China to US: You’re lying about Huawei, unjust and immoral bullying

Yang Jiechi defends Huawei at the Munich Security Conference

US trying to sabotage Huawei, ZTE and Sino-5G. Too late. Game over. China Rising Radio Sinoland


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By John Gramlich and Kat Devlin A growing share of people around the world see U.S. power and influenc…

Reuters pic. The term 5G stands for a fifth generation — to succeed the current fourth generation of mobile connectivity that has made…



More people around the world see U.S. power and influence as a ‘major threat’ to their country


By John Gramlich and Kat Devlin

A growing share of people around the world see U.S. power and influence as a “major threat” to their country, and these views are linked with attitudes toward President Donald Trump and the United States as a whole, according to Pew Research Center surveys conducted in 22 nations since 2013.

As confidence in president, favorable views of America have declined, more see U.S. power as a ‘major threat’

 As confidence in president, favorable views of America have declined, more see U.S. power as a 'major threat'

A median of 45% across the surveyed nations see U.S. power and influence as a major threat, up from 38% in the same countries during Trump’s first year as president in 2017 and 25% in 2013, during the administration of Barack Obama. The long-term increase in the share of people who see American power as a threat has occurred alongside declines in the shares of people who say they have confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs and who have a favorable view of the United States. (For more about global views toward the U.S. president and the country he leads, see “Trump’s International Ratings Remain Low, Especially Among Key Allies.”)

Despite these changes, U.S. power and influence still ranks below other perceived threats around the world. Considerably larger shares of people point to global climate change (seen as a major threat by a median of 67%), the Islamic militant group known as ISIS (cited by 62%) and cyberattacks (cited by 61%). U.S. power and influence, in fact, is not seen as the top threat in any of the countries surveyed.

People see U.S. power and influence as a greater threat in the Trump era

 People see U.S. power and influence as a greater threat in the Trump era

Still, in 18 of the 22 countries, there were statistically significant increases in the share of people who see American power and influence as a major threat between 2013 and 2018. That includes increases of 30 percentage points in Germany, 29 points in France, and 26 points in Brazil and Mexico. And while these shares rose substantially in many countries after Trump’s election, they increased further in several nations between Trump’s first and second year in office.

In Germany and France, for instance, the share of people who see U.S. power and influence as a major threat went up by 14 and 13 percentage points, respectively, between 2017 and 2018. Other notable year-over-year increases occurred in Tunisia (11 points), Canada and Argentina (8 points each), South Africa (7 points) and Brazil and Russia (6 points each).

Other nations bucked this trend, however. In Spain, for example, the share of people who see American power as a major threat fell by 17 points between 2017 and 2018 (from 59% to 42%). Still, people in Spain remain much more likely to see the U.S. as a threat today than in 2013.

Overall, there are 10 nations surveyed where roughly half or more now see U.S. power as a major threat, with the biggest shares saying this in South Korea (67%), Japan (66%) and Mexico (64%).

In South Korea, equal shares point to U.S. power and influence and to North Korea’s nuclear program as a major threat to their nation (each is cited by 67% of the public). However, several other perceived threats to South Koreans outrank U.S. power and influence, including global climate change (named by 86% of South Koreans), China’s power and influence (cited by 82%), cyberattacks from other countries (cited by 81%) and the condition of the global economy (cited by 74%). South Koreans have long perceived American power as a major threat to their country: 66% said this in 2013 and 70% said it in 2017.

In many of the surveyed countries, concerns about American power and influence are connected with views of Trump: People who have little or no confidence in the U.S. president to do the right thing regarding world affairs are more likely than those who have confidence in Trump to see U.S. power and influence as a top threat to their country. This includes several longtime U.S. allies, including Canada, the UK and Australia.

The same pattern appears when it comes to views of the U.S. in general, as opposed to its president. In most surveyed nations, people who have a more unfavorable view of the U.S. are also more likely to say that American power and influence is a threat to their nation.

Topics: U.S. Global Image and Anti-Americanism, Country Image, Donald Trump
Photo of John Gramlich

is a writer/editor at Pew Research Center.



Yang Jiechi defends Huawei at the Munich Security Conference

Why Huawei’s 5G technology is seen as a threat by the US

Reuters pic.

The term 5G stands for a fifth generation — to succeed the current fourth generation of mobile connectivity that has made video sharing and movie streaming commonplace.

The new technology will require an overhaul of telecommunication infrastructure.

The 5G will do more than make mobile phones faster — it will link billions of devices, revolutionising transportation, manufacturing and even medicine. It will also create a multitude of potential openings for bad actors to exploit.

The vulnerability helps explain the rising tension between the US and Huawei Technologies Co, China’s largest technology company.

Huawei is pushing for a global leadership role in 5G, but American officials suspect that could help Beijing spy on Western governments and companies.

“Huawei’s significant presence in 5G creates a new vector for possible cyber-espionage and malware,” Michael Wessel, a commissioner on the US-China Economic and Security Review Commission that advises Congress, said in an interview.

By connecting whole new classes of products, 5G “creates new vulnerabilities”.

The technology holds great promise. Forests of gadgets will communicate instantly via millions of antennas. Cars will talk to each other to avert lethal crashes, factory foremen will monitor parts supplies and doctors can perform remote surgery as video, sound and data flow without delay.

Connections will be 10 to 100 times faster than current standards — quick enough to download an entire movie in seconds.

Yet, US national security officials see billions of opportunities for spies, hackers and cyber-thieves to steal trade secrets, sabotage machinery and even order cars to crash.

Citing security threats, the US has been pushing allies to block Huawei from telecommunication networks. The US Congress has banned government agencies from buying the company’s gear.

Why is the United States intent on killing Huawei? Look at the data below:

Huawei employs more than 10,000 Phd degree holders as well as many talented Russian mathematicians.

Do you know how many Huawei employees earn more than 1 million yuan (RM603,280) a year? More than 10,000 people.

Do you know how many Huawei employees earn more than five million yuan a year? More than 1,000 people!

In China alone, Huawei’s research and development expenditure is 89.6 billion yuan.

Among the Big Three, Alibaba employs 30,000 people, Baidu 50,000, Tencent about 30,000, leading to a total of 110,000; but Huawei’s global employees total 170,000.

Alibaba’s profit is 23.4 billion yuan, Tencent’s 24.2 billion yuan, Baidu’s 10.5 billion yuan, and their profits total 58 billion yuan, but 70% is taken away by foreigners. Since 2000, Huawei has earned 1.39 trillion yuan from abroad.

In taxes, Tencent pays more than seven billion yuan a year, Alibaba 10.9 billion yuan, and Baidu 2.2 billion. Huawei pays 33.7 billion yuan, which is more than the total of the earlier three firms.

Huawei is a high-tech company, and technology represents the true strength of a country.

In China, many companies can’t last long because there are always other companies ready to replace them, but Huawei is irreplaceable.

Huawei is a 100% Chinese company that has not been listed and does not intend to go public because of the susceptibility to be controlled by capital (which the United States can simply print money to do).

Huawei is the first private technology company in China ever to join the league of the world’s top 100. The Chinese should be proud of Huawei.
FMT NewsKoon Yew Yin is a retired chartered civil engineer and one of the founders of IJM Corporation Bhd and Gamuda Bhd.

The views expressed by the writer do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.


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Recession? No, not this year 2019


THE influential International Monetary Fund (IMF) has predicted slower global growth this year on the back of financial volatility and the trade war between the United States and China.

Turkey and Argentina are expected to experience deep recessions this year before recovering next year.

China, apart from fighting the trade war, is also experiencing its slowest quarterly growth since the 1990s, sending ripples across Asia. In the last quarter of 2018, China recorded an economic growth of 6.4%, which is the third consecutive quarter of slowing growth.

This has led to fears of China’s economy going into a hard landing and it possibly being the catalyst to spark global economic turmoil.

After all, it has been more than 10 years since the world witnessed the last recession in 2008 that was caused by a financial crisis in the US. If we are to believe the 10 to 12-year economic turmoil cycle, the next downturn is already due.

However, the economic data so far does not seem to suggest that the world will go into a recession or tailspin this year.

The bigger worry is what would happen next year.

The narrowing spread between the two-year and 10-year US Treasury papers would lead to banks being more selective in their lending. It is already happening in the US.

The impact is likely to be profound next year. When banks are more selective in lending, eventually the economy will grind to a halt.

But that is the likely scenario next year, assuming there is no fresh impetus to spur global growth.

At the moment, there is a significant amount of asset price depression due to slowing demand. The reason is generally because of the slower growth in China and the trade war.

China has fuelled demand for almost everything in the last few years. Companies and individuals from China drove up the prices of everything – from property and valuations of companies to commodities.

China itself is experiencing a slowing economy and the government has restricted the outflow of funds. Its overall debt is estimated at 300% of gross domestic product and banks are reluctant to lend to private companies for fear of defaults.

China’s manufacturing sector has slowed down because of the trade war. Companies are not prepared to expand because they fear the tariffs imposed by the US.

Nevertheless, the world’s second-largest economy is still growing, albeit at a slower pace. A growth rate of 6.4% per quarter is still commendable, although it is far from the 12% quarterly economic growth it recorded in 2011-2012.

The US, which is the world’s largest economy, is also facing slower growth this year. The Federal Reserve has predicted a slower economic growth of 2.3% in 2019 compared to the 3.1% the country recorded last year.

The ongoing US government shutdown is not going to make things easy.

As for Europe, the European Central Bank (ECB) has warned of a slowdown this year. The warning came just six weeks after the ECB eased off on its bond-buying programme that was designed to reflate the economy.

Business sentiments on Germany, which is a barometer of what happens to the rest of Europe, is at the lowest.

As for Malaysia, the country is going through an economic transition of sorts following the change in government. Government spending has traditionally been the driver of the domestic economy when global growth slows.

The new government has cut back on spending, which is a necessary evil, considering that many of the projects awarded previously were inflated. Generally, the cost of most projects is to be shaved by at least 10% – and some by up to 50%.

However, the projects with revised costs have not got off the ground yet and contractors have not been paid their dues. For instance, contractors in the LRT 3 project had complained of not getting payments for work done a year ago.

Fortunately, a new contract for the LRT 3 has been signed. Hopefully, the contractors will be paid their dues speedily and work recommences on the ground fast.

The volatile oil prices are not helping improve revenue for the government.

Domestic demand is still growing, although people complain of their income levels not growing. This is because companies as a whole are also not doing as well as in previous years.

Nevertheless, even the most pessimistic of economist is looking at Malaysia chalking up a growth rate of more than 4.5% this year, which is respectable. The official forecast is 4.9%.

One of the reasons for the optimism is that they feel government revenue is expected to be much higher than expected, giving it the flexibility to push spending if the global economic scenario takes a turn for the worse.

According to the Treasury report for 2019, federal government revenue is to come in at about RM261bil, which is 10.7% higher than in 2018.

The amount is likely to be much higher, allowing the government the option to put more money in the hands of the people. It also allows the government to reduce corporate taxes, a move that would draw in investments.

Malaysia has a new government in place. What investors are looking for are signs of where all the extra revenue earned will go. They are also looking for the next growth catalyst.

The trade war and financial volatility is causing structural shifts in the global economy. It is impacting China, the US and Europe.

Eventually, the global crunch will come, but it is not likely to happen this year.

By m. shanmugam


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The Belt and Road Initiative has been generating a lot of excitement at Davos. It will direct investment in infrastructure across Asia over the coming decade, but the ambitious project faces challenges in tackling debt, supporting sustainable  development and uniting a fractured international community. How can the government and private sectors harness the risks to guarantee the 1.5-trillion-U.S.-dollar investment will succeed in kick-starting development and growth? Our diverse panel reflects the global outlook of the project. We have Xu Niansha, chairman of the China Poly Group; Heng Swee Keat, Singapore’s minister of finance; Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan, and Wang Yongqing, vice chairman of the All-China  Federation of Industry and Commerce. #Davos2019 #BeltandRoad


Chinese VP calls for structural reform to address global imbalances

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China demands U.S. to drop Huawei exec’s extradition as the latter don’t have law on their side

Huawei CFO has strong arguments in extradition case: Canadian diplomat

 FM urges Canada to make right choice 

China urged Canada to “make the right choice” on Thursday, after Canada’s ambassador to China John McCallum reportedly said the Huawei executive arrested in Vancouver at the request of the US has a strong case to fight extradition.

“Any one with normal judgment can see the nature of the incident, and we hope the Canadian side makes the right choice and not to ‘pull someone’s chestnuts out of the fire,'” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a daily briefing on Thursday.

Hua’s remark comes after McCallum told reporters earlier this week that Huawei’s chief finance officer Meng Wanzhou has a “strong case” to fight an extradition request.

“I think she has quite good arguments on her side,” said McCallum, CNN reported.

“One, political involvement by comments from US President Donald Trump in her case. Two, there’s an extraterritorial aspect to her case; and three, there’s the issue of Iran sanctions which are involved in her case, and Canada did not sign on to these sanctions.”

Echoing McCallum, Huang Feng, director of Beijing Normal University’s Institute for International Criminal Law, noted that the US extradition request has no merit as it does not follow the basic extradition principle of double criminality.

Double criminality states that a suspect could be extradited only if similar laws one breaks exist in the extraditing country. However, Canada has no such sanctions, said Huang.

Analysts stressed that even if the US files an extradition request at the last minute, it does not mean Meng would be extradited to the US, noting that every side has to weight their choice.

Such a request has to be reviewed and approved by Canada’s judicial department and local court, and though Canada’s judicial departments are unlikely to refuse the extradition, Huawei’s legal teams could exhaust every means of judicial remedy in Canada to stop the extradition.

The US government alleges that Meng helped Huawei dodge US sanctions on Iran and has indicated it will file a formal extradition request by the January 30 deadline, CNN reported Thursday.

Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University’s Center for American Studies, told the Global Times that if Canada does agree to extradite Meng to the US in the worst scenario, bilateral ties will face unprecedented challenges.

The extradition will cause “downgraded diplomatic relations” between China and Canada, Wu said.

It will set a precedent of enterprises facing the harshest legal punishment for alleged misconduct they are charged of in a foreign country, said Wu.

US enterprises may face similar consequences in China, he said.

The current status of China-Canada relations does have a huge impact on bilateral exchanges and cooperation, but China is not responsible for that, Hua said.

The Canadian side has to take China’s concerns seriously and correct its mistakes to change the situation, she said.

US extradition mirrors Iran sanctions: just don’t have law on their side’ on Huawei case 

The US request to extradite Huaiwei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou goes against international law and mirrors its unilateral sanctions on Iran, which is opposed by the international community, Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday.

The US extradition request mirrors US sanctions on Iran. However, as everyone knows, Huawei has repeatedly stated its compliance with all applicable laws and regulations of the countries in which it operates, said Hua Chunying, spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hua noted that China opposes unilateral US sanctions against Iran outside the UN Security Council framework. The sanctions are not in conformity with international law and have met with international opposition, including US ally Canada,she said.

Hua’s comments came after the US Justice Department said on Tuesday it would continue to pursue the extradition of Meng and would meet all deadlines set by the US-Canada Extradition Treaty, Reuters reported, citing a statement released by US Justice Department spokesman Marc Raimondi.

Huang Feng, director of Beijing Normal University’s Institute for International Criminal Law, told the Global Times this accusation is farfetched because she was allegedly accused of bank fraud at HSBC, a UK-based banking giant, not a US one, and Meng’s activities were outside the US.

Canada’s Department of Justice said an individual can be extradited if the alleged activity in question is recognized as a criminal in both countries.

Huang said that the extradition request cannot be passed by Canada unless the US offers solid evidence to prove that Meng violated the laws of Canada and the US.

The US action goes against international law and is unjustified, said Hua, noting that it is part of the country’s political agenda to bully Chinese hi-tech firms and contain China’s rightful development.

Huang also noted he found it strange that the Canadian ambassador announced the US request before the US formally send its extradition request. “Normally, none would publish relevant information unless it’s formalized. So it seems like Canada is bluffing.”

Ren Zhengfei, Meng’s father and Huawei founder, said in an interview with foreign media on January 15, “I trust that the legal systems of Canada and the United States are open, just, and fair, and will reach a just conclusion,” Ren said, according to a transcript Huawei released to media.

Meng case to further complicate China-Canada-US ties

Editor’s Note:

The US has reportedly said to formally seek extradition of Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou. Since Meng was arrested on December 1 in Vancouver, the deadline for the US to file a formal extradition request is 30 January, 60 days after the arrest. What is the implication of Washington’s move? How will it influence China-US-Canada relations? Global Times sought the opinion of two experts on the issue.

Li Haidong, professor with the Institute of International Relations at China Foreign Affairs University

US President Donald Trump has been deeply troubled by the government shutdown and the Russiagate investigation

As the deadline nears, Washington may be too busy coping with the shutdown chaos to consider Meng’s case and make the formal extradition request. Ottawa is urging Washington to take the action.

Extradition is a strict cooperative law enforcement process between two jurisdictions. The US’ filing a request does not mean that Canada must immediately send Meng to the US. Canada has to conduct a judicial review procedure to weigh the request, during which Meng’s appeal will also be taken into account.

At least in the legal sense, if Meng’s appeal is credible and convincing enough, there is a good chance that Ottawa would hesitate to transfer her to Washington.

Nonetheless, it should be noted that Meng’s case is political in the garb of a legal procedure. If law is the only factor to be considered, I believe Meng will win the lawsuit; but when the political factors come into play, there would be increased uncertainty.

Meng’s case is a long-running battle. As long as it is not resolved, it would be tough to iron out China-US-Canada relations.

Washington is unwilling to see any of its allies strengthening relations with Beijing, but China-Canada ties should not be affected by the Meng incident. Canada should abandon its role as a US puppet to sully China’s image. The right thing for Ottawa to do is to immediately correct the mistake.

Chen Hongqiao, researcher at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Washington tends to make important decisions at the eleventh hour. It is used to taking a wait-and-see approach toward the two or more sides of the game, and then determine what measures to take.

In Meng’s case, the US has its own strategic requirement. It needs to observe the interaction between China and Canada to make up its mind. If China takes a tough stance, the US would act prudently. If Canada requires support, the US will provide it.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the US on January 30 and 31 for the next round of US-China trade negotiations. The US may proceed to file a formal extradition request for Meng just days before Liu’s visit as a leverage to exert pressure on Beijing to pursue its interests in the trade talks. But the US side will not bring it up during the negotiations with Beijing.

According to Reuters, US President Donald Trump stated he would intervene in the Justice Department case against Meng if it is in US national security interest and US-China trade talks. His words signal that before Meng is extradited, he could apply the president’s diplomatic prerogative to intervene. The US has a system of separation of powers and its judiciary branch is independent. If Meng is extradited to the US, it would be difficult for Trump to exercise his influence.

Canada claims to be a country with the rule of law, and will deal with the US request based on laws and will not hand over Meng without careful consideration. In fact, Ottawa has been disappointed with Washington, complaining that the US is competing with China at the expense of Canada. On the surface, Meng’s incident is a legal issue, but politics and diplomacy play an important role.

Prepare for protracted game over Meng

The US Department of Justice confirmed on Tuesday that it will “meet all deadlines” to seek extradition of Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou, signaling an extraordinarily high probability of the US filing a formal extradition request before January 30.

Washington’s move will undoubtedly further intensify the dispute between the US and China over Meng’s case. China must not bear any illusion and should prepare for more complicated games.

The Chinese government and media should continue to disclose and condemn that Washington and Ottawa have violated the basic legal spirit. Their sophistry must bear diplomatic and public pressure, and not to be left unimpeded in the international arena, as if Huawei did commit serious crimes.

Arresting Meng is obviously part of the US actions to crack down on Huawei. Anyone with a brain can clearly see Washington’s intention to stop rising Chinese high-tech companies in the name of the law.

One thing should be made very clear: If Ottawa successfully assists Washington in the extradition of Meng, Beijing will retaliate against both of them without doubt.

The US’ official request for extradition does not mean an immediate transfer of Meng. The Canadian court will then have a month to hear the US evidence and weigh the request before making judgment. Meng can also defend herself and appeal. This process may last a few months, or even years.

As a private company, Huawei is incapable of confronting the US and Canada’s national system, but it can do its best to prolong the extradition process at most.

There has been a political purpose from the very beginning when news of Meng’s case broke. Since Washington and Ottawa have vowed to declare that this is a 100 percent legal procedure, this political persecution must be strictly tested by their legal system.

Ottawa is stuck in the middle of Washington and Beijing, and involved in the whirlpool of geopolitical disputes. Being a US puppet is not easy. Canada may realize that it bears the blame for its ally. Its emphasis on acting by law is only a self-spiritual support in the current predicament.

Canadian public opinion is sensitive to any evidence of political persecution in this case, which can provide a potential favorable factor for Meng’s defense and appeal.

Canada is a legal state under normal circumstances, and especially attaches importance to procedures and evidence. Although disguised as legal procedure, Meng’s case, a case of injustice, is bound to have loopholes. Huawei has already shown its confidence in the upcoming litigation process.

China-US ties may also undergo certain subtle changes at any time which might dilute US political motives for persecuting Meng. We should never abandon such hope.

Meng’s case has set an execrable precedent. Beijing’s reaction will shape the world’s understanding of China’s national strength and will. Beijing must not be furious or cowardly.

We should take corresponding actions step by step in resolute and orderly manner, and show the world that Chinese are with reason and with restraint.

Any countries and forces that persecute Chinese citizens and infringe on China’s interests will pay a heavy price. Global Times

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Ottawa is now as sensitive as a frightened bird. A few words by the ambassador should not have posed any impact on court decisions. Nonetheless, judging from the reactions of many politicians and journalists in Canada, McCallum’s remarks are like a dreadful monster.

 Canadian envoy’s apology shows ‘political correctness’ subverts rule of law

Canadian Ambassador to China John McCallum admitted on Thursday that he misspoke on the case of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou by suggesting that she had a strong case to fight extradition to the US.

5G competition a new arms race?

It’s hard to accurately understand the potential of 5G technology and its significance nowadays. More imagination should be encouraged. However, referring to 5G competition as an arms race and attaching so much importance to the dominance of the technology is typical American thinking.

Huawei unveils core 5G chipset, secured 30 5G commercial contracts worldwide 

China’s Huawei Technologies launched the world’s first core chip specifically designed for 5G base stations on Thursday in Beijing, securing its leading position for 5G deployments in spite of political pressure.

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Goldman Sachs must follow up on its apology with US$7.5bil compensation in 1MDB scandal


Goldman Sachs Group Inc should follow up on its apology to Malaysia with a payment of US$7.5bil (RM30.86bil), says Lim Guan Eng.

The Finance Minister said a mere apology from the investment bank over the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is not enough, unless they pay reparations and compensation.

Lim said Goldman Sachs should understand the agony and trauma suffered by Malaysians as a result of the scandal.

“An apology is not enough.

“An apology with US$7.5bil is what matters.

“At least he (Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon) accepted that they have to bear and shoulder some responsibility but that is insufficient.

“They have made provisions of around US$561mil (RM2.3bil) but that is not adequate.

“We are seeking US$7.5bil,” he told a press conference here yesterday after announcing the names of the joint lead arrangers for the Samurai bond.

On Thursday, Solomon apologised to Malaysians for former banker Tim Leissner’s role in 1MDB.

Solomon also said it was very clear that Malaysians were defrau­ded by many individuals, including the highest members of the previous administration.

Asked if Malaysia would drop charges against Goldman Sachs with the US$7.5bil payment, Lim quipped: “US$7.5bil … then we can discuss lah”.

Lim added that it was very clear who the top government official Solomon was referring to as there could only be one person.

“You worked hand in hand, and there has to be accountability. It also involved a breach in fiduciary duty, and I think the banking industry has this obligation to make good the losses that we suffered.

“I think this is at least an admission.

“If not for the change of government, do you think Goldman will apologise? We’re dealing with the largest investment bank in the world,” he said.

Lim added that he found it distressing that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak still refused to admit there was something wrong with 1MDB and the entire exercise.

He also lambasted the former premier for passing the buck to Goldman Sachs, and for being in a state of denial for refusing to admit that Malaysians suffered huge losses due to the scandal.

By Royce Tan The Star

Goldman Sachs CEO apologises for ex-banker’s role in 1MDB scandal

NEW YORK: Goldman Sachs Group Inc chief executive officer David Solomon (pic) has apologised to the Malaysian people for former ban­ker Tim Leissner’s role in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, but said the bank had conducted due diligence before every transaction.

Goldman is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised US$6.5bil (RM26.7bil) for the sovereign wealth fund.

US prosecutors last year charged two former Goldman bankers for the theft of billions of dollars from 1MDB. Leissner, a former partner for Goldman Sachs in Asia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

“It’s very clear that the people of Malaysia were defrauded by many individuals, including the highest members of the prior government,” Solomon said on conference call discussing the bank’s fourth-quarter results in a report by Reuters.

Solomon said Leissner denied the involvement of any of Goldman’s intermediaries in transactions with 1MDB.

An attorney representing Leissner did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Roger Ng, the other charged former Goldman banker, was arrested in Malaysia at the request of US authorities and is expected to be extradited, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for the prosecution.

The DOJ has said that US$4.5bil (RM18.5bil) was allegedly misappropriated by high-level officials of the fund and their associates between 2009 and 2014.

As part of Goldman’s due diligence efforts, Solomon said the bank sought and received written assurances from 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) that no third parties were involved in the first two bond sales.

Abu Dhabi’s IPIC had co-guaranteed the 1MDB bonds when they were issued in 2012.

In the final offering, the Malaysian government itself, along with 1MDB, represented that no intermediaries were involved, he said.

“All these representations to Goldman Sachs have proven to be false,” Solomon said.

Goldman Sachs did not disclose any other information about its involvement with 1MDB, but said the impact on its client franchise had been de minimis. Shares of the bank, which reported strong fourth-quarter results earlier in the day, have fallen over 25% in the last three months, after headlines about its involvement with the sovereign wealth fund emerged.

The Malaysian government said in December it was seeking up to US$7.5bil (RM30.8bil) in reparations from Goldman over its dealings with 1MDB. – Reuters

In an immediate reaction yesterday, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Goldman Sachs had to take responsibility because they were appointed and paid by 1MDB to take care of Malaysian’s interests.

“We put up a system, the system was there to take care of our interests, you see.

“So if they fail, then they have to take responsibility, because they were appointed and paid by 1MDB to take care of our interests,” Najib said.- The Star


 Goldman Sachs  CEO David Solomon apologises for ex-banker’s role in 1MDB scandal

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