Soil erosion mitigation plans ignored, waters from stream identified as main cause !


 

A drone picture of the collapsed beams along Jalan Tun Sardon leading to Balik Pulau on the left while Jalan Paya
Terubong on the right leads to Relau.— CHAN BOON KAI/The Star
(Above) A closer view of the collapsed beams. (Right) The affected section of the project overlooking Jalan Paya Terubong heading to Relau in the background.

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/Arqv95pp-dBiC3tzP.html

Tragic Situation: (Top) A landslide at the construction site in Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong, caused four containers to be covered with mud – Bernama,  Closed call:(Right below) Survivors of the landslide surveying the scene

 Checks show projects did not follow SOP

GEORGE TOWN: As the search and rescue operation for seven buried foreign workers at a construction site in Paya Terubong is going on, shocking information has surfaced that not a single construction site in Penang is following the soil erosion mitigation plan stipulated in their project approvals.

The Star has learnt that the state government has launched Ops Lumpur shortly after the general election, requiring enforcement officers from the local councils to inspect and report on every construction site in all five districts in the state.

A consultant civil engineer familiar with Ops Lumpur claimed that every single construction project did not observe the soil erosion mitigation plan.

He said Ops Lumpur was overseen directly by state exco members and enforcement officers were required to visit the sites.

“Their reports shocked the state exco members. Every contractor failed to do soil erosion measures in every site.

“Now you know why streams near construction site are always yellow when it rains,” he said.

The consultant engineer said the state went after developers who claimed they were not aware and blamed the contractors.

“Civil engineers are often disgusted when they do site visits because it is common for us to see that the soil erosion mitigation plans are never followed,” he said.

The consultant said it was easy to inspect construction sites and check on the progress and questioned whether state government agencies regularly conducted scheduled and surprise visits.

“How often do they conduct spot checks? How strictly do they conduct enforcement rounds on construction sites? If we keep contractors on their toes all the time, we might not have so many landslides,” he said, referring to the latest landslide in Bukit Kukus, the site of a hillside highway from Paya Terubong to Bukit Jambul is being built.

A teh tarik-coloured stream was observed flowing between Jalan Paya Terubong and the barred entrance to the highway construction site yesterday.

It has been raining almost every day in Penang this week.

In yesterday’s incident, rescue team found one survivor and two dead bodies. At press time, seven are still missing.

The Fire and Rescue Department received a distress call about the landslide at 1.56pm.

An Indonesian worker who only wished to be known as Endo, 36, said three of his relatives from Sulawesi were trapped in the landslide and he was working in another nearby construction site.

“It rained all night (Thursday). The rain stopped at 9am (yesterday) and resumed at 1pm. At my site, all of us stayed in our quarters and didn’t work because of the rain.

“I got a call from others that my relatives are missing. So, now I’ll just wait,” he said.

Last Thursday, 14 concrete beams measuring 25m long each, crashed down from an elevated section of the highway.

No injuries were reported and a stop-work order was issued pending investigations of the collapse.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who visited the site with several state exco members, said he reminded rescue workers to be wary while searching for the missing victims because the rain could have rendered the slopes unstable.

“All work has stopped here and the contractor was about to send in its report on the collapse of the concrete beams on Oct 11,” he said, adding that the place where the beams collapsed was far from the landslide. – The Star by arnold lohlo tern chern

Water from stream identified as main cause of landslide

GEORGE TOWN: Water flow from a stream on the hilly area in Jalan Bukit Kukus, Paya Terubong, near here has been identified as among the cause of the landslide.

Azhari Ahmad, who is Mineral and Geoscience Department (JMG) director for Perlis, Kedah and Penang, said the finding was made based on its inspection and monitoring since Saturday.

“The JMG team 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 landslide is the water flow from a stream near the slope and heavy rain since Friday morning caused the water to overflow,” he told reporters yesterday.

Azhari 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 further inspection conducted at 7.30am yesterday found the water flow on the slope was lesser but the department would continue to monitor the situa­tion with equipment from the Special Malaysia Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team to ensure the safety of SAR personnel.

He said 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 do not rule out the possibility of a follow-up landslide 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.

Azhari 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 be continued until all the victims are found,” he said.

The landslide occurred at about 1.30pm last Friday.

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

Source: Bernama, Reports by LO TERN CHERN, N.TRISHA and R.SEKARAN

 

Related stories:

 

Zairil: Contractor to face action if accident due to negligence – Metro

 

 

Wake up and stop the landslides, state govt urged – Nation

 

Wake up and stop the landslides, state govt urged – Nation

 

 

DOSH: Builders told to stop work, but did not – Nation

 

CAP urges Penang govt to issue stop work order on hillside

 

October and November turning into ‘disaster season’

 

‘Put safety measures into place at construction sites’

Related post:

Precarious situation: The collapsed beams along Jalan Tun Sardon which fell and broke after being knocked down. https://www.thestar.c

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1MDB scandal: Cops charge Lows, How Low will Jho go? He proclaims innocence!


‘He helped, among others, bring down a government that had ruled for 61 years, helped
bring criminal charges against a former premier and friend, and catalyzed the return of a 93 year old man to power
… – S. Jayasankaran’
Headline News

 

Cops file charges against the Lows  

KUALA LUMPUR: Police have filed criminal charges against businessman Low Taek Jho and his father for offences under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 over money allegedly stolen from 1Malay­sia Development Bhd (1MDB).

A source said the charges were filed in absentia by the police with the sanction of the Attorney Gen­eral’s Chambers at the Putrajaya Sessions Court yesterday morning.

According to the charge sheets made available to The Star, Low – also known as Jho Low – is facing eight counolice have filed criminal charges against businessman Low Taek Jho and his father for offences under the Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001 over money allegedly stolen from 1Malay­sia Development Bhd (1MDB).A source said the charges were fts of money laundering.

In the first, second and third charges, the 37-year-old allegedly received US$261,449,960 from unlawful activities into his BSI Bank Limited account.

In the fourth to eighth charges, he allegedly transferred €41,100,073.22 and US$140,636,225.10 into the account of World View Limited, Caymans Island, in Caledonian Bank Limited, Caymans Island.

The offences were allegedly committed at BSI Bank Limited, No.7, Temasek Boulevard, #32-01 Suntec Tower One, Singapore, between Dec 26, 2013, and June 3, 2014.

Jho Low’s father Tan Sri Low Hock Peng, 66, also faces a charge of money laundering where he allegedly transferred monies from unlawful activity amounting to US$56,449,980 from his bank account into his son’s BSI Bank Limited account.

He allegedly committed the offence at the same BSI Bank Limited on Feb 4, 2014.

All the charges were under Section 4(1)(a) of the Act, which carries a fine up to RM5mil, imprisonment for a term up to five years, or both, upon conviction.

The source said police also applied for warrants of arrest for Jho Low and his father.

The source said a portion of the money was used to purchase the luxury yacht Equanimity, which was seized by Malaysia two weeks ago.

Under Section 401 of the Criminal Procedure Code, an absent person with no immediate prospect of arrest may be tried by the court for an offence in his absence.

In a related development, Inspec­tor-General of Police Tan Sri Mohamad Fuzi Harun said the new charges enabled the Royal Malaysia Police to obtain new warrants of arrest for Jho Low and his father.

“From there, we will ask Interpol to issue a fresh Red Notice alert on the duo. The Red Notice will seek the cooperation of relevant countries in tracking down the wanted persons,” he told The Star.

The Red Notice will also expedite the extradition process, which will be handled by the Attorney General’s Chambers, and to bring the duo back to Malaysia, he said.

“Our priority has always been to track them down and detain them as soon as possible,” he added.

Based on the charge sheets seen by The Star, journalists visited Jho Low’s family home in Tanjung Bungah, Penang, but no one appeared to be home.- The Star.

 Statement by Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd

Despite being owners of the yacht in question, Equanimity (Cayman) Ltd. has received no legally valid notice of any filing related to a Sale Pendente Lite, nor any notice of a pending court hearing in the matter. This would be a requirement under law.

We also note that there are ongoing proceedings before U.S. courts – including a U.S. appellate court – regarding the ownership and custody of the asset, with active requests filed before a U.S. judge within the past 24 hours. Indeed, the U.S. Department of Justice submitted a filing in the U.S. court less than one week ago. For Malaysia to act unilaterally while there are pending court requests in the U.S. would be an affront to the international rule of law. In fact, Malaysia’s seizure of the vessel is already contrary to a U.S. court order appointing the U.S. Government as custodian of the yacht.

The U.S. has previously stated that it had no advance knowledge of Malaysia’s seizure of the yacht, and presumably the U.S. had no advance notice of this current Malaysian action either. It is important to note that, despite conflicting statements coming out of the Malaysian government, the U.S. has not proven its case regarding the Equanimity. The U.S. has only filed unproven allegations in court proceedings, after which the U.S. put the entire case on hold over Claimants’ objections. The result of that is that no party has been able to substantively respond to the allegations, and nor has the U.S. been required to prove them.

In addition, it is indisputably clear that Malaysia’s seizure of the vessel and apparent intent to immediately sell it goes entirely against the interests of the yacht and will drastically reduce – indeed, it is already drastically reducing – its potential sale value. Due to the Malaysian government’s precipitous, ill-conceived, and misguided actions, the yacht is running 24 hours per day, 7 days a week on generator power, which is unsustainable and harmful to the vessel. Moreover, Malaysia has currently docked the yacht in a hazardous environment in which toxins such as water pollution and nearby smoke are greatly damaging it. Because Malaysia apparently does not have – or does not want to spend – the necessary funds to properly maintain the vessel while it is prepared for a value-maximizing sale, Malaysia has instead proposed a “fire sale,” in which the yacht is to be sold for a fraction of its true value.

To move for a sale in Malaysia immediately would be a remarkable violation of due process and international legal comity and would call into question the actual ownership of the yacht for any potential buyer. These misguided actions would create a cloud on the Equanimity’s ownership that could easily take years to resolve in several courts around the world.

Tsuey Shan Ho

Account Manager
cid:image001.png@01D37B19.DFA09BC0Tel +44 (0)20 7092 3992

 

How Low will Jho go?

Superyacht: A file picture showing seized
luxury yacht Equanimity being brought to the Boustead Cruise Terminal in
Port Klang on Aug 7. — Reuters

A man who has never gone to school may steal from a railcar but a man who has gone to a university may steal the entire railroad

–- former US President Theodore Roosevelt

FUGITIVE businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, 38, has described Malaysia’s legal proceedings to quickly sell the Equanimity superyacht as a vindictive “sham”.

According to the rotund reprobate, it was a sham because the boat’s ownership was also being contested in the courts of the United States so the ‘hasty” Malaysian admiralty hearing was, at best, iffy.

But what the corpulent conman seemed not to want to concede was that both governments agreed – unequivocally, unarguably and emphatically – that the yacht was not his to roam the oceans with.

They both agreed that the RM1bil boat was bought with monies that were skimmed out of a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund.

Our man Jho has since been keeping a low profile, so low that no one seems to know where the fat fugitive is.

You might say he was distracted: the bulging bandit even left a multi-million dollar private jet back in Singapore and he hadn’t even complained, once, of the uncivil way the authorities just left it out in the sun for over nine months!

In this case, however, the pudgy pirate brought forth his spokespeople to complain about the way the yacht was kept “under the sun” in polluted waters, and with its batteries running 24/7. In short, it was not being treated as a superyacht should have been.

He should be consistent and set forth similar arguments about his private jet. Did I forget to mention that Singapore issued a warrant of arrest for him way back when?

In fairness to our man Jho, he has maintained that he has not stolen anything at all and all the money was his family’s inheritance to begin with.

The problem with that is that at least three countries – the US, Malaysia and Singapore – disagree with its reasoning. Another problem would be his absence from places where people want to ask him hard questions.

It is said that a fool and his money are soon parted. But Fat Boy and Other People’s Money was soon partying and the money seemed endless.

Mario Puzo, the author of the Godfather, put it like this: “A lawyer with a briefcase can steal millions more than a hundred men with guns.”

Let’s face it. He lived, what the Eagles called, Life in the Fast Lane.

He had a private jet and a superyacht.

He had palatial homes all over the world.

He dated Hollywood actresses.

He helped bankroll a Hollywood blockbuster.

He helped bring down a government that had ruled for 61 years, helped bring criminal charges against a former premier and friend, and catalysed the return of a 93 year old man to power.

He may have had more citizenships than Caesar.

And – wonder of wonders – he had no official position in 1 Malaysia Development Bhd. His name must surely resonate in future history books.

Breaking news! Just got word that Fat Boy and his father have been charged by the Attorney General’s Chambers for money laundering offences involving RM1bil, funds that were allegedly used to buy the yacht.

This will make Malaysia the first country to charge our man Jho. Not bad for an Attorney General who was said to “know nothing” of criminal law.

Now we know why they say money launderers are filthy rich.

What will the dodgy deviant say now?

Catch me if you can?

By S. Jayasankaran

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1MDB scandalous Bombardier Global 500 Jet parking fees of RM3.5mil to be paid if govt wants it back


 

The Bombardier Global 5000 jet parked on the tarmac of  Seletar airport in Singapore

PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will have to cough up at least RM3.5mil to bring the Global 5000 private jet that belongs to fugitive Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, back to Malaysia.

The luxury private jet, which was impounded by the Singapore authorities since February last year, is currently parked at the Singapore Seletar airport.

“However, before the plane is allowed to be flown to Malaysia, Seletar airport has asked for settlement of the parking charges first,” said a source.

The source said the parking charges over the last 18 months have escalated to about RM3mil.

It is learnt that Seletar airport had indicated the fee to the Singapore authorities following Malaysia’s keen interest in taking possession of the plane.

Seletar airport is managed by Changi Airport Group Pte Ltd, a facility mainly used for private flights.

Changi Airport Group declined to comment on the parking charges.

“Due to client privacy, we will not be able to share the information,” its spokesman told The Star.

The source said the Malaysian government would have to pay the fee before the airport authority allows the plane to leave its tarmac.

It is understood that negotiations on the parking charges have been held between the Malaysia and Singapore authorities and the airport operator.

But to date, the source said, they have yet to reach a conclusion on the payment.

“The Malaysian government would also have to fork out another RM500,000 to service the aircraft, which has been grounded and left under the sun at the airport apron,” said the source.

The source said the aircraft that has been grounded since February last year is currently undergoing service maintenance work to ensure its airworthiness before it is allowed to be flown to Malaysia.

“The maintenance work on the airport craft is almost completed,” said the source.

The plane is likely to be taken to Subang Airport, a facility mainly used by private planes, said the source.

The Global 5000 jet was listed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) as one of the assets bought using Malaysia’s state-owned 1MDB laundered money, through a series of shell companies and bank accounts.

In a court filing in June 2017, the US DoJ document stated Jho Low used part of the US$700mil (RM2.3bil in 2009) diverted from the 1MDB to acquire the luxury jet.

The Bombardier Global 5000 built in 2008 costs about US$35.4mil (RM145mil). The aircraft was bought at the end of 2009, less than three months after the US$700mil was moved away from 1MDB.

The plane, registered in the US as N689WM/MSN 9265, is registered to a company called Wynton Aviation and placed as a trust with Wells Fargo Bank Northwest.

Wynton Aviation is a company that was registered in the British Virgin Isles in 2009. The DoJ stated that Wells Fargo’s records indicate that it is a holding company owned by Low.

It was learned that prior to the plane being seized, the jet was based at Teterboro Airport New Jersey, close to Jho Low’s New York home.

Airliners.net website showed the plane had flown to Paris, Geneva, Beijing and London among other countries between 2009 and 2017.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had on Aug 13 said Malaysia was keen to take possession of the aircraft.

Early in the month, Malaysia also took possession of the superyacht Equanimity from the Indonesian authorities.

The vessel, valued at US$250mil (RM1bil), was handed over to Malaysian authorities near Indonesia’s Batam island on Aug 6.

It has since been brought back to the Boustead Cruise Centre in Pulau Indah.

Equanimity, which according to DoJ belongs to Jho Low and purchased with funds diverted from 1MDB, was seized by the Indonesian authorities in Tanjung Benoa port, Bali, in February.

The yacht, which is 54th in luxury vessels of its class in the world, was seized at the request of US authorities as part of its initiative to recover the billions diverted from 1MDB.

Another source said due to the high maintenance of the superyacht and its crew, the Indonesian government had decided to turn over the vessel to Malaysia at the request of Dr Mahathir when he visited Jakarta in June.

Credit: Eddie Chua The Star

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Goldman Lunch at Taste Paradise Sets Table for 1MDB Money Probe


https://www.bloomberg.com/news/videos/2018-06-28/goldman-bankers-in-focus-in-1mdb-money-probe-video

Low Taek Jho and an official from 1MDB had hired Goldman Sachs Group to underwrite the US$1.75 billion bond offering.

SINGAPORE: In a private dining room at Singapore’s Taste Paradise restaurant, over a meal of abalone and suckling pig, two Goldman Sachs Group Inc bankers were explaining a US$1.75 billion bond offering to six executives of a Swiss bank.

It was early 2012, and joining Goldman bankers Roger Ng and Tim Leissner that day were a young Malaysian financier named Low Taek Jho and an official from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, known as 1MDB, which had hired the New York bank to underwrite the bond sale.

Now, people familiar with the matter say, investigators from Singapore to the United States are looking more closely at the roles of Mr Ng and Mr Leissner, who have both left Goldman. And they’re asking what happened in that private dining room named after the first emperor of a unified China, Qin Shi Huang.

In particular, they’re examining how US$577 million in proceeds from a bond sale that May ended up a day later in an account at BSI SA in Switzerland – the same bank whose executives were at the Taste Paradise.

Click here for the full report: Goldman Sachs lunch at Singapore’s Taste Paradise set the scene for 1MDB’s money probe

The lunch, previously unreported, brought together the key parties in what has become the biggest financial scandal in Malaysia’s history, involving the alleged misappropriation of US$4.5 billion of 1MDB funds. It was the culmination of numerous conversations as BSI bankers and compliance officials sought clarity on the deal.

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Chinese projects in Malaysia may stay intact


 
Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Newly-elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has decided to scrap the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Railway project despite the huge losses. He also announced the overhaul of other big railway projects, including a Chinese company-led East Coast railway project. As a result, some are worried about the fate of Chinese-funded companies in Malaysia.

During the election, the style of governance that Mahathir-led Pakatan Harapan proposed was in contrast to many policies of the previous government. Since Mahathir was elected, there has been growing concern about the new policies. While Malaysia has brought in big Chinese-invested projects, people are also concerned about the new government’s attitude toward foreign funds.

To my knowledge, Mahathir has formed many consulting teams and task forces since his re-election, which shows his prudence in dealing with such affairs. The government will clarify core policies and strategy in the next few weeks.

Pakatan Harapan was the opposition before and during the election. Its attitude toward foreign capital, especially Chinese funds in Malaysia, was obviously not thorough enough. Its opposition to big projects was aimed at the large sums they involved, not the projects themselves. To be more specific, what the political alliance opposed was actually ex-prime minister Najib Razak’s improprieties when approving the projects. Other problems involved in this process can be addressed by talks.

In the first press conference after his swearing-in ceremony, Mahathir promised that reviewing Chinese-funded projects would not harm China-Malaysia relations, and said that the new government will support the Belt and Road initiative as usual.

But Malaysia’s new finance minister and minister of economic affairs both started overhauling the big projects that the former government had signed, and outsourcing government projects through direct bidding is no longer permitted, including railway projects. It shows that the new government wants to overhaul official projects, while private investment projects are not affected.

The new government’s re-examination of big projects shows its intention to win more bargaining chips for negotiations. Any party that wants to cooperate with the new government needs to be more patient to retain the contract. Malaysia’s further development is closely linked to other countries’ continued participation, and China is certainly included.

Although China hopes that the current projects will stay intact, the two countries might still strategically revise their contracts to satisfy both sides as politics in Malaysia has changed. Besides, abolishing a contract is bound to cause political and economic upheaval as the Malaysian people realize the importance of the Kuala Lumpur-Singapore Railway and the East Coast railway projects. The new government will certainly evaluate the opinion in a prudent way.

The future of Chinese-funded enterprises in Malaysia may not change greatly. The previous discussion focused on big government projects, but neglected hundreds of Chinese-funded enterprises that have invested in Malaysia since the 1990s. Most of these firms operated under local laws and regulations. They purchased local materials and hired locals, and some even provided technology transfer and staff training.

They are model enterprises that aimed at developing the market in the long-term. This should have been given more publicity.

In the future, the Malaysian government will certainly welcome investment by foreign-funded enterprises that abide by the local laws, but will differ from practices in the past decades in terms of bidding and contract talks. Most importantly, all parties should believe in the principle that business is business, and win-win cooperation is the key to the issue. Malaysia will definitely let investors enjoy the dividends of its reform and development.

By Ling Tek Soon Source: Global Times – VIEWPOINT

The author is a research fellow with Institute of China Studies, University of Malaya. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn

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Turnkey Contract Definition from Financial Times Lexicon

Design-Build and Turnkey Contracts

TURNKEY CONTRACT – USM HBP

Turnkey – Wikipedia

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Malaysians hail the King for his consent on Tommy Thomas as AG


Video:

PETALING JAYA: The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, has consented to the appointment of Tommy Thomas (pic) as the new Attorney-General (AG).

In a statement, the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has given the approval to the appointment of Thomas as the AG according to Article 145 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

The Agong, said Wan Ahmad, has also called on Malaysians to accept the appointment of the AG, adding it should not create conflict as every Malaysian should be treated fairly regardless of their race or religion.

“The appointment would still continue to uphold the special privileges of the Malays and bumiputra as well as Islam as the religion of the Federation,” said Wan Ahmad.

He said the Agong has also approved the termination of Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali as AG after taking into consideration the views of the Malay Rulers on three issues.

These issues are the appointment of the AG, the rights of the bumiputras, and the rule of the Council of Rulers as stated under Article 153 of the Federal Constitution.

“The King has also expressed his disappointment (dukacita) and worries on media reports of late that were inaccurate and negative in nature, which could threaten the peace and harmony in the nation.

“The King has the obligation to uphold the Federal Constitution and preserve the rights of the Malays and bumiputras, as well as to protect Islam,” he added.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on May 14, announced that Apandi was told to go on leave and would be temporarily replaced by Solicitor-General Datuk Engku Nor Faizah Engku Atek.

The proposal to appoint Thomas as AG had sparked a disagreement with the King, but Dr Mahathir was adamant and submitted only Thomas’ name to the King.

However the Agong insisted on more than one name, according to sources close to the royalty.

Malaysians expressed their joy and gratitude to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, for giving his consent for Tommy Thomas to be appointed the new Attorney-General (AG).

On The Star Online Facebook page, Thomas’ announcement received 291 shares, and 2,100 likes within an hour of the news breaking early Tuesday morning.

John Doraisamy said Malaysia and Malaysians were moving in the right direction.

“Happy to be 1Malaysia without racism,” he posted.
“Thank you to His Majesty YDP Agong for your royal consent. Congratulations to the new AG!” he said.

Justin Tan said Malaysia had reached a new milestone with Thomas’ appointment.

“Everyone should be treated equally and fairly regardless of their race or religion.

“Hope this signifies a true Malaysian society based on merit that will push the country forward to becoming the next powerhouse in the region,” he said.

Meanwhile, Facebook user Rajasegaran Subramaniam called for the Federal Constitution to be made a compulsory subject in schools and universities due to the controversy surrounding Thomas’ appointment.

“It is pain in the eyes witnessing so called new Malaysia citizens commenting on sensitive issues without any ideas on what they are even commenting.

“(The) past two days was one hell of a rollercoaster ride because of ignorant comments from ‘new Malaysia’ citizens,” he said.

In a letter dated June 4, but released early Tuesday (June 5), the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Ab Aziz said the King, on the advice of the Prime Minister, has given the approval to the appointment of Thomas as the AG according to Article 145 (1) of the Federal Constitution.

The King, said Wan Ahmad, has also called on Malaysians to accept the appointment of the AG, adding it should not create conflict as every Malaysian should be treated fairly regardless of their race or religion.

“The appointment would still continue to uphold the special privileges of the Malays and bumiputera as well as Islam as the religion of the Federation,” said Wan Ahmad.  The Star
 Related: 

 

Experts: Nothing to bar Dr M from making Thomas the AG – Nation …

Malaysia’s Corruption Perception Index worsen seven rungs


Lawyers participating in a peaceful rally, calling for the Sedition Act
to be repealed, in Kuala Lumpur in 2014. The law was used in the same
year against, among others, a student activist, and another seven
people, including a journalist, were being investigated under the act. –
EPA pic, February 22, 2018.

Need to relook whistleblowing laws

KUALA LUMPUR: The recent conviction of a whistleblower and the absence of political financing laws are among the reasons that affected Malaysia’s global anti-corruption scores, Transparency InternationaI Malaysia (TI-M) president Datuk Akhbar Satar said when presenting the 2017 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) today.

Malaysia ranked 62 among 180 countries in the CPI last year, dropping from 55th spot in 2016.

The index put Malaysia in the same spot as Cuba, with a score of 47 out of 100.

In 2016, Malaysia ranked 55 with a score of 49.

The CPI is a global aggregate index capturing corruption perception in the public sector worldwide based on expert opinions using a scale of 0-100, with a smaller score denomination denoting a higher level of corruption.

“This is the worst score in the last five years and the lowest ranking since CPI was introduced in 1994.”

Akhbar said contributing factors to such poor perception of Malaysia include unresolved cases involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), absence of political financing laws and corporate liability provisions in anti-graft laws.

“The reason is simple … the 1MDB and SRC International Sdn Bhd issues, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd scandal and also the conviction of PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli for whistleblowing.”

Akhbar stressed that Malaysia has to relook into its whistleblowing laws to ensure there is proper protection for those who expose corrupt activities.

“It is very sad that whistleblowers get arrested and punished here when most other countries have tried to enact whistleblowing laws to protect them.

“Here, we are at the opposites. If you don’t comply with the whistleblowing policy and use the media to expose corruption, then you are not protected.

The top five countries in the 2017 index were New Zealand (89) and Denmark (88), followed by Finland, Norway and Switzerland (85).

The index also revealed that more than two-thirds of countries worldwide scored below 50, with an average score of 43.

Countries at the bottom of the index were Yemen, Sudan, Afghanistan, Syria, South Sudan and Somalia.

Meanwhile, MACC honorary commissioner and former TI-M president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam expressed disappointment on Malaysia’s score.

“All the good work done by MACC to robustly fight corruption has been negated by the apparent inability to do more to contain ‘grand corruption’, which matters in the view of TI,” he said.
By Karen Arukesamy newsdesk@thesundaily.com

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Corruption Perceptions Index 2017 

https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017

This year’s Corruption Perceptions Index highlights that the majority of countries are making little or no progress in ending corruption, while further analysis shows journalists and activists in corrupt countries risking their lives every day in an effort to speak out.

The index, which ranks 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption according to experts and businesspeople, uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. This year, the index found that more than two-thirds of countries score below 50, with an average score of 43. Unfortunately, compared to recent years, this poor performance is nothing new.

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http://www.transparency.org/cpi2017

This year, New Zealand and Denmark rank highest with scores of 89 and 88 respectively. Syria, South Sudan and Somalia rank lowest with scores of 14, 12 and 9 respectively. The best performing region is Western Europe with an average score of 66. The worst performing regions are Sub-Saharan Africa (average score 32) and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (average score 34).

Download CPI 2017 XLSX dataset

Since 2012, several countries significantly improved their index score, including Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and the United Kingdom, while several countries declined, including Syria, Yemen and Australia.

Research analysis

Further analysis of the results indicates that countries with the least protection for press and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) also tend to have the worst rates of corruption.

Every week at least one journalist is killed in a country that is highly corrupt.

The analysis, which incorporates data from the Committee to Protect Journalists, shows that in the last six years, more than 9 out of 10 journalists were killed in countries that score 45 or less on the index.

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