Huawei Surprise goldfish in a bowl


Uncertain future: In this courtroom sketch, Meng sits beside a translator during a bail hearing in Vancouver. She
faces extradition to the US on charges of trying to evade US sanctions on Iran. – AP 
The arrest of Huawei ‘heiress’ has thrown a rare spotlight on the family of the reclusive smartphone giant founder, Ren Zhengfei.

WHEN Huawei CFO Sabrina Meng Wanzhou appeared on Wednesday in a Vancouver courtroom, clad in an unbranded green tracksuit, the moment was witnessed by a single reporter from the local Vancouver Sun newspaper who happened to notice her name on the hearings list that morning.

By the end of the day, Meng’s arrest in Canada at the request of Washington was the biggest story in the world.

And when her bail hearing resumed on Friday, Meng entered court to see about 100 reporters, craning to look at her through two layers of bulletproof glass.

Meng who faces extradition to the United States, was charged for helping Huawei allegedly cover up violations of US sanctions on Iran.

Like many top Chinese executives, Meng is a mysterious figure even in her home country, but the 46-year-old chief financial officer of Huawei Technologies had been widely tipped to one day take the helm of the tech giant her father founded.

That was until her shock arrest, a move that has entangled her in the protracted diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Crucially, Meng is the daughter of Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei – one of China’s leading businessmen, an ex-People’s Liberation Army officer and an elected member of the 12th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In other words, Meng is part of China’s elite.

Her father Ren moves in the highest government circles in China and founded Huawei in 1988, after he retired from the Chinese armed forces. Born into a rural family in a remote mountainous town in the southwestern province of Guizhou, Ren rose to the equivalent rank of a deputy regimental chief in the PLA and served until 1983, according to his official Huawei biography.

Officials in some governments, particularly the United States, have voiced concern that his company is close to the Chinese military and government. Huawei has repeatedly insisted Beijing has no influence over it.

Ren is one of the most watched entrepreneurs in China and was on Time magazine’s list of 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and again in 2013.

But like his elder daughter, Ren has largely kept a low profile.

Ren has married three times. His first wife was Meng Jun, daughter of a former senior official in Sichuan province, Meng Dongbuo; she bore Ren two children: Sabrina Meng Wanzhou and a son, Meng Ping.

Meng’s current wife is Yao Ling, who gave him a younger daughter, Annabel Yao, 20. In a rare move, the three posed last month for a family photoshoot for French lifestyle magazine Paris Match. Annabel, a Harvard computer science student, became a sensation at last month’s Le Bal des Debutantes (or Crillon Ball) in Paris.

Ren’s third wife is Su Wei who, according to Chinese media reports, is a millennial who was formerly his secretary.

Interestingly, all his children opted not to take on their father’s surname – Meng adopted her mother’s surname after her parents divorced. According to Chinese news websites, Meng’s brother Ping, who also works for Huawei, followed her in taking their mother’s surname to “avoid unnecessary attention” – though the son was also known as Ren Ping in the past.

(This practice is not uncommon among the families of China’s elite. The co-founder of Chinese auction house China Guardian, Wang Yannan, opted not to take her father’s surname – she is the daughter of late Chinese premier Zhao Ziyang.)

Born in 1972, Meng joined the company in 1993, obtained a master’s degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in 1998, and rose up the ranks over the years, mostly holding financial roles.

In her first media appearance before the Chinese press in 2013, Meng said she had first joined the company as a secretary“whose job was just to take calls”.

In the interview with China’s 21st Century Business Herald, Meng said she began her first job at China Construction Bank after graduating with her first degree in 1992.

Arrested Meng: Like her father, the Huawei CFO had led a quiet life, out of the spotlight. – Reuters

Arrested Meng: Like her father, the Huawei CFO had led a quiet life, out of the spotlight. – Reuters

“I joined Huawei one year later because a branch closed its operations due to the business integration [of CCB],” said Meng, describing her early jobs in Huawei as “very trivial”.

Meng has served in various roles at the company since, until her latest role as the Hong Kong-based CFO of Huawei.

In 2003, Meng established Huawei’s globally unified finance organisation, with standardised structures, financial processes, financial systems, and IT platforms.

Since 2005, Meng has led the founding of five shared service centers around the world, and she was also the driver behind completion of a global payment center in Shenzhen, China. These centres have boosted Huawei’s accounting efficiency and monitoring quality, providing accounting services to sustain the company’s rapid overseas expansion.

Meng has also been in charge of the integrated financial services (IFS) transformation program, an eight-year partnership between Huawei and IBM since 2007. This has helped Huawei develop its data systems and rules for resource allocation, and improve operating efficiency and internal controls.

In recent years, Meng has focused on advancing detailed financial management at Huawei, working to align these efforts with the company’s long-term development plans.

Meng’s importance at Huawei became apparent in 2011, when she was first named as a board member. Company insiders describe her as capable and hardworking. Earlier this year, Huawei promoted Meng, to vice-chairwoman as part of a broader reshuffle. Meng is one of four executives who hold the vice-chair role, while retaining her CFO position. Despite assertions by Ren that none of his family members would succeed him in the top job, it is widely speculated that she was being groomed to take over the reins of the company eventually.

Married with a son and a daughter, Meng’s revelation that her husband did not work in the industry, dispelled the speculation she was married to a senior Huawei executive.

Meng did not conduct public interviews before 2013 and has seldom mentioned her personal life until recently, when she used her son to illustrate the importance of persistence.

“My son did not want to go swimming one day and he almost knelt on the ground and begged my husband so that he would not have to go. But he was rejected,” Meng said in a speech at Chongqing international school in 2016. “Now my son is proud to represent his school in swimming competitions.”

Meng recently made a speech at a Singapore academic conference in 2018, in which she talked of Huawei’s future role in technology development.

“Without universities, the world would be left in darkness. Without industry, science would be left in the ivory tower,” said Meng. “The fourth industrial revolution is on the horizon and artificial intelligence is one of its core enabling technologies. Huawei is lucky to be part of it.”

While her brother, Meng Ping, as well as her father’s younger brother and his current wife all work at Huawei and related companies, none has held such senior management roles.

“The other family members are in the back office, Sabrina is CFO and sits on the board,” a Huawei source said. “So she is viewed as the boss’s most likely successor.”

But her fate now is uncertain.

She faces up to 30 years’ jail for the alleged crime. Her lawyer in Canada, David Martin, had told the court that Meng posed no flight risk and should be granted bail. To flee would shame her in front of her father and all of China, said Martin.

“Her father would not recognise her. Her colleagues would hold her in contempt. She would be a pariah,” he said.

Meng leaned forward in her seat and dabbed at her eyes with a tissue.

When the hearing adjourned, she was led away with her head bowed, a goldfish in a bowl that is the biggest story in the world. – South China Morning Post

Younger Huawei daughter: ‘I’m just a normal girl’

Arresting Yao: ‘My daily life is actually pretty boring compared to this.’

JUST last month, the reclusive Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei made headlines by appearing in French lifestyle magazine Paris Match with his younger daughter and current wife.The daughter, Annabel Yao, 20, posed with a smile in front of a grand piano with her mother, identified by the magazine as Yao Ling, and Ren, who wore a blue shirt with his hand resting on her shoulder.

Suddenly, the whole family are making headlines again – even if for quite different reasons.

Few outsiders had previously heard of the younger daughter, a Harvard computer science student and ballerina. But Yao recently made a high-profile appearance at the exclusive Le Bal Debutante ball in Paris.

While Le Bal des Debutantes in Paris each year is a nod to the tradition of young society ladies entering the elite social scene of Europe, these days it courts modern debutantes, aged 16 to 21, who are chosen for their looks, brains and famous parents – prominent in business, entertainment and politics.

They parade in glamorous couture gowns, waltz with their cavaliers – young men who accompany the “debs” for the evening – and take part in photo shoots and interviews.

The schedule at the event, organised by Ophélie Renouard, is full of young women such as Baroness Ludmilla von Oppenheim, from Germany; Julia McCaw, daughter of AT&T founder Craig McCaw; and Yao – one of three debutantes chosen for the opening waltz this year.

“I definitely treated this as a debut to the world,” said Yao after the ball. “From now on, I’ll no longer be this girl living in her own world, I’ll be stepping into the adult world where I have to watch my own actions and have my actions be watched by others.”

Today’s Le Bal, is a diverse affair, a microcosm of the shifting tides of the global elite. Of the 19 debutantes of 2018, there were young ladies from India and America, Europeans from Portugal, France, Belgium and Germany, as well as Hong Kong’s Angel Lee, Kayla Uytengsu from the Philippines and China’s Yao.

Yao – who has lived in Britain, Hong Kong and Shanghai – was one of several Chinese debutantes in recent years. Hollywood offspring, such as the daughters of actors Forest Whitaker, Bruce Willis and Sylvester Stallone, have also become Le Bal regulars.

“All the girls were down-to-earth, easygoing, helpful and outgoing. No one was pretentious,” said Yao.

“All of them attended top universities or high schools like Stanford, Brown and Columbia, so it’s a group of girls who are privileged, but also work really hard.”

 

Diverse affair: Today’s ‘Le Bal’ is a microcosm of the shifting tides of the global elite like Yao (far right, front row).

 

As they swapped their jeans for tiaras and couture gowns and trade teenage antics for waltzing, the girls got to play fairytale princesses for three days and make their grand debut in high society.

They all arrived in Paris two days before the ball to meet, socialise with other girls and their cavaliers (Yao’s cavalier was the young Count Gaspard de Limburg-Stirum), rehearse and take part in portrait sessions.

Girls are given questionnaires about the fashion styles they like, and then choose from a selection. Yao donned a champagne gold J Mendel gown.

“An American designer with a very French style I wanted something modern,” she said. “I’m not super girlie inside, so I prefer something more chic and not so princessy It’s very elegant, and I’m not a fan of very [strongly] pigmented hues. I also loved the tulle texture of the dress, as it reminds me of a ballerina.”

“I definitely feel very honoured to be included, as there are only 19 girls in the world this year,” Yao added. “It means I have to work harder, try to accomplish great things in my life and be a role model for other girls.”

She said: “As people who have more privilege than others, it’s more important for us to help those with less opportunity. I want to get involved in philanthropy and charity I still consider myself a normal girl; it’s important for me to work hard and better myself every day.

“My daily life is actually pretty boring compared to this. I usually live like a normal student.”

Computer science is a heavy subject with a high workload, so she studies a lot. Her spare time is often taken up at the Harvard Ballet company (she’s been dancing since childhood). “I try to dance as much as possible,” she said.

A quick glance at the Ivy League student’s social media shows her jetting around the world wearing Dior, Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, but she’s quick to show her serious side. This summer, she did an internship at Microsoft “on a team focusing on machine learning and image recognition”.

However, she noted: “As much as I enjoy coding, I enjoy personal interactions a lot I have a passion for fashion, PR and entertainment.”

In the future, she sees herself working on the business side of technology. “I’ll try to integrate the tech knowledge I have,” she said. “I don’t think I’ll be a software engineer but maybe I’ll be more on the management side. I enjoy building connections.” – South China Morning Post

Growing stronger, opening wider key to resolving Huawei crisis

Huawei is now facing its most severe test since it became the world-renowned innovative tech company.

With executive’s arrest, US wants to stifle Huawei

The Chinese government should seriously go behind the US tendency to abuse legal procedures to suppress China’s high-tech enterprises. It should increase interaction with the US and exert pressure when necessary. China has been exercising restraint, but the US cannot act recklessly. US President Donald Trump should rein in the hostile activities of some Americans who may imperil Sino-US relations.

 

Related posts:

Huawei CFO arrest violates human rights as US takes aim at Huawei, the real trade war with China

In custody: A profile of Meng is displayed on a computer at a Huawei store in Beijing. The Chinese government, speaking
through its embassy in Canada, strenuously objected to the arrest, and  demanded Meng’s immediate release.  
AP
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Road shoulder at Paya Terubong collapses after downpour terrifying motorists


 
The road shoulder along Jalan Paya Terubong that caved in after a downpour today
Another view of the collapsed section of the road connecting Air Itam and Relau.

Road users fear landslip that killed nine nearby may affect safety of route

GEORGE TOWN: The landslip along Jalan Paya Terubong near Majestic Heights apartments is causing worry among thousands of motorists using the route to work daily.

They are worried if the incident, which occurred after several hours of heavy rain, would pose a danger to them.

The motorists use this hillside road to get to Relau and Bayan Lepas from Ayer Itam and Paya Terubong.

The affected stretch goes past the Jalan Bukit Kukus highway construction site where a landslide on Oct 19 killed nine foreigners.

It is only a few hundred metres away from the tragic site.

State Works Committee chairman Zairil Khir Johari said the state authorities would not close the road as the soil erosion did not pose any danger to road users.

“All motorists and motorcyclists can still use the road safely without concern.

“The hillside area where the soil erosion occurred was already undergoing repairs prior to the incident.

“The contractor in charge will continue to oversee and restore the affected hillside area,” he said.

Zairil said apart from the restoration project, Tenaga Nasional Bhd was also carrying out rewiring works nearby.

“For the time being, the rewiring works have been halted and all power supply has been cut,” he said.

State Environment Committee chairman Phee Boon Poh advised Paya Terubong residents to avoid using the road if possible.

“Yes, we know how vital the road is especially for those who work in the Bayan Lepas factories,” he said.

Without this connection to Bayan Lepas, the residents of Paya Terubong and Ayer Itam will have to use Jalan Masjid Negeri to reach Bayan Lepas. This route takes longer and is time-consuming.

Jalan Masjid Negeri can see a bumper-to-bumper crawl during rush hour with motorists travelling from other parts of George Town to the island’s south.

George Town OCPD Asst Comm Che Zaimani Che Awang said the police were keeping the road under close observation.

Meanwhile, police have finished their investigation on the Jalan Bukit Kukus landslide and the report will be referred to the Deputy Public Prosecutor’s office.

Penang police chief Comm Datuk Seri A. Thaiveegan said they submitted the report yesterday.

It was reported that police had recorded statements from almost 70 witnesses in its investigation on the landslide for criminal negligence.

Apart from the nine foreigners who were killed, four others also sustained injuries in the incident.- The Star

 

Related:

Residents fear closure of vital link – Nation

 

Road shoulder at Paya Terubong collapses after downpour …

Related posts:

 

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

 

Action taken over irregularities at Bukit Kukus paired road project Penang

 

Goldman Sachs staring at ‘significant penalties’, its system of accounting controls could be easily circumvented


Goldman Sachs (U.S. Financial Institution #1) – “knowingly and willfully conspired to circumvent and cause to be circumvented a system of international accounting controls at [Goldman Sachs], contrary to the FCPA [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act]

From left: Leissner, Ng and Low.

Goldman Sachs Group has acknowledged that it may receive “significant penalties” resulting from its deals with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It also recognised that it had weaknesses in its compliance controls, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

In its third-quarter earnings filing to regulators, the investment management firm made citations about the indictment against its former employees for bribery and money laundering involving 1MDB, WSJ said.

Although it had acknowledged that it could face “significant penalties resulting from 1MDB”, Goldman Sachs said it was also cooperating with investigators, the report on Monday said.

According to WSJ, Goldman Sachs wrote in the filing that the indictment alleged the firm’s “system of internal accounting controls could be easily circumvented and that the firm’s business culture, particularly in South-East Asia, at times prioritised consummation of deals ahead of the proper operation of its compliance functions”.

The filing also mentioned that former Goldman Sachs bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng had “circumvented the firm’s internal accounting controls in part by intentionally deceiving control personnel and internal committees”.

Goldman Sachs is said to have received nearly RM2.5bil (US$600mil) in fees from the 1MDB deal.

Previously, the Financial Times reported that Goldman Sachs had helped 1MDB sell about RM27bil (US$6.5bil) of bonds between 2012 and 2013, two years before the authorities raided 1MDB’s offices to investigate allegations of massive fraud.

In a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday, Goldman Sachs estimated that possible losses related to litigation proceedings could run as high as US$1.8bil (RM7.49bil) above its total reserves for such matters.

Previously, Goldman Sachs estimated litigation losses to be in excess of US$1.5bil (RM6.24 bil).

The Financial Times also reported that almost 30 people from Goldman Sachs had reviewed 1MDB deal’s approval process.

Meanwhile, in a 2016 indictment, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) alleged that most of the money raised with Goldman Sachs’ help was siphoned off by Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.

The fugitive businessman together with bankers Ng and Leissner were indicted by the DoJ on Thursday for conspiring to launder money and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to 1MDB.

Leissner pleaded guilty to conspiring to launder money and to violating anti-bribery laws. He has been ordered to forfeit US$43.7mil (RM182.27mil) as a result of his crimes.

The criminal charges relating to 1MDB are the first by DoJ.

In 2016, the DOJ reportedly recovered over US$1bil (RM4.17bil being the current conversion rate) that was allegedly stolen, and sought the forfeiture of property, including a Bombardier private jet, Manhattan penthouse, Beverly Hills mansion and paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet.

Low is currently wanted in Malaysia and Singa­pore and other countries over investigations into 1MDB.

In a separate report by the Associated Press, PKR incoming president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said that Low would be given a fair trial.

Anwar said he was “quite pleased” with developments in the case so far and that investigations in the United States, Malaysia and Singapore and other places were “progressing very well”.

The report also said Anwar had hinted that more former officials could be tried on corruption charges.

Malaysia has applied for a Red Notice to seek assistance from countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, India, Myanmar, China and Hong Kong via Interpol, and Taiwan via diplomatic channels to arrest Low. – The Star

Related posts:

Goldman Sachs CEO: I feel horrible ex-bankers broke law in 1MDB case

https://content.jwplatform.com/players/r3OlEq4I-d74adXtC.html

SINGAPORE (Reuters): Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon said on Wednesday he felt “horrible” that two former employees “blatantly broke the law” in their dealings with 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

US prosecutors filed criminal charges against the two former Goldman bankers and a Malaysian financier linked to the alleged theft of billions of dollars from the fund.

An investigation into where 1MDB’s money went became the largest carried out by the Department of Justice under its anti-kleptocracy programme, and the scandal was a major reason why Malaysian voters rejected Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, their prime minister for nearly a decade, in the May 9 general election.

“It is obviously very distressing to see two former Goldman Sachs employees went so blatantly around our policies and so blatantly broke the law,” Solomon said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in Singapore.

“I feel horrible about the fact that people who worked at Goldman Sachs, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s a partner or it’s an entry level employee, would go around our policies and break the law,” Solomon said.

US prosecutors announced last week that Tim Leissner, former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and agreed to forfeit US$43.7mil (RM181.8mil).

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia and is expected to be extradited.

Reuters was not immediately able to contact Ng’s lawyer on Wednesday. His lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment after US prosecutors unveiled the charges last Thursday.

Goldman has also placed its former co-head of Asia investment banking, Andrea Vella, on leave over his role in the firm’s involvement with the case, pending a review of allegations, according to a person familiar with the decision.

The Wall Street bank said in a securities filing on Friday that it may also face penalties from dealings with 1MDB.

Asked if he could provide assurances that neither he, former CEO Lloyd Blankfein or any of the senior management team suspected illegality or compliance breaches in dealings with 1MDB, Solomon said:

“We take compliance and control in our firm extremely seriously, we always have…We are going to continue to cooperate with the authorities and there’s a process in place and that process will proceed.” According to prosecutors, the investment bank generated about US$600mil (RM2.49bil) in fees for its work with 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5bil (RM23.29bil). Leissner, Ng and others received large bonuses in connection with that revenue.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told Reuters in June that the government will be looking at the possibility of seeking claims from Goldman Sachs.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Malaysia will look into why Goldman was paid around US$600mil in fees, an amount that critics say exceeds normal levels.

Goldman has maintained that the outsized fees related to the additional risks it took on after it bought the un-rated bonds while it sought investors and, in the case of the 2013 deal which raised US$2.7bil (RM11.24bil), 1MDB wanted the funds in a hurry for a planned investment.

The new Malaysian government has barred Najib and his wife from leaving the country, and the former premier faces multiple charges of corruption, money laundering and abuse of power, though he has consistently denied any wrongdoing related to 1MDB.

In another interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday, Malaysia’s prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim said it would be “inexcusable” if Goldman Sachs was complicit in the scandal. – Reuters

Guan Eng: Goldman Sachs should return RM2.4bil fees – Nation

American investment bank Goldman Sachs should return the US$588mil (RM2.4bil) in it was paid for 1MDB-related matters, says Lim Guan Eng.

The Finance Minister said the fees were for raising bonds totalling US$6.5 billion (RM23.29 billion) for the Malaysian state investment firm back in 2012 and 2013.

“They must pay us back this money, not only the US$588mil but much more than that,” he said during a briefing on Budget 2019 at Hotel Equatorial Penang on Wednesday (Nov 7).

He said there were consequential losses due to the fees paid as it had cost Malaysia big losses.

This was in respond to Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon, who admitted that their employees had broken the law over 1MDB matters.

Read more at https://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2018/11/08/guan-eng-goldman-sachs-should-return-rm2_4bil-fees/#wqMtc2F6O1jC35UJ.99

 

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

 

Goldman Sachs banker’s obscene commissions netted 11% from 1MDB believed to be most compelling evidence of rogue behaviour

 

Here is how 1MDB money was used to buy Equanimity

 

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

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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High-rise living in below par, need professionalism in managing the property

A strata property living nightmare: leakage

The party responsible is not your upstairs neighbour but the management


Malaysian Strata Management Act 2013 will be enforced from June 1, 2015 in Penang

 

By-laws governing strata property management in Malaysia, part 1

Third Schedule of Strata Management Regulation 2015


 

By-laws governing strata property management in Malaysia, part 2

General duties of a proprietors according to the Third Schedule of Strata Management Regulation 2015



 

By-laws governing strata property in Malaysia, part 3

General prohibitions of a proprietor according to the Third Schedule of Strata Management Regulation 2015


 

Service charges under strata title property in Malaysia

Criminalising non-payment of service charge under the Strata Management Tribunal

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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Probe on ‘Big 2’ accouting firms: KPMG and Deloitte still on over 1MDB accounts


 

 

KPMG and Deloitte being investigated over 1MDB accounts

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) is investigating KPMG and Deloitte, the two accounting firms involved in signing off the accounts of the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The investigations are on whether the auditors in question who handled the accounts had breached the Accountants Act when signing off 1MDB’s accounts between 2009 and 2014.

The MIA has the power to regulate the accounting profession in Malaysia.

“There are complaints lodged against KPMG and Deloitte and we are investigating the auditors in question. The complaints are on the auditors and it is ongoing,” MIA’s chief executive officer Nurmazilah Mahzan told StarBiz in an interview.

Nurmazilah said it could not be determined at this stage when the investigations would be completed.

“The results of the investigations will be studied by a committee. The process is continuing but we have not got the final verdict yet. We cannot predict how long it will take at this point in time. If the auditors are found guilty or if there is a basis to these complaints then we have to wait for the judgement of the disciplinary committee,” she added.

MIA’s executive director for surveillance and enforcement Datuk Muhammad Redzuan Abdullah said the investigations were at the disciplinary committee level now and investigations had started since mid-2016.

The scandal-riddled 1MDB that had accumulated debts of RM42bil over the five years between 2009 and 2014, has had four auditors since its inception. They are Parker Randall, Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte.

1MDB appointed Ernst & Young as its auditor when it was set up in mid-2009. However Ernst & Young resigned in 2010 without signing off the accounts of the fund that was set up by the previous government headed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

KPMG stepped in to take over from Ernst & Young and signed off the accounts for the financial years ended March 31 in 2010, 2011 and 2012. The accounts were signed off without any qualification from the auditors.

Deloitte took over the auditing in December 2013 after 1MDB contended that KPMG could not “conclude” its 2013 accounts.

1MDB had also said in May 2015 that Deloitte had signed off 1MDB’s accounts for 2013 and 2014. When questions arose as to why KPMG could not conclude the accounts for 2013, 1MDB stated in 2015 that Deloitte had signed off the accounts without any qualification.

Nevertheless, resignations by Ernst & Young and KPMG as auditors then had raised questions over the fund. In the accounting world, a firm rarely leaves a job half-done, especially more so when it involves big and prominent clients such as 1MDB.

After KPMG left, 1MDB obtained an extension of six months to submit its accounts for end-March 2013.

It was reported then that KPMG had relinquished its role as auditor. Deloitte then came in and managed to close the books within the extended period of six months.

Earlier reports quoting sources said the primary reason why KPMG could not give an opinion on 1MDB’s accounts was because it was not able to make a fair assessment of the value of the assets backing the fund’s US$2.3bil investment placed with a Hong Kong-based asset management company.

Subsequently Deloitte managed to complete the books wherein the fair value of the investments was put at RM7.18bil based on the assessment done by a third party engaged by the fund administrator.

Recent reports said KPMG which had then signed off on three unqualified audit reports for 1MDB, had informed its board of directors that the audited financial statements did not reflect a true and fair view of the company.

It was also reported that Deloitte in 2016 also said its audit reports on 1MDB’s financial statements issued on March 28, 2014, and Nov 5, 2014, for the financial years ending 2013 and 2014 should no longer be relied upon.

Credit: Daniel Khoo The Staronline

 

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When tongues wag and tales grow: be aware of politicians gone to the dogs!


With the GE imminent, politicians are already snarling at each other, hoping to score points early.

I love dogs. I’ve always had one, from since I was a child, and now, I have three – two Siberian huskies and a poodle.

Despite their differences – in age and breed – they truly love each other, and it’s a real blessing to have this trio of girls in our family.

But I can’t echo that sentiment for some of our politicians. Politics in Malaysia has gone to the dogs. The concerned players are already in dog fights and the general election hasn’t even been called yet.

It’s still early days, although everyone reckons polling is on the horizon. And we’re all too familiar with the dog-eat-dog nature of politics.

Politicians are already snarling, slobbering and barking at each other. Everyone seems to be calling each other liars and running dogs daily.

Therefore, this has left many of us confused. Who is telling the truth? The incessant snapping doesn’t seem to be seeing an end. There is no light at the end of the tunnel, so to speak.

Well, it was the Penang undersea tunnel that got the ball of nastiness rolling. There’s no resolution in sight, for sure, and if you think we should only cross the bridge when we get there, forget it. It’s under-utilised, at least one of them, anyway.

Well, as the saying goes, every dog has its day, but at some point, it’s going to be dog-gone for any politician who can’t stick to the truth or remember the lies he told. For certain, it will be one hell of a dog day afternoon when that happens.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been criss-crossing the country telling his audience that Malaysia will go to the dogs if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak remains Prime Minister. Yes, those are his exact words – go to the dogs.

There’s still plenty of fire in his belly, like a dog with a bone on issues, although he called off a few functions last week, presumably because of health reasons.

On Friday night, he was admitted to the National Heart Institute. Guess he must be dog tired. He’s still a crowd puller and has the knack of explaining issues in simple language and in a low, calm voice, as opposed to the thunder and lightning approach favoured by his DAP partners.

His deadpan expressions and trademark sarcasm are enough to draw laughter and keep the crowds entertained. But he has been continuously dogged by the ghosts of his past. The palaces are in an unforgiving mood for what he has done previously, when he was at the helm for 22 years.

It was Dr Mahathir who launched the campaign to amend the Federal Constitution to remove the Sultans’ immunity in the 1990s.

Dr Mahathir has also been asked to return his DK (Darjah Kerabat Yang Amat Dihormati) title, the highest award in the state, which was conferred on him in 2002. The move by the Kelantan palace to revoke the Datukships of two top Parti Amanah Negara leaders from the state has sent ripples through political circles.

Amanah vice-president Husam Musa and his state chief, Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah, returned their titles to the palace several days ago after being instructed by the State Secretary’s office to do so.

In December, Dr Mahathir returned the two awards he received from the Selangor Sultan, a move believed to be related to the palace’s outrage over his remark on the Bugis, whom he describes as pirates, irking many, including several Sultans.

The chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) was the recipient of two medals of honour from then Selangor Sultan in 1978 and 2003. One of them was the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Paduka Mahkota Selangor (SPMS) (First Class).

Dr Mahathir reportedly told a Pakatan Harapan rally that Malaysia was being led by a prime minister who is a descendant of “Bugis pirates”.

That comment triggered outrage from the Johor Palace, Bugis community and associations in Malaysia, and even from some parts of Indonesia.

Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah was also incensed by Dr Mahathir’s remarks in an interview with The Star.

Last January, the Sultan of Johor said he was “deeply offended and hurt” by the political spin used by certain politicians against mainland Chinese investments in the state, saying if left unchecked, would drive away investors. A visibly upset Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar singled out the nonagenarian for “putting political interests above Malaysian interests, particularly Johor”.

To put it simply, it appears that Dr Mahathir has run into serious problems with the powerful Rulers, and anyone who understands Malay politics will surely appreciate the relationship between the executive and the Rulers.

The Pakatan Harapan may feel that they should unleash our former PM since he was their top dog to best reach the Malay audience, but plans have run aground somewhat.

Politicians come and go, but Rulers remain, at least for longer than politicians. Rulers determine the laws, in many ways, and it would be foolish for a politician to take on these highly-respected royalty.

It will be hard for Dr Mahathir’s younger party colleagues to communicate with him – he comes from another generation all together. And as the adage goes, it’s hard to teach old dogs new tricks. He’s known to be stubborn and one who will doggedly talk about the issues of his choice.

The odd situation is that it is unlikely that any of the Pakatan Harapan leaders will come out openly to defend him. It’s a classic case of tucking their tails between their legs, with the whining kept private.

It’s truly the Year of The Dog. Let’s hope the GE will be called soon because most Malaysians just want to get it over and done with. We have already let the dogs out, and we hope to bring them home soon!

A happy Chinese New Year to all Malaysians celebrating. Gong Xi Fa Cai.

Wong Chun Wai

Wong Chun Wai

Wong Chun Wai began his career as a journalist in
Penang, and has served The Star for over 27 years in various capacities nd roles. He is now the group’s managing director/chief executive officer and formerly the group chief editor.

On The Beat made its debut on Feb 23 1997 and Chun Wai has penned the column weekly
without a break, except for the occasional press holiday when the paper was not published. In May 2011, a compilation of selected articles of On The Beat was published as a book and launched in conjunction with his 50th birthday. Chun Wai also comments on current issues in The Star.
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