22 May 2017
Sarawak Report has obtained further details on the expenditures made by Najib Razak on a mysterious company named Orb Solutions from money which he stole from 1MDB.
It was originally understood that Orb, which developed an App detailing ‘news and achievements’ by Najib Razak, received RM2 million for the job. However, we have now been passed details of at least 24 separate payments made to the company between 2011 and 2014 totalling a staggering RM68 million.
Given that this was all public money, paid from accounts in the name of Najib Razak which were funded by 1MDB, more information should surely have been obtained by investigators into the purpose of Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd.
The main Director and registered shareholder of KL registered Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd, Amhari Nazaruddin, has been with the company since its incorporation in 2010, not long after Najib became PM and the first money was stolen from the 1MDB PetroSaudi deal.
Astonishingly, Nazaruddin is himself a public servant based in the Prime Minister’s Office. He was joined by a second director in 2015, a senior Astra executive named Har Kok Kit, who is now registered as a 50% shareholder.
Nazaruddin describes himself as a ‘Special Officer to the Prime Minister’, who works directly with Najib and who is also a Director of the Economic Division. He explains he has a special interest in “Communications, Media, Political Campaigns and Digital Communication”,which would appear to be a main focus of Orb Solutions.
So, what on earth exactly was all that public money ploughed into Orb Solutions for?
A major obsession of the Najib premiership has certainly appeared to have been the promotion of positive propaganda on behalf of the Prime Minister, whilst at the same time supporting ‘Black PR’ campaigns against his perceived adversaries, which he frequently describes as ‘Media Warfare’ and ‘Cybertrooping’.
Although, Najib openly admits to the practice of ‘Cybertrooping’, very little of this sphere of activity is ever conducted in an open and legitimate fashion. Anonymous attacks, deliberate disinformation, defamation and negative comments are the stock in trade of these campaigns and all these tactics have poured out of Malaysia against government critics (including Sarawak Report) in recent years.
So is it this form of covert activity what Orb Communications has been fed such staggering sums of money to orchestrate? It is certainly time we learnt more about the exact purpose of this company hired by Najib at such public expense out of misappropriated cash.
Mr Nazaruddin should be further grilled by the Public Accounts Committee (and investigators) to explain how he as a civil servant received such vast sums of money from his direct boss into his own private company of which he is the formal shareholder.
He should also be probed over moonlighting with this major private enterprise alongside his official public job, unless of course he was fronting for his boss? Mr Nazaruddin’s closeness to the Prime Minister was publicly highlighted just last month when ‘well placed Malaysian inside sources’ told the Straits Times that he was instrumental in framing the controversial settlement with IPIC over money owed due to 1MDB:
“The executive disclosed that that other key players in the negotiations included Datuk Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who is a senior advisor to Mr Najib, and senior officials from Abu Dhabi’s Executive Affairs Authority, a special government agency that provides strategic advice to the Gulf state’s rulers.” [Straits Times]
With evidence like this unearthed by the MACC and other Task Force investigations Malaysians have a right to once again ask what on earth did AG Apandi think he was doing trying to close down the investigation in to 1MDB’s stolen money?