Monday, May 21, 2018

Tired Najib Sleeps While Police Tirelessly Search House

Najib Razak’s lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, had posted a picture of his client sleeping on the sofa during the police raid at his private residence in KL last week. 

He had wanted to solicit sympathy for Najib and which I'm sure, pulled a few UMNO heartstrings. 

Abdul Rahim Abdul Rahman who claimed to be Najib's long-time friend and an UMNO Port Dickson member disagreed with the police action, comparing it to communism.

Former UMNO minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan complained on Twitter that Najib’s treatment was inhumane, undignified and humiliating. 

Oh my, how wretched, how woebegone, how sad! 

Tears are welling in my eyes! I’m on the verge of breaking down! 

I don’t recall anybody in UMNO and/or BN protesting when PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim was arrested in a commando-style raid. Nor did any of them say anything about Anwar being hounded with trumped-up charges in Sodomy II. 

What about the humiliation suffered by PM Mahathir Mohamad when his personal staff – his cook, driver, secretary and police protection unit were unilaterally removed? Wasn’t that disrespectful? 

Also the other police arrests. Cartoonist Zunar was dragged from one police station to another. Bersih 2.0's Maria Chin Abdullah was held in solitary confinement for no other reason than for speaking the truth. PKR’s Rafizi Ramli was handcuffed and seen barefoot. Not to mention, others too who were in the same predicament.   

Pix by Ghazali Kori 

Image credit: FMT

(L-R) DAP's Teo Kok Seong, Bersih 2.0's Mandeep Singh and activist Adam Adli. From Hannah Yeoh's Facebook page 

Hold your crocodile tears, UMNO! Don’t shed them yet because Najib has not even been arrested. 

Please wait for awhile longer and when Najib has been cuffed and thrown into the lock-up, then you UMNO people can whine, whimper and wail to your hearts' content!

But if you ask many Malaysians, we can't wait to see Najib and Rosmah bundled off to Sungai Buloh!

Below, are our sentiments actually!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Mahathir In, Najib Out

I spied Mahathir Mohamad’s portrait hung on a wall at Restoran Sri Melur Jaya in Jalan USJ 17/2, Subang Jaya in Selangor on Saturday. 

No other portraits were seen except the Prime Minister’s – it is obvious the proprietor can’t wait to put up Mahathir’s photo! 

Instagram pic, May 10, 2018 

Just one day after GE14, Ayer Hitam Inn manager, Lee Chin Hin took down the photograph of former Prime Minister, Najib Razak at his hotel in Ayer Hitam, Johor. 

It is also obvious that this guy can’t wait to bring Najib down! 

A reflection of the times really. 

Mahathir in, Najib out. 

And Malaysia has a future. 

On Saturday, I attended the MIM Toastmasters Club of Kuala Lumpur meeting at Menara Centara in Jalan TAR, KL. 

I managed to secure a speaking slot and I presented my CC#6 speech on Vocal Variety titled “Self-harm”. 

And I was voted Best Project Speaker. 

My evaluator was right though – not my best speech, not by a long shot. 

The only excuse I can offer in my defence is that I have not made any speeches for quite some time!

Altantayu Shaariibuu May Be Back in the News

Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted of the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, is reportedly demanding a full pardon as a condition for returning to Malaysia and giving his full story to Malaysians. According to Malaysiakini. 

Wah, after so many lies and deception  he now wants to cut a deal! No way!

As Sarawak Report wrote: “Sirul needs to understand that he is still behind bars, facing a hangman’s noose and that the terms of his release of information will be dictated by the authorities who will abide by proper protocols and not Najib-style deals and bargains going forward”.

Sirul fled to Australia after he and former chief inspector Azilah Hadri were found guilty of Altantuya’s murder in 2006. He has been held at an Australian immigration detention centre in Sydney for the past three years. Azilah is on death row in Kajang Prison. 

On Friday, Mongolian president Battulga Khaltmaa (left) had urged the Malaysian government to reopen the case, saying a re-investigation would not only help justice but also ease tensions between the two countries. 

Sirul, in fact, had originally claimed he was ordered by "important people" to murder Altantuya. (Read the background story here

Altantuya was the lover of Abdul Razak Baginda (left) – a former close associate of now deposed Malaysian premier Najib Razak – who was accused of arranging kickbacks for the purchase of two French-built Scorpene-class submarines in 2002. 

Malaysians have long believed that Sirul and accomplice Azilah Hadri, members of an elite police unit that guards top Malaysian ministers, were scapegoats in the killing to hide the involvement of their master(s) at the highest levels of government. 

Already, PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim had suggested Sirul be brought back to Malaysia for a fresh trial. He told The Australian newspaper the original court case and the judges' ruling was "compromised" and the reluctance of the judges to call relevant witnesses "made a mockery of the law". 

"The best way is to proffer a new charge and allow for a full hearing of the case", he had recommended. 

If I’m not mistaken, convicted persons could not be retried for the same crime. 

Perhaps, the two killers could have their death sentences commuted to jail terms – and they could become crown witnesses. At least, their lives are spared.

It is imperative that the “unseen hand(s)” responsible for giving the order to execute Altantuya be brought to justice! 

Anyway, the above would put more pressure on Najib, who is already embroiled in police investigations into money-laundering and possible corruption involving billions of funds from state-owned 1MDB.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Police Swoop Down on Najib Razak

Concealed cash in a compartment in a false wall behind Rosmah Mansor's wardrobe. Pic courtesy of Sarawak Report, May 19, 2018

Source: The Straits Times, Singapore

Photo credit: EPA

Bernama pic

Sealed boxes believed to contain luxury designer bags being loaded into a Black Maria outside Pavilion Residences in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Picture by Hari Anggara

Heavy lifting of a luggage suspected of carrying hard cash. Webpage, May 19, 2018

Image credit: Webpage, May 18, 2018
Pix courtesy of Bernama
The Malaysian Times, May 18, 2018

A police officer allegedly carrying a money-counting machine at the Pavilion Residents in Jalan Raja Chulan. Pic by Luqman Hakim Zubir

Pix courtesy of Hadi Azmi/BenarNews

I had already said the police had laid siege to Najib Razak’s private residence in Kuala Lumpur. 

On Wednesday – one report I read put the time at 9:30 PM and another said 10 PM – the authorities descended upon the Taman Duta bungalow and began to carefully comb through the mansion. 

That was not their only target – four other locations too were subjected to simultaneous searches – his office, as well as three luxury condominium units – two of which had been identified as being in Blocks A and B of the Pavilion Residences that, according to Malay Mail, are occupied by Najib’s two children Norashman Najib and Nooryana Najwa Najib. 

I also read the raids took a long time – one report mentioned 18 hours and another report asserted that the police completed their operations just before 2 AM Friday morning – whatever it is, I can only presume there was just too much bounty to confiscate! 

Najib’s lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal labelled the police action as harassment – even as the raids were carried out under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001. 

At No. 11, Jalan Langgak Duta, the police carted away at least 10 boxes that the attorney insisted contained only apparel, handbags and other miscellaneous stuff – but no documents. He described them as “insignificant” personal items and maintained nothing incriminating had been found. 

And at the Jalan Raja Chulan apartments, Sarawak Report alleged that “no less than 5 whopping vans were filled with cash, jewellery and luxury goods” that were removed from the said premises on Friday. 

One report trumpeted the police had confiscated 284 distinctive Hermes orange handbag boxes and 72 pieces of luggage containing jewelry and cash, ringgit as well as foreign currencies. 

Wowee, we all can surmise that the ubiquitous orange boxes must be Rosmah Mansor’s notoriously famous Birkin Bag collection, that is valued at anything up to a quarter of a million dollars each or maybe even more. Total up the ones that were confiscated and you are looking at potentially $50 million alone. A very expensive and extravagant fetish indeed. 

The Prime Minister of Malaysia must be very handsomely paid to be able to afford so many of these luxuries for his spouse! 

Mahathir Mohamad should be extra thrilled – he is Prime Minister now, so he can start lavishing branded goods on Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali. 

Police also expanded their search to include Seri Perdana, Najib’s former official residence – there, cops seized cheque books, laptops, CCTV recordings. 

I did mention that the Najib saga is expected to go on for some time. I betcha it will be even more interesting and intriguing, maybe even more intoxicating than the pretentious and pompous Malay drama series Malaysians watch on telly! 

True enough, yesterday, Najib (right) himself volunteered the information that his life is at risk and asked to be put under witness protection! 

Malay Mail had sighted the police report he made – where he claimed that through his own sources, there were threats directed at him that came not only from within the country, but also from abroad. It was further alleged that these threats were from people who were directly and indirectly linked to 1MDB funds internationally. 

Besides the above, Najib also avouched that the impounded items were gifts from friends. And the cash was actually donations meant for Barisan Nasional’s election campaign. 

ROTFLMAO!!! He really thinks Malaysians are not only gullible but also very stupid. 

Today, Najib’s lawyer issued a statement where Najib criticized the “cavalier and irresponsible” manner in which the raids were conducted. 

“This is reflected by the manner in which police personnel helped themselves to food and chocolates in the refrigerator”, according to FMT

The online news portal added that Najib had also denounced the police personnel who were at his children’s homes who demanded that meals be prepared for them. 

In the meantime, Rosmah Mansor (right), who has been regularly panned for flaunting her wealth, took issue with the way in which the cameras filmed the police raids. 

In a statement issued through her lawyers today, the vamp said the “media hailstorm” was “a seemingly targeted vilification of our family to provoke public anger” and railed against the publication of details of the articles taken from her home. 

“Enforcement agencies should not be feeding social media trolls”, she complained. 

Imagine that – the vixen doesn’t like it one bit! Hahaha!

And I’m sure the Najib saga will continue to be more engaging and entertaining!

Clare Rewcastle-Brown Returns to Malaysia

Clare Rewcastle-Brown of Sarawak Report fame arrived in Malaysia yesterday after the new government tore up an arrest warrant made against her. 

“It was very relaxed at the airport, no problems with immigration”, she told Reuters in a phone interview. “It’s a big sigh of relief for me”. 

Clare Rewcastle-Brown had published details of the alleged transfer of $681 million from the government-owned 1MDB through bank accounts held by former prime minister Najib Razak. 

And Najib, of course, has consistently denied any wrongdoing. 

Rewcastle-Brown, a British subject, was born in Sarawak and even spent her early years there. But Malaysian authorities issued a warrant for her arrest in 2015, citing activities “detrimental to parliamentary democracy”, whatever that means. 

Sarawak Report which was previously blocked in Malaysia is now accessible. I have already gone into her blog since Thursday.

Friday, May 18, 2018

The 14-member Malaysian Cabinet

Latest appointments. Our 14-member Cabinet: 
  • Prime Minister – Mahathir Mohamad (Bersatu - Langkawi) 
  • Deputy Prime Minister – Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (PKR – Pandan). 
  • Also, named Minister of Women and Family Development. 
  • Home Minister – Muhyiddin Yassin (Bersatu – Pagoh) 
  • Education Minister – Dr Maszlee Malik (Bersatu – Simpang Renggam) 
  • Minister of Rural Development – Rina Harun (Bersatu – Titiwangsa) 
  • Minister of Economic Affairs – Mohamed Azmin Ali (PKR – Gombak) 
  • Minister of Housing and Local Government – Zuraida Kamaruddin (PKR – Ampang) 
  • Minister of Finance – Lim Guan Eng (DAP – Bagan) 
  • Minister of Transport – Anthony Loke Siew Fook (DAP – Seremban) 
  • Minister of Communications and Multimedia – Gobind Singh Deo (DAP – Puchong) 
  • Human Resource Minister – M Kulasegaran (DAP – Ipoh Barat) 
  • Defence Minister – Mohamad Sabu (Amanah – Kota Raja) 
  • Minister of Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry – Salahuddin Ayub (Amanah – Pulai)
  • Health Minister – Dzulkefly Ahmad (Amanah – Kuala Selangor) 

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the above.

All four component parties of Pakatan Harapan are represented.

GST Zero-rated wef June 01

A young boy poses with a poster asking for the GST to be abolished during a May Day rally in Kuala Lumpur on May 1, 2014. Image credit: The Star Online, May 16, 2018

The decision has been made. Goods and services subject to GST will be zero-rated from June 01, 2018. 

This means that May 31 is the last day of GST in Malaysia. 

In other words, consumers will not be charged GST and suppliers will also not have to bear this consumption tax. 

Therefore, the price of goods and services must come down by 6% or more after it is zero-rated. 

Registered businesses are still subject to all current regulations such as issuing tax invoices, submitting tax statements and claiming input tax credit. 

As an additional note, PM Mahathir Mohamad had declared that the government will need to bring back sales tax to replace GST. 

This zero-rating move by the government is of course, pretty much transitional. It allows the PH government to fulfill its promise to remove GST immediately without too much business disruption. And also affording the government more time to plan and reintroduce the sales and services tax. 

The real issue behind this GST ‘correction’ is to see an immediate reduction of the GST portion that is affixed to the price of goods and services. 

Of course, the government will need to look at some sort of mechanism to ensure that prices actually do come down. And stays down. 

That is the rakyat’s expectation no less. 

Pakatan Harapan has now delivered one of their key election promises! 

Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 has demanded the immediate resignation of all seven Election Commissioners, charging them with 278 violations during GE14. 

Executive director Yap Swee Seng said they are also seeking to charge the commissioners and some election officers for breaking the law leading up to and during GE14.

The 278 violations are based on the number of complaints or reports made to Bersih during the election. These include 62 cases of wrongly-labelled state and Parliament ballot boxes, 37 cases of officers refusing to properly cross names off the electoral roll, and 36 cases of impersonation or phantom voters, among others. 

Bersih advocacy and education officer Zoe Randhawa spoke of instances where vote buying occurred in Sabah. 

“Cash amounting to RM200 and sometimes more were handed out to voters in Keningau, Tawau and Pensiangan by BN. In Keningau it was passed off as travel allowance”, she said.  
Other cases included biased behaviour by election officials and workers at the polling stations who instructed elderly or disabled voters who they should vote for, ballot papers at 16 schools that were without markings, stamp or serial numbers, and difficulties faced by some in accessing polling stations. 

I had read a news report in The Sun today that says polls watchdog Bersih 2.0 are willing to help set up an effective Election Commission. 

I agree because they have the relevant expertise to contribute to electoral reforms which are badly needed. 

Plus the need to place the EC under parliamentary scrutiny – and making the appointments of their members subject to the legislative body’s approval. 

As a first step, the EC chairperson Hashim Abdullah (left) should be sacked. Now.

And once this is done, the  Election Commission  actually, they should be rightfully labelled Election Cheats – should be held fully accountable for all their misdeeds during GE14. 

Only then can the EC engage with civil society and begin the much-needed reforms.