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TELUK INTAN – The move by Perak DAP in spreading lies that the MB Inc is just like the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal is a ploy to ensure the survival of the party besides seeking public sympathy.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the opposition, which was running out of ideas, was willing to continue with their lies as long as they can topple the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

“They have run out of ideas and have no issues to be played up to topple the BN. So, lying to the people is carried out to ensure their political survival and continued support,” he said.

He disclosed this to reporters after the meeting with about 1,000 members of the Chinese community in Pasir Bedamar, here in conjunction with the five-day Menteri Besar Retreat programme in Hilir Perak beginning today.

Earlier, the DAP in its official website issued a statement that the Perak MB Inc had the potential to become a scandal as big as the 1MDB if its secrets were not exposed.

Zambry said the MB Inc issue raised by the DAP was not new to the opposition as they had previously hurled numerous slanders.

Meanwhile, the Menteri Besar urged the opposition against using civil servants as their tools in spreading slanders.

“They only quoted the civil servants as their sources of information but when asked to prove them they dare not do it,” he added. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court has set May 22 to hear Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and the government’s applications to strike out the 1MDB lawsuit against them by Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua Kiam Wee.

Pua sued the defendants on Jan 16, claiming Najib had committed misfeasance involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.

He is seeking general, aggravated and exemplary damages, interest, cost and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

The Prime Minister as the first defendent filed his application to strike out the suit on Feb 14, on grounds that Pua was not a civil servant as he claimed in his writ of summons and statement of claim.

Najib was represented by counsel Nor Hazira Abu Haiyan in the case.

The government as the second defendant filed its application to strike out the suit on March 2.

Senior federal counsel Zureen Elina Mohd Dom told reporters when met after the case management in chambers before justice Datuk John Louis O’Hara today, that Pua did not have the locus standi to file the suit.

“The plaintiff’s claim is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process,” claimed SFC who is representing the second defendant.

At the proceeding today, Pua was represented by counsel Joanne Chua. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has announced the appointment of Parker Randall as its auditor.

In a statement, the company said it submitted forms 11 and 52 to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) on Jan 3, 2017, to confirm the appointment.

The CCM website relates both forms to the application for change in company name.

Meanwhile, in Putrajaya Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah (pic), who is also 1MDB chairman, said Parker Randall was currently auditing some of 1MDB’s subsidiaries.

“We (will) wait for the (audit) report,” he told a press conference at the Treasury on Thursday.

Parker Randall is an international auditing firm and is the fourth auditor appointed by 1MDB after Ernst & Young, KPMG and Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Ltd. – Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR – Those who performed their Haj pilgrimage under the Prime Minister-1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Foundation Special Programme need not worry about the status of their Haj.

Kelantan Mufti, Datuk Mohamad Shukri Mohamad said they should instead be confident that each religious obligation performed would be accepted by Allah, the Almighty and that it (Haj status) was not determined by anyone.

“They should place their hope and ‘berdoa’ (pray) that their religious rituals like the daily prayers, fasting, paying zakat (tithe) and performing the Haj are accepted and be convinced that Allah accepts their requests,” he said when contacted, here, today.

The mufti was commenting on the statement by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who claimed that the Haj performed through the 1MDB Foundation sponsorship would not be ‘haji mabrur’ (divinely accepted Haj).

Mohamed Shukri said the foundation’s sponsorship programme should continue to help the less fortunate perform the fifth tenet of Islam.

“Not everyone has the opportunity to be a ‘tetamu Allah’ (guest of Allah) and this noble effort can continue…it’s not a problem to accept this sponsorship to perform the Haj,” he said.

Meanwhile, National Mosque imam, Khisamudin Ismail said Dr Mahathir’s statement was only politically motivated and the pilgrims involved should not be worried.

Pekan District Village Heads Association chairman, Abdul Kadir Bakar said he was disappointed and saddened by the former premier’s statement on the matter.

“To me, he has no right to determine whether a person’s Haj pilgrimage is ‘haji mabrur’ or not.

“Also, the statement is politically motivated, making some of the pilgrims involved angry as they are grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for having initiated such a programme,’ he said.

Abdul Kadir said he himself had the opportunity to perform the Haj with the launching of the programme in 2011. – BERNAMA

ALOR SETAR – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad regarding those performing the pilgrimage through the Prime Minister-1MDB Foundation Special Haj Programme as not attaining ‘haji mabrur’ (divinely accepted Haj), is seen as an act of political desperation to the extent of using religion.

Kedah Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah said Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years, should not have made such a statement as only Allah The Almighty could evaluate a person’s religious practice as acceptable or not.

“It’s not our task to evaluate…as humans, we just focus on the religious obligations…do not use this issue for personal interest,” he said after a visit to Sekolah Kebangsaan Mergong, here, today.

Dr Mahathir had allegedly made the remark during a ceramah (public talk) at Taman Wira Mergong, here, recently that not attaining haji mabrur was purportedly because of the ‘haram’ (forbidden) Haj programme sponsorship money as it had been stolen by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Tun Najib Razak from 1MDB. – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani commended the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for its speedy action on alleged money laundering related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“Very good. They have taken action, very good,” he said when asked to comment on the three individuals who thus far were convicted for funds misappropriated from 1MDB.

It was reported that former Swiss Bank BSI employee Yeo Jiawei became the third person to be convicted in Singapore’s 1MDB probe. Two other former private bankers from BSI have also been jailed in Singapore for fraud in connection with the case.

Johari called on all banks to facilitate investigation related to 1MDB.

“As far as Malaysia is concerned, we are going through that process (investigate),” he said on the sidelines of Prasarana Malaysia Bhd’s Rapid KL-Ampang LRT Line 20th anniversary celebration at Bukit Jalil today.

Johari also reiterated that there would be no business activity at 1MDB.
“Run off means we are not going to do any business in 1MDB. It becomes a shelf company,” he said when asked on his previous interview with a newswire in which he stated that the government was going to “run off with 1MDB.” – BERNAMA

KUALA LUMPUR – 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is not in talks with China to make repayments to International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), said its chairman Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

“I am the chairman of 1MDB, and as I know, there is no such thing as us talking to China about this.

“Nobody talked to us,” he told a press conference here Thursday.

Dr Mohd Irwan was referring to a Financial Times report Wednesday that claimed 1MDB was getting China to help with repayments to Ipic, a company owned by the Abu Dhabi government. – The Star Online

he family of Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho is reaching far and wide to stop the United States from seizing US$650mil (RM2.87bill) in real estate and business investments the government claims were acquired with funds stolen from his home country.

The family of the businessman known as Jho Low claims the Swiss trustees holding their assets are afraid to fight back against the U.S. for fear of being prosecuted in the global game of investment hide and seek set off by the alleged disappearance of more than US$3.5bil (RM15bil) of the US$8bil (RM35bil) raised by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Four relatives of Low, including his father and brother, now say they will ask courts in the Cayman Islands and New Zealand to replace the Swiss trustees – so they can avoid having their possessions go to the U.S. by default.

The Justice Department is targeting real estate, investments and art works that were allegedly bought with money siphoned off from the state-owned investment and development fund known as 1MDB.

The Low assets at issue include a US$380mil (RM1.6bil) stake in New York’s Park Lane Hotel, a US$107mil (RM474mil) interest in EMI Music Publishing, a US$35mil (RM155mil) Bombardier Jet, and a US$30mil (RM133mil) penthouse at Time Warner Center in New York. The trusts that hold the assets call for application of either New Zealand or Cayman Island law, according to the family’s filing on Monday.

Low, who is known for partying with Hollywood celebrities Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, is also friends with Riza Aziz, a stepson of Malaysia’s prime minister and a producer of The Wolf of Wall Street, which the U.S. alleges was also funded with stolen money. Low has said he provided consulting to 1MDB that didn’t break any laws, while the fund and Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seti Najib Tun Razak have both denied wrongdoing.

The U.S. will oppose the Low family’s request to delay a Dec 12 hearing over whether they can intervene in the forfeiture case, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for US Attorney Eileen Decker in Los Angeles.

Among the other assets the Justice Department says were acquired with stolen 1MDB funds are a US$51 (RM255mil) million New York penthouse condominium and a US$31 (RM137mil) Beverly Hills mansion bought in 2014 by Khadem al Qubaisi, the former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Co. Al Qubaisi, who’s also the former chairman of restaurant and nightclub operator Hakkasan Group, received US$473mil (RM2.09bil) siphoned from 1MDB in 2012, according to the US Justice Department.

Hakkasan Chief Executive Officer Neil Moffitt is fighting the US claim that a US$15mil (RM66.43mil) chunk of Beverly Hills real estate he owns was also bought by al Qubaisi with misappropriated Malaysian funds.

“Mr Moffitt had no involvement in the property at issue in the federal case other than as owner,” his lawyer, Ronald Richards, said. “I expect the forfeiture complaint to be dismissed as the government was unaware of his purchase at the time they filed the forfeiture complaint. He has never been a target or subject of any federal investigation or civil forfeiture action at any time.” – Bloomberg

PETALING JAYA: In an interview with a Japanese weekly, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says he was the first to order an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

In an interview published in the Nikkei Asian Review on Tuesday, the Prime Minister said that Malaysian authorities have led investigations into 1MDB.

“It was I who first instructed multiple authorities in Malaysia to conduct investigations,” said Najib.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Auditor-General, the police and the bipartisan Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee have conducted probes into 1MDB.

“I have always made clear that full cooperation should be extended to any investigation provided it is in accordance with the laws of our country,” said Najib.

“Furthermore, as I have consistently stated, if any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” he said.

Najib added that the 1MDB issue has been highly politicised by “certain elements within Malaysia” attempting to exploit the issue for their personal “political benefit”.

He also accused certain people of feeding foreign authorities with “false or incomplete information”.

“Those outside Malaysia cannot always appreciate these complexities, but it is something they should bear in mind to avoid becoming entangled in what has become a domestic political matter,” said Najib.

Najib was responding to questions from Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review ahead of his three-day visit to Tokyo on Tuesday.

The Malaysian investigation into 1MDB concluded that weaknesses existed in the management of 1MDB, but none of its executives have been charged on allegations of embezzlement.

However, authorities in Singapore, Switzerland and the United States are probing entities and people related to 1MDB for possible money laundering and other offences.

In the interview with Nikkei Asian Review, Najib also spoke about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, Malaysia’s ties with China and Malaysia’s bilateral relationship with Japan.

KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today adjourned the hearing of Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s judicial review application to challenge the classification of the Auditor-General’s Report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as official secret on Nov 18.

Justice Datuk Hanipah Farikullah set the date in chambers after senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan told the court that the respondents only received the documents on the application on Monday.

The SFC when met said the court also fixed Nov 3 for case management.

Azmin’s application filed on Aug 15 was initially fixed for hearing today.

The Gombak member of parliament and PKR president named Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Auditor-General Tan Sri Amrin Buang and the Malaysian government as first to third respondent.

He is seeking a declaration that the first respondent’s action to classify the 1MDB report as official secret was in conflict of interest.

He is also seeking a declaration that classification of the 1MDB report as official secret by the secnd respondent was unlawful and ultra vires the Federal Constitution, Official Secrets Act and/or Audit Act 1957.

Azmin is also seeking a mandamus order to compel all three respondents, their staff, officers, agents or by any means to immediately reclassify the 1MDB Report under Section 2C OSA 1972 and publish it for the public.

He filed the application on grounds that the respondents’ decision to classify the 1MDB report was unconstitutional as it contravened Article 107 of the Federal Constitution.

He also contended that the respondents’ reluctance to reclassify the report was unreasonable.- BERNAMA