a handsome RM7 million.
Perhaps Lt General Datuk Abdul Hadi Bin Haji Hussin, who occupies the role, could explain why this service was receiving a personal cheque from the Prime Minister (paid out of 1MDB’s stolen money) just a month before the last election?
Pouring money and resources into BN's election campaign - stolen from 1MDB... but what exactly for?
Pouring money and resources into BN’s election campaign – stolen from 1MDB… but what exactly for? -SarawakReport

Another Wall Street Journal Bombshell

Related image

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-a-e-s-ambassador-to-u-s-linked-to-1mdb-scandal-1498864605

U.A.E.’s Ambassador to U.S. Linked to 1MDB Scandal 

Documents show companies connected to Yousef Al Otaiba received $66 million allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd 
By Bradley Hope and  Tom Wright
June 30, 2017 7:16 p.m. ET




The scandal swirling around a Malaysian state investment fund allegedly defrauded of billions of dollars has entangled the United Arab Emirates ambassador to the U.S., according to court and investigative documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Companies connected to Yousef Al Otaiba, the ambassador, received $66 million from offshore companies that investigators in the U.S. and Singapore have said contained funds...

Kit Siang ends east coast roadshow feeling vindicated

DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang says he is happy ordinary Malays have not succumbed to the 'lies and falsehoods' by Umno to demonise him and his party.
lim-kit-siang_dap_rakyat_600
PETALING JAYA: Lim Kit Siang says his trip across three east coast states over the past three days has vindicated him in his belief that whatever Umno has done to demonise him and his party has not worked.
Speaking in Kuala Krai, in Kelantan, last night on the last leg of his “Jelajah Desa bersama Lim Kit Siang di Pantai Timur”, the DAP supremo said most of the people in the three east coast states of Terengganu, Pahang and Kelantan had not fallen for Umno’s tactics.
“The lies and falsehoods which form the core of the Umno demonisation campaign against me and DAP leaders, painting us as anti-Malay and anti-Islam, do not have any traction here.
“The majority of Malays and Muslims, as they are not so stupid and irrational as to succumb to the lies, fake news and false information pumped out by the Umno propaganda mills of lies and falsehoods,” Lim said.
The DAP supremo added that the ordinary Malays he had encountered in his other Kelantan stops – Pasir Puteh, Ketereh and Machang – showed the ordinary Malays accepting the DAP entourage with a lot of goodwill and kindness.
“There was not a single trace of suspicion, distrust, hate or malice towards me. I don’t think that would be the case if they had believed all that had been said against me before.
“In fact, my warong visits have vindicated and fortified my belief that ordinary Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans, whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus or Sikhs do not want or support extremism in whatever form,” he said, warning of the extremist forces seeking to establish a beachhead in our society.
Lim, who is Gelang Patah MP, also referred to the recent incidents of intolerance and extremism which included the demand for non-Muslims not to participate in the breaking-of-fast during Ramadan and the harassment and “thuggish” behaviour by some Muslims who prevented DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong and Pakatan Harapan representatives from distributing dates at a Ramadan bazaar in the Johor town last month.
“Malaysia must set an example of moderation to the world – as we must not preach the wasatiyyah principles of moderation, justice, balance and excellence in international platforms but fail to spread the same message among our people in the country.
“Malaysia can only survive and prosper as a united, harmonious, democratic, progressive and prosperous nation if Malaysians develop a zero tolerance for extremism or fanaticism in whatever form,” Lim said. - FMT

The big picture of UKEC

The United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC) is not concerned about politics but about nation-building in general.
COMMENT
malaysia_student_uk_UKEC_600
By Azeem Abu Bakar
I write in response to an opinion piece by Fariz Usman, published on June 24. As someone who served in the United Kingdom and Eire Council of Malaysian Students (UKEC) from 2010-2012, I find that the writer appears not to understand the role and function of this student organisation. The writer’s central assumption is that the UKEC’s main role is to engage in political issues, when it is actually nation-building in general.
“Nation-building” does not equate to politics, but politics is a part of “nation-building.” It is a shame that Fariz has not only failed to provide a holistic view of UKEC’s role, but also does not understand what the student organisation is trying to achieve through its five “core businesses”, namely tackling the issue of brain drain, engaging in charitable activities, promoting unity, promoting Malaysia and engaging in intellectual discourse.
These activities are all critical in helping to build our nation, and are a very noble endeavour, rather than attempting to criticise and tear down what generations before us have so painstakingly tried to build.
The UKEC is proactive in trying to help stem the problem of brain drain through its annual UKEC-Graduan Career Fair, which helps thousands of students return home to take up job offers in Malaysia. UKEC is also active in organising charity initiatives like Projek Kalsom (from the early 1990s to 2010), Projek Pelita, a book donation drive for Sarawak libraries, the Impact forum and Project Charisma.
It runs unity projects and supports events in the UK that connect Malaysian students across the country such as the Nottingham Games. To promote our country abroad, the UKEC supports Malaysian societies in publicising and organising Malaysia Nights that showcase our nation’s arts and culture in the UK. Yet, arm-chair critics attempt to label the UKEC as a solely political entity.
Out of the 15,000 Malaysian students studying in the UK and Ireland, only a small group of individuals is interested in politics. The majority of them love to volunteer and contribute to the UKEC’s charity projects, while some wish to secure jobs and others want to promote their nation through the arts and culture. These individuals will shy away from a highly political UKEC and this is why the council always strives to be balanced and all-encompassing in its approach.
Of course the UKEC also organises events which involve political issues and personalities. How can it not when it is in the organisation’s DNA to help nurture and build future leaders for our country?
The student council is also mandated by its stakeholders to provide platforms for non-partisan intellectual discourse. The Malaysian Student Leaders Summit and Projek Amanat Negara are forums for students to engage with politicians and corporate leaders directly, and in an intellectually conducive environment that aids the thinking and ideation process.
But Fariz appears to prefer street rallies to robust debates and discussions. It might serve him well to remember that revolutions more often than not bring about violent change and chaos, whereas it is diplomacy, negotiation and engagement that bring about a peaceful, progressive and prosperous society.
I believe that we need both to be a strong nation but we cannot give up reason and rationale in favour of mob justice and rule. Not everyone expresses themselves through demonstrations. Many prefer to engage directly with politicians from both sides of the aisle. This is the gap that the UKEC fills. But despite this noble intention, the UKEC is labelled as “elitist”.
In order to bolster his straw-man argument, Fariz has also conveniently failed to mention that the funders of the UKEC’s student forums are mainly corporations. Yes, it’s corporate money and not funds from the government or any political party. These corporates sponsor the student summits to promote their brand, and participate in mini career fairs outside the venues as well as showcase their CEOs and senior management at these events so as to engage with Malaysia’s future. But Fariz would rather that these funds contributed by companies be “better used” in aiding JPA scholars?
I am deeply saddened that individuals like Fariz appear to only want to tear down opportunities for intellectual discourse and debate in favour of sloganeering and rabble rousing, without making any clear argument or showing any evidence as to how these street rallies are a better bet in helping inspire and build a core of next generation leaders who have the nation-building skills and vision needed for our country.
The UKEC is NOT a pressure group. This is because unlike student bodies in Malaysia, the UKEC has a unique obligation to serve all 15,000 Malaysian students in the UK and Ireland. And that is what it does. Deriding this organisation only serves to highlight a shallow and vacuous mind.
Azeem Abu Bakar served as UKEC’s director of strategy for the 2011/2012 term. -FMT

Penang govt following World Bank procurement guidelines

Although Gerakan claims Penang is paying four times more in consulting fees for its transport projects, this system is proven to help prevent corruption.
COMMENT
koon-yew-yin_penang_600
By Koon Yew Yin
I refer to the article carried by The New Straits Times on June 30 titled “Gerakan to file injunction to stop Penang undersea tunnel and three road projects”. Gerakan vice-president Dominic Lau said the party’s legal bureau is currently studying the matter and it would take some time as it involves many legal documents.
Gerakan is complaining that the Penang state government is paying four times the normal scale of engineering consulting fees.
As I was one of the members of the Board of Engineers responsible for fixing the scale of fees for consulting engineering about 50 years ago, I would like to offer my opinion. If Lau has any doubt regarding consulting fees, he should refer to the Board of Engineers for clarification. He should not simply blow his top in public without checking.
I believe the Penang state government is following the World Bank procurement guidelines to prevent corruption and abuse of power.
The World Bank’s procurement guidelines
The World Bank has procurement guidelines which all borrowers have to follow. The guidelines include the system of calling tenders. This is a system which has helped prevent corruption, even in the most corrupted countries in the world.
The borrower must engage a reputable engineering consulting firm which has experience with similar projects to put up a proposal and open the project bidding to all contractors to tender. The most important thing to note is that the consulting company responsible for the tender process should be independent and should have no interest whatsoever in the project implementation. This ensures that there is no hanky-panky or “insider trading”.
After the contract is awarded, the consultant must make sure that the project is completed within cost and scheduled time.
All the contractors must be pre-qualified based on their technical and financial ability. All contractors must submit tenders conforming to the original design so that the cheapest tender can be selected. If all the contractors are pre-qualified, the government tender board has only to look at the tendered price.
It is important not to allow anybody from the government to negotiate with any contractor to avoid corruption.
Transparency and accountability requires that all documents on the proposal be placed in the public sphere – not just limited information, but detailed and full breakdowns in accordance with international best practices. This will ensure public monitoring and curbing of cost overruns which plague all mega projects in the country.
On the tender opening day, all contractors and representatives of the press should be invited to witness the opening of bids, and their tender prices should be publicly announced.
All contractors have to submit their tender according to the original design provided by the appointed consultant.
A contractor can also submit an alternative design provided that the price is cheaper and the quality is not inferior.
Additional safeguards
Besides the World Bank’s guidelines, I would like to propose the following safeguards since open tenders alone will not ensure a foolproof no-abuse procurement system for mega projects.
These additional safeguards are based on my experience as a chartered engineer and as a member of the Malaysian Board of Engineers for three two-year terms. I am also one of the founders of Mudajaya, Gamuda and IJM Corporation.
Never invite contractors to submit project proposals for any mega project because each contractor will submit his own planning and design which will be impossible for the tender board to evaluate. You cannot compare the cost of an apple with the cost of an orange, a banana or a pineapple.
A contractor should not be permitted to take on the role of the engineering consultant responsible for design as well as that of the construction contractor responsible for the project implementation as the two roles are of conflicting interest. If the company is permitted to do so, it will lead to public perception of abuse and corruption.
For mega projects, it is cheaper to employ a really qualified consultant to design the whole project rather than to ask each contractor to provide designs for different phases. The latter is false economy and will result in ballooning of costs.
Just say ‘no’ to negotiated tenders
As reported, the budget for the Penang Mass Transit project is about RM46 billion. Which is the correct price if the negotiated price is RM44 billion, RM45 billion or RM46 billion? Which negotiator would not be tempted to take an RM1 billion bribe?
The Penang state government is following the World Bank procurement guidelines by appointing an experienced consulting engineering firm.
Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd. -FMT

Reezal Merican, my stand is clear

Penang Umno leader seems to imply that only Politeknik Sebarang Perai officials are capable of telling the truth whereas food stall operator Gobi Krishnan is not, says writer.
COMMENT
ramasamy_reezal-merican_600
By P Ramasamy
Penang Umno Liaison Committee deputy chairman Reezal Merican Naina Merican, in a press statement yesterday, took me to task for politicising the termination of Gobi Krishnan’s contract to operate a food stall in Politeknik Sebarang Perai (PSP) last month.
Reezal said I not only failed to obtain the correct information from PSP, but ended up politicising Gobi Krishnan’s expulsion to the point of casting aspersions on the education ministry and the federal government.
He denied that there was racial or religious discrimination at PSP. Gobi Krishnan and three other Malay food stall operators were not chosen for the next contract period simply because they did not fulfil the conditions set by the finance ministry’s Kod Bidang 040103 which required them to adhere to guidelines set on “makanan bermasak Islam”.
He added that there was no such ruling that only Muslims could apply for contracts to operate food stalls, explaining that non-Muslims could apply as well as long as everyone adhered to guidelines and conditions set by the PSP’s tender committee.
Reezal criticised me saying that as a former lecturer in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, I should have taken a responsible and matured stand on the rejection of contracts.
He said that I should have contacted PSP and obtained information from them about what exactly transpired and why Gobi Krishnan was denied the opportunity to continue doing business there.
Finally, he praised the Penang MIC Youth committee for taking a more rational stand on this matter by first obtaining the correct information from PSP director Zulkifli Ariffin.
Reezal wants to give an image that he is a rational and responsible politician. But unfortunately, he is not only a member of Umno but one of the prominent leaders of the party in the state of Penang.
While Reezal was adamant that I should have contacted PSP authorities, I would like to ask him a similar question. Did he hear what the victim, Gobi Krishnan had to say about the episode?
Perhaps Reezal would want to ask Zulkifli whether he took a proactive approach in addressing the grievances of Gobi Krishnan.
Now if Gobi Krishnan had not fulfilled “Kod Bidang 040103” on “makanan bermasak Islam” why was he not informed about this pre-condition?
Why didn’t the PSP call for a press conference to clear up the matter when it was first brought to the attention of the public?
Why was the director hiding from the public and the press for some time?
Why did the PSP rely on the MIC to defend the actions of the PSP?
Reezal makes no sense when he asked why I did not contact the PSP to obtain a clearer picture. He is assuming that if I had spoken to the officials in PSP, I would not have been misinformed about the whole episode.
In other words, he is saying only PSP officials are capable of telling the truth whereas Gobi Krishnan is not.
Well, even if I had contacted PSP officials, would they have spoken to me given the permanent gag order imposed by the education ministry on heads of public institutions on speaking to outsiders?
If it is not too much, can I ask Reezal a favour? Can he give me a list of the number of polytechnics in the country and how many have non-Muslim canteens?
Thus, if polytechnics in Penang cannot allow non-Muslim (food stall operators in their) canteens, the situation is much bleaker for other states, especially those under the control of Umno/Barisan Nasional.
Yes, I might have been a lecturer with an institution of higher learning for 25 years, and it is precisely for this reason that I know exactly what goes on in these places.
The hiring of lecturers, the appointments of deans, vice-chancellors and many others are made on the basis of race and religion. Surely, Reezal is not blind to these obvious facts about the “ugly” nature of our “esteemed” public institutions.
I am glad that Reezal has reaffirmed his faith and respect for the MIC for blindly supporting the management of the PSP. After more than 60 years of independence, the sad situation of the non-Malays is because political parties, like the MIC, MCA, Gerakan and MyPPP have sold the interests and concerns of non-Malays for “bread crumbs” thrown to them by Umno.
Reezal likes the MIC simply because they ceased a long time ago to be representatives of the Indians but continued to function as “slaves” and “servants” of Umno.
I stand by what I have said during the press conference that Gobi Krishnan was a victim of racial and religious discrimination, something that is rampant in public institutions and other realms of the society.
P Ramasamy is Penang deputy chief minister and DAP deputy secretary-general. -FMT

Medical grads told to sit for 6 core SPM subjects, pass BM

Public Service Commission will not accept medical graduates' O-Level BM or Bahasa Kebangsaan A (BKA) qualifications for housemanship placements.
medical_student_spm_600
PETALING JAYA: Some 300 medical graduates from private institutions and waiting for housemanship placements have been told that they have to “go back to school”.
According to the directive they received, the medical graduates must possess Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia-level Bahasa Malaysia to be accepted into permanent government posts.
According to the affected graduates, previously O-Level BM or Bahasa Kebangsaan A (BKA) qualification was accepted for entry into public service, but from Jan 1 this year, those with such qualifications were rejected, with no exemptions given.
The graduates were told to obtain the SPM-level Bahasa Melayu certificate if they wanted permanent government posts.
One of those affected, who declined to be named, said he had applied to the Public Service Commission (PSC) for housemanship in September last year after obtaining clearance from the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC).
“In December, a PSC officer told me that I did not get through the screening process as I did not possess an SPM-level Bahasa Melayu or its equivalent,” he said.
The officer told him that from January 2017, the BKA paper he had taken for his foundation studies was not accepted as an alternative to SPM BM for public service.
However, at the Selangor Education Department, he was told that he could not get a certificate for SPM-level BM unless he took six core subjects and passed BM and History. The other subjects he had to take were Mathematics, English, Science and Moral studies.
The graduate said it was frustrating and it felt like he was going back to secondary school.
Another who graduated in July last year said MMC and PSC had considered her qualifications complete in August when she applied.
“However, in December, a friend told me that we would not be able to get an interview with PSC because we did not have SPM BM,” said the graduate, who declined to be named.
A check with the PSC confirmed this, she said. The PSC also told her they only became aware of the change in requirements when they received a circular (JPA 1/2016) from the Public Service Department.
According to an email she received from the health ministry, the rule for having SPM BM to enter public service as housemen was relaxed in 2003 and O-Level BM was accepted, but the exemption was removed from 2017.
“If there are too many graduates and they want to restrict the numbers, they should plan ahead. We were not given notice,” she said.
When contacted, the PSC said it was only observing the requirement set by the PSD which, in turn, said it was only implementing the decision made by the health ministry.
The PSC said to ease the situation, it relaxed the requirement for medical graduates so that they did not need SPM-level BM for contract jobs – only for permanent posts.
According to an email from the PSD, from Oct 1 last year, the appointment of UD41-grade housemen had been carried out on a contract basis.
The department said this was to allow medical graduates who did not have an SPM-level BM pass to serve in order to get full registration certificates as medical officers.
The PSD said if the candidates wanted to apply for permanent posts, then SPM-level BM was required. -FMT

Bersatu told to be more like Umno '46, instead of Umno '89



A Johor DAP leader has asked Bersatu to tell the public what their broad agenda for the coming general election is, apart from defeating Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Johor DAP political education bureau director Mahdzir Ibrahim said he welcomed Bersatu's senior leaders who have broad experience wanting to play a key role in the Pakatan Harapan leadership.
“I take this as something positive. However, I have a slight issue with this because it only comes on the ticket of unseating Najib, no other package,” he said in a statement today.
“Therefore, it seems to me Bersatu is like a revival of Umno '89, not Umno '46 which is nationalist in spirit,” he said.
He is likely referring to Semangat 46, an Umno splinter party the present Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah formed in 1988, as opposed to the Umno Baru former premiere Dr Mahathir Mohamad registered in 1989 after the original Umno was deregistered following a political crisis.

Mahdzir, meanwhile, said the other Harapan components, Amanah, PKR and DAP all have their respective “packages” for the people.
“Apart from aiming to make Umno-BN the opposition, these parties have prepared their agenda to rebuild this country, whether from the aspect of justice, the economy, social (reform), education, welfare as well as culture.
“Ideas from the (former Pakatan Rakyat) Orange Book at the very least has become the basis for their packages.
“But what about what Harapan's new comrade Bersatu intends to offer?” he asked.
[More to follow]
-Mkini

‘POLITICAL MIRACLE’ WITHIN REACH AS DISGUST FOR NAJIB REGIME PILES UP: PAKATAN AIMS FOR ‘DOUBLE WHAMMY’, TARGET 5 NEW STATE GOVTS PLUS FEDERAL GOVT

The 2008 General Election saw a “political tsunami” which saw UMNO/BN coalition losing power in five states – retaining power in Kelantan as well as capturing Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor.
The 2013 General Election was meant to be a political watershed event, bringing about for the first time in the nation’s history a change of Federal government in Putrajaya.
But there was national disappointment all round, as Datuk Seri Najib Razak was able to clinch on to power as the first minority Prime Minister in the country through gerrymandering and a most unfair and undemocratic electoral system.
With 47% of the electoral vote, Najib secured 60% of the parliamentary seats although the majority of the voters voted against Najib and the UMNO/BN coalition with the Pakatan Rakyat at the time winning 53% of the popular vote.
Following the break-up of Pakatan Rakyat in June 2015 because of the refusal of the Hadi leadership of PAS to honour the Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework and the Pakatan Rakyat’s consensus operational principle, Malaysians experienced the worst political disappointment in the nation’s history.
As a result many Malaysians lost hope in the possibility of bringing about political change through the electoral process.
What then does the 14th General Election, which will be held in the next 10 months, hold in store for Malaysians?
PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang said the next general election will be PAS’ greatest electoral outing, winning 40 parliamentary seats and capturing five state governments, viz: Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah, Perak and Selangor.
I have my doubts as I think PAS’ greatest test in the 14GE is whether it could retain power in Kelantan State Government, which it won 27 years ago under the leadership of Tok Guru, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat.
What is in store for Pakatan Harapan comprising PKR, Amanah, Pribumi Bersatu and DAP?
Pakatan Harapan must firstly reignite hopes of Malaysian voters that it is still possible to achieve political change through the electoral process.
I will go even further and ask Malaysian voters not to lose hope and to work hard to achieve even better results than the 2008 and 2013 General Elections.
Never before had voters in Malaysia achieved a double whammy in a general election – a change of state government as well as Federal government in one general election.
The voters of Kelantan are capable of achieving such a “double whammy” in the 14th General Election – a change of Kelantan State Government as well as Federal Government in Putrajaya in one go.
This should be Pakatan Harapan’s 14th General Election objective – for five states, namely Kelantan, Kedah, Perak, Negri Sembilan and Johore to achieve a “double whammy” in effecting a change of state and federal government in one go, while retaining the Pakatan Harapan state governments in Penang and Selangor.
Let the 14th General Election achieve such a “political miracle” – which will see greater political breakthroughs and inroads than the 2008 and 2013 General Elections.
– https://blog.limkitsiang.com

DOJ NUKES NAJIB & CO: UAE ENVOY TO U.S. RECEIVED US$66MIL OF STOLEN 1MDB MONEY – JHO LOW WANTED TO BUY A BANK IN BARBADOS TO HIDE HIS & NAJIB’S CASH STASH, ENVOY WAS TO BE HIS FRONTMAN

Court investigations in the US reviewed by The Wall Street Journal points to 1MDB diverted funds heading into the accounts of a United Arab Emirates ambassador to the US.
Companies connected to Yousef Al Otaiba, the ambassador, received $66 million from offshore companies
Singapore and US investigators had said the money was misappropirated from 1MDB.
There have been no public disclosures as to the purpose of the transfers, and Mr. Otaiba declined to comment on them, said The Journal.
The Journal also said separately, emails written by and to Otaiba, hacked by a dissident group and leaked to news organizations, include descriptions of meetings between Shaher Awartani, an Abu Dhabi-based business partner of Otaiba, and Jho Low, the Malaysian financier.
The Justice Department says Jho Low the central conspirator in the alleged $4.5 billion 1MDB fraud.
Messrs. Otaiba and Low have been associates since the early 2000s and Mr. Low has described his friendship with Mr. Otaiba in interviews over the years.
The transfers connected to Otaiba are the latest chapter in the 1MDB saga, which grew from a Malaysian fund with debt problems in early 2015 into what investigators have described as one of the biggest frauds in history.
And all this while the Malaysian PM, who is linked to the scandal, walks freely with a smile.
MEANWHILE, according to The Malaysian Insight:
Companies connected to the United Arab Emirates’ ambassador to the US, Yousef Al Otaiba, are alleged to have received US$66 million (RM283 million) from offshore companies that investigators said held funds misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
The Wall St Journal (WSJ) reported today it had reviewed court and investigative documents related to investigations into 1MDB and Yousef.
WSJ said there had been no public disclosures as to the purpose of the transfers, and Yousef had declined to comment on them.
Hacked emails leaked to the media also linked Yousef’s business partner Shaher Awartani to Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, whom the US Justice Department says is the central conspirator in the alleged US$4.5 billion 1MDB fraud.
According to the report, Yousef and Low have been associates since the early 2000s, and Low has described his friendship with Yousef in interviews over the years.
Singapore investigations
A Singapore criminal case against a Swiss banker showed that US$50 million in payments were made to Yousef’s companies, including Densmore Investments Ltd in the British Virgin Islands and Silver Coast Construction & Boring in the UAE.
In laying out their case against the banker, Singapore prosecutors described the payments to the two companies as “intended to be used in connection with an act which may constitute criminal conduct.”
The banker pleaded guilty to failing to report potentially criminal transactions involving those companies and to lying to authorities about them.
The Singapore proceedings referred to the companies but did not mention Yousef
In separate documents reviewed by the WSJ related to Singapore’s investigation of alleged 1MDB-linked money laundering, authorities describe Densmore as controlled by Yousef and Shaher.
Those documents also describe another US$16 million of separate payments to Densmore in the form of loans from a company connected to the alleged fraud.
Silver Coast Construction and Densmore were co-founded by Yousef and Shaher, according to people familiar with the matter.
Representatives of the Silver Coast declined to comment while Densmore was shut down in January last year.
Yousef’s emails, obtained by a group calling itself Global Leaks, show several interactions between Yousef, Shaher and Low.
In one leaked email to Yousef, Shaher described a December 2013 meeting with Low, in which the Malaysian said the two would be paid an undisclosed amount of cash before the end of the year if a deal for the Helmsley building in New York City closed that day. 
In 2013, Low took a 55% stake in the 46-story building, also known as the Park Lane Hotel, and sold part of his stake to Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund Mubadala Development.
On May 5, 2015, a Dubai-based financial executive working at a company controlled by Yousef and Shaher told Yousef in an email that Low had instructed the men to close their accounts at BSI Bank, a private Swiss bank that investigators in the US, Switzerland and Singapore say played an instrumental role in the alleged 1MDB fraud. Densmore held an account in BSI.
“He has moved the major assets and accounts away from BSI, with some remaining which will be closed/transferred soon,” the executive said of Low.
The financial executive also wrote that Low discussed buying a bank in Barbados for him to stow money, with a Dubai investment company controlled by Otaiba and Awartani as the official buyer.
Low “felt compelled to buy a bank as a parking spot for his funds, as well as friends & family,” the executive wrote.
UAE declines to comment
A spokeswoman for the UAE embassy in Washington declined to address the evidence of financial transfers, but dismissed the leaked emails as part of a campaign against the UAE.
“The Embassy notes the existence of numerous orchestrated dossiers that have been prepared in recent weeks targeting the Ambassador and which are purported to contain hacked emails,” the spokeswoman said.
“We also note the context of the role of the UAE in the current suspension of diplomatic and economic relations with the State of Qatar. As a result we will not talk to or respond to any of these dossiers.”
The UAE and other Arab countries have cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, alleging it has financed extremists.
A senior official in Abu Dhabi, the UAE’s capital, defended Otaiba’s private business interests. He declined to address the transactions allegedly connected to 1MDB.
“As is typical among many foreign diplomats, the ambassador has business interests outside of his official duties,“ he said. ”His business interests began long before his diplomatic career.”
Shaher, the ambassador’s business partner, did not respond to WSJ’s requests for comment.
The transfers connected to Yousef are the latest chapter in the 1MDB saga, which grew from a Malaysian fund with debt problems in early 2015 into what investigators have described as one of the biggest frauds in history.
The US Justice Department has filed civil lawsuits seeking the forfeiture of approximately US$1.7 billion of assets alleged to have been purchased with money misappropriated from 1MDB by a group of conspirators with Low at the center.
Those assets include Low’s stake in New York’s Park Lane Hotel, rights to some profits from the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” and other films, jewellery and a US$250 million yacht.
1MDB has denied any wrongdoing and said it has found no evidence any of its money was misappropriated. The fund has pledged to cooperate with any lawful investigation. Malaysia has closed all but one of its domestic investigations into 1MDB, with no wrongdoing found.
Low has not been accused of a crime and has denied wrongdoing.
-www.themalaysianinsight.com /
-THEINDEPENDENT.SG