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Video Zahid: Umno leader working with Opposition MPs to topple government

Written By MOHD ZAWAWI on Sunday, 16 August 2015 | 07:44

Video: Muhyiddin: I was never involved in plot to topple the Government

Former A-G: ‘Is it improper for MACC officer to defend agency?’

PETALING JAYA: Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman has questioned whether it was improper for a serving officer in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to defend the integrity of his agency and officers.
He said this yesterday in responding to the statement by Public Service Department (PSD) director-general Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidi Zainal on Thursday on the two MACC directors who were transferred out last Friday and sent back on Monday.
On Wednesday, Abu Talib was reported in The Star as saying that Chief Secretary Tan Sri Ali Hamsa and Mohamad Zabidi prima facie were guilty under the Penal Code of obstructing the officers from performing their duties, by transferring them without giving them the opportunity to be heard first.
He had asked Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali to instruct the police to investigate Ali and Mohamad Zabidi.
Yesterday, Mohamad Zabidi said the action taken against MACC’s special operations division director Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin and strategic communications director Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob was not connected to their core duties.
He said action was taken under Regulation 19 of the Civil Service Regulations (Conduct and Discipline) 1993, adding that MACC’s Code of Ethical Conduct clearly prohibits any MACC officer from making a public statement without the permission of the Chief Commissioner or to openly expressing any dissatisfaction about the commission and the Government.
“The explanation given by the PSD director-general sounds very interesting to me,” said Abu Talib when contacted.
“How is it improper for a serving officer in the MACC to defend the integrity of his department and the status of his officers?”
Asked whether officers were not bound to the rules and regulations governing members of the civil service, Abu Talib replied: “They are subject to the rules but these two were transferred without due process. That is not correct.”
“It started with investigations into the leakage of information from the Special Task Force’s probe into 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd).
“Is it wrong to thank members of the public who came to support MACC officers in the exercise of their lawful duties?” he asked.

Muhyiddin: Is there an invisible hand in 1MDB probe?

Tan Sri Muhyiddin YassinKEMAMAN: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said people are now questioning if there is an invisible hand interfering in the investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
“What is going on with the people who are supposed to investigate 1MDB? The people want to know,” he said when opening the Kemaman Umno division meeting yesterday.
The Umno deputy president said he was unsure if the task force set up to probe 1MDB was still around.
“What has happened to the task force? I was told recently that it is no longer around. It seems like there is an invisible hand that is interfering. Is this a coincidence or is it being done on purpose?” he asked.
Muhyiddin, who was dropped as deputy prime minister in a recent reshuffle, also said it was the Cabinet that wanted the matter to be investigated and as a member, he had only supported the suggestion.
Following that suggestion, he said, a task force was formed to get to the root of the problem and bring those responsible to book.
“The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara and the police were included in the task force. But now it seems things are not going smoothly,” he said, referring to the recent aborted transfer of two MACC directors and the questioning of a few of the commission’s senior officers by the police.
He added that he had raised questions about 1MDB and the RM2.6bil fund channelled into Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal account to save the Prime Minister from being accused of wrongdoings.
Reiterating that he had no ulterior motives when he raised the two issues, Muhyiddin said: “I have never questioned the PM’s prerogatives. The only thing I did was to voice my suggestions on 1MDB and the RM2.6bil fund issue.”
He said he was forced to raise the issue as the public was clamouring for answers after reports on the matters were highlighted by The Wall Street Journal.
“The people have the right to know. When they ask me, all I can say is ‘I don’t know’. They want to know where the money came from.
He said as soon as he read the report about the fund channelled into Najib’s account, he had texted the Prime Minister asking for clarification and suggested that he should act on it.
“All he did was say ‘thank you’ and that he would ask the Attorney-General to clear the air. That was all I was told,” he added.
In Kota Kinabalu, Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said opinions and views voiced by delegates at the ongoing Umno division meetings must be given serious attention by the leadership.
He said ideas on how to strengthen the party’s struggles should be given priority.
The Semporna Umno division chief added that Umno would only remain relevant if it could effectively handle current issues, listen to the people’s concerns and prove that it was sensitive to their needs.

1MDB hits out at ‘recycled allegations’

PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has been recycling various allegations against 1Malaysia Development Bhd which have been answered through ­various press announcements, said 1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
Arul Kanda said 1MDB had already responded to the allegations made by Pua through 48 press announcements since January this year.
He was responding to Pua’s statement asking Arul Kanda to prove his claim that 1MDB was an “open book” and to answer whether the state investment fund transferred nearly US$1.2bil to Gold Star Limited, a company controlled by businessman Jho Low.
In a statement yesterday, Arul Kanda said the Auditor-General presented an interim report to the Public Accounts Committee (of which Pua is a member) early last month answering many of the questions raised.
He added that the PAC would issue its final report on 1MDB by the end of the year.
1MDB is currently being investigated by Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police, the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Auditor-General and PAC

The Edge fails to stay order

KUALA LUMPUR: The Edge Communi­ca­tions Sdn Bhd has failed to get a temporary stay of the Home Ministry’s three-month suspension on its two publications until the outcome of a judicial review.
High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad made the decision in chambers yesterday.
Senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching, who represented the minister, said the application was dismissed on grounds that the publisher failed to show special circumstances to earn a stay.
She said The Edge Communica­tions claimed that it would suffer irreparable harm if the suspension order was not lifted but did not show what the damage would be.
The company does not have to worry about financial loss if the suspension was not lifted now, according to her.
“In the event The Edge wins in a substantive application, they could still be adequately compensated,” she said.
The court granted the company leave on Aug 5 to file an application for a judicial review of the suspension order, with a view to quashing it.
On July 23, the ministry suspended the printing permits of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months, beginning July 27.
It said that articles on the debt-­ridden sovereign fund 1Malaysia Deve­lop­ment Bhd (1MDB) in the publications were detrimental to public order, security and national interests.
Failure to comply with the suspension order would result in revocation of the publishing permits of the publications, the ministry said.
The Edge Media Group, in a statement yesterday, said it was “disappointed and gravely concerned” over the court’s decision not to temporarily stay the Home Minister’s suspension order.
It said that this meant that it would now be deprived of the full benefit of any remedy from a judicial review that it applied for and which has been fixed for hearing on Sept 7. But the group said it respected the court’s decision and would not be appealing.
“We will instead focus on preparing for the judicial review,” it said.
The group also expressed disappointment that no reasons were given by the Home Ministry as to how or why the articles on 1MDB threatened public order, security and national interests.
“No affidavit was filed by the respondents in resisting our application for a stay,” it said.

Justo could be sentenced next week, says lawyer

BANGKOK: Andre Xavier Justo (pic), the Swiss man who blackmailed his former employer PetroSaudi and then tried to sell data which he stole from the company to a group of people whom he said intended to use it to topple Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, could be given a prison sentence in a court in Bangkok as early as next week.
"The date is still not scheduled," Dr Marc Henzelin, a Geneva-based lawyer retained by Justo's wife in Switzerland, said after visiting his client, who is in remand in Thailand, earlier this week.
Justo, 48, was arrested by Thai police at his house in Koh Samui on June 22. He thereafter signed a full confession and, in an interview on July 23 with Singapore's The Straits Times in jail, detailed how he had met a group of buyers in Bangkok and Singapore to sell them the data. He claimed he was not paid the US$2mil (RM8mil) agreed for the transaction.
On July 24, The Edge Media Group's chairman Tong Kooi Ong and publisher Ho Kay Tat confirmed they had agreed to buy the data and had not paid him.
The Swiss national named Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the Britain-based publisher of the Sarawak Report, as the third person involved in the transaction.
"He is pleading guilty, so there will not be a full hearing with witnesses, because the verdict is already done," Dr Henzelin said over the phone from Geneva.
"There will be a hearing which will theoretically take place next week. It is understood from the police that it should take place next week but it may be 10 days. He will be sentenced straight away."
"The fact that he pleads guilty will be a mitigating circumstance. The fact that he collaborated with the police and made confessions will be taken into consideration by the judge. This has to be pleaded by the Thai lawyer and I'm sure he will," Dr Henzelin said.
The lawyer said he had been told that the sentence could range from six months to one-and-a-half years. Under the terms of a treaty between Thailand and Switzerland, if Justo has less than a year to serve, he could be transferred to do the time in Switzerland. But if he had to serve it in Thailand he would accept that, Dr Henzelin said.
Justo was also considering returning the approximately 90GB of stolen data to PetroSaudi, the lawyer said, in the interest of further mitigating his case. - The Straits Times/Asia News Network

‘Right 1MDB decisions made’

Answering queries: A screengrab showing Arul being interviewed on TV3’s Soal Jawab programme.PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Deve­lopment Berhad (1MDB) is an “open book” and is the most investigated company in Malaysia, said the company’s president and executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
“We are being investigated by Bank Negara, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC),” said Arul in an interview on TV3’s Soal Jawab programme last night.
“All the investigations are still going on. We are willing to return to the PAC when new dates are given.
“To me, the PAC (probe) is presently the best of all the investigations as there are Government and Oppo­sition members,” said Arul, adding that the company is ready to face the committee and present the facts.
“What is important is that the investigation carries on and the facts are brought out. Let the investigators continue their probe in a professional manner,” he said.
On the company’s rationalisation exercise, Arul said it is going smoothly and it should be completed in the next five or six months.
“On all major decisions such as the rationalisation plan, we work together as a team, the management, shareholders and board work together to implement the rationalisation plan.”
When asked what would happen if the rationalisation plan fails, he said that some of the loans are backed by the Government so it is imperative for 1MDB not to allow it to fail.
“The pathway is clear with the investors to solve the debt problem,” said Arul.
“We have other options. With the solid assets, the options are there. We do not need to do a fire sale to settle our debts.”
He added that in the long run if good steps are taken, the company can recover.
“I am confident. The future looks clear. I am confident and this is why I am here in Malaysia today,” he said.
He acknowledged, however, that there are times when plans do not succeed due to “outside factors”.
“When we see the challenges, we have to take action. That is important.
“When things do not go according to plan, we have to make corrections and that is what the rationalisation plan is for,” he said.
Arul said earlier that there are many things that 1MDB does that can’t be seen by the public.
“When you reach for your switch to turn on your light, some of that power is provided by 1MDB,” said Arul.
“We are also currently building the eight camps costing RM2.7bil which will be completed by 2018.
“And the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) has RM3bil in infrastructure that can’t be seen. It is below ground. When it is completed, buildings will rise and that you can see,” he said.
On the bad press the company has received, Arul maintained that he aims to provide the truth and facts to keep the public updated.
“There have been 48 press releases issued by 1MDB and along with our Twitter and Facebook accounts, this is how we have reached out to the rakyat to explain 1MDB.”

Video: Affin Bank buys TRX land from 1MDB to build new HQ

Video: We have been honest from the start, says company chief

PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia De­velop­ment Berhad (1MDB) has welcomed confirmation that no funds from the company were transferred into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal account.
“1MDB welcomes the clear statement from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which confirms that no funds from 1MDB were transferred to the Prime Minister,” said 1MDB president and executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy (pic).
Interview with 1MDB new president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy 06 Jan 2015 CHAN TAK KONG/The Star
He said the company had always maintained that it never provided any funds to the Prime Minister and was confident that the “truth will prevail”.
“To continue to suggest otherwise, as PKR secretary-general Rafizi Ramli did in his blog yesterday, is highly irresponsible and a deliberate attempt to undermine the company,” said Arul in a statement yesterday.
He added that 1MDB had “fully disclosed” what the company’s RM42bil debt had been used for in a summary published on June 3.
Arul said such information could be found in 1MDB’s audited and publicly available accounts from March 31, 2010, to March 31, 2014.
MACC released a statement on Monday saying that the RM2.6bil allegedly deposited into Najib’s personal account came from donors and not from 1MDB.
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