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‘How now, AG, is RM2.6b donation or business deal?’

February 6, 2016

Published 6 Feb 2016, 6:00 pm  (MKini)
 

The ball is now in attorney-general (AG) Mohamad Apandi Ali’s court, says veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin, after a Saudi minister refuted claims that the RM2.6 billion deposited into the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s personal accounts are no-strings-attached donations, as claimed by the AG when exonerating Najib of wrongdoings.

“And what would Apandi do now? Would he stick to his guns or would he make discreet checks to see if he has been lied to?

“Who knows those tonnes of papers submitted to him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and Bank Negara may not all be works of fiction?”

He reminded Apandi that on Jan 26, the AG told the press that RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts was a donation from the Saudi royal family, given without any consideration.

Kadir further pointed out that Apandi had unilaterally absolved the PM of all wrongdoings based on the ‘donation’ premise.

While conceding that the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) corroborated Najib’s story as told by Apandi, saying the amount was donated by the Saudi royal family, Kadir said that the latest revelation by Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister, Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir has changed the game.

He pointed to Adel’s quotes in the New York Times (NYT) newspaper as saying that he does not think that the monies which made its way into Najib’s bank account was from the Saudi government or that it was a political donation.

Kadir posited that between the BBC‘s source-based news and NYT‘s attributed reporting, he would choose to believe the latter.

“Its series of expose on 1MDB-related shenanigans have been largely accurate – accurate enough so as to discourage Najib from suing it, despite making several threats.”

Kadir related that the NYT quoted the Saudi minister as saying the money went to an investment in Malaysia, as well an unnamed member of the Saudi royal family who also confirmed that the money did come from a Saudi prince, but that it was not a donation but was part of a business deal.

This, noted Kadir, is counter to what Najib and his supporters claim – that the money was for use during the 2013 General Elections and for fighting terrorism.

“Would the the AG advise the prime minister and his number one lawyer, Mohd Hafarizam Harun, to issue another legal threat against the paper?” he asked.

Kadir added that he expects Najib’s deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi “to complain vigorously to the Saudi government for making such a statement to the press and not directly to him”.

“He must. Otherwise he will be accused of lying too because he had repeatedly sworn that he knew the Arab donors and had met them in Saudi Arabia,” he said further.

Malaysiakini has sent queries to the AG and is awaiting his reply on the matter raised by Kadir.

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/329632#ixzz3zPHHFOGP

Dzulkefly: Turning the tables on Najib…..

February 4, 2016

 

Dr Dzul turns the tables on Najib

| February 4, 2016

‘If Mukhriz was ousted for Kedah’s good, then the PM must be removed for the bona fide interest of the rakyat and the country.’

Dzulkefly Ahmad

PETALING JAYA: Parti Amanah Negara’s Strategy Director, Dzulkefly Ahmad, has challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak to provide an explanation that would convince the people of Kedah that the recent two-week war in the state was indeed fought in their interest.

However, he doesn’t think that the Prime Minister could “come up with a convincing and compelling narrative” that would counter the perception that the fight had little more purpose than to display “Najib’s unfettered power to hire and fire with impunity”.

Speaking to FMT, Dzulkefly posited that the interest of the rakyat was never a “prime consideration” in the wrestling for the position of Menteri Besar of the state.

He challenged Najib to explain to the public what exactly was at stake in Kedah and what made Mukhriz Mahathir so dangerous to the interest of the people.

“Why was a change necessary?” he asked. “What was being undermined and compromised? What sins of commission and omission did Mukhriz commit to warrant his removal with such force of execution and in such an undignified manner?”

He said Najib must provide convincing answers to these questions if he hoped to get the Kedah people’s support for Mukhriz’s ouster. “Perchance they might understand and support the removal, and perchance Mukhriz’s successor would be reminded against committing his mistakes.”

If the ouster was indeed carried out in the interest of the rakyat, he said, then it’s time to turn the tables on Najib. “With the exposé of the RM2.6billion donation and with the perennial problem of 1MDB and the litany of other sins of omission and commission,” he said, “why can’t Najib be removed and replaced with immediate effect for the bona fide interest of the rakyat and the country?”

Dzulkefly said he would have fought on Mukhriz’s side if he had been directly involved in the war.

“You now know your true friends and foes,” he said, addressing Mukhriz. “If you’re cut out to be a leader, you’ll certainly bounce back.” Quoting Ralph Waldo Emerson, he added: “Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising up every time we fail.”

Dzulkefly: AG’s appointment to TH Board ‘poor judgment’

January 29, 2016

 

Dzulkefly: AG’s appointment to TH Board ‘poor judgment’

| January 29, 2016

The public perception may attribute such appointments to nepotism and the politics of patronage, says Dzulkefly.

Dzulkefly-AhmadKUALA LUMPUR: I

If push comes to shove, said Amanah Strategy Director Dzulkefly Ahmad, Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali’s appointment to the Board of Tabung Haji may conflict and/or impinge on his role as the Public Prosecutor in cases involving the institution’s legal wranglings. “Why the rush to appoint Apandi Ali to the Board when he’s two months away from mandatory retirement.”

“Is it of utmost urgency that Apandi Ali be appointed before his term actually expires? Will he get an extension?”

Granted, said Dzulkefly, that the Attorney-General has just handed down a verdict exonerating Najib of all criminal offences, despite the entire world saying otherwise.

“Has it not been agreed, by convention, that persons holding high public offices should not be rewarded with positions, after retirement, especially in government-linked institutions?”

“The public perception may attribute such appointments to nepotism and the politics of patronage.”

While Najib can literally do anything and at anytime, according to his whims and fancies and with impunity, said Dzulkefly, “the rakyat could do likewise when the time comes.”

Dzulkefly was commenting on whether Najib was insulting the rakyat further when they were already on their knees with fatal blows. “Najib has just been given the ‘kiss of death’ by Apandi, while obliviously grinning.”

Dzulkefly reckons that it is the perception out there that Najib in his euphoria, and still gloating, instructed Tabung Haji to appoint Apandi as a board member, even before the dust of the damning decision on the mega scandals had even settled. “No one can be blamed for perceiving and construing Apandi’s appointment to the TH Board as a huge reward for a favour well done.”

 

Defending the indefensible….’Cost of Borrowing’.

January 18, 2016

Wahid misses point, borrowing rates already gone up…

Published Today 10:43 am     Updated Today 11:15 am    

 DZULKEFLY AHMAD is Parti Amanah Negara strategy director.

COMMENT: I thank Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Wahid Omar and his office colleagues for taking time to respond to my assertion last Friday on Moody’s Investors Service’ s ratings downgrade.

That said, l honestly feel they’re missing the point. They are frantically defending an indefensible position. Their arguments on GII (government investment issues) are arguably valid, but rather misplaced though.

I premised my argument on the prospect that borrowing cost is not only going to rise but has in fact already risen.

I thought I made it very clear that the bone of contention was never about whether a downgrade and revision would have a different effect on cost of borrowing.

Rather, whichever terms Wahid chooses to use, the fact remains that according to the report of a research house, ie Maybank Islamic Asset Management as quoted by Bloomberg, the benchmark sukuk yields will rise to 5 percent.

Besides, the report said that the outlook for higher borrowing costs has also already hurt Malaysia’s lslamic bond sales in 2015.

The latest report that has appeared in the last 24 hours vindicates my claim further, though not related to a credit-rating downgrade; a higher borrowing cost, albeit in the banking sector, is now happening.

Borrowing costs are set to rise in Malaysia, with a number of banks having raised their base rates (BR), partly as a result of a liquidity crunch brought about by a shortage of the ringgit and US dollars as alluded to by analysts.

Foreign banks including OCBC Bank (Malaysia) are raising BR by 11 basis points, taking it from 3.89 to 4 percent. Its base lending rate (BLR) has gone from 6.85 to 6.96 percent.

United Overseas Bank (Malaysia) had effected its increase immediately after the new year, boosting its BR from 3.92 to 3.99 percent, and its BLR from 6.85 to 6.92 percent.

HSBC is expected to make an even more significant hike – 15 basis points, taking its BR to 3.95 percent (from 3.75) and its BLR to 7 (6.85) percent……..
Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/327213#ixzz3xa1lNLqZ

Rating Downgrade or Revision – Cost of Borrowing is Up Sir! That Matters…

January 14, 2016

Dzulkefly Ahmad (TMI)

Senator Datuk Seri Wahid Omar in the Prime Minister’ s Department said that Moody’s Investors Service’s revision of the country’s sovereign rating outlook to stable from positive was not a downgrade.

He insisted that it is a “revision” in the outlook which reflects the current global economic scenario.

Moody’s has affirmed Malaysia’s issuer and senior unsecured bond ratings at A3 and changed the outlook to stable from positive.

In fact, Moody’s revised the ratings of three other government-linked companies – Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd, Tenaga Nasional Bhd and Penerbangan Malaysia Bhd – to stable from positive.

Does it really matter whether the second finance minister said it was a downgrade or a revision?

But what is important to the business community is whether this action on rating by Moody’s and all other rating agencies later, will impact adversely on the cost of borrowing for the business community in Malaysia.

Bloomberg had actually reported that borrowing costs on Islamic bonds will climb to a record.

Maybank Islamic Asset Management, according to Bloomberg, said benchmark sukuk yields will rise to 5%. That is what Wahid should be concerned about than to be pedantic on terminologies of a “downgrade” or a “revision”.

The outlook for higher borrowing costs has also hurt Malaysia’s Islamic bond sales in 2015.

This trend is set to stay, as opined by investment banks like RHB Investment Bank. That is what is arguably worrying to the business community and particularly the Sukuk and Islamic Financial market. – January 14, 2016.

* Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad is the Strategy Director of Parti Amanah Negara.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/budget-downgrade-or-revision-dzulkefly-ahmad#sthash.ujhL0v7i.dpuf

BAJET 2016, Jangan diubah suai macam Bajet 2015…

January 11, 2016

BAJET 2016, Apa yang  hendak diubahsuai?

  1. Pada 30 Disember 2015, Bernama laporkan kerajaan tidak akan buat ‘ubah suai’ Bajet 2016. Walaupun minyak mentah sudah turun dari AS$48 setong ke paras AS$36. Kalau jatuh $30 kerajaan masih mampu mengikut laporan itu.
  2. Pada 5 Disember penulis gesa DS Najib Razak timbangkan ‘ubahsuai’ dan ulangi saranan PM segera bertindak (8 hb Berita Daily).
  3. Berkebetulan pd 8hb Najib umumkan “pengubahsuaian” kepada Bajet 2016. BH laporkan Najib kata dia tidak mahu ‘gula-gulakan’ rakyat. Beliau semacam baru sedar apa erti tema bajetnya “Mensejahterakan Rakyat?”
  4. Umum juga mula faham kenapa berlaku lambakan minyak mentah dunia. Goldman Sachs, bank pelaburan global ramal minyak mentah jatuh ke paras AS$20 pada tahun ini.
  5. Sumbangan minyak-gas 30% pendapatan negara (royalti, cukai PITS dan dividen).
  6. Rakyat tidak faham impak kompleks penurunan ini. Yang mereka tahu kesan hempitan dan beban kos kehidupan dan kenaikan barang keperluan harian semakin parah. Tambahan pengangkutan awam dan tol naik, di samping GST and kejatuhan Ringgit. Manfaat Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BRIM) sudah tidak bererti.
  7. Persoalannya “Apa yang Najib nak ubahsuai?”. Ini tahun kedua Najib buat ‘revision’. Tahun lalu, para penganalisis kata ubahsuai tak banyak menafaat. Apakah akan berulang?
  8. Bagaimana nak tampong pendapatan ini? LHDN dah mula selongkar klinik-klinik swasta. JPJ dan Kastam Di Raja juga akan pergiat usaha.
  9. Mungkinkah Najib akan menambah 1% cukai GST? Opsyen itu “kamekaze” namanya. Marah rakyat tentang derma RM2.6 bilion belum reda. Peguam Negara kata akan tegas dengan laporan SPRM ttng RM2.6 b dan RM42 juta derma SRC International.
  10. Najib terbiasa dengan berbelanja mewah. Apakah yang akan dikurangkan dari perbelanjaan bajetnya yang sebanyak RM215 bilion?
  11. Emolumen untuk saiz XXL Kabinetnya tetap. Dia berani “adjust” perbelanjaan pembangunannya sebanyak RM50 bilion termasuk LRT3 (RM9 bilion), MRT2 (RM28 bilion) dan Rapid Buses KL-Klang (RM2.5 bilion)?
  12. Projek mega lain guna kadeah “Off-Budget Spending”, diluar bajet.
  13. Najib tangguh bayaran hutang kerajaan RM26.6 bilion setahun atau RM2.22 bilion sebulan itu atau RM73 juta sehari itu? Boleh? Najib ambil risiko jejas penarafan negara oleh agensi-agensi penarafan? Berat juga.
  14. Najib potong besar bidang pendidikan, kebajikan dan perbelanjaan sosial, tapi JPM dapat RM20.3b dlm Bajet 2016n, tokok RM1b. Tak betul prioriti Najib.
  15. RM8.5 b utk Dana Fasilitasi, Projek Mesra Rakyat dan Projek Khas. 16. Buat Amanah Negara dan Pakatan Harapan (PH), dari awal lagi Belanjawan kami temanya “Mengelak Ancaman Krisis” (Averting A Crisis). Strategi dan pendekatan belanjawan kami sudah dikemukakan. Kami sedia “menasihati” kerajaan.
  16. Lebih penting sebagai ‘pembangkang’ atau ‘kerajaan dalam penantian’ kami terus ‘semak-imbang’ kerajaan BN ini, dedah dan perbetul segala perilaku buruk dan salah-guna kuasa yang bawa kebejatan dan kemusnahan sumber dan kekayaan negara. Kini kita hilang daya saing dan kemapanan ekonomi-kewangan serta tadbir urus negara. Kita tidak punya ‘fiscal space’ untuk bertindak menangani kejutan ekonomi global atau ‘global economic shocks’.

– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/dzulkefly-ahmad/article/bajet-2016-apa-yang-berani-najib-ubah-suai#sthash.ld54XUFY.dpuf

Amanah jangka tiada tindakan terhadap Najib walaupun laporan SPRM siap…(TMI)

January 4, 2016

Published: 4 January 2016 11:02 AM (TMI)

Pengarah Strategi Amanah Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata, peguam negara juga sebelum ini menolak laporan dibuat Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) dan kemungkinan situasi sama akan berulang. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 4 Januari, 2016.

Pengarah Strategi Amanah Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata, peguam negara juga sebelum ini menolak laporan dibuat Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) dan kemungkinan situasi sama akan berulang. – Gambar fail The Malaysian Insider, 4 Januari, 2016.
Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) hari ini menjangkakan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak bakal terlepas daripada sebarang tindakan walaupun Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) sudah menghantar laporan yang siap kepada peguam negara.

Pengarah Strategi Amanah Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad berkata, peguam negara juga sebelum ini menolak laporan dibuat Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) dan kemungkinan situasi sama akan berulang.

“Berdasarkan latar belakang yang kabur dalam mengendalikan kemelut 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad), saya membuat ramalan awal keputusan sama akan dibuat.

“Negara ini sudah pun dikenali di seluruh dunia sebagai negara ‘jenayah tanpa penjenayah’,” katanya dalam satu kenyataan hari ini.

Terdahulu, peguam negara pada 11 September tahun lalu membuat keputusan menolak kertas siasatan dihantar pihak BNM pada 21 Ogos tanpa sebarang tindakan diambil.

Baru-baru ini, SPRM sudah menghantar kertas siasatannya kepada peguam negara berhubung isu wang derma RM2.6 bilion dan siasatan berkaitan anak syarikat 1MDB, SRC International.

“Bukti membabitkan salah laku 1MDB mungkin jelas sehingga BNM menjangka peguam negara akan mengambil tindakan, tapi mereka tidak melakukannya,” kata bekas ahli Parlimen Kuala Selangor itu.

Dzulkefly berkata, Seksyen 50 Akta SPRM secara jelas menyatakan definisi rasuah atau suapan adalah termasuk menerima wang derma.

Katanya, ia satu kebodohan yang besar jika Peguam Negara Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali masih tidak mengambil tindakan dan membuat keputusan tiada lagi tindakan sama seperti kes BNM.

“Ia akan menjadi satu kebodohan yang besar jika peguam negara mengambil keputusan sebaliknya (tidak mendakwa) dan membuat keputusan tiada tindakan sekali lagi,” katanya. – 4 Januari, 2016.
– See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/bahasa/article/amanah-jangka-tiada-tindakan-terhadap-najib-walaupun-laporan-sprm-siap#sthash.brGYwvwq.dpuf

 | January 4, 2016
 

Dzulkefly Ahmad expects a ‘dismal outcome’ from MACC’s submission of its investigation papers.

Dzulkefly-Ahmad_najib_600PETALING JAYA:

Parti Amanah Negara Strategy Director Dzulkefly Ahmad has expressed doubt that the Attorney-General would initiate legal action against Prime Minister Najib Razak even if warranted by findings in the MACC’s investigations into SRC International and the RM2.6 billion that went into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

He was commenting on last Thursday’s statement by an MACC official that the anti-graft agency had submitted reports on its investigations to the Attorney-General.

“Anxiety is, however, running high throughout the nation as the AG had given a verdict of No Further Action on 1MDB on the investigation papers submitted by Bank Negara on August 21, 2015,” Dzulkefly said today in a press release.

“The evidence of wrongdoing at 1MDB must have been so clear-cut that Bank Negara must have been under the expectation that the AG would press for charges, but the AG did not.”

He said it was “only fair” for him to anticipate a “dismal outcome” from the MACC’s submission to the Attorney-General, “given the disturbing backdrop of opaqueness in the handling of the 1MDB fiasco.”

Dzulkefly noted that Malaysian had already been “dubbed globally as a nation of ‘crimes without criminals.’”

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