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Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Sarawak Report : More Troops To Yemen And What About Syria?



1 March 2017


Najib has rather pathetically tried to use this visit by the Saudi King to convince Malaysians that the various sums of money totalling well over a billion dollars that came into his private account from 1MDB can in fact now be confirmed as a donation from “a Saudi Royal”.
This is not true, as numerous court cases, global investigations and confessions by various bankers have made entirely clear.
Even if it were true it would plainly be highly illegal, since the Prime Minister of a country ought not to secretly receive billions of dollars into his bank account from a foreign power.
The reason why the Saudi King has made this diplomatic visit is, of course, because Malaysia has unaccountably agreed to get stuck into Arab in-fighting in the Middle East.  As if there are not enough local issues to worry about, as the Chinese military build up and Lahad Datu invasion made clear.
So, once again, in order to reassure concerned Malaysians, this government has resorted to lies.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Malaysian troops in Saudi Arabia were only there for training exercises, specifically on evacuation and disaster relief.
“Our relationship with Saudi Arabia does not involve participation in any attack or operation, whether in Yemen, Syria or Iraq,” he told a press conference here today.
His comments follow a report by AFP, citing the annual report by UN sanctions monitors, which investigated 10 coalition air strikes between March and October last year in Yemen.
At least 292 civilians, including some 100 women and children, were killed, the report stated. [Free Malaysia Today]
The Defence Minister’s statement (he is Najib’s cousin) plainly conflicts with what Saudi Arabia itself is saying during its coverage of the visit.
Just yesterday the Arab News said:
“As an extension of military cooperation between the two countries, Malaysian troops have participated in the Saudi-led coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen, as well as in the “North Thunder” joint military exercises. Malaysia is also a member of the Saudi-led Islamic military alliance against terrorism, and joined in condemning the Houthis’ targeting of Makkah with a missile.”

Syria next?

The “North Thunder” joint military exercises are serious stuff. They are not merely  designed to get Malaysians ready to help with catering or rear action logistics exercises, according to the formal documentations.  There is already talk of intervention in Syria.
This is what has been laid out in Wikipedia
The exercise [North Thunder] aimed to raise the technical and combat efficiency of the units involved and improve logistics and readiness rates for the implementation of joint security and stability missions in the region,notably Syria.[2] A spokesman for the Arab coalition forces, Ahmad Assiri, said the aim of the exercise is to achieve the highest level of preparedness, exchange expertise and promote coordination among the 21 participating countries.[3]
It has also been suggested, considering the forces involved, that the exercise could be the beginning of a land assault on Syria in conjunction with the Turkish Land Forces invading Syria from the north.
So denials are simply not good enough. Malaysian troops have been over in Saudi Arabia for very many months and barely a word has been said about why they are there and what exactly they are supposed to be doing.
The exercise appears to be primarily an attempt by Malaysia’s unpopular PM to curry favour with powerful foreign leaders, so that he can then boast about it back home. Are the lives of Malaysian young soldiers to be risked for such vanities by a man who has been repeatedly exposed as a theif and liar?
Most countries that have soldiers on the ground in foreign lands see constant close coverage in their media exploring exactly what is going on.  Now that the Saudi King has made clear he appreciates Malaysia’s engagement in his wars sufficiently to make this visit it is time that the Malaysian people and the families of these soldiers themselves got proper detailed information about what these young lives are being risked for.
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Read the story on Sarawalk Report

Did Tarek Cheat His Prince? EXCLUSIVE!

1 March 2017


Sarawak Report has obtained a copy of what appears to be a forged JP Morgan bank statement, which was sent by Tarek Obaid to his partner Prince Turki bin Abdullah.
The statement, which purports to be drawn up by JP Morgan relates the the supposed closure of an ‘escrow account’ at the bank in September 2010, after a series of virtually equal payments to the two shareholders of PetroSaudi at the time, Prince Turki bin Abdullah and Tarek Obaid.
No account number?
FALSE DOCUMENT? – No account number?
Sarawak Report has established that Mr Obaid sent this document to his partner as ‘proof’ to show how money that was obtained from the 1MDB deal was divided equally between the two.
Prince Turki was merely a sleeping partner at PetroSaudi.  Obaid managed the business and had passed Prince Turki several million after the joint venture was signed on the understanding that this was a regular agreed percentage to go to the two business partners. By the 14th of September 2010 when the account was closed Turki had received $77 million into his account at Samba Financial Group ($67 million passed during 2010 and $10 million shortly after the signing of the joint venture in 2009).
A genuine statement form JP Morgan
GENUINE DOCUMENT –  This statement form JP Morgan appears to be a template for the near identical fake
The Prince may well have believed that the total of $77 million was his ‘justified payment’ as part of the $1.83 billion dollar business dealings with 1MDB.  He may not have been aware that Najib Razak’s proxy Jho Low snatched the bulk of that money into his own account.
This would certainly explain why Tarek Obaid sent him what appears to be the forged document showing the equal payments before the ‘escrow account’ was closed. Because, whilst the payments registered for Prince Turki are correct and match the transactions registered by the bank, according to data obtained by Sarawak Report, there were no matching payments for Tarek Obaid.
Tarek Obaid in recent publicity shot
Tarek Obaid in recent publicity shot
The information available indicates that in fact Obaid extracted far larger sums from the 1MDB deal over the course of time and in very different ways to the sums registered above.
These include, for example, the $85 million dollars paid to Tarek straight after the joint venture was signed in October 2009 as a “Brokerage Fees”.  That backhander was sent to Tarek, from Jho Low’s company Good Star Limited out of the $700 million that Low had just diverted from the joint venture deal.
Altogether, calculations suggest, that Tarek Obaid received at least $150 million from 1MDB, which was more than double the money received by his trusting royal partner in the company.  Turki left PetroSaudi in 2014 and these payments are unconnected to those identified by the DOJ in 2011, when stolen money was sent from Good Star to Prince Turki’s Riyadh bank account and then on to Najib Razak.

Evidence of forgery

Prince Turki bin Abdullah - taken for a ride?
Prince Turki bin Abdullah – taken for a ride?
Sarawak Report concludes that the ‘escrow account statement’ represents yet another forgery of a bank documents executed by the conspirators of 1MDB.  Several cases of forgery had already been cited in the various court procedings against banks and individuals connected with the fund.  Malaysia’s Auditor General also referred to his own suspicion that documents provided by 1MDB management to his enquiry were “suspicious”.
Indeed, it is notable that the suspicious JP Morgan statement has deliberately left out the number of the bank account it is supposed to be referring to, which is never the case with a genuine statement.  It would appear that this was to prevent anyone checking if the account exists, which it did not.
The other aspects of the fake statement on the other hand appear to be closely modelled on the genuine statement by JP Morgan listing the payments made to Prince Turki in 2010. Sarawak Report therefore believes this was the template used to create a seemingly authentic looking document.
Perhaps the Prince and Mr Obaid would care to issue a joint statement if they take issue with Sarawak Report’s conclusion that some of the perpetrators of this heist were not just cheating the Malaysian people, but were also cheating each other.
Sarawak Report requests that various journalists, authors and film makers, who seek to use this site as their resource for commercial projects such as books and documentaries give full credit to this blog, acknowledge copyright and do not seek to apply for awards, commissions etc without so doing.

Read the story on Sarawalk Report

"Innocent Owner" Riza Aziz Attended Yacht Meeting Before Good Star Heist - EXCLUSIVE

1 March 2017


Last week in California the Prime Minister’s step-son, Riza Aziz, filed a notice to dismiss the US Department of Justice’s seizure of his properties on the grounds that he was the “innocent owner” and could not be held responsible for the fact the money was stolen from 1MDB.
Motion to dismiss by Riza's lawyers
Motion to dismiss by Riza’s lawyers
Those properties include a Beverly Hills mansion, the film production company Red Granite’s future earnings from Wolf of Wall Street, a London Belgravia town house and a New York penthouse.
What this defence contends is that Riza had simply no idea that the hundreds of millions that suddenly started coming his way was not stolen, but thought it was a gift. For this reason he reckons he should be allowed to hang on to all the items bought with Malaysia’s stolen development money (money which the Malaysian tax payer is now faced with paying back to the original lenders at high interest rates).
Yet Sarawak Report has established new evidence that Riza was in from the very start on the 1MDB heist, in that he was invited to attend the meeting where the first ‘joint venture’ was cooked up between Jho Low, the Prime Minister and company PetroSaudi on the super-yacht Tatoosh in August 2009.
A trip manifest reveals that the jaunt, which took place between 15-20th August, was organised by a “high-end boutique concierge company” named Baroque, of which Jho Low was a member. According to the note made by the representative for Baroque, Sahle Ghebreyesus, the trip was in fact commissioned by his client Jho Low (whom he describes on the manifest as “my guy”). In March the following year Tarek Obaid also joined Baroque, which is an agency designed to pamper the super-rich:
high-end
High-end boutique concierge company that organised the rental of Tatoosh
Photographs later obtained by Sarawak Report show the main players behind the theft of the first billion from 1MDB through the PetroSaudi ‘joint venture’, which was strategised during this super-yacht meeting.
However, we can now confirm that Riza Aziz also joined the party, along with Najib’s key financial cronies Bustari Yusof and Robin Tan.  Robin Tan is the son of Vincent Tan, long associated with BN political funding, and Bustari is the Sarawak PPB party treasurer cum billionaire, who was handed the ‘turnkey contract’ for the Pan Borneo Highway project and whose brother Fadillah has now been appointed Minister for Public Works.
This gives the Bustari brothers control over all the big contracts handed out by the Government, in Malaysia’s notoriously corrupted procurement process and Bustari has rarely strayed from Najib’s side in recent months.
'My guy" Jho Low fixed the trip. "innocent owner" Riza Aziz was also on board
‘My guy” Jho Low fixed the trip. “innocent owner” Riza Aziz was also on board
Did Riza have simply no idea what was going on as these guys did the business which was soon to send money streaming his way?
It was just a few short months later that he went on to launch his production company Red Granite Pictures at the most lavish launch party ever seen at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010.
And over the next two years Jho Low was at Riza’s side at every major film event involving Red Granite Pictures, including Wolf of Wall Street, which was funded by yet more money stolen from 1MDB, thanks to the later ‘Power Purchase Loan’ manoeuvres also organised by Jho Low.
According to the New York Times, Low was furthermore directly involved in the purchase of both of Riza’s US properties in Hollywood and New York. Did Riza simply fail to realise what was going on?
There can only be two conclusions. Either Riza is lying and he did know or Riza is a sad and stupid creature, who was merely used as a front and proxy by the players behind the scandal, which included his friend Jho Low and step-dad Najib.
He is therefore EITHER innocent OR the owner.  He cannot be the “innocent owner”!
left to right - Tarek Obaid, Prince Turki and Najib Razak - the three named Shareholders of the 1MDB PetroSaudi Joint Venture meeting a month before the deal on the yacht Tatoosh.
left to right – Tarek Obaid, Prince Turki and Najib Razak – the three named Shareholders of the 1MDB PetroSaudi Joint Venture meeting a month before the deal on the yacht Tatoosh.
Sarawak Report requests that various journalists, authors and film makers, who seek to use this site as their resource for commercial projects such as books and documentaries give full credit to this blog, acknowledge copyright and do not seek to apply for awards, commissions etc without so doing.

Read the story on Sarawalk Report

"Innocent Owner" - If Riza Is Innocent Then Who Is Guilty?

1 March 2017


Lawyers for Riza Aziz in Hollywood appear to be adopting a fashionable maxim, which is that if you say something forcefully and often enough many will believe it.
By this one can assume they are seeking to influence people back in Malaysia and their own desperate client rather than the sober judges, who will have read the DOJ court order from top to bottom.
In particular, in his effort to dismiss the 1MDB case last week, Attorney Mathew Schwartz of Boies, Schiller & Flexner claimed  that, despite the 136 page seizure notice, the DOJ have brought no actual evidence to prove that Riza knew he was receiving stolen money from 1MDB.
“Despite its length, the Complaint lacks basic and essential detail. Most fundamentally, the Complaint fails to identify who committed the crimes that allegedly give rise to forfeiture…the Complaint details a number of transactions, but frequently fails to allege who was responsible for them. The Complaint certainly never makes allegations sufficient to conclude that anyone misappropriated money from 1MDB with the requisite scienter [knowledge of wrongdoing]…”
In other words, Riza’s defence is that he didn’t steal the money even though he spent it and no one has yet proven that he knew that it was stolen.
What remains of 1MDB’s frittered billions now looks set to be spent to a considerable degree on these sorts of arguments, as the lawyers coin it in, even though anyone who has actually read the Department of Justice’s court order can only laugh at the contention that there is a lack of evidence. The FBI has tracked hundreds of millions of 1MDB’s missing money from the moment it left Malaysia down to the last wire transfer into Riza’s accounts, in order to finance his films, gambling, houses and other personal spending.
They also have testimony from banks, emails and phone recordings of 1MDB officials as they bullied reluctant bankers to release money, supposedly to pay joint venture partners, but actually to pass it to Riza’s pal, Jho Low.  Jho Low, as all Malaysians know, was the proxy for Riza’s step-dad (Prime Minister Najib) at 1MDB.
It is this same hard evidence that has been resulting in a series of on-going criminal convictions in Singapore and there are more to come.

The Middle Eastern ‘Donor’ excuse comes up again

However, according to his lawyers Riza didn’t know this was how he got the money. In their immortal phrase he is the “innocent owner” of his string of properties and production company. So, he can’t be blamed or have any of these things (his Beverly Hills mansion, Belgravia town house, New York penthouse, film company profits) taken away from him.
Just like his step-dad Najib, the lawyers say, Riza put his good fortune down to the inexplicable generosity of a Middle Eastern gentleman, who just happened to be involved in a joint venture with 1MDB:
“the Defendant Properties are … beneficially owned by Riza Azis, as is Red Granite Capital Limited. Mr Aziz claimed ownership of the entities in his 2012 US tax return, and properly disclosed the transfer of funds from Aabar-BVI to Red Granite Capital Limited. Those funds, according to the Complaint, were reported as a gift under US tax law, and Mr Aziz, after discussion among his accountants and business manager, obtained a letter documenting the gift, signed by the CEO of Aabar [the now jailed Mohammed Al Huseiny]..”
So, there we have it, yet another ludicrous letter authenticating a “gift” of hundreds of millions of dollars!
But, at this point there appears to be a fatal contradiction in the legal argument. Riza’s excuses carry on to say that neither did he realise that Aabar BVI, which sent the money, was not in fact related to the real Aabar or IPIC.  This was something that emerged from investigations, which showed how cash was diverted from the 1MDB Aabar joint ventures to this private BVI account:
“Nothing in the Complaint alleges that Mr Aziz …. knew that Aabar-BVI was unaffiliated with Aabar or IPIC”
At which point any judge must query how Riza could conclude that the money was a personal private gift from the CEO?  Because, if this was indeed an official subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi wealth fund there could be no legitimate reason whatsoever to gift the step-son of the Malaysian PM money from it.
Innocent through ignorance?  Riza Aziz
Innocent through ignorance? Riza Aziz
With such a tangle of excuses the former banker would make a good candidate for a role in one of his own movies “Dumb and Dumber To”.  But how come his top lawyers didn’t spot the gaffe?
What they have just put in writing is that Riza THOUGHT he had been gifted tons of cash as a personal gift from the CEO of an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, which was doing business with 1MDB.
Yet he DIDN’T think there was a connection with the fact his step-dad was in charge of 1MDB.
On the other hand, he DID think that the account he got the money from belonged not to his pal, but to the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund that was doing business with 1MDB!
Moreover, if the judge accepts that Riza is totally and utterly thick and thinks money falls from heaven and that public funds from Abu Dhabi can be privately offered to him by the wealth fund boss, it presents an immediate further question.  If Riza is innocent through stupidity then who WAS responsible?
Back in Malaysia Najib’s PR people are already spinning that the former Second Finance Minister and the former Chief Executive of 1MDB were ‘treacherously’ misleading their boss  by siphoning money out of the development fund and sneaking it deceitfully behind his back into his own bank account.
Poor Najib, the argument seems to go, was then misled into thinking that a Saudi Prince was passing him these billions, in order to support his moderate Muslim agenda. Have these two former underlings agreed to join the murder ‘scapegoat’ Sirul Azhar and Najib’s various other fall guys, by accepting “temporary” imprisonment in return for promised later reward?
Certainly, Riza’s lawyers have made clear that their argument is that if Najib’s men declare him innocent, then the United States should accept the finding of the foreign jurisdiction.
“[the] alleged offenses were committed entirely abroad, without the sufficient nexus to the United States required to invoke the jurisdiction of this Court”
However, under money laundering legislation, considerable due diligence is also required in the United States on the part of finance and legal professionals managing potentially suspicious transfers – particularly involving politically connected people like Riza.
Debra Johnson (nee Whelan) manages Riza's money
Debra Johnson (nee Whelan) manages Riza’s money
So, if he is innocent, the spotlight falls on them.  Riza is now closely bonded to a svelte legal lady, named Debra Whelan Johnson, who used to work at the Los Angeles wealth management company NKFSB as his personal relationship manager, until she departed from that company during the growing controversy over his finances in 2014.
At the time she was married to Channing Johnson, the partner at Loeb & Loeb who had incorporated Riza’s company Red Granite. It was he who initiated legal action against Sarawak Report for questioning those finances.
Later the couple divorced and Loeb & Loeb parted ways with Red Granite, leaving Whelan to set up her own company, which is mainly devoted to investing Riza’s remaining 1MDB-sourced millions.
So, if Riza didn’t understand where his money was coming from then what was Debra up to? Surely, it was her professional duty to both Riza and the US authorities to make sure everything was legitimately sourced?  For a start, why did she fail to establish the basic facts about who owned the Aabar BVI company that sent Riza all that money?

Legal eagles who may know more?

Apart from Whelan, Riza’s current lawyers ought themselves perhaps to have been better informed about the origins of his cash, because, as Sarawak Report has already revealed, the firm’s own partners became engaged in an investment business with their client by taking a role in the company Panavista.  Panavista invests Riza’s money.
Panavista's promotional document cites Riza's legal firm
Panavista’s promotional document cites Riza’s legal firm
Sarawak Report earlier identified how Riza Aziz, Debra Whelan and Stan Pottinger were approaching potential investment opportunities with offers to provide cash.
Stan Pottinger, US lawyer and best-selling author, flew in to London to attend the investment meeting with Bradley
Stan Pottinger, US lawyer and best-selling author, flew in to London to attend the investment meeting with Bradley
One British businessman attended a meeting held in Riza’s Belgravia townhouse last year (now included on the DOJ’s list of illegal assets) where they offered to invest £6 million in his company. Panavista’s offices are located in the next door building in Lygon Place.
The businessman, Nick Bradley, told Sarawak Report that it was money he was eager to accept. However, when he asked normal due dilligence questions about the origins of that money, he says he was not able to get answers he found satisfactory.
He concluded the money must be Riza’s private wealth, but it was not made clear and this concerned him, so he turned down the investment offer.
Since the law firm which is now representing Riza in court is so publicly linked to Panavista as collaborators, along with Debra Whelan, oughtn’t they have therefore done more to establish the origins of their politically connected client’s vast sums of money and themselves have established who owned Aabar BVI Limited?
David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP – is counsel to Panavista and shares an office with Pottinger in New York
David Boies of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP – is counsel to Panavista and shares an office with Pottinger in New York
Think how helpful that would have been for the ignorant and confused young man, who had assumed that all his money was a legitimate gift from a friend of his step-dad.
We assume these eminent legal eagles have satisfied themselves that they are in no way conflicted by the case and look forward to further information being brought before the court.

Read the story on Sarawalk Report

Investigating 1MDB Or Investigating Critics of Najib Razak?

1 March 2017


Sarawak Report has received evidence that un-edited interviews filmed with leading opposition figures as part of a planned documentary on 1MDB have been passed to BN.
Sources claim this because of an on-going collaboration between a senior British member of the production team and high level operatives close to Najib Razak. The producer has spent much of the last year in KL seeking interviews with people who have been vocal about 1MDB or critical of the regime.
The documentary is a co-production between two UK companies named ‘Salt Lick’ and ‘Roast Beef’ and the producer has, according to the sources, recently “met with senior and close representatives of Najib Razak’s administration, during a trip otherwise dedicated to interviewing the Prime Minister’s opponents for the film”.  That visit took place between Monday 14th November and Tuesday 22nd November.
A source continued”
“This man has recently been to Malaysia under the pretence of furthering the investigation against Najib Razak’s corruption. However, he is actually informing him of the developments in the investigation against him and is supplying him with the names of people who are involved.”
Particularly concerning is the fact that material from interviews allegedly passed to these government agents has been made available to Sarawak Report.  Given the sensitivities, there seems no acceptable reason why any such material should have fallen into the hands of third parties in KL.
Cartoonist Zunar was one of the interviewees allegedly 'betrayed' to BN
Cartoonist Zunar was one of the interviewees allegedly ‘betrayed’ to BN
A figure who has been involved in sourcing funding for the film project on the basis of its proclaimed civil society agenda has told Sarawak Report that he is shocked, concerned and disappointed. “I will get to the bottom of this” he said.  The supporter added that he could think of no ethical reason why third parties in KL should have gained access to material filmed for this highly sensitive production. “This should be treated as highly confidential material” he told Sarawak Report.
The whistleblowers, who informed Sarawak Report of their concerns, explained they are particularly fearful that such tactics might provide government agencies with information that could be used against civil society activists, artists and political figures who are currently being targeted by the regime, which is seeking to crack down on critics of corruption in the wake of the 1MDB revelations.
Najib has instructed a number of arbitrary arrests and incarcerations of critics under new terrorist offences, which have been widely condemned worldwide for being abused.
One of the prime targets of this crackdown has been the political cartoonist Zunar, who has been arrested on numerous occasions for drawing “unflattering” pictures of the Prime Minister and his wife. Zunar also faces a potential 43 year jail sentence after being charged for Tweets criticising the judgement against the now jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
An interview with the cartoonist was one of the items passed to BN’s inner circle from the Salt Lick/ Roast Beef production, according to the evidence we have received. The cartoonist has confirmed that the material was from the interview he recorded with the film-makers in his office last July. He had already given them a previous interview earlier in the year.
Zunar confirms this was the interview he did for Salt Lick. So why has it been passed to third parties?
Zunar confirms this was the interview he did for Salt Lick. So why has it been passed to third parties?
The film crew also recorded him drawing a cartoon about 1MDB, which later appeared in the newspaper Malaysiakini:
“Yes, I am very, very angry, especially if there was any money that changed hands for this or if it was used for some different agenda besides just for making the movie”
the cartoonist told Sarawak Report. However, he said that he had nevertheless made his remarks openly.
The film-makers have said that they are primarily using the investigative material made public by Sarawak Report as their information resource for the film, which gained its initial funding in 2015 and was promoted last April.  However, Sarawak Report has engaged in no collaboration with the production.
UPDATE
The production company has now responded to our article to say that they just discovered yesterday that their vimeo account was hacked, but they are not sure how, who by or when. They say only editied interviews were uploaded. They deny the reports Sarawak Report has received over a period of several weeks that information was being passed by a member of their team to BN contacts and claim the material given to Sarawak Report was part of  “a disinformation campaign”.

Read the story on Sarawalk Report

Who Will Be The First To Face The Hundred Lashes?

1 March 2017


Prime Minister Najib has now put the full support of his government and his party behind the adoption of an ancient Middle Eastern ‘Hudud’ legal system to replace much of  Malaysia’s modern civil judiciary.
Revivalist Islamic campaigners from the remaining rump of the PAS party, now widely dubbed in Malaysia as ‘the Taliban,’ have demanded that this platform be absorbed into mainstream UMNO politics (to the consternation of most of the country’s professional classes and substantial non-Muslim minorities) as their price for breaking up the opposition alliance.
The opposition alliance had previously refused to endorse Hudud Law, whilst respecting the ‘Taliban’s’ affection for it. However, Najib is clearly willing to do whatever it takes to avoid losing the next election and face the consequences of justice himself.
But what if Najib WERE to lose the next election, having introduced this Hudud Law?
Under full Hudud Law thieves are punished by having their hands chopped off in a public square and then left to fend for themselves.
Surely first on the list to go on trial before those grim faced muftis would be Najib himself and his grasping wife? How do we think they would fare over the $7 billion theft from 1MDB and the missing FELDA billions, if all the available proof and evidence were brought to this ‘market square’ hearing before the Taliban?
This is how Hudud arrives at its judgement on the hand chopping offence:
A combination of conditions must be fulfilled before the hand of a thief is cut off. These conditions are as follows:
The thing should have been taken by stealth; if it was not taken by stealth, then (the hand) should not be cut off, such as when property has been seized by force in front of other people, because in this case the owner of the property could have asked for help to stop the thief. (Tick)
1-                 The stolen property should be something of worth, because that which is of no worth has no sanctity, such as musical instruments, wine and pigs.
2-                 The value of the stolen property should be above a certain limit, which is three Islamic dirhams or a quarter of an Islamic dinar, or their equivalent in other currencies.
3-                 The stolen property should have been taken from a place where it had been put away, i.e., a place where people usually put their property, such as a cupboard [or bank], for example.
4-                 The theft itself has to be proven, either by the testimony of two qualified witnesses or by the confession of the thief twice.
5-                 The person from whom the property was stolen has to ask for it back; if he does not, then (the thief’s) hand does not have to be cut off. [https://islamqa.info/en/9935]

Who is paying for the Hudud Rally?

The issue of theft extends well beyond FELDA and 1MDB in present day Malaysia of course. BN’s abuse of public office has become so pervasive that the system of governance has itself become almost medieval, perhaps justifying the re-introduction of barbaric medieval punishments to deal with it.
Prime Minister Najib has latterly taken that abuse to new and astonishing levels, so much so that people have started to forget that government money is not merely there for the people in charge to help themselves.
The Hudud Rally over this weekend is itself a case in point. PAS campaigners have been lavishing money on organising tens of thousands to be bussed into KL to provide fodder for their event, but everyone is now asking where is PAS’s present ample funding coming from?  Is not UMNO mobilising for this rally also?
Earlier in the week a PAS leading figure went public to condemn former party members for expressing concern about finances entering the party from their new bed-fellows UMNO.
If RM90 million had come into the party then he would hardly be driving around in a Proton car  thundered spiritual leader Hashim Jasin… at which point his additional ownership of a fancy Porche Cayman was inevitably brought to light.
Proton... .plus Porche Cayman
Proton… .plus Porche Cayman
Ooops. Does this confirm, according to his logic, that money has indeed been flooding into his party?
No, the matter is unrelated after all he has told Malaysians. PAS youth enthusiasts have meanwhile poured supportively into police stations to lodge ‘police reports’ about ‘false accusations’.
Hashim Jasin had merely abused his right to a car import licence, a perk of his political position, to enable his son to buy the fancy car, it has been explained.
So, presumably, Najib reckons he is safe from the Taliban after all, since all of them are in the same game of preaching one thing and practising another?
Fancy number-plate on top?
Fancy number-plate on top?

Read the story on Sarawalk Report

FELDA Super-Scandal Emerges As The New 1MDB Times Ten..

1 March 2017


The new Chairman of FELDA, Shahrir Abdul Samad, was one of the people exposed for having received a big fat million ringgit cheque from Najib’s slush fund accounts, for which he has yet to give an explanation.
Najob moved quickly therefore to bring this UMNO backbench Chairman back to heel when he appeared to stray over weekend, after being appointed to head the plantation fund (instead of an objective business leader, which was plainly needed).
To begin with, Shahrir had clearly decided that he did not want to end up the figurehead of the next 1MDB scandal (times ten on the Richter Scale). Therefore, unlike Arul Kanda, he decided to cry foul rather than covering up and on Saturday went public with his concerns that RM4.3 billion of FELDA famers’ money cannot be properly accounted for.
It didn’t last long. One assumes it took a far larger cheque to get Shahrir to change his tune, but by Sunday evening the party stalwart had denied his earlier reported statement, rattling out a list of unbelievably expensive global investments to apparently explain where all the money went.
These inflated purchases consisted mostly of hotels, which have nothing to do with FELDA’s core plantation business and many of which the fund is now desperately trying to off-load, doubtless at a loss, in order to finance borrowing and debts… and looming BN election costs:
Shahrir was commenting on reports that ..RM6 billion received by Felda after the FGVH listing has not been accounted for.
He said RM1.438 billion was invested in property, namely in Bukit Katil, Malacca for RM304 million, Grand Borneo Hotel in Sabah (RM86 million), Grand Plaza Service Apartment in London (RM500 million), Institut Penilaian Negara (INSPEN) building (RM225 million) and Iris Corporation Berhad shares (RM110 million).
Shahrir said the RM1.438 billion invested in the service sector, especially property involving hotels, was to ensure long-term investments that can be beneficial in the future.
He said Felda had also purchased Felda Technoplant Sdn Bhd worth RM38 million while total accumulated loses for Felda amounted to RM108 million, involving the Transnovasi Project…
Shahrir, who took over the post from Isa Samad, said Felda had also decided to sell a hotel bought by the agency in London at a cost of RM548 million in 2012.
So, why did FELDA spend hundreds of millions on these hotels, when much of its plantation stock was already in need of regeneration and the business needed to upgrade and improve its productivity on behalf of the long-term interest of Malaysia and its farmers?
Sharir must know that whilst 1MDB has moved the nation to righteous fury, that anger will measure nothing compared to the outrage and disgust of the hundreds of thousands of FELDA families, who have started to realise how all their savings and their patrimony have  disappeared with the sinking fund.

FELDA Super Scandal

Back in 2012 the FELDA Global Ventures sell off was another of the new Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ‘economic master-strokes’.  Reuters reported that it was the 2nd biggest ever IPO after the Facebook stockmarket launch – it put Malaysia on the global map.
However, it also disposed of a hugely valuable industry that had been originally founded and nurtured in the interests of the working families, whose lands and livelihoods were tied up in the plantation lands.
Reuters recorded how at that time many of those farmers were therefore rightly worried and reluctant. They knew they could never buy back their heritage, which had grown so much in value in recent years.  However, Najib, also Finance Minister, knew how to tempt their worries away:
Felda’s listing plans were initially met with resistance from the farmers who partly owned the firm and feared the loss of control of an asset they had invested in for generations.
The government, a key shareholder in the firm via state-linked funds, sweetened the deal with windfall payments totaling nearly $5,000 each generated from the a fifth of the IPO proceeds.
To keep the farmers happy, government-linked funds and the domestic pension fund, which accounted for part of the institutional tranche, made a rush for the stock during the book-building process.
“This Felda IPO is an embarrassment,” said an official with a Malaysian bank-backed fund management firm. “About 23 percent of the book was allocated to ‘friends and family’, all at the expense of legitimate investors with potential synergies.” [Reuters 2012]
So, for around RM15,000 a family (a fifth of the money raised) Najib bought the resisters round and also directed a mass of government linked companies to join the rush to build up the stock market share price to astonishing levels.
At their height at the time of the launch shares in the new FELDA Global Ventures traded at up to RM5.46 (ringgit), whereas now after years of plunder and mismanagement they are trading at a miserable RM1.9.
It represents a horrifying loss for investors. Those include Malaysian government-controlled funds entrusted with the money of ordinary savers like Tabung Haji, which was encouraged for political reasons bump up the original share price. Opposition MP Rafizi Ramli has pointed out that the pilgrimage fund has lost a billion ringgit owing to the plummeting share value.
That means a billion ringgit of ordinary savers’ pilgrimage money has disappeared, thanks to the politically driven bad decision to pay far too much money for those FELDA shares – on top of all the other plunders that Najib has launched against this and other funds.
And the situation went from bad to worse. Under Najib’s original toady Chairman, Isa Samad, the money that had been made from that original IPO has by all accounts also been disappearing. As one insider has told Sarawak Report:
“an excess of RM2 Billion is being furiously padded on projects being approved to be siphoned off my PM & his wife”
Such projects would appear to have included the ludicrous decision to buy a 37% stake in the Indonesian plantation business of Najib’s personal friend Peter Sondakh for $700 million, which was at least double its market valuation, last year.
Following that scandal the Employee Provident Fund, which has also clearly lost huge sums of ordinary Malaysians’ pension money owing to FELDA Global Ventures, pulled out of its investment in the fund. Yet, Najib has persisted in trying to force FELDA itself to invest in Peter’s projects. The reason seems blatantly obvious.
Where did the money GO?!
So, with all those developments the question facing Shahrir Abdul Samad, as the new incoming Chairman, was what has happened to the original $3 billion (RM15 bn) windfall made by FELDA at the expense of investors back at the time of that original IPO in 2012 (just before the election)?
Just four yea