"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

Talkback

Spokesman Without Shred Of Credibility!

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has not shown any “tangible proof” that Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, is the owner of a yacht seized in Indonesia, said Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.

“Until today, apart from bare allegations contained in the DoJ civil lawsuit, which has been put on hold since August last year, the DoJ has not shown any tangible proof that Low is the actual owner of the yacht or that it was purchased with funds from 1Malaysia  Development Berhad (1MDB).

“Furthermore, the DoJ has yet to prove any of its allegations in a court of law, despite nearly two years passing since its sensationalised press conference of July 2016,” said the Communications and Multimedia Minister in his blog Thursday (March 1).

He added that the Opposition, however, has taken the opportunity to “mislead” Malaysians by using “unverified and unproven” allegations about the yacht Equanimity which was seized in Bali by Indonesian authorities.

 

Our comment

Silly Salleh clearly thinks Malaysians are stupid enough to believe this!

Why does he imagine that Jho Low has been jumping up and down and issuing statements complaining about the seizure – yelling like a screaming toddler at the confiscation of an illicit toy?

Would Jho Low have emerged from months of purdah to express outrage over “global over-reach” and the general unfairness of removing the boat, if it wasn’t his?

And, far from failing to prove the ownership and purchase, the DOJ have to the contrary detailed each and every payment made by Jho to purchase the vessel, tracing the money through the global banking system right back to 1MDB.  It’s all in the court documents, if Salleh is up to reading them…. he is clearly banking on Malaysians not being able to!

There is one point where the minister may be right of course. The ultimate owner is clearly not Jho Low, but his ‘Big Boss’ – MO1 and the wife in charge…… or maybe the correct tense is WAS the owner, since it is now a seized asset.

PM Counts His Audience In Advance!

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will hit the Johor campaign trail with a series of high profile visits to the northern region of the state tomorrow.

He will begin his tour by visiting the Pagoh constituency on Friday, the bastion of his former deputy Muhyiddin Yassin who has served seven terms as the Pagoh MP.

……It would also appear that the event will be a major show of force.

“Not only will 3,000 Felda Maokil settlers be there, there will also be 7,000 Pagoh BN activists and voters there as well,” he said.

Our comment

It seems that Najib knows exactly how many enthusiastic ‘followers’ are going to turn up at his events tomorrow.

This is not just a prediction: his spokesmen confidently proclaim that 3,000 Felda settlers and 7,000 BN activists will be there!

Could this possibly be because the Prime Minister has long since bought and paid for these people to be there and arranged their transportation, picnics and matching T-shirts to be handed out?

One suspects that’s why BN know exactly how many will come, because that is what they have provided for!

In which case, how was this staged event funded?  You can guess that as well – from money filched from the public pocket.

Male Dominated?

A group of European Union envoys met the chairman of Malaysia’s opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH) Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Jan 25).

The two-hour meeting was held at the residence of the head of delegation of the EU to Malaysia Maria Castillo Fernández, according to the Facebook account of Abdul Kadir Jasin, a supreme council member of Tun Dr Mahathir’s political party.

Among the issues discussed were the Malaysian general election and developments surrounding the action taken by EU countries on the scandal involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, Datuk Abdul Kadir wrote.

Those present were 14 EU ambassadors and three charges d’affaires and several top opposition leaders from the four-party PH, he said.

Just one woman in the whole of Europe's line of of ambassadors to Malaysia.... or was someone absent?

Just one woman in the whole of Europe’s line of of ambassadors to Malaysia…. or was someone absent?

Our comment

The first thing that is sticks out of this photo of EU Ambassadors, brought together to meet the new leader of the opposition by the Head of the EU Delegation to Malaysia, is the scarcity of top women diplomats.

Never mind, these guys are clearly doing a good job of showing an even-handed approach towards Malaysia’s alternative political party (after all the opposition coalition got more of the popular vote at the last election than BN).

The discussion focussed on, amongst other things, 1MDB, which the EU has been forthright in condemning.  The EU Parliament has also issued a statement of forthright condemnation against Najib’s crackdown on human rights as he has sought to silence critics of corruption.

However, the gender gap did not need to be as marked as it appears from this photo, because of course the UK High Commissioner is also a woman and Britain remains of this moment a member of the EU.

There was without doubt a diplomatic excuse provided for the absence of Vicky Treadell from this significant occasion and it would of course have had nothing to do with the fact that ‘Malaysia’s best friend’ in the Conservative Party, Lord Marland is a passionate supporter of Najib Razak and is currently now in a business relationship with the former Foreign Office Minister, the Conservative MP Hugo Swire.  Both men attended Najib’s Trade Mission to London at the height of the 1MDB scandal in 2016.

The UK is now looking forward to a post-Brexit world and trying to do bilateral deals with governments like Malaysia.  Yet, their Foreign and Commonwealth Office seems to be putting all its eggs in one basket as to who will be leading that government after the next election. The British Malaysia Society (representing business interests) has also made clear that its money is on Najib – attendees at a recent address given by Treadell to such groupings in London (before Mahathir’s election to the top opposition post) report she said that Najib was certain to win.

Clearly, Dr Mahathir’s old maxim of “Buy British Last” is not to be forgiven by the current political movers and shakers behind the men in Whitehall!

Yet, one assumes that such passive gestures as not turning up to meet the new opposition leader have not gone further into any form of active interventions in favour of the human rights abuser and kleptocrat so favoured by elements of British business?

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Because the PM Pretends?

Shahrir questioned why would the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) initiate a forensic audit to probe the matter if Najib was in the know.

“If Felda did not know, how would the PMO know; no one knew, be it Felda, or its board of directors – after the transfer of ownership was done, even the Felda Investment Corporation (FIC) was not informed.

“If the PM knew, why would he ask (Felda) to investigate and lodge a police report. The actions were initiated by the PM, he was the one who ordered (Felda) to take actions (against the transaction).”

Shahrir was responding to questions raised by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli that urged Shahrir to answer whether Najib was involved in the scandal since Felda comes under PMO.

 

Our comment

By the same token, why did Najib initiate a Task Force Investigation into 1MDB?

The answer is, to pretend he was innocent and knew nothing about what was going on, when in fact he could hardly fail to have noticed the billion dollars that had gone into his own bank account!

Given there was a known thief at the scene Sharir must accetp that it is natural for people to ask for him to be investigated with regard to this further disappearance.

Not A Virgin?

The son of Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud said he discovered his estranged wife was not a virgin on their wedding night on January 9, 1992, the Shariah Court here heard today.

Our comment

Takes one who's not to know one who's not.

Kleptocrat Conference Opens In KL

Almost half of the US$3.5 billion corruption proceeds which have been seized by the US government came from the 1MDB-related civil forfeiture suits, revealed US attorney-general Jeff Sessions.

“Nearly half of the US$3.5 billion in corruption proceeds we have restrained is related to just one enforcement action.

“That action was related to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB,” Sessions said during his speech at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington DC yesterday.

He said that allegedly corrupt officials and their associates had reportedly used the 1MDB funds for a “lavish spending spree” such as US$200 million for real estate in South California and New York, US$130 million in artwork, US$100 million in an American music label and a US$265 million yacht…

Our comment

It couldn’t have been spoken on a more appropriate day.  As Najib opened his Annual Kleptocrat Conference, otherwise known as the UMNO General Assembly, America’s top law enforcer, Jeff Sessions, labelled their regime as ‘kleptocracy at its worst’. Who could disagree?

So, Malaysians who have been too easily persuaded by claims, made either by Najib cheer-leaders or by opposition doom-mongers, that the PM’s ‘golfing pal’ President Donald Trump will use his powers to close the 1MDB investigation, must now think again.  It won’t happen.

Trump’s own hand-picked Attorney General, a scourge of the former Democrat government, which launched the 1MDB investigation, has made it crystal clear that he is backing the joint FBI investigation and is proud of its stand against kleptocracy.

After this very public show of commitment, Malaysians can rest assured that the US Government will not be pulling back on 1MDB, however many dozens of Boeing jets Najib pledges to buy.

After all, Donald Trump is not having much luck pulling the DOJ off investigating his own affairs, let alone getting a favour done for a foreign corrupted leader – even if he wanted to.

Kleptocracy means government by thieves. So, when Jeff Sessions calls 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” he is surely supporting the views expressed in the current main article on Sarawak Report.

http://www.sarawakreport.org/2017/12/safe-and-secure-with-a-thief-holding-the-keys-to-your-house-your-pin-number-and-code-to-your-office-safe/

Iban Land Rights Snatched Once More

Twelve Sarawakians from the Iban community in Pantu, Sri Aman who brought a civil action against the Sarawak government 12 years ago over a Native Customary Rights (NCR) land dispute lost their case today at the Federal Court.

The apex court allowed the government’s appeal after the High Court and Court of Appeal ruled in the Iban community’s favour in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

According to the plantiffs’ lawyer Dominique Ng, the said property in question which measures about 600ha was granted NCR status in 1954.

Ng, who appeared with lawyer and former Sarawak deputy chief minister Daniel Tajem, said so far the indigenous communities in Sarawak have lost three cases, including this one.

He added that they had the strongest chance of winning this case because the land had been gazetted as NCR land.

The 12 plaintiffs were claiming rights over a stretch of NCR land which had been planted with oil palms.

Our comment

The present regime (as Najib Razak describes his own government) has got matters nicely sorted in the law courts – that’s according to the majority of Malaysia’s own lawyers, who have been protesting the undue influence over appointments.

What has become clear is that the top judges are now to be relied upon to do what “the regime” requires, whether or not the High Court, or in this case even the Appeal Court, have found otherwise.

The Prime Minister has even unconstitutionally engineered the extension of the present Chief Justice beyond his retirement date, despite wholesale opposition by the legal profession, placing a nail in the coffin of any independence of the judiciary in cases where powerful politicians hold an interest.

In this manner the opposition leader, acquitted by the High Court, has been jailed for political reasons and the outrageous further gerrymandering of constuency boundaries, thrown out by the High Court, has been allowed.

However, the most tragic victims of this abuse of justice are the poorest litigants, like the native landowners of Sarawak. These Iban folk have seen their lands snatched for a pittance by the loggers and oil palm growers, like hundreds of thousands of other native people.  Behind those concessionaires are the greedy politicians, who have benefitted from these land grabs most.

The villagers in this latest land case to be over-turned by the Federal Court have been forced to wait for 12 years in their attempt to make their case, as their vindication in the High Court was inexorably wiped out by the crony judges higher up the ladder.  All that time they held out and funded their case from their meagre resources in the hope of seeing justice and of setting a precedent to protect their people and and their children in the vicious battle to snatch their land.

They will now join the queie of people who have finally lost confidence in Malaysian justice. The lesson must surely be that you cannot fund an expensive law case on the one hand yet at the same time sell your vote for a cheap bag of rice to the politicians, who are influencing the appointments of judges.

Because it is only the vote that can restore justice now.

A Cleaner Is Just What's Needed At Putrajaya!

Police want the individual who misplaced a wallet containing foreign currency valued at  RM12,666 at a prominent shopping mall in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur on Oct 9, to come forward and reclaim it at the Tun HS Lee police station.

Dang Wangi district police chief Mohd Sukri Kaman said the wallet, which contained 30 US dollar notes and Syrian currency,  was discovered by a cleaner at the diaper changing room on the third floor of the shopping mall.

“Police did not find any identification documents in the wallet. Apart from the money, only a few photographs believed to be of the owner were in the wallet,” he told reporters after the presentation of certificates of appreciation to the security personnel of the shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur, today.

Mohd Sukri also thanked the cleaner for her honesty in handing over the wallet to the management of the shopping centre, who subsequently handed it over to the police.

He said that such deeds should be emulated by other parties to create a responsible and honest society.

Our comment

The cleaning person at the baby toilet at Jalan Imbi clearly possesses the one vital virtue that is missing from the present government in Malaysia, which is fundamental honesty.  The police were right to praise her and point out that ‘other parties’ should learn from her!

Forget the fancy qualifications, which the current people at the top like to boast of (plenty of which appear to be fake) since the one thing that people need most in government is trustworthyness.

Sarawak Report therefore suggests that this cleaning lady stand at the next election in a BN seat, since she will plainly do a better job than any present incumbent if she can just manage to get through the day without facilitating public theft.

Meanwhile, she deserves all our respect, because only through honesty and sincerity and service to others can any single individual earn true dignity in the eyes of others.

The police officers, who have also shown themselves more honest than the average UMNO MP by declaring this matter, ought to meanwhile donate her the money as a reward, unless it is re-claimed by a proven owner, who can account for their riches in a proper manner (which seems unlikely).

The Umno grassroots movement has given Dr Mahathir Mohamad a week to apologise for his remarks concerning Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his late father Abdul Razak Hussein during a speech in Sarawak over the weekend.

Failing which, the movement’s chairperson Zulkarnain Mahdar  said, a police report would be lodged against the former prime minister on grounds of slander and incitement.

The movement was responding to Mahathir blaming Najib and his father, who was the second prime minister, for the erosion of rights in Sarawak.

Challenging Mahathir to back his claim with evidence, Zulkarnain pointed out that Najib was the only prime minister who suggested the formation of a special committee to study the rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak based on the Malaysia Agreement of 1963.

Source:

Our comment

One of the first lessons in PR is that it is best not to go round repeating accusations that make you look bad. It only gives the matter more publicity.

In the world of politics Dr Mahathir is entitled to say he believes blame and responsibility for this or that lies with whoever.  People may or may not be persuaded and they will judge with the counter- arguments also in mind.

But if the person blamed (or even more ridiculous his party) flounces off to the police station crying ‘slander’, then they for sure are going to re-enforce the accusation in people’s minds. Who will now forget that little bit if Mahathir’s long speech where he blamed Razak for cheating the folk of Sabah and Sarawak out of their oil revenues?

It’s what’s known as an own goal in the business and these people keep doing it!