Monday, November 09, 2015

Why persecute Basheer Azmin out of up to 500,000 Malaysians who took part in Bersih4 peaceful rally?

We refer to the tweets by the Chief Minister of Selangor, Azmin Ali, concerning his son Basheer Azmin who has been summoned by the police pursuant to Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code in relation to the recent Bersih rally.

DAP Selangor urges the Home Ministry to stop such selective harassment on Basheer Azmin, a 15 year old school boy who is starting his final examinations in school this week.

What were the Police thinking?  It has been two months since the Bersih rally and suddenly, out of the blue, is it merely sheer coincidence that the police require Basheer’s attendance on the day of his final exams?

Worse, of all the people the Police could summon to assist with the investigations, whether as a suspect or a witness, why summon a 15 year old boy who just happened to be the son of the Selangor Menteri Besar, Azmin Ali?  Is the Police going to summon up to 500,000 people who took part in the Bersih rally for investigations?

Such high-handed police intervention does not assist in shaking off the perception that the police force is politically motivated and that the Barisan Nasional led Federal Government is utilising its every machinery to oppress the Federal Opposition.

With confidence in the Barison Nasional leadership at an all-time low causing a slowdown in the economy, crime is likely to increase, as warned by the Deputy Minister Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed recently.

As such, DAP Selangor implores the Home Ministry to be more professional in discharging their duties, and to employ its resources into investigating real crime instances, and we reiterate that participating in a peaceful Bersih rally is definitely not one of them.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

10 questions I would pose to Arul Kanda during the “live discussion, talk show or debate”

1MDB President, Arul Kanda, during his press conference on Saturday, has informed Malaysians that “I will meet YB Tony Pua for live discussion, or talk show, or debate, without any condition.”

I would like to announce that the Members of Parliament for Kulai and Serdang, Teo Nie Ching and Dr Ong Kian Ming, will be representing me to conduct the necessary discussions with the team from 1MDB to finalise the format and details of the proposed “live discussion, or talk show, or debate” between the 1MDB President, Arul Kanda and myself.

While we wait for the much anticipated face-off, I would like to offer Arul Kanda the heads up, so that he can prepare the necessary answers whether during replies or debate speech.  This way, Arul cannot feign ignorance or pretend that the documents were unavailable with him to provide the necessary answers.  Therefore, let me disclose here the 10 questions which I will ask during the “live discussion, or talk show, or debate”:

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Looking forward to 1MDB "talk show" with Arul Kanda

Last Wednesday, after watching 1MDB President, Arul Kanda’s live interview with Bernama TV, I was left dissatisfied and frustrated with many questions which were either not asked or not answered.

I had issued a statement entitled “Can I do a talk show with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?” the next day.  I had hoped that after Arul made the first offer to dialogue in January this year which was subsequently withdrawn, he would agree to this “talk show”.

At first, I was left disappointed that the 1MDB President “accepted” the challenge but attached an unacceptable condition that I resign from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), citing a “conflict of interest”.

As far as millions of Malaysians are concerned, there isn’t any alleged conflict of interest because I will ask questions for Arul to answer, whether in the PAC or outside of it.  Furthermore, I’m not related to Arul Kanda or 1MDB in anyway and hence such conflict does not arise.

Instead, I had argued yesterday that the real person with a conflict of interest is the Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak who is directing and influencing the investigation process despite having personally signed off all major transactions which took place in 1MDB.  Hence if anyone should resign, it should be the Prime Minister.

Friday, October 30, 2015

In response to Arul Kanda's talkshow conditions

1. Is Arul Kanda’s motive to remove me from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to have an easier time as he is confident that the 8 BN MPs will be easy to dupe?

I had invited 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda to a “live” talkshow where I will, as host, ask him questions with regards to 1MDB which has captured the imagination of not only Malaysians, but the international media as well.

My motive was very simple, he has had a easy time getting away with recycled answers which either never answered the core questions, or he was more than economical with the truth.

If all the allegations by various parties against 1MDB are indeed lies and concoctions as he claims, when I question him, he'll be able to turn the tables against me on live television.

Instead of jumping at such an opportunity to shame 1MDB’s most persistent critic, Arul Kanda pretended to agree to the challenge but attached the ridiculous condition that I resign from the PAC.

This is not the first time that Arul Kanda or Barisan Nasional (BN) Ministers and leaders have called for my resignation from the PAC.   It appears to be their priority to ensure that the PAC will not benefit from the knowledge and understanding I have on the shenanigans in 1MDB.

Arul Kanda must believe that if I’m removed from the PAC, the rest of the committee, particularly the 8 BN representatives will be easy to dupe, resulting in a watered down report against 1MDB.

At the same time, Arul Kanda is just running away from my invitation for a civil talkshow by attaching a condition which he knows I cannot and will never accept.  My official duties and responsibilities as a PAC member to the Malaysian public is far more important than entertaining Arul Kanda’s frivolous games.

Instead, Arul’s refusal to answer questions openly, truthfully and unconditionally to the public in itself goes to prove that the 1MDB President has plenty to hide.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can I do a talkshow with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda took part in another live interview with Bernama TV in a special programme entitled “Bernama TV with Arul Kanda”.

During the show, Arul Kanda boasted that there is “absolutely no cover up in relation to 1MDB”. Other than that, he essentially recycled answers which have been previously discredited.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Arul Kanda has time to "brief" UMNO and MCA members on 1MDB, but not Malaysians or MPs?

1MDB President Arul Kanda was asked whether the leaked minutes via The Sarawak Report was true, and according to Malaysiakini, he responded that "in terms of the board minutes, we confirm that it appears to be authentic.”.

What type of answer is that?  What does Arul Kanda mean when he said “it appears to be authentic”?  Did he intend to say that it looks authentic, it sounds authentic but it still might not be authentic?

His confirmation is crucial because if the leaked minutes were indeed authentic, then clearly, the Board of Directors of 1MDB were furious with the 1MDB top executives for disobeying board decisions and instructions, contradicting 1MDB’s persistent denials.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Why should 1MDB enjoy tax-exempt status from the Ministry of Finance?

In Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s response to the Member of Parliament for Kampar, Dr Ko Chung Sen yesterday, he disclosed that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) enjoys full income tax-exempt status from the Ministry of Finance.  He said
1MDB dan anak syarikat milikan penuhnya telah mendapat pengecualian cukai pendapatan termasuk dividen bagi tempoh 10 tahun selaras dengan Seksyen 127(3A) Akta Cukai Pendapatan 1967.  Walau bagaimanapun, bagi anak syarikat lain yang diperoleh oleh 1MDB, tidak mendapat pengecualian tersebut.

The question we would like to ask the Finance and Prime Minister is, what is so special about 1MDB that it deserves to be exempted from income tax payments to the Government?

Budget 2016 burdens the rakyat further; meanwhile, Najib ignores the biggest elephant in the room

As the Malaysian economy gets hit by a slowing global economic environment, declining commodity prices, rising inflation and a plunging ringgit, the Budget for 2016 just announced by the Prime Minister is long on grandiloquence and short on substance.

While the Prime Minister praises his Government for its far-sightedness to introduce the Goods & Services Tax (GST) as the income from the new tax will make up for the loss of revenue from the oil and gas sector.

The reality is Malaysians, particular the middle and lower income population are now burdened with coughing up RM39 billion of GST relative to the loss of RM17.5 billion from the Petroleum Income Tax.

In comparison, the Sales and Services Tax collected in 2014 amounted to only RM17 billion.  This means that Malaysians have to suffer an increase in taxes by a whopping RM22 billion.

While the taxes paid by the man-on-the-street have been increased drastically, the Federal Government has failed to increase its prudence on expenditure.  As an example, the budgeted expenditure for ‘Supplies and Services’ has been maintained at RM36.3 billion for 2016 when it was only RM20.8 billion in 2010.  Why has this provision increased by 75.4% in just 5-6 years?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Who is running SRC International today?

Malaysians read with interest, the first ever media statement by SRC International Sdn Bhd, a mysterious former subsidiary of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) which has been taken over directly by the Ministry of Finance.

SRC International which is funded by a RM4 billion loan from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Persaraan (KWAP), dismissed outright all allegations of misappropriation of funds.

The Wall Street Journal has previously exposed the fact that SRC International has transferred a total of RM42 million to the Prime Minister’s personal bank account.  The transfers were carried out between December 2014 and March 2015, via its subsidiary Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.  The latter company carries out corporate social responsibility work of 1MDB.

The above transactions clearly pointed to criminal breach of trust as substantial funds from a Ministry of Finance subsidiary were transferred to the personal accounts of the Minister of Finance.  It has also been exposed by the Sarawak Report that the former Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was moments charging Dato’ Seri Najib Razak for corruption or criminal breach of trust over the above transactions before being unceremoniously retired and replaced by the Prime Minister.

However, for the first time, SRC International released a media statement which said, “none of it was misappropriated as claimed by those with malicious intent.”

SRC further added, “We strongly reject these allegations. Having conducted an internal investigation, we believe these claims were based on documents that were fabricated, therefore representing a deliberate attempt to mislead the public.”

It appears that SRC International has taken a leaf off its former parent, 1MDB in making sweeping denials without specifics.

The questions are very simple.  Did SRC International transfer a total RM50 million to its subsidiary, Gandingan Mentari?  Did Gandingan Mentari then transfer a total of RM50 million to Ihsan Perdana?  Further to that did Ihsan Perdana which acts on behalf of 1MDB, transfer RM42 million of that amount to the Prime Minister?  Those are very simple “yes” or “no” questions which doesn’t take a rocket scientist to answer.

Instead, SRC chose to be hyperbolic, calling “on those quarters who are engaged in efforts to overthrow the government to desist from involving SRC in their political campaign and to avoid making false and unsubstantiated allegations”.

We would like to ask the Ministry of Finance to inform us, who exactly is running SRC International today.  Who actually carried out the “internal investigations” and more interestingly, who wrote and approved the media statement?

As far as we are aware, the top executive of SRC, Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil, a close associate of Low Taek Jho, has been on the run for the past 6 months.  Similarly, another key director of SRC International, Datuk Suboh bin Mohd Yassin has also disappeared.  Both individuals are wanted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to assist with investigations.

Is there already a new management team put in place to run SRC International?  Are the identities of this new team top secret as well?

In addition, the Ministry of Finance Secretary-General, Tan Sri Irwan Serigar must let us know why no directors representing the Ministry has been appointed to SRC International to monitor its activities.  Such an appointment is never more important given that the questions of the governance of its subsidiary has been in the spotlight.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Image of fake racist tweet purportedly made by me is the work of amateurs

The attached image was circulating widely via Whatsapp yesterday, particularly among the Indian community.

Based on the image, I had allegedly tweeted that “The Indians really behave like thugs and act like Pariah! i will not be threathen by them!”

The above tweet is clearly a fake image and I have never written anything remotely close to what was written above.  It is clearly fake because you would notice that the time stamp next to every tweet has been removed.

In addition, I would like to think that I would not misspell “threaten”, nor would I be grammatically wrong when it should be “threatened”.

Regardless, I have never used the word “pariah” to describe anyone and I most certainly do not believe that Indians “behave like thugs”.  However there are those among us – Chinese, Indians, Malays, who do behave like thugs.  The person or persons who made the above image is certainly a shameless “thug”, regardless of his race.

Perhaps the above malicious fake tweet, was a vicious response to me when I described those who had prevented licensed Indian traders from setting up their stalls, and those who disrupted my press conference at the Deepavali Bazaar in Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya last week as “thugs”.  They had come to intimidate those who were present by heckling, shoving and spewing unprintable expletives.

The fake image is clearly designed to inflame racial sentiments against me.  I have no idea who designed and spread the above image to defame me.  However, it will not in any way stop me from carrying out my duties to serve my constituents and all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or creed without fear or favour.

Finally, I would also like to give thanks to all concerned parties who had forwarded me the image last night expressing their continued support and trust in me, knowing without having to ask, that the image is a fake.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Is 1MDB denying the authenticity of the Board Minutes exposed by Sarawak Report?

1MDB wrote on 18th October 2015 to once again accused me of “recycled wrong statements” when I had claimed that the 1MDB Directors were livid that the 1MDB top executives did not comply to the directives of the Board. The statement read
YB Tony Pua continues his disservice to all Malaysians by relying on findings of a discredited foreign blog to make his allegations, when 1MDB has submitted authentic company documents, including its Board of Directors (BoD) minutes, to lawful authorities such as PDRM and the Auditor- General.

1MDB further denied that the Board was unhappy and that “clarifications were provided to their satisfaction”, further adding that the agreements with Petrosaudi International Limited “have never been cancelled”.

This is the reason why 1MDB is very clever with words.  I never alleged that the Petrosaudi agreements were cancelled.  I had said that the Directors were livid and furious with the top executives for failing to comply with the directives of the Board, and the subsequent follow up actions the Board demanded were never carried out as well.

The Sarawak Report had published the minutes of the 3rd October 2009 Board Meeting five days ago which irrefutably stated that “the BOD was not consulted on the change of plans to remit US$700 million to PSI.  The BOD’s understanding was for the full US$1 billion to be wired to the joint bank account under the name of the JVCo…”

In contrast, the Board of Directors were so livid that they demanded for the US$700 million to be returned “so that the funds could be remitted through the originally agreed channel”.

The Directors also openly reprimanded the top management for their intransigence.  They minuted that
The substantial investment of US$1 billion should have merited a more thorough thought and due diligence process.   The BOD viewed that the formalisation of the entire joint venture exercise was completed in a very short time which raises the question as to whether adequate control measures, checks and balances were put in place to protect the Company’s interests.  The BOD also raised their surprise over the speed in which the valuation report was prepared as the BOD was previously informed that such valuation report would only be ready by March 2010.

They specifically instructed Datuk Shahrol Halmi and his top management “not to deviate from the BOD’s instructions”.  They further “advised En Shahrol to seek clarification from the BOD if the CEO and management have doubts on any particular matter”.

I had indeed “recycled” my old allegations, but this time backed by the additional evidence of 1MDB’s own Board of Directors’ minutes.  However, 1MDB had “recycled” their denial without providing a shred of evidence to the contrary.

Monday, October 19, 2015

YB Sivarasa Rasiah should understand the issues first before sticking his neck blindly into the matter

I am surprised by the Member of Parliament (MP) for Subang, Sivarasa Rasiah’s media statement yesterday entitled “Some friendly advice for my friend YB Tony Pua”.

Together with Selangor State Executive Councillor (Exco), V Ganabathirao and state assemblyman (ADUN) for Kg Tunku, we visited the Sungai Way village Deepavali Bazaar at the proposed new site along Jalan SS9A/12 on Thursday evening.  Unfortunately, when I arrived, I discovered that the traders who have obtained licenses from the local city council, MBPJ were threatened and not allowed to set up their stalls for business by a rowdy mob led by Mr Saminathan and Mr Murali.

I had proceeded to speak to the reporters to explain the City Council’s unanimous decision to shift the market from the adjacent SS9A/13 to the new location. The key reasons for the shift will be clear to anyone who visited the two sites.  The old site is along a narrow lane which served as the main access road for a dense low-medium cost flat.  The new site is spacious, has plenty of carparks and is near the very popular Sri Sakthi Easwari Temple.  Better still, it can accommodate even more traders, allowing more to make a living during these tough times.

However, I was not even able to finish speaking to the reporters as Murali and his lot heckled, shouted and shoved us, as was recorded on video.

Why then, was there a protest?  As the local councillor in-charge Sungai Way, Sean Oon can attest to, during the past years, the bazaar was effectively controlled and monopolised by certain parties who charged unauthorized middleman rentals to the traders.  The shift to the new site denied such profiteering opportunities as licenses were issued directly by individual applications to MBPJ.  The new location and system ensured that there was no corruption, no crony middleman and no room for abuse.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why did Shahrol Halmi allow US$700 million to be misappropriated to Good Star Ltd, and why shouldn't he be charged with criminal breach of trust?

The Sarawak Report exposed the minutes of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Board meeting on 3rd October 2009 which recorded that the Directors (BOD) were furious with the top management team led by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.

According to the minutes, 1MDB went ahead with the signing of the joint venture with Petrosaudi (PSI) without specific knowledge and approvals from the Board.  More specifically, the top executives of 1MDB transferred US$700 million of the proposed invest to an account unrelated to the joint venture company (JVco).

The minutes clearly stated that “the BOD was not consulted on the change of plans to remit US$700 million to PSI.  The BOD’s understanding was for the full US$1 billion to be wired to the joint bank account under the name of the JVCo…”

The minutes of the meeting proved beyond reasonable doubt that the US$700 million of the proposed US$1 billion have been misappropriated by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.  It beggars belief that despite the clear case for criminal breach of trust, Datuk Shahrol remains today a Director of 1MDB.  Perhaps Datuk Shahrol’s performance is so impressive that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has also made him a Director in Performance Management Delivery Unit (PEMANDU) of the Prime Minister’s Department.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

1MDB Board of Directors minutes prove documents leaked to SR were not doctored; therefore IGP must withdraw arrest warrant against Clare Rewcastle

The Sarawak Report continued its exposé  on the minutes of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Board meetings with the disclosure yesterday indicating that the Directors (BOD) were furious with the top management team led by Datuk Shahrol Halmi.

The minutes dated 3rd October, soon after the signing of the 1MDB-Petrosaudi joint venture agreement, provided a damning confirmation that all the earlier documents leaked by the Sarawak Report were completely authentic.

Instead, the minutes proved that the Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and his cohort of Ministers, as well as the current 1MDB President, Arul Kanda’s repeated attempts to taint the leaked information and documents by the whistle-blower website are clear cut lies.  They have obviously alleged that the exposed documents were “doctored” or “tampered” to cover up the multi-billion ringgit scandal.

The minutes revealed that the Board of Directors were furious with the top executives of 1MDB for

  • signing the joint venture agreement in reckless haste, and without any substantive due diligence;
  • the highly suspicious speed of preparation of the valuation report which was prepared by Edward Morse; and
  • most damningly, misappropriating US$700 million to an account unauthorised and unrelated to the joint venture.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Did 1MDB's top executives mislead the Board of Directors in its investment with Petrosaudi International Limited?

The latest set of 1MDB minutes exposed by The Sarawak Report dated 18 September 2009 revealed the fact that the top executives of the company clearly misleading the Board of Directors with regards to the US$1 billion investment with Petrosaudi International Limited.

According to the document, Mr Casey Tang, 1MDB’s Executive Director of Business Development briefed the Board that “Petrosaudi is ultimately owned by King Abdullah and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Casey, who is currently on Bank Negara’s wanted list to assist with its investigations on 1MDB, said so to convince the Board on the merits of investing nearly all of the RM4.3 billion proceeds from its first fund-raising exercise to acquire 40% of the joint venture company with Petrosaudi.

After the joint venture agreement was signed, 1MDB further deceived the Malaysian public in its press statement on the 30 September 2009 that claimed that
Malaysia and Saudi Arabia today entered a new era of economic cooperation with the setting up of a US$2.5 billion joint venture company, which will spearhead the flow of foreign direct investments from the Middle East as well as make strategic investments in high impact projects here [in Malaysia].

The language of the entire press release was to give the impression that 1MDB was really forming a joint venture with the Saudi Arabian government, when in reality, they were merely entering into a transaction with an insignificant company registered in Saudi.