Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Najib, where are you?

Najib, where are you?
By Chua Jui Meng

A SILENT politician is no politician. Please tell Malaysians what is happening because they have the right to know what’s going on in the government.
A string of scandalous exposes rocked Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor and the people prior to the Umno annual general assembly in late November.
Former Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan and Deepak “Carpetman” Jaikishan had been making headlines in the internet and they still continue to do so.
Musa focuses his attacks on Najib’s cousin, Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein’s alleged interference with police work and administration, and the influence of the underworld.
The integrity and the confidence of the people on the police force have been gravely shaken.
Deepak continues to reveal more and more stories on Rosmah’s greed after linking Najib and his wife to the Altantuya Murder and the RM6.7 billion purchase of two second hand French-made Scorpene submarines.
Other key financial scandals shadowing Najib and Rosmah are:
> THE controversial award of the estimated RM23 billion Sungai Buloh-Kajang Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project;
> THE RM400 million Mindef-LTAT land scam; and
> THE misuse of multi-million ringgits of public funds for personal matters, like tours, daughter’s wedding, birthday, etc to name a few.
The latest allegation is that Deepak bought Rosmah 19 pieces of jewellery worth US$3.9 million (RM13 million) in three months (details in story reproduced below).
For more than a month, revelations by the Musa-Deepak duo have jolted Malaysians but the government and Najib-Rosmah have sensationally remained unresponsive, behaving as if nothing had happened.
The exposes and allegations are serious but no response or action had been taken by the law enforcers – the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
The integrity of the police and MACC has been further eroded by the lack of urgency to act, raising suspicions that the allegations are all true.
Also, not a single senior Umno leader has come out to support their president against the damning revelations by the duo.
What is happening in Umno? Who is running the party? Who is really in charge of the country?
What’s Amanah? Umno leaders are suspiciously silent on this organisation and also to Ku Li’s criticisms of Umno on the Kelantan oil royalty. Why?
But the most important question is this: “Who stands to gain the most if Najib crumbles under pressure and calls it a day?”
There is no easy or clear answer because Umno politics is most intriguing, greatly influenced by the power of money and its firm practice that there are no permanent enemies and no permanent friends in political manoeuvrings.
However, political observers have trained their eyes on several key players in Umno’s internal power struggle.
They are the super rich Mahathir Mohamad-Daim Zainuddin duo, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former Umno vice-president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who is more popularly referred to as Ku Li.
Their movements and what they say are being watched under the microscope by politicians and Malaysians.
What is clear is the agenda of the players:
> Mahathir wants to ensure that his son, Mukhriz (currently a Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister), rises to become prime minister in the 14th General Election or earlier;
> Muhyiddin is dying to take over from Najib; and
> Ku Li wants his dream to be prime minister comes true since he challenged and lost to Mahathir for the Umno presidency in 1987.
Amidst all these, both domestic and foreign investors are keeping a close watch on the political developments in the run up to the next 13th general election, with the 222-seat Parliament heading for automatic dissolution on April 28.
As more and more dirty linen is being washed in public, the integrity of the country’s administration is heading for rock bottom.
Only the Malaysian voters can determine and chart the next course of the country’s progress or retreat.
Here are stories for more on the latest development:

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 11:39

ROSMAH SHOCKER: Deepak bought 19 pieces of jewellery worth US$ 3.9 MILLION for PM's WIFE?

Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

UPDATE 5 PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli dropped another bombshell on Wednesday, the latest in a series of expose's revealing the extent and amount of corruption Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife have been allegedly involved in.
Waving a sheaf of invoices obtained from a "third-party source", Rafizi showed how controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan, through his company Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd bought 19 pieces of exclusive custom-made jewellery, mostly diamond rings, from top Hong Kong jewellers allegedly for Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor.
"Deepak has to come forward with more details and Rosmah has to come forward to clear the air because the word 'cincin' (ring) is a sensitive matter in Malaysia. The invoices so far show that Deepak's carpet firm paid for the jewellery but Rosmah's name is not there. Even so, these are very serius allegations made by Deepak and must be investigated," Rafizi told a press conference on Wednesday.
19 pieces worth RM13mil in just 3 months
Showing invoices from firms including Firestone Co. Ltd and Dehres Ltd, Rafizi - a UK trained auditor - confirmed he had called up the companies to verify the invoices were genuine. He also furnished bank-in and payment slips, pointing out that the spate of purchases spanned a suspiciously short period of just 3 months.
Although, Rosmah's name is not shown on the documents, her love for fine jewellery and diamonds is legendary. Deepak's list of jewellery purchased from Hong Kong is stunning and, if his allegations are true, would certainly befit her taste.
The 19 pieces of jewellery consist of:
> 7 diamond rings,
> 4 diamond earrings
> 2 diamond bracelets
> 3 diamond necklaces
> 1 emerald ring
> 1 emerald bracelet and
> 1 ruby bracelet.
"RM13 million in 3 months...That's a lot of jewellery to buy," Rafizi said, reiterating that the documents and Deepak's claims justified a probe by authorities at the very least.
Diamonds 'bribe' for land deal?
Rafizi added that the allegations took on a serious note given that Deepak has already accused the first couple for accepting millions for corruptly sanctioning a Ministry of Defence land deal.
Indeed, Deepak - a former close friend of Rosmah's - had previously complained he had paid Najib's family "millions" for giving the go-ahead for the land deal which also involves Selangor Umno Women's chief Raja Ropiaah. However, the news was blacked out by the government-controlled mainstream media.
"In past, we weren't sure. It was just Deepak's accusations against Rosmah. But now we have with us solid documents that diamonds were purchased as Deepak had alleged for Rosmah and in connection with the Ministry of Defense deal. On this basis, we have to challenge the MACC to respond," Rafizi told Malaysia Chronicle at the sidelines of the conference.
According to Rafizi, the documents came from "third-party" sources and not directly from Deepak.
"It may be that Deepak is not happy with Najib and Rosmah or the RM30million he received was too little. This maybe why he says he will continue to reveal more scandals. But that does not make the corruption go away, it doesn't mean that Najib and Rosmah are less guilty or more guilty. What it means is that there is obviously something very wrong with this land deal and it must be fully investigated."
Not frivolous allegations
The scandal came to a boil following last week's disclosure by public-listed Boustead Holdings Bhd, which is 61%-owned by the Armed Forces pension fund, that it would pay RM30million to Deepak and RM130million to Raja Ropiaah to buy over the land.
Instead of being placated, Deepak went on the offensive, vowing he would continue with his 'revelations' against Rosmah and to push on with the publication of his tell-all book - The Black Rose.
"The LTAT RM160million deal may be to silence Deepak as we believe but the MACC has refused to act so far. Why is the MACC not acting," PKR MP for Selayang William Leong, also at the press conference, told reporters.
"And now, there are these documents showing the diamond purchases for Rosmah [as alleged by Deepak]. There is sufficient evidence for the MACC to initiate a probe on veracity of the invoices and then begin a corruption probe against Rosmah, Najib, Raja Ropiaah and Deepak. But why hasn't it done so? The diamond purchases are not frivolous allegations. The Boustead deal is also not an excuse for the MACC not to investigate. Now is the test for the MACC to use its powers to probe. I call on the MACC chief and the police chief to act without fear of favour."
William, who is a lawyer by training, said the powers accorded to the MACC under Section 30(1) (a) of the MACC Act were wide and strong. The MACC could order anyone to attend before it to be examined orally; the MACC may order any person to produce any boo, document, record or accounts; the MACC may order any person to furnish a statement in writing on oath or affirmation setting out all such information required by it.
Additionally, a person ordered by the MACC to attend examination is required to disclose all information which is within his or her knowldege or which is available to him or her; he or she must answer any question put forth truthfully and to the best of his or her knowledge and shall not refuse to answer on the grounds it tends to incriminate him or her. Failure to do so would be an offence, said William.
"The Chief Commissioner's (Abu Kassim Mohamed) continued silence in the light of Deepak's disclosures and the MACC's failure to investigate will lead to the MACC's image being further tarnished," said William.
"In faling to use its vast array of powers of investigation and prosecution against those who have committed corru[tion without fear of favor shows that the MACC is nothing more than a paper tiger, only taking action against those without political clout or who have fallen out of favor. - Malaysia Chronicle

‘Deepak spent millions on gems for Rosmah’
 | January 2, 2013
PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli claimed that Deepak bought 19 types of jewellery, worth about RM13 million for the prime minister's wife.
PETALING JAYA: PKR today alleged that businessman Deepak Jaikishan spent about RM13 million in 2009 to purchase jewellery for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.
Speaking at a press conference at the party headquarters here, PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli said that the purchases involved 19 different types of jewellery from Hong Kong, ranging from necklaces to rings and bracelets.
“The purchases took place between March and May 2009, the time Najib became the prime minister,” said Rafizi.
Also present at the press conference were PKR MPs William Leong and Zuraida Kamaruddin.
Rafizi also produced several documents, including invoices and bank payment records made to two luxury jewellery companies based in Hong Kong – Dehres Limited and Firestone Corporation Limited.
The payments for the jewellery were made by two companies linked to Deepak – Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd and Carpet Plus Sdn Bhd.
Rafizi urged the authorities to investigate, alleging that the matter was nothing short of a corrupt act.
He said that it would not be difficult for an agency like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate as each luxury jewellery is unique, with its own reference code.
“For example, Deepak’s company made payment for the purchase of a diamond ring, code DR 2763, worth US$1.5 million.
“So we have its code and the MACC could easily trace this matter if it hauls up Deepak for an investigation,” Rafizi said, adding that it would be difficult for anyone to forge a bank record.
On arguments that Deepak could have purchased the jewellery for his own use, Rafizi said, “True but I don’t see Deepak wearing the jewellery.”
He added that the matter could be a tip of the iceberg as the transactions mentioned are only those made known to PKR.
Original statements
“That’s why we need the authorities to probe Deepak as only he can provide the original statements pertaining to these transactions,” said Rafizi.
On a related matter, Leong urged MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed to probe Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera’s (LTAT) decision to purchase an 80% stake in Deepak’s company Astacanggih Sdn Bhd.
Last month, Deepak decided to drop his lawsuit against Awan Megah Sdn Bhd, a company owned by Selangor Wanita Umno leader Raja Roopiah Raja Abdullah, on a case involving a land deal that went sour.
Subsequently, a unit with LTAT, Boustead Holdings Bhd, acquired the 80% stake in Astacanggih.
The move prompted PKR to accuse the government of attempting to stop Deepak from continuing his attacks against Najib and Rosmah.
Leong said that MACC’s continues silence on Deepak’s disclosures wil only tarnish the anti-graft body’s image among the public.
“It will show the public that MACC is not independent and is beholden to the powers-that-be,” he said.
Added Rafizi: “If the MACC refuses to investigate, we will have another press conference on Friday to reveal details on the land agreement between the Selangor Umno Wanita leader and the government.” - Free Malaysia Today

Wednesday, 02 January 2013 08:53

'The Black Rose' to heat up Rosmah-Altantuya allegations

Three weeks after the prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor launched her 160-page biography priced at RM150, a booklet has surfaced today carrying vivid behind-the-scene stories implicating her role in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder saga.
'The Black Rose' - copy of which has been received by Harakahdaily (pic), gives accounts on the controversial retraction of a statutory declaration by P. Balasubramaniam, the private detective hired by Abdul Razak Baginda who had an affair with the Mongolian citizen.
Deepak Jaikishan had earlier promised to release a book as part of a series of installments of writings to counter Rosmah's biography.
However, when contacted, Deepak refused to confirm whether the author, nicknamed 'Spirit of Altantuya', was him.
The booklet uses pseudonyms for all characters mentioned, and incorporates documents detailing the purchase of exorbitant items which are linked to Rosmah.
Deepak went on a media blitz recently to expose his friendship with prime minister Najib Razak and his family, as well as their role getting Bala to withdraw the SD.
Following his interviews with several portals including Harakahdaily, Deepak was forced to resign from some 66 companies.
Last week, his company AstaCanggih Sdn Bhd withdrew a legal suit against the government for allegedly breaching an agreement over a plot of land in Bukit Raja, Selangor.
Later, it was announced that Boustead Holdings Bhd, an investment vehicle under the Ministry of Defence’s Armed Forces Funds Board, had purchased 80 percent of AstaCanggih.
Deepak claimed he was forced to let go of AstaCanggih at a price tag of RM30 million covering its expenses.
Following his second interview with Harakahdaily on December 22, Deepak received a letter from Shane & Delamore, a law firm owned by Najib’s brother Johari Abdul Razak, on behalf of a bank regarding the RM30 million.
Deepak has vowed to continue his exposes, promising a press conference on January 1, 2013. – Harakahdaily

Wednesday, 28 November 2012 09:38
NAJIB'S FINGERPRINTS all over Raja Ropiaah's alleged RM400mil Mindef land scam
Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

Like it or not, Prime Minister Najib Razak's fingerprints are all over the latest Umno corruption scandal to be exposed - a Ministry of Defense privatization scam involving Selangor Wanita Umno chief Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah, carpet trader Deepak Jaikishan, a proposed but still uncompleted defense research center and land worth RM400mil at current prices.
The 40-year-old Deepak, a good friend of Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor, turned 'whistle blower' on the first couple when his firm Astacanggih Sdn Bhd found itself "robbed" of a portion of the land it had bought. from Raja Ropiaah's Awan Megah (M) Sdn Bhd. The land had been privatized by the Defense Ministry to Ropiaah's firm.
"Without Najib's OK, Raja Ropiaah would not have been awarded the deal by the Ministry of Defense,"Deepak told Malaysia Chronicle.
Bypassed the Cabinet
According to Deepak, Najib bypassed the Cabinet when he later also approved Ropiaah's request to transfer the land titles from Awan Megah to a nominee company so as to facilitate the sale to Astacanggih.
"This is an abnormal clause and since the land is government owned, Najib should have sought the Cabinet's approval. But he directed his staff to issue a letter of approval to allow the titles to be transferred to Cebur Megah Development Sdn Bhd (the nominee firm). You could say he exceeded his authority," said Deepak.
To support his claims, Deepak showed copies of letters and a police report he has lodged against Raja Ropiaah and her company. Among the letters is one from Awan Megah dated 25 Sept 2006, signed by Ropiaah as chairman of the firm and addressed to Najib as the Minister of Defense. In this letter, Ropiaah sought permission to have the titles transferred to Cebur Megah which she assured was 100% owned by Awan Megah.
Najib's initial and instruction to the ministry's Deputy Chief Secretary Abu Bakar Abdullah can be clearly seen on the letter - En Abu Bakar, TKDU, Saya tiada halangan dengan permintaaan ini. Sila uruskan secara rasmi (Mr Abu Bakar TKDU, I have no objection to this request. Please attend to the necessary).
The Ministry of Defense followed through with Abu Bakar issuing a written approval to Awan Megah via a letter dated 6 November 2006.
"These letters are all public information. We are suing Awan Megah, the Ministry of Defense and the Pejabat Tanah dan Galian and all these documents have already been filed in court. There is no question of any breach of confidentiality, just a lot of 'fishiness' from some people," Deepak said.
No open tender, only 20% built
Indeed, the entire deal appears murky. Firstly, despite Ropiaah's lack of experience in defense matters, her firm was awarded the RM100mil project to build Puspahanas or Pusat Pengajian Pertahanan Nasional in 2005.
According to Deepak, there was no open tender called by the Ministry of Defense, which was headed by Najib at that time.
"You cannot say Ropiaah won the contract. There was no open tender in the first place. Her Awan Megah was awarded the deal even though she did not have any experience at all in defense research," said Deepak.
Puspahanas was meant to be a research centre akin to Britain's MI5. Under the privatization plan, Awan Megah was to build the centre and in exchange, the Ministry of Defense would grant the firm 3 parcels of land in Bukit Raja, Selangor worth about RM72 mil or RM7psf. However, till now, only about 20% of Puspahanas has been built.
Najib was then also the Deputy Prime Minister while Abdullah Badawi was the prime minister.
Wake up Najib, Deepak threatens to reveal more details
Deepak - whose firm Astacanggih had contracted to buy over all 3 parcels of land from Ropiaah at RM12 psf or about RM120 mill - is crying foul because the deal is "stuck" and he is unable to develop the land as he had planned to do.
To make matters worse, according to him, Ropiah has sold one of the parcels to another party GuppyUnip Sdn Bhd for RM2 million in cash and a RM16 million overdraft facility as part of a “joint-venture” with the plastic-ware firm.
Deepak says he initially appealed to Najib to intervene and speed up the transfer of titles. But due to Najib "irresponsibility" and "not doing anything", he was forced to lodge a police report in July.
"I will be revealing more details as soon as they are ready. It is to Najib's best interests to clear up the matter as he is directly involved," said Deepak, who has also accused a member of Najib's family of taking millions in 'commission' for sanctioning the privatization.
Deepak's firm is also suing the Ministry of Defense, the land and mining office Pejabat Tanah dan Galian, Raja Ropiaah and Awan Megan for specific performance, not releasing the titles and for "stealing the land".
Deepak declined to reveal how much losses he has incurred over the privatization deal but according to sources familiar with the transaction, he may have lost as much as RM30 to 40 million to Raja Ropiaah's firm.
"She walked away with 30 to 40 million of his money," the source alleged.
Corruption scandals dog Umno's glamorous women leaders
The flamboyant Wanita leader, known for her glamorous dressing, has declined to comment but said she would be referring the matter to her lawyers.
"At this point, I don't wish to comment but will let my lawyers handle it. Deepak has been going around saying all sorts of things. We want to know what his accusations are and take the next step from then on," Raja Ropiaah told Malaysia Chronicle.
In April, Ropiaah was appointed Senator by Najib, the Umno president, amid public pressure to sack Wanita chief Shahrizat Jalil, who had also lost her Women's Minister post after she was accused of massive corruption in the 'cows-and-condos' RM250 mil NFC debacle.
For months, the Umno women's wing, which is now holding its annual congress in Kuala Lumpur, has been abuzz with talk that Ropiaah is slated to replace Shahrizat. Although, the post is elected, Wanita delegates who vote have traditionally taken the cue on who to pick from the party's top leadership even though that would mean following the wishes of the main Men's wing.
"As for Raja Ropiah, she is just like her mentor Shahrizat Jalil. The difference is that Shahrizat didn't put her name on anything but Ropiaah did," said Deepak.

Malaysia Chronicle - Let justice flow like a mighty river
Hangzhou’s new 48km Metro rail line costs RM11bn. How much is the 51km Sungai Buloh-Kajang MRT going to cost? RM50bn?
What’s more, the Hangzhou line has to use complex technology as it runs underneath the West lake, Qiantang River, the Grand Canal and several railway lines, as one Malaysian activist pointed out.
The Hangzhou line:
Building on the success of Beijing Metro Line 4 and Shenzhen Metro Longhua Line, Hangzhou Metro Line 1 is MTR Corporation’s third metro investment project in the mainland.
The new 48 km line is a Public-Private Partnership project with a total capital cost of about $3.5 billion.
MTR Corporation has a 49 per cent stake in Hangzhou MTR with the balance owned by Hangzhou Metro Group Company Limited. Hangzhou MTR will operate the line for 25 years.
via Hangzhou Metro starts operation – Rail News from
The Sungai Buloh-Kajang line:
Now that we are concentrating on one line Sg Buloh-Kajang we have asked them for an estimate and they said it may cost RM18bil to RM20bil to construct. This does not include the rolling stock, land acquisitions and other provisions.” Land Public Transport Commission chief executive officer Mohd Nur Ismal Kamal said the Government was doing all it could to drive down the cost.
“With land acquisition and rolling stock, it could come up to RM50bil, but it is too early to say,” he said. “We will know the full picture later as the project is still at the public display stage. This will end in middle of May. … From the feedback, we will then consider the alignment and the length of the platforms for the stations, whether it is a four-car train or more,” Mohd Nur added. He said that once the public display was over, a target cost would be worked and agreed on. Once the tender was over, it may be different from the target cost, he said.
via MRT project cost now estimated to reach RM50b.
Even if we exclude rolling stock and land acquisition cost (and why should we exclude that?), the actual construction cost is still much higher than Hangzhou’s.
So why the vast disparity in the cost? I think we need independent auditors to scrutinise the costing and tendering of this massive project.