"Clare's dogged (and to some, more that a little annoying) persistence and an incredible nose for the fishy stuff, uncovered the heist of the century.  The explosive exposés  rocked the nation, and precipitated the fall of the Malaysian government for the first time in 60 years."
Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Damansara, Malaysia

Investigating the deforestation of Sarawak, Borneo, and the dispossession of its people, journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown followed a trail of corruption that led her to the heart of Malaysian politics and to Prime Minister Najib Razak himself. Determined that the public should know the truth, she started a blog, which became Malaysia's go-to news outlet for information that the government was trying to suppress – and whistleblowers wanted to get out. She was soon running a radio station too...

Full story in The Sarawak Report book to be launched on September 8, 2018


Bangkok Post - Note To Editor

Thailand has refused a request by Switzerland to repatriate a Swiss national, convicted of selling information to anti-government groups in Malaysia, so he can serve the rest of his sentence in his home…

Viktor Vavricka, the Swiss embassy’s charge d’affaires, said Bern regretted Bangkok’s refusal to allow Andre Xavier Justo — involved in exposing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal — to be jailed in Switzerland.

“The Swiss embassy is aware the transfer request has been refused by the Thai authorities, a development the Swiss authorities regret,” Mr Vavricka wrote in an email to the Bangkok Post.

However, official notification of the decision is still pending. The safety and integrity of Mr Justo is of utmost priority to the Swiss authorities which continue to follow this case closely.”

Our comment

Sarawak Report politely reminds the Bangkok Post that the information released by Justo formed the basis of a US Department of Justice indictment confirming that billions of dollars had been stolen from a public fund and passed into the Malaysian Prime Minister’s personal accounts.

He did not give the information to “anti-government forces”, which implies some kind of illegal guerrilla army was the recipient.  He gave it to a business newspaper The Edge and to Sarawak Report and the UK Sunday Times newspaper, which are independent bodies with no vested interests in Malaysian politics.  He did not receive any money for the data.

His conviction was secured through a forced, false confession obtained from him in a Thai jail by British operatives paid by the company PetroSaudi, which was deeply involved in the theft from 1MDB and which had made the original criminal complaint against Justo.

This outrageous and astonishing criminal conspiracy against the people of Malaysia and against a Swiss who tried to expose it ought to be the subject of a number of potential stories for any half-decent newspaper based in Bangkok.

Thai Law Is Arbitrary?

The decision to deny former PetroSaudi International employee Andre Xavier Justo his request to serve the remainder of his jail term in his country, Switzerland, was made “in accordance with Thai law”.

According to Thai Justice Minister Gen Paiboon Koomchaya, under the country’s law, anyone requesting to transfer the remainder of his jail sentence must have “not less than one year” left in his jail term.

“But the remainder of the jail term of this prisoner (Justo) is nine months, which did not meet the transfer (of prisoner) treaty law. Thus, the decision to deny the request.”

“This law does not discriminate against anyone, and is effective for every prisoner who is eligible for the transfer. The Correctional Department’s decision is in accordance with the rule of law,” he told Bernama in a telephone interview today.

Our comment

Unfortunately, the rest of the world is coming to the conclusion that Thai law is arbitrary.

First, an ‘amnesty’ reduces a sentence and promises are made that a prisoner will be released home.

Then (following meetings with Najib who wants this witness silenced) there is a u-turn and now an announcement that the reduction in the term has  actually EXTENDED the time the hostage remains in Thailand.

Xavier Justo was convicted on the basis of a forced, false confession, taken under conditions of blackmail in his jail by a paid agent of PetroSaudi, whom the Thai legal system had apparently allowed to usurp their due process.

Justo was denied his lawyer present and told if he cooperated in making this confession, then PetroSaudi would get him out.

Under which Thai law was this permitted?

It's Official, Malaysia's Police Chief Has Gone Mad!

Inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar said Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi should surrender himself or face arrest for his allegedly offensive tweet on the death of PAS spiritual leader Haron Din.

“If he (Ooi) wants to make things easier, just surrender himself.

“Or else we (police) will find him,” Khalid told reporters after the monthly assembly at Bukit Aman police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today.

Khalid earlier confirmed Ooi is being investigated under Section 298 of the Penal Code for causing disharmony, disunity or feelings of enmity, hatred or ill will, or prejudicing the maintenance of harmony on grounds of religion.

Ooi had tweeted, “Adios Haron Din. May there be peace” when re-tweeting another user’s message about the PAS spiritual leader’s passing on Friday.

Our comment

There is a proverb: “He who is slow to anger has great understanding, But he who is quick-tempered exalts folly”.

In any other English speaking country, Jeff Ooi’s remark would have been interpreted as a fond farewell. A plea to let bygones be bygones at a time of loss and mourning.

‘May they rest in peace’, ‘Let there be peace’ are traditional sentiments expressed by former friend or foe at a time of passing.

‘Adios’ means “Go with God’ and is a term the Spanish use at a parting from loved ones or to friends and strangers they might pass along a journey or politely in a street. A well-wishing in a shared moment, often heart felt.

To take offence at such sentiments is therefore quite staggering. Is it ignorance of the language, which is forgivable but needs correcting or mere ‘offence-seeking’ that has triggered this undignified outburst by supposed supporters of a respected religious figure, who deserves better from followers at such a time?

Khalid should remember that his job is to keep the peace. as Jeff Ooi’s sentiment advised, not to stir up misguided discord in this way.

1MDB Has Been 'Explained'!

Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang claims that voters do not seem as concerned about the 1MDB controversy anymore, with speculation being rife that the next general election will be held in March next year.

“The opposition keeps talking about it in the newspapers, but the reality is, people are looking at the government’s performance instead,” Tan told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

He said there were also not many questions about the 1MDB scandal during his visits at the grassroots levels as the people were instead interested in bread-and-butter issues…

He said the reason why the 1MDB issue has subsided was likely because it has already been explained.

Our comment

What exactly has Mr Tan explained to his voters?

That a ‘Saudi Royal’ gave Najib the money and that the USA/Swiss/Singaporeans/Hong Kong/Luxembourg etc have deliberately tried to ‘topple’ his ‘democratically elected’ leader by alleging otherwise?

The stories have changed so often that it would be nice to know exactly what the latest explanation is and whether the various BN spokesmen, who have made so many contradictory statements, have settled on a single one?

Whatever he has to say, it would appear that most Malaysians have already concluded that the Prime Minister has stolen big fat billions from the development fund to rig elections, fund his wife and bribe UMNO leaders… not much left to ask.

UMNO Are United In Their Agenda

Umno and the BN should view seriously and come up with the best strategies to face the possibility of one-on-one fights the coming 14th general election (GE14), Umno supreme council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman said today.

Tajuddin, who also deputy agriculture and agro-based industry minister, said there was a possibility of this taking place because the opposition had long dreamed of toppling the government.

But, he said, it was impossible for the opposition parties to form a stable government because each party had its own agenda.

Our comment

On the other hand UMNO /BN are presently united in one agenda.

This is to steal as much money for themselves as possible from the people through the criminal abuse of the power they are so hungry for.


Unrepentant Mike Smith!

Despite criticism of Smith’s super-regional Asia strategy while running ANZ, the former senior HSBC executive is still one of Australia’s best-connected businessmen in the region …

Fresh from a three-month break in Europe and his 60th birthday celebrations over the weekend, Smith is turning his attention back to Asia in his latest “ambassadorial” role advising PricewaterhouseCoopers. It is not dissimilar to the advisory role he currently has with ANZ.

Smith’s successor, Shayne Elliott, is reining in ANZ’s investment in Asia although the bank says it is not back tracking. While his critics will point to Smith’s Asia strategy as a reason why he should not be advising companies on doing business in Asia, Smith shrugs off that kind of commentary as “uninformed” and that it was always an investment that played to the medium to long term. “We are oppressed by this social sound bite these days where next Thursday is long term. If you think like that you are going to come a cropper….

Smith believes Australian companies are in danger of missing the boat in Asia because they are more comfortable in the English-speaking market and see the region as too risky.

“It is not a question of should I get closer to Asia. The question the boards should be asking themselves is can they afford not to?”


Our comment

Today it has emerged that Arianne de Rothschild, President of Edmond de Rothschild BPERE and a swathe of top brass at the bank handed in their notice on July 20th. That was the day of the US Department of Justice filing which implicated their bank in the laundering of money stolen from 1MDB.

The same indictment squarely implicated ANZ (of which Mike Smith was CEO at the relevant time) for managing a series of eye-popping transactions into Najib Razak’s billion dollar AmBank account.

ANZ is the major shareholder of AmBank and as part of Mike Smith’s ‘Asia expansion’ all the most senior officers in KL were staff on secondment from ANZ.

The former owner of AmBank, Hussein Najadi, had raised loud concerns about what was going on at the bank, but Mike and his team failed to take notice. They didn’t even bother to check further when Najidi was shot dead and his son began a crusade to highlight the suspicious circumstances linked to the bank.

Eventually, after Sarawak Report leaked the information on Najib’s shocking accounts and after several regulatory investigations were launched, Smith and his team sacked a couple of junior operatives who had managed Najib’s accounts. Later, in September of last year he too decided to take an early retirement.

But, now he is back preaching! He is plainly confident that Australian regulators will continue to look the other way over this disgraceful episode.  But, those seeking his advice should remember it’s not about whether you should do business with Asia, but HOW you do that business which matters.

Nazri Should Learn Some Respect

Umno supreme council member Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said he is closer to DAP than MCA because it is the former that can garner Chinese support.

He said this in response to MCA central committee member Ti Lian Ker, who complained that Nazri appears closer to DAP despite winning in the general election under BN, which was helped by all component parties including MCA.

“I am good with (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng because I respect democracy as the Chinese community chose Lim Guan Eng and DAP.

“So I have to respect democracy and respect them (DAP). Why would I want to respect Ti when the people reject him.

“I am confident even if he were to contest in the general election, the rakyat will also reject him because the Chinese people truly hate people like him,” Nazri told Malaysiakini.

Our comment

It is fascinating to watch BN’s remaining leading lights condemn themselves by their own tongues and none are better at it than this Nazri.

He has made it clear that he has no ‘respect’ for anybody not above him in life, as he sees it. That includes voters, working people and those who choose to disagree with him in politics.

Instead, he clearly respects the master-theif Najib, whom he and fellow UMNO Supreme Council members ought by duty now to have long since removed from office.

Everyone who seeks to represent their people should be accorded reasonable respect, if they act with honesty and good faith.  Likewise taxi drivers and anyone else earning a decent and honourable living for their families.

It is arrogance, greed, lies and theft that by right loses a man respect and this Nazri fellow has all of the above in spades, by his own admission.

No one cares whom he respects, because nobody has respect for him.

Mr P Balan Should Sue For BIG Damages

Desperate for help and on the verge of becoming homeless, handicapped labourer P Balan has turned to the Malaysian Human Rights Commssion (Suhakam) to resolve his predicament.

The bank had auctioned off his home in February in a purportedly speedy manner, after a freak accident left the welder paralysed waist-down and unable to repay his housing loans.

A metal column had crushed Balan, 37, while he was at work on June 22 last year, damaging his spinal cord and making it impossible for him to continue his job.

Now, he and his two sisters, as well as his sister’s three children, may be thrown out of the house that they are now occupying illegally.

They have already received a legal notice from the new homeowner, telliing them to vacate the premises…

Balan bought the house with a loan of RM115,000 in 2005.  He was unable to service the loan from July 2015 onwards after the accident. He spent seven months in hospital, and for four of those, he was in a coma.

Even though the loan was covered by insurance, it was rejected by insurers due to insufficient medical evidence, and the bank proceeded to auction the property.

The family complained that the bank was unwilling to wait for a complete medical report confirming Balan’s paralysed state, which he only received in June after being discharged in January.

They later learnt that their home was auctioned off at a price of RM150,000.

Our comment

We trust that the big spending Najib and his wife are enjoying the luxuries on their extended foreign tours, as the plight of the likes of Mr Balan are clearly beneath their interest.

Suhakam say they know of 50 others in a similar position who have lost their homes in the same way.

Where are Mr Balan’s employers, who ought to have been helping to solve his problems after this doubtless avoidable accident at work?

What were the medical bureaucrats otherwise doing that they could not sign a form to say he had been paralysed in less than six months?

Who are the disgraceful insurers who refused to respond to such a dreadful tragedy in a speedy and responsible manner, given that this is why people like Mr Balan pay them their fat fees every month?

And which was the bank manager who called in the loan and sold off the house with such callous disregard for the tragic circumstances of the case?

All these people represent what is wrong in Malaysia now under a regime that has become so corrupted that it has created a society where dog eats dog.

With Mr Balan so stricken these people saw only the opportunity for themselves to take his home and make a profit.  All who failed him should be prosecuted and Suhakam is right to take up his case.

So Where Does The Saudi Royal Fit In Mr Dahlan?

The “Malaysian Official 1” named in the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) civil suit related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) refers to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan confirmed.

Abdul Rahman confirmed this during a recent interview with BBC.

“I’ve said it openly. Obviously if you read the documents, it is the Prime Minister,” BBC quoted him as saying in an article titled Who is Malaysian Official 1? Case Closed, published on its website yesterday.

However, Abdul Rahman, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, went on to suggest that the reason Najib was not named in the DoJ report was because he was not involved in the investigation.

In a statement, Abdul Rahman said the difference between being named as the subject of a lawsuit and merely being referred to in an investigation, was black and white.

He claimed former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed and his allies were trying to mix the two up.

Our comment

Does Dahlan think Malaysians are dumb?!

The reason the Prime Minister’s actual name was not featured in the law suit was because he is not the registered owner of the assets facing seizure in the United States.

However, if he is indeed Malaysian Official Number One, then the facts of the DOJ indictment show that he is plainly guilty of numerous criminal acts in the jurisdiction of Malaysia!

These include the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars that went into his own account.

Significantly, today was the day by which those named ie Jho Low, Riza Aziz (Najib’s own stepson currently cowering in KL), Khadem Al Qubaisi et al, needed to contest the US indictment if they were going to.

They did not dare.

Instead, those who could get away have become fugitives, whilst the others are arrested in Abu Dhabi, where the government has certainly taken action over these monstrous thefts, unlike in Malaysia.

Meanwhile, since Mr Dahlan was so clearly admitting to the BBC that MO1 is Najib, there are a number of follow up questions he ought to be pressed to answer. The first of these is whether he now therefore accepts that the excuse of an ‘anonymous Saudi Royal’ being the source of the $731 which the DOJ says went from 1MDB to Najib was just a big fat lie on the part of the Prime Minister?

If not, then is he saying that the DOJ was lying, because it is either one or the other?

In which case, how come he is not denouncing the DOJ investigation, not merely trying to distance his boss from it in this very unsuccessful and unconvincing manner?

Locking Up Students In The Durian Republic!

DAP’s Rasah MP Teo Kok Seong, PKR’s Seri Setia assemblyperson Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, six students and an activist gave their statements to police today on the ‘Tangkap MO1′ rally that was held last Saturday.

They arrived at the Dang Wangi police district headquarters about 11am.

Their lawyer Melissa Sasidaran said they were investigated under Section 505 (b) of the Penal Code, which deals with public mischief, and Section 9(5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act for failure to give stakeholders a 10-day notice before holding the rally.

Melissa said the police said the investigations might be extended to include offences under the Sedition Act and Section 124B of the Penal Code, which deals with activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.

Our comment

Malaysian politicians and bigwigs need to understand that very shortly indeed they will find themselves treated like North Korean or Zimbabwean madmen when they travel anywhere abroad.

Najib already dares not travel outside of South East Asia (maybe they might greet him in Turkey, China, Russia or Turkmenistan – or places in the Middle East that want to put Malaysian soldiers offered by Najib in the front of their battle lines).

The rest of the world knows Malaysia is a place that tolerates their Prime Minister orchestrating the theft of $7billion dollars of BORROWED money, then spending it on fixing an election he would have lost and blowing the rest on diamonds, botox, movies, champagne, yachts, mansions and artwork in the West.

But, when a few students dare to peacefully and democratically exercise their right to protest about this jaw-dropping disgrace, the police come hounding THEM (AFTER the peaceful event has passed without incident) to threaten 20 years in JAIL for ‘sedition’ and “activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy”.

Meanwhile, the opposition leader is already unjustly jailed and most of the main opposition figures are also being legally persecuted by the bossman Najib, who controls the Federal Court, towards the same fate.

Thanks to Najib, the term ‘Durian Republic’ could soon become a world pejorative term!