Malaysia goes to UK court to challenge IPIC-1MDB consent award US$5.78bil (RM24.16bil)


Malaysia legally challenges a consent award granted in 2017 to Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), following a debt dispute with its state investment fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

Under the consent award, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78 billion to IPIC and the bond trustee over five years. The country has paid US$1.46 billion so far.
Below is the full media statement from Malaysia’s attorney-general, Tommy Thomas, explaining why the country is filing the legal challenge.

CHALLENGING THE IPIC ARBITRATION CONSENT AWARD

1. The Government of Malaysia will apply to the Courts of England for an order to set aside a Consent Award recorded on 9th May 2017 by an Arbitration Tribunal sitting in London. We are confident that we have a strong case. The Arbitration, conducted under the Rules of the London Court of International Arbitration, was between International Petroleum Investment Company (“IPIC”) and Aabar Investments PJS, as Claimants, and 1MDB and our Minister of Finance Inc., as Respondents.

2. Under the Consent Award, Malaysia is obliged to pay US$5.78 billion to IPIC and the Bond Trustee over a five year period. So far, US$1.46 billion has been paid, leaving a balance of US$4.32 billion, with the next interest payment of US$50 million due on 11th November 2018. Similar interest payments are payable periodically until April 2022. The final bullet payments, representing principal and interest of US$1.8 billion each, are due and payable in May and October 2022.

3. The basis of Malaysia’s legal challenge in the High Court in London is that the Consent Award was procured by fraud or in a manner contrary to public policy. The Court application relates to the knowledge of IPIC and Aabar of the serious allegations made by the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) against former Prime Minister and Finance Minister Najib Razak, who was also the moving spirit and ultimate decision maker in 1MDB. Such knowledge on their part was acquired, “inter alia”, no later than the time when the DOJ’s Press Conference was held by the Attorney General of the United States, Loretta Lynch, in July 2016 when she announced the filing by by DOJ of several civil suits for the freezing of assets purchased by fraudsters from stolen proceeds, and popularly described as the greatest kleptocracy in modern history.

4. The grave, detailed allegations in those DOJ court documents were given tremendous global publicity, particularly in the political and business media. They had certainly entered the global public domain by July 2016. Najib Razak is identified as “MO1” in the DOJ pleadings. Any reasonable reader reading these court documents would immediately become aware of his central role in defrauding 1MDB to the benefit of himself, his stepson and Jho Low.

5. In such circumstances, Malaysia takes the position that IPIC and Aabar were aware of the fraud of Najib Razak. He was principally responsible for 1MDB and Minister of Finance Inc. consenting to the Award. Every system of law would hold that he could not possibly have acted in the best interests of his country and his company. Indeed, he did not. Fraud is an established ground to challenge the consent award for public policy reasons.

6. We are pleased to report that the application will be filed today in the High Court in London. Malaysia will claim that as a result of the fraud, we are relieved from any obligation to pay the balance of the US$4.32 billion to IPIC or Aabar under the Consent Award, and additionally have a right to recover the US$1.46 billion already paid.

Tommy Thomas
Attorney General
30th October 2018
 

Related:

 

1MDB and IPIC settle arbitration proceedings

 

 

Govt to appeal consent award – Nation | The Star Online

 

 

Malaysia to appeal for order to set aside RM24.16bil consent award in …

 

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Behind crazy rich Singapore’s mask, a growing class divide


Inequality bites: In Singapore, households with accumulated wealth and connections over past generations, like the hit movie’s protagonist Nick Young’s family and friends, can pass on advantages to their offspring. — AP
Inequality bites: In Singapore, households with accumulated wealth and connections over past generations, like the
hit movie’s protagonist Nick Young’s family and friends, can pass on advantages to their offspring. —AP
Two Singapores: Poverty has always existed in the cosmopolitan city state, but the setting of the hit movie ‘Crazy
Rich Asians’ has seen a widening income gap in the past few years. —Reuters

 There is another side to the Lion City’s fabled wealth: a widening gap between rich and poor that is forcing its citizens to question whether their home is really the land of opportunity they once thought.

IN the background, a luxury goods shop, a stooped elderly cleaner sweeping its storefront; on one side of the bridge sits expensive condominiums, bars and restaurants, on the other, rental flats housing Singapore’s poorest.

These scenes unfolded in a documentary titled Regardless of Class by Channel News Asia released on Oct 1, with a security guard revealing he felt as though he was not treated like a person. A cleaner said: “I know I’m invisible. I have to get used to this, and learn to stop caring.”

Poverty and inequality in the city state – the setting of the hit movie Crazy Rich Asians and where the per capita income is among the highest in the world, hitting US$55,000 (RM228,494) last year – has always existed.

But in the last year, Singaporeans have been confronted with discomfiting evidence of growing social stratification, shaking to the core a belief that meritocracy can smooth out unequal beginnings and lead to more equal outcomes.

Sociologist Tan Ern Ser from the National University of Singapore said class origin or background now had a greater influence on opportunity and social mobility, as the country faced slowing growth, job losses and obsolescence and an ageing population.

Singapore’s Gini coefficient, a measurement of income inequality from zero to one – with zero being most equal – has fluctuated above 0.40 since 1980 before adjusting for taxes and transfers. It was 0.417 last year. In the United Kingdom, it was 0.52 in 2015, the United States was at 0.506, and Hong Kong reached a record high of 0.539 in 2016.

Experts say inequality in itself is not worrying – sociologist Tan said it could even “be good for motivating people to want to do better”.

But in Singapore’s case, it has allowed households with accumulated wealth and connections over past generations to pass on advantages to their offspring, helping them to shine, while those without the same social capital and safety nets are forced to toil harder to do the same.

As Singapore University of Social Sciences economist and nominated Member of Parliament Walter Theseira put it: “If you can buy advantages for your child, such as tuition and enrichment, they are going to end up doing better in terms of meritocratic assessments.”

Donald Low, associate partner at Centennial Asia Advisors and the former associate dean at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, said Singapore’s meritocratic and universal education system for the past 50 years led to a great deal of social mobility initially, but society would “settle” after a few decades.

“This is amplified by marriage sorting. That is the well-educated marrying one another and passing on their advantages to their children,” Low said.

A paper published last December by local think-tank Institute of Policy Studies, which demonstrated the sharpest social divisions were based on class, not race or religion, started the latest debate on the impact of inequality.

The report, co-authored by sociologist Tan, showed low interaction between students who attended elite and regular schools, and between Singaporeans living in private and public housing.

This was followed by a bestselling book by Nanyang Technological University sociologist Teo You Yenn titled This is What Inequality Looks Like, which told of the experiences of the low income group, and the systemic issues keeping them poor.

In early October, a six-minute clip on Facebook of the Regardless of Class documentary sparked feelings of discomfort, guilt and self-reflection among Singaporeans – possibly from realising “there may well be two Singapores in our midst”, said former nominated Member of Parliament Eugene Tan, a law don at Singapore Management University.

In it, six students from different education streams talked about their dreams and school experiences.

Some were aiming for an overseas degree and a minimum of A’s; others just wanted to pass their examinations.

When presenter Janil Puthucheary, a Cabinet member, mooted putting students of mixed abilities together in one classroom, a girl from the higher education stream said it was not viable, as “it might even increase the gap if these students feel like they can’t cope so they just give up completely”.

Puthucheary asked if the conversation was awkward.

One boy from the lower education stream said: “The way they speak and the way I speak (are) different, I feel like.

Another student completed the sentence: “Like they are high class and we are not.”

Seetoh Huixia, a social worker for 13 years who is assistant director of AWWA Family Services, said she had seen this sort of low self esteem in the people she works with. “The sense of us versus them, the inferiority complex, that they’re not good enough,” she said.

The Straits Times opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong wrote: “It got me thinking; how did we become a society that looks down on people for the work they do or the grades they get? Are we all complicit in this? Can anything be done to turn our society inside out so that we are all less disdainful, more respectful, of one other?”

Academics felt the documentary was a good conversation starter, but urged Singaporeans to look at the underlying causes of this class divide.

Low said the documentary was problematic because “the root causes of economic inequality, an elitist education system and the government’s anti-welfarism are not interrogated, and that a complex issue (of structural inequality) is reduced to people not having enough empathy or being snobbish”.

“All this class consciousness and implicit bias is a function of our systems and policies,” he added.

Teo urged Singaporeans to look beyond attitudes and focus on the inequality that had led to the divide.

“We must not focus on perceptions – whether of ourselves or others – at the expense of real differences in daily struggles and well-being. The perceptions exist in response to those differences. Just as thinking about gravity differently would not stop a ball rolling downhill, pretending differences don’t exist isn’t going to magically make the differences disappear,” she said.

Sociologist Tan said structural changes through policies would be critical. “It can’t be just about telling people to be nice and respectful toward one another.”

Experts have in the last decade proposed ways in which Singapore can mitigate gnawing income inequality, ranging from policy changes in the areas of wages, taxes on wealth, social spending, housing and education.

The government has responded by increasing its social spending — supplementing the income of low-wage workers, introducing a universal health insurance scheme, increased personal income tax rates for high earners. It has also expanded its network of social service touchpoints and just in September tweaked the education system to reduce the emphasis on examinations.

But its social spending is still lower than Nordic countries and personal income taxes remain competitive to attract talent, leading developmental charity Oxfam and non-profit research group Development Finance International to this month call out the government for “harmful tax practices”, low public social spending, no equal pay or non-discrimination laws for women and lack of a minimum wage.

They ranked Singapore in the bottom 10 of 157 governments (at 149th place), ranked on how they were tackling the growing gap between rich and poor.

The government staunchly disagreed with the report, with Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee saying Singapore’s outcomes in health care, education and housing were better than most countries despite spending less. The World Bank’s Human Capital Index, leaders noted, placed Singapore top for helping people realise their full potential.

One area experts agree on is that more tweaks are needed to the education system.

Singapore Management University’s Tan said apart from higher wealth taxes, “the education system needs to ensure not just equal opportunities but endeavour to provide for equal access to opportunities. There is a world of difference between the two. We may have focused on the former but not enough on the latter”.

Low said the education system needed to be “truly egalitarian”.

He suggested the state funds a national early childhood education system for children aged four onwards to remove segmentation from the get-go, to remove the national exam sat by 12-year-olds in Singapore and have schools run for the entire day so parents do not fill their children’s afternoons with tuition.

Theseira had a more novel solution: affirmative action that accords favours to the disadvantaged.

“It basically says that somebody from a disadvantaged background who achieves the same thing as somebody from a privileged background should be given much more credit because that is actually a much bigger achievement given the starting point,” he said.

“Are we willing to contemplate that? I don’t think we are at the moment but it’s a very obvious policy that addresses this problem with the definition of meritocracy.”

There must be a sense that a class divide is harmful for everyone, especially among those who have thrived under the current system, Eugene Tan said.

“A class divide could threaten Singapore’s existence because it would pit Singaporeans against Singaporeans. The divide would render Singapore to be rife with populism and to be consumed by sub-national identities. The class divide is also likely to reinforce existing cleavages based on race, religion and language.” — South China Morning Post by kok xing hui

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Separate role for property managers


KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Institute of Professional Property Managers and Facility Managers (MIPFM) is suggesting property and facility management to be treated independently from valuation.

President Sarkunan Subramaniam said the bias towards valuers had to stop if property management is to progress in today’s fast-changing digital and technology capabilities.

“I urge the Board of Valuers, Appraisers, Estate Agents and Property Managers to reconsider its decision and listen to the professional bodies.

“Giving a property management licence to one who has no or little experience in property management is dangerous,” he said.

Sarkunan was speaking at the MIPFM Conference 2018 on Bridging Property Management and Facility Management.

He said the current real estate degrees are skewed towards valuation subjects. Those who trained in predominantly valuation-based companies have little to no experience in managing properties.

Government valuers, having passed valuers test, are automatically handed the property management licence.

Sarkuanna, himself a valuer, is calling for objectivity. He said the diverse range of office buildings, mixed integrated projects and stratified residential projects must be matched with parallel top grade maintenance. Or their value may suffer.

“I will get a lot of opposition for my views but this is for the good of the real estate sector,” he said.

Sarkunan also highlighted the rife corruption in this field. “Corruption in procurement, kickbacks and side money is so prevalent that it has rusted performance, bringing many buildings to a grinding halt,” he said.

Sarkunan related the tale of two office blocks in Bangsar where seven out of its nine management committee (MC) members have resigned, the chairman among them.

Those who resigned were from Tower A, which the developer had earlier sold to private individual owners. Tower B belonged to the developer who had put the building under a real estate investment trust.

There was a cash surplus in the accounts. It seems that during the period when the developer was managing the property, the developer apportioned all surplus monies collected to the tower they retained. When the MC took over, it faced a defiant developer.

The Commissioner of Buildings has directed an extraordinary general meeting to be held.

In another case, a developer refused to pave the way for a joint management body (JMB) to be formed because it wanted to control the money collected, Sarkunan said. COB stepped in to resolve the issue.

Transparency International Malaysia president Datuk Seri Akhbar Satar said fraud and corruption is common due to the variety of goods and services involved.

Satar said that in 2010, Palm Court Condominium residents alleged that about RM144,000 was misappropriated. The committee agreed to take “appropriate measures” but refused an independent audit.

On Jan 31, 2017, members of a JMB were arrested by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for allegedly misappropriating RM1.5mil.

Satar said cases like these highlighted the need for a culture of integrity and transparency.

– The Star by Thean Lee Cheng

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China leads the way as world’s billionaires get even richer


The United States created 53 new billionaires in 2017, down from 87 five years ago
China produced around
two new billionaires a week last year as the fortunes of the world’s
ultra-rich soared by a record amount, a report said Friday.Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-china-world-billionaires-richer.html#jCp
China produced two new billionaires a week last year as the fortunes of the world’s ultra-rich soared by a record amount – AFP

China produced around two new billionaires a week last year as the fortunes of the world’s ultra-rich soared by a record amount, Swiss banking giant UBS and auditors PwC said.

Billionaires’ wealth enjoyed its “greatest-ever” increase in 2017, rising 19 percent to $8.9 trillion ($7.8 billion euros) shared among 2,158 individuals, said the report by Swiss banking giant UBS and auditors PwC.

But Chinese billionaires expanded their wealth at nearly double that pace, growing by 39 percent to $1.12 trillion.

“Over the last decade, Chinese billionaires have created some of the world’s largest and most successful companies, raised living standards,” said Josef Stadler, head of Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management.

“But this is just the beginning. China’s vast population, technology innovation and productivity growth combined with government support, are providing unprecedented opportunities for individuals not only to build businesses but also to change people’s lives for the better.”

The report said China minted two new billionaires a week in 2017, among more than three a week created in Asia.

In the Americas region, the wealth of billionaires increased at a slower rate of 12 percent, to $3.6 trillion, with the United States creating 53 new billionaires in 2017 compared to 87 five years ago.

Currency appreciation saw European billionaires’ wealth grow 19 percent although the number of billionaires rose by just 4.0 percent to 414.

Wealth transition from just five families accounted for 30 percent of the continent’s wealth expansion, the study said.

It warned of lower economic growth in the United States and China if the trade war between the two countries escalates.

“US and Asia ex-Japan equities could fall by 20 percent from their mid-summer 2018 levels.”

Asia challenging US dominance

For China’s young billionaires “the country’s fundamentals of a huge population and rising technology will continue to offer fertile conditions for entrepreneurs to grow their businesses,” the study said.

It there were only 16 Chinese billionaires as recently as 2006.

“Today, only 30 years after the country’s government first allowed private enterprise, they number 373 – nearly one in five of the global total.”

It said 97 percent of them are self-made, many of them in sectors such as technology and retail.

Billionaires from Asia, especially in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, are now challenging the traditional dominance of Americans as technology entrepreneurs.

“In 2017, they equalled America’s level of venture capital funding for start-ups, registered four times as many Artificial-Intelligence-related patents and three times as many blockchain and crypto-related patents as their US counterparts.”

Ravi Raju, head of Asia Pacific Ultra High Net Worth at UBS Global Wealth Management, said Asia’s billionaires “are young and relentless. They are constantly transforming their companies, developing new business models and shifting rapidly into new sectors.”

The report said that globally, self-made billionaires have driven 80 percent of the 40 main breakthrough innovations over the last 40 years.
UP AND OUT OF POVERTY – Xi Jinping https://youtu.be/SYWz2bwCUEE

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© 2018 AFP /Phys.org

Asia’s billionaires see fastest wealth growth: report 
September 17, 2014 

 

 Asia’s billionaires see fastest wealth growth: report

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Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-china-world-billionaires-richer.html#jCp

Asia’s billionaires see fastest wealth growth: report



September 17, 2014

Asia’s billionaires led by Chinese tycoons enjoyed the
fastest increase in their wealth this year compared to their peers in
the rest of the world, a report said Wednesday.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-10-china-world-billionaires-richer.html#jCp

 

Action taken over irregularities at Bukit Kukus paired road project Penang


https://youtu.be/dMF95t2gXzg

Special task force formed to probe landslide

GEORGE TOWN: The state government has formed a special investigative committee to probe the landslide at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road construction site in Paya Terubong.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow said preliminary reports by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) and the Drainage and Irrigation Department showed there were elements of non-compliance in construction procedures carried out at the site.

He said the committee would be led by Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Ahmad Zakiyuddin Abdul Rahman, with State Public Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari as a member and an engineer from the state secretary’s office.

“Relevant agencies, contractors, sub-contractors and independent checking engineers involved in the project will be questioned,” he said during a press conference in his office at Komtar yesterday.

Chow said this was a separate investigation from the compulsory investigations carried out by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health and Construction Industry Development Board among other relevant agencies.

Once investigations are complete, Chow said the findings would be brought to the Board of Engineers Malaysia, an agency under the Works Ministry that monitors and regulates engineers.

“MBPP is not involved in the investigation as it is the project owner,” said Chow.

Action taken over irregularities at paired road project, says Zairil

A special task force detected several irregularities when conducting spot checks at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project site earlier this month.

State Works, Utilities and Flood Mitigation Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the task force, formed under the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Committee (Ops Lumpur), was to check for compliance under the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Plan (ESCP).

“On Oct 8, a team led by the Drainage and Irrigation Department found sediments in a pond and irregularities in the check dams.

“The stockpiles were not maintained well and could affect the flow of Sungai Relau during heavy rain, causing mud floods, he told reporters in Komtar yesterday.

Zairil said as per the standard operating procedure, the Ops Lumpur team issued a letter to the consultant of the project, demanding that mitigation measures be taken within 14 days.

“On Oct 12, the findings of Ops Lumpur were reported to the Erosion and Sedimentation Control Committee and the next day, an initial stop-work order was issued by the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) following the beam collapse.

“A full stop-work order was issued by DOSH on Oct 17,” he said.

Zairil said on Sept 28, his office received a report on the concerns over hill-clearing activities in Penang from the Penang Hills Watch, and replied to them on Oct 4.

“I was concerned about the complaints, as erosion and sedimentation would indeed cause bottlenecks in the rivers downstream, especially during the rainy season.

“Claims that the complaints were not attended to are untrue. In fact, action was taken immediately,” he said adding, “The cause of the Bukit Kukus landslide must be uncovered.”

Separately, Zairil said 17 slopes in the state were under repair and RM10mil had just been approved by the state government. – The Star

Giant pillars a reminder of Bukit Kukus tragedy

Impossible to ignore : The large concrete pillars that remain standing at the Bukit Kukus landslide site in Paya Terubong.

GEORGE TOWN: A row of giant concrete pillars soaring high into the sky serves as a reminder of the landslide tragedy which claimed nine lives at the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project in Paya Terubong.

The tallest of them stands at about 20 storeys and remains perched between the hills where soil erosion brought down 13 containers housing the ill-fated foreign workers last Friday.

Before the Department of Occupational Safety and Health Department (DOSH) gives the all clear for the project to resume, most of the workers at the site have remained while a few moved out to look for temporary work.

A Bangladeshi worker who declined to be named was seen carrying a cardboard box containing his personal belongings to another construction site nearby.

“The boss said there is no more work here, so I contacted my friend who recommended me for another job. I will be staying at his place.

“Once this project resumes, I shall come back,” the 30-year-old said.

At the site, rubble was scattered all over the 9,290 sq m site with the 13 green containers salvaged by cranes left in a corner.

The last foreign worker to be found was 33-year-old Bangladeshi Mohamad Uzzaal. He was pinned under a container and rescuers had to dig 10m to extricate the body.

At the height of the ops, two cadaver dogs were despatched to the scene to search for bodies while two other sniffer dogs were there to locate survivors.

A small open area beside a farm further up the hill above the site where photographers and videographers camped for five days to capture the ongoing rescue operation remains cordoned off.

On Monday, the media was taken on a tour of the site after the search and rescue operation, involving over 100 rescue personnel, was called off.

The water in the stream, which looked like teh tarik on Friday, was crystal clear now after its flow on top of the hill was diverted.

Even as the ops ended and all the missing foreign workers had been located, residents living nearby raised their concerns over the project.

Technician Tan Keng Wee, 36, hoped that the project would continue since most of it had already been done, but wanted better safety measures in place at the site.

“The traffic in Paya Terubong during peak hours is chaotic due to the narrow road passing by the hills. We need the new elevated road bypass but please make sure it is safe,” he said.

Food stall operator Mohd Subri Noor, 52, also shared his concern.

“I’m worried as many landslides have happened here. Many of them could have been prevented,” he said.

The RM530mil alternative road linking Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam to Lebuh Bukit Jambul began in January 2016.- The Star

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Ex-PM Najib, his treasury sec-gen Irwan & spy boss Hasanah charged with CBT RM6.63bil


 

Video:

http://content.jwplatform.com/players/kjcF5B9i-dBiC3tzP.html

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/TvIDOltg-dBiC3tzP.html

Keys officials: Hasanah (left) and Irwan

 

UMNO Irwan Serigar Has More Than 7000 Young Girls He Spends …

Ex-PM and Irwan slapped with six counts of CBT

KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has been brought to court several times but yesterday, he shared a dock at the Sessions Court with former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

The two were jointly charged with six counts of criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving funds totalling RM6.636bil that belongs to the government.

Najib, 65, was the first accused while Dr Mohd Irwan, 61, was named as the second accused.

According to the first two charge sheets, the two men were entrusted with dominion over RM1.2bil and RM655mil respectively, and committed CBT in respect of those sums.

The third charge alleges that Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan committed CBT relating to RM220mil in the government’s Federal Consolidated Fund. The amount was allocated for administration expenses for the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

The RM1.3bil at the centre of the fourth charge was in the same fund and classified as an allocation for subsidy and cash aids.

The fifth and sixth charges were for allegedly committing CBT in respect of 1.95 billion yuan (RM1.261bil) and RM2bil.

All the offences were allegedly committed at the Finance Ministry office in Putrajaya between Dec 21, 2016, and Dec 18, 2017.

The charges were framed under Section 409 of the Penal Code and each carries a jail term of between two and 20 years with whipping, if convicted.

Offenders are also liable to fines. Section 409 covers CBT by public servants and agents.

Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan pleaded not guilty, with both replying “Minta bicara (I claim trial)” after each charge was read out by the court interpreter.

Former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who was appointed by the Attorney General’s Chambers to lead the prosecution, suggested bail at RM3mil each.

Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah objected, saying that his client had already paid RM4.5mil bail accumulatively for his previous 32 charges, an amount which could be “highest in the history of Malaysia”.

“A bail’s only criterion is to ensure his attendance and nothing else. It cannot be punitive. It cannot be oppressive,” he said, adding that his client’s accounts and assets had also been frozen.

Dr Muhammad Shafee asked the court to make an order for Najib to utilise the RM4.5mil bail for his current case.

Datuk K. Kumaraendran, who represented Dr Mohd Irwan, said the prosecution itself did not object to bail, which showed that his client was not a flight risk, and suggested bail of RM500,000 for his client.

Sri Ram replied that the court should not allow the first accused to utilise his RM4.5mil bail for the case as the charges were new.

“The sum we asked for is not fixed on the totality of the sum involved,” he said.

Sri Ram added that the second accused was paid “excessively” during his tenure as the Treasury secretary-general.

“This is not a tale of a good Samaritan. He is the trustee of the highest order of money in this country. He stands before you accused of breaching that trust.

“Any other sum would not reflect the justice of the case,” Sri Ram said.

Sessions Court judge Azman Ahmad allowed bail at RM1mil in two sureties for each of the accused.

He also ordered Dr Mohd Irwan to surrender his passport. Najib had surrendered both his civilian and diplomatic passports in his earlier court case.

The court also allowed for the accused to pay RM500,000 yesterday and to pay the balance in 10 days. Both accused paid the bail.

The case is set for mention on Nov 29. – The Star by nurbaiti hamdanroyce tan

Ex-spy chief Hasanah claims trial to US$12mil CBT

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/5lsufbE9-dBiC3tzP.html

KUALA LUMPUR: Former spy chief Datuk Hasanah Ab Hamid has been charged with criminal breach of trust (CBT) involving US$12.1mil (RM50.3mil) belonging to the government at the Sessions Court here.

The former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) director-general claimed trial before Judge Azman Ahmad on Thursday (Oct 25).

Hasanah, 61, who was charged in her capacity as a director-general of a research division, was accused of committing CBT in the Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya between April 30 and May 9 this year.

The charge was made under Section 409 of the Penal Code, which provides a maximum 20 years’ jail and whipping, as well as a fine upon conviction.

Lead Prosecutor Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram asked for a RM1mil bail.

Hasanah’s counsel Shaharudin Ali, however, asked for the sum to be set at RM300,000.

Judge Azman Ahmad later set bail at RM500,000 in two sureties pending mention on Nov 29. – The Star by maizatul nazlinaroyce tan

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Najib to face RM6bil CBT charge – Nation

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and a former key official of his government will be jointly charged with criminal breach of trust, said to involve more than RM6bil.

The former prime minister and former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah are expected to face six counts of allegedly committing CBT – all involving 1MDB.

The two are to be charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court over 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund International Petro-leum Investment Company (IPIC).

Separately, another top official from the previous administration will also be charged in court.

Former spy agency chief Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid will also be charged with committing criminal breach of trust.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission said it had received the go-ahead from the Attorney General’s Chambers to charge Najib, Dr Mohd Irwan and Hasanah with committing criminal breach of trust involving the government’s money.

With Dr Mohd Irwan being hauled to court, it will be the first time a former civil servant is being charged in connection with the sovereign wealth fund scandal.

As for Najib, the number of charges against him is now close to 40. He is already slapped with a total of 32 charges today involving corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

Sources with knowledge of the case confirmed the number of charges and that the amount of money involved in the 1MDB-IPIC scandal “runs into billions”.

Yesterday, both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan were summoned by investigators. Both came separately at 1.55pm and 3.25pm respectively.

At 5pm, Najib left the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters despite earlier speculation that he would be held overnight.

On the previous occasions, prosecutors had held the former prime minister and brought him to court the next day.

While Najib was released after giving his statement, MACC confirmed that Dr Mohd Irwan was arrested at 3.35pm and was being held overnight. Dr Mohd Irwan had made several trips to the MACC regarding the 1MDB-IPIC case, the last being on Aug 10.

Graft investigators had probed both Najib and Dr Mohd Irwan on 1MDB’s dealings over settlement payment of US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC in 2017.

As for Hasanah, the former director-general of Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation is being charged with criminal breach of trust involving money belonging to the government.

She is being held answerable to committing one count of criminal breach of trust by misappropriating funds worth US$12mil said to be meant for the 14th General Election.

Despite earlier talk that Hasanah would also be held, sources said she was asked to present herself in court today instead.

Hasanah was among nine people who were remanded in September over the misappropriation of the fund. – The Star by mazwin nik anis and joseph kaos jr

Spotlight on Najib’s key officials

PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is to be hauled to court for a third time to face extra charges, but the spotlight will be on former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah and ex-spy boss Datuk Hasanah Abdul Hamid.

The two former top civil servants are expected to face a multitude of charges brought against them by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

All three will have to present themselves today at the MACC headquarters here where they will be held overnight before being taken to the Jalan Duta Courts Complex in the morning.

While it will be the third date in court for the former prime minister, the fresh development involves Irwan and Hasanah, two key officials of Najib.

Irwan is expected face charges in connection with the 1MDB scandal while Hasanah, who headed the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO), is expected to be charged for alleged misappropriation of funds worth US$12mil (RM49mil).

Sources said Najib and Irwan will be charged in connection with 1MDB’s dealings with Abu Dhabi’s wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

However, it could not be confirmed if Najib – who is expected to be slapped with six more charges – and Irwan will be jointly or separately charged.

Najib is already facing 32 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

Najib will first face the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in Parliament this morning before heading to the MACC headquarters in the afternoon.

Sources familiar with the investigation said a statement would be recorded from Najib today. While they did not reveal the amount of the misappropriation involved in the six more charges expected to be slapped against him, one can expect the total to run into billions of ringgit.

“It is a lot of money involved here,” said an MACC source without elaborating.

Last week, Najib was called up twice by MACC to explain the payment of over US$1.2bil (RM5.04bil) made to IPIC by 1MDB in a settlement over a US$6.5bil (RM27.3bil) claim made by IPIC.

The settlement was triggered by 1MDB’s default on a bond payment due in 2016, which was guaranteed by IPIC in 2012 for the acquisition of two power plants.

It is understood that Najib, who was chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, would be held liable for his role in the debt settlement.

It is, however, not known how many charges Irwan and Hasanah, both aged 61, will be facing. Irwan had been called up by investigators several times to be queried on the debt settlement between 1MDB and the Abu Dhabi wealth fund. His last session was on Aug 10.

Irwan had even lodged a report with MACC over the controversy involving the “missing” RM18mil in Goods and Services Tax (GST) refunds to determine if there were grounds for an investigation.

He later claimed that the allegation by the Pakatan Harapan government was baseless and that he lodged the report to enable the anti-graft body to investigate.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng had claimed in Parliament that the Barisan Nasional administration had stolen a total of RM18bil in GST refunds.

As for Hasanah, prosecutors are expected to bring several charges against her, mostly with committing criminal breach of trust.

She was among nine persons who were arrested in connection with misappropriating funds meant for the 14th General Election.

Hasanah, seven other former MEIO officers and a businessman were arrested in late August.

MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki was reported to have said that US$12mil (RM50.4mil) of government funds were allegedly misappropriated.

The cash was believed to have been brought in via air, possibly through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

Highly-placed sources in the anti-graft body had said that this needed to be looked into as it would be difficult to carry such a staggering amount of money undetected.

Malaysian law requires those bringing in US$10,000 (RM41,000) and above into the country to have it declared at the point of entry.

Investigators found out that the money was brought into the country in May.

Investigators also do not discount the possibility of the funds coming from 1MDB.

The MACC has already called several witnesses, including three foreigners, and at least 20 more witnesses will be tracked down to assist in the investigation, a source said.

MEIO was listed as the “research division” of the Prime Minister’s Department under the Barisan administration.

Hasanah had courted controversy after writing to US Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel, appealing to the United States administration to support Najib.- The Star by mazwin nik anis
Related:

US$3.5bil is the focale of 1MDB-IPIC dispute – Nation

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Engineering Consultant gets show-cause letter for ‘overlooking hilltop stream”, the main cause for landslide


Video:   https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fpenangforum%2Fvideos%2F1940631839359002%2F&show_text=0&width=640

Consultant gets show-cause letter for ‘overlooking hilltop stream’

GEORGE TOWN: The consultant of the Bukit Kukus Paired Road project has been slapped with a show-cause letter for allegedly overlooking a stream on top of the hill before commencing work.

Penang Island City Council (MBPP) mayor Datuk Yew Tung Seang said the stream had been blocked, and this could be the main cause for the landslide on Friday.

“We found the stream on top of the hill on Saturday morning.

“You don’t need an expert to tell you that a diversion was needed in this situation before starting work on the hill.

“For me, this (the blocked stream) could be the main cause for the landslide,” he said at the site in Paya Terubong yesterday

The contractor has since diverted the flow of water

Yew also said stern action would be taken if professional negligence was found to be the cause once the investigation was completed

“This is a straightforward engineering project that needs to comply with standard operating procedure.

“We want to know why the need to divert the water was overlooked. I believe the tragedy could have been prevented,” he added.

Asked about the project, Yew said it would go on.

“I hope the project will be completed on time and in proper order by 2020.”

The RM530mil alternative road linking Lebuhraya Thean Teik in Bandar Baru Air Itam to Lebuh Bukit Jambul began in January 2016.

So far, nine bodies have been recovered from the scene. They included Indonesian worker Subaeri, 34, found at about 12.45pm yesterday and Bangladeshi Muhammad Uzzal, 33, at 5pm.

Muhammad Uzzal is said to be without a valid working permit.

Firemen found his body pinned under a container and took about 40 minutes to extract it before sending it to the Penang General Hospital for a post-mortem. The bodies of Bangladeshi workers Mithu Hossain, 30, Mustak Hossain, 25, and Md Jalil, 34, were pulled out of the rubble on Sunday.

Hill stream overflowed – Heavy rain, water on slope cause of Bukit Kukus landslide

Rescue operations at Jalan Bukit Kukus Paya Terubong

GEORGE TOWN: Water flow from a stream on the hilly area at Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong has been identified as among the causes of the landslide there last Friday, according to the Mineral and Geoscience Department.

The department’s director for Perlis, Kedah and Penang, Azhari Ahmad, said the finding was made based on its inspection and monitoring since yesterday.

“Our team, which arrived at the location yesterday morning, conducted an observation and identified several factors that caused the landslide, resulting in all containers on the hill slope to slide down with the earth.

“The main factor that caused the land slide is the water flow from a stream near the slope, and heavy rain since Friday morning caused the water to overflow,” he said.

The department had taken immediate measure by diverting the flow of water from the stream elsewhere to avoid worsening the situation, especially during the search and rescue (SAR) operation, he said.

Azhari said further inspection conducted at 7.30am yesterday found the water flow on the slope was less, but the department will continue to monitor the situation with the help of equipment from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (SMART) to ensure the safety of SAR personnel.

Based on observation and inspection at the scene, the department found the location of the landslide to be at the concave slope which easily collected water.

“But, we have not ruled out the possibility of follow-up landslides in the area due to the soil structure and there is still water flowing that can cause landslide.

“We have also advised the rescue team to stop operation immediately if it rains as it could cause another landslide.”

He said the department was assisting the rescue team in the SAR operation and did not rule out the possibility of it conducting further investigation to determine the actual cause of the landslide.

“We hope for fine weather and no rain so that the SAR operation can continue until all victims are found,” he said.

The tragedy occurred following heavy rain in the state since Thursday afternoon until noon the following day, causing the landslide at the container and kongsi area at the Bukit Kukus paired road construction site.

Two bodies were recovered on Friday, that of Indonesian national Samsul Asman, 19, and Bangadesh worker Attrul, 35, while the bodies of Myanmar woman Khin Aye Khaing, 33, and Indonesian Bahtiar, 36, were recovered yesterday at 1.30am and 11.55 am,  respectively. – Bernama

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