Palm oil / commodity production and Malaysia electoral politics - WSJ feature on Genting donations to YR1M, Bersih asks for EC investigation

There are various connections for smallholder agribusiness (large economic sectors) with Malaysia electoral politics - notably Felda rural politics, and also Felcra and Risda:

Recently the WSJ features the linkage of donations by a large public-listed plantation group to 1MDB linked charity with funds allegedly flowing to boost Prime Minister Najib's electoral efforts in GE2013

WSJ: Fund Controversy Threatens Malaysia’s Leader - debts run up by state development fund 1MDB have roiled Malaysia’s markets and led to calls for its leader to step aside; By Tom Wright June 18, 2015 10:34 p.m. ET; KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—A state investment fund is at the center of a burgeoning political and financial controversy that is roiling markets and leading to calls for the ouster of Malaysia’s prime minister....

Nazri legitimises the act of a robber, says Pua by malaysiakini, Senior minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz's statement on the use of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund to bankroll 13th general election has left the nation in disbelief, for he merely legitimised the act of a robber, an opposition MP says.  Nazri has legitimised the act of “robbing Peter to pay Paul”, DAP Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said in a statement today.  The tourism and culture minister even thanked the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which reported the use of the 1MDB fund for the general election of 2013, for setting the record straight. "If the report carried by WSJ is proven true, then it is good, as it shows the money was not lost. Then why do you (critics) say the money is lost?  What's wrong with (Finance Ministry wholly-owned 1MDB's) money being spent on the people?" Nazri (photo) told Malaysiakini yesterday.  But what was exposed by WSJ also showed that the companies that benefited from 1MDB's generous acquisition offers have separately contributed to a “charity” controlled by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, said Pua, who is also DAP national publicity secretary.  The leading international financial paper further claimed that some of these donations were then channelled to activities related to the Barisan Nasional’s election campaigns.  Worse, there is nothing in the Companies Commission (SSM) documents pertaining to YR1M, a company limited by guarantee, that it is in anyway related to the government, he said.   "Instead, YR1M looks like a private vehicle controlled entirely by the prime minister.  "Why should these allegedly ‘charitable’ deeds be handed out by this private vehicle, and not directly and transparently by the government?" he asked......"Indeed, based on the above, the prime minister, Genting Bhd, 1MDB and YR1M must not only be investigated by the Election Commission for committing electoral fraud as demanded by electoral reform group Bersih. "They must also be investigated by both the police and the Malaysian ti-Corruption Commission for possible embezzlement and misappropriation of public funds, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and corrupt practices," Pua added.

‘Haram’ money used by Umno to win GE13? By Yoursay; WSJ: Najib used 1MDB's funds for GE13; YOURSAY ‘WSJ is merely stating what Malaysians have already known.'  Abu Iman: If that is the case, Umno used 'haram' money to win GE13.... Swipenter: One would have thought that Umno would have huge piles of slush funds stashed away for use in elections. ... https://www.malaysiakini.com/news/302542

EC tells Bersih to lodge report if 1MDB backed Najib’s GE13 campaign BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 21 June 2015 4:55 PM; The Election Commission (EC) today questioned the actions of election watchdog Bersih 2.0 which had accused it of failing to introduce necessary reforms to rein in unfettered electoral abuse and corruption, following a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had indirectly bankrolled the prime minister's 2013 election campaign. EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof said Bersih 2.0 should collate evidence and lodge reports with the relevant authorities if it felt the WSJ report had merit. http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ec-tells-bersih-2.0-to-lodge-report-if-1mdb-backed-najibs-ge13-campaign#sthash.hVT7Sxbr.dpbs

Bersih: Did 1MDB funds help BN steal GE13? Updated Jun 20, 2015 10:17pm; Electoral reform group Bersih today expressed shock over a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report claiming that 1MDB's funds was used for election campaigning through intermediaries. "The WSJ report comes as a revolting truth of how the 13th general election was stolen from the people of Malaysia," its steering committee said in a statement today.  Bersih said the WSJ report implied that 1MDB may have been used as a government-controlled election slush fund for Umno.  "This is totally outrageous and an abuse of power because brazen dirty tactics have been used to manipulate voters’ trust.  "It also raised the issue of whether this is just the tip of the iceberg. Are there any other government-controlled money used in similar manner?" it said.... http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/302515


Addressing Malaysia's rural voters: RM151mil windfall for Risda rubber smallholders; Najib announces RM10m trust fund for Felcra settlers

23 June 2015: BERNAMA: RM151mil windfall for rubber smallholders June 20, 2015 Early Hari Raya cheer with dividend payout for planters in two Risda schemes; PEKAN: More than 30,000 rubber smallholders received early Hari Raya Aidilfitri cheer today with news of a total of RM151 million dividends to be paid out for those registered with two schemes by Risda, the rubber smallholders development authority. Of the total amount, RM43.9 million will be for 16,080 participants of the New Clusters Development and RM107.2 million to 16,158 participants of its Commercial Replanting Scheme. The prime minister, Najib Razak, said he hoped the dividend payments “will put us in a more comfortable position to celebrate the coming Aidilfitri”. He said the government was committed towards helping to raise the smallholders’ monthly income and standard of living. They were part of the bottom 40 per cent of society, with an average monthly income of about RM2,500. Najib also approved a Death Benefit Scheme of RM5.24 million for all rubber and oil palm smallholders registered with Risda. The prime minister also announced an allocation of RM2 million as initial funding for the Risda Foundation, which provides aid for the education, sports and social-welfare of smallholders, their families and the staff of Risda and companies owned by the agency. Najib said an expected shortfall in federal government revenue because of falling world oil prices would be met through revenue raised by the Goods and Services Tax (GST) imposed from April 1.... http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2015/06/20/rm151mil-windfall-for-rubber-smallholders/
28 May 2015: Najib announces RM10m trust fund for Felcra settlers Thursday May 28, 2015 08:36 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today announced a trust fund with an initial capital injection of RM10 million to help Felcra settlers raise their living standard and income. e said the Felcra Settlers Trust Fund would be handled by Felcra and would receive an annual injection of RM5 million..... He also said that Felcra had been given due attention in the 11th Malaysia Plan and that a large allocation had been provided through it for rural development. This went to show that Felcra played an important role in national development though, at times, the size of the land developed by it was small compared to that worked by Felda, he said. — Bernama; http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/najib-announces-rm10m-trust-fund-for-felcra-settlers#sthash.ycdanzgP.dpuf