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G18 (Harapan Baru) wants thorough probe into alleged Mara corruption scandal

June 26, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, June 25, 2015:

drdzulmarareport-L

PAS’ Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad (centre) holding a copy of the police report outside the Dang Wangi police station after lodging a report over the alleged Mara graft scandal. – TRP pic by Arfa Yunus

By: Arfa Yunus

G18, a group comprising PAS progressives, urged police to conduct a thorough investigation into the Mara scandal, regardless of the status of the individuals involved.

The group’s secretary Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad said, the expose by Australian daily, The Age on the property scam linked to the government-linked agency, was the reason why the group decided to lodge a police report today.

“We urge the police to conduct an immediate investigation into this because it involves prominent people in the government such as a high ranking officer in Mara and a politician from Umno,” he said, when met by reporters outside Dang Wangi police station here today.

The Age had, two days ago, carried an exposé  on a property purchased by Mara in Melbourne.

The report titled “Corrupt Malaysia money distorts Melbourne market” claimed the purchase of The Dudley House, a property in Melbourne, was supposed to be sold at RM51.5 million.

However, the report said, it was bought at a cost of RM65.4 million, which was an additional sum of RM13.8 million.

Shah Alam lawmaker Khalid Samad, who was also present, said the “habit” of government officials “spending the public’s money at leisure” needed to stop immediately.

“This is a breach of trust. RM13.8 million is a lot. Is this the kind of behaviour that should be shown by government officials?

“It was because of The Age‘s report that we have come to know of this story. What about other cases that we don’t know about?

“This is where G18 steps in. We bring hope to the people and make sure their voices are hear. (We are the Harapan Baru)”

Is there space for a progressive Islamic party? Let the national conversation continues first…

June 26, 2015

26/06/2015 12:43 PM

Alfian ZM Tahir (Beritadaily)
Many agree that the time has come for such a party but will the new party live up to the standard

KUALA LUMPUR: The idea of forming a new moderate Islamic political party has certainly caught the attention of many political observers who obviously vary in the idea of projecting it.

While some observers predicted a better outcome for Malaysian politics as a whole, others described that the move would squander the opportunity for the Malays to regain their power.

The idea to establish such a moderate political party came from those defeated PAS members in their recent party polls. The likes of Mohamad Sabu, Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa and Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad and others who have all lost to the hardliners in the Islamic party depicted the need to form a party that is not just exclusive for the Muslims – but for all citizens.

But what do ordinary Malaysian citizens think about the idea? Would it benefit the multiracial society in the country or would it just be another political party that merely replaces PAS?

Berita Daily speaks to a number of ordinary people for their feedback.

“Yes, I do support any intention of forming a moderate Islamic party. A new Islamic party is needed to replace both PAS and Umno. I do not support race-based or religion-based party but if a moderate Islamic party is being formed by the likes of Mat Sabu and Dr Mujahid, surely this so called new party will defend the fundamental rights of all Malaysians.

“Umno from the very beginning is a racist party and sadly, PAS who once said that the party is for all, is now heading that way,” said Mandeep Singh, an active member of Kelab Bangsar Utama – a non governmental organisation.

Asked on how he wanted the new progressive party to function, Mandeep who is also an electoral observer, explained that although the party would be headed by Islamists, the party should move away from race and religion based politics.

The 29-year-old Selangorian added that the committee members of the party should start engaging with civil society organisations such as Sisters In Islam (SIS) and Bersih – an effort that was never done by PAS.

“They should sit and discuss with civil rights groups so that they could listen to everyone’s opinion. The new party should not only speak about one race or religion, but must represent Malaysians,” Mandeep said.

For Muhammad Anas Danial Ismail, a new progressive party is needed as the discourse of Islamism in the country has been too polarised by Umno and PAS.

He described that at the moment there is no other alternative for the discourse of Islamism, saying that the conservatives in PAS were no different from those in other right-wing groups such as Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma).

“As a Malay Muslim, I would say that it is needed because the discourse of Islamism has been dominated by Umno and PAS and there is no other alternative. The conservatives in PAS is similar to those in Isma or in Umno. An alternative voice is needed,” he said when contacted.

Adding further, he explained that the new party must learn how to interact with society in general while saying that it must represent a more inclusive view of Islamism.

“Those in the new party must not act in a ‘holier than thou’ approach and they must be relevant to the society. They must know how to interact with the society and must be more inclusive in their views,” he said.

Tool to secure power

Agreeing with Anas, Muhammad Nazreen Jaafar said it was timely for the country to adopt such an approach, stating that the trend of Islamic conservatism where religion has become a thought control and has become a tool to secure power of interest.

Citing the example of Indonesia, Nazreen who is a former aide to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said that perhaps with the creation of a new progressive Islamic political party, Malaysians could learn from the emergence of various Islamic parties in Indonesia that had led to form a political maturity in the public sphere.

“The advent of Islamic parties in Malaysia would lead into vibrant discussion on the position of Islam in our country. Moreover, we can learn from Indonesia during 90s where the emergence of Islamic parties such as PPP, PKS, PKB and others were able to bring political maturity into our political landscape,” he stated.

Meanwhile, according to Zoe Randhawa, any new party must work towards a secular democracy in order to unite the nation.

While not suggesting the new party to abandon its Islamic rhetoric, the former student at London School of Economics said that the party must also respect the diversity and various beliefs in the society.

“The only way forward is to work towards a secular democracy and that is the only way to unite a multiracial, multi-ethnic society like Malaysia.

“I am not suggesting that they get rid of their Islamic rhetoric but they have to respect that Malaysia is a secular state with multi-ethnicity. The agree to disagree policy being practised by the opposition is making them hard to unite as a front.

“For me, the idea of coalition in politics, should be removed,” Zoe said.

However, for University of Malaya Student Council vice president 2, Kalaivaanan Murty, the idea of progressivism must lead to the idea of significant paradigm shift while rejecting the idea of giving an old book a new cover.

“If the question points out to the idea of replacing an old political party with the new one then I would contend that it shouldn’t. Why do you want to give an old book a new cover. Progressivism if one really connotes to idea of it, leads to the idea of significant paradigm shift. One must be able to perceive matters through the eyes of fair comments and principles.

“If one perceives to be preaching for progressive Islamic views then that particular person should in my humble opinion let go of the religious title and adopt a more Malaysian title.

“Progressive Islamism must be rooted back to the people. It must be of the nature that people from different religion look up to it as the true reflection of the religion and I believe that it should stem within a multi-religious political party,” he opined.

People’s agenda

Kalai’s opinion was mirrored by his UM compatriot, Khairol Najib Hashim who said that while it is needed for a new progressive party to be initiated, the party must place the people’s agenda as the party’s main priority.

Khairol, who is the chairperson of Kesatuan Mahasiswa Malaysia, added that the progressives in PAS dubbed as the G18 should charge into action immediately to create a new political platform for Malaysians.

“People’s agenda must be their first priority and then only the party’s agenda. It can’t neglect the promise that the opposition have given to the people.

“In my view, they must act fast and it must be now. Two years away from the next general election and it is not long before it comes. They have to get the platform ready for Malaysians. It is evident in the last GE that Malaysians are hungry for a change,” he said.

Tersingkir daripada kepimpinan PAS jadi “rahmat terselindung”, kata G18

June 23, 2015

OLEH ZULKIFLI SULONG, PENGARANG ANALISIS DAN RENCANA (TMI)

Published: 22 June 2015 5:00 PM

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata penyingkiran mereka daripada kepimpinan tertinggi PAS menyebabkan satu wadah baharu yang lebih kukuh dan inklusif dibina untuk semua rakyat Malaysia. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 22 Jun, 2015.

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata penyingkiran mereka daripada kepimpinan tertinggi PAS menyebabkan satu wadah baharu yang lebih kukuh dan inklusif dibina untuk semua rakyat Malaysia. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 22 Jun, 2015.

Pemimpin PAS yang tewas dalam pemilihan PAS baru-baru ini menyifatkan kekalahan mereka secara blok dalam pemilihan itu menjadi “rahmat yang terselindung” (blessing in disguise) apabila ia membuka ruang membina sesuatu lebih kukuh untuk Malaysia selepas ini.

Setiausaha jawatankuasa bertindak kumpulan 18 (G18) yang tewas itu, Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata penyingkiran mereka menyebabkan satu wadah baharu yang lebih kukuh dan inklusif dibina untuk semua rakyat Malaysia.

“Sejak sekian lama kita bergaduh dalam PAS dengan pendekatan dan pandangan yang berbeza berhubung beberapa perkara, sekarang kita bebas untuk membentuk wadah baharu lebih inklusif untuk semua rakyat negara ini,” katanya kepada The Malaysian Insider.

G18 mengadakan pertemuan pertama di Muar, Johor pada 16 Jun lalu dan membentuk jawatankuasa bertindak di kalangan mereka.

Bekas Timbalan Presiden PAS Mohamad Sabu yang gagal mempertahankan jawatannya dipilih sebagai pengerusi kumpulan ini sementara bekas Naib Presiden Salahudin Ayub dilantik menjadi timbalan manakala bekas Ketua Pemuda Suhaizan Kaiat sebagai penolong setiausahanya.

Semua ahli G18 yang lain dilantik sebagai ahli jawatankuasa (AJK) badan bertindak ini.

Dzulkefly berkata badan ini akan menggabungkan semua masyarakat sivil di negara ini terutama badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) Islam bagi membentuk satu wadah baharu politik Malaysia berteraskan Islam yang lebih progresif berbanding parti lama mereka.

“Kami yakin wadah ini akan lebih diterima masyarakat Malaysia kerana sifatnya yang inklusif dalam sebuah negara berbilang agama dan bangsa ini,” katanya yang juga bekas ketua pegawai eksekutif Pusat Penyelidikan PAS itu.

Selain bersatu dengan PKR dan DAP, wadah baharu itu akan menghimpun semua NGO Islam di Malaysia yang mempunyai cita-cita sama.

Dzulkefly bagaimanapun berkata, beliau dan pimpinan G18 akan mengambil pendekatan tidak akan berkonfrontasi atau menjadikan parti lama mereka iaitu PAS sebagai musuh.

“Kita akan melihat masa depan dan cuba melupakan perbezaan pendapat kita dalam PAS. Kita akan membawa gagasan masa depan dan lupakan masalah lama kita,” katanya.

Dzulkefly berkata, sepanjang Ramadan ini kumpulan berkenaan akan mengadakan mesyuarat bersama pertubuhan Islam dan bukan Islam serta pemimpin masyarkat di seluruh negara bagi menjelaskan peranan pergerakan itu.

Pengumuman lanjut, katanya hanya akan dibuat selepas sambutan Aidilfitri dan selepas mendapat maklum balas daripada akar umbi serta pertubuhan yang berkaitan.

Menurut laporan, kumpulan itu juga merancang untuk menganjurkan pameran bergerak di seluruh negara dan akan menyokong kempen “Harapan Baru” atau “The New Hope and Dream” selepas sambutan Hari Raya Aidilfitri. – 22 Jun, 2015.

Ousted PAS leaders say defeat a blessing in disguise

The group of 18 PAS leaders defeated in the recent PAS polls at the Jasamu Dikenang gathering held in Muar, Johor last Tuesday. They say they will now embark on a more inclusive Islamist movement. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 22, 2015.The group of 18 PAS leaders defeated in the recent PAS polls at the Jasamu Dikenang gathering held in Muar, Johor last Tuesday. They say they will now embark on a more inclusive Islamist movement. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 22, 2015.

PAS progressive leaders who were shown the door in the recently concluded party polls have described their en-bloc defeat as a blessing in disguise, saying that it has opened a window of opportunity to build “something better for Malaysia”.

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, the secretary of the acting committee that calls itself G18 (a reference to the 18 ousted PAS leaders) said their exit from the top party posts gave rise to the idea of forming a more inclusive movement for Malaysians.

“Over the years, we have been effected reforms and changes in PAS. Very recently all these seemed to be in danger of being rolled back. Now, we are free to embark on a new endeavour that is more inclusive or all-encompassing,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He said the G18’s first meeting in Muar, Johor on June 16 was fruitful and had lead to the formation of an action committee for the purpose.He said that Mohamad Sabu, who failed to defend the deputy president post, had been elected as chairman of the group, former vice-president Salahuddin Ayub as his deputy and former Youth leader Suhaizan Kaiat as assistant secretary.

The rest of the G18 were appointed as committee members for the movement.

Dzulkefly said the movement aimed to bring together all like-minded civil society movements and their leaders, particularly Islamist NGOs, to develop a new platform based on political Islam that was truly inclusive, engaging and better able to contextualise the plural demography and the many mutually exclusive demands and constraints.

“We believe this platform will be better accepted by the people because it is the friendly face of Islam, inclusive and adept to a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation,” he said.

Besides cooperating with Pakatan Rakyat’s PKR and DAP, the new movement will also embrace those who had similar ambitions and vision.

However, Dzulkefly insisted that the G18 would not be confrontational in its approach or turn PAS into an enemy.

“We will look towards the future instead and try to forget our differences. We will bring fresh ideas for the future and embark on the bigger agenda of striving for ‘A Better Malaysia for All’,” he said.

Dzulkefly said during Ramadan, the group would be busy meeting with both Muslim and non-Muslim bodies and community leaders in the country to explain what the movement was about.

He said further announcements would only be made after the Aidilfitri celebrations and after getting feedback from the grassroots and relevant bodies.

The group is reportedly planning a nationwide roadshow and will be seriously advocating their campaign for a politics of “Harapan Baru” or “The New Hope and Dream” after the Hari Raya celebration. – June 22, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ousted-pas-leaders-say-defeat-a-blessing-in-disguise#sthash.fqiSP3Oe.kRcz28O1.dpuf

Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad speaks during the maiden gathering of 'progressive' PAS leaders defeated in the recent party polls at a gathering in Muar, Johor on June 16. – The Malaysian Insider pic, June 22, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ousted-pas-leaders-say-defeat-a-blessing-in-disguise#sthash.fqiSP3Oe.kRcz28O1.dpuf

Bolehkah ‘Negara Berpendapatan Tinggi’, pendapatan rakyatnya rendah? (Yang pasti, ‘defisit’ paling sukar di atasi adalah “defisit keyakinan” terhadap PM @NajibRazak)

May 31, 2015

Dzulkefly Ahmad (Harakahdaily)

Rancangan Malaysia Ke-11 baru dibentang. Penulis bersedia mengakui memang nampak hebat. Namun setelah meneliti tidak banyak yang berbeza. Bahkan laras bahasa dan terminologinya pun tidak banyak yang baru, semacam tepu.

Tetapi yang pasti angka-angka sasaran sangat agresif dan terlalu optimis atau ‘bullish’.

Betul, ini pacuan lapse terakhir untuk menerjah tahun keramat 2020. Namun biar munasabah. Penulis seperti biasa akan menulis secara selektif untuk diketengahkan beberapa isu. Ruang terhad.

Sedikit ingatan, Bank Dunia mengiktiraf Malaysia antara negara terkaya di segi sumber per kapita rakyatnya. Memang patut kita hebat.  Cuba kita perhatikan dahulu pencapaian RMK-10.

Sayugia diketahui, ahli-ahli ekonomi berpandangan sejarah pembangunan Malaysia diakui sebagai satu yag berciri ‘relative underperformance’ atau ‘prestasi rendah secara relatif atau perbandingan’. Ya, kita mendahului jiran atau ‘peers’ seperti Indonesia, Thailand atau Filipina. Sebaliknya, kita tidak mampu bermegah kalau dibanding dengan Korea Selatan, Taiwan, Hong Kong dan Singapura. Mengapa?

Contohnya, pada tahun 1970 rakyat Korea Selatan punyai “Pendapatan Negara Kasar atau PNK per kapiat (GNI per capita) sebanyak US$270, ketika rakyat kita adalah sebanyak US$470 (mengikut data World Bank Atlas Method). Pada tahun 1980, mereka sudah menghampiri US$1,810 berbanding kita US$1,820.

Tiga dekad kemudian, pada 2011, Korea Selatan terus memecut PNK per kapita rakyatnya cecah US$20,870 sementara Malaysia terus terhambat dalam penomena “Perangkap Pendapatan Sederhana” (Middle Income Trap) dengan hanya mampu mencapai US$8,420 hampir sepertiga mereka.

Nah, mengapa berlaku gejala “perangkap pendapatan sederhana”? Saya juga enggan untuk menggunakan istilah “Negara Maju”. Kedua-dua isu ‘perangkap sederhana dan negara maju berhajatkan wacana yang lain.

Untuk ingatan semua, kita juga adalah sebuah negara yang amat mewah dengan perancangan dan dasar. Ini tidak perlu saya ulangi. Tulisan ini hanya menumpu tentang ‘negara berpendapatan tinggi’.

Bersambung di sini….

Jika dasar berjalan lancar, ekuiti bumiputera 50% sekarang, kata pakar (Telah melepasi 3 dasawarsa. Nak berapa lama lagi untuk sampai target ni?..hehe)

May 26, 2015

OLEH SHERIDAN MAHAVERA (TMI)

Published: 26 May 2015 6:52 AM

Bumiputera mampu kawal 50% saham korporat di Malaysia jika pentadbiran Barisan Nasional melaksanakan dasar perniagaan pro bumiputera yang baik, kata ahli ekonomi Tan Sri Kamal Salih. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 26 Mei, 2015.

Bumiputera mampu kawal 50% saham korporat di Malaysia jika pentadbiran Barisan Nasional melaksanakan dasar perniagaan pro bumiputera yang baik, kata ahli ekonomi Tan Sri Kamal Salih. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 26 Mei, 2015. Bumiputera mampu kawal 50% saham korporat di Malaysia jika pentadbiran Barisan Nasional melaksanakan dasar perniagaan pro bumiputera yang baik, kata ahli ekonomi Tan Sri Kamal Salih. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 26 Mei, 2015. Bumiputera boleh mengawal 50% daripada semua saham korporat di Malaysia jika pentadbiran Barisan Nasional (BN) sebelum ini menjalankan dasar perniagaan yang pro-bumiputera dengan baik, kata seorang ahli ekonomi terkemuka yang terlibat membantu kerajaan merangka dasar tersebut.

Tan Sri Kamal Salih dari Universiti Malaya (UM) berkata demikian ketika Putrajaya meneruskan agenda perniagaan bumiputeranya dalam Rancangan Malaysia ke-11 (RMK-11) dilancarkan Khamis lepas.

Kamal berkata, sasaran RMK-11 mencapai 30% ekuiti korporat bumiputera mungkin akan gagal tanpa pembaharuan struktur kepada agensi dan jabatan yang ditugaskan menjalankan agenda itu.

Ini kerana, kebanyakan strategi dalam RMK-11 itu sama dengan apa yang dibuat dan dilaksanakan pentadbiran sebelum ini di bawah Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“Semua itu idea yang baik tetapi pelaksanaannya lemah,” kata Kamal merujuk kepada mengapa dasar pada zaman Abdullah, yang beliau terlibat membantu, gagal mencapai sasaran ekuiti bumiputera.

Dasar yang dirangka semasa pentadbiran Abdullah sepatutnya meneruskan dari mana pemimpin terdahulu, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, berhenti.

Menurut sebuah buku oleh ahli ekonomi Edmund Terence Gomez dan Johan Saravanamuttu, ekuiti atau pemilikan saham korporat bumiputera berjumlah 18.9% pada 2004, ketika Abdullah mengambil alih daripada Dr Mahathir.

Angka itu meningkat kepada 21.9% pada 2008, menurut buku itu, “New Economic Policy in Malaysia, Affirmative Action, Ethnic Inequalities and Social justice”.

Ia setahun sebelum Abdullah menyerahkan pentadbiran kepada Datuk Seri Najib Razak, yang kini perdana menteri.

Pendekatan kluster

Pentadbiran Abdullah menggunakan pendekatan kluster membangunkan lebih perusahaan bumiputera dengan memanfaatkan rangkaian nilai dan bekalan industri tertentu, kata Kamal yang kini pensyarah di UM.

Katanya, ciri utama ialah sistem tender terbuka, di mana 60% daripada kontrak kerajaan diberikan kepada syarikat bumiputera.

Tender yang dirunding hanya akan diberi dengan berhati-hati, katanya.

Satu lagi inti sari penting ialah, menyalurkan keluar kontrak daripada syarikat berkaitan kerajaan (GLC) kepada perusahaan kecil dan sederhana (PKS) bumiputera apabila mereka mendapat kontrak besar kerajaan.

“Falsafahnya ialah bekerjasama, dan pada masa sama bersaing supaya syarikat bumiputera terbaik boleh maju,” kata Kamal.

Strategi ini, bagaimanapun, tidak dilaksanakan dengan sebaiknya dan pentadbiran Abdullah gagal mencapai matlamatnya.

Apabila menyentuh perolehan kerajaan, majoriti kontrak masih diberi melalui tender tertutup yang dirunding, mendedahkannya kepada pakatan sulit dan rasuah, kata Kamal.

“Apabila GLC mendapat kontrak besar, mereka membentuk anak syarikat yang bersaing dengan PKS bumiputera yang sepatutnya dibantu.

“Akhirnya, gabungan kegagalan institusi, ketidakcekapan, kurangnya integriti, kepimpinan dan pakatan sulit menggagalkan pelaksanaannya,” katanya.

Jika dasar Dr Mahathir dan Abdullah disempurnakan dengan baik sepanjang 30 tahun lalu, Malaysia akan melepasi sasaran 30% ekuiti bumiputera dan mencecah 50% ketika ini, katanya.

Ia hanya mencapai 23.5% pada 2011.

Dalam ucapan RMK-11, Najib berkata, matlamatnya ialah 30% pada 2020 – tahun Malaysia sepatutnya menjadi sebuah negara maju.

Ini akan dilakukan melalui Agenda Memperkasakan Ekonomi Bumiputera yang dilancarkan pada 2013.

Ia memperuntukkan RM47.95 bilion dalam bentuk program untuk PKS bumiputera yang sedang meningkat, yang akan dilaksanakan Unit Peneraju Agenda Bumiputera (Teraju).

Laman web Teraju menyatakan, ia akan dilakukan dengan menyediakan peluang perniagaan dan pembiayaan, pelaburan sektor swasta dan program pembangunan vendor yang melibatkan GLC.

Dalam RMK-11 juga, Najib mengumumkan sebahagian daripada simpanan Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja (KWSP) boleh dikeluarkan dan digunakan untuk membeli unit amanah dalakam Skim Amanah Saham Bumiputera 2 (ASB2).

Kamal berkata dasar bumiputera Najib dan RMK-11 itu sendiri akan gagal seperti dasar sebelumnya jika beliau tidak melakukan pembaharuan dalam kaedah pelaksanaannya.

Beliau sebelum ini memuji usaha kerajaan memberi tumpuan kepada menggandakan pendapatan kumpulan isi rumah berpendapatan 40% terendah (B40) yang memperolehi purata RM2,500 sebulan.

“Dari sudut pandang keadilan ekonomi, RMK-11 ialah dasar terbaik sejak DEB. Tetapi saya takut sasarannya tidak dapat dicapai jika tiada pembaharuan institusi,” katanya. – 26 Mei, 2015.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/bahasa/article/jika-dasar-berjalan-lancar-ekuiti-bumiputera-boleh-capai-50-kata-pakar-ekon#sthash.IvoCrhzp.dpuf

A Reading Must For All Patriotic Discerning Malaysians….Need We To Say More?!

May 25, 2015

By THE EDGE MALAYSIA  (TMI)

Published: 25 May 2015 7:00 AM

The backers of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) have argued that because international accounting firms like KPMG and Deloitte have signed off all 1MDB’s accounts from FY2010 to FY2014, this meant no money has gone missing and no fraud has occurred.

This argument has been used to justify the not-so-eloquent silence of the management and board of directors of 1MDB, who have refused to respond to questions posed to them about various transactions and the movements of billions of ringgit.

They hide behind that argument despite the fact that 1MDB has run into serious cash-flow problems and can no longer service its debts, and so many questions have been raised about the whereabouts and nature of the so-called Available-For-Sale Investments valued at RM13.38 billion in its accounts for financial year ended March 31, 2014.

Critics of 1MDB have been asked to back off and let the auditor-general complete his work to review the audit of 1MDB.

The argument that because 1MDB’s accounts have been signed off by auditors meant that no fraud has occurred and that money was not missing is flawed. It shows that these people do not know what they are talking about.

They have badly misinterpreted, deliberately or otherwise, the role of external auditors and they do not understand the meaning of an auditor’s report when the auditors sign off the financial statement of a company.

There are no auditors in this world who will agree that their signing off on an account can in any way or form be interpreted to mean that they confirm or guarantee that the accounts are completely true, accurate and do not contain any misstatements, by fraud or error.

The International Standards for Auditing guidelines for auditors state that the external auditor is responsible for obtaining reasonable assurance that the financial statements, taken as a whole, are free from material misstatement, whether caused by fraud or error.

That reasonable assurance is based on the external auditor trusting that the management and board of a company have carried out their fiduciary duties and were not involved in any fraud or have concealed any fraud.

Owing to the inherent limitations of an audit, there is an unavoidable risk that material misstatement may not be detected, even when the audit is planned and performed in accordance with international accounting standards.

The risk of fraud is higher than those of error because fraud usually involves sophisticated and carefully organised schemes designed to conceal it.

Therefore, it is not the role of an external auditor to determine whether fraud has actually occurred. That is the responsibility of the country’s criminal and legal system.

Indeed, auditors call the discrepancy between what the public expects and what auditors do as an “expectations gap”.

Let us now take a closer look at Deloitte’s audit report issued to 1MDB on November 5, 2014, for the financial year ended March 31, 2014. The fact that it was issued more than seven months after the year-end in itself should raise concerns.

Para 2: The directors of the company are responsible for the preparation of these financial statements so as to give a true and fair view. The directors are also responsible for such internal control as the directors determine what is necessary to enable the preparation of financial statements that are free from material misstatement, whether due to fraud or error.

Para 3: Our (Deloitte) responsibility is to EXPRESS AN OPINION on these financial statements based on our audit… and perform the audit to obtain REASONABLE assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

The above remarks by Deloitte is a standard template statement issued by auditors to most companies. What is important to note are the following:

1. The directors of 1MDB are ultimately responsible for the accounts in so far as they give a true and fair view. The directors are also responsible for internal controls that are necessary to enable the financial statements to be free from misstatements, whether due to fraud or error. This is NOT the responsibility of the auditor.

2. The auditors only express an opinion that they, as external auditors, have done what is necessary to obtain REASONABLE assurance about whether the financial statements are free from material misstatement.

3. Critically, the external auditors DO NOT express an opinion on the effectiveness of the company’s internal controls.

In short, while auditors should be able to detect defective keeping of accounting records, they cannot detect falsified accounting documents. And neither can they question management decisions on, say, an investment that it made.

The questions asked of 1MDB mainly relate to the effectiveness of internal controls and corporate governance:

– Who approved the agreements and the various payments made since 2009?

– Why were funds diverted from what they were approved for? Why was money sent to an account controlled by Jho Low?

– Why did 1MDB overpay for the power assets, the Penang land and the commissions to the bankers like Goldman Sachs?

– Who verified and agreed to pay the US$700 million to PetroSaudi, purportedly as settlement of a loan?

– Why was Jho Low giving instructions to the management on matters of 1MDB?

– Who agreed to the Aabar options and then agreed to a termination settlement that cost 1MDB US$1 billion?

All these major issues that have been raised are about internal controls, decision-making and corporate governance at 1MDB.

Deloitte, in their audit report, had clearly stated they are NOT expressing any opinion on the effectiveness of 1MDB’s internal controls.

So, please stop passing the buck to Deloitte or using the fact that it signed off on the accounts, to say that nothing wrong has happened and that everything at 1MDB is fine.

And since the auditor-general has merely been asked to audit the work of Deloitte, it is most likely the case that his mandate is no more than that of Deloitte.

It is clear. The board of directors is responsible in ensuring the accounts are true and fair. The board is responsible for internal controls to ensure there is no fraud.

The auditor only expresses a reasonable opinion. Nothing more.

The corporate sector, at home and around the world, is littered with many examples of corporate fraud that escaped the scrutiny of auditors. In a few cases, auditors were also culpable, if not outright complicit.

The largest corporate fraud ever in the world was US energy giant Enron, whose US$78 billion market value was wiped out in days. Former Enron president Jeff Skilling is still serving a 24-year jail term.

And its auditors, Arthur Andersen, one of the Big Four accounting firms in the world then, had to cease operations.

Bernard Madoff’s US$65 billion Ponzi scheme is evidence that funds under management, with third-party valuations by international institutions, may also be subject to misappropriations and fraud. Madoff is currently serving a 150-year sentence in prison.

An article was published in the November 20, 2012 issue of Forbes magazine, on how Hewlett-Packard (HP) lost US$5 billion on a US$11.1 billion acquisition.

HP said it had to write down the value of UK software company Autonomy because it was inflated through serious accounting improprieties, misrepresentation and disclosure failures.

That scam tainted all the auditors involved – Deloitte as the auditors for Autonomy and Ernst & Young, the auditors for HP – for not detecting the fraud.

Need we say more? – May 25, 2015.


– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/why-auditors-cannot-guarantee-there-was-no-fraud-at-1mdb#sthash.UdOhBb6j.dpuf

1-MDB : Rompakan Terdahsyat….Siri 2 (Aset Tenaga)

May 23, 2015

Aset Tenaga 1-MDB: Meminjam RM11.55bilion, tetapi terima RM6 bilion..Kenapa?

23 May 2015 Dzulkefly Ahmad (HarakahDaily)

Setelah 6 tahun, kejayaan 1MDB adalah mengumpul sebanyak RM42 bilion hutang korporatnya.

Malangnya, pelbagai aset diperolehi yang sepatutnya berimpak tinggi, sama ada dalam bidang tenaga dan hartanah, gagal menjana cash-flow atau ‘revenue’ yang boleh melunaskan pelbagai hutangnya.

Kini, aset 1MDB bakal ‘difaraidkan’ untuk menyelamatkan dana pelaburan kedua negara ini.

Khazanah Nasional Berhad, dana berdaulat negara yang pertama, tentunya adalah jenis ‘creature dan DNA’ yang berbeza.

Penulisan ini fokus ke atas bagaimana 1MDB menjalankan pinjamannya dalam sektor tenaga secara lebih terperinci. Penulisan ini tidak memasukkan cerita Projek 3B yang sudah pun diserahkan kembali kepada Suruhanjaya Tenaga (EC), kerana 1MDB tidak mampu meneruskannya.

Sangat pelik bagaimana sebuah dana pelaburan 100% milik Perbadanan Kementerian Kewangan (MOF Inc) terpaksa menstruktur pinjaman yang sebegitu rumit dan lebih penting, terlalu mahal kos pinjamannya. Akal yang waras pastinya penuh syak.

Penulis sengaja dedahkan secara naratif atau pengkisahan, supaya dihujung penulisan ini, pembaca diminta membuat ‘hukuman’ mereka sendiri.

Pada 2012, 1MDB membuat 2 perolehan penjana tenaga bebas (IPP) yakni Tanjung Pls (Ananda Krishnan) pada harga RM8.5 bilion dan Genting Sanyen (Lim Goh Tong) dengan harga RM2.35 bilion atau berjumlah RM10.85 bilion.

Cakap-cakap dalam pasaran sedia maklum 1MDB membayar hampir RM2.5 bilion melebihi harga sepatutnya.

Itu sudah sejarah dan bukti tidak langsung terdapat pada penyata tahunan 2013, ketika pihak auditor memberi pelupusan sebanyak RM2.5 sebagai penurunan nilai muhibbah atau ‘goodwill’ bagi mengimbangi, antara asset dan liabiliti, dalam neraca kira-kira (balance sheet).

Yang penting sekarang ialah mengapa 1MDB membuat pinjaman melebihi dari yang diperlukannya?

1MDB membuat pinjaman dari pasaran bon yang diuruskan oleh Goldman Sachs. Dua bon diterbitkan bernilai AS$1.75 bilion setiap bon atau AS$3.5 bilion bersamaan RM11.55 bilion.

Pada waktu yang sama, 1MDB membuat pinjaman secara ‘bridging loan’ atau ‘pinjaman darurat’, sebanyak RM6.2 bilion dari satu konsortium bank yang diketuai oleh Malayan Bank Bhd dan RHB Berhad.

Jelasnya 1MDB meminjam RM17.55 bilion untuk membuat perolehan yang berjumlah RM10.85 bilion. Ternyata 1MDB membuat pinjaman sebanyak RM6.9 bilion melebihi dari yang diperlukan.

Persoalannya, mengapa?

Jawapannya kerana 1MDB hanya menerima RM6 bilion dari jumlah yang dipinjam. Kenapa pulak? Sebab RM5.5 bilion adalah pelbagai bayaran ‘kos’ yang perlu dibuat 1MDB! Apakah kos-kos tersebut?

Pertama, 1MDB membayar Goldman Sachs sebanyak AS$393 juta atau RM1.3 bilion sebagai yuran dan komisen untuk menstrukturkan pinjaman ‘canggihnya’ ini.

Pertama, 1-MDB membayar Goldman Sachs sebanyak US$393million atau RM1.3 bilion sebagai yuran dan komisyen untuk menstrukturkan pinjaman ‘canggihnya’ ini. Sebanyak RM4.25 pula digunakan untuk membayar satu ‘deposit sekuriti’ kepada sebuah syarikat namanya International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), Abu Dhabi, yang berperanan menjadi ‘penjamin bersama’ atau ‘co-guarantor’ dalam terbitan bon oleh Goldman Sachs tadi. Sangat mahal deposit sekuriti yang dituntut oleh IPIC melebihi 37% dari jumlah bon. Kenapa dipersetuju Lembaga Pengarah 1-MDB, adalah satu hal yang membingungkan, kalau tidak mencurigakan?

Deposit itu juga berperanan sebagai ‘sekuriti’ kepada IPIC yang ditawarkan satu ‘Put Option’ dalam masa 10 tahun (mudah terjemahan, Pilihan), oleh 1-MDB untuk memilikki sebanyak, maksima, 49% saham dalam ‘entiti tenaga’ (Edra Global Energy Bhd) yang bakal disenaraikan oleh 1-MDB!

Sangat ‘lumayan’ tawaran kepada IPIC yang bertindak hanya sebagai ‘Penjamin Bersama’ atau Co-Guarantor! Mengapa begini sekali yang dipersetujui 1-MDB atau lebih tepat lagi Lembaga Pengarah 1-MDB atau BODnya?! Ini sudah semacam menjadi pinjaman’Ah Long Korporat’ atau “ international loan shark”! IPIC kemudiannya memindahkan hak ‘Option’nya kepada subsidiarinya, Aabar Investments.

Ketika perancangan untuk pensenaraian asset tenaga itu itu gagal – Edra Global Energy Bhd – ada perkara pelik berlaku. Dalam laporan kewangan tahunan penuhnya untuk Mac 31, 2014, (yang hanya dihantar pada November2014) 1-MDB mendedahkan bahawa sebanyak RM4.39 bilion (US$1.22 bilion) yang ditebus (redeemed) dari Cayman Island telah digunakan untuk melunaskan beberapa bayaran hutang, ‘working capital’ dan bayaran kepada Aabar Investment untuk ‘menamatkan’ perjanjian ‘Option’ yang diberikan kepadanya (IPIC asalnya).

Bersambung di sini….

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