Saturday 30 September 2017

Sarawak Report The Garden Of Eden Was Turned To Desert - Hanbury Tenison On Sarawak

30 September 2017

One of Britain’s most celebrated explorers, Robin Hanbury Tenison, addressed a packed gathering of the Sarawak Association on Monday night at the Royal Overseas League in Piccadilly, London to discuss his new book ‘Finding Eden – A Journey Into The Heart Of Borneo’.
The book recalls the largest ever expedition by the National Geographical Society in the late 70s, which was based in Mulu and sought to document and evaluate the stunning diversity of life in what was then the richest corner of the planet, in terms of plant and animal life.
Now, he lamented, most of the area is an oil palm desert.
“In one respect we were successful, in that we showed that the jungle was far more valuable kept intact than cut down. However, we failed to convince those who were in authority at the time”
he told the audience, as he explained how the expedition had barely packed their bags after a year and a half  of stunning research into thousands of species that had till then not even been recorded, before the bulldozers rolled in and the entire region was destroyed, leaving the small highland national park as an island in a dead zone of oil palm plantations.
New book recalls what once was
New book recalls what once was
Hanbury Tenison paid tribute to the immense scientific knowledge of the local tribespeople, including Penan and Berawan, who he said knew far more about the species, uses and life-pattern of the creatures of the jungle than any of the distinguished foreign scientists who had joined the expedition.
Yet, he pointed out, they had been mocked and discriminated against in local schools at the time and their special knowledge and intelligence was woefully undervalued.
He said that meeting once again with Nyapun, his old Penan friend who had helped him so extensively during the expedition, when he returned to Mulu last year had been a wonderful moment in his life.
Sarawak Report’s Editor has also met Nyapun, who is now in his 90s, but still lives in a meagre hut on the fringes of the 5 Star Mulu ‘Eco-Resort’, which is controlled by Governor Taib Mahmud’s family.
There is no longer forest land to enable the Penan and other native people to live their traditional life, but neither has any wealth or reward been passed to them.
“When we went in [to the jungle] in 1978, 95% of Sarawak’s low-land rainforest was intact and now forty years later only 5% of low-land rainforest remains. So we failed in our mission to expalin to those in authority that it was counter-productive to destroy the rainforest.”
The Sarawak authorities have repeatedly sought to deny such figures, which are agreed by environmental NGOs.
Hanbury Tenison reflected that tragically the hotel complex had bulldozed the idyllic batu where the expedition had set up camp, in order to extend the airport runway the resort had put in.  The area had contained several rare and probably unique species. “It was a magical Garden of Eden” he said. It has now been destroyed.
He reflected that unfortunatly Sarawak’s oil had been taken by the Federal Government, leaving the local strongmen with just the timber to make money from. It was the simple reason behind what had happened.
Big audience attended the first of many book events in London to launch 'Finding Eden'
Big audience attended the first of many book events in London to launch ‘Finding Eden’
The explorer made the point, which is well known to the local people, that the rainforest earth is very thin and infertile, because all the life is sustained by the trees and canopies themselves – dipterocarps and buttress tree roots that absorb all the nutrients of the jungle and recycle them continuously.
Jungle playground and 'eco' resort - aquired by the Taib family
Jungle playground and ‘eco’ resort – aquired by the Taib family
Once these are cut down the land can soon turn to arid desert – only plants like oil palm can survive and the soil soon gets eroded by the rain. So, a lush rainforest can soon become a harsh unforgiving desert place hostile to humans and other life.
Next even the rain dries up as the plants no longer create the clouds.
The audience discussed whether anything could be done to revive what little rainforest is left in Borneo, which could provide huge benefits in terms of the right kind of tourism and scientific conservation.
Perhaps the Governor of Sarawak, who was the ‘brain’ behind Sarawak’s ‘economic modernisation’ of the past decades, has some clever answers to provide?
Listerners, meanwhile, were left reminded of the ugliness of greed and the consequences of sin, which once again had lost us a Garden of Eden on earth. The book tour will continue with several more lectures, with the next being at the National Geographic headquarters in Kensington.

"Berani kerana Benar" Civil Servant?

Those days of the "berani kerana benar" Civil Servants seems to be a thing of the past...until now. Is this man an indication of things to come for this corrupt BN government? Are we to see the return of Civil Servants who will speak their mind against the abuse and use of public office by government ministers? Time will tell ...but what we hear him say about SPRM and what we hear him say about what he thinks of what the government he works for is doing as being a waste of money, is a breath of fresh air in the nauseating atmosphere of corruption and abuse of public office for political gain that now exists in this corrupt BN government. ....or will we see another "early retirement", "transfer" or "promotion" of this man to shut him up?

Comment : 

Bila Ketua Jabatan Serang Menteri.
Sebagai bekas penjawat awam. Saya agak terperanjat dengan kenyataan Ketua Pesuruhjaya SPRM yang menyerang seorang Menteri dengan membidas secara terbuka. 
Di mana silapnya? Mungkin sistem perkhidmatan awam amalan bertahun2 sejak Merdeka sudah di hapuskan. Apakah yang telah di hapuskan? Ia itu kursus penjawat awam tidak kira status pangkatnya melalui kursus dan latihan sejak dia mula menyertai perkhidmatan di INTAN tanpa kecuali dia berada di jabatan atau agensi kerajaan. Dan menghadir kursus adalah antara KPI kenaikan pangkatnya.

Sebenarnya setiap anggota perkhidmatan awam kena memahami perintah am yang menjadi garis panduan yang mana boleh dan tidak di lakukan oleh seorang penjawat awam yang gajinya di bayar oleh Parlimen.
Soalan 'Siapa Menteri' adalah satu soalan angkuh dan biadab seorang penjawat awam. Dalam sistem perkhidmatan awam. Pegawai Kerajaan di larang malah di tegah membuat kenyataan terbuka atas dasar2 yang hendak dibuat oleh Kerajaan.
Akta tugas Menteri 1961 jelas menyatakan. 'Seorang Menteri hendak melaksanakan dasar2 yang dipersetujui oleh partinya dengan keputusan Kabinet. Dia hendaklah dibantu oleh seorang Ketua Setiausaha yang memberikan nasihat kepadanya tetapi Menteri boleh menolak nasihat Ketua Setiausaha itu'. itu jelas.
Tindakan Ketua Pesuruhjaya ini sangat memalukan sistem pertadbiran dan perkhidmatan awam Malaysia dan juga memalukan 'Najib Razak Admintration' yang dilihat sudah hilang kawalan terhadap pegawai tertinggi penjawat awam.
Perlu di ingat bahawa setiap serangan penjawat awam di Parlimen akan di jawab oleh seorang Menteri yang dberi tanggungjawab menjaga portfolio jabatan dan agensi badan berkanun itu. Itu sebab setiap kesilapan penjawat awam adalah tanggung Menteri mengambil tanggungjawab di Parlimen. 
Maka kini jrakyat mengambil perhatian apa tindakan Najib Razak selaku Ketua Kerajaan Awam dalam serangan terbuka salah seorang Menterinya dan apa pula tindakan Ali Hamsa selalu Ketua Setiausaha Negara yang semua penjawat awam dibawah bidang kuasanya.
Berani Najib Razak dan Ali Hamsa mengambil tindakan tatatertib kepada Ketua Pesuruhjaya SPRM yang celupar ini? Sama2 kita tengok the ending story. Nasi sudah menjadi bubur.
Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor Ismail Sabri YB Ds Shahidan KassimiIdris Jusoh Shabery CheekDato' Seri Jamil Khir
Sunway Putra Mall
Sept 28, 2017
Jam 6.50PM.

Ahmad Rahman He was just angry because the minister wanted to establish another agency to overseer his reality the people are unhappy about him going after the chicken feeders but the hippo and elephant corrupters are left to enjoy fact can play the tune to which he will immediately dance to.
The situation is now like dog eat dog within the hungry pack.

Friday 29 September 2017

“We heard that you will speak about commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity,” one officer said. “We don’t like that kind of stuff.”


CreditMuhammad Shahrizal/NurPhoto, via Getty Images 

I am writing this column from an airplane, on my way from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to my new home, Wellesley, Mass. I’m in a comfortable seat, and I’m looking forward to getting back to my family. About 12 hours ago, though, I was miserable, locked in a holding cell by Malaysia’s “religious police.”
The story began a few months ago, when the Islamic Renaissance Front, a reformist, progressive Muslim organization in Malaysia, invited me to give a series of lectures on Islam, reason and freedom. The group had hosted me three times before in the past five years for similar events and also published the Malay version of my book “Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty.” I was glad for the chance to visit Malaysia again.
I arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 22. The next day I gave my first lectureon the suppression of rational theology by dogmatists in early Islam, making the point that this “intellectual suicide” still haunts Muslim civilization.
The second talk was on a more controversial topic: apostasy from Islam. I argued that Muslims must uphold freedom of conscience, in line with the Quranic dictum “No compulsion in religion.” I said that apostasy should not be punished by death, as it is in Saudi Arabia, or with “rehabilitation,” as it is in Malaysia. The practice of Islam must be on the basis of freedom, not coercion, and governments shouldn’t police religion or morality.
It turns out all you have to do is speak of the police and they will appear.
At the end of my talk, a group of serious-looking men came into the lecture hall and showed me badges indicating that they were “religion enforcement officers.”
“We heard that you just gave an unauthorized talk on religion,” one of the men said. “And we got complaints about it.” They took me to another room, photographed me and asked questions about my speech.
When they were done with their questioning, they handed me a piece of paper with Malay writing on it and told me that I shouldn’t speak again without proper authorization. They also warned me away from my next planned talk, which was going to be about my most recent book, “The Islamic Jesus: How the King of the Jews Became a Prophet of the Muslims.”
“We heard that you will speak about commonalities between Islam, Judaism and Christianity,” one officer said. “We don’t like that kind of stuff.” Then they left.
After all this, I consulted with my hosts, and we decided to cancel the final lecture. I assumed that was the end of the matter and went shopping for gifts for my wife and children.
Later in the day, I went to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to begin the 30-hour trip back to Massachusetts. When I gave my passport to the border police, I realized that my experience with offending Malaysia’s Islamic sensibilities wasn’t over.
“You need to wait, sir,” said the woman who checked my passport. She called some police officers, who called other police officers, who took me to a room where my arrest order was read to me. Apparently the religious police, known as JAWI, wanted to interrogate me again for my “unauthorized” talk on religious freedom and had issued that arrest order to make sure I didn’t leave the country.
I was taken from the airport to a police station, then to another station. Finally, I was taken to the JAWI headquarters, where I was locked up.
To be fair, nobody was rude to me, let alone cruel. Still, I was distressed: I had been arrested in an alien country whose laws and language I did not understand. I had no idea what would happen to me — and, most painfully, when I would see my wife, Riada, our 2-year-old son, Levent, and our 2-month-old baby, Efe.
In the morning, I was taken to a Shariah court, which is used in Malaysia to adjudicate religious issues, where I was interrogated for two hours. At the end, to my surprise, I was let go. Soon I learned that this was greatly facilitated by the diplomatic efforts of my country, Turkey — and especially the contact made by a former Turkish president, Abdullah Gul, with Malaysian royalty.
This incident showed me once again that there is a major problem in Islam today: a passion to impose religion, rather than merely proposing it, a mind-set that most Christians left behind at the time of the Inquisition.
Luckily, there are antidotes within Islam to this problem. One of them is the Quranic verse that the JAWI officers repeatedly chided me for daring to recite: “No compulsion in religion.”
In fact, mainstream Muslim tradition, reflecting its illiberal context, never fully appreciated the freedom implied by this verse — and other ones with similar messages. “The ‘no compulsion’ verse was a problem to the earliest exegetes,” as Patricia Crone, a scholar of Islamic history, has noted. “And they reacted by interpreting it restrictively.” The verse was declared “abrogated,” or its scope was radically limited.
This is still evident in a parenthetical that is too frequently inserted into translations of the verse. “There shall be no compulsion in religion (in becoming a Muslim).” I’d known that Saudi translations added those extra words at the end. Now I have learned that the Malaysian authorities do, too. They append the extra phrase because while they agree with the Quran that no one should be forced to become a Muslim, they think that Muslims should be compelled to practice the religion — in the way that the authorities define. They also believe that if Muslims decide to abandon their religion, they must be punished for “apostasy.”
One of the officers at my Malaysian Shariah court trial proudly told me that all of this was being done to “protect religion.” But I have an important message for her (which I didn’t share at the time): By policing religion, the authorities are not really protecting it. They are only enfeebling their societies, raising hypocrites and causing many people to lose their faith in or respect for Islam.
I came to understand that while I was being held in the JAWI headquarters, listening to a loud Quranic recitation coming from the next room. I heard the Quran and for the first time in my life it sounded like the voice of an oppressor. But I did not give in to that impression. “I hear you and I trust in you, God,” I said as I prayed, “despite these bigots who act in your name.”

SOUTH AFRICA : Darkness descends on KPMG.

Auditing firm faces ruin as its reputation lies in tatters

20 September 2017 - 06:21BY GRAEME HOSKEN
As controversy dogs KPMG SA, more of  South Africa's biggest companies are reviewing their relationship with the firm.
As controversy dogs KPMG SA, more of South Africa's biggest companies are reviewing their relationship with the firm. 
Image: Alon Skuy
Auditing firm KPMG SA's reputation is in tatters and it faces ruin as another two major clients ditch it.
On Tuesday financial services company Sasfin and investment company Hulisani announced plans to drop KPMG because of reputational risks. Sygnia Asset Management had fired it earlier.
Six companies have terminated their KPMG contracts in the past two months.
David Everatt, head of the Wits School of Governance, said he hoped what was happening to KPMG would be fatal.
"That's because they are claiming accountability now only because they were caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
"It's not because they had a sudden change of heart that they suddenly came forward. If they were not caught there would not be this pseudo-accountability."
The SA Revenue Service is pushing to have the firm blacklisted from all government business. KPMG also faces being called to account in parliament after it sensationally disavowed the "rogue unit" report it authored for the tax authority.
It is likely that all state entities will review their contracts with the firm.
Corporate heavyweights Investec, Standard Bank, Old Mutual, Growthpoint Properties, Sibanye Stillwater and Absa are all considering ending their relationship with KPMG.
Parliament's standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) has summonsed KPMG representatives to appear before it.
The standing committee on finance announced that it had asked the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors to update it on the board's investigation of KPMG's audit of the Guptas' Linkway Trading.
Linkway Trading was allegedly used to funnel R30-million of taxpayers' money, ostensibly intended for poor Free State farmers, into paying for a Gupta family wedding at Sun City.
Everatt said it would be difficult for KPMG to bounce back because everything it had done for the government was now being questioned.
He said a big problem in trying to ensure probity in the auditing sector was that it tended to survive regardless of scandal because the big firms were no longer simply auditors. They are now also project managers and deliver business services, and have positioned themselves as indispensable, especially to governments.
He said the KPMG scandal had come to light "not because of government intervention, but because South Africans are gatvol of corruption. Our big hope now is that the external players, such as the authorities in the US, where these companies are headquartered, bring them to heel.
"It's important that it was not just the new KPMG executives who were summonsed to parliament, but also those who signed off on the reports and the former top management.
"For too long these big corporations have marched into countries thinking they are the masters of the earth and can get away with anything. Now they are held to account. "KPMG must be forced, at least, to tell South Africa where the Saxonwold Shebeen is located."
Hlengiwe Zondo-Kabini, of the corporate governance law firm Fasken Martineau, said that what KPMG had done went straight to the heart of corporate governance.
"Their executives' actions point to a failing in their fiduciary duties. What we see is a complete lapse of judgment, which compromised their fiduciary responsibilities."
She said that although at first KPMG's firing of its top executives was regarded as satisfactory, because it had been thought that only the firm's auditing section had been guilty of poor corporate governance, it was now clear that other KPMG sections had been culpable, including advisory services.
"It's clear KPMG's integrity is severely affected. The firings are not sufficient."
She said professional firms existed purely on integrity.
"KPMG's entire operations and management must be reviewed. The Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors must take South Africans into its confidence about its views on KPMG, which is at risk of losing its operating licence."

Thursday 28 September 2017


Kepala bapak apa lagi yang budak Najib ni nak claim? He wants to be head of everything....! I can only think of one appropriate head that he truly deserves...DICK HEAD! 

PM cites meetings with top leaders in China, where he managed to strike the deal.


Syed Akbar Ali : Thursday Lite - Appa Stories

steadyaku47 comment : Interesting ramblings...

Thursday Lite - Appa Stories
Yesterday I rode the LRT after quite some time. I have that LRT card but there was less than RM2 left so the turnstile gate would not open. I went to the ticket machines (at Ampang Park) to upload some money into the card. No big deal. Then I saw that the screen had changed. Log, Pass 1, 2, 3, 4 popped up. Bottom line I could not upload cash. So I went to the counter. The boy at the counter said ‘Kad ini tak boleh pakai’. I said ok, can I buy another card. The boy hesitated. He kept repeating ‘Kad ini tak boleh pakai’. So I said, ‘Takpa saya nak beli kad baru. Saya nak balik rumah’. The boy was still hesitating. There was some manager type person also inside the ticket booth so I said that the screen is different. The Indian guy said no, the screen was the same. Actually the screen had been changed about three months ago – the ticket boy told me later. I had not taken the LRT for more than three months. I just wanted to buy an LRT card but by this time I am having a slightly annoying conversation with two people inside the ticket booth. The Indian guy then nodded to the ticket boy who again sort of reluctantly sold me a new LRT card for RM20.00. 
What is going on? Are you folks phasing out the LRT cards? Use Touch n Go only? Buy one way tickets only at the machine? Take Uber? Walk on the tracks? I say, dont keep people guessing. Or waiting. Just tell people what we can or cannot do.
Nasib baik ada monopoli. Kalau tak ada monopoli, dah lama dah engko orang bungkus. Tak tahu customer servis, tak tahu cakap simple dan betul, tak peduli kat orang - how can you survive in any business? 
Ok I digress. I told an Indian friend about the strange animal behaviours (my previous blog post). He said that some human beings are also behaving strangely. He said ‘There is one fellow now claiming to be my Appa’. Which I thought was strange too.
Talk is that Dumbno is facing serious internal stresses as well. The power structure in Dumbno is now broken up into a few factions. The entire lot recognise the predicament that Appa has created for them. They are ALL fully aware – without exception. But they are still willing to stand behind Appa because they believe that the Opposition will not be able to win in the next elections. You don’t have to win outright brader. Ours is a multi party democracy. The cat will get skinned. Rest assured about that. 
The other growing power faction in Dumbno would like Appa to step down BEFORE the elections. They want HHO to lead the party into the elections. This is the 2nd Force inside Dumbno and is growing in stature at a rapid clip. 
The 3rd Force in Appa’s team are his closest advisors. These are the real nasties. These are the hangers on. These folks are doing all sorts of nasty things even among themselves. They are sabotaging each other as well. Sh__f__din better watch out. Bapak hang pun bukan asal dari Kerala brader. Hang totok mana? Tapi sebelah hang tu ada satu dua ekor anak Kerala gunning for you. They have offered money. Watch out !!
Talk is that Tok guru Bawang has made it known that Appa told him that he wants to get rid of the Jawa Man. As though we could not have guessed this. But it has moved further along. They are planning to sabotage Jawa Man in his constituency in Perak in the elections. By the way, November 2017 is looking to be a likely time to have the elections – less than 60 days away. So things will be moving quickly soon after this. The 2nd Force may have to move quickly too.
(Folks, if the Barisan Nasional crooks still win the elections, then I am out of this game. You morons can have the gomen and the country and you can go to hell with it. Which you indeed will. I am less than 30 months away from turning 60 and I do believe I will have other things to do. Most probably I will be sorting out how to survive the disaster that is looming. Believe me, they will certainly go to hell.)

There has also been a major falling out between Appa and the Minister of Horse Polo. In the recently concluded sea games, Appa was pissed when the crowd booed him during the closing. He got even more upset when the crowd cheered wildly for the Horsing Around Minister. Talk is Appa summoned the Horsing Around Minister TWICE to come and see him. The Horsing Minister did not go. Appa then asked Jawa Man to summon the Horsing Around Minister. Still he refused to meet jawa Man. 

Maybe the Horsing Around Minister will quit and join PKR? Or Pribumi. Yukk.
By the way who is Jason Loh? A fellow called Jason Loh has been arrested in Dhubai or somewhere over some drug charges. Folks say he is the very good buddy of guess which Minister ??
Talking about getting high, people in the know say that there is another sex video tape. Also involving a top gomen official. The people who have possession of the tape are “investigators” who report to the same guy who is in the tape !! Yup folks. Its a video of their “new” Boss having a good time with some woman – the wife of someone. Ha ha ha. Its NOT the Police IGP ok. Tan Sri Fuzi is a good man. 
The Sarawak BN folks really want to dump the KL BN. The recent SPRM investigations on that sale of the hotel to Felda has sunk its hooks on a few top people in Kuching but that may not be enough to frighten Sarawak. The feeling on the ground in Sarawak (and Sabah) is so anti BN (Semenanjung). To respect the true majority, Sarawak may also see an Iban Chief Minister. And it might stay that way for a long time.
By the way, recall that 90 million Malaysian pies that were given to Bawang. Where did those moolas go? It has come to be that at least 10 million pies went to Tin Sadin’s son. And get this, he has lost ALL those 10 million pies in a failed venture to produce ladies cosmetics. Bodoh punya anak retard – tak tahu niaga. 
By the way who is Tan Sri O__m_n of the M____sian S_____ Service who has been given 30 million pies to buy over Parti Wal Retard? Bayar depa satu juta satu bulan ke Tan Sri? If you are reading this, you know people are watching you as well. Jangan buat kerja kosong. Recall your oath to serve the nation. You serve the people. Not the corrupted politicians.
There are more problems for Dumbno. The economy is really grinding down. To make matters worse a couple of the GLC banks are having some issues. Even Cap Harimau is having some issues. When you say “issues” it means loans turning bad or risky loans. Cap Harimau insiders say they have become a ‘political bank’. They are sitting on some not so good loans. Big ones. The other ‘Bank Melayu yang sudah tukar nama banyak kali’ is sitting on another pile of loans that are not doing so good. One loan for about RM1.7 – 1.8 billion has already turned bad. The borrower cannot "dredge" deep enough. 
To digress again, that Khazanah fellow was "asked" to resign. Khazanah was having their Board Meeting in Turkey and Appa sent someone to inform the Khazanah guy that they wanted him to resign. Or else .. .. . All that 'thank you for your services' was just wayang. Appa did not like his testimony at the RCI. As I said before, this is another case of disposable toilet tissue. After they have used these folks to wipe their behinds, they can just cut them loose. 
Gomen insiders are panicking about the gomen's debt obligations that are due in the next few years. Tun Dr Mahathir says Appa has borrowed over RM200 billion already. The latest being that RM55 billion to build that railroad. The gomen just will not be able to service all this debt. They are going to come to a crashing halt. Unless they tap into KWSP, KWAP, PNB etc. Issue more sukuk and take out more and more money. All our savings will be gone.

These are serious problems, regardless of who will win the elections. Appa and the dumbnos do not know how to handle the problem. 

The problems can be fixed, and it can be fixed very quickly. But people have to be fired, some must go to jail (Truth Commission, Royal Commissions, special Task Forces must be set up to investigate them – right down to their underwear. The Pribumi boys have already put some baddies on notice, beside Appa and gang.) 
There are ways to turn around the economy in double quick time. It can be done. Have faith folks. 
But not with the BN in power. 
Majlis Tertinggi Dumbno cannot understand this.  
Jadi Bawang cannot understand this.  
Ketuanan people with PhDs also cannot understand this. 

So how do you expect the middle classes and the kampong folks to understand this? They will run out of petrol, then they will get down from their cars, stand there and just stare at the sky. Then they will say "Eli, eli lama sabachthani ?"
There was more. Tapi tak boleh cerita semua perkara lah.
Posted by Syed Akbar Ali

Sarawak Report Fire Sale In London Continues! PNB To Flog Half Billion Pound Properties

28 September 2017

The Finance Minister’s desperate scramble for money appears to be continuing as Malaysia’s London buying spree of recent years has been thrown into crash reverse.
Following FELDA’s Kensington hotel sale it has now emerged that Malaysia’s monster savings fund Permodolan Nasional Berhad (PNB) is seeking buyers for two major properties in the city which it bought in 2014.
Those purchases were performed without doubt on the prodding of Najib and his UK business pals, in particular the Tory Trade Envoy, Lord Marland, who has said he regarded Malaysian inward investment into London as one of his signature achievements.
However, the benefits for the Malaysian public were always more questionable. After all, according to the financial press PNB was obliged to borrow a billion dollarsto fund those purchases, making them a risky investment where the rental income would be largely going on funding the borrowing costs:
“..PNB has been in talks with around seven banks, including Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Mizuho Corporate Bank , OCBC Bank, Scotiabank, Standard Chartered Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp and UOB to arrange the facilities.
The first bridge entailed a StanChart-led facility, which will back the 350 million pound purchase of Milton & Shire House on Silk Street, the current headquarters of law firm Linklaters, Basis Point added.
The Malaysian government-linked fund planned to borrow a 250 million pound loan to take out the bridge earlier this year, but it decided to get the larger-sized new loan after it went on to buy two more London properties…[Reuters 2012]
So, what was the point?  Clearly not much, it has been decided, since three years later the fund is unbuttoning the whole expensive deal.

Properties To Join London Availability Glut

If 2014 was arguably a terrible time to invest in London, in the upper reaches of a price bubble inevitably about to burst, right now in 2017 the timing seems terrible for sale. As the headlines on the story make plain, PNB’s massive office blocks at One Silk Street (rented by Linklaters) and 90 High Holborn will join about £10 billion pounds worth of similar property that has also come onto the market as London reaps the negative rewards of Brexit.
Worst time to sell?
Worst time to sell?
The profit or ‘yeild’ on the buildings looks set to be fairly miserable over the period, particularly given the huge costs of acquiring them and servicing the loans.  The buildings have increased in potential value by only 4-5%, which is chicken feed compared to earlier gains on the London property market:
“If the sale is sought it is thought that the 453,474 sq ft Milton & Shire House, which is let for a further nine years to Linklaters, could fetch a price of just over £360m, reflecting a yield of 5.2%. The building at 1 Silk Street produces an income of £18m per annum.
Ninety High Holborn, a 217,654 office building, is expected to be sold for £190m, reflecting a 4.75% yield, or £1,000 per sq ft. The building has five years of income but comes with some vacancy given the departure of one of its tenants, Olswang.
In 2014, PNB bought three office buildings in London – Milton & Shire House (£350m), 1 Exchange Square (£410m) and 90 High Holborn (£140m). PNB also has a 40% stake in the Battersea Power Station development.
Its other major asset, Aviation House, is not currently being considered for sale.[CoStar UK]
What people in Malaysia with savings in PNB will now be wondering, therefore, is why so much hurry to release this money at this unfortunate time?  The Finance Minister cum Prime Minster cum controlling figure over all key appointments in Government Linked Companies (GLCs) has been identified in a recent study as the ultimate decision-maker over how publicly funded institutions like PNB are run. So, what is Najib’s motive?
London glass block for sale
London glass block for sale
With an election looking all the less likely this year, for example, one extremely large payment is now looming from that other Najib controlled entity, which is 1MDB.
The second $600 million tranche of its fine to Abu Dhabi’s IPIC is due at the end of December and 1MDB doesn’t have the cash. So, can we expect to see PNB’s money retrieved in London ploughed into, for example, inflated purchases of 1MDB former properties such as Bandar Malaysia and Air Itam, which could then be funnelled towards those payments?
After that, there are the upcoming expenses of a ‘Money Politics’ style election campaign, of the sort that Najib is the most extravagant practitioner of. People will expect to be bought off with one-off government hand outs, goodie bags and bribes for votes and larger sums will have to go to local strongmen. This is how BN ‘wins’ elections and Najib will be only too aware that this time around the hurdles are higher and therefore even more expensive than before.
He will either have to engage in a fair fight, like real democracies or raid the kitty, meaning Malaysia’s public funds, to get the money.
News of the expected sales is all over the property press
News of the expected sales is all over the property press
Voters need to understand how such election handouts are being achieved at the expense of the public funds that they and their children have been relying on to pay for their old age and to keep the Malaysian economy strong.
It is plain that Najib does not care about their future (or he would have resigned after being identified as MO1).  He cares only his present win; he wants to shake off his scandals, wipe his slate clean and go after all his critics by using the excuse that the ‘people supported him’ in the election.
None of this is in the real interests of ordinary folk or the Malaysian economy.  People need to think twice about accepting a small pay-off in return for surrendering their future security and comfort as funds like PNB are raided for such purposes.