- Media Statement: DS Anwar’s message to the public on 21 September 2015
- Malaysia’s prime minister is a questionable ally
- FBI Probes Malaysia Development Fund
Posted: 21 Sep 2015 01:49 AM PDT
DS Anwar Ibrahim conveyed the following message to the public through his lawyers on 21 September 2015:
“I welcome the round table gathering of representatives from PAS, KEADILAN, DAP and Amanah and NGOs expected to take place on Tuesday.
This is an important preliminary step in forging a representative, participatory and inclusive alliance of political parties, NGOs and personalities to bring much-needed change to the country.
The aim of the gathering is not simply to forge a political alliance; ours is a greater endeavour to save the country by uniting all forces committed to reform, justice and the rule of law.
From this prison, I sense the anxiety and concerns of the Rakyat on the economy and fall in currency, increase in racial rhetoric and the continuing 1MDB scandal which remains unresolved.
In this critical situation, we must set aside differences and move forward to forge a viable, just and democratic alternative to the current government.”
Kenyataan Media: Perutusan DS Anwar pada 21 September 2015
Berikut merupakan perutusan DS Anwar Ibrahim yang disampaikan melalui peguam beliau pada 21 September 2015:
“Saya terima baik usaha rundingan meha bulat yang akan disertai wakil-wakil PAS, KEADILAN, DAP dan Amanah serta NGO-NGO pada Selasa ini.
Ini merupakan langkah awal yang penting bagi mewujudkan muafakat yang melibatkan semua pihak termasuk parti-parti politik, NGO dan individu-individu yang amat diperlukan demi membawa perubahan kepada negara.
Tujuan pertemuan ini bukan hanya untuk mewujudkan muafakat politik; usaha kita lebih dari itu, iaitu untuk menyelamatkan Malaysia dengan menggembleng tenaga semua pihak yang komited kepada reformasi, keadilan dan kedaulatan undang-undang.
Walau saya di penjara, saya tetap dapat merasai kerisauan dan kebimbangan rakyat terhadap isu ekonomi dan kejatuhan nilai mata wang ringgit, penggunaan retorik perkauman yang semakin meningkat dan skandal 1MDB yang tidak berkesudahan.
Dalam keadaan genting ini, kita perlu mengetepikan perbezaan dan maju ke hadapan untuk membentuk alternatif yang berdaya maju, adil dan demokratik berbanding kerajaan sedia ada.”
Posted: 20 Sep 2015 09:01 PM PDT
THE OBAMA administration has made a heavy bet on the Malaysian government of Najib Razak, whose majority Muslim nation collaborates on several key U.S. national security initiatives: counterterrorism, counterproliferation and balancing against China's regional ambitions. In December, President Obama invited Mr. Najib to a round of golf during his Hawaiian vacation, a rare show of friendship for a foreign leader.
Since then, however, Mr. Najib has been evolving into an increasingly unseemly pal. In February, the country's opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, was imprisoned on blatantly trumped-up charges, just under a year after the coalition Mr. Anwar led won the popular vote in national elections. That was the tip of a broader campaign to suppress the opposition; key leaders were indicted under a sedition law that Mr. Najib once promised to repeal, and a leading cartoonist was prosecuted for tweets. Mr. Anwar's daughter, parliament member Nurul Izzah Anwar, was recently told she was being investigated under an anti-terrorism law.
Then came the news that close to $700 million had been transferred to personal bank accounts of Mr. Najib before the 2013 election. The Wall Street Journal reported in July that Malaysian investigators believed the money came from companies linked to a troubled state investment fund headed by the prime minister. Mr. Najib responded with a brazen crackdown on those investigating the fund, firing a deputy prime minister and the attorney general and gutting a parliamentary investigative committee. Two newspapers that had been pursuing the scandal were shut down. When the opposition organized a massive protest demonstration last month, authorities banned the movement's signature yellow color.
Mr. Najib once positioned himself as a reformer who would lead a quasi-authoritarian state to genuine democracy. Now he is trying to consolidate his position by appealing to the worst currents in Malaysian politics: ethnic chauvinism and Islamic fundamentalism. In answer to the opposition, the ruling party, which relies on support from the majority Malay population, staged its own rally in which senior officials crudely attacked the Chinese and Indian minorities. Mr. Najib is meanwhile toying with the idea of allowing Islamic sharia law to be imposed in one province, a key goal of Malaysia's fundamentalists.
In a visit to Kuala Lumpur last month, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said he had "raised concerns" with Mr. Najib about freedom of expression and Mr. Anwar's imprisonment. But mostly the Obama administration is sticking with the sullied prime minister. In July, the State Department delivered a questionable promotion to Malaysia in its human trafficking ratings; Mr. Obama is still scheduled to visit Malaysia for an Asian summit in November. The administration appears to be counting on Mr. Najib to deliver Malaysia's support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an Asian free trade deal that Mr. Obama hopes to make part of his legacy.
Nevertheless Ms. Nurul, who visited Washington this week, had a good question for the administration officials she met: "For all that you are investing in Malaysia, are you getting your money's worth?" Mr. Najib may cooperate with U.S. intelligence agencies and the trade representative, but his repression and pandering to racists and Muslim extremists risks destroying the foundations of the alliance. The next time Mr. Obama meets his golfing buddy, he ought to make that clear.
Posted: 20 Sep 2015 08:56 PM PDT
U.S. opens money-laundering investigation amid international 1MDB probe; Malaysia police arrest critic of prime minister
The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said.
The scope of the investigation wasn't known. It is the latest in a series of international investigations related to the fund that have been revealed in the past several weeks.
The international investigations center on entities related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which was set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 to help drive the economy. The fund is having difficulty repaying more than $11 billion of debt and is at the center of investigations that are destabilizing the government.
A Malaysian government probe found that nearly $700 million moved through banks, agencies and companies linked to 1MDB before being deposited into Mr. Najib's alleged private bank accounts ahead of a close election in 2013, the Journal reported in July.
The source of the money is unclear, and the government investigation hasn't detailed what happened to the funds that allegedly went into Mr. Najib's personal accounts. Malaysia's anticorruption body in August said the funds were a donation from the Middle East. The donor wasn't specified.
Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing and denied taking money for personal gain.
Late Friday, a former member of Malaysia's ruling party who had raised questions about money transfers to the Malaysian prime minister was arrested on charges of attempting to undermine democracy, his lawyer Matthias Chang said.
The arrest of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who remained in custody on Saturday, prevented him from traveling to New York where he planned to urge U.S. authorities to investigate the transfers, Mr. Chang said.
A spokeswoman for the FBI's New York office said that no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Mr. Khairuddin or had any previous contact with him.
Two of the transfers were made through the Singapore branch of a Swiss private bank and routed via Wells Fargo & Co. Wells Fargo declined to comment.
The Swiss attorney general's office has opened criminal proceedings against two unidentified executives of 1MDB on suspicion of corruption and money-laundering. It has frozen tens of millions of dollars in Swiss bank accounts, officials said in August.
Last week, 1MDB said none of its executives or board members were the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general's office, and that none of its accounts were frozen there.
Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are investigating allegations related to the fund. 1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen and that it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities.
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