The Bully Boys Are Back

Klang MP Charles Santiago has questioned the motive behind the re-tabling in Parliament of the motion to extend the effective period of a subsection of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) for another five years.

Subsection 4(5) of Sosma, which expires on July 31, grants the police special powers to hold individuals arrested and detained under the act for up to 28 days.

“Why bring this up for debate when it has already been voted down during the previous parliamentary session, unless it is a veiled threat against dissidents?

“And why use the pre-trial detention under Sosma when the police could use the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) and other acts to arrest and investigate?” Charles (above) questioned in a statement today.

Our comment

A lot of complaining went on under the PH government, not least because people could complain. However, the problems were minor compared to what has followed, during which to complain has carried a very high risk indeed.

The coup-mongers of February 2020 were ‘blessed’ by the arrival of Covid which enabled them to use this excuse to viciously threaten anyone who wished to protest at the blatant power grab, the incompetence, corruption, double-standards and all the rest. The country was locked down for two years, like most authoritarian regimes.

Now that excuse has run out to some degree the UMNO-led usurpers and their crooked and convicted leadership are resorting to the very same measures Najib used to intimidate the outraged population.

A mild and modest demonstration against soaring prices at the weekend, for example, is being treated as a criminal action by the police who have once again made themselves and Malaysia look ridiculous. Citing violations of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 they have sought to detain and investigate everyone who took part with the plain intention of intimidating others who might decide their hungry stomachs need to be heard.

It is no coincidence they are using yet another retrogressive Najib law. So now the UMNO goons are seeking to drive through an extension of the hated SOSMA brought in at the height of the 1MDB scandal to enable the disgraced ex-PM to lock and and silence critics without trial.

MPs have already thrown out that awful idea (note how despite being accorded endless latitude Najib himself walks free) but Sabri’s men are so evidently fearful of dissent they have brought it back for another go in the very self-same parliament.

Bottling up anger and provoking those who seek to let off steam with acts of intimidation and injustice is rarely a good idea. Look where it got Najib. However, UMNO know no better and plainly cannot change. Corrupt governments need thugs to silence protest because they can’t reform themselves.

High Time There Was A Full Inquiry Into Apandi Ali

The judge pointed out that the MACC and other task forces had recommended criminal charges or at least an in-depth investigation into the “fantastical donation” and SRC International Sdn Bhd.

She noted that Apandi had said the MACC itself had met and recorded statements from the donors.

However, during cross-examination, Apandi admitted that the delegation did not meet nor speak to the alleged donor, testifying that the “Saudi Prince refused to meet anybody”, she said.

She noticed that this was contradictory to his press statement in which Apandi had announced that a delegation had flown to Riyadh and personally met the alleged donor himself.

The contradiction is not merely an error but instead a total contradiction. It is indeed suspicious and reasonable to ponder the necessity to be deceptive about the critical proof of the alleged donation by the Saudi royal family.

“Why would Apandi bend the truth about the meeting and recording [of] the statement by the alleged donor?

“Why would the former AG declare to the world that the delegation met the donor (and obtained confirmation from the donor), while it was well within his knowledge that his delegation did not even speak or meet with the fabled donor?

“The court is utterly confounded by the plaintiff’s testimony admitting to adopting the donation narrative as a whole, although in gross absence of direct evidence and in preference to the delegation’s hearsay evidence.

“It is right there that Apandi’s own testimony exhibited a plain, disinterested, evasive and disassociated attitude to investigate the donation further,” she said.

Azimah further reprimanded Apandi for failing to remember the name of the Saudi royal donor who had allegedly made the donation, which she said was critical information and justified Lim’s grounds for investigating Apandi.

“Although with the utmost respect, this court is pressed to express its disdain to the sordid extent of the plaintiff’s self-contradictory testimony, evasiveness and outright untruth.”

Our comment

Put ex-AG Apandi under the impartial scrutiny of a court of law and he tends to come off badly. A British High Court judge waived him off with a single but telling word, “discredited”.

Last week, after he had had the cheek to sue a politician who had questioned his handling of the 1MDB affair, a Malaysian judge spelt out in excruciating detail exactly why the term fits.

With regard to the fairy tale ‘donation’ story his ‘Bossku’ Najib employed to explain the arrival of his billion dollar theft from 1MDB into his bank accounts the judge pointed out how he contradicted his own press release in court by admitting investigators had never met the alleged princely Saudi donor as he had claimed, indeed he couldn’t even remember the fellow’s purported name.

Whilst all the other investigation agencies recommended a proper examination of the facts, he simply announced his Bossku was ‘cleared’.

We now discover this was the same toady assigned by Najib to try to get the present Malaysian government to sign a deal with Jho Low to swap remaining stolen cash for the dropping of charges.

A non-corrupted, non-UMNO led administration would of course be calling for a full inquiry into this latest outrageous initiative with a view to tracing where Jho Low is, where he is hiding his remaining money, what plans are afoot to extract that money and for what purpose?

With Najib’s grossly tainted allies back in office no-one should hold their breath however.


'Crime Silk Of The Year' Comes To Najib's Aid

A British lawyer has applied to be admitted as a lawyer in Malaysia for him to appear as the lead counsel for former prime minister Najib Razak in the Pekan MP’s final appeal in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd case at the Federal Court.

A notice of originating motion filed at the High Court through Messrs Shafee & Co on Tuesday (May 31) named lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw as the applicant.

According to the document, Najib’s appeal would involve serious, complex and novel issues to several branches of criminal and civil laws, practice and evidence, the Constitutional rights of the appellant (Najib), the conduct of proceedings by the prosecution, the adjudication of criminal cases by a trial court and the administration of the criminal justice system…

“For the purposes of the appeal, the applicant possesses special qualifications, experience and expertise which is not available amongst advocates and solicitors in Malaysia,” it stated.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/Shutterstock (3609666o) Jonathan Laidlaw QC Phone Hacking Trial, Old Bailey, London, Britain - 28 Feb 2014

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Mark Thomas/Shutterstock (3609666o)
Jonathan Laidlaw QC
Phone Hacking Trial, Old Bailey, London, Britain – 28 Feb 2014

Our comment

This Crime Silk of the Year” is certainly living up to his title, seeking to overturn the conviction of one of the most notorious global kleptocrats, brought to book despite his immense power and money by the courts in his own country thanks to multiple international and domestic investigations and a raft of witnesses.

What a professional triumph for QC Laidlaw should he manage to destroy a hard won conviction by the beleaguered forces of law and order and the democratic process in Malaysia against an over-powerful and criminal autocrat who had looted from his people. What a source of pride and income for him!

Meanwhile, his countrymen will hang their heads in shame on his behalf, as yet again Britain’s professional classes have proven themselves to be shameless in their willingness to assist the criminals of the globe either in their thefts, the secreting of their ill-gotten gains, the promotion of their false narratives or in getting them off the hook.

‘Everyone has the right to a defence’ will be Laidlaw’s hoary justification, except his Rolls Royce service will far outclass the defence available to anyone else in Malaysia who have to make do with local lawyers, whom he explains are not up to the immense job of springing Najib.

This is a rich man’s privilege (using stolen cash). We need not expect pro-bono assistance from one such as Laidlaw for the likes of Najib’s bodyguards, for example, who murdered Najib’s alleged mistress to cover up another of Najib’s egregious thefts during the Scorpene affair. On the other hand, theirs is a case at least offers one instance in Malaysia where an Appeal Court ruling WAS over-turned by the Federal Court on grounds that are instructive, not least about Laidlaw’s client.

The Appeal Court had identified several glaring faults and misdirections in the original trial of the bodyguards of the man Laidlaw is defending – not least the absence of a motive on their part and the failure to call vital witnesses (eg Najib and his police chief) and the sudden dropping of charges against a chief suspect (Najib’s aide). Detecting a put up job the Appeal Court had released the bodyguards only to have the Federal Court outrageously re-arrest them and sentence them to death – Najib was by then PM.

Laidlaw should know that the overturning of acquittals as opposed to convictions has been a hallmark of Malaysian ‘justice’ specific to the Najib era, given he is planning on confronting the practices in place.

Back to the present case: helping Najib reverse a far less controversial set of unanimous rulings by the courts will certainly present an unprecedented challenge for the tip-top barrister. Indeed, the Crime QC has made clear he will adopt ‘novel’ approaches to upturn ‘several’ branches of established law in Malaysia to achieve his end. He seems ready to question the administration of the entire criminal justice system in his quest to reverse what might be considered the irreversible, in the absence of corrupt practice at least.

Under normal circumstances, without some stunning new development in terms of evidence or egregious failing by the lower courts, there is really very little a Federal Court ought to be able to do to change such a conviction as Najib’s. However, Laidlaw plans to use his superior foreign arts to be disruptive it would appear, and wary locals might detect murkier plans afoot.

For those who were hoping to at last see some justice against the criminal class who have looted Malaysia unscathed for decades, one recent case raises a glimmer of hope about the outcome of these developments. Laidlaw’s current headline catching client is none other than the tax-evading tennis star, Boris Becker.

Becker has been convicted and sentenced to jail for failure to pay his debts. In the past few hours, through his lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw, the fallen sporting hero has informed the media that he will NOT be seeking to appeal the judgement, having presumably concluded he cannot win, and that he will face his punishment like a man.

Not So Honorary Doctorate?

PM Ismail Sabri receives honorary doctorate from Nihon University
[Bernama May 24th]

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob was today awarded the Honorary Doctorate in Medicine by Nihon University, one of the most distinguished and oldest private universities in Japan.

The honorary degree was in appreciation of Ismail Sabri’s efforts and contributions in the fight against Covid-19.

Ismail Sabri received the honorary doctorate from Nihon University president Dr Naoto Kato at the university in Itabashi, one of the cities in the metropolis of Tokyo during his six-day official working visit to Japan.


Nihon University chairman arrested for allegedly evading ¥53 million in taxes
[Japan Times Nov 29th]

Prosecutors Monday arrested Nihon University Chairman Hidetoshi Tanaka for allegedly evading around ¥53 million in income tax.

A special investigation squad of the Tokyo District Public Prosecutor’s Office suspects that the 74-year-old head of the Japanese private university evaded income tax between 2018 and 2020 by hiding earnings, including kickbacks, in violation of the income tax law.

The squad searched Tanaka’s home in Tokyo in September, when it also raided the university’s headquarters. The squad also searched his home in October, when Tadao Inoguchi, a 64-year-old former board member of Nihon University, and Masami Yabumoto, 61, former head of the Kinshukai medical group, were arrested. The two have been indicted on breach of trust charges.

According to sources, investigators found over ¥200 million in cash at Tanaka’s home during the searches, and the squad was looking into the matter.

Our comment

It appears that the head of this distinguished university was arrested at the end of last year for hoarding kickbacks in his home for which he had moreover evaded tax (given they must have been hard to declare).

One has to wonder what kickbacks a university chairman might be expecting to receive to the tune of hundreds of millions of Japanese yen? The issuing of academic accolades most certainly comes to mind as one possibility.

How unfortunate then that this should have been the university that just happened to wake up to Ismail Sabri’s contribution to the efforts against Covid (which had so lamentably by-passed the rest of world and indeed most Malaysians) in order to present him with this honorary doctorate in medicine!

Secret Political Bribes In Return For Contracts IS Corruption!

The High Court here was told today that the money given by Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd (UKSB) to former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was a political donation.

It was not for corrupt purposes, said former UKSB director Harry Lee Vui Khun when cross-examined counsel Hamidi Mohd Noh, representing Ahmad Zahid at the trial of the Foreign Visa System (VLN) corruption case.

Yesterday, Lee told the court that UKSB made monthly cash payment in Singapore Dollars (SGD) to Ahmad Zahid from 2014 to 2018 for the Foreign Visa System (VLN) contract.

Meanwhile, when questioned by lawyer Datuk Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, also representing Ahmad Zahid, whether the political donation was for UMNO, the witness said to his understanding, it was for the government of the day.

Ahmad Zahid, 69, is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to SG$13.56 million from UKSB for himself as Home Minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of OSC service in China and the supply VLN system as well as to maintain the contract agreement to supply the VLN integrated system to the same company by KDN.

Our comment

The excuses presented by some of Malaysia’s most senior political figures and their defenders in court are sometimes so staggering that one fears there must be people out there ready to believe them.

This witness, in testimony designed to exonerate Zahid Hamidi for taking bribes for contracts, spells out in detail the essence of a corrupt transaction, explaining how he made monthly secret payments to the then Home Minister (now fittingly head of UMNO) in return for a lucrative contract to his company.

Apparently, he had admitted to anti-corrupti0n investigators that he used to drive up to Zahid’s residence with the cash in a bag to hand to the then deputy prime minister for the favour on a regular basis.

Yet, this self-admitted crook is now lecturing the court that because the money was allegedly  proffered and received on behalf of the UMNO political party (in fact, the evidence shows it was used for Zahid’s own purposes) the transactions were not corrupt!

The phrase “only in Malaysia” sadly comes to mind that anyone thinks they could get away with such an argument and that it is OK to secretly bribe political parties for favours just not the politicians themselves…. even if you are paying the politician in cash in the name of donating to the party.

Of course, this was how Musa Aman was let off the first time after the Hong Kong authorities caught his stooge with a sack of $19 million he happened to be smuggling through the airport in cash on the way to his Swiss bank accounts – namely bribe money for timber contracts.

At that time back in 2012 the UMNO authorities merely organised for it to be ruled as a ‘political donation’ and therefore categorised as being excused.

The Malaysian public are not fooled. Musa Aman was eventually prosecuted for this and other crimes under the newly elected government. It was only after the Sheraton Coup restored UMNO to the driving seat that prosecutors again let Musa off (he is apparently preparing for his planned political return).

Zahid, unfortunately for him, is rather further down the road with his proceedings. And this excuse now brought before the court is unlikely to impress the judges any more than the jaded Malaysian public.

Contempt of Court or Just Contemptible?

Naza group chairman SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin has asked the shariah court to enhance a seven-day jail sentence on Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah over her criticism of a jail term on his former wife.

Faisal filed a cross-appeal to the shariah court, saying Maria’s appeal against her sentence should not be considered because of the “blatant disrespect” she had shown to the shariah judiciary.

Maria had been found guilty of contempt of court for a statement she made criticising an earlier shariah court decision to sentence Faisal’s former wife Emilia Hanafi to seven days’ jail, also for contempt of court.

Faisal said in his appeal that Maria’s challenge to the seven-day jail sentence indicated that she had no sense of remorse or regret over her actions.

Our comment

Malaysia’s thin skinned judiciary has struck again. Apparently, not even a member of parliament is allowed to express criticism or concern about the way in which justice is meted out, particularly perhaps if the MP happens to be a woman.

Of course, this is not a civil court that has acted thus but a religious court. Had the MP not converted maybe she would have been accorded her right to freedom of speech to criticise laws and their application? Unfortunately, there have been plenty of intimidating and heavy-handed reactions by Malaysia’s secular courts as well.

Meanwhile, and note the contrast, there has been an eye-catching lack of action against the concerted witch-hunt against the judge who passed a solid conviction against the former PM for grand crimes against his country. For doing his duty Nazlan Ghazali has been criticised, accused, hounded and harassed and yet none of the perpetrators have been called to account for questioning this particular judgement.

That conviction has been upheld on appeal, yet the courts have done precisely nothing to counter the gross contempt by Najib and his friends who refuse to accept the judgement or treat the judge with honour and respect.

So, back in UMNO Malaysia, Najib has yet to spend one day under lock and key for his horrendous crimes whilst the judge who convicted him is publicly libelled.  At the same time a woman MP has been sentenced to jail for opening her mouth on women’s rights and the cry is to sentence her longer…. on the grounds she questioned a judge.

Malaysian Justice Is Too Slow

Former prime minister Najib Razak says Pakatan Harapan had failed to prove that he was involved in the bribery scandal linked to the procurement of submarines from France in 2002.

Najib said PH’s investigation in 2018 did not find any evidence that he was involved in the deal, adding that it was a part of the opposition’s propaganda to tarnish his image.

He said PH also tried to link him with the 2006 murder of Mongolian interpreter Altantuya Shaariibuu by two police officers of the Special Action Unit (UTK) who were previously his bodyguards.

In a Facebook post, Najib explained that while he was the defence minister when the deal was signed to buy two Scorpene-class submarines from French defence equipment manufacturing group Thales, it was the former prime minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) who made the purchase in a deal worth US$1.2 billion.

“It was not me who negotiated the deal. It was the 4th prime minister who selected the submarines and negotiated the deal,” he said.

This comes after a report that a French court had charged Thales with complicity in bribery over the purchase of the submarines.

Our comment

Malaysians deserve better protection against the delusional self-justifications of a convicted mega-crook, now years after he should have been banged up to confront his own demons.

Nothing is Najib’s fault, according to Najib. He held the top job and took credit for everything that went well, but denies all that went wrong and all that he did wrong.

And there was a lot he did wrong. Proof is never enough for the great denier. The reason Thales has been convicted of bribery is laid out very clearly in the French court papers. They have been convicted of bribing him as the known recipient of the €119 million that was paid in bogus ‘consultancy fees’ to a company fronted by his appointed side-kick, Razak Baginda.

If Najib hadn’t been judged guilty of receiving the bribe then Thales would not have been found guilty of delivering it. Period.

Najib was merely acting true to form, as the crook he has proven himself to be time and again over 1MDB. And speaking of murder, since Najib raised that matter also, Razak Baginda was also the front man when it came to the brutal killing of the woman who threatened to expose this very Scorpene bribe. Altantuya may have been standing outside Baginda’s house and Baginda may have been the person claimed to be her lover cum handler by that stage. However, it is Najib’s bodyguard who did the deed and who has testified that he was ordered to do so personally by Najib who explained to him she was a ‘foreign spy’ and needed to be …. at which point the PM gestured with a slit throat action, says Azilah Hadri.

Azilah and his junior are documented as having indeed sped direct from Najib’s house  (they say straight after this meeting and instruction) to scoop Altantuya off the street, bundle her into their government vehicle and later murder her in cold blood. It is also documented that Najib later expended huge amounts of energy in attempting to shut up a witness to all that happened, PI Bala, who testified to many aspects of this case including the fact that Altantuya was indeed stating that Najib was involved in the corruption and had also been her lover.

However, Najib still brazenly claims that he is proven innocent. Malaysians need to be spared his poisonous self-promotion, funded by their own stolen cash. Justice should be served and he should be removed from spreading his toxic and cancerous lies that only harm his country further.

Malaysian Libel Law Needs Urgent Reform

Pertubuhan Pelindung Khazanah Alam Malaysia (Peka) president Puan Sri Shariffa Sabrina Syed Akil has been slapped with a lawyer’s letter from the Pahang government seeking an apology and RM1 million in damages after she spoke on deforestation and logging in the state.

In a Facebook post this morning, Shariffa Sabrina shared that the notice was issued by law firm Messrs Hidayah Ishak & Partners, representing the state government.

The environmental activist was asked to issue an unconditional apology to the state government through all sharing platforms, especially Facebook and Instagram.

Should she fail to comply with the notice within 14 days of receiving the letter, the Pahang government will file a claim with the court without referring to her and will see other damages as well…..

“This will not be (the) last as threats, intimidation, blackmail, and abuse of power will continuously be used to try and stop me from exposing the government’s wrongdoings when it comes to crime against our priceless nature,” she said when contacted.

Our comment

Only in Malaysia, thanks to a recent outrageous Federal Court interpretation of the law, can a body such as a state government hound an individual for ‘defamation’ over criticism of its actions and speaking out on matters of public concern.

By contrast, when PAS brought their unsuccessful suit in the UK against Sarawak Report they had to frame an argument that somehow their leader Hadi Awang had been personally defamed. A political party, a government, a council, a department cannot sue in genuine democratic countries where the right to protest and freedom of expression are enshrined.

Yet in Malaysia, this brave lady who has protested at Pahang’s wanton destruction of its protected forests (for the benefit of the richest people in the state and to the detriment of the poorest) is being bullied by officials who are protecting the interests of those rich beneficiaries using public money!

More than anywhere in the world Malaysia therefore needs urgent anti-SLAPP legislation to outlaw such outrageous suits designed to silence individuals who raise attention over matters of vital public concern and official corruption.

State government bullies who use taxpayers’ money to try to silence criticism over their corruption and ineptitudes need putting in their place.

Najib's Story Shifts To Admission, But Says He Only Took "Peanuts" ($30 Million)

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have only gotten a relative sum amounting to “peanuts” if he had received US$30 million (RM90,899,927.28 million at the time of the charge) from multi-billion ringgit bonds raised by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), in comparison to funds amounting to US$577 million diverted from 1MDB bonds to fugitive Low Taek Jho and a fake Aabar entity, Najib’s lawyer suggested today.

Najib’s lead defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said this while cross-examining the 12th prosecution witness Azmi Tahir.

Azmi, a former chief financial officer of 1MDB, was testifying in Najib’s power abuse and money laundering trial involving the alleged misappropriation of more than RM2 billion of 1MDB funds.

Shafee was going through the transactions that followed after 1MDB subsidiary 1MDB Energy Limited (1MEL) took on debt via the issuance of a US$1.75 billion bond in May 2012 in order to fund the purchase of an independent power producer.

Shafee listed various transactions in a chart he showed to Azmi, including how US$907.5 million of the US$1.75 billion bond was paid out on May 22, 2012 to 1MEL, and that a sum of close to US$577 million was on the same day then transferred to a British Virgin Islands company known as Aabar Investments PJS Limited — now known to be a fake entity that had a strikingly similar name to the actual company Aabar Investments PJS.

Our comment

Wow! For the first time in the seven years it has taken (almost to the day) to get this far in holding Malaysia’s crook ex-Prime Minister to account he (or at least his counsel) has admitted that yes he did filch from the fund.

But…. according to Mr Shafee (who is himself waiting to be tried for filching money also) Najib should be given credit for only taking $30 million out of a trail that saw $577 million stolen in total from the first bond issue the fund took out through Abu Dhabi using Goldman Sachs.

What a modest man his client turns out to be… by comparison, is the argument with which Shafee seeks to beguile the court and melt the hearts of the Malaysian people and the world. Just a poxy $30 million when in his position he could have taken so much more.

Except, Najib did take a whole lot more as everyone knows full well and as will be made perfectly clear at later stages of the trial when the full picture of larceny is dissected. Remember the $681 million that went into Najib’s account just two days after the third and final bond was raised – that came from 1MDB and from that bond issue.

What’s more other sums were pouring into the same KL account – $170 million from Julius Baer in Hong Kong was one – that took the PM’s personal war chest to over a billion dollars in advance of GE 13 before he later shipped the majority back out of the country and into a swathe of hiding places round the globe.

And what about the half billion that went to his wife’s diamond and jewellery habit? Does that not count?  And the quarter of a million to his step son’s movies and who really owned that yacht?

In short, what an idiot admission to have finally made after years of claiming first no money had disappeared from the fund, then that it had all been the scheme of Jho Low!