The Ghost of Altantuya Returns

Shot, then blown to smithereens with military grade explosives, the 2006 killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu was one of Malaysia’s most sensational murder cases. Even though years have passed since the young Mongolian woman’s death, it is one case that has refused to disappear. If anything, the mystery has deepened.

101 East investigates those who were involved in the case and asks whether the two men convicted of her murder are “fall guys” for others who ordered the killing of Shaariibuu.

Shocking new evidence has emerged over Malaysia’s most notorious murder case, with the airing of an explosive documentary about the death of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu at the hands of the Prime Minister’s bodyguards, broardcat on the world news channel Al Jazeera’s 101 East programme today.

The gripping and closely documented report by the veteran Australian reporter Mary Ann Jolly contains allegations that the man who shot Altantuya was none other than her ex-lover Razak Baginda, a close aid of Najib Razak, who earlier this year alluded to “rogue cops” being engaged in a motiveless murder.

Even more astonishing are text messages retrieved by Al Jazeera from the mobile phone of Sirul Azhar Umar, the man convicted of the killing, which show the convicted bodyguard was blackmailing Prime Minister Najib Razak for millions of dollars to stay in Australia and “say nothing” about the case just before he was re-arrested.

This way, said Sirul, “I won’t bring down the PM”!

Tellingly, the response from Najib’s intermediary Abdul Salam bin Ahmed was that Sirul’s demand for a total of AUS$17 million was “being discussed”.  Salem has regularly visited Sirul, who is being held at the Villawood detention centre in Sydney and is believed to be involved in funding his legal team in Australia.

"I want 15 million and I won't return to Malaysia ever. I won't bring down the PM"
“I want 15 million and I won’t return to Malaysia ever. I won’t bring down the PM”

Baginda “pulled the trigger”!
According to the programme, Sirul confided to an Australian relative that the person who had shot Altantuya was none other than the former boyfriend, whom she had been trying to blackmail, Razak Baginda.

The relative who was interviewed, but did not want to be identified told Mary Ann Jolly:

“I said, did you pull the trigger?  He said, no I didn’t pull the trigger, Razak pulled the trigger”

Salam's response was "they want to discuss"

Baginda, who was Najib’s personal negotiator for the Scorpene Submarine deal with France was never put on trial or questioned as a witness for the murder, despite being on record as having contacted Najib’s bodyguards to help him deal with the harassment from his former lover.

Baginda blamed "rogue cops" but Sirul says it was he who pulled the trigger
Baginda blamed “rogue cops” but Sirul says it was he who pulled the trigger

According to Sirul, his relative said, there were three at the murder scene. Baginda had shot Altantuya, but the two bodyguards had been tasked to then destroy the corpse with explosives.

In January Baginda had told a press conference that the case was an example of “rogue cops” and denied there was any further need to establish motive for the killing of his ex-girlfriend who was blackmailing him with her knowledge about kickbacks on a major defence deal.

“He [Sirul] told me he went back and he blew the body to pieces.  I said “you had a choice of walking away from the situation and leaving it alone” – and he said “I would have been dead” because of what he knew” [said Sirul’s relative]

There will now be international pressure to re-open the case where a key witness is now incarcerated in an independent third party state with a strong legal system.

The conduct of the original trial, which was heavily criticised by judges in Malaysia’s own Court of Appeal last year, will inevitably be found wanting, threatening another embarassment for Malaysia related to yet another Najib cover-up.

Najib had been Altantuya’s lover also
The programme also confirms that there was testimony by the key witness Bala that it was Najib Razak who had originally been the lover of Altantuya and that he had passed her on to Baginda during the course of the Scorpene deal, which has been the centre of a court investigation in France over hundreds of millions of ringgit paid  in kickbacks to companies controlled by Baginda.

Baginda was managing the deal to build three submarines with French contractors as a ‘personal envoy’ for Najib while he was Defence  Minister (in the same way that  Jho Low later acted as Najib’s proxy in the board room of 1MDB).

Programme says Najib had introduced Altantuya to Baginda at a diamond exhibition in Singapore....where Rosmah was presumably shopping
Programme says Najib had introduced Altantuya to Baginda at a diamond exhibition in Singapore….where Rosmah was presumably shopping

Najib has denied knowing Altantuya, but the film details contradictory evidence and analyses the entire cover up of the shocking murder case through a heavily manipulated trial, which refused to permit examination of why Najib’s bodyguards abducted Altantuya outside Baginda’s house and who ordered them to kill a woman they did not know.

There is a rare interview with the widow of the key witness PI Bala, who details how her husband was threatened and bribed to change his initial statutory declaration about the crime by none other than Najib’s own brother.  The couple were bundled into hiding abroad.

Najib told reporters that Bala's evidence was untrue, at the same time the witness was being threatened to change his story and leave the country
Najib told reporters that Bala’s evidence was untrue, at the same time the witness was being threatened to change his story and leave the country

The dramatised documentary, which contains chilling scenes, also features the father of Altantuya, who is now launching a civil case over the death of his daughter. He describes how he is fearful himself to return to KL.

The long belated televising of such a blatant cover up of murder orchestrated around a senior political figure threatens to globalise a case that for years has been kept firmly under wraps by the powers that be in Malaysia.

What motive? The two bodyguards who took all the blame
What motive? Najib’s two elite bodyguards who took all the blame

Reporter Mary-Ann Jolly is filmed being thrown out of the country when she arrived at Kuala Lumpur airport in an attempt to interview the Prime Minister about the extensive evidence collected by the programme.

You can watch the half hour documentary that has brought yet another skeleton crashing out of the Prime Minister’s closet – this time it is the fragmented body of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Grand theft is one thing for a politician to find himself uncomfortably more than close to, murder is quite another.

The Banned CNA Documentary of Najib

Former UMNO deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah today (Sept 19) hit out at Malaysia’s prime minister Najib Razak and the police for practising “double standards” towards last month’s Bersih 4 rally and the recent “red shirts” rally.

Mr Saifuddin, who is CEO of the Global Movement of Moderates Foundation, said they had been quick to vilify the Bersih 4 rally-goers, yet much leeway was given to those who joined the “red shirt” rally.

“From the prime minister to the police to many others, you can see, when they talk about Bersih, when they talk about the ‘red shirt’ rally, we can see so clearly their double standards.”

“UMNO, the prime minister said Bersih is ‘democrazy’, but the red shirt rally to him is good and legal. This is even though they are both the same, they are both peaceful rallies,” Mr Saifuddin told The Malaysian Insider when met on the sidelines of IDEAS’ conference on liberalism in Bangsar today.

He said the police were also wrong to have raised the issue of permits, since they were no longer necessary under the Peaceful Assembly Act.

“How the police treated Bersih 4 and the ‘red shirt’ rally is also different. One has a permit, one didn’t get a permit. But under the PAA, the issue of permits does not even arise. Why are you using this inconsistent argument?”

He added that the Inspector-General of Police had no right to deem Bersih 4 illegal because there was no permit.

Mr Saifuddin also told reporters that UMNO must take a stand against division chiefs who had come out with controversial statements.

He narrowed in on Kota Bharu UMNO division chief Mohd Fatmi Che Salleh, Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Jamal Md Yunos and Ketereh UMNO chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa. The demonstrated racial rhetoric by Najib is a damning cloak of hypocrisy.

Najib - I Took Those Money, So What?

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak broke a cardinal rule in politics. He inadvertently admitted ‘guilt’ when the Malaysian Anti-corruption Commission cleared him of any wrongdoing in accepting a political donation. His position – vulnerable since his ascent to premiership – is no longer tenable as Malaysians question his sincerity and trustworthiness.

On July 2, 2015, the Wall Street Journal alleged that $700 million had gone into a personal bank account of Razak’s. The prime minister offered a non-denial denial:

Let me be very clear: I have never taken funds for personal gain as alleged by my political opponents – whether from 1MDB, SRC International or other entities, as these companies have confirmed.

Razak also labelled the report as political sabotage and threatened to sue the Wall Street Journal (more than a month after the allegation was made, at the time of publishing this article, the prime minister has yet to sue).

As the noose tightened around his neck, Razak went for broke.

On July 20, 2015, the Sarawak Report, a blog that had been systematically publishing reports on corruption and abuse of power in Malaysia, was blocked by the government. An arrest warrant for its founder and editor, Clare Rewcastle-Brown, was subsequently issued.

On July 24, 2015, the government announced that The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly, which had been reporting extensively on the 1MDB issue, were to be suspended for a period of three months.

On July28,  2015, the prime minister sacked his deputy and four other ministers in a cabinet reshuffle in an effort to strengthen his control of the government and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). With the changes to his cabinet, Razak also neutralized the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee that had been vigorously investigating the 1MDB affair. He also removed the attorney general, who as part of a high-level task force (involving the Attorney General’s Chambers, the Central Bank of Malaysia, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Royal Malaysian Police) was believed to have been preparing corruption charges against the prime minister.

After pulling off such a brazen act with a high degree of skill, the prime minister blinked.

On August 3, 2015, the MACC announced that the $700 million channeled into Razak’s personal bank account came from donors. In doing this, Razak inadvertently confirmed the Wall Street Journal’s report and opened Pandora’s box.

This admission of ‘guilt’ has taken the toxicity of the prime minister to an all-time high. But even more damaging than the legal implications of the matter (i.e. was it corrupt for Razak to solicit donations on behalf of UMNO; is it certain that the donations were for UMNO; who donated; what were the donations for; were the donations used at the 2013 general elections; did the donation break Malaysian laws; etc) is the question of trust and legitimacy.

Malaysians will now once again question Razak’s honesty and sincerity in denying all other allegations made against him, his family and his administration. After all, if the Wall Street Journal’s  preposterous allegation is correct, could all the other preposterous allegations also be true?

Malaysians will begin to wonder if there is truth to the preposterous allegations made by the suspended The Edge Finance Daily and The Edge Weekly.

Malaysians will begin to wonder if there is truth to the numerous preposterous allegations made by the blocked Sarawak Report.

Malaysians will begin to wonder if there is truth to the many preposterous allegations on 1MDB made by members of the opposition.

Malaysians may also begin to wonder if there is truth to all other preposterous allegations made about the Prime Minister, his wife and his family.

Malaysians will begin to wonder if there is truth to the preposterous claims being made by Bersih 2.0, namely that elections are neither free nor fair in Malaysia.

UMNO members will begin to wonder if there is truth to the sacked Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyddin’s preposterous premonitions about UMNO’s future.

Recently sacked Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin speaks at a press conference in his residence outside Kuala Lumpur on July 29. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)

Having realized this faux pas, the prime minister and UMNO are currently engaged in rear-guard action to correct the mistake. But for an embattled prime minister already suffering a serious trust and legitimacy deficit, this may be too late.

One should not, however, dismiss Razak outright. It goes without saying that a dead man walking can be very unpredictable and dangerous.

Note: It appears that the government and its agencies (e.g. the Attorney General’s Office, the MACC, the Central Bank) are divided on 1MDB. It appears that some have aligned their efforts to protect the prime minister, while others are intent on removing him, and some who are just doing their work. I discuss this in next week’s article.

MH370: Najib vs French Prosecutor

Part of the aircraft wing found on Reunion Island is from the missing MH370 plane, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has confirmed. Mr Najib said experts examining the debris in France had "conclusively confirmed" it was from the aircraft.

But the investigators have stopped short of confirming the link, saying only that it is highly likely.
The Malaysia Airlines plane carrying 239 people veered off course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing in March 2014. Can we still trust this man Najib?

The debris was found on the remote French Indian Ocean island a week ago and was taken to Toulouse for testing. The plane is long believed to have crashed into the southern Indian - though no evidence had been found despite a massive search operation.

The debris was found last week on the Indian Ocean island of Reunion

"It is with a very heavy heart that I must tell you that an international team of experts has conclusively confirmed that the aircraft debris [...] is indeed MH370," Mr Najib told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.

"We now have physical evidence that [...] flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he added.

Mr Najib said he hoped the discovery "will at least bring certainty to the families" of the victims, saying the burden they had faced was "unspeakable".

French prosecutor Serge Mackowiak later confirmed the wing fragment, known as a flaperon, was from a Boeing 777 - the same make and model as the missing Malaysian airliner.

He said initial tests showed there were "very strong indications" that it was from flight MH370. But he said confirmation would only come after further tests on the fragment, which would begin on Thursday.

"[Investigators] will try to do it as soon as possible in order to provide total and reliable information to the family of victims, who are on our minds at the moment," Mr Mackowiak added.
Grey line

Analysis: Hugh Schofield, BBC News, Paris

The Paris prosecutor failed to be as categorical as the Malaysian prime minister in asserting that the wing piece does come from MH370. All he said was that there are very strong reasons to presume that it is from the missing plane.

That does not mean that the prosecutor has any reason to doubt the prime minister's conclusion - simply that he is exercising supreme legal caution.

In the coming days there will be more tests on the flaperon and it's expected that these will prove the piece's origin. After that, it will probably be many months before deeper analysis allows any tentative deductions about how the plane may have come down.

Perkasa supporting the MACC

Ultra-Malay extremist group Perkasa has joined the unlikely alliance around the nation’s anti-corruption agency as it struggles to sustain an investigation into funds flowing around Prime Minister Najib Razak. Perkasa, often labelled a front for the most extreme ­Malay elements of the ruling United Malays National Organisation, has joined its opposition targets to claim “hidden hands” are trying to kill of the investigation. With 6 officers hauled in by police in the past week, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission investigations into the 1MDB affair swirling around Mr Najib have been “somewhat jeopardised”, deputy chief commissioner Mustafa Ali conceded. The investigation into alleged leaks from MACC to Mr Najib’s critics has been authorised by police chief Khalid Abu Bakar. But Perkasas integrity bureau secretary Azrul Akmal Sharudin has accused “enemies of the state … trying to suppress the truth through threats and intimidation of MACC officers”.

Najib's Brother Nazir Criticized Najib

Nazir Razak has taken another dig at his elder brother and Prime Minister Najib Razak with an Instagram post saying, “we should fear god more, government less.” Nazir, the group chairman of CIMB , posted a picture of himself at a panel discussion at the Asian Institute of Finance Symposium 2015 here yesterday with the message: “AIF Symposium panel on ethics, transparency & professionalism in banking. Concluded that we should fear God more,

Government less!” A day earlier, Nazir posted a photo of himself with Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who is embroiled in an imbroglio over 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde with the note: “My moment with 2 icons of global finance”.

Three days earlier, Nazir posted a picture of Najib and former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin at his bank’s Hari Raya open house, calling it “the last supper”. The picture was taken a day before Najib dropped Muhyiddin as his deputy in a Cabinet reshuffle on July 28. Nazir is said to be linked to New Hope Movement (Gerakan Harapan Baru) which has been set up by disgruntled leaders of PAS.

There has also been talk that Nazir and several like-minded individuals, who are concerned over the country’s present socio-political landscape would be setting up an NGO.

Muhyiddin Yassin Supposed to be Arrested?

The night after Muhyiddin Yassin was sacked as Malaysia's deputy prime minister, his wife was gripped by rumours that her husband was about to be arrested. Muhyiddin then called his successor, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to seek confirmation. When Zahid called back at 2am, Muhyiddin asked: "So is your first job as the new deputy prime minister to catch an old one?" Recounting his post-sacking experience to a gathering of party supporters in his home state, Johor, Muhyiddin said: "He [Zahid] told me not to believe rumours, saying, 'You can sleep peacefully tonight'." Indeed, Muhyiddin strikes a cool composure.

Despite losing his government post, he pledged his loyalty to the party. But he let it be known that he was still the elected deputy president of Umno - the main party in the country's ruling coalition - second only to Prime Minister Najib Razak, who sacked him late last month for being openly critical on the scandal involving 1MDB, a state investment fund advised by Najib. As the crisis gets more convoluted, two significant developments have emerged. The first is the growing split within Umno, with reports of a possible revolt by Muhyiddin loyalists. Three days after the bombshell sacking, there was a second shift - the admission of an Umno political fund. Top Umno leaders gradually conceded there is a party trust account held in Najib's personal account, but Umno's party constitution allows this; and finally, the funds are not from 1MDB but are "political donations".

The anti-corruption commission, with uncharacteristic speed, declared that the 2.6 billion ringgit (HK$5.1 billion) Najib received was a political donation from a secret person in the Middle East. The political fund narrative, not surprisingly, opened up a new hornet's nest. It was immediately criticised by the opposition as a tactic to deflect attention from the 1MDB issue. Najib's fiercest critic, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, however, disclosed that, in his time, there was no such thing as a personal account for party funds, but trust accounts held by three trustees. Mahathir said if the donations had funded Umno's campaigns in the 2013 general election, the huge amount could have been in breach of election rules on limits of political funding.

If true, there could also be other implications on the legitimacy of the 2013 elections. The new controversy over political funding appears to have given Najib some time as he manoeuvres to buttress his position and possibly even crush his critics. True enough, a warrant of arrest has been obtained for journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the founder of the website Sarawak Report, which triggered the 1MDB exposé.

 The high-powered special task force set up in the aftermath has now been disbanded. To add to the convolution, police have arrested investigators from the anti-corruption team, provoking accusations of questionable police interventions. Indicative of what is to come, a commentary in the mainstream New Straits Times hinted at more changes afoot, "including changes in key Umno positions at the party headquarters and state liaison chiefs".

 Further, it said, some "top-level reshuffle involving key government entities and government-linked companies is also being planned". Going by this commentary, Najib's next move appears to be a counter-offensive painting himself the victim of an international "conspiracy" out to "criminalise" him. While Najib appears to have strengthened his hand for now, the political crisis has only just begun. Even if Najib survives this, it is hard to imagine how he would emerge unscathed. The big question is whether the ruling coalition can retain power in the next general election. Malaysian politics is entering yet another explosive and unpredictable phase.

'Najib & Co' pinpointed by son of slain AmBank founder

Pascal Najadi, the son of murdered Ambank founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi, repeated his assertions disputing police disclosures his father’s death was not related to 1MDB. “By simply denying, that there was no link to 1MDB and the assassination of my father (Hussain Najadi), the IGP draws even more attention from us the family and the general public,” his Facebook post read.

“How come he can say this as there has been no investigation? More, this is not his field of competence, it is the duty of the Attorney-General to pursue this case as it is a criminal offence that was committed in Malaysia and the mastermind killer is known to the Malaysians and to the world through Interpol under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia,” his post from St Petersburg Russia read, adding his call on readers to report and tweet his comment. Pascal’s comment came in the wake of yesterday’s disclosure by IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar that the 2013 fatal shooting of Hussain Ahmad was not linked to 1MDB.

“We completed our investigations following and we know the motive behind the incident.” he responded to media queries at KL Sentral yesterday. Khalid refuted Pascal’s claims saying that the son had based his claims and assertions on hearsay and blog postings. The IGP also dismissed conspiracy theories surrounding the shooting saying they were baseless and malicious.

In the wake of the IGP’s statement, Pascal called on Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail to intervene into the matter. Hussain was shot dead outside the Kuan Yin temple in Jalan Ceylon, on July 29, 2013, while his wife Cheong Mei Kuen cheated death when a lone gunman opened fire on them. The motives behind the killing was never clearly established.

Taxi driver Chew Siang Chee was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for his participation in the killing, while tow truck driver Koong Swee Kwan was identified to be the gunman and found guilty of murder last year, and sentenced to death. Koong was also sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment for attempting to murder Najadi’s wife Cheong.

Pascal Najadi also gave his opinions on the future of Malaysia...

Who could have thought that the crisp news on US$700 million that went missing in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s private bank accounts could present itself as a real chance for Malaysia and all Malaysians?

More precisely, according to the Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal,  US$681,999,976 (RM2.6 billion) was separately wire-transferred from the Singapore branch of the private bank owned by the Abu Dhabi fund Aabar into the prime minister’s private AmBank account in Kuala Lumpur, on March 2013, just in advance of the calling of the general election.

This is a tall order of an alleged now made public super heist well worth a few questions to be raised.

Where we leave now Justice to do a thorough diligent forensic on the US$700 million which allegedly, according to reports from the Wall Street Journal, were literally stolen from Malaysian coffers, one can or should take a broader look at the Malaysian state of affairs of today.
A chance for necessary renewal and multi-layered cleansing out of 58 years of Umno-grown corruption presents itself uniquely and perhaps most timely on July 3, 2015.

Malaysia today is no longer a champion of natural resources. Petronas is no longer a bulge bracket global oil company, it never really was.

Education standards in Malaysia are nearing those of established Third World countries and Vision 2020 is not an agenda but a pipe dream that will never come through.

Malaysia never offered equality to all of her citizens. My late father Hussain Najadi, the founder of AM Bank Group, Malaysia's fifth largest bank, was brutally assassinated on July 29, 2013 in Kuala Lumpur in broad daylight, the investigation and police work on finding the masterminds stopped long time ago back in 2013.

We, as a family in fear of our wellbeing, left Malaysia early 2014 for good, sold all our assets and now feel safe in Switzerland and the Russian Federation. And so on and so forth.

The list of shortcomings of Malaysia or better of a failed state, an inherently corrupt Umno and unresolved assassinations in Malaysia is far too long for this short op-ed here.

We take a look in to the core and history of Malaysian politics. The dominating Umno is exclusively run by Malays and has never allowed all Malaysians, with the Chinese Malaysians and the Indian Malaysians, to partake.

Consequently, since independence, each of Malaysia's six prime ministers has been Malay Umno members, starting with the late Tunku Abdul Rahman becoming the first chief minister of Malaya on August 1, 1955 under Queen Elizabeth II and later becoming the first prime minister on August 31, 1957, the day of independence from British rule.

Today, Najib assumes the office of the prime minister, like his good late father Tun Abdul Razak Hussein did brilliantly so as the second prime minister from 1970 to 1976.

Razak is regarded widely as been a thorough honest man, died not rich and my late father dealt with him when helping to develop post-British ruled Malaysia back then by founding the Arab-Malaysian Development Bank in 1974 – today's fifth largest bank, AmBank Group.

Ironic, epic, is the fact that my late father founded that bank with the blessings of Tun Razak in 1974. Bank Negara then being the majority shareholder with my father bringing it in the early 1980s to the public via the Kuala Lumpur stock exchange and today, the corruption money of Najib being uncovered in the media on private accounts held by him with AmBank. Karma was at heavy duty work.

This seriously corrupt Umno system has morphed from preferring the Malay race into the most unfortunate of all capital mistakes that one can do, to playing the religious card.

To get religion out of a system of government, history has taught us plenty of examples over the past centuries, blood was the ink used to protocol barbaric events now printed with black ink in our history books.

Those religion-based government system-reset-events were cataclysm spiked epic battles and armed conflicts with human casualties accounted for in large numbers.

All Malaysians are now tested not to let this happen and the government, if serious about being a responsible government, must now use this latest headline of a massive corruption as a unique chance to readjust its course.

Political systems and institutions in history never went a step backwards, they only moved and move forward. The question is the heading, more to the left, centre or to the right.

But when the carriage is in full speed and inertia races it forward too close and 90 degrees towards a concrete wall, a crash can no longer be prevented, the crash will occur. Simple laws of physics can be translated on many occasions into systemic government risks.

Risk is omnipresent for humans. We have to understand and manage risks 24 hours 7 days a week 365 days year on year, permanently perpetually.

Risk management was never in the book of the Malay-ruled Umno-dominated landscape, corruption took care of not exposing those risks, no one cared and now this risk has bitten Malaysians with a vengeance.

Too late to avert but not too late to manage, although the time is running out faster than Malaysia will be able to cope with.

Malaysia and all Malaysian passport holders of all walks of life, all religions now have the last call, the last remaining chance to take charge, to peacefully unite and to reset Malaysia, to manage the risks that become more and more visible as a serious threat to its raison d'etre its credibility its existence.

To make the system better, to learn from all the decades of mistakes and corruption that now bring Malaysia to her knees, certified now a failed state by my personal opinion. It will take many future generations to mend, to rebuild but a start is a start even when starting from the rubbles of corruption.

The US$700 million fraud allegations, theft of Najib presented to the world via Wall Street Journal, CNBC et al based on bank accounts and documents surfaced to see the light of the day by the Sarawak Report present perhaps for the first time since 1957 a serious question that is worth more than US$700 million. Can Malaysia survive this?

The answer is, maybe just, but only if it can clean the out itself from the rot that has been fermenting since the day independence. Umno must refurbish drastically, change its charter, must allow all Malaysians to participate.

One Malaysian citizen being one vote to count, regardless of race and religion. The simple answer to this most complicated question relates to common sense.

Malaysians time to lead their nation has come and it will be at a hefty cost of the Malays, them losing their preferred status through race, handouts, pocket linings, their posh London mansions, their Ferraris, Bentleys, private jets, Hermes bags and what not. This is the cost to avert a perhaps much more serious conflict. It probably is a cost well worth every penny of it.

* Pascal Najadi is the founder president of the international private Swiss merchant banking advisory firm A.S. Najadi & Partners.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of this blog.

The Unsung Billionaire via Donations

There are more billionaires in Malaysia than you think you can count. But this is a special one. Najib said these money in his account are donations from his political fan.

Corruption is now non-existent in Malaysia, as it is now officially embraced into the culture of Malaysia or at least culture of UMNO, and the right word to use is donation, not corruption. Anyone criticizing this culture or tradition, is liable to be jailed. This is what you get when a thief become the Emperor.

Investigations into debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have uncovered billions of ringgit being channelled to the personal accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Sarawak Report reported.

Both are quoting from documents from the 1MDB probe that is being carried out by the Malaysian government, with Sarawak Report claiming that the Attorney-General was also aware of the information.

The documents show that US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) was moved among government agencies, banks and entities linked to 1MDB and finally ending up in the prime minister's personal accounts in five separate deposits, WSJ said.

It said that the largest transactions were deposits of US$620 million and another one for US$61 million in March 2013, two months before the general election was held. Look like he bought himself the Prime Minister's Office.

However, Putrajaya has denied the reports, saying Najib has not made use of any public funds.

"The prime minister has not taken any funds for personal use,” a Putrajaya spokesman said, without giving any evidence, or explaining how he got to know this.

“The prime minister’s political opponents, unwilling to accept his record or the facts, continue to try to undermine him with baseless smears and rumours for pure political gain.”

Of course, this was said before Najib came out to admit taking the money as donations. PM Najib's spokesman desperately holding on to any political credibility left.

Meanwhile, an 1MDB spokesman said, referring to the transfers into Najib’s account: “1MDB is not aware of any such transactions, nor has it seen any documents to this effect.” Given that PM Najib is also the Finance Minister, we have a pretty good idea where these documents have gone to by now.

The spokesman cautioned that doctored documents have been used in the past to discredit 1MDB and the government.

Sarawak Report said RM42 million had gone into Najib's accounts from SRC International Sdn Bhd, the Finance Ministry-owned company that had taken a RM4 billion loan from the
Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP).

"The money taken from SRC International is a particularly shocking revelation, because this was money lent by the public pension fund KWAP and never accounted for," the report said.

The Finance Ministry had said previously SRC invested the funds in Gobi Coal & Energy Ltd, a Mongolian-based company, but provided no other details than that.

A director of SRC, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, the report said, had power of attorney over Najib’s accounts, according to documents acquired from the investigation.

The latest transaction, the reports said, was in February this year. The documents show that SRC International had transferred RM10 million into an account under the name of “Dato’Sri Mohd Najib Bin Hj Abd Razak” at AmPrivate Bank in Kuala Lumpur.

WSJ also reported that SRC and the bank refused to comment on the matter.

1MDB is currently the subject of inquiries by a number of authorities, including the auditor-general, Bank Negara, police and the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee.

Najib, who is also finance minister and chairs 1MDB's advisory board, has come under severe criticism in recent months over a number of issues, including that of 1MDB which has amassed RM42 billion in debts after just six years of it being set up.

Yesterday, the prime minister admitted that he was depressed by the rumours linking him to 1MDB's controversial land deal with Tabung Haji, saying a responsible government would not use public funds to bail out a state-owned company. – July 3, 2015.