1MDB (update 61): US AG describes 1MDB-linked assets as "worst form of kleptocracy"? Solar power, a Jho Low-partying rapper. PAS is satisfied with 1MDB explanations

This is about the international linkages of 1MDB and its reverberations have been necessarily expanded coverage.

6 Dec 2017: US AG describes 1MDB-linked assets as "worst form of kleptocracy"? Solar power, a Jho Low-partying rapper, DuSable, and donations to Obama & Clinton?

Editor's note: The Najib administration has continued to deny any wrongdoing. The reality and the "optics" can assure Malaysia voters that Najib has had no problem in continuing in his role as Prime Minister. 
Najib's recent meetings with President Trump and PM Theresa May; and no legal actions.

In Umno’s world, ‘worst kleptocracy scandal’ never happened by Sheridan Mahavera, Diyana Ibrahim, Irfan Hussain, Radzi Razak -- Grassroots activists in Umno’s divisions said although the 1MDB scandal has captured global attention, it will have little impact on Umno’s fortunes in the 14th general election.... supreme council member Idris Haron claimed that the Department of Justice (DoJ), the US authority investigating 1MDB, was being manipulated by “irresponsible parties in Malaysia”. Idris, who is also Malacca chief minister, said party president and prime minister Najib Razak’s visit to the White House in September proved that he had nothing to do with the allegations.
“The DoJ is inconsistent. When the prime minister went to the US, no legal action was taken against him. So it’s not like what they have said before (that Najib was involved).”... Malaysian Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali has cleared Najib of any wrongdoing. Investigations by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) also found no evidence of impropriety in the state firm. Apandi, however, recently asked police to resubmit investigation papers on 1MDB to him, citing a lack of evidence...“People are only concerned about the price of food and whether they can feed their kids. Something like this is too difficult for them to understand.”...

The U.S. attorney-general described a multi-billion dollar corruption scandal involving a Malaysian state fund as the worst form of kleptocracy... the 1MDB-linked assets accounted for nearly half of some $3.5 billion in total proceeds seized or restrained by the DoJ, tied to money-laundering offences.

A rapper who is reportedly under investigation by the Justice Department for receiving $20 million from a Malaysian fund just before he emerged as a major donor to groups supporting former President Barack Obama is also a Clinton Foundation donor.... Frank White.. partnered with Michel to found DuSable Capital Management LLC, a firm that has done major business with the Malaysian fund targeted by DOJ...

Solar power plant in Kedah: DuSable was appointed as the investment adviser to the Yurus PE Fund; the Master JVA shareholding was 49% Yurus PE Fund and 51% 1MDB Synergy...On Oct 2, 2014, as part of the initial public offering (IPO) plans of Edra Global Energy Bhd, 1MDB acquired the entire 49% interest of Yurus PE Fund in the Master JVA, for a final amount of US$69 million.

8 Aug 2017: 1MDB surprisingly misses payment to IPIC and gets one month extension, PAS is satisfied with 1MDB explanations

1MDB gets new extension to repay IPIC loan Updated 2 hours ago · Published on 8 Aug 2017 -- It is understood the Abu Dhabi government is incredulous at the cavalier manner Putrajaya has handled it's debt obligations and is puzzled why it has taken the Malaysian government so long to handle the transfer of funds, given that the agreement with IPIC was inked in April... Prime Minister Najib Razak had blamed 1MDB’s failure to pay IPIC on July 31 on “technical issues", saying it was not because 1MDB had no money.... But sources said the delay was nothing technical, and was in fact embarrassing because local and international banks do not want to handle transactions with the prefix 1MDB.

Pakatan urges Arul Kanda to answer 1MDB questions in Parliament by Melati A. Jalil 8 Aug 2017 -- PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli said he doubted if PAS fully understood the 1MDB rationalisation plan if the party had found the plan satisfactory. "As PAS appears to be satisfied with the plan, I wish to ask the party leadership if that means that they agree that 1MDB's debts should be transferred to the people while the money borrowed by 1MDB has clearly vanished and has been misappropriated to buy luxury property?" he said....PAS yesterday said it was satisfied with the 1MDB debt rationalisation plan presented by Arul Kanda in the roundtable discussion, from which PAS concluded that a Royal Commission of Inquiry into 1MDB followed by punitive action against the wrongdoers was the only way to restore public confidence in the government.

Who’s footing the bill for Hadi’s costly UK suit, asks Rewcastle-Brown by Looi Sue-Chern  6 Aug 2017 -- Rewcastle-Brown said this made her “relish” the prospect of taking on  Hadi in court as it would give her the opportunity to “bring out all the evidence about the situation of major public interest which I have reported about in Malaysia – including what I have disclosed and will further disclose about the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) case and where the money has gone”. "As for the explanation for the High Commission’s presence, yes, I am certainly alleging there is corruption at the very top in Malaysia," she said.

BNM forex scandal RCI begins hearing August 21 by Bede Hong 8 Aug 2017

17 Jun 2017: US DOJ alleges $4.5bn stolen, new characters mentioned

The Department of Justice alleges more than $4.5bn  (up from $3.5bn previous estimate) stolen from Malaysia's 1MDB (and releases 251 page report of details): A press secretary for Mr Najib said in a statement that the government would co-operate with any "lawful" investigation, but stressed that the US claims remain unproven. The secretary, Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin, also said there was "unnecessary and gratuitous naming" in the case. "Malaysia stands firm in its support of transparency and good governance," he said. "That includes ensuring that accusations have a basis in fact, rather than smears briefed by political opponents."

U.S. Seeks to Recover Approximately $540 Million Obtained From Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund Thursday, June 15, 2017

Who are the new characters in DOJ's latest suit?
However, in the rest of the documents, one new character in the suit who had caught the public eye was MO1's wife. Previously, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan confirmed that the MO1 mentioned in the DOJ's first suit last year was Najib.

Yacht, diamonds and more in DOJ's 
latest 1MDB filing
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) last night announced its most significant milestone since July 21 last year, when US investigators first went public on the 1MDB scandal and declared that Malaysians had been defrauded on an enormous scale. At that time, US investigators said more than US$3 billion was allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB and sought to seize around US$1 billion in ill-gotten assets. In the third and latest filing last night, the DOJ now puts the allegedly misappropriated figure at US$4.5 billion and is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets purportedly acquired using funds stolen from 1MDB.

7 June 2017 lawsuit:

Misappropriated 1MDB funds helped finance $2.2 billion energy firm deal - U.S. lawsuit Jun 13, 2017 -- Money misappropriated from a Malaysian state fund was used to partly finance the $2.2 billion acquisition of Houston-based Coastal Energy in 2014, the U.S. government alleged in a lawsuit filed last week. Proceeds from the Coastal Energy deal were then used to buy a property in London's glitzy Mayfair district, according to the lawsuit dated June 7. The United States is seeking to seize the London property, along with two others, the document showed.

DOJ document pdf:

20 July 2016:

United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund Wednesday, July 20, 2016 

1MDB Presentation

3-4 May 2017: Unravelling issues at big 1MDB's KL property cum High Speed Rail terminus deal? 1MDB vs IPIC

Unravelling issues at big 1MDB's KL property cum High Speed Rail terminus deal?

1MDB vs IPIC: A settlement or compromise? By: The Edge Team -- (May 1): Last Monday, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) announced that it had reached a settlement with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company PJSC (IPIC) over the arbitration proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration. Unfortunately, this may not be something to celebrate despite the spin that it was a success for Malaysia as the arbitration initiated by IPIC is no longer needed.... An official familiar with the negotiations conceded that the agreement with IPIC was conditional upon the Ministry of Finance (MoF) stepping in as a guarantor of the two bonds totalling US$3.5 billion ($4.9 billion). This effectively eases IPIC’s concern that it would be called upon again to fulfil its obligations as a co-guarantor of the two bonds issued with the help of Goldman Sachs in 2012. The official, who briefed The Edge but asked not to be identified, explained why MoF had to step in to guarantee that 1MDB would not default on the bonds: “MoF is now involved. There is a government guarantee. It (MoF) had to stand guarantor for 1MDB with IPIC for the US$3.5 billion in debt papers that IPIC stood guarantor for, as 1MDB, after selling its assets to pare down its debts, has very little in terms of assets or security. It’s unfortunate but understandable [why this had to be done].”.... To recap, in 2012, 1MDB issued two 10-year bonds of US$1.75 billion each to buy two power plants. The bonds were co-guaranteed by 1MDB and IPIC’s subsidiary Aabar Investment PJS (Aabar). The MoF was not a party to this guarantee.

23 Mar 2017: WSJ says US prepares to file criminal charges against alleged 1MDB mastermind Jho Low

Editor's note: A Malaysia perspective on 1MDB case (see image below): Why is Low Taek Jho not investigated but Rafizi Ramli sentenced to prison? Also, DOJ listed people are taken off the Malaysia watchlist. In the Malaysia Parliament, mention of the word "1MDB" is disallowed by the Speaker.

US prepares to file criminal charges against alleged 1MDB mastermind Jho Low: report By: Jude Chan, SINGAPORE (March 22): The noose is tightening around Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho – the alleged mastermind behind the multibillion-dollar scandal over state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). US authorities are preparing to file criminal charges of wire fraud and money laundering against the flamboyant financier, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter.,, The plan to file criminal charges comes after a recently-concluded visit to Singapore by a team from the US Department of Justice to conduct interviews related to Low and other 1MDB-linked matters, says WSJ, citing two people familiar with the trip.

PM says ex-1MDB executives off BNM’s watch list BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY KUALA LUMPUR, March 8 — Two former executives with 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) wanted by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) have been removed from its watch list, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today. Najib who is also finance minister added that Casey Tang Keng Chee and Jasmine Loo Ai Swan are no longer wanted as the authorities have completed their investigations and taken action against the company they had worked for instead. “For your information, the investigation involving the two individuals have been completed and based on its outcome, enforcement action was taken against the company according to existing laws with consent from the AGC, whereby BNM issued a compound latter to the 1MDB administration for failing to fully adhere to the orders issued under the Exchange Control Act 1953,” he said in a written parliamentary reply to Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen. - See more at:

23 Nov 2016: Singapore trial of 1MDB-Jho Low-BSI linked bankers, Jho Low’s Relatives Fight U.S. Forfeiture, DiCaprio foundation would return gifts if from Malaysian fund 

So the trial of 1MDB-Jho Low-BSI linked bankers started 31 October 2016 in Singapore. Below are some news links! Also, in the aftermath of Trump victory, there is forex flux, including Malaysia.

Malaysia caught in currency ripples - Bloomberg, By: Christopher Langner (Nov 21) -- A drop in hedging and refinancing activities would be bad news for banks. Ironically, Malaysian financial institutions could be the worst affected. They're the biggest issuers of short-term dollar debt, with more than US$3.5 billion ($5 billion) of bonds due in less than a year outstanding.... Malaysian banks are the most dependent on short-term markets for dollar funding in Southeast Asia.

Yeo Jiawei amassed $23.9 mil just 15 months after leaving BSI -- SINGAPORE (Nov 22): Prosecutors say former BSI wealth planner Yeo Jiawei accumulated a net worth of some $23.9 million in just 15 months through “secret profits” after he left the bank in June 2014.... Yeo, who turned 34 on Monday, is on trial for four counts of witness tampering. He faces seven other counts of money laundering, which will be heard next April.

Yeo argued that, as an intermediary, he should not be fingered as the one sole responsible. After all, Yeo reasoned, the financial institutions, with their teams of legal and compliance people, did not step in to stop the transactions....Yeo maintained that it was only when news surrounding 1MDB became widely known that various prosecution witnesses such as Swampillai and Samuel Goh Sze-Wei turned against him.
Yeo also questioned why Jose Renalto Cavarlho Pinto, a relationship manager with Amicorp, would call him “arrogant” when they had good working relationship. Yeo said that these three individuals were all complicit in one way or another, but are now pushing the blame to him. “These witnesses are lying to save their own skin,” said Yeo.

Jho Low’s Relatives Fight U.S. Forfeiture of 1MDB-Linked Assets by  Edvard Pettersson November 1, 2016
Editor: One reader with legal background commented that there is no locus standi.

Leonardo DiCaprio Urged to Turn Over "Corrupt" 'Wolf of Wall Street' Earnings 9:53 AM PDT 10/27/2016 by Alex Ritman , Eriq Gardner

DiCaprio foundation would return gifts if from Malaysian fund in probe Oct 18, 2016 | 10:33pm EDT

13 October 2016: WSJ points to Obama-Hilary fund raiser links to 1MDB, Swiss and Singapore step ups, Ananda in the news

Malaysian Fund 1MDB Linked to White House Visit - Investigators look into whether money embezzled from the fund paid for lobbying seeking closer U.S.-Malaysian relations By BRADLEY HOPE and  COLLEEN MCCAIN NELSON Updated Oct. 13, 2016 -- Investigators look into whether money embezzled from the fund paid for lobbying seeking closer U.S.-Malaysian relations - Federal investigators are looking into whether money was paid to a businessman who later arranged an Oval Office visit for relatives of the Malaysian prime minister, according to people familiar with the probe.

WSJ: 1MDB link to US businessman who arranged White House visit probed Published 14 Oct 2016, 9:53 am -- According to The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the entrepreneur is Frank White Jr, one of the founders of investment firm DuSable Capital Management LLC, who has also raised funds for US President Barack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton....... 1MDB and DuSable cooperated on a solar-power project, which controversial businessman Jho Low had helped come up with, WSJ reported people familiar with the matter saying. "They said Low told others his efforts in arranging it helped Najib get closer to Obama, who golfed with the prime minister in Hawaii at Christmas time in 2014," reported WSJ.

Arul, repairs to 1MDB must start with the truth by yoursay  14 Oct 2016

Crackdown on free speech intensifies: Ordinary citizens targeted alongside activists, politicians by admin - 14 Oct 2016

Falcon faces Swiss criminal probe in 1MDB case By Reuters / The Edge Financial Daily   | October 13, 2016

1MDB case: Swiss attorney general opens criminal proceedings against Falcon Bank by admin - 12 Oct 2016

How Falcon Ignored the 1MDB Red Flags by Shamim Adam October 11, 2016

1MDB partner Iskandar Waterfront weighs reviving Malaysian IPO October 11, 2016

Singapore charges 2 former BSI bankers in 1MDB probe - Filing of charges is latest development in series of global investigations into Malaysian fund OCTOBER 10, 2016

MAS shuts down Falcon Bank, imposes penalties on DBS and UBS in 1MDB crackdown By:  Michelle Zhu -- SINGAPORE (Oct 11): The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is withdrawing the merchant bank status of Falcon Bank’s Singapore branch... In addition, MAS has imposed on Falcon Bank financial penalties amounting to $4.3 million for 14 breaches of the central bank’s regulations... Financial penalties of $1 million on DBS Bank and $1.3 million on UBS, for breaches of MAS’s AML requirements, will also be imposed, as there “deficiencies found in the on-boarding of new accounts, weaknesses in corroborating the source of funds, inadequate scrutiny of customers’ transactions and activities, and failure to file timely suspicious transaction reports”....

Attorney General says no new request from Swiss on 1MDB   6 October 2016 | MYT 1:14 PM

Swiss request further assistance from Malaysia in 1MDB case October 5, 2016

US DoJ's civil action on 1MDB will not affect bilateral ties, says ambassador BY RAZAK AHMAD 7 October 2016

1MDB, Criminal Probe Separate Key Aide from Malaysia Tycoon's ... by The Asia Sentinel-4 Oct 2016 -- The Swiss Attorney-General asked Malaysia's assistance in its investigations into alleged misappropriation of US$4 billion linked to 1MDB ...

29 August 2016: Rallies and "red shirts"

Young Malays at forefront of Tangkap MO1 rally  2 comments      Yoursay     Published Today 9:12 am    Read more:

'Red shirts operatives captured 35 students in TangkapMO1 surveillance'  76 comments      Alyaa Alhadjri     Published 28 Aug 2016, 4:59 pm   Read more:

In graft crackdown, MACC goes after ‘Tan Sri’, seizes Ferrari, Rolls-Royce Sunday August 28, 2016 - The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is moving into top gear in its war against graft and power abuse by aiming to stem the problem at the source, as two recent cases have shown. After nabbing a “Datuk” bank executive suspected of corruption last week, the MACC has now identified a “Tan Sri” senior bank executive reportedly linked to misappropriating a whopping RM15 million in a book deal, Mingguan Malaysia reported today. The weekend edition of Utusan Malaysia cited an unnamed source as saying the “Tan Sri” had used two law firms as fronts for the transactions before moving the money into several other bank accounts. - See more at: 

28 July 2016: Don't rely on 2013-2014 1MDB statements, no emergency Parliament session, the "rebuttal" by UMNO Youth against three top bureaucrats and SOSMA fear

Umno Youth plot twist; 'China to the rescue?'; 1MDB financial statements doubts   Kini Roundup     Published Today 7:26 am

1MDB: Don’t rely on 2013, 2014 financial statements  26 July 2016

Deloitte quits as 1MDB’s auditor By Meena Lakshana / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 27, 2016 : 9:10 AM MYT    KUALA LUMPUR: Deloitte Malaysia has notified 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) of its intention to resign as the embattled state fund’s auditor, and the 1MDB board is now looking for a new auditor. “Until a new auditor is appointed, Deloitte will remain as auditor on record,” said 1MDB in a statement yesterday....

No need for emergency Parliament session on 1MDB - Johari by Luqman Hariz, Astro Awani | Published on July 26, 2016

Najib gets new powers amid planned protests over fund scandal    A Ananthalakshmi, Reuters     Published Today 7:57 am

Hadi, tell them not to buy US properties to 'avoid' interference  Yoursay     Published Today 7:29 am

Lawyer fears Sosma will be used on trio accused of conspiracy Published Today 8:54 am

Zeti seeks legal counsel, Gani says conspiracy charge 'publicity stunt'

Bersih 5 should be a 'Malay-sian tsunami'     S Thayaparan     Published Today 8:23 am

26 July 2016: Reactions after US DOJ civil forfeiture against Riza, Jho Low et al.

Editor's note: There's a blog "THE MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1"! 

The impotence of being earnest Posted on 24/07/2016 By The Malaysian Official 1

Pro-Umno portal: Malaysian Official 1 is Najib, but...   Published Today 2:50 pm   Read more:

Dr M: How will DOJ charge 'M'sian Official 1' without naming him?  Published Today 3:22 pm Read more:

'Plot to topple PM' - Umno Youth files report against Zeti, Gani, MACC chief Published Today 3:33 pm Read more:

‘Grand larceny in 1MDB’  Published Today 10:57 am

12 July 2016: 1MDB agrees to IPIC's request for arbitration over $6.5 Billion

1MDB agrees to IPIC's request for arbitration PUBLISHED4 HOURS AGO - IPIC, in a submission to the London Court of International Arbitration last month, is claiming about US$6.5 billion (S$8.8 billion) from 1MDB and Malaysia's finance ministry after a debt restructuring agreement between the companies went sour.

1MDB audit exposes now zoom in on power purchase agreements  10 Jul 2016

IPIC Seeks $6.5 Billion From 1MDB, Malaysia in Arbitration by Shamim Adam  une 14, 2016 — 3:34 PM SGT Updated on June 14, 2016 — 4:38 PM SGT 1MDB has defaulted on debt amid dispute with Abu Dhabi’s IPIC. Malaysian fund is subject of global probes into its finances...

IGP: We will use OSA if Sarawak Report’s 1MDB audit genuine BY IDA LIM July 9, 2016

- See more at:

Tony Pua urges PM to declassify AG's report on 1MDB after Sarawak Report exposé By Sangeetha Amarthalingam /   | July 8, 2016

6 June 2016: Malaysian Journalist: Najib Cracked Down on Free Speech to Limit 1MDB Fallout

Malaysian Journalist: Najib Cracked Down on Free Speech to Limit 1MDB Fallout - Mustapha Kamil worked for New Straits Times for more than 25 years, By TOM WRIGHT Updated June 6, 2016

Fahmi Reza claims trial to posting doctored image of Prime Minister by Abdul Hakim Rahman, Astro Awani |  Published on June 06, 2016 

27 May 2016: BSI "shut down" order by regulators raises questions on Ambank-ANZ - who will buy ANZ's stake in bank involved in Najib donation fund flow

Editor's notes: In light of the double Swiss and Singapore regulator's BSI shutdown orders (staff and operations apparently to be merged into EFG International), Ambank-ANZ (already sanctioned with fines and direct down-line staff sackings) and its Malaysia and Australia regulators have obviously met with talk and comparison. Not surprised to see in the news headlines today that Ambank's founder has been quizzed about the future of ANZ's 23.78% stake in Ambank. Analysts apparently worry about the Ambank stake readily finding a buyer. 

source: The Edge Financial Daily, 27 May 2016

4 May 2016, ANZ CEO Mr Elliott, who was on the AmBank board until October, said ANZ “don’t run that bank.... there was “no 1MDB issue” for the ANZ board to discuss.... We don’t have an exposure to 1MDB...” ANZ may appoint up to 4 directors at Ambank.

On it's website (27 May 2016), Ambank currently has 8 directors on its board, the only ANZ representative is Ms Suzette Margaret Corr - Non-Independent Non-Executive Director: Ms Corr is the General Manager Human Resources Australia and Group General Manager Talent & Culture for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ).  

In Ambank's Team, Annual Report 2015: Chief Risk Officer and Chief Financial Officer were seconded by ANZ...   

source: Ambank Annual Report, accessed 27 May 2016

A major pullout of ANZ personnel 
Previously, Ambank had total 12 directors plus one alternate director (versus 8 directors on its board at 27 May 2016; about 4 seats vacated since 2013?), and ANZhad more directors (with bigger business profiles than human resources role of current) and personnel at Ambank, notably Mr Ashok Ramamurthy as CEO of AmBank (M) Berhad - from Annual Report 2013:

Mr Elliott was appointed Chief Financial Officer of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (“ANZ”) from June 2012. 

Mr Whelan... He is currently the Managing Director, Corporate and Commercial Banking (Australia) of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (“ANZ”). 

Mr Planté is the Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) Asia Pacific, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (“ANZ”) and Chairman, Australia and New Zealand Bank (China) Company Limited (“ANZ China”). He is also responsible for Treasury for the Institutional and International Division of ANZ.

Mr Ashok Ramamurthy, an Australian, aged 51, was appointed to the Board of AMMB Holdings Berhad on 2 April 2012 and is currently the Group Managing Director (“Group MD”) of the Company. He is also the Chief Executive Officer of AmBank (M) Berhad.

Mr Alistair Marshall Bulloch, a British, aged 55, is the Alternate Director to Mr Shayne Cary Elliott, Mr Mark David Whelan and Mr Gilles Planté. He is currently the Managing Director/Head of Asia Partnerships of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (“ANZ”). 

Source:, accessed 27 May 2016

ANZ’s Shayne Elliott cuts value of stake in scandal-hit AmBank THE AUSTRALIAN MAY 4, 2016.... Unveiling ANZ’s half-year results yesterday, Mr Elliott for the first time admitted the holding had been indirectly damaged by a corruption scandal engulfing the country’s Prime Minister and its sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.... The AmBank stake is among a $5 billion portfolio of minority stakes in Asian banks that ANZ is attempting to sell, but analysts fear a buyer may be difficult to find given AmBank’s difficulties....  It is at the centre of the 1MDB controversy, in which Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stands accused of receiving up to $US1bn looted from the sovereign fund into his personal accounts at AmBank. He denies any wrong­doing.....  “Has the 1MDB and the Malaysian economy and all those situations impacted the AmBank share price? Unquestionably,” he said. “It’s impacted the valuation of lots of things in Malaysia, so it will have had an impact. But it’s not a direct response to that.”... He said there was “no 1MDB issue” for the ANZ board to discuss. “We don’t have an exposure to 1MDB,” he said..... “In terms of our partnership or the minority investment that we have in (AmBank’s holding company) AMMB, all of those stakes get discussed regularly.”.... Under a shareholder agreement ANZ is entitled to appoint up to four AmBank directors, plus its chief financial officer and chief risk officer, and be consulted on appointment of the CEO. However, Mr Elliott, who was on the AmBank board until October, said ANZ “don’t run that bank”..... “ANZ is not formally party to detailed information around the bank there and therefore it would not be appropriate or frankly even potentially legal for our board to be having in-depth information-sharing around specific allegations,” he said....

ANZ quizzed over AmBank link to Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal THE AUSTRALIAN APRIL 4, 2016.....With ANZ holding almost a 25 per cent shareholding in the Malaysian bank, ANZ has three permanent positions on AmBank’s board, which will soon include Mr Hodges himself and, formally, ANZ’s chief executive Shayne Elliott..... Under questioning from senators Mr Hodges described as “simplistic” allegations ANZ had governance questions to answer over AmBank and the scandal involving state investment fund.... 1MDB.....

'Top Aussie bank may sell AmBank stake over Najib scandal' 30 Mar 2016

25 May 2016: Switzerland's FINMA statement on BSI breach of regulations

Editor's note: KL chatter on regulators forcing each others hands. So BSI will merge with EFG International and BSI therafter to be dissolved.

BSI in serious breach of money laundering regulations: FINMA By: FINMA This is Swiss financial regulator FINMA’s strongly worded statement in full, ZURICH (May 24):.... In the case of 1MDB, the bank executed numerous large transactions with unclear purpose over a period of several years and, despite clearly suspicious indications, did not clarify the background to these transactions. Among other measures, FINMA has ordered the disgorgement of profits amounting to CHF 95 million. FINMA has also launched enforcement proceedings against two of the bank's former top managers. At the same time, FINMA announces its approval of the takeover of BSI by EFG International with the condition that BSI will be integrated and thereafter dissolved. This takeover is a positive development providing clients and employees with a perspective for the future....FINMA also closed its investigation and sanctioned BSIs misconduct in the Petrobras case. In connection with the same two cases, FINMA has investigated more than twenty other Swiss banks and launched proceedings against six of those banks..... - See more at: 

24 May 2016:  Singapore orders BSI Bank unit to shut down (adds name of 6 staff), 1MDB bonds diverge on guarantor, worry on cost of bond defaults, winding up moves, bank investigations and BNM approval, travel bans, Nazir back but battered, Najib's strong Sarawak victory

Editor's note: KL chats abuzz on divergent trends at BSI Singapore-BTG Pactual and Ambank KL-ANZ.

MAS orders BSI Bank to shut down in Singapore - Six members of the bank’s senior management and staff have also been referred to the Public Prosecutor to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences, the Monetary Authority of Singapore says. Posted 24 May 2016....A notice of intention has been served to the bank to withdraw its status as a merchant bank in Singapore for “serious breaches of anti-money laundering requirements, poor management oversight of the bank’s operations, and gross misconduct by some of the bank’s staff”.....This is the first time since 1984 a merchant bank in Singapore has been ordered to shut down. In 1984 Jardine Fleming (Singapore) was ordered to shut down over serious lapses in its advisory work.... BSI has also been fined S$13.3 million for 41 breaches of anti-money laundering regulations. The breaches include a failure to perform enhanced customer due diligence on high-risk accounts, and to monitor for suspicious customer transactions on an ongoing basis.....

MAS to shut down BSI Bank in Singapore for alleged money laundering; 6 staff to be probed PUBLISHED 2 HOURS AGO

In addition, MAS has referred to the Public Prosecutor the names of six members of BSI Bank's senior management and staff to evaluate whether they have committed criminal offences.
They are:
- Mr Hans Peter Brunner, former CEO
- Mr Raj Sriram, former deputy CEO
- Mr Kevin Michael Swampillai, head of wealth management services
- Mr Yak Yew Chee, former senior private banker
- Mr Yeo Jiawei, former wealth planner; and
- Ms Seah Yew Foong Yvonne, former senior private banker

Info links:
  • Swiss AG opens criminal proceedings against BSI SA bank 'in relation to 1MDB probe'
  • MAS official website - MAS directs BSI Bank to shut down in Singapore  Singapore, 24 May 2016
  • BSI website, - owned by Brazil's BTG Pactual 
  • EFG International and BSI to join forces to form a leading Swiss private bank 22/02/2016
  • BTG Pactual founder Esteves freed by Brazil’s Supreme Court - Star banker still being investigated over Petrobras scandal but allowed to return to work

Bonds, default and dissolution?

1MDB bond fates diverge as Abu Dhabi vow trumps Najib support, SINGAPORE / HONG KONG (May 23): The fortunes of bonds in Malaysia’s troubled investment fund are diverging this month: those guaranteed by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund have rallied, while notes with support from Malaysia’s own government have dropped. 

See more at:

Spotlight Swings to Malaysia’s Exposure to Cost of 1MDB Bond Defaults - Investors, analysts consider how much Malaysia’s government may have to pay to settle investment fund’s debt dramas By MIA LAMAR Updated May 9, 2016

Malaysia to Dissolve 1MDB Board Headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak - The latest move is another step in a gradual winding up of the embattled state-investment fund By YANTOULTRA NGUI Updated May 4, 2016

Malaysia’s 1MDB Defaults on Series of Bonds - Raises concerns government may eventually have to spend billions to bail out fund By MIA LAMAR Updated April 26, 2016

Malaysia’s Reputation Takes Another Hit as State Fund Defaults  Shamim Adam Y-Sing Liau  David Yong April 26, 2016

Cancelled debate ‘missed opportunity’, Pua tells 1MDB president May 19, 2016 - See more at:

Arul: Possible massive fraud, collaboration from our side Published 25 Apr 2016

Arul Kanda says job done, to leave 1MDB soon  Published 31 Mar 2016

On allegations, investigations & travel bans:

'Najib spoke to Bank Negara governor, got permission to bring in RM2.6b' Published 21 May 2016

Zeti, silence on RM2.6b is no longer an option  Yoursay     Published Today 7:44 am

Malaysian PM's stepson used 1MDB funds to buy $34M London house: WSJ  Matt Clinch  19 May 2016

Najib’s Stepson Bought House in London With 1MDB Funds, Says WSJ   Elffie Chew  May 19, 2016

Dr M vows to praise 'great leader' Najib sky-high when abroad Published 23 May 2016...Mahathir was commenting on Putrajaya's stand that passports are a privilege and those critical of the government can be barred from travelling abroad....

'Shouldn't Najib be barred from travelling overseas, too?' 17 May 2016

Nazir returns but reputation takes a beating  20 May 2016

Report: Swiss bank in 1MDB saga 'investigating its employees'  17 May 2016

1MDB scandal: US investigating 'payments' to ex Goldman Sachs executive Tim Leissner By Mary Papenfuss May 19, 2016

France opens probe into ‘bribery’ of Malaysia’s Najib Razak - Suspicion over whether PM was paid kickbacks over 2002 submarine deal FEBRUARY 4, 2016

France investigates whether Malaysian PM Najib was bribed in submarine deal FEB 5, 2016

On the Sarawak elections:

Malaysia’s Najib Razak Gains Momentum After State Election Win - Prime minister earns respite from 1MDB scandal, but it is unclear if Sarawak result signals broader support nationwide By YANTOULTRA NGUI May 8, 2016

Malaysia’s Najib Razak Rains Largess on Jungle State Ahead of Vote - Leader, embroiled in 1MDB scandal, is leaving little to chance in Sarawak election By YANTOULTRA NGUI May 5, 2016

Najib: Resounding victory shows solid partnership  May 8, 2016, Georgette Tan... Read more:

Chong says DAP’s defeat might be due to low voter turnout  May 8, 2016, Read more:

25 April 2016: Sarawak's upcoming election - indifference to Najib questions?

Editor's note: Talk in KL of the public tiff between 1MDB and its Abu Dhabi business partner and how very ineffectual the domestic political opposition has been amidst 1MDB - Najib questions.

In Malaysia's Biggest State, Indifference to Najib Is His Friend by  Pooi Koon Chong April 20, 2016 Malaysia's ruling coalition seen winning Sarawak state poll. Victory would not be en2dorsement of Najib, analyst says....Indifference to the scandals outside Malaysia’s biggest cities will probably help Najib’s Barisan Nasional coalition retain Sarawak -- a state held since 1963 -- in elections on May 7. It would show the difficulty his opponents have in gaining momentum among ordinary Malays by painting him as corrupt and self-serving. But it’d also be a warning to the premier that voters could shift their allegiance if they feel their lives are impacted by a slowing economy....With the collapse in global commodity prices last year denting incomes in the rubber and palm oil nation, alongside a goods and services tax introduced in April 2015, Najib is also working to woo Malays. He could potentially claim a Sarawak win as a personal endorsement even if the popularity of Chief Minister Adenan Satem, in power since February 2014, is the bigger factor. Equally, a weaker showing would be seized on by his critics.... For Sarawak voters, “local and state issues are far more important than national issues and also national personalities,” said Faisal S. Hazis, head of the Centre for Asia Studies at the National University of Malaysia....

18 April 2016 pm: Abu Dhabi's IPIC says 1MDB liable for claims, Nazir Razak takes leave to allow investigation at CIMB, Mahathir says Saudi minister statement does not close the issue, Rafizi lodges report against Jho Low, urges public to do the same 

IPIC says Putrajaya, 1MDB liable for claims as rescue plan terminated Published Today 5:00 pm Ahead of the impending default, IPIC said if any claims is made against the Abu Dhabi fund, 1MDB and MOF would be held liable. “1MDB and MOF continue to be bound by their respective obligations under the terms of the binding term sheet, including their continued indemnification of IPIC and Aabar for any non-performance under the binding term sheet and in relation to any claims which may be made against IPIC pursuant to the guarantees entered into by IPIC in respect of certain 1MDB group bond issuances," it said. 1MDB had previously said its rescue deal with IPIC will ultimately see the state fund reducing its debt by RM16 billion. However, this is now unlikely to happen with IPIC declaring its obligation in the binding term sheet to be terminated....

Nazir says transfer of money was one-off favour for brother by  Alyaa Alhadjri     Published Today 2:34 pm Under fire over his role in facilitating transfer of funds from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to Umno leaders, CIMB chairperson Nazir Razak today said that it was a one-off favour for his brother. "There was no other time when my brother asked for this kind of assistance," Nazir told reporters after chairing CIMB Group's annual general meeting in Kuala Lumpur today. Nazir earlier announced that he has taken leave to allow an independent review regarding the US$7 million he had transferred from his personal account on behalf of his brother.

Rafizi lodges report against Jho Low, urges public to do the same by  Zikri Kamarulzaman Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli has lodged a police report against Penang-born tycoon Jho Low over his alleged involvement in the 1MDB scandal. This is the first in a series of reports the PKR lawmaker plans to lodge against 1MDB's administration and those linked to the firm's mismanagement.  The report against Low is over his role as special adviser in 1MDB's predecessor, the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA).    Published Today 1:51 pm

Mahathir: Saudi minister aware, but doesn't mean he agrees Published Today 4:55 pm "Being aware of the statements of the A-G does not mean he agreed with the statement," Mahathir said, adding that al-Jubeir also did not retract or negate his previous remarks doubting the RM2.6 billion donation's origins. "It is the Malaysian media which interpreted his awareness as a negation of his previous statement," he said. Al-Jubeir previously said that he did not think the RM2.6 billion was a political donation nor did it come from the Saudi government. Instead, the minister said the money was from an unspecified "investment" in Malaysia.....

  • Khairy: With Saudi minister claim, RM2.6b donation issue resolved by  N Faizal Ghazali     Published 16 Apr 2016
  • No need for further probe on RM2.6b donation, says AG Published 17 Apr 2016 Following the Saudi government’s latest statement on the RM2.6 billion donation issue, attorney-general Mohamad Apandi Ali has declared that there is no need for further investigation.

18 April 2016 am: Abu Dhabi shock - missing $3.5 billion has market worrying about 1MDB cross-default? 1MDB now seen as being a victim of fraudsters by Malaysia authorities. Najib sign-offs doesn't mean much? US DOJ and other investigations.

Editor's note: So FGV changes it's CEO, more Malaysia firm declarations of "nothing wrong" but some acknowledgment of fraud by 1MDB fraudsters staffers, and more noises from foreign investigations notably the Swiss asking Singapore to help. An Abu Dhabi extradition for US DOJ and perhaps most actionable is Abu Dhabi potentially triggering a cross-default! Plus a dubious story from Asian Sentinel about the US Ambassador in Kuala Lumpur.

US embassy: Envoy did not speak to Rosmah on 1MDB-linked probe  29 Mar 2016, The United States embassy in Kuala Lumpur has dismissed a news report alleging that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s wife Rosmah Mansor had contacted ambassador Joseph Y Yun with the hope of calling off an investigation related to 1MDB. In its report, the Asia Sentinel also claimed that its attempts to verify this through the US embassy went unanswered. However, in an email communique to Malaysiakini , the embassy said it had no record of any inquiries from the Asian Sentinel regarding the matter.

State fund dispute puts 1MDB at risk of default - Abu Dhabi fund reportedly not making interest payments to 1MDB bondholders by Leslie Lopez 18 April 2016; A worsening dispute between the state funds of Malaysia and Abu Dhabi over complex billion-dollar transactions is threatening to trigger a major financial crisis for Prime Minister Najib Razak's government.... The row has to do with US$3.54 billion (S$4.8 billion) in payments that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) says it made in 2012 to units of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), the Abu Dhabi state fund. But IPIC maintains it never received the monies.... The monies are part of payments under a May 2012 agreement, where the London-listed IPIC guaranteed 1MDB bonds valued at US$3.5 billion. In return, 1MDB agreed to make payments as collateral to IPIC's subsidiary Aabar.... The impact of this unravelling dispute will be tested in the coming days because interest payments of about US$50 million to 1MDB bondholders are due tomorrow. Under the bond agreement, which saw IPIC swapping debt for assets from 1MDB, IPIC must make the interest payments.

Malaysian government officials, who spoke to The Straits Times on condition of anonymity, said IPIC has informally told 1MDB that it has no intention of honouring the interest payment because of the alleged default of the bond agreement. For its part, the Najib government has taken the position that it will not step in to cover the payment because it has done nothing wrong....

Malaysia Central Bank Warned Government in 2014 of 1MDB Risks by Sho Chandra and Shamim Adam April 18, 2016

Why Malays all fired up over Zakir Naik but not 1MDB 15 Apr 2016; Malays are fascinated with religious preachers, such as controversial speaker Dr Zakir Naik, as their talks do not need any thinking, unlike complicated issues such as 1MDB, claims former minister Zaid Ibrahim. "Why are the Malays fascinated with religious preachers? Because preachers need not have any real knowledge, except what they described as divine knowledge.  "No understanding is required from the listeners of what they say; they only need to stir up the emotions. "Understanding 1MDB is more arduous; one needs to understand a little about economics, about banking, about how government works and how the prime minister operates in this country," Zaid said in a blog posting today. ....

1MDB affair a simple confidence trick  IFR Asia 938 - April 16, 2016 | By Jonathan Rogers

Mystery deepens over US$3.5 billion Malaysia's 1MDB sent to BVI entity - The mystery over who controlled a British Virgin Islands-registered company that received US$3.5 billion from Malaysia’s scandal-tainted state fund 1MDB deepened on Monday when a company in the Middle East with an almost identical name said the BVI firm did not belong to it. 11 Apr 2016

Lawyer: PM’s signature on 1MDB documents a formality, doesn’t mean he decides or knows all BY IDA LIM April 13, 2016

IGP leads 1MDB investigations for cheating and CBT BY EMMANUEL SANTA MARIA CHIN April 14, 2016

Dissatisfied Kit Siang seeks to reopen PAC probe on 1MDB BY YAP TZU GING April 15, 2016

Arul Kanda: Swiss probe shows 1MDB could be victim of fraud 13 Apr 2016

Court upholds sabotage charge against 1MDB critic BY MAYURI MEI LIN April 13, 2016

'Below market price' purchases bolstered 1MDB's financials  10 April 2016

Switzerland Expands 1MDB Investigation  April 12, 2016

Swiss Widen 1MDB Probe, Enlisting Help of Luxembourg, Singapore by Hugo Miller April 12, 2016

1MDB board of directors offers to resign after PAC report 7 April 2016 | MYT 3:52 PM

The men who sold 1MDB on a fake Aabar by Zikri Kamarulzaman 14 Apr 2016

1MDB parliamentary probe blames ex-CEO; board of directors resign APR 7, 2016; The Malaysian parliament's bipartisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has blamed the founding chief executive of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) for the state investor's financial troubles which have rocked market confidence in the country and fuelled calls for Prime Minister Najib Razak's resignation. The panel in charge of reviewing government financial practices, however, did not finger a single politician, or anyone outside the company, in its 100-plus-page report tabled to federal lawmakers on Thursday (April 7), after repeated delays since it began its inquiry last May. 

Several hours after the tabling of the report,  1MDB said its board of directors had collectively offered their resignations to the finance ministry....The PAC said in its findings that "former 1MDB chief executive officer Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi must take responsibility for these weaknesses and problems. Enforcement agencies are requested to investigate Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and anyone else related," the report said in its conclusion....

One57 tower linked to global money-laundering probe By Jennifer Gould Keil March 10, 2016, New York’s first billionaires’ building, One57, was funded by a subsidiary of an Abu Dhabi company linked to a global money-laundering investigation, The Post has learned... 

Global probe on 1MBD finally reaches our shores  Yoursay     Published 5 Apr 2016

US asks Deutsche, JPMorgan to give details on 1MDB dealings: Sources Friday, 1 Apr 2016

US Justice Dept travels to M’sia for 1MDB probe 1 Apr 2016

U.S. Examines Goldman Sachs Role in 1MDB Transactions - FBI and Justice Department gather information about bank’s role in transactions at Malaysia fund

15 Mar 2016: Two Australia journalists deported "for trying to ask the Prime Minister questions,"  FGV about turn - it is deliberating CEO change and other FGV news

Aussie journalists to be deported immediately BY YU JI 15 March 2016 | MYT 8:33 AM KUCHING: Two Australian journalists, who were told they would not be charged for trying to ask the Prime Minister questions on Saturday, are expected to leave the country immediately.

FGV now says it is deliberating on change of CEO By Meena Lakshana /   | March 14, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR (March 14): In an about turn, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) said it is now deliberating on the change of its chief executive officer (CEO), which is currently held by Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah. "The board of FGV will deliberate on the appointment/change of FGV CEO and will make the requisite announcement immediately upon the receipt of the nomination letter from the relevant authority," it said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia today. FGV had on Friday issued a statement, saying Emir will continue to serve as its CEO and president, after local media reported that he may be replaced next month.....In a separate filing with Bursa, FGV said the terms and conditions of its two sale and purchase agreements (SPA 1 and SPA 2) regarding the proposed acquisition of a 55% stake in Zhong Ling Nutril-Oil Holdings Ltd for RM976.25 million were made at "arm's length and in the ordinary course of commercial negotiations"... FGV noted that however, the application to one of the regulators was cancelled pending more information on the investment from the group. "To date, no subsequent application has been submitted to the said regulator," it said.

Wild Asia’s Verification Assessment of FGV’s Labour Management. On the 4th of March 2016 Felda Global Ventures (FGV) issued a public statement1 on the findings of a technical assessment Wild Asia had conducted on behalf of FGV. The statement was published on their website, their social media channels and released to the media. Wild Asia would like to put on record that it does not endorse FGV’s original public statement, which has been made without consultation of Wild Asia...

RM618,000 to defend 1MDB and Red-Shirt rally, says Salleh BY MARTIN CARVALHO, LOSHANA K SHAGAR, NICHOLAS CHENG, andD. KANYAKUMARI; THE Government spent RM618,000 to print books to defend criticisms against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the Red-Shirt rally. Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Dr Salleh Said Keruak, in a written reply to Teo Kok Seong (DAP-Rasah), said the books were published to “present facts” in light of the highly-politicised climate surrounding both the state sovereign fund and the racially-charged gathering. A total of RM606,250 was used to print 125,000 copies of 1MDB: Siapa Kata Tidak Dijawab in Malay (100,000 copies), Tamil (15,000) and English (10,000), he added. Dr Salleh Said said the Department of Special Affairs also printed 2,000 Red-Shirt Rally books costing RM12,000.
Note: Felda settlers were reported to be significant participants in the Red Shirt Rally. Journalists also reported that many rally goers were bussed in and some were not aware of the purpose of their trip to KL.

13 Mar 2016:  Significant changes in leadership in key Malaysia regulatory and corporate entities - Bank Negara's most senior deputy governor, FGV CEO 

Editor's note: In conversation with some KL-ites, interested to hear about significant coverage of BNM's Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim in national media over the weekend, ahead of the announcement of the next Central Bank Governor. Also noteworthy is last week's flip-flop on FGV's CEO. Also notable from last year, the "changing of guard" at PNB's raft of companies, due to policy to retire directors over the age of 70 years. Some significant changes in leadership in key Malaysia regulatory and corporate entities in recent months.

Muhammad’s career spans 32 years in central bank  12 March 2016; AT Bank Negara’s quarterly briefings, he sits unobtrusively on the immediate right of governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz. Most will recognise him from his distinctive mop of white hair. Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim (pic), 56, is the most senior among the central bank’s three deputy governors. A career central banker, he has been with Bank Negara since April 1984, and next month will mark his 32nd anniversary with the central bank. Muhammad has worked his way through the central bank’s various departments and units in the last three decades. Appointed deputy governor in June 2010, he has served in the areas of bank regulation and supervision, strategic planning, payment systems, insurance, offshore banking and treasury and financial markets. He is a member of the central bank’s crucial monetary policy and financial stability committees. 

An accountant by training, he has a graduate degree from Harvard University, a post-graduate diploma in Islamic banking and finance from International Islamic University Malaysia, and completed an advanced management programme with the Harvard Business School of Harvard University in 2010.

Dramatic change at Felda Global Ventures BY AFIQ ISA 11 March 2016; PETALING JAYA: In a surprising turn of events, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) is set to announce the departure of chief executive officer Datuk Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah after a three-year stint at the palm oil firm. The decision was reached after a tumultuous 24-hour period.  A source said that FGV made the decision to replace Emir during a board meeting on Wednesday. He had earlier been recalled from the Palm and Lauric Oils Conference and Exhibition 2016 to attend a one-on-one meeting with FGV’s chairman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad at the company’s premises on that day. “Emir’s top lieutenants learned about the news on Thursday morning. It came as a complete surprise to the staff,” the source said. He is set to be replaced by Datuk Zakaria Arshad, who is the head of the downstream cluster for FGV....

Malaysia's Felda Global Ventures says CEO Emir Mavani to stay Reuters – Fri, Mar 11, 2016; KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 (Reuters) - Malaysian palm plantation operator Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd said on Friday Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah will continue to serve as its chief executive officer and president, after local media reported that he may be replaced next month. According to The Star newspaper, Emir, who has served as CEO for three years, is expected to be replaced by Zakaria Arshad, the head of the company's downstream operations. "Regarding on news reported by The Star today, Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV) emphasise that Mohd Emir Mavani Abdullah will continue to serve as the president and Chief Executive Officer," FGV said in a statement.

12 Mar 2016: 1MDB Adviser to Lead Malaysia’s Central Bank? Missing "bag man"?

Editor's note: 1MDB advisors ranks have changed over time, this is the screenshot of the webpage on 12 Mar 2016 which shows 6 persons and below that from 12 Mar 2015 which shows 8 persons, and notably absent now is Bernard Arnault*, Group Chairman and CEO of LVMH. Interesting to note that China CITIC's Zhenming Chang** is still there.
Info links from Bloomberg: Bernard Arnault and board relationships, and **Info links from Bloomberg: and BOARD MEMBERS AFFILIATED WITH Zhenming Chang *, and on webpage,, notes that Jul. 2004 - Jul. 2006 Vice Chairman and President, China Construction Bank.

1MDB Adviser to Lead Malaysia’s Central Bank By YANTOULTRA NGUI and  TOM WRIGHT March 11, 2016  KUALA LUMPUR—A top government official on the board of advisers of a controversial state investment fund is set to become the new head of the central bank, which had recommended investigating the fund, two people familiar with the matter said. The move comes over the objection of the current central-bank governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who is retiring next month after 16 years in the post and recommended a deputy governor to succeed her, one of the people said....The central bank appointment requires formal confirmation by Malaysia’s king, which is expected.....

BSI Singapore banker linked to 1MDB leaves bank  11 March 2016 | MYT 11:34 AM

L'intrigo malese che imbarazza la BSI di Federico Franchini Pubblicato il 02.03.16
Google translate: In the fall of 2009 Hanspeter Brunner was appointed as head of the headquarters of the BSI in Singapore. At the time the bank has a stated strategy to expand in Asia. Singapore is the place to be. It is in the city-state that the dollars of Asian neoricchi are conveyed (and beyond). Thus, the institution of Ticino, at the time controlled by Generali, decided to focus on this world-class banker. A man who had drawn all his talent at a school rival, RBS Coutts. With the change of team, Brunner carries part of his team: seventy employees from RBS Coutts pass hit the BSI. An exodus seen in banking history....We contacted on the matter the Lugano Institute tells us that "it is not a party to the proceedings involving Mr. Yak Chee Yew". The bank also informs that Yak is no longer an employee. The end of the love story; finished greetings from Lugano. Until the investigations are not taken, however, all was for the best. Bonus millionaires for him and profits hand over fist for the bank: According to the annual report 2014, the Singapore branch of that BSI has doubled its net profit compared to 2013.

Putrajaya axes Dr M as Petronas adviser over anti-Najib declaration - March 11, 2016

Singapore Zouk: Najib's son did not cause premature end of guest DJ's set  by anjali ragumaran 7 March 2016; ... Social media was rife with alleged news that Norashman bumped off a guest DJ at Zouk so he could helm the decks on Sunday. - The Straits Times /Asia News Network ...

2 Mar 2016: Mahathir resigns UMNO (again), WSJ escalates allegations, US Feds investigate real estate brokers and more, 1MDB Goldman Sachs banker resigned end Feb 

Editor's note: Key Malaysia authorities have consistently reassured that WSJ allegations are not true - and WSJ now comes up with even bigger (dollar-wise) allegations. Mahathir resigns UMNO for the second time - the first time was in the period pushing previous PM Abdullah Badawi to resign. 

Malaysia PM denounces report he took money from state firm MAR 1, 2016; The office of Malaysia’s scandal-plagued prime minister on Tuesday (March 1) denounced a Wall Street Journal report which alleged that he accepted hundreds of millions of dollars that originated from a state firm he established. The Wall Street Journal report, citing investigators in foreign countries and other anonymous sources with knowledge of the money movements, also said the sums received by Najib Razak may have topped US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) – far more than previously thought....Najib, 62, and the company – 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), an investment vehicle founded in 2009 – have consistently denied wrongdoing but critics have accused both of failing to provide convincing proof. Najib’s office released a statement saying the newspaper had become a “willing vehicle” for those plotting to oust him, AFP reported.  It did not specify who was behind the alleged plot, but former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has led calls for Najib to be removed....The statement did not directly refute the key allegations in the story. It also repeated a Malaysian government claim that the money Najib received was a gift from the Saudi government. No details have been given about the reason for the Saudi “personal donation”, which has not been confirmed by the Saudi government and is widely derided in Malaysia. 1MDB also released a statement repeating its assertion that it had never given money to Najib.... Earlier, Tun Dr Mahathir said  Najib should sue the newspaper or the report would be deemed by the public to contain some truths...“If it is not true, the prime minister should sue them for false reporting,'' he was quoted as saying. “If he doesn’t, then there must be some truth to what was said.”

Money trail said to show more than $1 billion sent to Malaysian leader’s accounts By Bradley Hope and Tom Wright Published: Feb 29, 2016

More than $1bn deposited in Malaysian prime minister's account – report, Wall Street Journal identifies further deposits into private account of Najib Razak, far more than $681m – reportedly a Saudi gift – originally disclosed...Reuters in Kuala Lumpur

Tuesday 1 March 2016,

Former Malaysia Leader Mahathir Mohamad Resigns From Ruling Party - The country’s longest-serving prime minister said he didn’t want to be associated with a group that he said is seen as supporting corruption, By YANTOULTRA NGUI

Updated Feb. 29, 2016,

Mystery Malaysian high roller at center of global money-laundering probe By Jennifer Gould Keil, February 28, 2016; Real estate brokers in New York are being asked questions about the deals they worked on involving Jho Low, The Post has learned. Federal investigators are probing what could end up being “one of the largest money-laundering frauds in the world,” a source told The Post..... ... Goldman Sachs, meanwhile, finds itself the target of fury in Malaysia. Its chairman for Southeast Asia operations, Tim Leissner, was involved in 1MDB... abruptly returned to the United States, and Leissner resigned from Goldman last week.... The Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery program now is investigating the Low-linked real estate purchases. In New York, brokers are “scared,” said another source with direct knowledge of the deals. “They don’t have fancy high-priced lawyers to protect themselves.” Low, meanwhile, is selling — fast. He unloaded three artworks — a Monet, a Picasso and a Basquiat — at a loss for a combined total of $54 million at Sotheby’s in London....

"An outright lie": 1MDB slams Wall Street Journal's report that it paid funds to PM Najib - The state investment firm said that the Wall Street Journal’s report on the matter was an “outright lie”, based on “baseless and unproven” allegations.  Posted 19 Feb 2016

3 Feb 2016: Bankers' accounts in Singapore 1MDB probe, Mahathir's Son Ousted, Malaysia revised budget hits telcos and plantations

Banker's Accounts Said to Be Frozen in Singapore 1MDB Probe by  Andrea Tan February 2, 2016

Mahathir's Son Ousted as Malaysia Premier Tightens Grip on Power by  Pooi Koon Chong  Manirajan Ramasamy February 3, 2016

Telecommunications – Malaysia - Clarity In Spectrum Reallocation; Not Pricey But Capex Could Rise. Maxis saw a reduction in spectrum holdings while Celcom is likely to see a reduction as well. Meanwhile, Digi and U Mobile have received higher spectrum allocations. Positively, spectrum pricing will not be exorbitant but we note the reallocation will lead to heightened competition and rising capex for Maxis and Celcom to ensure adequate coverage for existing users. Broadly, we view the spectrum reallocation as a negative development for the sector. Maintain MARKET WEIGHT....

Editor's note: Telco counters fell 7-15% on spectrum reallocation news - which aims to raise RM2 billion for federal coffers. RM2.5 billion extra from foreign worker levy is set to raise plantation per tonne cost by 4-5% and plantations stocks dipped.

A reader pointed this out for US DOJ probe exampleScandal-Plagued Soccer Body Seeks Forensic Investigators by  Tariq Panja  February 4, 2016; A sprawling U.S. Department of Justice investigation alleges money laundering and racketeering stretching back almost 20 years. Conmebol will hire a company to look back only for five years for a "technical reason," said a spokeswoman for Paraguay-based Conmebol.... The group also announced in a statement it had hired the accounting firm Deloitte LLP to work with its newest president Alejandro Dominguez. The 44-year-old Paraguayan has promised to usher in an era of transparency and good governance at the organization, which has long struggled with both....

1 Feb 2016: Swiss Probe of Malaysia Fund Sees $4 Billion Possible Misuse

Editor's note: Hot topic in KL this long weekend - the foreign probes (Swiss has declared, what about US DOJ and others?) on 1MDB in contrast to the Malaysia AG declaring the political donation issue all to be fine. Also, social media chatter over timing of the Saudi donor's demise and an important apparent "post-humous" meeting. What's interesting is that the corporate deals of Genting and Tanjong with 1MDB are also highlighted in Swiss AG's letter. Clearly they were not just domestic deals but had international structures and/or money flows? 

Swiss to hand over ‘significant evidence’ on RM16.8 billion to Malaysia soon BY DEBORAH LOH, NEWS EDITOR 1 February 2016; .... Lauber said part of the US$4 billion was transferred to Swiss bank accounts held by former public officials from Malaysia as well as past and present public officials from the United Arab Emirates..... “We have found evidence of suspicious money transfers linked to 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) going through Swiss financial institutions, and we believe that it is very important that it is shared with the Malaysian authorities,” the Swiss A-G said. The discovery was made in the course of investigating two former 1MDB officials and others on suspicion of bribery involving foreign public officials..... Malaysian A-G Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali responded to Lauber’s statement the same day, saying he would cooperate with his Swiss counterpart. But Apandi has also stressed that investigations relating to 1MDB were not the same as the case of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion political donation, which the A-G has declared closed for lack of evidence of criminal wrongdoing.....  Lauber’s media statement was criticised by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said yesterday the Swiss A-G should not have made such findings and his request for Malaysia’s cooperation public. “By making a public statement, in my opinion, it is not good because it not only strains ties between the two countries, but also creates bias in media reports,” Zahid said, adding that such information should have been conveyed through government-to-government channels. The OAG, however, has told Malaysiakini that it regarded Zahid’s remarks as a “political statement” and would not be responding to it. - See more at:

Malaysia’s rep sinking along with Najib’s RM2.6 billion scandal, says Aussie daily 1 February 2016; .. “Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali issued a ‘move along, nothing to see’ order to anyone worried about the donation of such a princely sum to a sitting prime minister’s personal bank account in a country claiming to be a representative democracy,” the editorial said. - See more at:

Swiss Probe of Malaysia Fund Sees $4 Billion Possible Misuse by  Shamim Adam January 30, 2016;.... The Swiss Attorney-General’s office said in a statement Friday that during an investigation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd., four cases involving allegations of criminal conduct and occurring between 2009 and 2013 have so far come to light. It has been ascertained a small amount of funds were transferred to Swiss accounts of former Malaysian public officials, according to the statement. The Swiss authority is seeking help from the Malaysian attorney general to determine whether funds were misappropriated.

26 January 2016: Malaysia A-G declares no criminal office over RM2.6 billion Najib's accounts, donation was returned. Tabung Haji reserves were in the red, took effort to bolster finances, says pilgrim deposits are safe.

Malaysia AG’s Embarrassing Gaffe Posted on January 27, 2016 By John Berthelsen; Malaysian Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali’s Jan. 26 press conference to “clear” Prime Minister Najib Razak of wrongdoing over massive amounts of funds in his personal bank account has been turned into a humiliating fiasco by a press photographer using a long lens to photograph the papers he was waving....Nonetheless, another source said, Apandi Ali had worded his statement carefully to say there was “insufficient” evidence to indict Najib, not that there was no evidence, and that in his position as attorney general he was free to make the decision to clear the prime minister. In any case, say well-wired political analysts in Kuala Lumpur, there is virtually no chance to dislodge Najib from his position as prime minister.

No criminal offence over RM2.6 billion in Najib’s accounts, case closed, says A-G BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR 26 January 2016 - See more at:

Najib returned donation to Saudis in August 2013, says A-G 26 January 2016 - See more at:

Tabung Haji confirms Bank Negara’s warning, says deposits safe BY ANISAH SHUKRY 26 January 2016; ....Lembaga Tabung Haji today confirmed Bank Negara had warned it in a letter that its liabilities outweighed its assets, but assured contributors that their deposits were safe and that the pilgrims' fund was not facing any financial difficulty. It said Bank Negara's evaluation had not taken into account the pilgrims fund's investment portfolios, such as the shares of its subsidiaries, its plantation assets and property. - See more at:

Bank Negara lauds Tabung Haji’s bolstering of finances BY ANISAH SHUKRY 26 January 2016; ...nearly nine million depositors... Meanwhile, Bank Negara today said it issued advisories to non-bank financial institutions such as Tabung Haji to ensure they continued to be well managed and performed their roles effectively. - See more at:

Tabung Haji reserves in the red, warns Bank Negara BY ANISAH SHUKRY 26 January 2016; ....Tabung Haji reportedly has only 98 sen in assets for every RM1 in liability. Bank Negara says its predicament is because of the practice of declaring higher dividends than it can afford... Tabung Haji’s deposits were highly concentrated among a small number of contributors – 5% of whom owned 75% of the total deposits. This exposed the pilgrims’ fund to the risk of a mass withdrawal of deposits, should contributors lose faith in it, she said....Last year, Tabung Haji courted controversy when it purchased 0.64ha land in Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) for RM188 million from 1Malaysia Development (1MDB) to develop a residential tower. It paid 43 times the price the debt-ridden 1MDB had paid for the plot, which it bought from the federal government five years ago.  Following public backlash, Tabung Haji in May vowed to sell off the land at a profit, but until today, there has been no news of the sale. - See more at:

Tabung Haji 2014 Annual Report info and link here:

5 January 2016: Confusion over 1MDB’s Bandar Malaysia deal  with China Railway Group-IWH (Lim Kang Hoo)

Confusion over 1MDB’s Bandar Malaysia deal  By Ben Shane Lim / The Edge Financial Daily   | January 5, 2016; ....China Railway Group Ltd’s filings with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange has created some confusion over the exact value of 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) sale of a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, to a 60:40 consortium of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corp (M) Sdn Bhd (CREC).... 1MDB last week announced that the 60% stake in the 486-acre (197ha) piece of land was transacting at RM7.41 billion. However, CREC’s Hong Kong-listed parent, China Railway, announced that the cost was only RM5.28 billion. “On Dec 31, 2015, the joint venture (IWH-CREC Sdn Bhd) entered into the share sale agreement with 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDBRE), pursuant to which the Joint Venture will purchase 60% of the equity interest in Bandar Malaysia held by 1MDBRE at a price of RM5.28 billion, among which CREC will pay RM2.64 billion of the share purchase price”, wrote CREC in its announcement to the stock exchange......For perspective, this would change the total gross valuation of the Bandar Malaysia land from RM12.35 billion to RM8.8 billion. So how did the massive difference arise?.... For starters, it is important to note that the RM7.41 billion figure that was touted at the execution of the share sale and purchase agreement on new year’s eve, did not take into account the liabilities and encumbrances that would come with the land. It is understood that the 486-acre Bandar Malaysia land deal, would come with strings attached — a RM2.4 billion sukuk, as well as the relocation of the Kuala Lumpur Air Force Base (PUKL) to a new site, which will cost RM2.7 billion. This includes the land acquisition and the construction of new bases.......The Chinese, in their announcement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, appear to have priced in these liabilities and encumbrances at RM3.55 billion. IWH-CREC’s 60% share of this figure works out to RM2.13 billion — the difference between the earlier RM7.41 billion number and the RM5.28 billion that CREC announced.... Hence, despite last week’s fanfare over the RM7.41 billion deal, it appears that 1MDB and the consortium still have lots of kinks in the deal to iron out. Mainly, how much liability and encumbrances that the consortium will assume.... In turn, this could determine how much cash the debt-ridden fund will be able to raise from the sale of Bandar Malaysia land. Note that the exact amount of the liability, and how it will be transacted, is still being finalised....

3 January 2016: WSJ news links on 1MDB - FBI Eyes ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Ties to Malaysian Fund, 1MDB Scandal: Najib Razak and Power in Malaysia 

Note: Watchers have been commenting on the rather simplistic method apparently used in apparent problem of money sent by 1MDB to the "wrong" account not actually belonging to its business partner... Malaysia’s 1MDB Sent $850 Million to Entity Set Up to Appear Owned by Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund - Transfer deepens mystery over 1MDB state-investment fund, which is under investigation in at least six countries By Bradley Hope  Updated Dec. 17, 2015

1MDB Sells Majority Stake in Real-Estate Project for $1.7 Billion - State investment firm seeks to cut debt By Yantoultra Ngui and P.R. Venkat  Updated Dec. 31, 2015

You Ask, We Answer: Eight Questions About Malaysia’s 1MDB Scandal Dec 30, 2015

FBI Eyes ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ Ties to Malaysian Fund at Center of Corruption Probe  By  Bradley Hope Dec 29, 2015

1MDB and the Money Network of Malaysian Politics - Prime Minister Najib Razak tapped wealth fund to ease ruling-party’s victory By  Tom Wright and Bradley Hope   Updated Dec. 28, 2015

1MDB Scandal: Najib Razak and Power in Malaysia 12/28/2015; Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak is in the spotlight since investigators traced $700 million linked to the government fund 1MDB to his personal bank accounts. His personal history is intertwined with Malaysia's unique political system.

16 December 2015: Australia federal court orders 1MDB linked funds to shut

Australia shuts down investment schemes run by fund linked to 1MDB Published: 15 December 2015 - See more at:

Tabling of A-G’s final 1MDB report tomorrow postponed, says PAC head Published: 16 December 2015 - See more at:

We’re investigating allegation of tycoons backing Dr Mahathir against Najib, says IGP Published: 16 December 2015 - See more at:

14 December 2015: Edra charts new course, 1MDB land gets three bids?UMNO GA news links - PM Najib "tightens grip"?

Note: 1MDB crisis eases as asset sales have gotten underway and UMNO support holds with PAS draw-in and opposition alliance in effective disarray? China investor interests interest in 1MDB assets regarded by KL-ites to be associated to other future railway and nuclear project proposals. Is Malaysia, despite being on track to go with the US-led geopolitically strategic TPPA, still astride its favourite geopolitical fence seat again? Notably, China is coming up with a lot of hard cash, while TPPA is something that Malaysia business may benefit from (if it works hard to ready itself Jan 2016-Jan 2017), and which locks in some key Bumiputera business interests.

Oil Slump Now Biggest Risk for Malaysia Debt as 1MDB Mess Fixed by Elffie Chew  and Lilian Karunungan December 11, 2015; Fitch warns 2016 deficit may exceed prime minister's target. Default risk heads for biggest quarterly drop in four years. As Malaysia’s debt-ridden state investment company finds buyers for its assets, investors say slumping oil is the biggest threat still hanging over the nation’s finances.

Edge Weekly - Edra charts new course    By Surin Murugiah /   | December 14, 2015
Ringgit declines as China seen allowing weak yuan with new index  By Bloomberg / Bloomberg   | December 14, 2015
1MDB land gets three bids?
Chinese Railway Builder, Malaysian Tycoon Join in Bid for 1MDB Land - State-run Malaysian property firm also makes offer for stake in central Kuala Lumpur plot By P.R. Venkat And  Yantoultra Ngui   Dec. 8, 2015
1MDB will consider late bid by Desmond Lim By Jose Barrock / The Edge Malaysia | December 8, 2015; 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is understood to be considering a late bid by businessman Tan Sri Desmond Lim, partnering a Qatari state-owned firm, even though it was made after the tender closed. This means there are now three interested parties keen on acquiring a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, which owns 486 acres of the former Sungai Besi Air Force Base, sources say. Desmond’s bid is understood to be about RM15 billion, vying with that of earlier front runner, Tan Sri Lim Kang Hoo’s Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH), in partnership with China Railway Construction Corp Ltd (CRCC).
From UMNO General Assembly, PM Najib "tightens grip" 

source: photo of front page of The Sun, Malaysia

8 December 2015: Ahead of UMNO GA - Q&A with PM Najib, Security Bill, Najib on RM2.6 billion "My conscience is clear."  1MDB: Any power tariff hike has no links to Edra sale, Bandar Malaysia SPA by Dec 31, Swiss Probe

Q&A with PM Najib Razak   8 December 2015... The following is the full interview with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, ahead of the Umno General Assembly which begins today....

Security Bill gives Najib-led council sweeping powers December 5, 2015; Malaysia’s Parliament approved a new law this week that gives sweeping security powers to a council led by Prime Minister Najib Razak, amid protests by opposition politicians and civil society groups that say its widespread powers could easily be abused by the government....The legislation, which was passed late on Thursday night by a majority vote, gives the NSC — chaired by Mr Najib — the authority to take command of Malaysian security forces and impose strict policing in an area deemed to face a security risk. Once a security area is declared, security forces would then be allowed, among other things, to impose curfews, and would have wide powers of arrest, search and seizure without a warrant.  The Bill would also permit the destruction of unoccupied structures if they were deemed to pose a threat and allow investigators to dispense with formal inquests into killings by the police or armed forces in designated security areas. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said during Thursday’s debate that the Bill deals only with security threats in specific areas, while provisions for declaring an Emergency under the Constitution deal with large-scale crises.

Why the rush to enact NSC Bill, Amanah asks BY NABIHAH HAMID Published: 8 December 2015 - See more at:

RM2.6b – donor wanted it in my account, says Najib by  Bernama Published Today 12:33 am

Najib on RM2.6 billion: My conscience is clear  By A. Jalil Hamid and Syed Umar Ariff - 8 December 2015; ...KUALA LUMPUR: Insisting that his conscience is clear, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he did not breach any regulations in the case involving the RM2.6 billion in political funding and said the truth would prevail. In a wide-ranging interview ahead of today’s Umno general assembly, Najib, who is Umno president, outlined four points to set the record straight on the issue that has dogged his premiership. These include the fact that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had recorded a statement from the anonymous donor and that the agency had confirmed that the money was not public funds or from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).... Najib also dismissed the notion that Umno is no longer democratic, saying that it was him who pushed for greater democratic reform by allowing 160,000 members from the grassroots to elect an Umno president, unlike previous leaders. Asked if his ties with Dr Mahathir could be repaired, Najib said: “I don’t know. We will see. But he has been very personal. I can accept policy differences but not (him being) too personal...

Why didn’t Muhyiddin seek info on 1MDB while in Cabinet, says Najib Published: 8 December 2015 - See more at:

Malaysia’s anti-graft agency met donor of funds in PM’s account: report  By AT Editor on December 7, 2015 From Reuters) Malaysia’s anti-graft agency has interviewed the donor behind deposits of 2.6 billion ringgit ($617.3 million) that were placed in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account, the New Straits Times reported on its website on Monday, citing an agency official. The report comes after the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) questioned Najib for two-and-a-half hours on Saturday, in a case that has prompted calls for the prime minister’s resignation.
PM: Attacks on 1MDB are all lies and not facts  by rahimy rahim 7 December 2015

Not Umno’s responsibility to resolve 1MDB issue, says Hishammuddin Published: 5 December 2015 - See more at:

Malaysia DPM Zahid's answers on 1MDB spark outcry Dec 4, 2015 by Eunice Au Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said yesterday the RM2.6 billion (S$865 million) found in Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank accounts was from a "political donation" but did not name the donor, nor did he say if the funds have all been used up. He also told a Parliament sitting that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which had been investigating the source of the funds, had said in August that the money was not from state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), as had been alleged. MACC has identified who the donor is, while the central bank had been told that Datuk Seri Najib was opening the bank account.

1MDB: Any power tariff hike has no links to Edra sale  8 December 2015

Bandar Malaysia SPA by Dec 31, says 1MDB by Alexander Winifred December 8, 2015

Swiss Probe of Malaysia’s 1MDB Puts Falcon Bank in Spotlight - Small Zurich-based wealth manager landed in middle of controversy around Malaysian government fund By John Letzing in Zurich and Bradley Hope in New York  Dec. 3, 2015; The investigators have said publicly that they are probing suspected money laundering and possible corruption of foreign officials. Their probe, and others in Malaysia and Singapore, have landed Falcon in the middle of the controversy around 1MDB, which was set up to spur growth and is now caught up in allegations of political corruption... Falcon kept a relatively low profile for decades as a unit of U.S. insurance giant  American International Group Inc.,  focusing mostly on wealth management for Swiss clients. When the insurer nearly collapsed during the financial crisis in 2009, its Swiss bank was sold to an Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund. The bank then became entangled in a number of transactions involving 1MDB....

1 December 2015: Ahead of UMNO GA - Najib critics to face disciplinary board, Mahathir and other complainants

Najib’s critics will have to face disciplinary board: UMNO December 1, 2015
Blind support for Najib will see Umno fall, Dr Mahathir tells grassroots Published: 30 November 2015 - See more at:
Calling Najib ‘national disgrace’, youth says many too scared to criticise PM, Umno BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA Published: 29 November 2015 - See more at:

30 Nov 2015: Muhyiddin warns Malay support for Umno down to 30pct

Muhyiddin warns Malay support for Umno down to 30pct by Hafiz Yatim Today 8:34 am; Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin has warned that Malay support for the nationalist party has dwindled to 30 percent, while 78 percent are unsatisfied with the present state of the economy. Citing a survey by the Merdeka Center, Muhyiddin said Malay support for Umno over the years has been above 50 percent....   

28 Nov 2015: 1MDB power assets sale to China for RM9.83/US$2.3 billion with "misadventure" RM2.79 billion loss and debt of RM12 billion still to be paid. China clout to grow just after TPPA deal moving ahead. Bank Negara fines AmBank over 1MDB related transactions? Kevin Morais mystery (thumb drive of evidence?), WSJ and New York-related allegations on 1MDB-Najib issues.

Editor's note: UMNO General Assembly is set for 8-12 December. Quite a slew of 1MDB and related news.

1MDB Edra power asset sale

Minister: 1MDB-CGN’s RM9.83b deal nothing to do with nuclear power project in Malaysia November 26, 2015 - See more at:

Mahathir "1MDB EXITS POWER BUSINESS" has 11 points on

Review by The Edge, 28 Nov 2015: "Since 1MDB confirmed that TNB had lost out to DBN, TNB's share price rallied by 4.5%... if TNB's shareholders are happy that it didn't pay RM8 billion for Edra, then the RM9.83 billion bid from CGN can't be too bad for 1MDB.. the price CGN is paying is in line with valuations that Edra was hoping to achieve.... (but)... The bottom line is the disposal of Edra makes it painfully clear that 1MDB's venture into the power sector has failed to crate value. With the assets completely sold off, all 1MDB has to show for its misadventure into the power sector is billions in losses (RM2.79 billion) and debt of around RM12 billion that still has to be paid....."
 source: The Edge special review, 28 Nov 2015

 1MDB seals Edra deal with China power firm for RM9.83 billion Published: 23 November 2015 - See more at:

Malaysia's 1MDB in China power deal that's moving markets by Karishma Vaswani Asia business correspondent 25 November 2015

China’s Clout in Malaysia Set to Grow After 1MDB Deal - The $2.3 billion deal to buy 1MDB’s power assets is likely to boost China’s influence in Southeast Asia, By  P.R. Venkat in Singapore and Rick Carew in Hong Kong  Nov. 24, 2015

UPDATE 2-Malaysia's struggling 1MDB sells power assets to Chinese firm for $2.3 bln Nov 23, 2015

Kevin Morais mystery (thumb drive of evidence?) - UMNO reactions, Perak datukship, Charles Morais SD, Morais family dispute

Explosive SD: 'Bad script, bad actor, good timing' 26 Nov 2015; ..."Charles' incredible allegation of murder surfaced long after the incident but just before Umno's AGM. Nice timing,".... Abdul Rahman, who is also urban well-being, housing and local government minister, dismissed the allegations regarding a purported charge sheet against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak

Strange things are happening in Umno, says Muhyiddin, 27 Nov 2015'..."To these people, I would like to remind them, remember, Umno is not a party belonging to any individual. "It is a party for all Malays. Do not hurt the Malays with your actions that are untrustworthy and irresponsible," he said.  Muhyiddin said he regretted and was saddened by the decision to sack Hamidah, purportedly for merely attending a function to welcome former Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad's return from overseas.  Mahathir is a staunch critic of Najib and has vowed to unseat him as prime minister.

 Mendiang Kevin Morais dianugerah darjah Perak bergelar Datuk 27 Nov 2015

Kevin Morais’ murder linked to probe into ‘government official’, says brother November 26, 2015

Statutory Declaration of Charles Morais November 26, 2015 By Charles Morais

Slain Malaysian Prosecutor Tied to Najib Probe - Brother of victim found in oil drum contradicts AG’s claim the dead man had nothing to do with case, November 26, 2015 By John Berthelsen
Family dispute breaks out over body of Kevin Morais  by nicholas cheng November 25, 2015

Kevin Morais, Shaharuddin Ibrahim honoured with integrity awards Published: 5 November 2015 The special award was presented by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Paul Low and received by their family members, namely Kevin's youngest brother, Datuk Richard Morais and Shaharuddin's wife, Datin Rahimah Ibrahim - See more at:

AmBank fine by central bank

Bank Negara fine due to weaknesses in reporting systems, says AmBank Published: 27 November 2015 11:48 PM AMMB Holdings Bhd (AmBank Group) said the RM53.7 million penalty imposed on it by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) was a result of weaknesses in its reporting systems and processes. - See more at:

source: The Edge editorial page, 28 Nov 2015

WSJ and New York-related allegations on 1MDB-Najib issues

Malaysia's 1MDB Decoded - How Millions Went Missing, A Malaysian government investment fund is embroiled in a corruption scandal that is roiling an important U.S. ally. Government investigators say nearly $700 million was deposited into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account. More money is believed missing. The fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., is under investigation in at least five countries. Mr. Najib and 1MDB have denied wrongdoing and say they are cooperating with investigators Published Nov. 22, 2015

Malaysia's 1MDB Decoded: Campaign Cash 11/23/2015 9:55PM - How a multibillion dollar power plant deal by Malaysia’s 1MDB is connected to spending during a tight national election campaign.

Malaysia's 1MDB Decoded: The Prime Minister's Bank Accounts  11/23/2015 9:54PM  How nearly $700 million ended up in bank accounts allegedly controlled by Malaysia’s prime minister during a tight national election campaign

Najib’s son-in-law lodges police report against DAP MP, says portal Published: 27 November 2015; ....Daniyar Kesikbayev who was represented by lawyer Noorhajran Mohd Noor at the Dang Wangi police headquarters today, also wants the Raub MP to prove his claim that a "deal was inked" by Najib over a government office in New York in September, the report said. - See more at:

Najib’s in-law threatens store after being accused of taking 12 Hermes bags Published: 20 November 2015 4:21 PM - See more at:

15 November 2015: 1MDB to hold assets RM10-12/US$2.3-2.7 billion after reorganisation, 1MDB tops Bank Negara briefing, Dr M says he'll keep asking Najib to step down, Did US firm earn US$69/RM300 million for paperwork in 1MDB solar project? 1MDB to Have at Least 10 Billion Ringgit in Assets After Revamp. Arul Kanda explains high bank service fees and more.

1MDB to Have at Least 10 Billion Ringgit in Assets After Revamp  by  Anuradha Raghu November 14, 2015; 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the debt-ridden state investment company that nearly defaulted earlier this year, will hold between 10 billion ringgit to 12 billion ringgit ($2.3 billion to $2.7 billion) worth of assets after its proposed reorganization, according to President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda. This includes a 40 percent stake in Bandar Malaysia, a property project, and land worth about 5 billion ringgit to 6 billion ringgit in the Tun Razak Exchange development, Kanda said at a public forum in Kuala Lumpur Saturday

1MDB issue top topic at Malaysian central bank's briefing Nov 14, 2015; Asked whether the central bank had made any mistake in the investigation on 1MDB's investments abroad, Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz replied with an emphatic "No".She said the central bank would evaluate 1MDB's response and make an assessment on the information received. - See more at:

Dr Mahathir says he may be charged but will continue to ask Najib to step down P. Divakaran Saturday, Nov 14, 2015; On Nov 6, a team of investigators from Bukit Aman questioned the former prime minister for 45 minutes at the Al-Bukhary Foundation building.Dr Mahathir stressed that there was nothing wrong with attending a street demonstration that demanded the resignation of a democratically elected Prime Minister and said that such occurrences were "normal" in a democracy.... He claimed that stopping investigations on the RM2.6 billion in Najib's personal account practically proves that the Prime Minister fears the investigations might prove allegations against him have substance."Defamation is only defamation if you say something that is false about a person. Prove that what I said is false then sue me for defamation," Dr Mahathir said. - See more at:

Questions on other 1MDB deals

Did firm earn RM300 million for paperwork in 1MDB solar project, asks PKR lawmaker Published: 12 November 2015, The private equity fund was Yurus Private Equity I, LP, which in April 2014, entered a master joint venture agreement with 1MDB Synergy Sdn Bhd on the proposed development of solar power plants that could generated up to 500MW in Malaysia. Six months later, on October 2, 2014, 1MDB announced that it had brought from Yurus a 49% rights under the master joint venture agreement for US$69 million (RM300 million).

1MDB’s Latest Act: Two Obama Fundraisers, One Fugee and $69 Million - There are no allegations of wrongdoing, but the deal has generated controversy in Malaysia By Bradley Hope  Nov. 11, 2015

Tens of thousands of jobs at risk with latest 1MDB move, says Rafizi Published: 13 November 2015, Rafizi said that a rule stating that foreign firms can own no more than 49% equity in a power producer would be lifted to allow a China-Qatar consortium to buy over energy assets of debt-laden 1MDB. The PKR vice-president added that by getting rid of equity ownership limits, big China companies would then be able to out-bid and out-compete local companies such as Tenaga Nasional Berhad for future independent power producer (IPP) contracts..

Why would 1MDB sell most of Bandar Malaysia? by TigerTalk     Published 13 Nov 2015

From 1MDB's presentation

1MDB clarifies reports on Forum Perdana - Nov 15, 2015: Below is a statement issued today by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) clarifying issues raised at the Forum Perdana earlier in the day:... At the Forum Perdana in PWTC earlier today, Arul Kanda, the President & Group Executive Officer of 1MDB, provided a detailed briefing on 1MDB and replied without reservation to various pointed and pertinent questions raised by the audience. This briefing was open to all Malaysians and covered by various media organisations, including alternative media.

We paid above market price for plants to keep power tariffs low for rakyat, 1MDB chief says By Syed Jaymal Zahiid Saturday November 14 - See more at:

1MDB’s RM5b services fees for RM42b loan justified as payment spread over five years, president says By Syed Jaymal Zahiid Saturday November 14, 2015 - See more at:

1MDB still has RM4b in Cayman Island, Arul Kanda now says By Syed Jaymal Zahiid Saturday November 14 - See more at:

1MDB started with minimal debt, Arul says  by nurbaiti hamdanandp. divakaran November 15, 2015

16 October 2015: Johor Crown Prince says should not be associated with "the mess," Bank Negara's 1MDB move vital for integrity - Zeti

Johor has right to secede if Putrajaya breaches federation’s terms, says crown prince October 16, 2015, KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has asserted the southern state has a right to secede from Malaysia if it finds a breach to the terms agreed...Tunku Ismail also said the Johor royal family should not be associated with “the mess” currently affecting the country, adding that it has always been strong, independent and resourceful.....The call for Johor’s secession has been picking up steam online, with social media posts depicting pictures of imaginary Johor currencies—Johor dollar and Johor dinar—going viral earlier this month - See more at:

Bank Negara's 1MDB move vital for integrity - Zeti by Bloomberg | Published on October 12, 2015 16:04 MYT; Malaysia’s central bank had to take action against a debt-ridden state investment company to protect the integrity of the financial system, according to Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, who said an improvement in the country’s political situation would help the ringgit. The attorney general’s office earlier this month dismissed the central bank’s second request for criminal proceedings against 1Malaysia Development Bhd. for breaching the Exchange Control Act. Bank Negara Malaysia revoked three permissions given to 1MDB for investments abroad totaling $1.83 billion, and instructed it to repatriate the amount...."He has the right to make that assessment," Zeti said, referring to the attorney general. "But for the central bank we believe it is very, very important to comply with our rules and regulations that we have in place. This is vital, it’s critical for the functioning of the financial system" and its integrity, she said....
1MDB files police report over leaked confidential information by Bernama | Published on October 12, 2015 22:37 MYT
1MDB: Zeti's efforts a big 'jihad'- Perlis Mufti by Suganthi Suparmaniam, Astro Awani | Published on October 12, 2015 15:07 MYT ; In his Facebook post, Mohd Asri described what Zeti was doing as a big 'jihad'. KUALA LUMPUR: Perlis mufti Datuk Dr Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin has commended Bank Negara Malaysia governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz for her stand on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).  In his Facebook post, Mohd Asri described what Zeti was doing as a big 'jihad.... 
'No hidden hands in 1MDB case, only uncooperative witnesses' by Zikri Kamarulzaman     Published 12 Oct 2015, 7:39 pm
The Edge can continue printing, High Court rules  By HIDIR REDUAN - 13 October 2015 @ 11:29 AM

10 October 2015: Malaysia central bank revokes approval on 1MDB transfer, AG exoneration of 1MDB gets slew of questions, Tony Pua - Bilahari verbal spat and  context

Editor's note: In Malaysia this week, the Council of Rulers adds a new rhetoric and moral messaging to all Malaysians. Emerging out of it, important viewpoints from wordsmith Kadir Jasin, who writes of "insult to the rulers" and the risk of being disloyal (Malay: derhaka). Thus, this your non-Malay literate editor has picked up more vocabulary. We had donation (Malay: derma) and from the Rulers statement, an important point of Islamic jurisprudence - fard kafaa'i for 'collective compulsory duty' (Malay: fardhu kifayah). Bank Negara Malaysia announced on Friday revoking some approvals it made to 1MDB. There's a slew of questions from various quarters to the AG over its clearing of 1MDB. Also, a fascinating Singapore-Malaysia cross-border "war of words" over various aspirations in Malaysia for a remedy of economic woes linked to 1MDB and the Malaysia political economy; and the role of Singapore as a financial center and in deal making. Sultanah of Johor fund has been offering support to Malaysian students overseas facing difficulty with the fall of the Ringgit.

Background notes and research questions: In the Red Shirt KL rally last month were statements by Perkasa trying to link DAP to PAP* of Singapore (various news reports including this: Down south in Singapore, the PAP in its recent General Election garnered a very large 10%-age swing in popular vote, flummoxing hopes of its political opposition to win more support and a stronger voice in its legislature). Singapore news and social media highlights that fears of ethnic and other issues were quite prominent. But one can ask how many Malaysia voters at Bersih care greatly for political change out of some principle (say, to promote a two-party system) or just out of sheer economic frustration. In conversation with some KL-ites who are irate with the political situation here, it is quite apparent that if they were transplanted to Singapore, they would surely be highly supportive and likely key voters for the PAPs economic record and promise.  

Bank Negara Malaysia revokes earlier approval to 1MDB. AG faces slew of questions. 

Bank Negara revokes 1MDB foreign transfers, orders RM7.5 billion sent home Published: 9 October 2015 7:14 PM | Updated: 9 October 2015 11:10 PM; Bank Negara Malaysia today said that its investigations showed troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had secured permissions for investments abroad based on inaccurate or incomplete disclosure of information. In a statement, the central bank said it had revoked three permissions granted to 1MDB for investments abroad totalling US$1.83 billion (RM7.53 billion) and directed the company to repatriate the funds to Malaysia. Bank Negara had recommended to the attorney-general (A-G) to initiate criminal prosecution against 1MDB for breaches under the Exchange Control Act 1953 (ECA) and added that the decision lay solely with the A-G. - See more at:


Kadir Jasin: Apandi knows sultans well-informed on 1MDB by Malaysiakini Published 9 Oct 2015, 3:34 pm; Former New Straits Times editor-in-chief A Kadir Jasin said as such, Apandi should have cut some slack. "It would be delusional for a public servant as important as Apandi to assume that the Malay rulers are uninformed about the development surrounding 1MDB and the alleged complicity of the prime minister. "We should give him (Apandi) the benefit of the doubt that, despite coming through from an Umno background, he would act without fear and favour to uphold the rule of law and justice. "It would be an insult to the rulers to think they issued a baseless statement just before the formal sitting of the Rulers Conference on Oct 7," Kadir said in a blog posting today. ...... Kadir (photo) said there was general confusion about the statement from the AG’s Chambers rejecting Bank Negara’s recommendations for action against 1MDB. He said the people should be aware that the main company being investigated was not 1MDB, but its former subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd. Najib has been accused of misusing RM42 million of SRC International’s funds, a claim that is being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. Kadir hoped Apandi and his officers would take the royal decree on 1MDB seriously, or risk being accused of being disloyal (derhaka).

Public can challenge A-G’s refusal to charge 1MDB, say lawyers BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Published: 10 October 2015 6:59 AM....

A-G’s clearance of 1MDB raises more suspicions, says anti-graft watchdog Published: 9 October 2015 7:56 PM.....

Dr Mahathir questions if Najib behind A-G’s clearance of 1MDB Published: 9 October 2015 8:05 PM | Updated: 10 October 2015 7:02 AM....

AGC confirms binned two Bank Negara requests for action in 1MDB case Thursday October 8, 201504:15 PM GMT+8 - See more at:

3 grateful for Johor sultanah’s timely aid BY ISTA KYRA SHARMUGAM Published: 10 October 2015 6:59 AM; Amid a shrinking ringgit and ballooning cost of living and tuition, a helping hand from the sultanah of Johor has given Malaysian students overseas renewed national pride as they expressed gratitude to her foundation for its timely assistance. Katerina Mawar Abd Hafidz from Johor Baru was one of 100 recipients of the aid under the Zarith Sofiah Initiative for Educational Financial Assistance (ZSIEFA), which offered a one-time grant of £500 (RM3,400) to cover their living expenses, research or emergency financial circumstances......

War of words - Pua (Malaysia DAP) versus Bilahari (Singapore ambassador)
Singapore is not an island by Bilahari Kausikan Oct 6, 2015, 5:00 am SGT; Malaysia is undergoing a systemic change that has profound consequences for Singapore... The writer, a former permanent secretary for foreign affairs, is now ambassador-at-large.

‘Delusional’ young Malaysians have hearts and souls – Tony Pua Published: 8 October 2015 8:04  AM; I refer to the lengthy 3,000-word opinion piece by Singapore’s ambassador-at-large, Bilahari Kausikan, “Singapore is not an island”, dated published in The Singapore Straits Times on October 6. Bilahari wrote in his analytical piece, referring to the overwhelming anti-establishment sentiment of the Chinese community and the turnout at the recent Bersih 4 rally, that: "It is my impression that many young Malaysian Chinese have forgotten the lessons of May 13, 1969. They naively believe that the system built around the principle of Malay dominance can be changed. That may be why they abandoned MCA for the DAP. They are delusional. Malay dominance will be defended by any means." In fact, he even warned that the likely outcome of the above will be “even less space for non-Muslims”. The top Singapore diplomat could not have gotten it more wrong....

Singapore is Southeast Asia’s ‘mercenary prick’, Tony Pua says after top envoy’s Bersih 4 remarks Friday October 9, 201511:16 AM GMT+8; The DAP publicity chief pointed out that Bilahari was spokesman for Singapore as ambassador-at-large, saying he didn’t care much if Bilahari’s views were those of an academic or armchair critic. “He did Singapore no favour by cementing the perception of his country as the mercenary prick of Southeast Asia. And they wonder why they have no friends,” Pua said on his Facebook page. The Petaling Jaya Utara MP was responding to Bilahari, who posted on Facebook yesterday that one of the most common forms of delusion in politics was to mistake hopes and dreams for reality, in response to Pua’s opinion piece titled “‘Delusional’ young Malaysians have hearts and souls” that had been written in reply to Bilahari’s opinion piece run by Singapore daily The Straits Times Tuesday. “I do not begrudge Mr Pua his hopes and dreams and I wish him and indeed all Malaysians of all races well. “But I fear this particular hope and dream may well lead to disaster; it did in the past and if it happens again Singapore — my sole concern — cannot but be affected. So my hope is that that whatever their dreams, the DAP's policies will be made during their waking hours,” Bilhari wrote on his Facebook page yesterday. Pua said today that he had argued that those who demonstrated at the Bersih 4 rally last August had not made racial demands, but had expressed their hopes for a better Malaysia, “defined by justice, good governance and democratic ideals”. - See more at:

Reaction to Bilahari article - Wong Chen PKR

Wong Chen 8 hrs · Edited ·
Whilst I was away in Jakarta, I missed the storm in the teacup caused the Bilahari Kausikan article on Malaysia. I am writing about this now because I will be meeting some Singaporeans tomorrow, and I suspect that inevitably this subject will crop up. So I thought I best prepare myself...... Firstly, let's put the article in proper context. It is targeted not at a Malaysian audience but is written as a sort of "morality tale" targeted at Singaporeans. The central message seems to be, don't play-play, Malaysia's problems can also hurt Singaporeans. The analysis is "fresh", in the sense that it dares to talk openly about religion and race in Malaysia. In Malaysia, most of us will avoid providing any analysis of these sensitive subjects for fear of sedition charges..... I must say I do not agree with some perspectives but the fact that such viewpoints are now expressed by the Singapore government, is in itself, astounding..... Most of us believe that the Singapore government has been very kind to Najib for the longest time. As early as 2009, the late Lee Kuan Yew paid a visit to Rosmah and the Malayan railway land issue was kowtim a year later in 2010. As far as the Singapore government is concerned, Najib is their man for settling deals unlike the combative Dr. Mahathir. So this Bilahari article, seems to be a major departure of Singapore from a very pro-Najib position. Maybe the Singapore government now feels it is a good time to distance themselves from a political lame duck..... As for Bilahari's analysis of 1MDB, that 1MDB is not much of a financial scandal story but a manifestation of a jealous intra UMNO fight, is very laughable. I know where Bilahari is coming from with such a preposterous idea. He is trying to downplay the 1MDB scandal because a substantial portion of the 1MDB money is parked in Singapore. Singapore being a financial centre has a reputation to protect and I don't think talking aloud about 1MDB as a "financial scandal" will help Singapore. Kudos to Singapore, for it has achieved a lot to become the premium financial centre in a region full of corrupt leaders..... The Bilahari article is spot on in expressing a concern about "religious politics" in Malaysia and argues that the two is best kept apart. However his bleak analysis of PKR without Anwar and writing off Pakatan Harapan even before it has a chance to mobilise, is an over indulgence of political crystal ball gazing. Only time will tell, and I do admit that it is going to be tough going without Anwar. But we Malaysian opposition politicians are a much tougher lot than Singaporean politicians. We are willing to face all hardships and even jail, to fight authoritarianism. Perhaps Bilahari, being a senior Singaporean diplomat serving an all powerful one party state, ultimately lacks faith in transformative politics.... Bilahari's scary warnings on May 13 and his analysis of the delusional Malaysian Chinese is interesting. It is interesting because I am a Malaysian Chinese, but do not think I am particularly delusional. But then, I realised that all these warnings are probably written to scare Singaporean Chinese..... Overall, Bilahari's article made me think and reconsider Malaysia from a different, albeit Singaporean perspective. As such, it should be read and his analysis respected. He also has a nice writing style. We can disagree, but any article that makes you think or re-think is fine by me. Read more here:

6 October 2015: Malay Rulers ask for comprehensive and transparent investigation of 1MDB and "appropriate stern action," point to crisis of confidence due to failure to give convincing clarifications... harmony and solidarity of the people should be safeguarded at all times and never be sacrificed for shallow political aims; GLC and UMNO MP under MACC probe

Editor's note: Friends tell me this includes reference to fardhu kifayah / fard kafaa'i, a jurisprudence term that means 'collective compulsory duty' for activities including commanding good and forbidding evil... 

Malay Rulers want 1MDB issue settled soonest Posted on 6 October 2015 - 07:57pm Last updated on 6 October 2015 - 08:47pm; KUALA LUMPUR: The Malay Rulers want the government to complete the investigation related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad as soon as possible and take "the appropriate stern action" against all found to be implicated..... In a statement, their royal highnesses stressed that all concerned should extend "real and sincere" cooperation for the investigation to achieve its objectives. "The findings of the investigation must be reported comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people will be convinced of the sincerity of the government which shall not at all conceal facts and the truth," they said.... The statement was released by the Keeper of the Rulers' Seal, Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, after the pre-council meeting of the Conference of Rulers at Istana Negara today. The 239th meeting of the Conference of Rulers is scheduled for two days from tomorrow. The statement said: "The failure to give convincing clarifications and answers is feared to have resulted in a crisis of confidence..... "As a consequence, the people believe, whether basing on reality or perception, that this is among the causes for the plunge in the value of the Malaysian Ringgit, impacting the country's financial market and economic climate negatively and at the same time adversely affecting the world's view of Malaysia."..... According to the statement, the Malay Rulers were worried that if the issue was not wisely handled, and was allowed to drag on, it could jeopardise the country's economy and the livelihood of the people.....

Obey rule of law, sultans remind leaders  Published Today 7:16 pm     Updated Today 8:18 pm The Rulers Conference has reminded the country’s leaders to obey the rule of law. According to Bernama, the sultans also want justice to be dealt out fairly and transparently. "The Malay rulers wish to remind all leaders to uphold the constitution and the rule of law at all times, as written in the Rukun Negara....

UMNO members caught up in probes and jail

Umno MP questioned in graft probe into government linked firm Published: 6 October 2015 6:50 PM | Updated: 6 October 2015 8:35 PM MACC has taken in an Umno federal lawmaker for questioning along with seven others in a probe linked to a government linked firm. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, October 6, 2015.An Umno MP was taken in for questioning by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), a source familiar with the matter said. The source said the MP, who is a director in a government linked corporation (GLC), had allegedly abused his position for personal gain. The source who confirmed the matter said the federal lawmaker was picked up along with seven others this morning. - See more at:

Jitters over 1MDB, RM2.6b fiascos after Khir Toyo jailed, ex-NST boss says Thursday October 1, 201512:22 PM GMT+8; Former Selangor mentri besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo’s corruption conviction will likely send shivers down the spines of those linked to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and RM2.6 billion controversies, veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said today. The former New Straits Times group chief editor said despite Khir denying any wrongdoing, the prosecution still managed to prove otherwise beyond reasonable doubt, causing him to lose his appeal in the Federal Court this week. “Whether he pleaded guilty or not, Khir’s link to corruption was proven. Political leaders can still be investigated, charged and found guilty under the law of the land,” Kadir wrote in his blog. - See more at:

Khir Toyo jailed 12 months, court orders property seized BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Published: 29 September 2015 2:21 PM - See more at:

After Bersih reveals finances, Umno man asks about RM2.6b donation Tuesday October 6, 2015; .....“Battle of 2.6! Bersih 4 has revealed its accounts: RM2,647,361.74 (from 27,000 donors, T-shirt and muffler sales). Expenses: RM664,052.52. Balance:RM1,983,309.22, which will be used for programmes in the next two years (voter education, legal costs, training and others)... RM2.6 billion?” he wrote on Facebook. Earlier today Bersih 2.0 said it made the declaration to prove it has nothing to hide, before challenging Najib to detail the RM 2.6 billion donation. The coalition, comprising of more than 89 NGOs, declared a RM 1.9 million surplus after spending RM664,052 expenditure for the 34-hour rally on August 29 and 30. The group said its 2,126-page bank statement with details of the donors had been sent for auditing. About 27,000 individuals had donated to the movement. - See more at:

30 September 2015: Putrajaya overreacted to China envoy remarks? Sultan Nazrin reminds public institutions to remain independent, Dr M says no-confidence vote is democratic and is a provision in the Federal Constitution , 1MDB yet to be contacted by foreign investigators, review of recent headlines including Sultan of Johor

Putrajaya overreacted to Huang's remarks, says ex-PM Published Today 1:22 pm     Updated Today 2:12 pm; ...."The relationship between China and Malaysia is greater than just the words said by the ambassador who was concerned by race issues that were actually promoted by the government," Mahathir (photo) said. Mahathir's remarks comes as experts on China said Wisma Putra's move to call in Huang was unnecessary and that it should have been dealt with privately..... The whole row can be traced back to the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu rally on Sept 16, during which red clad protesters clashed with police barring them from entering Petaling Street. This itself was reaction to allegedly anti-Malay insults made during the supposedly Chinese-dominated Bersih 4 rally. Mahathir blamed the government for this perception. "It was the government that mistranslated (Bersih) as a racial issue. It seems that Bersih was a Chinese movement to overthrow a Malay government which is not true at all. "The Bersih demonstration was not Chinese (dominated). Lots of Malays were involved... and what they asked was for the prime minister to step down and to have a better election mechanism. nothing about race at all," he said.
Mahathir has staunchly defended the Bersih 4 rally from criticism, though he said he does not care for the organisers.

Sultan Nazrin reminds public institutions to remain independent BY AZRIL ANNUAR Published: 29 September 2015 4:37 PM - See more at:

Vote of no confidence is a provision in the Federal Constitution - Dr Mahathir by Shuhami Zabri, Astro Awani | Published on September 30, 2015 02:23 MYT; On September 7, Dewan Rakyat Tan Sri Pandikar Amin was quoted saying there is no provision in the Parliament's Standing Order which allows a Member of Parliament to table a motion of no confidence. - File PHoto; KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said a vote of no-confidence is totally democratic. Dr Mahathir, in the latest posting on his blog ( said, although Parliament may not have any provision for vote of no-confidence, the Constitution -- the supreme law of the country -- states otherwise. “Article 43 (4) of the Federal Constitution states if the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet,” said Dr Mahathir.  He also questioned if the speaker of the Parliament chooses to ignore the Constitution to disregard the process.  Dr Mahathir said that he wrote the posting after he read a report stating that the Speaker of Dewan Rakyat Rakyat would not allow a motion of no-confidence to be tabled in Parliament.....

No-confidence vote against PM is democratic, Dr Mahathir tells Dewan Rakyat Speaker Published: 30 September 2015 12:20 AM - See more at:

1MDB says not contacted by foreign investigators Published: 29 September 2015 8:00 PM - See more at:

Editor's note: Below, a review of recent headlines in Malaysian Insider including coverage of Johor Sultan

Cutting ties with Najib reflects Chinese unhappiness over national issues, says MCA BY EILEEN NG Published: 24 September 2015 3:54 PM - See more at:

State secretary clarifies Johor prince’s directive on Jalur Gemilang Published: 22 September 2015 9:50 PM - See more at:

Khairy wants MCA Youth division punished for Najib boycott, says report Published: 22 September 2015 12:02 PM - See more at:

Don’t cross the line in politics, rulers reminded BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 20 September 2015 9:04 PM - See more at:

Who will benefit from RM20 billion pumped into economy? BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 21 September 2015 7:00 AM - See more at:

Najib meets with Johor sultan Published: 20 September 2015 3:16 PM - See more at:

Muhyiddin warns politicians against playing race card Published: 18 September 2015 3:33 PM - See more at:

Johor sultan tells racists, haters to get out of his state Published: 16 September 2015 3:22 PM - See more at:

29 September 2015: Malaysia faces contagion worries, Najib touts close Obama ties while Democrat lawmakers ask for investigation on trafficking upgrade

Malaysia faces another bond litmus test as contagion worries grow Published: 29 September 2015 11:36 AM - See more at:

Report: Najib touts self as only PM ever to golf with Obama Tuesday September 29, 201512:40 PM GMT+8

See more at:

Friendship with Obama for sake of Malaysia, Najib tells students in NY Published: 29 September 2015 12:19 PM | Updated: 29 September 2015 2:26 PM - See more at:

Don’t put all your eggs in Najib’s basket, M’sia opposition tells US   Published: 11:33 AM, September 29, 2015

US lawmakers call for probe into Malaysia’s ‘favourable’ human-trafficking ranking Published: 29 September 2015 7:34 AM - See more at:

28 September 2015: Anecdotes of Filipino workers dismissal of Malaysia as work destination, Najib faces tough international ties? Najib at the UN, China ambassador Petaling Street street kerfuffle

Can middle-class Malaysians and businesses afford to hire Filipino migrant workers?

Editor's note: Am hearing from friend who eats at popular local eatery that the crew there, haling from the Philippines, has said that they'll be leaving Malaysia on basic loss of confidence. This may mean the drop in Ringgit value versus Philippines Peso and also the rise in race fears? Note that Philippines envoy reiterates Filipino workers need to be paid on US$ terms. On recent visit to supermarket, I see substantial rise in prices for imported items.

Ringgit weakens to new point at 4.4065 against greenback Published: 28 September 2015 1:38 PM - See more at:

Envoy: US$400 per month for Filipina helpers fixed everywhere

Chart of Ringgit against regionals shows large falls against Baht and Peso over 5 years, but relative stability against Rupiah:

China ambassador visits Petaling Street and talks of rejection of ethnic violence

Released after a day’s jail, ‘red shirt’ organiser mulls suing media BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA Published: 26 September 2015 9:10 PM - See more at:

Don't distort my kind gesture: envoy 2015-09-28 13:55 Ambassador Huang says he has tried to protrude KL as a peaceful, prosperous and tourist-friendly city to Chinese tourists, and hopes his kind gesture will not be misunderstood or distorted. Photo courtesy: Sin Chew Daily KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 28 (MySinchew) -- Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang said he had shown with his most practical action to Chinese tourists that Kuala Lumpur is a peaceful, prosperous and tourist-friendly city. - See more at:

Malaysia China relations 2: China envoy's visit to Petaling Street - Statement from the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Malaysia - Chinese envoy’s trip to Petaling Street a goodwill visit , Utusan asks for apology

Najib scandals and international ties

Najib’s scandals can affect ties with Australia, SMH report says Published: 27 September 2015 5:31 PM - See more at:

Malaysia’s Leader, Najib Razak, Faces U.S. Corruption Inquiry By LOUISE STORYSEPT. 21, 2015

US investigators launch probes into scandal-hit Malaysian PM Najib Razak - Police in Hong Kong also investigating bank deposits allegedly linked to Razak, who is facing multimillion-dollar graft allegations Oliver Holmes in Bangkok Tuesday 22 September 2015 07.14 BST

US corruption investigation targets Malaysian leader, NY Times reports - New York Times says DOJ probing corruption allegations against PM Najib Razak, who faces rising political pressure September 22, 2015 10:37AM ET

Najib at the UN

‘Picture of Najib addressing empty UN hall is fake’ THE RAKYAT POST By: AHMED SYAHRIL

ASEAN Community can further strengthen South-South Cooperation - Najib by Bernama | Published on September 27, 2015 09:38 MYT

Najib receives ICT award at UN HQ by Bernama | Published on September 27, 2015 13:04 MYT

21 September 2015: Zeti of BNM says "no place on this planet that anyone can hide," FBI begins probe into 1MDB, says WSJ, arrest of former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief,  1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen, PM Najib last week refused to condemn a Malay supremacy rally, unprecedented criticism from within UMNO and rising worries about political stability?  

Malaysians deserve answers on 1MDB and RM2.6b donation, Zeti says BY JOSEPH SIPALAN; The Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) Governor said there must also be clarity on which authorities are probing both issues, especially with the police, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) and the central bank all having launched separate investigations. “Right now, we know the public wants answers to these questions and they deserve to get the answers,” Zeti told a panel discussion at the Economic Update 2015 here. “We know that there is ongoing investigations, but we also need to know who are doing what investigations,” she added. Zeti noted that BNM has already handed over to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) their investigations papers on possible contraventions to approvals granted to 1MDB, and that the central bank is in ongoing discussions with the AGC on the issue. She stressed that transparency in governance has now become a vital aspect in maintaining credibility internationally, especially with increasingly strict standards set by the global Financial Action Task Force (FATF). Zeti noted that international regulators have placed particular attention on the issue of money laundering in the follow up of events that were tied to terrorism financing. “They (FATF) set the standards and they have been strengthened immensely these past few years. They will come to every country to assess if we implement and enforce these standards. “Malaysia already had its assessment and we came out quite well, but they would like to see further enforcement taking place. “In this day and age, it must be known that there is no place on this planet that anyone can hide,” Zeti said. - See more at:

FBI launches investigation into Malaysian state fund 1MDB - WSJ  KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 20; The prime minister has denied taking money from 1MDB or anywhere else for personal gain; Malaysia's anti-graft agency declared the funds a donation. Najib has faced unprecedented criticism from within his ruling party, in particular form veteran former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has called on Najib to step down. Both anti-government and pro-government protesters have taken to the streets in recent weeks, raising concern about political stability...

FBI probes 1Malaysia Development Berhad fund linked to PM Najib Razak Date September 20, 2015 - 3:44PM  by Lindsay Murdoch;.... Mr Najib has resisted relentless calls to resign, including from stalwarts within his party led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad. As pressure has mounted, Mr Najib has attempted to consolidate his position by appealing to ethnic chauvinism and Islamic fundamentalism, critics say. The Prime Minister last week refused to condemn a Malay supremacy rally during which his supporters shouted racist slurs at Chinese and Indian minorities, inflaming racial tensions. Most Malaysians are ethnic Muslim Malays.... Meanwhile, the daughter of Malaysia's jailed opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, said she would fight allegations that she attempted to buy stolen data on 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

FBI begins probe into 1MDB, says WSJ Published: 20 September 2015 9:53 AM; The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly started investigations into allegations of money-laundering related to 1MDB. – Internet pic, September 20, 2015.The Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly started investigations into allegations of money-laundering related to 1MDB. – Internet pic, September 20, 2015. Two days after the arrest of the former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief, who was scheduled to meet agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the FBI has started investigations into allegations of money-laundering, The Wall Street Journal reports today. The FBI’s probe was the latest international investigation centred on 1MDB, said the business daily in its online report. On Tuesday, the Swiss attorney-general’s office said Malaysia had agreed to arrange for Swiss investigators to interview witnesses in their investigation of alleged corruption and money laundering related to 1MDB. The Swiss have also frozen millions of dollars.- See more at:

FBI Probes Malaysia Development Fund - U.S. opens money-laundering investigation amid international 1MDB probe; Malaysia police arrest critic of prime minister By Bradley Hope Sept. 19, 2015 4:36 p.m. ET; The FBI has opened an investigation into allegations of money-laundering related to a Malaysian state investment fund, a person familiar with the matter said.....Late Friday, a former member of Malaysia’s ruling party who had raised questions about money transfers to the Malaysian prime minister was arrested on charges of attempting to undermine democracy, his lawyer  Matthias Chang said. The arrest of  Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who remained in custody on Saturday, prevented him from traveling to New York where he planned to urge U.S. authorities to investigate the transfers, Mr. Chang said. A spokeswoman for the FBI’s New York office said that no agent in the office had arranged to speak with Mr. Khairuddin or had any previous contact with him. Two of the transfers were made through the Singapore branch of a Swiss private bank and routed via  Wells Fargo  & Co. Wells Fargo declined to comment...Last week, 1MDB said none of its executives or board members were the subject of criminal proceedings by the Swiss attorney general’s office, and that none of its accounts were frozen there. Authorities in Singapore also have frozen accounts linked to 1MDB and are investigating allegations related to the fund. 1MDB said none of its accounts were frozen and that it was ready to assist any investigations subject to advice from the appropriate Malaysian authorities....

18 September 2015: Abu Dhabi is missing another $1 bill, thus total $2.4 bill missing?? Malaysiakini and Malaysiainsider news scan.

Malaysia Fund 1MDB’s Missing Money Problem Grows - Mystery deepens around fund set up by Prime Minister Najib Razak By Bradley Hope And Tom Wright  Sept. 17, 2015 11:40 p.m. ET Questions around a troubled Malaysian state investment fund and missing money in the Middle East have widened to include as much as $1 billion more. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that officials in Abu Dhabi were trying to understand why a $1.4 billion transfer that the fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd., said it made to a counterparty in the Middle Eastern emirate wasn’t received. Now, those officials are questioning a further $993 million that 1MDB reported it paid to the Abu Dhabi fund, the International...

WSJ: Another US$1b payment from 1MDB to IPIC missing UPDATED 1.40PM Financial daily claims Abu Dhabi officials are questioning this

Western media reports on Najib - remember Iraq? In time, many will realise not all that has been reported about PM is the truth. But like Iraq, it will be too late. Read more

Royal disgust over racism Published Today 12:36 pm     Updated Today 1:16 pm

Najib justifies green light for ‘red shirt’ rally Published: 18 September 2015 11:34 AM - See more at:

Umno turning Malays into ‘violent rogues’ for political ends, says ex-minister Published: 18 September 2015 1:47 PM - See more at:

Sacked Umno member Anina files injunction to freeze Najib’s assets BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Published: 18 September 2015 1:16 PM

‘Red shirt’ rally only to save Najib, not Malay dignity, say Umno grassroots BY MD IZWAN Published: 18 September 2015 6:59 AM - See more at:

‘Cina babi’ not racial slur, says ‘red shirt’ rally organiser BY MELATI A. JALIL Published: 17 September 2015 5:12 PM | Updated: 18 September 2015 9:04 AM - See more at:

Group in red shirts ‘visits’ post-Bersih 4 forum in Penang BY LOOI SUE-CHERN Published: 17 September 2015 10:00 PM | Updated: 17 September 2015 11:21 PM - See more at:

I am racist and my racism based on Islam, says Umno’s Annuar Musa BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 16 September 2015 7:39 PM | Updated: 16 September 2015 8:04 PM - See more at:

Back to crackdown mode

Cops arrest former Umno man after barring him from leaving country Published: 18 September 2015 9:04 PM | Updated: 18 September 2015 10:19 PM - See more at:

I’m probed for handing 1MDB evidence to Swiss prosecutors, says Umno man Published: 18 September 2015 5:05 PM; ....Khairuddin, who was sacked from Umno earlier this year for being a bankrupt, lodged reports with Hong Kong, British, and French police over 1MDB in July and August. In their response, Malaysian government officials accused Khairuddin of lodging "false and politically motivated police reports" and pushing the same agenda as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who has been insistent in his calls for Najib to step down. - See more at:
Perlis mufti probed for sedition over Facebook post on Bersih 4 BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR Published: 18 September 2015 9:00 AM - See more at:

Amid sedition probe, Perlis mufti shares room with IGP in Mecca Published: 18 September 2015 1:20 PM - See more at:
(editor's note: supportive of Bersih 4, and now an uptick arrests over Bersih 4 and calls )

Bukit Mertajam MP latest lawmaker hauled up over Bersih 4 BY LOOI SUE-CHERN Published: 18 September 2015 12:04 PM - See more at:

16 September 2015: Speedy finding on Morais. Provocation, racial slurs mar 'red shirts' rally- Malaysiakini reports 45,000. Several former and current UMNO ministers reported in attendance alongside regional UMNO leaders. Nik Abdul of PAS there. Report of target 2,000 buses bringing rally goers to KL. Poll: Sept 16 rally finds little traction among Malays

Pro-Government Rally Ends in Malaysia Capital After Standoff by  Niluksi Koswanage and Manirajan Ramasamy  September 16, 2015 — 2:58 PM HKTUpdated on September 16, 2015 — 9:10 PM HKT Water cannons fired on protesters trying to enter Chinese area...
Provocation, racial slurs mar 'red shirts' rally Published Today 6:00 pm     Updated Today 8:46 pm   About 45,000 people took the streets for the 'Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu' rally in Kuala Lumpur today as a counter-move to the Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30....Umno denied having a hand in today's protest but the organiser National Silat Federation (Pesaka) is seen as a front for the party as the martial arts body is spearheaded by Umno leaders including former Malacca chief minister Mohd Ali Rustam. Despite senior Umno leaders taking over from grassroots hardliners in a bid to tone down the rally, it was marred by racism with abuses hurled at Chinese journalists and provocative banners being displayed... The major target of the protesters was opposition party DAP which has now become a euphemism for the minority Chinese in Malaysia. While the rally at Padang Merbok was peaceful, violence broke out at Petaling Street where a group of almost 800 protesters tried to force their way into the predominantly Chinese business district, popularly known as Chinatown...

Dr M says he’s still clueless about red shirt rally’s aims by  Koh Jun Lin     Published Today 6:54 pm     Updated Today 6:56 pm

Don't go soft on racists, Johor sultan tells authorities Published Today 1:36 pm     Updated Today 1:58 pm....    “This is not the stone age, do not be ungrateful, the Malays, Chinese and Indians, all played their part, Johor Darul Ta’zim is home to the Malays, Chinese and Indians, they are Bangsa Johor. "As their ruler, it’s my responsibility to see my subjects live in harmony, and my subjects are always my priority," he said.

Police confirm body in barrel was Morais  By Hariz Mohd and Khairah N. - 16 September 2015 @ 2:07 PM  SUBANG JAYA: Police confirmed that the human remains found inside a barrel in Subang Mewah, USJ 1 here earlier today belongs to the abducted deputy public prosecutor Kevin Anthony Morais.  Investigators probing the case, who was led to the swampy area by five suspects nabbed in Penang and Klang Valley yesterday, also found that a military doctor - whose corruption case was being prosecuted by Morais, was behind the victim's killing....

Red Shirts Rally: Insults, injuries, arrests at Petaling Street FMT Reporters  | September 16, 2015; ....5.05pm: Over at Padang Merbok, former federal minister and head of Umno Selangor Noh Omar says the 200,000 people gathered, “We’ve shown Bersih that we too can gather and demonstrate but without causing a ruckus.” He also told Bersih to stop holding rallies to topple the government and added, “Don’t be like Egypt and Syria. If you want to bring down the government, then do it in the general elections.”...4.00pm: Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali delivers speech calling DAP racists and blaming them for stoking racial sentiments. He also blames the DAP for poor race relations....3.36pm: Pesaka president and former Malacca chief minister Mohamad Ali Rustam addresses the crowd. He says, “The Malays are tired of being stepped on by the other communities especially the DAP Chinese who insult and ridicule us...Also seen at Padang Merbok are former federal minister and current MARA chairman Annuar Musa....3.10pm: Abdul Rani Kulup Abdullah, 60 of Martabat Jalinan Muhibbah Malaysia (MJMM), is spotted on stage at Padang Merbok....1.30pm: Malaysiakini reports that police stop a group of 200 rally goers from entering Petaling Street. The march from PWTC to Padang Merbok has started and among them is Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Yaacob and Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.....Federal Territory Umno Youth chief Razlan Rafii addresses supporters from Johor. Malaysiakini quotes him as saying, “We are here to show the Chinese DAP that Malays are in power. The other day they stomped on a picture of Malay leaders but I don’t see any stomping today. We must not behave in such a way. Let’s paint the mosque red.”....1.10pm: Mohamed Ismail, patron of Perkida Penang says there are about 80 buses carrying supporters coming from Penang.....12.53pm: Rally goers at Jalan Sultan Ismail are starting to march, led by the president of Jaringan Melayu Malaysia, Azwanddin Hamzan....12.13pm: About 500 rally goers are seeing gathering at Jalan Sultan Ismail and chanting “Hidup Melayu” (Long live the Malays)....Malaysiakini reports that at Masjid Negara, special affairs department officer (JASA) Lokman Adam was seen instructing rally goers to walk to Padang Merbok in an orderly manner. He also urges rally goers to perform their Solat Hajat before leaving for Padang Merbok....11.43am: Ahmad Maslan, “I’m here because I believe in peaceful assembly and this rally has been given the necessary police approval. We are here today to ensure that the country’s economic issues can be resolved. “The people are together in rejecting foreign interference like from The Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report. “We are here together united to progress with the other races in the country. “I am not a chauvinist and I am here in the spirit of 1Malaysia.”...11.30am: Umno Information chief Ahmad Maslan stops supporters from raising their fists and tells them to raise their one finger instead and chant 1Malaysia.

 LIVE: Rally officially ends but still tense in Petaling Street Published: 16 September 2015 11:24 AM | Updated: 16 September 2015 6:05 PM; .....“We were not a multi-cultural society then but through negotiations and give-and-take, we accepted the other races,” said Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali. “We gave them citizenship. We gave them our nationality and thought they will be grateful. Policemen tangling with demonstrators at Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur.“But I don’t blame the Chinese. The ones that are ruining our unity is DAP, the party that was born from Singapore’s PAP,” Ibrahim said to loud cheers from the crowd....Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said he will not stop Umno members from participating in the rally, but stopped short of endorsing the gathering. The rally has come under fierce criticism from opposition parties, civil society groups, Umno Supreme Council members, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, as well as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, both of whom were top Umno leaders until a decade ago....The protest is in direct opposition to last month’s Bersih 4 rally, which today's rally organisers claimed had insulted the integrity of the dominant Malay race. This morning, Pekida president Jamaluddin Yusof described the "red shirt" rally as a "jihad" and said 10,000 members from the Malay NGO will make their presence. Police have declared that the rally is legal, but have said three areas – Bukit Bintang, Petaling Street and the area around Low Yat Plaza – are off-limits to the protesters......... 5.57pm: Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Reezal Merican, who was wearing a red shirt, is seen talking to the police behind the barricades at Jalan Petaling.... 5.51pm: Rally organiser National Silat Federation (Pesaka) president Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam says those who broke the law in Jalan Petaling has to be ready face the music. "Siapa buat salah. Tanggunglah sendiri (wrongdoers will have to face the consequences," he says. ...4.00pm: PAS Youth chief Nik Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz arrives at the rally....- See more at:

Johor sultan tells racists, haters to get out of his state Published: 16 September 2015 3:22 PM - See more at:

Marina Mahathir joins non-partisan birthday picnic for nation at KLCC Published: 16 September 2015 4:43 PM - See more at:

Noor Farida derides ‘red shirt’ rally as ‘rent a mob’ Published: 16 September 2015 5:50 PM - See more at:

MCA Youth lodges report over ‘abolish Chinese school’ banner at rally Published: 16 September 2015 6:12 PM - See more at:

Sept 16 rally-goers expected to arrive in 2,000 buses By Ushar Daniele Wednesday September 16, 201507:08 AM GMT+8 - See more at:

Poll: Sept 16 rally finds little traction among Malays - 15 Sep 2015; The ‘Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu’ rally has found little traction among Malay voters, according to independent pollster Merdeka Centre. This is despite the rally being touted as a gathering to uphold Malay dignity and to counter the predominantly Chinese Bersih 4, which saw participants stomping on images of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang. A telephone survey by Merdeka Centre showed that only 24 percent of respondents supported the rally. Of these, eight percent expressed strong support, while 16 percent of respondents expressed some support...Malay voters more concerned over fundamental issues. Merdeka Centre said in a press release that its findings show that Malay voters are not attracted to the causes of the 'Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu', nor the earlier Bersih 4 rally on Aug 29 and 30....

13 September 2015: UK Serious Fraud Office examining Najib Razak case. Ringgit versus Thai Baht 10 year chart.

UK joins inquiry as cash scandal mires Malaysian premier by  Jon Ungoed-Thomas  Published: 13 September 2015; THE Serious Fraud Office is examining evidence, uncovered by a British campaigner, of an alleged money-laundering scandal that threatens to topple the Malaysian prime minister... The Sunday Times understands the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is also examining the case.  Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, has been enraged by Rewcastle Brown’s revelations, claiming they are part of a plot to oust him.... 

Editor's note: As emerging market currencies shift against key currencies like the US Dollar, the relative price of Ringgit versus Thai Baht may be of interest to better discern relative domestic issues.

12 September 2015: WSJ reports $1.4 billion payment from 1MDB is missing - Abu Dhabi investment fund, HK investigating alleged PM Najib-linked accounts, Najib says new allegation over Altantuya murder is conspiracy against him, "red shirt" rally, Goldman tested the limits of banking morality in 1MDB deal 

Editor's note: Spreading investigations in financial centers overseas. A starting piece by Al Jazeera. More mentions of Goldman Sachs and Razaleigh-era Carrian scandal (World's biggest financial scandal at time - so many such world records from Malaysia?).
Hong Kong Police Investigate Bank Accounts Allegedly Linked to Malaysian Leader Najib  by Nash Jenkins   Sept. 11, 2015; Police in Hong Kong have commenced an investigation into local bank accounts holding more than $250 million allegedly tied to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.... The probe came at the behest of Khairuddin Abu Hassan, a former senior member of Najib’s ruling party United Malays United Organisation (UMNO) who was fired earlier this year. Khairuddin said that four “highly questionable” companies linked to the Prime Minister made the deposits at a Hong Kong office of the bank Credit Suisse.....

Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Scandal Spreads to U.A.E.- At issue is a $1.4 billion payment from 1MDB that officials at an Abu Dhabi investment fund said is missing

Goldman tested the limits of banking morality with huge fees from 1MDB | South China Morning Post

Goldman’s Role in the 1MDB Controversy  Posted on September 8, 2015 By Philip Bowring

Umno secretary says divisions only told to prepare for ‘red shirt’ rally BY MD IZWAN Published: 12 September 2015 7:29 PM - See more at:

Letter shows Umno HQ directing divisions to mobilise members for ‘red shirt’ rally BY MD IZWAN Published: 12 September 2015 2:16 PM - See more at:

Events surrounding Altantuya murder too incredible to ignore, says Al Jazeera journalist BY JULIA YEOW, NEWS EDITOR Published: 12 September 2015 3:30 PM - See more at:

New Altantuya allegation a conspiracy against me, says Najib BY RAM ANAND Published: 12 September 2015 12:18 PM - See more at:

Altantuya will always haunt Najib, says Kit Siang Published: 12 September 2015 8:24 PM - See more at:

Najib told to file defence in suit over GE overspending  Published Sep 4, 2015, 5:00 am SGT... Opposition suit was filed against Malaysia PM, 3 other parties following WSJ report..

Najib disrupting 1MDB probe shows RM2.6 billion not halal, says Dr Mahathir Published: 10 September 2015 8:50 PM | Updated: 10 September 2015 9:45 PM - See more at:

Umno members warned against supporting Najib 2015-09-11 14:13 - See more at:

Stop saying Malay first, Tanah Melayu is no more, says Rafidah Aziz BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 12 September 2015 2:15 PM - See more at:

‘Red shirt’ rally will make Malays a laughing stock, says Zaid Ibrahim Published: 11 September 2015 6:36 PM | Updated: 12 September 2015 7:06 AM - See more at:

 7 September 2015: Malaysian Insider headlines - Johor Umno memer lodges report against Najib, Police "no go" for red shirt rally, AG says 1MDB report soon, shortlist of Bandar Malaysia bidders,  Pekan voters hardly impacted by scandal news

Now, Johor Umno member lodges report against Najib over RM2.6 billion BY MD IZWAN Published: 6 September 2015 6:59 AM; Abdul Rashed Jamaludin filed the report at the Pasir Gudang police station yesterday demanding that police investigate Najib, who is also prime minister, as chairman of 1MDB's advisory board. 1MDB board chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin and the state investor's president Arul Kanda Kandasamy were also named in the report sighted by The Malaysian Insider. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); The Pasir Gudang Umno member had also included in his report a chronology of the money flow based on a report by The Wall Street Journal article in July which revealed that US$700 million was deposited into Najib's accounts, as well as statements from ministers that it was a donation from a Middle Eastern donor. Rashed urged the police to also investigate ministers who had commented on the "donation" issue, to determine if they had lied to both the Dewan Rakyat and the media. He named five ministers: Datuk Husni Hanadzlah, Datuk Ahmad Maslan, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Rahman Dahlan and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman as among those who had commented on the RM2.6 billion. - See more at:

Police say no go for September 16 ‘red shirt’ rally BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 7 September 2015 12:08 PM - See more at:

Auditor-General confident 1MDB report ready by year’s end BY NABIHAH HAMID Published: 7 September 2015 5:32 PM - See more at:

1MDB to shortlist bidders for Bandar Malaysia project by Friday Published: 7 September 2015 9:34 PM - See more at:

Ex-1MDB advisory board member says he quit after requests for details ignored By NABIHAH HAMID Published: 7 September 2015 5:51 PM - See more at:

Najib summons Umno political bureau to PMO today, ahead of Supreme Council meeting BY MD IZWAN Published: 7 September 2015 7:00 AM - See more at:

1MDB, RM2.6 billion scandals reach Pekan but have little impact BY RAM ANAND Published: 7 September 2015 9:00 AM - See more at:

Najib to skip anti-graft forum amid 1MDB scandal Sep 2, 2015, 5:00 am SGT

Malaysia must explain US$700 million donation, says international anti-graft group BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 2 September 2015 4:08 PM - See more at:

From donation to disrupting probe, Najib’s actions suspicious, say international critics BY ANISAH SHUKRY AND MUZLIZA MUSTAFA Published: 3 September 2015 6:58 AM - See more at:

RM2.6 billion is no ordinary donation, but ‘grand corruption’, says Transparency chief BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 4 September 2015 7:00 AM - See more at:

Court orders Najib, three others to file defence over suit for overspending in GE13 BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR Published: 3 September 2015 12:25 PM - See more at:

30 August 2015: Dr M says Marcos-like problem? Second day of Bersih 4 gets bigger crowd of 300,000. Mahathir's visits lighting up Malaysia political leadership concerns. News catch up: Interpol tells all its members to lay of Clare of SR.

Latest update - What PM Najib camp said and what Dr M said:

Rahman Dahlan mocks Bersih 4 rally, says BN has grassroots strength Published: 30 August 2015 3:51 PM | Updated: 30 August 2015 5:29 PM - See more at:

Najib claims only 20k at Bersih, others 'with the gov't' Today 3:51 pm  Read more:
 Dr M cites Marcos, says rallies needed for lawless gov't; Today 6:32 pm  Read more:

Dr Mahathir says he just wants Najib to go; Published: 30 August 2015 5:26 PM | Updated: 30 August 2015 6:35 PM - See more at:

No need for street demos in the past because authorities acted on complaints, says Dr Mahathir; BY RAM ANAND Published: 30 August 2015 6:22 PM | Updated: 31 August 2015 2:22 AM - See more at:
Dr M fires back at 'comfortable' Zahid and Hisham; Today 6:27 pm Read more:

Editor's notes:
  • Dr Mahathir visited both days at Bersih 4.
  •  I had from contact network, info linked to DBKL that Malay:Chinese participation estimated 50:50 on first day 29 August 2015. Political analysts point out that turnout of Malays perhaps not due to concerns on less PAS mobilisation but due to lack of Malay leadership now that Anwar Ibrahim is in jail. The grassroots across the political spectrum are unhappy, but no one is organising.
  •  The concern among political analysts is the confusion of the message with racial and patronage culture topics which detract from the core issue.

Huge Anti-Government Protests in Malaysia Continue For a Second Day by Nash Jenkins / Kuala Lumpur @pnashjenkins   2:41 AM ET; ..... By noon on Sunday, the crowd had swelled to rival Saturday’s, which drew 200,000 by organizer’s estimates and 20,000 by police’s. A number of protesters stayed in the streets near Merdeka Square overnight, sleeping on the pavement when tired...

Malaysia protests calling for Najib Razak to resign enter second day; The Guardian  - ‎3 hours ago; Thousands of Malaysians made their way back to the centre of the capital on Sunday, assembling again in an illegal demonstration to call for the resignation of the prime minister, Najib Razak, who is battling the fallout from a financial scandal. Some ...

Bersih dismisses lack of Malay participation in rally Updated: 9:52 AM, August 30, 2015

Bersih 4: A carnival-like experience; Last updated on 30 August 2015 - 03:19am Bernard Cheah

Bersih 4: 25 protesters detained in Malacca, 1 held in Nilai Last updated on 30 August 2015 - 08:56am Haikal Jalil, Aiezat Fadzell, Timothy Achariam

On Dr M

Dr M: Rallies now necessary;; He urged Malaysians to come out and join the anti-government rallies nationwide and around the world to show the “people’s power” way that they want a leadership change in the country. The former prime minister said attending rallies was now necessary as all channels and avenues for the people to voice their feelings had been shut......
Ringgit will continue to plunge unless ‘someone’ not around, says Dr Mahathir - See more at:
Bicara Negarawan Tun Mahathir Pasir Gudang 01 (there are 3 parts)
Bicara Negarawan Tun Mahathir Pasir Gudang 02
Bicara Negarawan Tun Mahathir Pasir Gudang 03

Views from Utusan

Utusan: Putrajaya weak in Bersih 4 response, should learn from Singapore’s stern stance; “Awang hopes the government learn its lesson. Learn from the Chinese-led Singapore government that has no compromises to any illegal rallies,” it said in its editorial opinion piece in the paper’s weekend edition Mingguan Malaysia. It pointed out that Singapore had arrested 21 Malaysians in 2013 for a similar Bersih rally there and had yesterday issued a warning against illegal rallies including Bersih. Utusan Malaysia said Putrajaya must hold the rally organisers accountable instead of letting them off, asking: “What is the uniqueness of the Bersih organisers that conduct sabotage of the country but they have never been charged as if they have immunity?” - See more at:

Photos and notes

On Interpol

Interpol rejects Malaysia's request for red notice on Sarawak ...The Malaysian Insider 1 day ago - In addition to rejecting Malaysia's request to issue a red alert notice on ... Clare Rewcastle-Brown, Interpol also asked member countries not to ...

23 August 2015: DPM Zahid and Johor views contestation, question of ISIS and PM Najib donation timing and the new donation reason (to counter DAP-Jewish threat); Jho Low comes forward on MACC request

Editor's note: Breakfast chatter that the timing of donation to PM Najib for ISIS actually came in March 2013, just before the formal announcement of ISIL/ISIS in April 2013. While he could be loosely referring to the broad tussle in the Middle East over extremist groups, the reference timing for ISIS is "a bit off" according to commentators. This arose on the question of DAP-Jewish links being mentioned as new rationale for the huge Middle East donation to PM Najib.

Timing of donation rationale being queried by KL-ites as ISIL/ISIS announcement in April 2013, donation came before that in March 2013
  • WSJ reported transfers March 21 and 25, 2013 from Falcon Private Bank in Singapore to PM Najib's accounts at AmIslamic Bank.
  • April 8, 2013 Special Dispatch No.5264, ISI Confirms That Jabhat Al-Nusra Is Its Extension In Syria, Declares 'Islamic State Of Iraq And Al-Sham' As New Name Of Merged Group. On 8 April 2013, having expanded into Syria, the group Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) adopted the name Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham. On April 8, 2013, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) – Al-Qaeda in Iraq – released a recorded audio message by its leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in which he announced that the Syria jihadi group Jabhat Al-Nusra (JN) has been merely an extension of ISI in Syria. Al-Baghdadi confirms that Jabhat Al-Nusra has been receiving monthly funds from ISI. In this vein, Al-Baghdadi announces that the names ISI and JN are not to be used anymore; instead, he declares the official merging of the two groups under the name "Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham."  Al-Baghdadi's message is 21:30 in duration, and was released on leading jihadi forums.
New donation reason:

Reporting on DPM Zahid Hamidi's close meeting with Johor Sultan reiterates UMNO role, but Johor Crown prince warns his father does not back any particular party; DPM says he revealed plot to stop government being toppled

Crown prince: I back true leaders, not any party Malaysiakini 8:34AM Aug 22, 2015; Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim has made it clear he does not back any particular political party and cautioned against attempts to counsel his father, Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, to advance their personal interests. In a Facebook posting, Tunku Ismail said he only supports true leaders who “serve the people with honour, transparency and integrity”. “Of late, many are seen to be trying to get close and be friends with His Majesty, the sultan of Johor, which leads to all kinds of speculations and perceptions. “Don’t forget, I am the heir to the throne of Johor, and my voice will be the last one heard after everything reaches His Majesty. “My loyalty lies with my father, my sultan. My priority will always be the sovereignty of my state and the welfare of my people,” he said. Johor sultan believes only Umno can unite Malays, says Zahid BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 21 August 2015 6:31 PM The sultan of Johor is above politics but an Umno vice president says the state ruler wants Malays to be united - See more at:

DPM: Govt could have been toppled if steps weren’t taken  by ruben sario Updated: Sunday August 23, 2015 MYT 12:40:03 PM; KOTA BELUD: The Government could have been toppled by undemocratic means if no steps had been taken to prevent it from happening, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. The Deputy Prime Minister said he was compelled to reveal the plot involving the opposition and some “retired” leaders to put a stop to their plans. “As Home Minister I had received accurate information about what they intended to do and put a stop to it,” he said during the opening of the Kota Belud Umno division meeting on Sunday.  “Their plan was to set up a unity government. But their real aim was to seize power through the back door,” Dr Ahmad Zahid said. He said those involved in the plot could not wait until the 14th general election to take on the ruling Barisan Nasional through democratic means.

Businessman Jho Low offers to assist in 1MDB probeThe Star/Asia News NetworkSunday, Aug 23, 2015; In a brief statement, the spokesperson said: "Mr Low has seen press reports that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is requesting his assistance", reported Bernama. "This is the first time Mr Low has been made aware of such a request. He has not received or been served any notice. "Mr Low's representatives will be contacting the MACC to see how he can be of assistance," the statement added. - See more at:

22 August 2015: 1MDB probe step-ups with Swiss authorities confirm criminal probe on 1MDB and MACC seeks Jho Low, Nik Faisal and Datuk Suboh

Editor's note: Just what many say they've been awaiting. It was only a question of which financial authority would be first to start serious probe? (KL commentators were looking for something from the financial centers beyond the likes of "we're cooperating with Bank Negara). Swiss criminal probe confirmed. Dr M's guy, Matthias Chang, assists give report...... will this cascade the others to criminal probes too?

Swiss open criminal probe linked to 1MDB Updated Aug 22, 2015 10:38am;  Switzerland's Office of the Attorney-General (OAG) has opened criminal proceedings relating to Malaysia's troubled state investment fund 1MDB, a spokesperson in Zurich said yesterday, according to Reuters. 1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, is being examined by Malaysian authorities investigating accusations of financial mismanagement and graft. .... "The Office of the Attorney-General confirms that, on Aug 14 2015, it opened a criminal procedure against two entities of 1MDB as well as against an unknown person," the OAG spokesperson said in an email. The case involved "suspected corruption of public foreign officials, dishonest management of public interests and money laundering", he said.

Jho Low, two others on MACC wanted list for SRC probe; KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 22 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said today it is seeking the aid of three individuals for its probe on SRC International Sdn Bhd, namely billionaire businessman Low Taek Jho and two directors from the Finance Ministry-owned firm. The two are managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil and director Datuk Suboh Md Yassin; In a media statement signed by MACC investigations director Datuk Azam Baki, the agency urged the trio to contact investigating officers Assistant Commissioner Rosli Husain at 010-3187757 or 03-88900752, or Assistant Commissioner Norkhafizin Isa at 019-6000345 or 03-88900754. The trio were also told to present themselves at the MACC’s special operations division office in Menara Prisma, Precinct 3, Putrajaya. “The MACC also members of the public who may have information on the trio’s whereabouts to contact Rosli or Norkhafizin or any nearest MACC branch,” Azam said.

- See more at:

20 August 2015: Editor's note on domestic political crisis, Ringgit and CPO prices

Malaysia has a domestic political crisis across the ENTIRE political spectrum amidst wide-ranging disruptions on investigations, crackdowns on expressions of dissatisfaction and patronage ramp-ups. Visits and planned visits and apparent policy supports from the likes of UK's Cameron and America's Obama only add to Malaysia urban-business class views that there is "no hope" – it tells them that the West values geopolitical and transnational corporate interests more than democratic principles. Their visits give legitimacy to the flailing Najib regime.

As a result, much of the reaction to the Malaysia political crisis can only be manifested in the currency. Individuals, businesses and investors seem to be acting by moving their money out of the Ringgit. From the market chatter, it may be that a wider range of people have gone to the money changers, and there's also the foreigners invested in Ringgit bonds. News reports also talk of hedge fund guys leaning against the Ringgit. In the Ringgit blame game, the Najib administration has been fortunate in the sense that the Ringgit slide comes amidst the commodity slide and global currency war. However, Malaysians are very quick to point out that their Ringgit no longer buys 10 Baht, but less than 8.70 Baht. The latest KL business group chatter (last night and this morning) is whether HSBC in Hong Kong has really stopped trading the Ringgit.

KL bankers have been for months concerned about the forex reserve cover of short term foreign debt. They prefer 1.5-2x but in the weeks before the recent steep USDMYR move, they note that it was hovering around 1.1x. Where is it now? There is speculation whether a major financial center may move to investigate the Najib-linked international big money flows; widely reported and notably not denied. This brings into question how these financial centers choose to implement their AMLA rules.

Back on the domestic political front, the bewildering jumble of news headlines should perhaps not be read from the urban perspective (“unbelievable” is a common reaction), but from the rural which receives selected snippets thereof i.e. we are suing WSJ etc. UMNO-BN has been very and increasingly reliant on the rural vote. For the kampong crowd the grinding fall of crude palm oil (CPO) price in USD has been accompanied by the Ringgit slide. As a result, the CPO price has managed to hover around RM2000/tonne so far. However, specialists worry it may face greater pressure as we now enter the palm oil annual high crop season.

Note: Reuters reports for yesterday's close, the benchmark palm oil contract for November 1FCPOc3 on the Bursa Malaysia Derivatives Exchange closed 1.2 percent lower at 2,034 Malaysian ringgit ($495.86) a tonne. For 16 Jan 2015, Reuters reported the benchmark April contract was at 2,311 ringgit ($650) per tonne. Thus, between these two points in time, over a 7-month period, CPO BMD benchmark has only fallen RM277 while it dropped $154 in US dollars terms. However, the entire vegetable oil complex has been grinding lower while crude oil prices have fallen back too. CPO price trades in a band between Brent crude and its competitor oils. Palm oil traders worry about "demand destruction" for palm oil amidst competitive pressures.

19 August 2015: Keeping an eye on UMNO plotters, BN's Shahrir did not know RM2.6bil donation was appreciation to Najib for fighting ISIS, Thais speedily convict Justo - three year's jail for trying to blackmail Petrosaudi

Ahmad Zahid: New date for ‘plotter’ to meet Najib by zuhrin azam Updated: Tuesday August 18, 2015 MYT 9:13:34 PM

Shahrir: RM2.6bil donation received for fighting IS is news to me Updated: Wednesday August 19, 2015 MYT 1:05:02 AM  BNBBC chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad comments on news reports that the RM2.6bil donation received by the Prime Minister was an appreciation for fighting Islamic State.

Justo to give more evidence against portal by mazwin nik anis Updated: Wednesday August 19, 2015 MYT 7:12:20 AM; PETALING JAYA: The Attorney-General’s Chambers is gathering more evidence against news website Sarawak Report from Xavier Andre Justo (pic) following his conviction in Thailand.. It said that in light of the Swiss national’s conviction, it had “re­ceived positive response” from its Thai counterpart on the matter. “We are in the process of obtaining further evidence under the treaty on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters among Asean countries,” it said in a statement. Justo was sentenced to three years’ jail for trying to blackmail his former employer Pe­­troSaudi Inter­na­tional. The oil services and production company is linked to troubled sovereign fund 1Ma­­lay­­sia Development Bhd....

Lies and more lies in RM2.6b scandal By Yoursay 7:45AM Aug 19, 2015; YOURSAY ‘Maybe PM Najib Razak should try telling the truth for a change.’

16 August 2015: BN says PM Najib had to "take out people" - charge sheet a "plot to criminalise the prime minister,"  donation to Najib was a "thanks for fighting Isis," Zahid challenges "plot to topple government"

'Najib had to stop charge sheet from being served' Malaysiakini  1:26PM Aug 16, 2015 BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had to "take out people" after an alleged charge sheet against him emerged.  "Given that scenario what would you do? You would take drastic action wouldn't you?   "Okay, take these people out first, so that things will get back to normalcy and see what will happen next.  "If you could appreciate that scenario then you would understand the flurry of action taken by the prime minister," he said in an interview with The Star Online. Abdul Rahman was responding to a question on whether the charge sheet was real. He described the charge sheet as a "plot to criminalise the prime minister".

Najib’s RM2.6 billion is from Saudi Arabia as thanks for fighting Isis, claims Umno leader Published: 16 August 2015 7:06 PM - See more at:

Over our dead bodies, Zahid says of plot to topple government BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 16 August 2015 5:35 PM - See more at:

13 August 2015: I’m not quitting, will serve full term, says Zeti; Utusan's top guns don't buy RM2.6b story? PAS to act on splinter group and has PKR made wrong move?

I’m not quitting, will serve full term, says Zeti BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 13 August 2015 12:11 PM - See more at:

RM2.6 billion donation to Najib not within Bank Negara’s purview, says Zeti BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 13 August 2015 3:50 PM - See more at:

Zeti: I may be arrested for speaking about an individual by Malaysiakini 8:51PM Aug 13, 2015; Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz today declined to weigh into the RM2.6 billion deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts, stating that she may be arrested if she were to talk about a certain individual. "I have to be very careful what I say - that it has to be within the confines of the law. "Otherwise, the moment I step out of this door, I will face arrest for talking about an individual right now."And I am sure you don't want that to happen," she told a press conference at the central bank's headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today. The response courted laughter from journalists and Bank Negara officers present....

Utusan's top guns don't buy RM2.6b story? by Malaysiakini  2:48PM Aug 13, 2015; Since Sunday, three articles by Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has dropped hints that the newspaper was not convinced by explanations about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's receipt of RM2.6 billion in "donations". Yesterday, the newspaper's senior editor Zaini Hassan wrote that he had been questioned recently by an acquaintance for keeping quiet about "donations and donors"....The day before, another senior editor Zulkiflee Bakar urged Putrajaya to restore the "special task force's bite". Zulkiflee was referring to the task force initiated by former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail four years ago, but was disbanded by his successor Mohamed Apandi Ali.....But perhaps the most overt criticism of the RM2.6 billion "donation" claim came from Ku Seman Ku Hussain in his article on Sunday. Ku Seman criticised BN leaders for initially dismissing The Wall Street Journal report on the deposits in Najib's personal account, only to now claim that it was a donation or political funding for Umno.  He said that it has been established that it couldn't have been party funds because party leaders were unaware of it. "Ordinary people know the difference between (donation and political funding). Political funding ends up in a party account and is subjected to auditing. "But a donation into a personal account is an individual's right. The public is now urging Umno not to consider individual rights as Umno's rights. "Thus, Umno needs to stress that the RM2.6 billion was (Najib's) personal matter. Don't say it is the party's right if party leaders themselves are unaware of its existence. Strange, isn't it?" asked Ku Seman....

PAS to act on members involved with GHB, says veep Published: 13 August 2015 10:41 PM - See more at:

'PKR suit against Najib may work in PM's favour' Malaysiakini  3:14PM Aug 13, 2015; ..."The suit could render debate on Najib's multi-billion ringgit political 'donations' sub judice," he said in a blog posting today.

10 August 2015: Dr M refuses to accept claim that Arabs made RM2.6bil donation  - The Star, MACC directors reinstated, Najib apology amid Johor UMNO questions

Dr M refuses to accept claim that Arabs made RM2.6bil donation  by rashvinjeet s. bedi Updated: Monday August 10, 2015 MYT 2:23:43 PM PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has refused to accept that the Arabs donated RM2.6bil to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for his election campaign. The former prime minister of 22 years said that Arabs were not that generous and that he never managed to raise a single dollar from Arabs for the Malaysian International Islamic University or for the Oxford Islamic Centre. “Certainly I don’t believe it and neither can the majority of Malaysians if we go by the comments on the social media. The world had a good laugh,” Dr Mahathir said in a posting on on Monday. “Who in the world would donate US$700mil to the Malaysian Prime Minister? Even Obama could not raise this amount for his Presidential bid,” he added. Dr Mahathir said the claims that the money was for elections was not logical as he had needed less than RM10mil for each of the five elections he presided over. “Why do you need RM2.6bil-plus or 2,600 million ringgit. Is it to bribe politicians and civil servants, or to rig the elections? That would not be right, much less legal,” he said. Dr Mahathir said that what Najib was doing was unprecedented and that the people are at a loss.....

Ali Hamsa: MACC directors reinstated following explanation  Updated: Monday August 10, 2015 MYT 4:19:12 PM  by zuhrin azam ahmad PUTRAJAYA: Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa (pic) has revoked the transfer orders for two MACC directors to the Prime Minister’s Department as he is satisfied with their explanations. Ali Hamsa said in a statement that the two directors – Datuk Bahri Mohamad Zin and Datuk Rohaizad Yaakob – were reinstated to their previous positions effective immediately (Aug 10).

Nazir Razak backs MACC  by rahmah ghazali Updated: Sunday August 9, 2015 MYT 7:58:29 PM

'Muhyiddin’s removal made in the interest of politics, not to hurt Johoreans' Updated: Monday August 10, 2015 MYT 8:17:54 AM

Malaysia's Prime Minister: A Dead Man Walking? 8/08/2015 @ 5:43PM 198,347 views,

RM2.6 billion donation: Shahrir responds 15 questions by Johor MB's son Astro Awani | Published on August 08, 2015 18:31 MYT

Johor MB: Umno can't be quiet in face of corruption  Malaysiakini  1:38PM Aug 4, 2015

Johor MB dashes Najib's hope to crush rebellion Malaysiakini - Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak may have hoped to quickly quell any unhappiness in Umno, particularly in Johor, over the ouster of Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy prime minister but the task may now be more challenging than expected. This, former minister Zainuddin Maidin argued, was after Johor Menteri Besar Khaled Nordin's (photo) subtle message to the state's Umno rank and file.

2 August 2015: PM Najib's Crackdown intensifies, Najib: It’s time to strengthen unity, not dwell on 1MDB,  Dr M's crying over milk he helped spill

Protesters and investigators arrested as Malaysian PM Najib Razak cracks down; Date August 2, 2015 - 1:48PM  23 reading now Lindsay Murdoch  South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Read more:

Najib: It’s time to strengthen unity, not dwell on 1MDB Updated: Sunday August 2, 2015 MYT 7:21:12 AM; MALACCA: Issues surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd do not spell the “end of the world” for Barisan Nasional and Umno. Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said everyone seemed to be focused on detrimental issues but it was time to strengthen unity and concentrate on the people’s welfare. “I will not be distracted by the issues, which were portrayed as if everything surrounding us is going to collapse,” the Prime Minister said when opening the Kota Laksamana Umno annual general meeting here yesterday. “I can’t also be relinquishing my post just because of one individual. Putting food on the table and providing a better quality of life for the people is more important to me,” he said. Najib also said those who supported the party’s struggles shouldn’t do it for the “Najib factor” but for a stronger Umno. Backing the party should be their first priority, not idolising leaders, he added...

Dr M's crying over milk he helped spill By Terence Netto; COMMENT Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest round of griping that Umno leaders are keeping away after having earlier piled him with their worries about what the party and country were coming to is disingenuous. Mahathir inculcated precisely this opportunistic - 'friends in fair weather, strangers in foul' – behaviour. Mahathir spoke of this turn in the attitude of Umno leaders at a book launch ceremony yesterday....

31 July 2015: AG Chambers says it did not draft charge sheet against PM, Deputy PM Muhyiddin and four other sacked from cabinet, Bank Negara grips Ringgit and reserves fall, Zeti has not quit, Bukit Aman fire destroys unimportant documents says IGP, Nazir Razak warns to preserve integrity of institutions, international media attention widens

On AG Chambers, Ambiga hauled up, Nazir Razak, Bukit Aman fire

Charge sheet draft against PM not from A-G’s Chambers, says prosecution head; 31 Jul — The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has denied that it had drafted or issued an alleged charge sheet against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, which was disclosed by whistleblower site Sarawak Report....

AG Chambers denies 'charge sheet' against PM; The Attorney-General's Chambers has denied drafting or issuing a purported charge sheet against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak....

Police to quiz Ambiga over calls to topple government BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA Published: 30 July 2015 5:59 PM Police sources say Hakam president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan is being investigated over alleged calls for the public to stage street protests to topple the government. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, July 30, 2015.Police today confirmed that National Human Rights Society (Hakam) president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has been called in for questioning over alleged calls for the public to stage street protests to topple the government. A police source said the appointment was set at 3pm at Dang Wangi police headquarters and it will be handled by investigating officers from Bukit Aman. "The investigation has nothing do with Kuala Lumpur police. All being handled by Bukit Aman." googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); It is understood that Ambiga is being investigated under Section 124 of the Penal Code for activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy. A charge under this section carries a jail term of up to 20 years, upon conviction....Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar told the media today that police would also be calling journalists who wrote the articles that quoted Ambiga's remarks to assist in investigation. "I have openly ask Ambiga to deny what was being reported but until today she has not," said Khalid after a police function in Cheras today. - See more at:

#TangkapNajib gathering to go on this Saturday despite police warning BY HASBULLAH AWANG CHIK Published: 30 July 2015 1:19 PM - See more at:

Views and opinions

Nazir Razak warns of Malaysia's 'Game of Thrones'  by dina murad Updated: Wednesday July 29, 2015 MYT 4:30:56 PM PETALING JAYA: CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has warned that Malaysia's political storm may turn into a "Game of Thrones" if left unchecked. "Through this political turmoil, we must preserve & protect the integrity of our institutions or we descend into a game of thrones," Nazir, the youngest brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, wrote on his Instagram account nazir.razak.... Game of Thrones is a highly popular fantasy series by HBO which revolves around the politics and governance of the medieval-inspired land of Westeros. On Tuesday, Najib announced a surprise Cabinet reshuffle where Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was dropped from both his Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister posts. Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi replaced Muhyiddin as Deputy Prime Minister and  Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid took over his Education Minister portfolio. Muhyiddin was dropped due to his opinions and public statements on 1Malaysia Devlopment Berhad (1MDB) which Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said went against the concept of collective responsibility of the Cabinet. Four other ministers were also replaced.

Can Najib’s Cabinet reshuffle save him, ask analysts - The Malaysian Insider

Muhyiddin’s sacking will not benefit opposition, says research centre Published: 30 July 2015 7:54 PM A research centre says majority of Malay voters are not known to make political changes. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, July 30, 2015.Tan Sri Muhyddin Yassin's sacking will not result in swing votes for the opposition, independent research firm llham Centre said. - See more at:

Najib and Malaysian Politics in Crisis: Whither UMNO and the Opposition? By Yang Razali Kassim RSIS No. 161/2015 dated 30 July 2015; Synopsis: As Prime Minister Najib Razak strikes back at his critics over the 1MDB scandal, questions arise as to where Malaysian politics will go from here, even as the ruling and opposition coalitions reel in their respective crises.... Commentary: MALAYSIAN POLITICS is at an inflection point. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say it is in a mega-crisis. Prime Minister Najib Razak has just countered his critics over the massive 1MDB scandal by sacking his vocal deputy prime minister and the Attorney-General who led a high-level probe. This latest twist has left the country bracing for a backlash of uncertainty. Yet it is not just the ruling UMNO-led Barisan Nasional (BN) government that is in trouble; the opposition coalition is also grappling with its own survival..... It is significant that both sides of the political divide are reeling from unprecedented pressure in disarray - simultaneously. What will come out of this? But it is the crisis in BN that is more critical, given the repercussions reverberating throughout the system due to UMNO’s defining role as the ruling coalition’s anchor party. The latest crisis in UMNO is equally without precedent..... Leadership crisis in UMNO. Prime Minister Najib Razak is fighting for his political life in the face of severe criticisms arising from the scandal in the 1MDB investment fund which he advises. Never before has a sitting prime minister been openly pressured to step down amid a high-level probe. Never before has there been serious investigation into the dealings of a government-linked investment fund whose chief adviser is the finance minister, who is also prime minister..... Prior to the reshuffles, Najib's political position had been in doubt. There had been rumours of actions about to be taken by the taskforce, even predictions of a new prime minister by next month. By removing his deputy and the attorney-general, Najib has clearly shown that he intends to stay on top of the crisis. Interestingly, the reshuffles led to the induction into cabinet of Nur Jazlan Mohamed, the equally outspoken chair of the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee, which is also involved in the probe, along with three other UMNO members of the committee. Will the PAC investigation now be muted?...The PR is now dead, a victim of the crisis that first began in the Islamist party PAS which led to the dominance of the conservative faction and ouster of its professionals wing. Two other partners – the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Anwar’s People’s Justice Party (PKR) - are trying to reinvent the alliance with a “PR 2.0”, linking up with the purged faction but minus the increasingly conservative PAS proper. The final shape of this reinvented opposition coalition is still unclear, but promises to be appealing to a multi-ethnic electorate – and is likely to be led once again by the unifying figure of Anwar, from behind bars......

On Bukit Aman fire

Bukit Aman fire: Only unimportant documents destroyed, says IGP  by farik zolkepli Updated: Wednesday July 29, 2015 MYT 9:33:42 PM  PETALING JAYA: Only unimportant documents were destroyed in the fire at the Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman, says Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. "The fire has been put out. "There is no cause for alarm as only unimportant documents were lost during the fire," he tweeted Wednesday. He added that the cause of the fire was being investigated. A fire broke at Menara 2 earlier Wednesday.Inspector-General of Police Secretariat assistant head (Corporate Communications) Asst Comm Datin Asmawati Ahmad said that the blaze is believed to have originated on levels 9 and 10, which is where the Criminal Investigation and Narcotics departments are located.

Fire breaks out at police headquarters in Bukit Aman Posted on 29 July 2015 - 08:40pm Last updated on 30 July 2015 - 01:04am  by Ashwin Kumar and Nabilah Hamudin; Two floors occupied by the CID and anti narcotics department at Tower 2 in Bukit Aman in fire.

On Bank Negara

Bank Negara grips ringgit tightly as troubles mount By Vidya Ranganathan, Reuters; Protecting the ringgit from political fallout may end up costing Malaysia more than any bailout for the debt-ridden 1MDB state fund, given the rate at which the central bank has been using its reserves in recent weeks.
Bank Negara Malaysia has taken an iron-fisted approach, barely allowing the ringgit to move since early July as investors became increasingly unnerved by the deepening scandal over how 1Malaysia Development Berhad got into US$11 billion of debt. On Tuesday, Prime Minister Najib Razak sacked his deputy, who had called on him to give Malaysians a better explanation of where 1MDB's money went. Three other ministers were also shunted in the reshuffle. Najib also replaced the attorney-general. On Thursday, the rumour mill went into overdrive, forcing the central bank to deny that Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz was resigning. Financial markets were understandably nervous at the prospect of the well-regarded Zeti (photo), who has headed the central bank since 2000, becoming another casualty of the affair. Since early July, even as foreign investors pulled out of Malaysian markets and risk metrics spiked, the ringgit has remained close to 3.8 to the dollar.... Currency reserves fell $5 billion in the two weeks to July 5 as the central bank defended the ringgit and analysts estimate a lot more could have been spent since as the political storm around Najib intensified. "We've crossed the Rubicon on a couple of politically sensitive levels and clearly there is some heavy smoothing operation going on," said Claudio Piron, head of rates and currency strategy at BofA Merrill Lynch in Singapore. "That is evident in the FX reserves numbers and the behaviour of the ringgit that is holding around the 3.8 levels. The ringgit is Asia's weakest currency this year, having shed nearly 9 percent of its value against the dollar. The decline largely reflected concerns over its vulnerability to rising US interest rates and the halving in the price of oil in the past year, which has dragged down the price of gas, though not by as much. Malaysia is the world's second-largest exporter of liquified natural gas.

Bank Negara: Zeti has not quit, did not suffer heart attack by jer weann ang AND v. mienaloshyani Updated: Thursday July 30, 2015 MYT 5:08:28 PM  KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has denied rumours circulating in local media and financial markets that its governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz (pic) has resigned.  When asked to comment on the the rumour, a central bank spokesman said: "This is not true," according to Reuters. When contacted by The Star, a BNM spokesman also denied that Zeti, 67, suffered a heart attack.  "She is fine and came to work as usual,” added the spokesman....

On sacking of Deputy PM Muhyiddin

Malaysia’s Najib Razak Fires Deputy Prime Minister in 1MDB Rift - WSJ

In leaked video, Muhyiddin says Najib admitted RM2.6 billion in his accounts Published: 29 July 2015 8:23 PM - See more at:

Muhyiddin can’t be sacked as Umno deputy chief, says Nazri  by rashvinjeet s. bedi Updated: Thursday July 30, 2015 MYT 12:09:35 PM PETALING JAYA: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin cannot be sacked as Umno deputy president as he was elected by party members, says Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (pic). As such, Umno will have to wait until the party elections, where new Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will very likely go for the post, said the Umno Supreme Council member. “Nothing can be done unless Muhyiddin resigns … He cannot be sacked as he was elected by the delegates … If he doesn’t leave there is a likelihood that Zahid will go after him. I expect Zahid to do so,” Nazri told The Star Online from Milan where he is on a working trip.

Leaked video on Muhyiddin’s conversation on 1MDB goes viral by victoria brown Updated: Thursday July 30, 2015 MYT 9:55:42 AM PETALING JAYA: A leaked video of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin purportedly recounting a conversation he had with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on 1MDB has gone viral.  The video clip, that appeared to be recorded on a mobile device, shows Muhyiddin sitting with several guests at his home. The 53-second video, which was inaudible in certain parts, appeared to suggest that Muhyiddin had spoken to Najib about the allegations contained in a recent Wall Street Journal report. Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir and former Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir were among those present in the clip. Muhyiddin entertained several guests on Tuesday evening after it was announced that he had been removed as Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister. ....

International media attention widens

Cameron concerned about Anwar, says Azmin; British Prime Minister David Cameron has expressed concern over the well-being of jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim....

David Cameron will meet Malaysian leader mired in corruption claims

5 Reasons Why Obama Should Steer Clear of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak | TIME

British journalist: I'm being followed in London by teams of stalkers

27 July 2015: Najib Urges Patience on Malaysia Probes as Warns Against Discord, S&P keeps Malaysia's A- sovereign rating, Singapore Straits Times feature on 1MDB, WSJ editorial

Najib Urges Patience on Malaysia Probes as Warns Against Discord  by Shamim Adam July 27, 2015 — 1:33 PM HKTUpdated on July 27, 2015 — 10:50 PM HKT
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak called for patience on investigations into the state investment company, warning infighting in the ruling party would risk sowing voter discord.
The statement came after Deputy Premier Muhyiddin Yassin stepped up his calls for answers over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd. imbroglio. Najib must explain 1MDB’s debt and why the government invested in money-losing ventures, giving people “the real truth,” he told members of their United Malays National Organisation party on Sunday.
“Malaysians are not stupid,” Muhyiddin said, according to comments carried by local media and verified by his office. “They are well-informed. Don’t underestimate them. We cannot lie.”
Multiple probes are under way into 1MDB, which was the subject of a July 3 Wall Street Journal report that $700 million may have moved through government agencies and state-linked firms to accounts bearing Najib’s name. The premier has denied taking money for personal gain.
Najib’s office said on Monday that investigators should be given space to perform their tasks and infighting within UMNO would erode support for the government and the party.
“All parties, especially members of the administration including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, need to wait for the results of the investigations,” his office said in the statement. “We should avoid making statements that could cloud the perceptions of the people toward the country’s leaders, the government and UMNO.”

UPDATE 1-S&P keeps Malaysia's A- sovereign rating, outlook stable Mon Jul 27, 2015 6:55am EDT  By Trinna Leong S&P affirms L-T foreign currency rating at A-, outlook stable * Graft allegations involving 1MDB won't impede policymaking - S&P  * M'sia's strong external position to help counter energy slowdown (Adds details from S&P statement, economist quotes)

Malaysian ringgit hits 17-year low against US dollar on weak commodities, Fed caution; Updated: 5:42 PM, July 27, 2015 SINGAPORE — Malaysia’s ringgit hit a 17-year low today (July 27) as a global slump in commodity prices added to concerns over sluggish exports, while investors braced for a US Federal Reserve meeting that might take another step toward lifting interest rates.
The ringgit eased 0.1 per cent to 3.8110 per US dollar, its weakest since September 1998.
The ringgit pared losses again as the central bank has been spotted intervening to keep the worst performing Asian currency firmer than 3.8100 per dollar, traders said. The currency was pegged at 3.8 between 1998 and 2005. Malaysia’s international reserves fell to US$100.5 billion (S$138 billion) as of July 15 from US$105.5 billion as of June 30, central bank data showed on July 23. REUTERS

1MDB saga: A tale of debt, money trails and allegations , SE Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times; by Reme Ahmad Assistant Foreign Editor Published Jul 25, 2015, 5:00 am SGT; With twists and turns worthy of a thriller, the 1MDB scandal now rocking Malaysia seems unlikely to be unravelled soon, putting the economy on the back foot...1MDB has become a household name and generated international attention, but for all the wrong reasons. Questions about its eye-popping debts have metastasised into a massive political crisis that threatens Datuk Seri Najib's leadership, has fractured his ruling Umno party and calls into question Malaysia's financial management. The scandal has also spawned several probes at home and abroad....It has led to a crackdown on the media, resulted in the arrests of four people, and kept Malaysians captivated for close to a year with its twists and turns involving an improbable cast that includes a pugnacious 90-year-old former premier, a respected central banker and a tattooed man in a Thai jail. How did a visionary plan by Mr Najib, 62, to expand Malaysia's wealth end up in such a quagmire?.....Home Ministry last Friday suspended for three months the publishing permits of two business papers published by The Edge Media Group. It earlier blocked access to the Sarawak Report website. Mr Nazir, Mr Najib's brother, said on his Instagram on Friday that The Edge's "recent 1MDB coverage seems outstanding but if there were flaws then correct them or take legal recourse. I condemn the suspension". Amid the almost daily new allegations and disclosures, one thing everyone can agree upon is that the government must quickly conclude its investigations, as it cannot afford to be distracted by the scandal at a time when the Malaysian economy is weakening, the ringgit sliding and cost of living soaring. The first murmurs of disquiet began as early as April 2009. A report in The Straits Times then had a chief executive of a Malaysian bank voicing his unease at how the fund had to borrow money to buy assets, instead of using cash surpluses like other state-backed entities.....

Malaysia’s Missed Democracy Lesson - Obama again can’t find a voice for liberty and moderate Muslims. Opinion. July 23, 2015 7:14 p.m. ET; Malaysia is in the midst of a first-class political scandal, thanks in part to reporting in this newspaper that $700 million linked to a state-owned investment fund allegedly was transferred to the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr. Najib denies wrongdoing, and neither the original source nor ultimate destination of the money is clear....Yet the larger scandal in Malaysia is hiding in plain sight. We’re talking about the imprisonment of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is five months into a...

25 July 2015: Dr M: I will continue writing on 1MDB, Rafidah Aziz says facts are needed on 1MDB; parallels of 1MDB offshore probe with probe of FIFA funds flow through international banks?

U.S. Authorities Probe Banks’ Handling of FIFA Funds - More than a half dozen banks contacted in separate probes by Brooklyn prosecutors, New York banking regulator By Christopher M. Matthews and Rachel Louise Ensign  Updated July 23, 2015 6:42 p.m. ET; U.S. authorities have ramped up investigations into whether banks should have raised alarms about money flows linked to alleged corruption at soccer’s governing body, according to people familiar with the matter. In separate probes, prosecutors in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office and New York’s top financial regulator have contacted more than a half dozen banks combined in connection with the soccer scandal in recent weeks, the...

Dr M: I will continue writing on 1MDB  by izra abdul rahman Updated: Friday July 24, 2015 MYT 7:18:57 PM  KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he will not stop writing about 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) on his blog.  He said he was aware that several publications have been under pressure to cease their reporting on 1MDB, following warnings from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). “There is a clampdown against the media, but I will keep writing about 1MDB,” he told reporters at a hotel here on Friday.  The former prime minister has been one of 1MDB’s fiercest critics, as he constantly put the Government to task over 1MDB's management of its funds.  The authorities have warned against publishing any reports on 1MDB as a special task force conducts its investigations.

Rafidah Aziz: Banning publications solves nothing  by akil yunus Updated: Saturday July 25, 2015 MYT 4:38:34 PM; PETALING JAYA: Banning media publications for reporting what certain quarters deem “unsavoury” will not solve anything, said Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz (pic).
The former International Trade and Industry Minister said those responsible need to start giving the public the facts and to “say things as they are” on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and other issues. “We can ban some publications. It does not solve anything, really. If at all, it’s making many more people upset. Worse still, there is now another grouse against the Government - for nothing,” she wrote on her Facebook page on Saturday....

IGP: Trumpeting wrongdoings via media only invites chaos Last updated on 25 July 2015 - 07:21pm KUALA LUMPUR: Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pix) says whistle-blowers who expose alleged wrongdoings cannot be protected by the law, if they trumpeted the matter through the media.  He made the statement via his Twitter account today, following the home ministry's three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily, beginning July 27. He said the act of trumpeting the so-called 'true revelations' of any wrongdoing through the media would only invite misunderstanding, incorrect perception and chaos. Khalid said the country's law only protected whistle-blowers who used proper channels, and the police would not allow the public to be misled by people with ulterior motives. "Whistle Blowers are surely protected under Malaysian laws, provided they come in the proper way, legally @PDRMsia welcomes genuine WBlowers," he tweeted.Khalid in his subsequent tweet said; "Trumpheting' so-called 'true revelations' thru the media will only invite misunderstanding, incorrect perception and chaos. @PDRMsia." .....

24 July 2015 afternoon: Malaysia twice denied access to Justo while Singapore's Straits Times has access. The Edge says "we misled Justo on payment to get proof of US$1.83 billion scam." The Edge print publications slapped with 3 month suspension by Najib administration. Amidst news clampdown, some persons of interest sought as 1MDB dragnet gets going.

Note: KL-ite chatter on Malaysia lacking jurisdiction, and now apparent Malaysia police not part of group instigating Justo arrest?

Yes, we misled Justo on payment to get proof of US$1.83 billion scam - The Malaysian Insider -

I was offered $2.7m for stolen data: Ex-PetroSaudi employee Xavier Andre Justo on the 1MDB saga - Nirmal Ghosh Indochina Bureau Chief In Bangkok; Published 9 hours ago; Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo - who is now in jail in Thailand in connection with trying to blackmail his former employer, PetroSaudi, which is entangled in a huge scandal involving the Malaysian government - has claimed that he was promised US$2 million (S$2.7 million) in exchange for data he stole from his former employer.... He also told The Straits Times in a prison interview that he was never paid what he was promised by a prominent Malaysian businessman. Justo claimed a deal was reached in Singapore in February on the sale of the documents, which was followed by lengthy discussions on how he would be paid.... The group of people he met in Singapore to negotiate the sale of the data were named in a 22-page confession Justo made to Thai police. He showed a copy of the confession to The Straits Times.....

Malaysian access to Justo denied again 23 Jul 2015 at 20:44; Malaysia's relentless campaign to gain access to a Swiss national accused of information leaks damaging to Prime Minister Najib Razak remains stalled after national police chief Somyot Poompunmuang rejected...

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BNP Paribas: M’sia risks ‘multi-notch downgrade’ in sovereign rating By Levina Lim /   | July 23, 2015 : 4:01 PM MYT     KUALA LUMPUR (July 23): Malaysia faces the risk of a “multi-notch downgrade” in its sovereign credit rating, despite Fitch Ratings affirming its “A-” rating on the Malaysian sovereign last month, warned BNP Paribas. In its Asia Desknote today, the French bank said investors should remain “fundamentally wary” of Malaysia due to the marked deterioration in the country’s external finances, which may result in a “BBB-” rating. It said as Malaysia’s credit default swap (CDS) widening was triggered by a confluence of pressure on the public and external finances and has persisted for six months, the potential for a multi-notch sovereign downgrade remains. “Ironically, a Fitch-developed tool to gauge the CDS-implied rating level indicates the Malaysian sovereign is a ‘BBB-’ credit, three notches below the official rating,” BNP Paribas pointed out. BNP Paribas also criticised Fitch’s latest rating report which focused solely on “Malaysia-centric developments” and overlooks a crucial underpinning of sovereign credit ratings — that they should be ordinal rankings reflecting how a particular credit stands relative to a chosen peer group. “Malaysia’s public finance performance trends against rating peer medians are a particular concern. “Our analysis suggests Malaysia fell further behind the ‘A’ range on key indicators like debt-to-revenues since Fitch initially placed the rating on a negative outlook in mid-2013. Against the ‘BBB’ range it has fared only marginally better,” it said. It added that the persistence of this relative deterioration suggests that Malaysia’s sovereign rating should have been downgraded regardless of the reforms implemented.

Publisher: We'll challenge suspension in court by Malaysiakini  3:37PM Jul 24, 2015

The Edge weekly, daily suspended for 3 months from July 27 Published: 24 July 2015 2:54 PM - See more at:

Bank Negara looking for duo linked to 1MDB By The Malaysian Insider /   | July 24, 2015 : 4:12 PM MYT     (July 24): Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has issued an alert for two individuals wanted for investigation purposes under the Exchange Control Act 1953.
Both persons have had dealings with debt-ridden state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). The two are Casey Tang Keng Chee, 50, and Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, 42. A notice on both individuals was posted on BNM's fraud alert website today as well as the central bank's Facebook page.

Malaysia's Bank Negara seeks Jho Low's associates Published 1 hour ago; BNM uploaded a poster of the duo, Casey Tang Keng Chee, 50 and Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, 42, on its Facebook page seeking information on their whereabouts and they were being investigated under the Exchange Control Act 1953.


In 1MDB-linked case, Jerome Lee freed on RM100,000 bail BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 24 July 2015 9:24 AM A top company director has been freed on a RM100,000 bail today, four days after he was the first person arrested and remanded in the ongoing investigations linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd and its one-time subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd. The Putrajaya magistrate's court released Jerome Lee (pic) on bail with two guarantors. Jerome’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) did not ask for extension of the remand and Magistrate Nik Isfahanie Tasnim Wan Ab Rahman set the bail at RM100,000. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "He has been released on police bail," Shafee told reporters after court proceedings today. The 39-year-old is group executive director of construction firm Putrajaya Perdana Berhad but had been previously employed as an investment director with 1MDB. Lee was arrested on Monday at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport before boarding a flight to Taiwan, as part of the probe into the controversial state investment vehicle under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act for receiving bribes. On Tuesday, police obtained a four-day remand order to hold him for further investigations. - See more at:

24 July 2015 (updated with more links): 1MDB scandal touches on Prime Minister Najib. Awaiting lawsuits from Najib-1MDB et al against the key media outlets making these reports - WSJ, The Edge, Sarawak Report.  Various arrests and PM Najib's administration sets travel bans on some 1MDB-SRC execs and many more Malaysia activists. Sarawak Report block attempted by Malaysia, and its reporter stalked in London (makes Metropolitan Police report and also fingers Raja Petra). Malaysia watchers worry about Bank Negara and Malaysia banking system reputation and are concerned about unexpected social repercussions - the timing of Low Yat-Bukit Bintang brawl.

Note on media sources: Sarawak Report has been a key reporter of apparent whistleblower information and even photos relating to the Najib-1MDB saga. The Edge has been the core business investigative reporter on 1MDB issues. Former PM Mahathir provides the best synthesis and strategic direction on 1mdb problems for the domestic audience. The entry of WSJ on 2 July has been a major blow (correction: it is owned by Rupert Murdoch's Dow Jones & Company, a division of News Corp; replace earlier wrong ownership info). The recent shift of focus to international money flows and Malaysia activisists including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad pointing out major breaches in AMLA or Anti-Money Laundering Act at various financial centres ups the ante. Domestically in Malaysia, political analysts do not so far see any effective political push factors from within UMNO-BN nor from the political opposition (in crisis mode; and also fundamentally lacking of research resources, communication skills and access to national media outlets). Thus it appears that international agents are the likely further triggers in the 1MDB-Najib saga. Also, KL-ites are awaiting major lawsuits to be taken out by Najib-Rosmah-1MDB et al against the key media outlets making all these scurrilous reports (a lot of news within Malaysia of their carrying doctored documents - which the media outlets deny)- WSJ, The Edge, and Sarawak Report.

source: Sarawak Report screenshot

A Scandal In Malaysia Spurs Credibility Crisis - Control Risks Control Risks , Contributor     By Giulia Zino 7/21/2015 @ 12:29PM 16,927 views; SINGAPORE – Malaysia has generated a considerable volume of negative press coverage over the past year, but none as eye-catching as the recent scandals surrounding controversial debt-ridden sovereign investment company 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). After brewing for months, the 1MDB saga took a startling turn on July 2 when the Wall Street Journal published details of leaked bank documents, apparently showing that nearly $700m had been channelled through the investment company and directly into the personal accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak..... Najib established 1MDB in 2009 with the visionary aim of facilitating investment and trade with the Middle East, and of developing a new financial district in Kuala Lumpur. Najib chairs 1MDB’s board and also heads the Ministry of Finance, which fully owns the company. 1MDB has collected a portfolio of 16 power and desalination plants in Asia and the Middle East and launched two ambitious, high-profile real estate developments in downtown Kuala Lumpur, accumulating debts of MYR 42bn ($11bn) along the way. Critics have centred on the company’s auditing problems: particularly MYR 8.24bn ($2.17bn) allegedly hidden somewhere in the Cayman Islands, its bond issuance program, and allegations that it has overpaid for its Malaysian power assets, essentially bailing out politically connected independent power producers.... The July 2 report dealt a huge blow for the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), and brought to a head a long-brewing struggle within the party to oust the prime minister. Conservative circles surrounding former prime minister and UMNO kingmaker Mahathir Mohamad have relentlessly tried to eject Najib, whose weakness and unpopularity they view as extremely detrimental for the party’s survival. Najib appears far too compromised to see the end of his term in 2018, even if the multiple ongoing investigations do not directly implicate him in wrongdoings within 1MDB.....Also at stake are the reputations of the otherwise respected Bank Negara (the central bank) and some of the larger domestic banks. They have come under fire for failing to notice or facilitating suspiciously high transactions and transfers in Najib’s accounts...Perhaps more worryingly, the heated political climate increases the scope for religiously or ethnically motivated acts of violence, like the riots earlier this month in the Bukit Bintang neighbourhood of Kuala Lumpur. UMNO has increasingly nurtured a siege mentality and presented the party as the only true protector of Malay interests, worsening communal tensions. UMNO’s strategy requires the preservation of an image of external threats. These threats can be domestic, such as other religious and ethnic groups, or they can be foreign, such as the influence of Western culture.....

Are financial centres starting to move on this? Singapore Police Force news. International money laundering involves US clearing banks, UK, UAE, Switzerland and Singapore - JP Morgan, RBS Coutts, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, BSI and others....

Singapore Freezes Two Bank Accounts in Connection With 1MDB Probe - Singapore is cooperating with Malaysian authorities investigating fund linked to Prime Minister Najib By  P.R. Venkat and Celine Fernandez  Updated July 22, 2015 12:34 p.m. ET; SINGAPORE—Singapore police said Wednesday they have frozen two bank accounts as part of an investigation into 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the troubled state-investment fund with links to Malaysian Prime Minister  Najib Razak. Singapore has been cooperating with Malaysian investigators looking into the financial dealings of 1MDB. On July 2, The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators believe nearly $700 million was deposited in Mr. Najib’s personal bank accounts following the movement of cash among agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB. Mr. Najib founded 1MDB and heads its board of advisers. The Singapore Police Force didn’t give details Wednesday of the bank accounts it froze, saying it would be inappropriate as investigations continue. “On 15 July 2015,  e issued orders under the Criminal Procedure Code to prohibit any dealings in respect of money in two bank accounts that are relevant to the investigation,’’ the police said.

How Jho Low & PetroSaudi schemed to steal money from the people of Malaysia via 1MDB By The Edge Financial Daily / The Edge Financial Daily   | July 20, 2015 : 3:30 PM MYT     6.  All these point to a clear case of fraud and international money laundering. 1MDB’s money went from Malaysia to Switzerland via US clearing banks and then to the United Kingdom, the UAE and Singapore.
7. What happened to 1MDB’s money is no longer a domestic issue but is a global fraud and money laundering matter involving the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Singapore. Global banks like JP Morgan, RBS Coutts, Credit Suisse, HSBC, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, BSI and others have all been channels for the money flow.

Malaysia reactions and news

Broad domestic political paralysis over the 1MDB saga has disappointed many KL-ites. Perhaps this political disillusionment is well represented by this political cartoon by Fahmi Reza lampooning the entire political spectrum:

24 July front page of The Sun, Malaysia - more travel ban news for Malaysian activists

The Edge Markets July 21 at 5:15pm · Edited · .Media Statement by Ho Kay Tat, Publisher & Group CEO of The Edge Media Group We could not walk away on finding out about the scheme to cheat Malaysia of Billions of Ringgit ....

This was denied - Bank Negara trio named for Najib leaks | Free Malaysia Today - a deputy governor and two heads of department were accused by blogger of whistleblower info leaks;

Penang CM: 1MDB and Jho Low topics do not help (Penang) investments - The Edge; He complains that half the time is spent explaining to investors about Penang-born Jho Low and 1MDB!

Blocking website, threatening critics won’t work, group tells Putrajaya Published: 23 July 2015 8:45 AM; Putrajaya should drop its “politically motivated” investigations and travel bans against opposition politicians and journalists who have been instrumental in exposing corruption within the government, Human Rights Watch said today. The group also said Putrajaya should allow access to whistleblower site Sarawak Report, which played a key role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy with its exposes. “Blocking a website and threatening critics with prosecution will not make the firestorm over alleged government corruption go away,” said Brad Adams, executive director of the Asian division of Human Rights Watch, in a statement today. "Instead of engaging in repression, Putrajaya should lift the bans and properly address the allegations swirling around it." - See more at:

Travel ban on 'missing' SRC managing director; SRC International managing director Nik Faisal Ariff Nik Othman Kamil is among those who have been barred from leaving the country. In its report today, The Star confirmed this with a check on the Immigration Department's website. Nik Faisal has been implicated in allegations that RM2.6 billion had been deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal accounts. He is wanted by the special task force investigating 1MDB. Nik Faisal (photo) and SRC director Suboh Mohd Yassin are supposed to give statements about Najib's accounts. However, theSun reported today that both Nik Faisal and Suboh are missing. Citing sources close to the investigation, the daily said one of them is believed to be in Indonesia, while the other could not be traced. The task force is also believed to be on the look out for business tycoon Jho Low. Yesterday a managing director linked to SRC International was remanded by task force for five days to assist with the 1MDB probe. The special task force has also raided the offices of 1MDB, SRC and two of its subsidiaries. The travel ban on Nik Faisal comes amid reports yesterday that two opposition figures, Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, as well as The Edge Media Group owner Tong Kooi Ong, have also been put under a travel ban. The trio are being investigated under Section 124 of the Penal Code for alleged activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.....

RM2.6b in private accounts, still no answer By Yoursay YOURSAY ‘Abdul Rahman, don’t attempt to insult our intelligence with this sideshow.’

Time's up, Najib must take WSJ to court By Yoursay YOURSAY ‘He can’t back away, or people may think he has something to hide.’

Despite arrests, Anwar tells public to remain skeptical of 1MDB probe - See more at:

1MDB – a chance to get it right STORY BY TERENCE GOMEZ, As the core issues surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) controversy came to the fore over the past months, a fundamental point became extremely clear. Inadequate reforms following previous controversies of a similar nature have contributed to the 1MDB crisis. One example was the Asian currency crisis of 1997 which drew attention to a key matter: the mode of corporate governance.
Following this crisis, a slew of reforms were introduced to enhance corporate governance, primarily to determine how members of the boards of directors of public-listed companies – and government-linked companies (GLCs) – implemented their duties. These remedies, we then suspected but now know for certain from the 1MDB controversy, were ineffective, demanding major political reforms....

Johor crown prince warns of cowardly leaders Malaysiakini 7:48AM Jun 29, 2015; Tunku Ismail's message was premised on the teachings of his grandfather - the late Sultan Iskandar - who taught him that the supreme quality of leadership is integrity, which he believed to be a rare commodity.  "He also said that a cowardly leader is the most dangerous of men and that one of the tests of leadership is the ability to recognise a problem before it becomes an emergency.  "He also taught me that great leaders muster the courage to fulfil his vision from passion, not position," the prince says in a posting on the Johor Southern Tigers Facebook page last night.  Two examples of great leaders, Tunku Ismail said, were his grandfather Sultan Iskandar and his father Sultan Ibrahim.
'Influence, not authority is the key'  Tunku Ismail stressed that his message was aimed at leaders of the Johor government and NGOs, which he hoped would lead and inspire by example as opposed to "managing and manipulating" the people.
'Bad boy' Johor prince crafts new image Malaysiakini 10:12AM Jun 24, 2015

Najib, explain US$4.71b guarantee for 1MDB rescue By Tony Pua  8:24AM Jun 29, 2015

Justo arrested but 1MDB money still missing, says Dr Mahathir Published: 29 June 2015 3:40 PM - See more at:

Watch "2015.7.6 -  Wong Chen (Missing Plane, Missing Billions: Malaysia in Crisis and the Politics of Hope)" on YouTube - and  Wong's interview with CNBC:

From WSJ

Malaysia 1MDB Probe Says It Has Found Documents Tied to Alleged Transfers to Prime Minister Najib - Attorney General says task force uncovered documents during probe of investment fund 1MDB By Tom Wright And Celine Fernandez   July 4, 2015 10:08 a.m. ET KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Malaysia’s attorney general said an official investigation into a troubled state investment fund has uncovered documents related to allegations that money was transferred into the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Police Raid 1MDB Offices in Malaysia The raid comes amid an investigation into 1MDB and its ties with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak By Celine Fernandez  Updated July 8, 2015 2:57 a.m. ET  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Police raided the Kuala Lumpur offices of strategic investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. on Wednesday, the fund confirmed. In a statement, 1MDB said it provided documents and other materials to aid ongoing investigations. It said it is cooperating fully with authorities. Two police vehicles were parked outside the building and officers remained inside, according to security personnel. In the past, the fund has denied wrongdoing. The raid comes in the wake of a Malaysian government investigation into 1MDB that has traced alleged payments of almost $700 million into the account of Prime Minister  Najib Razak . Mr. Najib has denied wrongdoing. On Tuesday, authorities said they were freezing six bank accounts in connection with the allegations.

Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leader’s Accounts - WSJ -

From Sarawak Report

Malaysia spies stalking at Hyde Park and a former DD of Cheltenham GCHQ...Sarawak Report Stalked And Harassed In London 20 Jul 2015; arawak Report has filed a report with the Metropolitan Police in London after establishing proof of wide-ranging harassment by persons believed to be in the employ of UMNO in Malaysia. The acts of illegal harassment include teams of stalkers, who have followed around after the Editor of Sarawak Report in past days, plainly waiting outside her house and then pursuing her during the day. These persons have included a bald, muscle-bound middle-aged white man and a man of Chinese Malaysian appearance, who took photographs of her in broad daylight in Hyde park and other individuals who have followed her car. Other forms of harassment reported are computer hacking, disruption to the radio programme RFS and what appears to be the bugging of conversations. These matters are now being countered and are also being  investigated by a central London police station, who have put a protection detail onto the case.....The Manchester based blogger known as RPK, who is now generally accepted as being at the service of UMNO leader, the PM Najib Razak, can also now be confirmed as having been closely linked to what is clearly an orchestrated intimidation exercise. We have reported to the police that the surveillance exercise carried out by these teams was almost immediately reported by ‘RPK‘ in his stridently pro-Najib blog Malaysia Today. The Prime Minister, who has been complaining through RPK amongst others about so-called conspiracies to defame him, therefore himself stands accused of conspiring to stalk and harass journalists who have been uncovering corruption in Malaysia....

Clare Rewcastle Brown July 21, 2015 - On pissing off rich Malaysians, getting things wrong and flower power;

SENSATIONAL FINDINGS! - Prime Minister Najib Razak's Personal Accounts Linked To 1MDB Money Trail MALAYSIA EXCLUSIVE!

My Father Died For Reporting Corruption At AmBank EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW | Sarawak Report -

On The Trail Of The Missing Billions - Jho Low's Swiss Accounts In Singapore | Sarawak Report -

About Goldman and 1MDB and other financial news

The Scandal That Ate Malaysia - The near collapse of a state-owned company has rocked the government, rattled investors, and stirred public outrage.  by Yoolim Leeand Elffie Chew July 22, 2015 — 5:01 AM HKT In the spring of 2013, Song Dal Sun, head of securities investment at Seoul-based Hanwha Life Insurance, sat down to a presentation by a Goldman Sachs banker. The young Goldman salesman, who had flown in from Hong Kong, made a pitch for bonds to be issued by 1Malaysia Development Bhd., a state-owned company closely tied to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak.........

Malaysia’s Ringgit Buckling Under Political Pressure - Ringgit hits weakest level since September

Goldman feels chill as Malaysia fund deal sours Jul 16 2015 at 10:36 AM; by  Jennifer Hughes and Michael Peel  Goldman Sachs has been failing to win new business in Malaysia as a furore continues to seethe around huge debts racked up by the 1MDB state investment fund that the bank helped to finance. Since Goldman arranged a controversial $USUS3 billion bond for 1MDB in 2013 - pocketing nearly $USUS300 million for its role in the deal - its fees from work in the country have slumped, according to Financial Times analysis of data from Dealogic.  Goldman's involvement is in the spotlight once more because of the proximity of the 2013 bond issuance to alleged payments of almost $US700 million from the fund to Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, just weeks before a closely fought general election. Investigators have been probing how 1MDB, a fund set up in 2009, borrowed some $US11 billion apparently without sufficient assets to support this debt. Goldman's subsequent struggles amid the controversy underlines the prizes and pitfalls for investment bankers striving to build relationships with governments and tycoons in Asia. One rival banker said the shunning of the investment bank was unofficial, but added: "if you're a Malaysian corporate, you're not going to use Goldman because you don't want this association."

1MDB probe raises questions for Goldman 17 July 2015 By Jonathan Rogers; When it comes to Malaysia, capital markets and politics make a dangerous mix. A LITTLE OVER two years ago, I asked in this column whether a bond issue could ever decide the outcome of a national election. I was referring, of course, to a US$3bn private placement from Malaysian government investment vehicle 1MDB in the weeks leading up to Malaysia’s general election. In May 2013, the vote went in favour of Najib Razak and the incumbent Barisan Nasional coalition, and the controversy surrounding the under-the-radar debt deal – and the money Goldman Sachs made from it – died down. But the outcry over the state of 1MDB’s finances has now reached such a level that the Prime Minister’s position may now be at stake. The Public Accounts Committee and others are investigating, and I wonder to what extent the Goldman financings will be the subject of those inquiries.
Full transparency is the only course of action, and 1MDB has yet to fully explain why it felt the need to offer such exorbitant returns on debt that ranks pari passu with Malaysia’s other sovereign bonds. Perhaps our friends at Goldman can provide some answers....

 Fitch Affirms Malaysia's LTFC rating at 'A-'; Outlook Revised to Stable; Fitch Ratings has affirmed Malaysia's Long-Term foreign currency Issuer Default Rating (IDR) at 'A-' and local currency IDR at 'A'. The issue ratings on Malaysia's senior unsecured local currency bonds are also affirmed at 'A'. The Outlook on the Long-Term IDRs has been revised to Stable from Negative.  Fitch views progress on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and fuel subsidy reform as supportive of the fiscal finances. A further narrowing of the deficit is forecast in 2015 despite lower oil prices. Nevertheless, as against the 'A' median, Malaysia's fiscal position continues to remain weak.

1 July 2015: 1MDB gets purchase proposals and working to develop its property, Pua under pressure to withdraw from PAC on 1MDB criticism

1MDB gets purchase proposals for its land lots in Penang, Pulau Indah By: GURMEET KAUR Tuesday, 30 June 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: This comes following efforts by the strategic development fund to monetise its various land parcels through joint ventures or outright sales as part of a strategic review to pare down its RM42bil debts as of March 2014.  1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda (pic), in a statement on Tuesday said, “I am pleased to update that we have received significant expressions of interest in both land parcels.” 1MDB has earlier announced its intention to monetise its land parcels in Air Itam and Pulau Indah through joint ventures or by outright sales under a strategic review announced on Feb 18. Subsequently, this was confirmed in the rationalisation plan presented to Cabinet on May 29, 2015, Arul said. To recap, the company paid RM1.38bil for some 1,000 acres in Air Itam in 2013. For the 310 acres in Pulau Indah that it bought from Tadmax Resources Bhd, it forked out  RM294.38mil. Based on Tadmax’s filing to the stock exchange in December 2014, the price was revised from the original RM317.33mil. It had come under flak for overpaying for these acquisitions, a claim it refuted.

1MDB Real Estate to work with group to develop Bandar Malaysia By: THEAN LEE CHENG Tuesday, 30 June 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB RE)will work with one or a few consortium to develop the 486-acre Bandar Malaysia, said C.H. Williams Talhar & Wong, its transaction advisor in a press briefing.  The property consultancy's deputy managing director Danny Yeo said 1MDB RE is open to discussion at this point in time. C.H. Williams is inviting expressions of interest from parties who will work with 1MDB on an equity basis. The expressions of interest ends on July 10.
1MDB RE executive director, corporate services Mohd Zakir Omar was present at the briefing. Yeo said the development would take 20 to 30 years depending on market conditions.

DAP backs Pua amidst pressure to withdraw from PAC (Updated) by Edmund Lee Posted on 30 June 2015 - 01:09pm; GEORGE TOWN: DAP is all out to back its party member Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and will not entertain calls made for the elected representative to withdraw from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said that it was the Member of Parliament's (MP) duty and responsibility to speak on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue as it was of national interest. He pointed out the 1MDB scandal was a huge issue in the country and Pua did no wrong when he spoke out..... He said even PAC chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan had been reportedly saying it was nothing wrong for Pua to explain and address the issue. His statement comes after Pua was urged to withdraw from the PAC following his prejudicial views on the investigations into 1MDB....
Mara covered its tracks in Melbourne property purchase, claims Rafizi Ramli By: Michael Murty; KUALA LUMPUR, June 29, 2016: National Oversight & Whistleblowers Centre (Now) director Rafizi Ramli alleged that Majlis Amanah Rakyat (Mara) used up to eight companies to hide its tracks after purchasing four properties in Melbourne. Rafizi claimed by using these “layered” companies, it appeared that Mara was trying to hide its purchase even further. The PKR secretary-general alleged that for the purchase of the Aussie properties at 333 Exhibition Street and 51 Queen Street, Mara used its companies in Labuan, Singapore and Australia. He also alleged that Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa knew of the Mara property scandal since May last year and apparently did not do anything about it. “He had previously acted like he did not know anything about the Mara scandal and that he had nothing to do with it. “We have proof that he did in fact know about the properties as he along with a Mara delegate were briefed in Melbourn  about the properties on May 20, 2014.” The briefing was also attended by Datuk Lan Allani, the man responsible for the purchase, he said at a press conference here today. The Pandan lawmaker said the four properties were 746 Swanston Street, Dudley International House, 333 Exhibition Street and 51 Queen Street.....

25 June 2015: 1MDB whistleblower arrest: PetroSaudi Swiss director / IT exec paid to leave and denies 1MDB blackmail say Thai police. Going after the media on "1MDB international financial scandal."  Sarawak Report's public call for Swiss authorities to investigate. Various financial centers caught up in the 1MDB issue have remained relatively silent without public actions to signal on their intent on governance concerns. Two days after The Age of Melbourne reported on Malaysia's MARA property scandal, the Australian police launch raids to start an investigation on "foreign corrupt practices."

Questions: Will the alleged 1MDB international financial scandal wane or escalate with the arrest in Thailand of its whistleblower director? He is accused of tampering with the emails (3 million of these in hand?), but to what purpose? To create a story against the many people named in relation to Petrosaudi and 1MDB including Jho Low closely tied with Prime Minister Najib of Malaysia? Now, the media who have carried investigative reports may face censure by Malaysian authorities keen to show that there is nothing wrong with 1MDB and prove that its critics are the true problem. Will politicians be caught up in this dragnet? Former Prime Minister Mahathir (The Recalcritant) Mohamad has been hammering at Najib about 1MDB for months, but so fart to no avail. The issue feels tired in KL circles, especially as it seems that there is no domestic agency on the issue. Thus, no surprise that Mahathir has spoken in the international arena on the issue. He has raised the AMLA issue to the international financial community, as they are supposed to be stamping down on money laundering of ill-gotten money. The 1MDB international financial scandal has touched many jurisdictions including Singapore and Switzerland and several banks are named in whistleblower documents mention several banks. 1MDB has also been named in top international newspapers for surprisingly large fees to the likes of Goldman Sachs of the USA; but KL circles note that Najib has been golfing buddy of Obama. Given the apparent exhaustion of domestic efforts to prod Najib to talk or act on 1MDB, what is up Mahathir's sleeve? Is he just going to give up on his campaign now? Does the whistleblower arrest id the effort to stop all 1MDB criticism? Will Mahathir activate more international actors on the issue? Sarawak Reports is prodding the Swiss authorities to act (see below). But we hear that Najib supporters internationally likely feel that he is a good person to deal with for regional geopolitics and they like working with a willing deal maker. Does geo-realpolitik calm the 1MDB international financial scandal waters?


Zahid, don't shoot messengers over 1MDB By Bob Teoh 8:31AM Jun 25, 2015; COMMENT Home Minister Zahid Hamidi is way off the mark by going after the media over the disclosures surrounding the 1MDB scandal. It is the job of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to explain to the public his (mis)handling of the mother of all scandals and not for Zahid to try to protect him. Neither is it the job of the media to defend itself over the political correctness of such disclosures. The media is duty-bound to inform the public in a timely manner after reasonable attempts to verify the information so received about 1MDB. The fact that state or party-controlled mainstream media have chosen to cover up the 1MDB scandal involving debts of RM42 billion while the independent media have pursued it vigorously, is no excuse for Putrajaya to silence professional and robust journalism.

Swiss IT exec paid to leave PetroSaudi, denies 1MDB blackmail, say Thai cops Published: 24 June 2015 8:03 AM A Swiss IT executive was paid some RM15 million to leave PetroSaudi International but has denied asking for nearly RM10 million more in a blackmail attempt over 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) woes, Thai media quoted police as saying. The 49-year-old Xavier Andre Justo was arrested at a house on Koh Samui this Monday with computers, hard drives and other data storage devices, The Bangkok Post quoted police as saying. Justo demanded 90 million baht (RM9.9 million) from the company in exchange for not disclosing confidential information to rival companies, said Police Colonel Akaradech Pimonsri, acting commander of the Crime Suppression Division. He denied the allegations, police said. Justo worked for PetroSaudi, but was paid an equivalent of 140 million baht (RM15 million)to leave the company after he was found to have "behaved against the company's rules and regulations", added Pol Col Akaradech.

Sarawak Report: Open Letter To The Swiss Foreign Ministry In Bern 23 Jun 2015; We informed the prosecutors, through the services of a prominent anti-corruption lawyer, that I had evidence with respect to the money laundering of funds from the Malaysian development fund 1MDB, through named Swiss banks..... At the time the prosecutors responded they did not judge that my evidence was sufficient to proceed with enquiries.  However,  I now have in my possession some 3 million emails detailing this crime, in which PetroSaudi International was an engaged party. PetroSaudi International have now effectively acknowledged that this material from their servers is authentic, by accusing this former employee of having stolen it – they describe him as an ‘IT worker’, but in fact he was a senior director of the company . Nevertheless, according to the current news reports, they  are attempting to say that these emails were ‘tampered with’ and they are adding this to the list of ‘crimes’, which they are laying at the door of Mr Justo..... So far, PetroSaudi International have sequentially claimed the emails were “forged”, then that they were “hacked” and now that “stolen” emails were “tampered with”. However, there is a mass of corroborative evidence to show that this Swiss/ UK based company was involved in the disappearance of nearly two billion US dollars of Malaysian public money that went to the company Good Star Limited, whose account resides at RBS Coutts Zurich..... Indeed, only a few days ago, Malaysia’s second Finance Minister publicly told the New York Times amongst others that Good Star was a subsidiary of PetroSaudi. So, please could this claim be fully investigated by the Swiss authorities, since the bulk of its USD$1.9 billion haul from 1MDB went to Mr Taek Jho Low (who has nothing to do with PetroSaudi International but is a nominee of the Malaysian Prime Minister in charge of the fund) according to documents from the Singapore monetary authorities, which no one has yet chosen to deny.........  certain authorities in Malaysia have engaged with the relevant Swiss authorities about this financial crime, which also extends to Swiss banks in Singapore (I refer to BSI and RBS Coutts Zurich).... 4) I would therefore be pleased to know why there has been no apparent action in pursuing this case in Switzerland and why I have not been contacted to receive this evidence, which I have already passed on to certain other international authorities interested in the pursuit of money laundering?.... I await a reply from the Swiss Foreign Ministry with utmost urgency given the gravity of the situation facing one of your nationals, whom I believe to have been wrongly arrested on false and malicious charges in a foreign country, which ought have no jurisdiction over this Swiss-based dispute.... I further request that Mr Justo is given all the protection due to a whistleblower in this situation and that proper steps are taken to investigate a grave financial fraud in which PetroSaudi International has played a major role......

MARA Australia - The Age
Najib again urged to go on leave by Malaysiakini  4:18PM Jun 24, 2015; The call to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to go on leave is piling up, with yet another scandal affecting his administration surfacing.  After DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang asked Najib to go on leave as prime minister and finance minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into the 1MDB scandal by a Royal Commission of Inquiry, another opposition leader is demanding the same.  PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the admission by Mara chairperson Annuar Musa that Najib himself had approved Mara's purchase of a property in Australia, which was bought at an allegedly inflated price, should be reason enough for the investigations to be done "without any disturbance".
"Annuar's admission signals that Umno leaders are not hesitating to bear the responsibility to answer controversial business decisions involving Najib.  "As Najib himself ordered the authorities to carry out transparent investigation into the case, it is only fair for Najib to take the first step and go on vacation," Tuan Ibrahim (photo) said in a statement today.....

Nick McKenzie and Richard Baker, Date June 25, 2015 - 11:44AM ; Australian Federal Police officers have launched raids in Melbourne as part of an international bribery and money-laundering investigation involving high-ranking Malaysian officials, businessmen and the purchase of Melbourne property..... Federal agents seized computers and files on Thursday morning from a home in Vermont South and it's believed several other properties were targeted across Melbourne.... The AFP's Operation Carambola was launched in response to an investigation by Fairfax Media into a scheme involving Malaysians using multimillion-dollar Australian properties to launder funds and return "kickbacks" to Asia.....

Melbourne property deal rocks Malaysian government by John Garnaut, Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker Date June 25, 2015 - 12:15AM; The Malaysian Prime Minister has been forced to order an investigation into his own government's role in the allegedly corrupt payment of $4.75 million emerging from the sale of a Melbourne student accommodation block.And the Papua New Guinea government is also under pressure after revelations on Wednesday that people close to the Prime Minister were giving detailed instructions in how to remove corruptly obtained funds from the country..... AFP launches raids in Melbourne over Malaysia property 'kickback' deals... A Fairfax Media investigation into corrupt offshore dealings with Australia on Tuesday sparked a political firestorm that threatens to engulf the prime ministers of two countries....
Corrupt Malaysia money distorts Melbourne market;Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, John Garnaut, Date June 23, 2015;

23 June 2015: 1MDB RE seeks proposals to develop Bandar Malaysia; Palm oil / commodity production and Malaysia electoral politics - WSJ feature on Genting donations to YR1M (1MDB linkage?), Bersih asks for EC investigation

Palm oil / commodity production and Malaysia electoral politics - WSJ feature on Genting donations to YR1M (1MDB linkage?), Bersih asks for EC investigation; /khoryuleng/2015/06/palm-oil-commodity-production-and.html

1MDB RE seeks proposals to develop Bandar Malaysia Updated: Tuesday June 23, 2015 MYT 7:27:11 AM; KUALA LUMPUR: 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd (1MDB RE) is requesting proposals on how to best develop the upcoming Bandar Malaysia in the Sungai Besi area. In a statement yesterday, 1MDB RE said this was the next move following the presentation of the 1MDB rationalisation plan to the Cabinet last month.“The company is pleased to have begun making progress towards its implementation,” said 1MDB RE, which added that it would make the grand announcement in major newspapers this week as it sought expressions of interest for the 197ha site, which currently houses the Sungai Besi airfield.1MDB RE, as the master developer of Bandar Malaysia, said it was looking for development partners.The closing date for submissions of expressions of interest is July 10, with CH Williams Talhar & Wong acting as the real estate advisor and exercise manager.The development, which is located seven kilometres from KLCC, is intended to transform the area into an integrated transport hub in the city via two MRT lines (Lines 2 and 3), KTM Komuter, the Express Rail Link to KLIA and KLIA2, as well as future access to 12 major highways.

2 June 2015:  Dr M says trust PAC over AG in 1MDB probe; Najib perseveres in shoring up position - 1MDB roadmap and asks cabinet ministers not supporting to resign, Obama’s vague warning to Malaysia: Be careful when prosecuting Anwar (Obama regarded as broadly Najib-friendly)

I trust PAC over Auditor-General in 1MDB probe, says Dr M BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 1 June 2015 10:38 PM Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad views the scope of the Auditor-General's investigation into the 1MDB scandal will not be enough to get the right answers. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, June 1, 2015.Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is placing his faith in the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) rather than the auditor-general to get to the bottom of the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal. He said this was because the PAC could probe into the troubled state investment arm’s background and ask the pertinent questions regarding all the funds that could not be accounted for. “I would place my faith in the PAC more than the auditor-general. The auditor-general inspects books. They don’t do forensic auditing, they don’t try to poke and find out where was this money spent, how was this money spent, where did you lose this money. - See more at:

Dr M: What Najib did with 1MDB irresponsible  by michelle tam  Updated: Tuesday June 2, 2015 MYT 7:53:36 AM KUALA LUMPUR: Despite having thrown his support behind Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in the past, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) claims he “cannot accept” what the Prime Minister has done with regard to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He said this in a question-and-answer session after his address, titled “Leadership in the Final Push Towards Vision 2020”, during the Foreign Correspondents Club of Malaysia (FCCM) dinner at Istana Hotel here on Monday....

Obama beats around the bush on Anwar - Malaysiakini  11:22AM Jun 2, 2015
US president Barack Obama continues to shy away from criticising the Malaysian government for the jailing of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Obama’s warning to Malaysia: Be careful when prosecuting Anwar (VIDEO) - See more at:

'1MDB roadmap designed to save Najib's skin' - Malaysiakini 3:38PM Jun 1, 2015

DPM not present at 'my way or highway' meet - Malaysiakini 4:10PM Jun 1, 2015

Hisham backs PM's quit dare, with conditions Malaysiakini 11:52AM Jun 1, 2015

Ministers, are you for the nation or Najib? By Yoursay  7:57AM Jun 2, 2015

29 May 2015: Dr M: 1MDB managers must still account for missing money, GST is to bail out government

Even if debts paid, 1MDB managers accountable for missing money, says Dr M Published: 29 May 2015 10:43 AM Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) management must be held accountable the the missing money. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 29, 2015.Even if strategic investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) debts are fully paid through the sale of its assets, the fund will not be free from the charge that it cannot account for the billions it has lost, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his continued criticism of 1MDB. Writing in his blog today, the former prime minister said given that the money that was supposed to be in tangible form in Singapore could not now be proven, the management of 1MDB must be held responsible for the loss until they can prove that they did not misappropriate the money. - See more at:

GST is to bail out the government, says Dr M; 29 May — Tun Dr Mahathir fired another salvo at the Najib administration today, accusing Putrajaya of burdening the people with the goods and services tax (GST) to bail out the government even as the country registers increasing budget deficits each year. In his… In his latest blog posting today, the former prime minister said Putrajaya could have avoided imposing the consumption tax on the people by reducing its own costs. "As for the GST, the additional fund raised through it is at the expense of the people. They have to pay more for everything they buy, which means their purchasing power is reduced. In other words they have become poorer in order to enrich the government," Dr Mahathir said. ... "By introducing the GST, the government is actually asking the people, including those who are not in the income tax bracket, to bail out the government." – May 29, 2015. - See more at:

28 May 2015: Dr M asks if 1MDB laundering money. Malay Mail - documents point to Najib's approval needed for all deals at TIA (1MDB precursor)

Unfair to blame entire Cabinet for 1MDB wrongs, (Shafie Apdal) says Thursday May 28, 2015 01:27 PM GMT+8 KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — A minister protested today against claims that the entire Cabinet should be held responsible for the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, saying it would be unfair to do so when he and his colleagues were just as unclear as the public over the firm’s allegedly opaque deals. According to Malaysiakini, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal said his fellow ministers have been actively raising questions on 1MDB during Cabinet meetings. “We are responsible Cabinet members. That’s why we asked the questions... We want to know (as well),” he was quoted telling reporters after a function in Putrajaya.
“We can’t be blamed for something we are not clear on,” he added. Shafie was reportedly asked to respond to former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who said recently that the entire federal Cabinet should be held responsible for the 1MDB controversy.... - See more at:

Was 1MDB laundering money? Dr M asks Thursday May 28, 2015 11:59 AM GMT+8 KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 ― Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad questioned today 1 Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) reason for storing its cash in Singapore instead of bringing it back, and asked if this this meant the firm was involved in money laundering. According to the former prime minister, the other possible reason why 1MDB claimed it was storing the funds in Singapore was because the US$1.1 billion (RM4 billion) previously invested in Cayman Islands was already gone. “The question is, was 1MDB with the knowledge of its adviser involved in money laundering, until its money from the Cayman Islands needs to be stored in Singapore?” Dr Mahathir asked in the latest post on his blog. “Or was the real reason to lie about storing the money in Singapore, is because there is no cash at all stored there, that the US$1 billion is gone?” Dr Mahathir also warned that the Monetary Authority of Singapore would scrutinise money going in and out of the country for money laundering. Yesterday, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) confirmed receiving a report from its Singapore counterpart on a complaint lodged by BSI Bank about 1MDB account that the Swiss bank was handling. But Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz declined to divulge the contents of the report, which former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad previously insisted contained information to show 1MDB lied about having cash in BSI Bank. Referring to BNM’s refusal, Dr Mahathir said today that covering up 1MDB’s alleged lies over its cash in Singapore would be a crime. “What is weird and wrong is the refusal of responsible government departments to take action over the claims made and police reports lodged involving 1MDB’s missing cash,” said Dr Mahathir. - See more at:

Leaked documents show PM’s approval required for all deals under 1MDB precursor BY SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL Tuesday May 26, 2015 05:43 PM GMT+8 KUALA LUMPUR, May 26 — The prime minister has the final say over any “financial commitment” undertaken by 1 Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) precursor, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), according to TIA's Memorandum and Articles of Association agreement. Clause 75 of the agreement states that the management of the company and the determination of overall investment policies or decisions lies with the board of directors. 1MDB was incorporated in 2009, after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced the decision to turn TIA into a federal agency. Clause 117 of the agreement inked on February 27, 2009, indicates that the prime minister must give his written approval for any of TIA’s deals, including the firm’s investments or any bid for restructuring.
The clause states that for any avoidance of doubt, none of three things can be executed “without the written prior approval of the prime minister”. This includes “any financial commitment (including investment), restructuring or any other matter which is likely to affect the guarantee given by the Federal Government of Malaysia for the benefit of the company, national interest, national security or any policy of the Federal Government of Malaysia”. The clause also stipulates that the government shall have the “final and conclusive” right to determine what constitutes national interest and national security. Other matters which need the PM’s approval are amendments to the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company and appointments and removal of directors and senior management team of TIA. The document was made available to Malay Mail Online.... Malay Mail Online is attempting to obtain a copy of 1MDB's Memorandum and Articles of Association agreement. - See more at:

26 May 2015: 1MDB Top officials skipping PAC hearing 'unacceptable' - Nazir Razak

1MDB: Top officials skipping PAC hearing 'unacceptable' - Nazir Razak Astro Awani | Updated: May 26, 2015  (First published on: May 26, 2015 12:36 MYT)  "Your company has triggered a national crisis and you can be too busy to face parliament? Unacceptable," he wrote on his Instagram account.  KUALA LUMPUR: The failure of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy and former CEO Datuk Shahrul Ibrahim Halmi has drawn the ire of Datuk Nazir Razak. Nazir who is the brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak took to Instagram to vent out his frustration after the two top officials had failed to appear before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) hearing, scheduled today. "Your company has triggered a national crisis and you can be too busy to face parliament? Unacceptable," he wrote on his Instagram account. Shahrul Ibrahim was 1MDB’s first CEO from February 2009 until March 2013, while Arul Kanda was appointed in January this year. The PAC was only informed via a letter from the Finance Ministry on May 22 that the duo could not attend as they had overseas appointment. Nur Jazlan also said PAC will be taking statements from three firms which had audited 1MDB’s accounts. He said the firms – Deloitte, KPMG and Earnst & Young – are the main witnesses in the proceedings. Read more at:

24 May 2015: Mahathir demands criminal probe in 1MDB "cover up" - BSI Bank held funds from Cayman redemption in assets and not cash

Ex-Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad demands criminal probe into 1MDB "cover-up" Published on May 24, 2015 4:57 PM Malaysia's former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday accused Putrajaya of a cover-up, after it was revealed that state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) US$1.103-billion (S$1.47 billion) investment redemption was in assets and not cash. -- ST PHOTO: REME AHMAD  KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday accused Putrajaya of a cover-up, after it was revealed that state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) US$1.103-billion (S$1.47 billion) investment redemption was in assets and not cash. In a blog post, Dr Mahathir said the Finance Ministry's confirmation that the amount was in assets directly contradicted Prime Minister Najib Razak's parliamentary reply that 1MDB's funds were brought back from the Cayman Islands and parked in Singapore's BSI Bank, Malay Mail Online reported on Sunday. The website also quoted Dr Mahathir as saying that Bank Negara Malaysia would have been informed by Singapore authorities of the fact that the amount was not in the form of US dollars as had been asserted. "The 'cover-up' act or the act of hiding offences committed in government transactions is legally wrong," Dr Mahathir wrote in the blog post. He cited Section 218 of the Penal Code which imposes a punishment of a maximum jail term of three years or a fine, or both. for public servants who prepare records that they know to be incorrect, knowing that doing so will cause losses to the public or they do so with the intent to escape legal punishment. "There is a criminal element in this case that requires a police investigation and if this money cannot be traced, then legal action must be taken against all the parties involved," Malay Mail quoted Dr Mahathir as saying. - See more at:

16 May 2015: The Edge Malaysia - 4 full page spread on 1MDB - serious questions for the 1MDB Board of Directors

And amidst Singapore Business Times report on Deutsche Bank consortium looking to exit early its loan with 1MDB, questions swirling on cascading effect on such a big loan pile and also implications for Malaysia credit rating - a recent
  • Moody’s casts cloud over Malaysia’s credit outlook amid warning of 1MDB loan default, May 15, 2015; “Given the fluidity of the situation currently surrounding 1MDB, it would be difficult to ascertain the impact of a 1MDB loan default on the government’s sovereign rating,” Moody’s vice-president and senior analyst of sovereign risk Christian de Guzman said in an email to Malay Mail Online. “We do not consider 1MDB’s debt liabilities as obligations of the federal government, with the exception of the guarantees that have been provided for a subset of 1MDB’s borrowings. “Having said that, the provision of government support to 1MDB that significantly derails the current trend of fiscal consolidation would be negative for the sovereign rating,” he added. He was commenting on Singapore Business Times’ report Wednesday that lenders may be spooked by the controversy surrounding 1MDB and are contemplating demanding the full settlement of a US$975-million (RM3.6 billion) loan ahead of its due date in August. More worrying for the state-owned investor is that the consortium led by the Deutsche Bank Singapore could trigger cascading defaults on the remainder of 1MDB’s reported RM42 billion debt if they declare the firm to be delinquent. The consortium’s fears are said to be prompted by “incomplete” documents that 1MDB provided as a form of security, rendering the terms of the loan unmet. This alleged breach allows the banks to rescind the loan ahead of the August due date. - See more at:
  • From March 2015: 1MDB Unlikely to Destabilise Malaysian Banking System – Fitch Ratings; and Fitch Sees More Than 50% Odds of Malaysia Downgrade on 1MDB - Bloomberg Business;

16 May 2015: Malaysian Insider news on Najib-1MDB crisis: Get independent audit or quit, Nazir tells 1MDB directors,  Tenaga will consider buying stake in 1MDB unit Edra Global Energy, Johor Umno backs Najib, says information chief,  Lawyers, former ministers say Tabung Haji-1MDB land deal needs Cabinet  oversight - Cabinet answerable to Dewan Rakyat / Parliament - but the mechanism that holds the people’s mandate is not consulted

Get independent audit or quit, Nazir tells 1MDB directors Published: 15 May 2015 9:01 AM CIMB Group Bhd Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has told the board of 1Malaysia Development Berhad that they should resign if they fail to take active measures to address concerns over its finances. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 15, 2015. CIMB Group Bhd Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said that the board of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should resign if they did not want to take active measures to address concerns over its finances, The Star reported today. The brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said it was irresponsible for the debt-ridden state investment arm to do nothing and simply wait for the Auditor-General (A-G) to complete its investigation. “The immediate check for a responsible board is to appoint an independent (auditor) now … otherwise the board and management, in my view, should resign," Nazir was quoted as saying. - See more at:

Tenaga will consider buying stake in 1MDB unit Edra Global Energy Published: 16 May 2015 10:14 AM Tenaga Nasional president and CEO Datuk Seri Azman Mohd says as a power company, if an opportunity such as this comes along, Tenaga has to consider it. – Pic courtesy of Tenaga Nasional website, May 16, 2015.Tenaga Nasional Bhd will consider buying a stake in 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) unit Edra Global Energy Bhd if the opportunity arises, Edge Weekly reports in its latest May 18-24 issue. In an exclusive interview, Tenaga chief executive officer Datuk Seri Azman Mohd said that the price for the Edra stake had to be fair to generate value for state-controlled utility Tenaga's shareholders. 1MDB is planning to list Edra on Bursa Malaysia. "We (Tenaga) are a power company. We do power generation. If any opportunity comes along, we will consider. It is our core business. "But, of course, the question is, at what price? It must add value for the shareholders. As a listed company, we cannot do otherwise. It has to be a fair price. A good price even. In fact, we are in a position to get a very good price, you know?" Azman said. He, however, said no one had "officially" appproached Tenaga on the possibility of Tenaga acquiring a stake in Edra. - See more at:

Johor Umno backs Najib, says information chief BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 16 May 2015 8:30 AM Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has received the backing of Johor Umno amid criticism over his leadership of the party as well as the country. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, May 16, 2015.Johor Umno has unanimously backed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's leadership, said its information chief Datuk Samsol Bari Jamali. He said Johor Umno had concluded that there were no other party leaders qualified to replace Najib at the moment. - See more at:

Lawyers, former ministers say Tabung Haji-1MDB land deal needs Cabinet oversight BY MD IZWAN Published: 16 May 2015 6:59 AM Law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari says following the constitution the Cabinet must answer to Parliament, hence matters of the taxpayers' interest must be brought to the Cabinet. – The Malaysian Insider pic, May 16, 2015.Lembaga Tabung Haji’s controversial land deal with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should have been brought to the Cabinet, lawyers and former ministers said, following reports that the matter was not discussed by sitting ministers. Constitutional law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari wanted to know who was making decisions for the government, if something as serious as multi-million ringgit land deal involving a trouble state-backed firm did not go through the Cabinet. “Taxpayers’ money was used, but the Cabinet was not consulted or the decision did not come from the Cabinet. It may have come from the prime minister, and that becomes a problem,” Aziz said when commenting on the pilgrims' fund's recent purchase of land from the debt-ridden state investment firm. He said that since the people had given the Cabinet their mandate, any decision relating to public interest should go through the body first. The ministers, as elected representatives, were also answerable to the Dewan Rakyat or lower house of Parliament, Aziz added. “You are using the people’s money, but the mechanism that holds the people’s mandate is not consulted. That is the problem,” said Aziz. “If you look at the constitution, the Cabinet must answer to Parliament or the Dewan Rakyat, so you can ask them questions. “But now none of the ministers know anything of this deal, so that becomes a major concern,” said Aziz. - See more at:

16 May 2015: Malaysiakini news on Najib-1MDB crisis: Najib a hit with Obama, says minister, PM meets Johor Umno leaders behind closed doors,  Umno leader flays 1MDB board for letting PM roast,  Don't turn TH into racial issue, 1MDB woes - the buck stops at Najib By Yoursay 

Najib a hit with Obama, says minister By Alyaa Azhar; 5:25PM May 15, 2015; The prime minister's reputation may have been bruised on the domestic front but Najib Abdul Razak still has international appeal, especially among world leaders.

PM meets Johor Umno leaders behind closed doors By Bernama 12:00AM May 16, 2015; Umno president Najib Abdul Razak today held a closed-door meeting with the Johor Umno liaison committee members. The prime minister arrived for the meeting, held at Puteri Pacific Hotel, at 8.40pm. Also present were party vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein and supreme council members Aziz Kaprawi and Razali Ibrahim. Earlier, Johor Menteri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin, who is Johor Umno liaison committee chairperson, arrived at the venue together with several state executive council members. The meeting, which lasted for more than two hours, was also attended by Umno divisional leaders in Johor. - Bernama

Umno leader flays 1MDB board for letting PM roast By Kow Gah Chie 4:38PM May 14, 2015; An Umno supreme council member said it is unfair for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to be solely responsible in responding to problems plaguing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

1MDB woes - the buck stops at Najib By Yoursay  8:16AM May 16, 2015; YOURSAY When a ship runs aground, who should answer for it? The captain.

Don't turn TH into racial issue, Mubarak told 4:55PM May 15, 2015; The Malaysian Council of Former Elected Representatives (Mubarak) has been slammed for turning the Lembaga Tabung Haji (Pilgrims' Fund Board) issue into a racial one.  Perak DAP Socialist Youth said its police report on the pilgrimage fund's purchase of debt-ridden 1MDB land at overinflated price had nothing to do with race, as Mubarak had claimed.  "Let me stress that the Tabung Haji scandal is neither a Muslim issue nor a Malay issue, but a Malaysian issue of good governance where public funds (had been allegedly) abused to bail out failed state corporations due to the government's incompetence and mismanagement. "I am appalled by Mubarak's statement in Sinar Harian today that allege Perak DAP Youth's police report against the Tabung Haji bailout of 1MDB as interfering with Muslim matters in Malaysia," said Chong Zhemin, the political secretary to the Taiping MP.

14 May 2015: Latest in 1MDB saga is Singapore BT report of foreign banks seeking early loan repayment (with fears of cascading effect on 1MDB loan pile); PM Najib sits with solid UMNO support amidst new turmoil (Mahathir and Muhyiddin past issues re-emerge), claims of "pawning" Terengganu oil and gas assets refuted; KL circles noting that regional newspapers including Singapore Business Times and Australia SMH carry news on PM Najib woes.

source: unattributed social media graphics carried on Tabung Haji - 1MDB land deal and top management connections

German banks seek early repayment of 1MDB loan, could trigger default on RM42b debt | Malaysia | Malay Mail Online -

1MDB unable to disclose details on loan report Thursday, 14 May 2015; PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was unable to disclose any details on news that a consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank has asked for a US$975mil (RM3.5bil) loan to be repaid less than four months ahead of its due date. “We are aware of recent press reports and statements concerning a loan taken by 1MDB in September 2014. While we would like to respond in detail, this relates to a confidential banking matter, which prevents us from commenting at the present time,” said its president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy in an email reply.
“However, we intend to update the market as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

Terengganu MB refutes Ahmad Said’s claims on 1MDB predecessor  by firdaous fadzil Updated: Wednesday May 13, 2015 MYT 10:58:07 PM; KUALA TERENGGANU: Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman (pic) has denied claims that Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), now known as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), tried to use the state’s oil and gas industry as collateral. “No such thing. Our exco would not have agreed as we also have a team of experts to advise us and that would not have happened,” Ahmad Razif told reporters after attending the third term of the 13th Terengganu State Legislative Assembly sitting at Wisma Darul Iman on Wednesday. “In fact, Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) does not have any relation with 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB),” he said in relation to former mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said's claim that TIA had tried to pawn the state's oil and gas. Ahmad Razif confirmed that the state government had initially planned to invest with TIA and that that investment arm was initially established as an option to diversify the state’s income. “It was a unanimous decision by the exco to make an investment and that was how TIA was established where we invested RM1mil at that time,” he reiterated....

Foreign banks circle 1MDB over RM3bil loan Malaysiakini 12:59PM May 13, 2015
A group of six international banks are seeking for early payment of their US$975 million (RM3.6 billion) loan to cash-strapped 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), reports Singapore's Business TImes. The loan from the consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank is only due in September but it would seem they have become increasingly jittery over 1MDB's financial status.

Strong in Umno, but weak in the elections By Salhan K Ahmad; COMMENT The festivities surrounding Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s speech in Sabah last weekend are reminiscent of the 13th general election campaign. Those following the telecast of the event in Tawau would have seen an eyeful of ‘I Love PM’ banners held up by participants filling up every inch of the television screen. It was reported that 40,000 were there in solidarity with Najib. Fittingly, Najib said he will not step down just because of pressure from one man – former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He saw the pressure from Mahathir as merely a test. In fact, he said, Mahathir faced a bigger test in his time...

'Umno huffs and puffs at Najib, then heels' Malaysiakini 8:24AM May 12, 2015;...

Umno division heads to ask Najib to step down today? Malaysiakini 11:58AM May 11, 2015
Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin has claimed that Umno supreme council members will "politely" seek Najib Abdul Razak's ouster as prime minister this afternoon. "I have been informed that the council members have accepted the fact that Najib does not have the support of the people, particularly Umno members. "They might tell Najib this sincerely, politely and in a civilised manner during the meeting this afternoon," wrote Zainuddin on his blog. He then cited Umno wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil as stating that regardless of what happened, the party should ensure that it remains united. Najib is meeting all the party division chiefs today as well as chairing a party supreme council meeting in conjunction with the party's 69th anniversary. He is also expected to speak during a dinner to commemorate the event this evening. On another note, Zainuddin urged Muslims in Malaysia to "join" Mahathir in prayer in asking for Najib's ouster.

Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak rejects calls to resign Date May 11, 2015 - 11:54AM  72 reading now Lindsay Murdoch  South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Bangkok: Malaysia's embattled prime minister Najib Razak has vowed to stand firm against calls for him to resign amid a new controversy surrounding his handling of a state investment fund that is billions of dollars in debt. "I will not bow to pressure," Mr Najib said in a speech where he denounced former strongman prime minister Mahathir Mohamad who has led the resignation calls.
Mr Najib was quoted by the state newsagency Bernama as saying he was one of those in the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) who supported Dr Mahathir's 22 years in power.
"When he was in trouble we supported him to stay on. If we did not support our leader in a time of trial, he [Mahathir] would not have lasted 22 years as prime minister," Mr Najib said. "If [he] cannot support, then don't make so much noise," he said.......Dr Mahathir, still an influential figure in UMNO despite his 90 years, has repeatedly called in blog posts for Mr Najib's resignation over the investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad which the prime minister set-up and oversees. In the latest controversy Tabung Haji, a federal body that manages funds saved by Muslims, bought land from the fund in Kuala Lumpur's new financial district for almost $60 million.
After news of the purchase went viral on social media Mr Najib denied the purchase was to help bail out the fund's debt and said it was an investment. But Mr Najib said he advised Tabung Haji to sell the land....1Malaysia Development Berhad has racked up about $15 billion in debt and a close associate of Mr Najib has been accused of siphoning off its funds. Mr Najib, who is chairman of the fund's advisory board, denies any wrongdoing.Dr Mahathir's attacks have bitterly divided UMNO which has ruled Malaysia since the British departed the country in 1957.

PM: Mahathir twisting 1MDB issue - Malaysiakini

Najib won't bow to pressure to resign, says land purchase by Malaysia's haj pilgrims fund not a bailout - South-east Asia News & Top Stories - The Straits Times

Sirul Azhar Umar: Who ordered the brutal murder of Atlantuyaa Shaariibuu? May 9, 2015  by Eryk Bagshaw; In Sydney's Villawood detention centre is a man at the heart of one Malaysia's greatest political murder mysteries. Pacing the green rubber floor of Sydney's Villawood Immigration Detention Centre is a man who carries a secret so explosive that it holds both sides of Malaysian politics and its media in its thrall. The former bodyguard to two Malaysian Prime Ministers, ex-police commando Sirul Azhar Umar is a baby-faced killer, convicted of a political murder so gruesome it made a nation shudder.  Now, facing the death penalty in Malaysia, Sirul has brought his secret to Australia in search of political asylum. So far, he is sitting restlessly with the high-risk inmates at the maximum security Blaxland unit in Villawood, keeping his secret to himself. "I'm not sure If I'm ready to tell all yet," he tells me as we meet for the first time. "I was a member of the police force, we are bound by code of silence." What Sirul knows, though, has much broader implications than just for him. It has put the already unstable tenure of Malaysia's Prime Minister, Najib Razak, on even shakier ground. It has brought one of Malaysia's ruling elite, Australia's old diplomatic foe, Mahathir Mohamad, out of retirement to speak against his former protege, and it has excited the country's perpetually oppressed opposition with the hope that perhaps after nearly 60 years, the edifice of that country's political dynasty is crumbling.

9 May 2015: Tabung Haji chief also 1MDB director

Dr M tells Tabung Haji to nix 1MDB land buy now Friday May 8, 201506:17 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Lembaga Tabung Haji must call off its purchase of land from 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) immediately, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today. Telling the Muslim pilgrims fund that it was overpaying for the deal, Dr Mahathir pointed out that 1MDB paid RM194 million for the 70 acres in the Tun Razak Exchange, where it will sell 1.5 acres to LTH for a reported RM188 million. “Is this how Tabung Haji spends the money of the public that it is entrusted with? Contributors hope their savings with Tabung Haji is managed for their benefit, but these funds are being used to save 1MDB that has lost billions of ringgit. “This plan must be cancelled immediately,” Dr Mahathir wrote on his personal blog today. He then reminded LTH that its funds were the savings of Muslims planning to perform their Haj, and do not belong to the board members to do as they choose. “It is depressing when these funds are used to bail out 1MDB’s debts,” he added. - See more at:

Tabung Haji chief also 1MDB director, Umno man points out Friday May 8, 2015 05:02 PM GMT+8
Conflict of interest? Tabung Haji MD sits on 1MDB boardConflict of interest? Tabung Haji MD sits on 1MDB board. Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah further questioned the RM188.5 million sale of 1MDB land in the Tun Razak Exchange to the Muslim pilgrim fund, saying that Tabung Haji is meant to invest only in Shariah-compliant businesses. “Isn’t Tabung Haji CEO TS Ismee Ismail on the 1MDB board of directors: isn’t there a conflict of interest here,” Saifuddin wrote on Facebook today.
1MDB lists Ismee as one of six people on its board of directors. On Wednesday, news began surfacing that LTH was buying two parcels of land from 1MDB, purportedly for nearly RM800 million. LTH chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim immediately denied this, before the board confirmed the deal next day albeit for one parcel at RM188 million instead of two as initially believed based on documents leaked by an anonymous blog. The confirmation has prompted bipartisan calls from lawmakers and private groups for LTH to explain the “high-risk” transaction.
Earlier today, PKR lawmaker Rafizi Ramli pointed out that 1MDB coincidentally has interest payment worth RM188.5 million due soon on one of its loans. ..........

Can’t stay on backfoot, Muhyiddin says of attacks on 1MDB Friday May 8, 201510:25 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Putrajaya must be proactive over attacks on 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and not only react to criticism over the state investment fund, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. According to him, the results of the Rompin and Permatang Pauh by-elections have exposed Putrajaya’s weakness in handling the allegations over 1MDB as well as criticism against the Goods and Services Tax (GST). “In the rakyat’s view, the defensive attitude is not helping in the long term. An offensive stance is to be ready to answer the people,” Muhyiddin was quoted as saying by national news agency Bernama today. “This means every issue raised that affects the public and is brought to the government’s attention must be managed as soon as possible… whether it is an answer or improvement.” - See more at:

7 May 2015: Tabung Haji CEO confirms one 1MDB land deal after denial by the fund board's Chairman Abdul Azeez. Whistleblower report of purchase of land plots from 1MDB at unreasonably high price. Quit over 1MDB land denial, PAS tells Azeez.

Quit over 1MDB land denial, PAS tells Azeez by Malaysiakini  5:48PM May 7, 2015; PAS vice-president Husam Musa wants Tabung Haji chairperson Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim to resign after denying on Twitter late last night that the pilgrimage fund bought Tun Razak Exchange land
.........Based on this and Johan's statement, it can be deduced that Tabung Haji confirmed the purchase of only Plot 1, for about RM2,779 per square feet.... The blog claims that 1MDB had supposedly bought the land from the government earlier for only RM90 per square feet, but 2012 reports showed that the land was bought for RM74.20 per square foot.......Husam said Johan's claim that the purchase is based on market price is questionable as it is multiple times what 1MDB paid....."This is the simple business model of 1MDB - the father sells to the son at a cheap price, and then forces his son-in-law to buy from his son at a higher price. Where does all the profit go?" Tuan Ibrahim asked. He raised concern that next in 1MDB's sights are agencies like Lembaga Zakat, Employee Provident Fund or Felda. He said these agencies may be next to be forced to pick up the assets 1MDB got for a song, at inflated prices.......The Muslim Youth Movement (Abim) also demanded the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to investigate the matter. "We view this seriously. It can affect savings of Muslims who intend to fulfill the fifth pillar of Islam (the haj)," said Abim president Amidi Manan in a statement.........

Tabung Haji admits to land deal with 1MDB BY RAM ANAND Published: 7 May 2015 1:38 PM; Pilgrims fund Tabung Haji confirmed that it had bought a parcel of land from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project after its chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim denied any such deal a day earlier. In a statement emailed to the The Malaysian Insider today, Tabung Haji chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Johan Abdullah said that the fund had invested in a piece of land with the plan of building a residential tower, at the price of RM188.5 million. It denied however that it had bought a second parcel of land from 1MDB at TRX as alleged in a blog yesterday. "Leakages of proposal papers are not proof of approved investment decisions," Johan said in his statement.,,,1MDB currently sits on an RM42 billion debt and is facing a cash flow problem .....

Tabung Haji: No land deal with 1MDB by rahmah ghazali Updated: Thursday May 7, 2015 MYT 12:29:24 PM PETALING JAYA: Tabung Haji has denied a whistleblower report alleging that the pilgrimage fund has purchased plots of land owned by debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) at an unreasonably high price. “Wrong. TH will release a statement as soon as possible,” the pilgrimage fund chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (pic) posted said in response to a Twitter user on Wednesday night. Social media was abuzz when a blog called The Benchmark released a set of documents on May 5, purportedly detailing the proposed purchase of two plots of land at the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) – one for RM194mil at RM2,860 per sq ft, and the other for RM578mil at RM3,900 per sq ft.....  The blog, claimed that it had received confirmation from “little birds” in Tabung Haji, saying that it was a “fast-track deal” which had received government approval in less than two weeks and that the money had been paid to 1MDB in full. The blog also claimed that 1MDB was believed to have been awarded the large track of government-owned TRX land in Jalan Tun Razak at a cheap rate of RM60 per sq ft. It claimed that 1MDB was also believed to have paid a slightly higher rate of about RM90 per sq ft for the Sungai Besi RMAF airport/base land.... When contacted, Abdul Azeez’s special officer said the Baling MP was still at a meeting and was not available for comments. “A statement will be released soon,” he said....
picture: Chairman of Tabung Haji / Pilgrim's Fund, the notable multi-lingual Tamil-speaking MP for Baling (heated debate in Parlimen Malaysia between MP Azeez and another MP in Tamil language has been well noted)

6 May 2015: Merdeka Center - Majority of voters lack awareness and comprehension of 1MDB controversy, PM's approval rating slips to 44%

Majority of voters lack awareness and comprehension of 1MDB controversy; BANGI, 17 Apr 2015 –A survey carried as a collaboration between BFM Radio and the Merdeka Center among voters in Peninsular Malaysia found that a very large majority (69%) of voters were not fully aware what the 1MDB controversy was all about. The survey found vast majorities of low income voters, who made the majority of voters and those who had no internet access reported lacking awareness about the issue. Press release:; Full report:

Merdeka Center - PM's approval rating slips to 44%; report here,

29 April 2015: Sarawak Report - Investigators Conclude 1MDB “Cheated” And “Made False Document” to Bank Negara, Deutsche Bank And Others EXCLUSIVE and Jho Low’s Contact At Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Is Removed From His Posts! Dr M roadshow against PM Najib, Najib's "no surrender" speech; 1MDB-DuSable 50MW solar farm to get tariff hike? Previous tariff  "was deemed simply to low for the project to be feasible" - The Edge; DuSable run by key Obama fund raiser.

Investigators Conclude 1MDB “Cheated” And “Made False Document” to Bank Negara, Deutsche Bank And Others EXCLUSIVE, 29 Apr 2015;  Investigators into the Malaysian development fund 1MDB’s 2009 joint venture with the company PetroSaudi International have concluded that the partnership lied to its banks and Bank Negara Malaysia by confirming that the company Good Star Limited was a 100% subsidiary. In fact Good Star Limited is a third party concern, controlled by the businessman friend of the Prime Minister, Jho Low, whom we have shown was secretly directing the fund’s investment decisions. It leads to possible charges of “cheating”, write the investigators in a document in our possession.......Money was not used for intended purposes in violation of FEA rules.....Why did the banks fail to report suspicious transaction reports? ...Zurich branch of RBS Coutts under scrutiny – how come it did not file a suspicious transaction report on Good Star and did it check the beneficial owner of the account? While the investigators largely appear to exonerate the banks involved in these transactions, including 1MDB’s bank Deutsche Bank, on the basis that it appears they were misled by 1MDB’s managers, they nevertheless query the banks’ failure to flag up suspicious transactions .....Action by the regulators...... Malaysia’s regulators have decided in the light of these investigations to approach the Swiss authorities in order to confirm that the money did indeed arrive in the Good Star account in RBS Coutts Zurich. .....False document....The papers also throw up a second accusation of possible falsification of documents by 1MDB....Action or Inaction?
Yet, despite these investigations and recommendations by the authorities both within Malaysia and Singapore, the Finance Minister cum Prime Minister last night dismissed the entire series of documented revelations about 1MDB as “wild allegations .....

Good Star Connection – Jho Low’s Contact At Abu Dhabi Wealth Fund Is Removed From His Posts! Sarawak Report, 26 Apr 2015; Over the past few days it has emerged that Khadem al Qubaisi, the man identified by this blog as Jho Low’s key contact at Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Aabar Investments, has been removed from the majority of his posts. Until a few days ago al Qubaisi was one of the most senior public executives in the Arab state. He was the Chief Executive and Board Member of the major sovereign wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), as well as the Chairman of its subsidiary companies Aabar Investments and Arabtec. However, it was reported on Wednesday that Mr al Qubaisi has suddenly stepped down from his role as Chairman at IPIC, which followed on from earlier news that he had also stepped down from his Chairmanship of Arabtec a few days before. Then on Thursday it emerged that Khadem al Qubaisi had also been removed as Chairman of Aabar Properties, which is a subsidiary of Aabar Investments, the company closely involved with 1MDB and Jho Low in a number of well-publicised recent ventures. News reports are speculating whether the departure from Aabar Properties and also the parent company IPIC means that Mr Al Qubaisi has also been replaced in his position at Aabar Investments as well....

Dr M roadshow vs Najib TV show - As predicted, Dr Mahathir Mohamad has embarked on Phase II of his campaign against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak - the roadshow.

Country bigger than PM's 'Bugis pinisi', says Kadir; Following Najib Abdul Razak's 'no surrender' speech yesterday, veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin reminded the prime minister that Malaysia is no mere Bugis ship....  "It wouldn't matter (if it sank) if Malaysia is just a Bugis pinisi, but our independence is far bigger and far grander than a wooden, two-masted Bugis pinisi. "Or are the ambitions and aspirations that the prime minister speak of just like a Bugis pinisi?" wrote the former New Straits Times Sdn Bhd group editor-in-chief in his blog.  A pinisi is a sailing ship that originated from Indonesia. Its name and design are both derived from that of a 16th century Dutch pinnace.
 Yesterday while launching the annual reports of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Economic Transformation Programme (ETP), Najib invoked his Bugis heritage by stating that Bugis seafarers never surrender and neither would he and his administration despite "facing a raft of hurdles and attacks".  "The Bugis way is that, a vessel taken to sea cannot abandon its journey.  "Even if a tidal wave hits, breaking the rudder and tearing the sail, and even if a thousand vessels are swallowed by the ocean, it is more honourable to stay and fight than to turn back home," he said.
 It was likely that Najib was alluding to the constant attacks on his leadership by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad...... 

26 April 2015: Sarawak Report - Out of a total of at least USD$1.93 billion that Sarawak Report calculates was lent to PetroSaudi we now see that USD$1.19 billion went to Good Star Limited; Dr M takes attack against PM Najib to KL grassroots

Hundreds back Dr M during biting speech on Najib BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 25 April 2015 7:00 PM; More than 1,000 people, including civil servants and civil society leaders, showed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not "alone" when they cheered the former prime minister on in his two-hour meet-the-people session at a club in Kuala Lumpur this morning. This was the first time Dr Mahathir took his attacks against Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the grassroots level, after earlier lampooning the prime minister in his blog and urging him to leave office. The shouts and cheers from the crowd which had gathered as early as 8.30am began as Dr Mahathir stepped out of his vehicle at the K Klub and continued as he walked the 50m aisle to the stage.... He was flanked by controversial lecturer Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, and Datuk Ibrahim Ali, president of Perkasa, the Malay rights group which co-hosted the forum. ‎ Also spotted were former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, and former health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, who is part of the G25 group.He spoke for an hour about the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), businessman Jho Low, his respect for Tun Abdul Razak, Najib's daughter's lavish wedding reception and many more that left the crowd dazed. They were responsive to his speech, cheering every time he called for Najib to step down as prime minister and laughing at his wit and sarcasm. The crowd also could not wait to begin asking him questions on the issues he had raised about Najib, his administration and policies that have not set well with the people, including about the goods and services tax. This was evident with the number of those who clamoured to the microphone, hoping for a chance to address the influential former premier and hear him answer their query. One man asked Dr Mahathir what he thought of the GST, which the government had introduced as a solution to its depleting funds. "I think they should just abolish it," Dr Mahathir replied. - See more at:

Further USD$330 million Went Straight To Jho Low’s Good Star Limited From 1MDB! NEW EXCLUSIVE; New documents obtained by Sarawak Report show that in 2011 the company Good Star Limited, which is controlled by the businessman friend of the Finance Minister, Jho Low, received the entirety of a further USD$330 million ‘loan’ that had been authorised by the development fund 1MDB, supposedly in favour of its former joint venture partner PetroSaudi International......The money was transferred in four separate tranches in the form of USD currency ($30 million + $65 million + $110 million + $125 million) straight into Good Star Limited’s RBS Coutts, Zurich account. Yet approval had only been granted by the regulators for 1MDB to lend the money to 1MDB PetroSaudi Limited (BVI) on the basis that it was to “finance on-going overseas investment in the oil and gas sector”. There was no mention made of the company Good Star in the 1MDB application and neither was approval granted for the money to be sent to Good Star.
Nevertheless all four of the payments totalling $330 million from two separate banks in Malaysia went straight to Good Star Limited, according to the documents we hold. ..........Most shockingly, the investigation has further established that the USD$330 million, which was sent to Good Star was officially reported to Malaysia’s Bank Negara as having been paid to the PetroSaudi company 1MDB PetroSaudi. All such large foreign payment transactions need under Malaysian regulations to be the subject of a so-called ITIS Report [International Transactions Information System]. Under this report it was stated that the money had gone to PetroSaudi’s parent company’s account. .....The question now is who was responsible for providing this misleading information that Good Star Limited was a subsidiary company of PetroSaudi International? Also, why did none of the banks involved in any of these transactions ever see fit to file a suspicious transaction report?..... There is also a growing incredulity as to how USD$1.103 billion can still be remaining from this ill fated PetroSaudi investment and sitting in a BSI bank account in Singapore as the Finance Ministry is currently claiming?.........Out of a total of at least USD$1.93 billion that Sarawak Report calculates was lent to PetroSaudi we now see that USD$1.19 billion went to Good Star Limited....

Despite Dr M’s attacks, analysts say BN far from vulnerable under Najib BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY Sunday April 26, 201507:07 AM GMT+8 - See more at:
Dr M asks Najib: Are you sure you’re not alone? By Syed Jaymal Zahiid Saturday April 25, 201512:53 PM GMT+8 - See more at:
Dr M trains guns on Najib’s daughter’s wedding, highlights extravagance By SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID Saturday April 25, 201501:13 PM GMT+8 - See more at:

24 April 2015: Mahathir says 1MDB has to explain RM27 billion not accounted for, says "total loss incurred by the government is about RM25 billion," asks for explanation of false bank documents; 1MDB declined to present at Invest Malaysia - Nazir Razak; Sarawak Report - new evidence US$500 million transferred from Goodstar RBS Coutts Zurich account to a Jho Low-linked account at BSI Bank Singapore and asks "how has 1MDB managed to retrieve it all back with interest?"

Half A Billion USD Was Transferred From Good Star To Jho Low’s BSI Singapore Account! MAJOR EXCLUSIVE, 23 Apr 2015; Sarawak Report has new exclusive evidence that over USD$500 million was transferred from Good Star LImited’s account at RBH Coutts in Zurich into an account belonging to the controversial businessman Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) at BSI Bank in Singapore….

1MDB declined Invest Malaysia invitation Posted on 24 April 2015 - 05:41am; KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), whose fortunes have been partly blamed for contributing to the fall in the ringgit and negative investor sentiment, declined to participate in Invest Malaysia 2015 this year. The 11th Invest Malaysia institutional investor conference, which opened yesterday, is organised by Bursa Malaysia Bhd in collaboration with CIMB Investment Bank Bhd. The annual event looks every year to showcase Malaysia's most investable companies. This year, 51 companies were represented. CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak said it invited 1MDB but the state-owned investment firm turned down the invitation.........

Dr M fires more salvo at Najib, questions 1MDB finances Sathesh Raj, Astro Awani | Updated: April 24, 2015  (First published on: April 24, 2015 07:32 MYT) Corruption is not something uncommon in governments,however, they involve relatively small amount of money - MAHATHIR; KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest blog posting touched on the issue of management of government finances which he said should be governed by laws, rules and regulations. Its expenditure has to conform to the proposals set out in its budget plans.  He added Governments can lose money through bad investments.  "We would know where the money is lost. But when huge sums of money disappear, then those entrusted with its management must answer for the disappearance.  "Disappearance is different from just losing. Disappearance is about money lost which cannot be traced. This can be because of corruption or theft," as written by Dr Mahathir in his blog.  He questioned how 1MDB, a company with RM1 million capital with no assets could borrow 42,000 times its capital with no collaterals..........  Despite being a guarantor, Dr Mahathir also questioned why the operation of 1MDB is not overseen by government officers responsible for the management of government funds.....  He said 1MDB started off wrong even from the beginning.
“It started off as an off-budget and it was not put before the Parliament. The money was borrowed. So it is not sovereign wealth but sovereign debt,” he said....  In the blog, Dr Mahathir also broke down the investments of 1MDB:
 - Purchase of Tanjong Energy (now known as Powertek Energy Sdn Bhd) from Ananda Krishnan for RM 8.5 billion.
 - Purchase of Genting Sanyen Power (now known as Kuala Langat Power Plant) for RM 2.3 billion.
 - Purchase of Jimah Energy for RM 1.2 billion.
 - Purchase of 70 acres of land in Jalan Tun Razak for RM320 million i.e: RM64.00 psf.
 - Purchase of 495 acres of land in the former Sungai Besi TUDM airport (now known as Bandar Malaysia) about RM 363.5 million i.e: at RM 91.00 psf.
 - Purchase of 234 acres land in Air Itam in Penang RM 1.38 billion i.e: at RM135.00 psf.
 He said the investments and purchases known so far add up to RM14.7 billion and that there is about RM27 billion that needs to be explained. “Where is the rest of the money?” he asked adding that 1MDB is not getting any returns from its investments.  He said the total loss incurred by the government is about RM25 billion. .... Read more at:

Answer claims of false documents, says Dr M  by desiree tresa gasper Updated: Friday April 24, 2015 MYT 8:03:35 AM; KUALA LUMPUR: The Government needs to explain the alleged “false documents” provided by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) in relation to its US$1.1bil (RM3.99bil) overseas investments that had been redeemed from a fund management firm and kept in a Singapore bank. Former premier Tun Dr Maha­thir Mohamad said it was the Government’s responsibility to provide an answer.  “Our Government says the money is in Singapore and the Singapore side says there is no money there. There is definitely no money in Malaysia, so where is the money?” he questioned.  Speaking to reporters after delivering a special address on social media as part of the World Bloggers and Social Media summit yesterday, Dr Mahathir said it was unacceptable that the authorities had no answer to the allegations.  Earlier this week, whistle-blower website Sarawak Report claimed it had been passed “disturbing evidence” showing that the Singapore branch of BSI Bank had dismissed as “false bank statements” documents supplied by 1MDB in relation to its redemption of investments from the fund management firm, Brazen Sky Limited.........

22 April 2015: 1MDB Presented False Documents Say BSI Singapore - Sarawak Report

1MDB Presented False Documents Say BSI Singapore! EXCLUSIVE, 22 APR 2015; Sarawak Report has been passed disturbing evidence, showing that BSI Bank has dismissed documents supplied by 1MDB relating to its Brazen Sky Limited account in Singapore, saying they are false bank statements. Sarawak Report has been passed disturbing evidence, showing that BSI Bank has dismissed documents supplied by 1MDB relating to its Brazen Sky Limited account in Singapore, saying they are false bank statements. The documents were supplied to various authorities by 1MDB’s CEO Arul Kanda and purported to show Brazen Sky’s statement of account in November 2014. However, the Swiss private bank has told the Singapore authorities that the document did not originate from them and does not represent a true account of the assets of the 1MDB subsidiary.
On March 13th this information was reported back to Malaysia. Two days earlier, on March 11th, the Minister of Finance (Prime Minister Najib Razak) had issued a Parliamentary reply to questions from the opposition DAP MP Tony Pua, confirming that the remaining $1.103 billion had already been “redeemed” from Brazen Sky’s alleged off shore fund in the Cayman Islands and stating that it was now being “kept in US currency” at BSI Bank Limited, Singapore. However, separate insider information gained in Singapore has corroborated that there is no actual cash in the relevant Brazan Sky Limited account. “The account merely contains ‘paper assets”, explained a source “the true value of which cannot be determined”..........

22 April 2015: 1MDB-DuSable 50MW solar farm to get tariff hike? Previous tariff  "was deemed simply to low for the project to be feasible" - The Edge; DuSable run by key Obama fund raiser.

Cancel 1MDB’s power deals instead of raising tariffs, Pua urges Putrajaya Wednesday April 22, 201509:12 AM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 ― DAP MP Tony Pua urged Putrajaya today to cancel all the power plant concessions awarded to 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) instead of allowing the debt-laden firm to profit from Malaysians by raising electricity tariffs. Pua, who is facing a defamation suit by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for criticising 1MDB's power deals, noted that according to a report on Monday in The Edge Financial Daily, the Energy Commission has already approved an increase in tariff for 1MDB's 50MW solar power plant from 41 sen per kWh to 50 sen per kWh. “That represents a whopping 22 per cent hike in electricity tariffs within a year after the project has been awarded via direct negotiations,” the Petaling Jaya Utara lawmaker said in a statement here. The power supply, he warned, will be sold to Tenaga Nasional, which will in turn transfer the cost burden to consumers. Pua also agreed with his DAP colleague Dr Ong Kian Ming who had pointed out on Monday that the 50 sen tariff is higher than the 49 sen awarded recently to other smaller solar power farms between 10MW and 30MW. - See more at:

  • 1MDB plans giant solar farm  Monday, 5 May 2014; PETALING JAYA: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is believed to have formed a 60:20:20 joint venture to undertake the country’s largest 50MW solar farm in Kedah. Sources said 1MDB would be taking a 60% stake, with Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) taking a 20% stake and the remaining 20% believed to be taken by its technology provider, a US-based company.....
  • 1MDB and US firm in solar tie-up Wednesday, 23 April 2014  By: LEONG HUNG YEE; PETALING JAYA: US private equity firm DuSable Capital Management LLC and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will work together on the country’s largest 50MW solar farm in Kedah.  “DuSable will be the investment adviser to a private equity fund in which 1MDB will be a limited partner. The private equity fund and 1MDB are working together jointly to invest in a solar energy project in Malaysia,” according to documents filed with the US Department of Justice. Further to that, 1MDB would reimburse costs incurred by DuSable arising from the development of the project and associated activities, the filing said.  “While the bulk of DuSable’s activities will relate to the development of the project, one aspect of DuSable’s activities will be to communicate with US Government officials to encourage the US Government to provide non-financial support for a Malaysian solar energy project.  “There is no formal agreement specifying such communications or activities,” DuSable said in the document........
  • DuSable to manage 1MDB solar 25 04 2014; 1 Malaysia Development (1MDB) has reached an agreement with DuSable Capital Management for it to to act as an investment manager for 1MDB's 50MW solar project in Kedah, Malaysia. DuSable, a US private equity firm, will act as investment adviser to a private equity fund...
  • Solar plant deal expected to be signed during Obama’s visit next month By: RISEN JAYASEELAN, LEONG HUNG YEE Monday, 17 March 2014; PETALING JAYA: The mega solar power plant being initiated by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has secured a tariff rate of somewhere between 40 sen to 46 sen per kWh. The rates are lower than existing tariff for electricity generated by solar plants. However it cannot be determined if that is the best rate with present technology because it is learnt that it is a directly negotiated exercise.
    The planned 50MW solar farm to be built in Kedah, was the result of a via a “direct negotiation” with the Government, sources said. It will also become by far the largest in the country. Sources said the relevant parties were working to put this agreement together in time for it to be announced during the United States President Barack Obama planned visit Malaysia next month....
  • Frank White, Jr. Founder & CEO; White is the Founder, and Chief Executive Officer of DuSable Capital Management and oversees all investments, investor relations, and operations at DuSable. Prior to founding DuSable, Mr. White founded and served as Chairman and CEO of Advanced Concepts, Inc. Under his leadership, the technology company evolved into a leading supplier of engineering and IT support services to the Federal Government. ACI ranked amongst the Mid-Atlantic’s Top 100 Fastest Growing Businesses for eight-consecutive years. Mr. White has previously been recognized as a finalist for the Ernst & Young Maryland Entrepreneur of the Year Award. Mr. White was the National Vice-Chair of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and served as a Co-Chair for President Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Committee as well....
  • Obama Fundraiser Said to Seek $1 Billion for Private Fund 'By'Miles Weiss 12:00 PM HKT   October 10, 2013; Oct. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Barack Obama’s top individual fundraiser, a former technology executive who collected millions of dollars for the president, is seeking as much as $1 billion for a private-equity fund that will invest in infrastructure and renewable energy, according to a person with knowledge of the matter.  Frank White Jr. has teamed up with two other Obama backers, Shomik Dutta and two-time Grammy Award-winning rapper Prakazrel Michel, to establish a Washington-based money-management firm called DuSable Capital Management LLC, according to a regulatory filing. DuSable plans to raise $500 million to $1 billion, said the person, who requested anonymity because the details are private. White’s new firm joins a small group of money managers founded by former political figures and public officials, who have sought to parlay their connections to invest in industries that rely on direct or indirect government support. The biggest among them is Carlyle Group LP, the buyout firm that got its start buying defense companies after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Monument Capital Group LLC and Darby Overseas Partners Ltd., both based in Washington, were also founded by former high-ranking officials.......

19 April 2015: Jho Low speaks to Euromoney

Jho says it ain’t so: Malaysian tycoon denies role in 1MDB ‘heist of the century’ /Euromoney magazine

12 April 2015: Singapore branch of RBS Coutts used in 1MDB transfers too, Monetary Authority of Singapore also reportedly confirmed it was contacting the “relevant financial institutions”

Report: Singapore-based bank tied to US$20m wire for 1MDB partner’s founder Friday April 10, 201501:56 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 ― Another Singapore-based bank has been identified as having been used to channel US$20 million (RM72.8 million) to a businessman who founded an investment firm that partnered the debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)..... Singapore’s Business Times (BT) reported today documents showing the September 2009 fund transfer from a bank account under “Acme Time Limited” to Saudi national Tarek Obaid.
BT reported that Tarek’s firm PetroSaudi International (PSI) had entered into a joint-venture deal with the state-owned 1MDB worth US$ 2.5 billion (RM9.1 billion)....... The business paper said British bank RBS Coutts ― whose Singapore branch was used by “Acme Time Limited” for the wiring of the US$20 million ―  declined to comment on this matter............The Monetary Authority of Singapore also reportedly confirmed it was contacting the “relevant financial institutions” in the country, but did not give further details due to “confidentiality considerations”...... This week, Najib dismissed claims that 1MDB was facing bankruptcy, saying in a parliamentary reply that 1MDB had already repaid a RM2 billion loan to Maybank and RHB The inability of 1MDB to meet its loan payments previously had fuelled speculation that the firm was struggling with cash flow issues and unable to service its debt........

5 April 2015: ex-PM Mahathir calls on PM Najib to resign over 1MDB, Khairy Jamaluddin says PN Najib must answer Dr M's queries

Khairy says Najib must answer queries by Dr M  by p. aruna Updated: Saturday April 4, 2015 MYT 1:52:37 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has to answer all the queries raised by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.  Referring to the statement posted on the former prime minister's blog, on Thursday, Khairy said ignoring these questions was not an option.... Among the accusations were those involving the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Sharibuu, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, and the purchase of a private jet for VVIP use.

Malaysia’s Mahathir Mohamad Calls on Prime Minister Najib Razak to Resign -  Former Malaysian leader’s comments follow clash with Najib over management of troubled 1MDB national investment fund By James Hookway  April 4, 2015 9:16 a.m. ET; Six years ago, Malaysia’s former leader, Mahathir Mohamad, played a pivotal role in bringing down a prime minister. Now he is attempting to do it again, demanding Saturday that Prime Minister Najib Razak resign as the political fallout surrounding a troubled sovereign investment fund grows.... Dr. Mahathir, a former physician who ruled Malaysia for 22 years until he retired in 2003, has been attacking Mr. Najib for weeks over the problems at 1Malaysia Development Bhd, or 1MDB, which has more than $11 billion in debts and is now relying on government cash injections. Last month, Dr. Mahathir called for a police investigation into how the fund is managed.

A bit of history:

Daim cautioned Najib over 1MDB, says source By Khairie Hisyam  8:35AM Mar 17, 2015
KINIBIZ Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin had advised Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to be careful when 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) came into being in 2009, said a source.
According to the source, Daim first learned of the controversial outfit when it was the Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), intended to be a sovereign wealth fund to promote the economic interests of the state. “He was asked to offer his opinion on it by the Agong,” said the source, who asked for anonymity in order to preserve relationships. TIA was set up in end-February 2009 after then deputy prime minister Najib announced its formation three days before the 2009 by-election in Kuala Terengganu, held after the passing of incumbent member of parliament Razali Ismail. To kick things off, TIA quickly raised some RM5 billion in a Putrajaya-guaranteed bond issue. However after the funds were raised, the federal government took over the entity and renamed it 1MDB months after TIA was formed in 2009....

4 April 2015: Sarawak Report says only 5% of KWAP's RM4 billion loaned to 1MDB can be accounted for by investment in Mongolian Gobi Coal & Energy

Mongolian Mystery Over More Missing Millions From 1MDB -A Sarawak Report Special Investigation; 2 Apr 2015; Last week the Finance Minister made a formal response to opposition MP Tony Pua’s persistent questioning about where the RM4 billion borrowed from Malaysia’s pension fund had been invested…However, our subsequent calculations show that at a maximum his answer only appears to have accounted for around 5% of the money, which he stated was invested in a Mongolian company, Gobi Coal & Energy Shockingly, further research has now revealed that while the Finance Minister implied to Mr Pua that SRC owned 50% of this Mongolian company, it now turns out that another Chinese company in fact claims to be the largest owner – and it only holds a 14% share!... The RM3.81 billion in question had been borrowed from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Persaraan (KWAP) in 2011/12 by a company called SRC International Sdn Bhd, which was a subsidiary of the scandal torn development fund 1MDB at the time. It has subsequently been taken over directly by the Ministry of Finance.........

1 April 2015: Are Edge, TMI arrests ‘revenge’ for 1MDB reportage, MRT line rerouting a bid to ‘benefit’ 1MDB asks DAP

Are Edge, TMI arrests ‘revenge’ for 1MDB reportage, asks DAP Published: 1 April 2015 8:56 AM -

MRT line rerouting a bid to ‘benefit’ 1MDB, claims DAP MP; - KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 — The realignment of the second Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) route to a new township on land owned by 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) shows Putrajaya is trying to favour the debt-ridden state investment firm, a DAP lawmaker said today.
Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said the Singapore's Sunday Times report yesterday on the rerouting of the Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya route from the Cheras and Pandan suburbs  to the Bandar Malaysia township, which has yet to be constructed, will “significantly” benefit 1MDB.
“The sudden realignment of Sungai Buloh-Serdang-Putrajaya route for MRT2 only goes to show that Putrajaya will go to the ends of the earth to bailout 1MDB,” Pua said in a statement.
- See more at:

26 March 2015: Conflicting explanations from PM Najib's administration about 1MDB - the RM2 billion did come from Ananda Krishnana/Tanjong-linked private investors for a refinancing / rollover but earlier answer was that this came from the Cayman Island funds

Now Putrajaya says Tanjong Energy helped 1MDB pay RM2 billion debt BY EILEEN NG Published: 25 March 2015 7:44 PM; Putrajaya now has another version as to how 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) settled its RM2 billion debt last month, saying that tycoon T. Ananda Krishan's Tanjong Energy Holdings had arranged for help to pay off the sum. Just two weeks ago, the Finance Ministry in a parliamentary written reply had stated that the government-owned strategic investment firm had used its own Cayman Island funds to settle the RM2 billion debt.
Today, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said Tanjong had roped in private investors to come up with the money.  He said the RM2 billion was a form of refinancing or rollover. "Tanjong arranged from private investors to come up with the RM2 billion, with the principal to be paid in 15 months, with the interest to be paid in six months.
"There is no exchange risk. The loan is given by private investors, it is not from Tanjong," ...... In his earlier parliamentary reply to Tian Chua (PKR – Batu), the Finance Ministry said 1MDB’s RM2 billion loan was settled in early February from its Caymans funds and not reportedly with billionaire Ananda's help. "Regarding the loan which 1MDB allegedly received from millionaire Ananda Krishnan, the report is not  true," the ministry said in its written reply in mid-March.

24 March 2015: Malaysia and Singapore central banks eye 1MDB probe, and Fitch downgrade possibility for Malaysia; Sarawak Report blasts KPMG Malaysia and finds KPMG Global says the network is merely "brand sharing",  Najib clears Jho Low (and economic saboteurs...)

Note: PM Najib announces that Jho Low is cleared and so are economic saboteurs. KL circles have noted these moves to take the heat off issues that can evolve in uncertain ways.

Singapore's central bank in touch with Malaysia on 1MDB probe Updated: Tuesday March 24, 2015 MYT 8:39:22 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: Singapore's central bank said on Tuesday it was in touch with Malaysia's regulators over its investigation into state fund 1MDB. "We are committed to assist within the full ambit of our laws," said the Monetary Authority of Singapore in a statement to Reuters, adding it could not provide more details as investigations in Malaysia were ongoing.
The body was responding to questions about whether it had been approached by Malaysia to help with investigations into 1MDB. 1MDB redeemed US$1.1bil (RM4bil) from the Cayman Islands and subsequently parked it into BSI Bank Limited Singapore, a local unit of Swiss asset manager BSI.
The company, a property-to-energy group whose advisory board is chaired by Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, is facing criticism over its huge debt and alleged financial mismanagement.

1MDB: BNM to uphold areas under its purview  23 March 2015 @ 11:31 AM KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) will uphold areas under its purview and legislation that it operates in with regards to the audit and investigation being carried out on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). “As the central bank, we will uphold whatever that is under our purview under the legislation that we operate, and this is important. We are accountable for it,” BNM Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said today. She said this in an exclusive interview on CNBC when asked on the audit being carried out on the government-owned strategic development company.  Asked if she personally believed the audit outcome should be made public, she said: “I think (that is) the intention ..... everyone is waiting to see the outcome of the investigation that is taking place.”
On the possibility of Fitch Ratings downgrading Malaysia’s credit rating, among others, due to 1MDB’s debt obligation, the Governor said:“We have stress test on individual borrowers and individual institutions and the system as a whole and we can categorically say that our financial institutions may have their profitability affected but they remain sound and solid.  “They remain well capitalised above the minimum requirement. That much we can say.” ....

Don’t Ask Us! – KPMG Global’s Astonishing Response on 1MDB, For weeks the mantra of the chairman of 1MDB’s governing Advisory Board (Malaysia’s Prime Minister) has been that the management of the fund has been ‘cleared’, because the accounts were ‘forensically’ audited by international accountancy firms of global standing…. Following this expose, the Sydney-based Malaysian investigative financial journalist, Ganesh Sahathevan, directly challenged the Global Chairman of the company, John Veihmeyer, to give his response to the allegations.
Sahathevan asked whether KPMG Global had been aware of any of the transactions relating to 1MDB outlined in the expose?  He added that: “much of what has been reported was in the public domain since at least 2014, and hence there is also the question of why the Global Board took no action despite that fact?” The rapid response Sahathevan received from KPMG merits reading in full, because it puts paid to any assumptions that a local branch of this ‘global network’ of accountancy firms can be relied upon to maintain any sort of acceptable standard laid down by a central authority.
The General Counsel (top lawyer) for Mr Veihmeyer states that the corporate headquarters has no involvement in the matter, because the KPMG network represents nothing more than a ‘Swiss Cooperative’ of happy Helvetic brand sharers....

KPMG – Auditors Or Fraudsters? Joint Venture was 'verified' by local KPMG boss. Sarawak Report has uncovered evidence, which indicates the supposedly independent auditors KPMG helped ‘cook the books’ at 1MDB, while auditing the fund’s initial accounts for the period ending March 2010. Unacceptable and unethical practices included actively conspiring to back date documents referred to in the audit report, as well as intervening to retrospectively alter agreements, which had been previously signed by 1MDB. Reviewing this evidence, DAP opposition spokesman Tony Pua told Sarawak Report that it clearly demonstrates that KPMG had worked to assist 1MDB in deliberately hiding the details of its initial joint venture agreement with the company PetroSaudi ...

Najib “Clears Jho Low”? Further Emails Raise Further Questions We are assured that Jho Low was simply not involved. The Prime Minister’s Office’s key blog of the moment, The Rakyat Post, sought to put all concerns to rest yesterday over 1MDB. It reported that the Prime Minister had “cleared” Jho Low and was able to “explain” to the public that “all decisions and dealings of 1MDB was done by the management and board of directors”. It leaves the Malaysian public wondering why the Prime Minister has at the same time called an enquiry to look into the considerable body of evidence that has already been published, which shows the exact opposite? And it also leaves people wondering what is the point of an enquiry when the outcome has already been thus announced by the person who commissioned it?

15 March 2015: Sarawak Report's Clare Rewcastle Brown calls PM Najib order for PAC to examine 1MDB a classic move to "bury a controversial issue" and urges pressure to be kept up, Khairy supports Petrosaudi's rebuttal, RM950 million "is not a bail out"

Sarawak Report editor calls order to examine 1MDB accounts a ‘classic move’ BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 15 March 2015 4:50 PM; Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's orders for the National Audit Department to examine 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) accounts is a classic move by any politician to bury a controversial issue, Clare Rewcastle Brown said today.
The editor of whistleblower site Sarawak Report today urged the public to thwart such a move by maintaining pressure on the entire scandal. "It seems to me that it's a classic move to kick this into the grass. An inquiry you can control and takes ages is a politician's fallback method when they have a really awkward scandal that they need to keep a lid on for as long as possible," Rewcastle Brown told the "1MDB: The Ultimate LOW Down" forum in Crystal Crown Hotel via online video-conference on Skype. She predicted that the government would subsequently refuse to respond to any further questions raised on 1MDB  until the audit was completed, while at the same time exerting influence onto the entire inquiry to ensure a favourable outcome.... "It's not just a Malaysian recourse, I can think of British examples where that happened. I think pressure should be kept up. Because people who have been acting the way they did should be exposed and appropriate people should resign." ....

Petrosaudi's rebuttal should put matter to rest: Khairy  Last updated on 14 March 2015 - 07:16pm
GEORGE TOWN: PetroSaudi International's rebuttal to online criticisms over its previous joint venture with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should have put the allegations against the Malaysian strategic development company to rest, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said.
"I hope the clarification is true as it can help diffuse allegations over 1MDB transactions with PetroSaudi (a Saudi-based oil exploration and services company)," he told reporters after closing the Balik Pulau Mountain Bike Jamboree here today. PetroSaudi, in a statement yesterday, said any suggestion of wrongdoing in the online allegations about the partnership were simply false as all the capital invested by 1MDB had been returned with profits.

Minister: RM950mil is not a bailout for 1MDB by ivan loh and Updated: Sunday March 15, 2015 MYT 7:40:05 AM; IPOH: Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah says the Govern­ment’s injection of RM950mil in standby credit for 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) does not in any way constitute a bailout, as being claimed by certain quarters. “A bailout is when a company has failed and the government comes in (to help) ... this is not a failed organisation,” he said. “It is facing a short-term cash flow problem. The company relied on debts to generate projects which are moving very fast. “If we look at its financial statement of March 2013, it made profits. It only made losses in March last year,” he said after attending a Chinese New Year open house organised by pomelo growers in Tambun yesterday.

13 March 2015: Rafizi warns pensions at risk due to Rm4 billion KWAP loan to 1MDB subsidiary to buy Mongolian mines and more; Dr Mahathir writes 29 points of concern on 1MDB and heavy traffic blocks his blog; Gov't admits RM950mil 'standby credit' for 1MDB; PAC - Armed Forces purchases must undergo audit 

RM4bil KWAP loan to 1MDB stokes possible suit By Ram Anand 12:18PM Mar 12, 2015
PKR secretary-general and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli might nudge pensioners to initiate a civil suit against their fund, Retirement Fund Incorporated  (KWAP) for "careless investment". He said this was to be considered as there are scarce answers as to the RM4 billion that KWAP had loaned to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a finance ministry-owned company.....

  • Explain KWAP’s RM4b loan for coal mines, 1MDB’s new CEO told BY BOO SU-LYN Published: January 13, 2015 01:32 PM Latest Update: January 14, 2015 11:44 am; PETALING JAYA, Jan 13 — New on the job as he is, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy must explain the RM4 billion borrowed by a former subsidiary from the Retirement Fund (Incorporated) or KWAP to purchase stakes in a Mongolian coal mine company or face a lawsuit, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli said today. The PKR vice-president noted that no news on any coal mines have emerged since business paper Business Times reported last May that KWAP, Malaysia’s second-biggest pension fund, had lent RM4 billion to then-1MDB subsidiary SRC International in 2011 to buy initially coal mines from Gobi Coal & Energy....
  •  Pensions at risk because of loan to 1MDB subsidiary, warns Rafizi BY LEE SHI-IAN Published: 28 November 2014 8:59 AM; Civil servants should heed the controversies surrounding sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as one of its subsidiaries has not been able to service a RM4 billion loan taken from Kumpulan Wang Amanah Pencen (KWAP) which pays government pensions, opposition lawmaker Rafizi Ramli said. "In case civil servants are dismissing the 1MDB controversy, they should know that their pensions are paid by KWAP," Rafizi said. - See more at:

Tun Mahathir's blog up and running again Najiah Najib, Astro Awani | Updated: March 13, 2015

Dr Mahathir’s blog taken down temporarily due to ‘unusually high traffic’: aide Published: 8:10 PM, March 13, 2015; KUALA LUMPUR — Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s popular blog is now accessible intermittently, three hours after it was suspended due to what was described as “high traffic volume”....

Chedet – 1MDB 11 hours ago - UMNO telah mengadakan majlis penerangan tertutup yang dihadiri oleh sebahagian dari Ketua-Ketua Bahagian pada 8 Mac. Keputusan majlis mengikut akhbar ialah menyokong penuh Presiden parti. 2. Tidak diketahui tentang penjelasan oleh Presiden berkenaan kontroversi 1MDB, yang sedang ... 28. What is needed is not a regular audit the books of accounts. What is needed is a forensic investigation by police allegations made against several people involved with the management of 1MDB money .... 29. If this is not done and done as soon as possible, support of the people, which had already declined in the 2008 Election and 2013 will decline again. BN will likely lose in 2018, even though UMNO leaders support, admire and are satisfied with the explanation made (recently by Najib). Remember the votes of UMNO alone is not enough to win elections.....

'1MDB, Rosmah will torpedo BN in GE14' Malaysiakini 6:37PM Mar 13, 2015; The blazing controversies surrounding 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the lifestyle of the prime minister's wife Rosmah Mansor will cost BN votes in the next general election. Umno-linked blogger Shahbudin Husin said this was the topic of discussion with the former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad during a meeting with him yesterday. It is unclear if anybody else accompanied Shahbudin....

Gov't admits RM950mil 'standby credit' for 1MDB By Ram Anand and Zikri Kamarulzaman  11:39AM Mar 12, 2015; PARLIAMENT The government has admitted to setting aside RM950 million in "standby credit" for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), following reports that it has infused RM1 billion into the state owned firm....

Nur Jazlan: Armed Forces purchases must undergo audit Updated: Friday March 13, 2015 MYT 6:37:07 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: A thorough audit of procurement procedures of the Armed Forces is needed to avoid abuse of power, leakage, misappropriation of funds and corruption, said Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed. He said this followed the arrest of several navy personnel by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in a special operation recently. "The National Audit Department needs to carry out an audit on the procurement procedures of ATM's three wings (Army, Navy, Airforce) to ensure and maintain the respectable image of the security forces....

Table white paper on 1MDB issue in Parliament - Husam Musa Azyyati Ahmad, Astro Awani | Updated: March 09, 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa proposes for a white paper to be tabled in Parliament to debate the issue of funds management in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)....

1MDB: Najib must explain talks of new cash injection - Rafizi Astro Awani | Updated: March 11, 2015...

 12 March 2015: SCMP - Jho Low denies money laundering and fraud, claiming all allegations are politically motivated... SCMP notes head of Citic Group is an advisor to 1MDB (alongside Bernard Arnaut, Group Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton and another luxury goods sector person, Ashvin Valiram, is a director); 1MDB's US$1 billion from Cayman is now parked in Singapore

 'I've nothing to hide': Malaysia's Jho Low breaks silence to deny money laundering allegations - Analyst says wealth fund probe is 'potentially the biggest financial scandal in Malaysian history' by Toh Han Shih UPDATED : Thursday, 12 March, 2015, 3:41pm; Low Taek Jho, chief executive officer of Jynwel Capital, a Hong Kong investment advisory company, has denied all allegations of money laundering and fraud against him, claiming they are politically motivated, in a saga that analysts say could erupt into potentially Malaysia’s biggest financial scandal since the 1990s.
“I feel I’m a victim of the cross-fire of Malaysian politics, which is getting more polarised. I’m a target,” Low told the Post from his office in Hong Kong.... "Business decisions by 1MDB are ultimately decided and approved in accordance to their corporate governance framework, which is the management, board and shareholder. So why politicise and try to blame it all on me when I have no decision-making authority?” he said....1MDB, which comes under Malaysia’s Ministry of Finance, has 42 billion Ringgit (HK$87.8 billion) of debt. In February, 1MDB bonds effectively declined to junk status, when investors demanded a 441 basis point premium over similar securities.
“Some leading Malaysian financial institutions will not touch 1MDB with a long pole. Some officials at leading Malaysian financial institutions have expressed their reservations about 1MDB in private,” the analyst said... Najib, who is also Malaysia’s finance minister and chairman of the board of advisers of 1MDB, said there will be no cover-up if any person is found to have committed fraud related to 1MDB, reported Singapore's The Straits Times on March 9. Chang Zhenming, chairman and president of Citic Group, a major Chinese state-owned enterprise listed in Hong Kong, is also an advisor to 1MDB, according to 1MDB’s website....

1MDB - Governance - Board of Advisors,

1MDB - Governance - Board of Directors -
  • ARUL KANDA - President and Group Executive Director
  • MOHD HAZEM ABD RAHMAN - Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
  • YBHG DATUK SHAHROL AZRAL IBRAHIM HALMI -Datuk Shahrol has over 13 years of experience in IT Transformation, IT Integration, Service-Oriented Architecture and complex system implementations involving large government-linked entities, government agencies as well as local, regional and global financial institutions. He has led key projects in Malaysia, including a multi-year transformation programme at the Employees Provident Fund as well as planning and executing the merger of Sime Darby, Guthrie and Golden Hope to form Synergy Drive, the world's biggest plantation company. He was also the Executive Partner of Accenture and Managing Director of the Public Service Group of Accenture Malaysia Sdn Bhd. Datuk Shahrol is currently PEMANDU’s Director of Oil, Gas & Energy and Financial Services’ National Key Economic Areas (NKEA), as well as handling the Government’s Role in Business Strategic Reform Initiative (SRI).  He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of Malaysia Petroleum Resources Corporation (MPRC), an agency to promote, catalyse and transform the oil and gas services and manufacturing sector to become stronger entities in the industry. Datuk Shahrol was the founding Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of 1MDB. Datuk Shahrol graduated from Stanford University in the United States of America
  • YBHG TAN SRI DATO’ PADUKA ISMEE ISMAIL - Tan Sri Dato’ Paduka Ismee is the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lembaga Tabung Haji, the national pilgrim fund board.

Veteran newsman questions rationale of parking 1MDB funds in Singapore Published: 11 March 2015 7:53 PM; Veteran journalist Datuk A. Kadir Jasin has questioned Putrajaya's decision to park US$1.103 billion of 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) funds in Singapore, asking if Bank Negara was "stupid" enough to make it difficult to bring the money back directly from the Cayman Islands....

Najib: RM4bil of 1MDB Cayman Islands funds parked in Singapore by dina murad Updated: Wednesday March 11, 2015 MYT 6:19:02 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: About RM4bil of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)'s investment funds in the Cayman Islands was transferred to a Singaporean Bank to ease the facilitation of transactions, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. "The remaining US$1.103bil (RM4.08bil) of 1MDB's investment funds managed by the Cayman Monetory Autority has been redeemed in cash and is kept in US currency by the BSI Bank Limited Singapore (BSI Singapore)," said the Finance Minister in a written reply to a question raised by Tony Pua (PKR-Petaling Jaya Utara) in the Dewan Rakyat Wednesday. "The decision to use a bank in Singapore is to ease the facilitation of fund withdrawals as Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) regulations state its approval is needed for every transaction exceeding RM50mil," replied Najib, who is also Prime Minister....

12 March 2015: 1MDB critics say enough grounds to charge Jho Low and 1MDB officers; Hishamuddin is top pick as future PM (post Najib and Muhyiddin)

Enough grounds to charge Jho Low, 1MDB officers with CBT, cheating, say anti-graft activists BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 11 March 2015 9:00 AM; There is enough evidence on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to investigate and charge its officers and business partners with criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating without having to wait for the Auditor-General's (A-G) probe to be completed, anti-graft activists said. They said the numerous leaked documents and emails about 1MDB's joint venture with PetroSaudi International have already been revealed on the Internet, by lawmakers and in media reports, and could be used as the basis of police investigations. In particular, the joint-venture where US$700 million was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB to businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, had elements of false representation and negligence which could be factors contributing to CBT, anti-graft campaigner and opposition politician Rafizi Ramli said.... If these were already evident, there was no need to wait for the A-G's probe, Cynthia Gabriel, the co-founder of the Centre for Combating Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said.....

More on the UMNO factional fight here: /khoryuleng/2015/01/umnobn-fractures-manifests-in-media.html

9 March 2015: Iskandar and SCORE, Middle East investors, Jho Low, Taib Mahmud of Sarawak and 1MDB...... The Edge business investigative journalism reveals RM 400 million Iskandar land flip deal profits for Jho Low upset former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud business interests; likely resulting in subsequent 1MDB deals, linked to Jho Low and Taib business interests - worth reading! (below links to Jho Low claims through his lawyers that PM/FM Najib okays fast track without Bank Negara)

The Edge Malaysia reports in its 9 March 2015 issue on role of Jho Low in attracting Mid East investors to Iskandar and SCORE / Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy economic corridors in mid 2000s. These foreign investment hopes flopped with the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis. Jho Low's big profits from his Iskandar quick land flip reported to have apparently angered Taib Mahmud business interests; also not happy with with Jho Low's big spending plans implemented for RHB sale moneys. Then, The Edge Malaysia reports that these business problems then saw Jho Low turn to 1MDB for complex business deals and apparently help turn around Taib Mahmud business issues by tapping on the new sovereign wealth fund / development fund. In recent days, Jho Low statement is widely reported as stopping his earlier denials of his role in 1MDB (major expose of purported documents via whistleblower Sarawak Report). Jho Low claims through his lawyers that PMNajib approved fast tracking of deals to apparently diminish Bank Negara role...

9 March 2015: 160 UMNO division heads, at an important Sunday meeting, are reported by Malaysiakini to be satisfied with PM Najib's explanations. Meanwhile the 1MDB crisis heightens: Jho Low statement claiming PM/FM Najib gave approval to keep Bank Negara "in the dark," DPM Muhyiddin says no 1MDB public fund bailout and warns 1MDB board to explain dealings, The Edge asks questions of 1MDB former CEO Shahrol, opposition urges PM Najib to step down from 1MDB position to avoid problems in investigations. Mahathir urges external auditors to review billions spent in overseas investments by Felda, EPF, Tabung Haji, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd and PETRONAS.

Resign as finance minister during 1MDB probe, PAS veep tells Najib Published: 9 March 2015 5:37 PM; PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa today has urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak to step down as finance minister during the investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) finances. He said Najib should also resign as the chair of 1MDB's advisory board pending the outcome of the probe by the Auditor-General's Department. "I urge Najib to vacate his current post in 1MDB and as finance minister, until the investigation is complete to avoid complications," he told reporters outside the Dang Wangi police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur today. .... Earlier, Husam lodged a police report urging authorities to investigate Najib over a deal made between 2009 and 2010 amounting to US$1 billion (RM3.6 billion) in a joint venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International. His call echoed that of DAP national political education director Liew Chin Tong, who on Saturday, had urged Najib to step down as finance minister to facilitate a transparent and independent investigation into 1MDB's finances. - See more at:

Police form special task-force to investigate reports lodged over 1MDB  By HANI SHAMIRA SHAHRUDIN - 9 March 2015 @ 8:55 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General has formed a special task-force to investigate police reports lodged over 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issues. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the task force had been set up last week. “The task-force, comprising the police, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the Attorney-General Chamber will be investigating the police reports made,” he said at a press conference at Royal Malaysia Police College in Cheras, here ....

Umno now more solid than his time, says a cynical Dr Mahathir BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 9 March 2015 7:20 PM; Former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said Umno was far stronger and stable than when he led the country’s largest Malay party. A cynical Dr Mahathir said that during his time, Umno did not have red shirts, like those worn by the 170 division chiefs who had attended a closed-door briefing on Sunday with current party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak. "I saw all red shirts. Red is a sign they support. The prime minister must meet the Umno members, that is the work of the prime minister, “ he said cynically after a Perdana Leadership event in Putrajaya today.... Najib had told the division chiefs that the company's accounts had gone through a forensic audit by accounting firm Deloitte Malaysia, which found no traces of fraud, cheating and misappropriation of funds in the company's accounts. – March 9, 2015. - See more at:

Sarawak Report - Jho Low Claimed The “PM/ FM” Gave Approval To Keep Bank Negara In The Dark On 1MDB Loan 7 Mar 2015; The lawyers for Jho Low, the London firm Schillings have now finally issued a statement on behalf of the tycoon, in response to questions from the news agency AFP. The widely reported response acknowledges that Low was “consulted” on the PetroSaudi joint venture deal with Malaysia’s 1MDB development fund, “but has never been involved in criminal acts with respect to this transaction”... This latest statement contrasts with earlier claims by Jho Low’s spokespeople ... correspondence shows that Jho Low, who took an authoritative role in the negotiations, was insisting to colleagues that the Central Bank should not be informed of the loan, because it would cause “unnecessary delays”. This claim appears to confirm that the Prime Minister was fully engaged in these negotiations and had personally signed the loan by 1MDB to PetroSaudi, without having passed it by the Bank Negara. It also appears to confirm that Jho Low was acting as the interface between the Prime Minister/ Finance Minister on such matters with PetroSaudi.... Of even more concern is an apparent decision by Jho Low together with the “FM who is also PM” to leave the Bank Negara in the dark about the loan.  This was despite the anxious and repeated requests by PetroSaudi’s own lawyers for a “letter of comfort” to confirm that the bank had given its approval, which they insisted was legally required....

Jho Low claims Najib okayed 1MDB’s US$500 million loan to PetroSaudi, says Sarawak Report Published: 8 March 2015 10:15 AM; In his bid to speed up 1MDB's US$500 million loan to PetroSaudi International (PetroSaudi) in 2010, businessman Low Taek Jho had allegedly attempted to bypass Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) by claiming Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had approved the loan, whistleblower site Sarawak Report said today. Jho Low allegedly told PetroSaudi that BNM's approval for the loan was not needed as it would cause unnecessary "delays", said Sarawak Report, citing email transactions between the figures involved in the deal. In a purported conversation between Low and PetroSaudi director Patrick Mahony on BlackBerry Messenger in 2010, the businessman had said "Ministry of finance has approved (the loan). Not bnm because we don't think bnm needed." .... Low also claimed that the "pm who is also FM" had signed off the loan itself, despite Mahony's repeated requests for an official explanation as to why the BNM's approval was unnecessary...

All smiles at PM's meeting with Umno division heads By Ram Anand 7:27PM Mar 8, 2015
There were no fireworks in Umno president Najib Abdul Razak’s closed door meeting with the party’s 160 division chiefs at the Putra World Trade Centre today, with all division chiefs reporting that they were “satisfied” and “happy” with Najib’s dress to the delegates....

Political observers note: DPM Muhyiddin and about 60 UMNO divisions not there?

Umno chiefs satisfied with PM's 1MDB explanation By Ram Anand 7:39PM Mar 8, 2015
The 160 Umno division chiefs are satisfied with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's explanation on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which had been attracting plenty of attention lately, delegates have said....

No bailout of 1MDB using public funds, says Muhyiddi By Gho Chee Yuan /   | March 6, 2015 : 10:48 PM MYT; UPDATE: KUALA LUMPUR (March 6): Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has come out to say that public funds should not be used to bail out debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).... In a statement issued this evening, he said 1MDB's board of directors must explain some of the state-owned strategic investment fund's dealings that have appeared not to give any long-term benefits to the company or the government.
"The 1MDB board must also bear responsibility and be prepared to face legal action if the verification (by the Auditor-General) revealed that there was negligence or impropriety involved in 1MDB dealings," he added....

Former 1MDB CEO faces impropriety allegations on PetroSaudi JV By /   | March 7, 2015 : 9:42 AM MYT; KUALA LUMPUR (Mar 7): 1Malaysia Development Bhd's (1MDB) former CEO Datuk Shahrol Halmi may have to face impropriety allegations involving the government's 100%-owned entity's multi-billion ringgit joint venture (JV) with PetroSaudi International.... The Edge Malaysia business and investment weekly (Edge Weekly) reported in its latest March 9-15 issue that Shahrol might not have adequate knowledge of the deal when he approved 1MDB's US$1 billion (RM3.48 billion at the then exchange rate) investment for a 40% stake in JV firm 1MDB PetroSaudi Ltd in September 2009.... "Datuk Shahrol Halmi was the CEO of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) from March 23, 2009, and was the principal person running the company until he stepped down in March 2013. He is currently with the Prime Minister’s Department and remains on the 1MDB board.... "It was during his time as CEO that 1MDB entered into a number of investments and transactions that are now the subject of accusations of impropriety. The Edge believes that Shahrol should be accorded the right to address some of these issues and allegations in the light of the evidence presented by Sarawak Report and also emails and documents sighted by The Edge, which we believe to be genuine," Edge Weekly wrote....

Shahrol, why did 1MDB pay Good Star and why did you follow Jho Low’s instructions BY THE EDGE MALAYSIA Published: 8 March 2015 8:59 AM 1Malaysia Development Bhd entered into a number of investments and transactions linked to companies acting as proxy for Jho Low. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 8, 2015.Datuk Shahrol Halmi was the CEO of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) from March 23, 2009, and was the principal person running the company until he stepped down in March 2013. He is currently with the Prime Minister’s Department and remains on the 1MDB board. It was during his time as CEO that 1MDB entered into a number of investments and transactions that are now the subject of accusations of impropriety. The Edge believes that Shahrol should be accorded the right to address some of these issues and allegations in the light of the evidence presented by Sarawak Report and also emails and documents sighted by The Edge, which we believe to be genuine. We, therefore, present here some facts about what took place and hope Shahrol will answer all the questions arising from them....

Najib should step down to ensure transparency in 1MDB investigations, says DAP Published: 7 March 2015 4:24 PM; Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should step down as finance minister to facilitate a transparent and independent investigation into 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) finances, said a DAP lawmaker. DAP national political education director Liew Chin Tong said the onus is now on the Cabinet to demand that Najib resign as finance minister to allow for a full and independent investigation into the controversial government-owned sovereign investment fund. Najib chairs the 1MDB advisory board....  "I have repeatedly called for a full-time finance minister to steer the Malaysian economy forward in a time of crisis and a possible recession," he said, adding that Muhyiddin’s statement last night was sufficient ground for Najib's removal from the post...

Felda chairman’s son quizzed on London luxury hotel buy Published: 7 March 2015 5:09 PM; Felda's overseas buying spree was raised by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier this year, when he urged Putrajaya to appoint external auditors for all its agencies to allay public concerns about the billions being spent on investments across the world. "We see entities such as Felda, EPF, Tabung Haji spending billions in acquiring foreign properties while others such as MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd) and Petronas have bought shares in airports and Canadian ventures also involving huge sums of money," the former PM had written in his blog....

1 March 2015: Sarawak Report releases alleged documents on PetroSaud-1MDB deal, points out Obama talk of Malaysia "vibrant entrepreneurship" while an Obama key fundraiser is involved in a relatively higher cost 1MDB solar plant in Kedah

HEIST OF THE CENTURY – How Jho Low Used PetroSaudi As “A Front” To Siphon Billions Out Of 1MDB! 28 FEB 2015; Together with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, Sarawak Report has completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of Malaysia’s 1MDB…. WORLD EXCLUSIVE

Obama Needs A Longer Spoon To Dine With Najib Razak - 25 SEP 2014; Obama fundraiser’s link with 1MDB; Nevertheless, recent investment news reveals that President Obama’s own key fundraiser, Frank White, has indeed joined with IMDB in its latest grandiose and eye-wateringly expensive power project, funded by public borrowing and, of course, sanctioned by the fund’s Advisory Board Chairman, the PM and Finance Minister, Najib Razak.... The project in question is the so-called 1MDB Solar Sdn Bhd’s solar photovoltaic (solar PV) plant in Kedah, projected to create 50MW of power, thanks to a handy power purchase agreement with the government, fixed behind closed doors as usual....For example, the cost of this IMDB solar power project has been valued at RM1billion.  Yet, observers have begun pointing out that the Norwegians are building a plant in Ghana for the same capacity at an estimated less than a third of the cost, at around RM300million.
.... Mr Obama himself who agreed to ratify the 1MDB solar project during Najib’s recent trip to the United States and then to promote Malaysia’s “vibrant entrepreneurship” in his speech to the UN so soon after!

The December 2014 Obama - Najib golf game in Hawai...

Golf game with Obama for diplomatic relations, says Najib Updated: Saturday December 27, 2014 MYT 10:40:23 PM ; KOTA BARU: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday explained that his golf game with United States president Barack Obama in Hawaii recently did not mean that he  deliberately ignored the flood faced by the country as politicised by certain groups. On the contrary, the Prime Minister said the game had been planned much earlier on the principle of establishing diplomatic ties with world leaders for Malaysia's benefit. In addition, he said, the invitation had been extended during Obama's visit to this country in April, and it was difficult to decline the invitation as it had been planned for much earlier in the schedules of both leaders....
source: Google search image page screen shot

28 Feb 2015: Cabinet rejects proposal for RM3 billion cash injection for 1MDB with majority of ministers against it says Malaysian Insider

Cabinet rejects RM3 billion for 1MDB as debt repayment options narrow BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER Published: 27 February 2015 6:59 AM The Malaysian Insider understands a majority of ministers at this week's Cabinet meeting on Wednesday did not approve the minutes of the previous week's meeting for the amount. "The Cabinet rejected the proposed RM3 billion cash injection for 1MDB," a source told The Malaysian Insider in Kuala Lumpur last night. - See more at:

24 February 2015: 1MDB bonds trade like junk as investors weigh wind-down - Bloomberg

1MDB bonds trade like junk as investors weigh wind-down Published on Feb 24, 2015 7:57 AM;
SINGAPORE (Bloomberg) - 1Malaysia Development Bhd.'s bonds are trading like junk as investors seek greater clarity over the state investment fund's plans to wind down and sell off assets. Investors are demanding a 439 basis-point premium over similar maturity Treasuries to hold the Kuala Lumpur-based company's securities, compared with an average of 415 for speculative-grade quasi-sovereign notes in the region, a JPMorgan Chase & Co. index shows. Its US$3 billion of 4.4 per cent notes due 2023 closed at 86.72 cents on the dollar on Feb. 16, a record low. They traded at 87.62 cents on Monday. 1MDB said last week it won't undertake any new investments after it sets up separate entities for property projects and raises cash from selling its power business. The group settled a RM2 billion loan Feb. 13, after two repayment deadline extensions sparked concern a default may trigger cross defaults on its some RM49 billion of total debt. The group will need to show progress in asset sales and avoid fire-sale prices to regain market confidence, Phillip Capital Management said. "The problem is they have a lot of assets that aren't generating enough cash flow to service their debt," said Ang Kok Heng, the fund manager's Kuala Lumpur-based chief investment officer. "Going forward, there will be other bonds due for payments or maturity. These could be new pressure points." - See more at:

22 February 2015: Sarawak Report reveals alleged copy of 1MDB deal with PetroSaudi with US$700 million debt from PetroSaudi's parent to be repaid on day one of the JV; 1MDB's Arul rebuts saying PetroSaudi deal made US$488 million profit

The Dodgy USD$700,000,000 Loan Deal At The Heart Of 1MDB’s Mega Debt Crisis EXCLUSIVE 18 Feb 2015; Sarawak Report has obtained exclusive access to a copy of the controversial 1MDB Joint Venture Agreement, completed on 28th September 2009 between Malaysia’s so-called development fund, 1MDB (One Malaysia Development Berhad) and the company PetroSaudi.
The 26 page document, which has till now been kept secret, was signed by 1MDB’s then Managing Director, Shahrol Halmi and PetroSaudi Managing Director, Tarek Obaid.... Despite 1MDB’s servers having been wiped before Christmas the copy was passed to Sarawak Report by a concerned insider just days after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was controversially jailed last week.... What the document reveals is that the Prime Minister and his advisors  at 1MDB (believed to include the playboy tycoon Jho Low) paid USD$1billion of borrowed public money into a venture that already carried a $700,000,000 debt in the form of a loan from PetroSaudi’s parent company to the subsidiary that was entering into the joint venture, PetroSaudi Holdings (Caymans) Limited.... Crucially, under the terms of the joint venture, agreed to by 1MDB, the Malaysian development fund had committed to pay back this whopping great loan to the parent company, PetroSaudi International, on day one of the joint venture!

IMDB chief says PetroSaudi deal made RM1.8 billion in profits Published: 21 February 2015 7:31 PM; Troubled sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) today claimed that a joint venture with a Saudi Arabian company six years ago, which critics claimed were shady, had earned it a profit of US$488 million (RM1.78 billion). In a statement on the company’s website, 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy also claimed that the money it had invested in the venture had been converted into Murabaha notes when the plan did not go through. Earlier reports claimed that 1MDB had put US$1 billion into the deal with PetroSaudi International, a company with an allegedly sketchy track record. - See more at:

18 February 2015: More Jho Low linkages with 1MDB - director Ong business partner of Jho Low's father

1MDB director Ong is business partner of Jho Low’s father BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER Published: 16 February 2015 3:23 PM ; 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) non-executive director Tan Sri Ong Gim Huat is not just a friend, but also a business partner of 30 years of Tan Sri Larry Low Hock Peng. L‎ow is the father of Jho Low or Low Taek Jho, who is said to have influence over the operations of debt-laden 1MDB, the controversial sovereign wealth fund owned by the Ministry of Finance. Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) documents show that Ong and Low are directors and shareholders of Wonder Bay Sdn Bhd, a Penang based property development company. - See more at:

13 February 2015: "1MDB clouds PETRONAS $7 billion debt proposal" - Bloomberg, 1MDB gets Ananda Krishnan loan six days "before bankers triggered a default," Sarawak Report says 1MDB staffers report puzzling PC and server wipe at end Dec 2014  with result "few records left," Dr Mahathir has been criticizing 1MDB and calling for independent audit; 1MDB had funded RM218,000/month retainer To Tony Blair

1MDB Mess Clouds Petronas $7 Billion Debt Proposal; 'By' Christopher Langner and Elffie Chew  12:00 AM AWST  February 13, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd is paying for troubles at a state investment fund.... The yield premium on Petronas’s 2022 U.S. dollar-denominated debt over Treasuries has surged 54 basis points in the last six months after the government said it wasn’t liable for 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s debt and the fund missed a loan payment. That was unfortunate timing for Petronas, which is planning its first dollar bond in five years to raise as much as $7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.... The cost of insuring Malaysian sovereign debt reached a 16-month high on Jan. 13, one week after local media reported 1MDB’s missed payment, and is up 27 basis points since Dec. 31. Fitch Ratings said last month it may downgrade Asia’s only net crude exporter, citing plunging oil prices and “uncertainty” surrounding finances of the investment fund, whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak.... “The 1MDB mess is being factored into the spreads for Malaysia and there aren’t that many bonds in which you can express that view,” said Dilip Parameswaran, the Hong Kong-based head of independent advisory firm Asia Investment Advisors Ltd. “That, mixed with lower oil prices and a potential downgrade of the sovereign, are all weighing on Petronas.” ...  1MDB has its origins in Terengganu Investment Authority, which was created in 2009 to invest oil royalties from the state of Terengganu. When Najib became prime minister that year, it was renamed 1MDB, became a national entity and its funding source became government-backed debt instead of oil income.... In response to questions from opposition lawmakers, the government said Oct. 29 that it wasn’t liable for 1MDB’s debts if the company went bankrupt. The premium over U.S. Treasuries paid by 1MDB bonds due 2023 climbed 47 basis points over the following seven trading days.... The investment fund failed to repay a 2 billion ringgit loan due in December, Edge Financial Daily reported Jan. 6. The spread on the 2023 notes soared 115 basis points in two days to 417 basis points. It had widened to a record 430 basis points on Feb. 12....

1MDB repays RM2 billion loan after Ananda Krishnan bailout, say sources BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER Published: 13 February 2015 7:00 AM; Malaysia's debt-heavy strategic investor 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) settled a RM2 billion loan yesterday with money from billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, six days before bankers triggered a default, say sources. The Malaysian Insider understands from bankers familiar with the matter that the banks involved received the money yesterday evening, hours after Ananda was said to have agreed to the bailout. The payment is a last-minute reprieve for 1MDB – a cross between a sovereign fund and a private investment firm wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance. Its debt woes were seen as pressuring the ringgit and Malaysia's sovereign credit rating...."The money has come in. It was an Ananda bailout," said a source familiar with the matter...

Computers And Servers All WIPED At 1MDB - Concerned staff at 1MDB have confided that all computers and records at the troubled fund were recently called in and wiped. They say this includes not only personal computers belonging to staff but also the mainframe servers as well!
The order came as a surprise move by management, according to sources and it happened just before Christmas. Staff were contacted directly by phone or in person and told to take their computers immediately to the IT section in order to be wiped.... None of the instructions were delivered by text or email, leaving little record of the blitz, which took place in the space of just a few hours.... The result is that there are few records left available to show what has been going on at the beleaguered fund and this is widely believed amongst staff to be the reason.... Experts have told Sarawak report that the excuse of a hacking attempt is indeed rarely a credible reason for wiping information from servers... It makes absolutely no sense to wipe servers to protect against hacking or online attacks. Instead you would either take these severs offline altogether until the issue was resolved or step up security. When Sony was hacked recently they didn’t wipe all their servers.... This snap decision to expunge all past records and emails from all staff computers and handheld devices as well as the organisations mainframe computers will inevitably raise questions about whether management were trying to conceal potentially embarrassing information before the handover....

Leaders without people's support should step down, says Dr M Last updated on 13 February 2015 - 01:26am  by  Vathani Panirchellvum; ....Mahathir expressed his disappointment over certain issues such as the existence of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)... "We should not have 1MDB at all, how is it national wealth if you borrow money? If you borrowed money from the chettiars, would you consider yourself rich? No! Because that is a loan!" he quipped.... When asked about Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan coming to 1MDB's aid by loaning money, Mahathir said that changed little, only instead of owing the banks now it is Ananda Krishnan.... "The whole thing is now a controversy and berserabut (very messy)! They should come clean and have an independent audit done. All governmental bodies should have independent audits done," he said.... "I didn't do this (independent audits) when I was a Prime Minister because I was not criticized as much!" he quipped.... Though he hinted that the present leader should step down, he said he did not know who should replace him....

Something is ‘rotten’ in Malaysia, says Dr Mahathir  Published: 10 February 2015 9:11 PM; KUALA LUMPUR — There is something “rotten” in Malaysia, and those who dare to voice out their concerns are being demonised by the government for it, former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today (Feb 10)... He said he, too, had become a victim of false accusation simply because he had criticised the government in the past..... “Critics are being demonised by the mainstream media, by certain individuals and politicians who had lost. Critics risk their property being seized and auctioned, they may be bankrupted,” wrote Dr Mahathir on his blog, which was uploaded this evening....

1MDB Funded RM218,000 Per Month Retainer To Tony Blair! 8 Nov 2014; This post is also available in: Iban, Malay; London’s Sunday Times newspaper has published a front page story revealing that the former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair was hired by PetroSaudi International for RM218,000 ($65,000) a month, plus a 2% ‘success fee’ on transactions.
The controversial company was itself funded by a billion plus dollar loan from the Malaysian Development Fund 1MDB and has provided no other evidence of substantial income for that period.

9 February 2015: Jho Low and 1MDB on NY Times front page, 1MDB $2.4 billion sukuk called off?

Well Connected at Home, Young Malaysian Has an Appetite for New York  By LOUISE STORY and STEPHANIE SAULFEB. 8, 2015; Mr. Low’s lavish spending has raised eyebrows and questions from Kuala Lumpur to New York, where he has made a boldface name for himself as a “whale” at clubs like the Pink Elephant and 1Oak. The New York Post once called him “the mystery man of city club scene,” adding, “Speculation is brewing over where Low is getting his money from.”.... One answer resides at least indirectly in his relationship, going back to his school days in London, with the family of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak. Mr. Low has played an important role in bringing Middle Eastern money into numerous deals involving the Malaysian government, and he helped set up, and has continued to advise, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund that the prime minister oversees....

Malaysia's 1MDB calls off $2.4 bln sukuk for power project-sources By Praveen Menon and Yantoultra Ngui KUALA LUMPUR  Sat Feb 7, 2015 1:26am EST; Feb 6 (Reuters) - Troubled state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) has called off plans to sell up to 8.4 billion ringgit ($2.4 billion) of Islamic bonds, two people familiar with the issue told Reuters on Saturday.... The Islamic bond or sukuk had been earmarked to raise funds for the construction of a $3.6 billion green field 2,000 Megawatt coal-fired power plant, known as 3B, in the state of Negeri Sembilan.... "It (the sukuk issue) has been called off...they are not moving ahead with the exercise anymore," a banker familiar with the deal said, requesting anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media....

4 February 2015: Umno man lodges latest police report against 1MDB CEO; The Edge Malaysia finds blogger behind attacks on Dr M, Nazir and its owner Tong is pro-Jho Low (blogger now trying to hide his tracks), concludes that "it all has to do with criticism of 1MDB"

Umno man lodges latest police report against 1MDB CEO BY: G. SURACH UPDATED: Feb 2, 2015 11:10pm; Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan has lodged yet another police report against the country’s wealth sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) over its debt-ridden allegations.... Lodging a report against 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy this time, Khairuddin said that this was due to a statement that the newly appointed CEO made after assuming the post.... Khairuddin said as such it would be inconceivable why 1MDB would not be able to pay up the large loan when it claimed that it had already redeemed such a huge amount of money from the registered fund.... “On top of it, 1MDB has also sought a RM2 billion loan from Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan to meet its loan obligations to the bank.... “With all these facts combined, it raises plenty of doubts and hence my decision to lodge this police report is to ascertain the truth,” he said.... Khairuddin, who is learnt to be the cousin of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has been lodging several reports against 1MDB since December, including with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, calling for a “detailed and comprehensive” investigation against the company’s directors over allegations of mismanagement of its sovereign funds....

EXPOSED! Pro-Jho Low blogger behind attacks on Dr M, Nazir and Edge owner Tong By The Edge Malaysia /   | February 3, 2015 : 6:53 PM MYT; THE anonymous blogger of behind the baseless attacks on Tong Kooi Ong and The Edge Media Group is also behind similar vicious onslaughts on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, while running other blogs which published complimentary articles on businessman Jho Low, investigations showed.... One common thread behind the attacks appears to be the fact that The Edge has been publishing exposes about state investment vehicle 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), while former prime minister Dr Mahathir has been openly critical of it, even saying it was unnecessary and should be shut.... The blogger did not just attack Dr Mahathir, but also his sons businessmen Tan Sri Mokzhani and Datuk Mirzan and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz. The blogger also attacked former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who voiced reservations about 1MDB.... In the case of Nazir, his wife and children were also the subject of slander.... On the other hand, the Penang born 30-something Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was involved in the setting up of the Terengganu Investment Authority (the precursor to 1MDB). He is said to still wield considerable influence at 1MDB because of his close relationship with the Abu Dhabi parties which have multi-billion ringgit dealings with the controversial debt-laden company owned by the Ministry of Finance.... Low, often seen at big spending parties with Hollywood celebrities like Paris Hilton and Leonardo Di Caprio, has business dealings with 1MDB, including a failed £1 billion (RM5.6 billion) bid for the UK hotel group Coroin Ltd in 2011. 1MDB had provided a letter of support for Low’s Wynton Group to buy Coroin which owns several hotels including Claridge's....1MDB has never explained why it provided the letter of support, which surfaced during a court case in London involving squabbling Coroin shareholders, to help Low.... The Edge Media Group in the past year published several exposes about the affairs of 1MDB, including 1MDB’s support for Low to buy Coroin and a RM1.38 billion land purchase  in Penang, a week before the 2013 general election.... The anonymous blogger used the public display and user name ahrily90 and he wrote at the following blogs since mid-2014: These two blogs have attacked Mahathir since July last year..... ahrily90 also wrote on two blog which targeted Nazir: ahrily90 also wrote on three blogs which praised 1MDB and Jho Low:   Various articles were written which described him as global investor and philanthropist through his Hong Kong firm Jynwel Capital Limited. These include US$20 million to save wild cats and US$50 million to a university cancer research centre.... and were taken down last week but what ahrily90 wrote can be seen in the Google cache of these blogs.... ahrily90 has changed his WordPress public display name and user names for the various blogs last week to julijulipeh, Pen Jingga, saberarturia18, and rahmanirwan74.... ahrily90 has also contributed articles at This blog too has been deleted by its authors..... The person behind all these blogs has realised he has been discovered and is now trying to cover his tracks by repeatedly changing his public display and user names.... He is also trying to decouple the various blogs.... And it all has to do with criticism of 1MDB..... So who is paying him to do it?

1 February 2015: Ananda Krishnan to help 1MDB on RM2 billion loan with local banks? Worries on Battersea project (with Sime Darby and EPF) as project chairman Liew exits for personal deals some question as conflicting

Ananda Krishnan to help 1MDB repay US$550mil loan: sources  Friday, 30 January 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia's second richest man, Ananda Krishnan, will lend 1MDB RM2bil (US$550.96mil) to settle a loan to local banks, two people familiar with the matter said, helping pave the way for a US$3bil IPO by the state investor. The people, who declined to be identified, said Krishnan was currently negotiating the terms of the loan with the state firm. Earlier this month, Reuters reported that Krishnan was in talks with 1MDB to become a cornerstone investor in the long-delayed US$3bil listing of its power assets, which is likely to take place in the first half of this year.
"It is just a plain loan for now. We don't know for certain how this will translate into an equity stake in 1MDB's power unit," one of the people said. 1MDB officials declined to comment. Officials at Krishnan's investment vehicle Usaha Tegas were also not immediately available to comment.....$550mil-loan/?style=biz

This is a bit tangential to the SWF topic, but EPF is a major shareholder and Sime Darby a key Malaysia GLC involved too...

Will Liew exit derail Battersea? by Khairie Hisyam JANUARY 26, 2015 10:22 AM; One week ago it surfaced that Battersea project chairman Liew Kee Sin had tendered his resignation, apparently waiting for a response from the project’s shareholders. Liew’s resignation came a week after news of a joint venture deal worth £2.2 billion involving his private vehicle, Eco World Investment Co Ltd, with Irish developer Ballymore Group, to develop three residential projects in London. The deal will see Liew’s Eco World Investment, co-owned by his long-time right-hand man Voon Tin Yeow, form a joint venture company that will acquire three sites for the proposed projects from Ballymore for £428.7 million. Named Eco World Ballymore Holding Co Ltd, the company will be 75% owned by Eco World Investment with Ballymore owning the remaining 25%. Word of the personal deal, clearly in conflict with his position at Battersea, sparked concerns among the Battersea project’s shareholders, who told KiniBiz that there will be implications on Liew’s position. The shareholders of the Battersea project are property developer SP Setia and plantation-based conglomerate Sime Darby, both holding 40% interest each, as well as pension fund Employees Provident Fund (EPF) which holds the remaining 20%....

30 January 2015: Penang BPO projects in Batu Kawan and Bayan Baru, would be jointly developed with Temasek Holdings and Economic Development Innovations Singapore with GDV RM11.3 billion; 1MDB loan extension

1MDB Said to Seek Loan Extension Before $3 Billion Energy IPO  'By'Elffie Chew
4:33 PM BNT  January 27, 2015 (Bloomberg) -- 1Malaysia Development Bhd. is planning to seek another one-month extension on a 2 billion ringgit ($554 million) loan to give it more time to sell a stake in its energy unit, two people familiar with the matter said.... The state-owned investment company needs more time to repay the debt as it’s still in discussions with billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan, Malaysia’s second-richest person, said the people who asked not to be named as the process is private. Krishnan may excercize an option, granted when he sold energy assets to 1MDB in 2012, to buy part of the Edra Global Energy Bhd. unit, the people said. A spokesman for 1MDB declined to comment when contacted by phone.

Penang sees RM5bil investments from 4 China MNCs listed in US By: DAVID TAN
Thursday, 29 January 2015; GEORGE TOWN: Penang will see some RM5bil worth of investments coming into the state in 2015 from four multinational corporations (MNCs) involved in electronic-based manufacturing activities.... investPenang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said these were only initial investments that would materialise over the next 12 months.... Declining to name the companies, Lee said these could be China companies but public-listed in the United States..... Lee said the Penang International Technology Park and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) projects in Batu Kawan and Bayan Baru respectively, would be jointly developed with Temasek Holdings and Economic Development Innovations Singapore and due for completion in five to 10 years...... “The projects has a gross development value of RM11.3bil and will generate 25,000 to 30,000 jobs in the future,” Lee said.....

15 December 2014: 1MDB worries erupt on UMNO rep's police report and Malaysia Cabinet meeting?

After months of news accumulating on 1MDB or 1 Malaysia Development Berhad in Malaysia business news (read The Edge Malaysia for the most details,; some of these points have been picked up by the political opposition), an intriguing development as an UMNO representative "broke ranks" to files a complaint against apparent controversies at the state-run sovereign wealth fund led by his party's leader, Prime Minister Najib. Issues relating to the sovereign wealth fund include the role of a jetset Malaysian financier, Jho Low (check out his name with Paris Hilton), Middle Eastern investor questions and queries about an unusually large commission earned by Goldman Sachs form a financing deal for 1MDB....

Khairuddin: Mentor Dr M not behind 1MDB report by Malaysiakini (subscription)  - ‎56 minutes ago‎ 
Batu Kawan Umno deputy chief Khairuddin Abu Hassan was propelled into the limelight last week after he broke party ranks and lodged a police report against Putrajaya's controversial sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Husam: 1MDB Will Be The Undoing Of The PM; Datuk Husam Musa, SHAH ALAM - The Vice President of PAS, Husam Musa, predicts that the 1MDB scandal will be the undoing of Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Razak Abdul Razak. Husam said that the police report made by the Batu Kawan Umno Deputy Chief, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, and the discussion of the scandal by the Cabinet chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, is a development “which will bring about a huge impact”. “How could the confidential Cabinet discussion reach the media? Surely with specific intention.....

Background on cabinet meeting: Cabinet discussed 1MDB issue at this week’s meeting, say sources 12 Dec 2014; (Dec 12): The controversy-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was discussed at this week's Cabinet meeting chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin after a minister brought up the issue, sources confirmed today. The country's second sovereign wealth fund has been under the spotlight for its debts and inability to submit accounts on time, attracting criticisms from opposition lawmakers and even former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is away on an official visit to South Korea this week and did not attend the Cabinet ...’s-meeting-say-sources

Petronas news (update 45): Saudi Aramco not going ahead with Petronas for Johor project - RAPID, Petronas-led LNG project gets Canada approval amidst China deals tilt

26 Jan 2017: Saudi Aramco not going ahead with Petronas for Johor project - RAPID

Saudi Aramco not going ahead with Petronas for Johor project: WSJ 25 January 2017 Read more at

Earlier news:

  • Petronas decision on Rapid deal with Aramco in Dec? 28 OCTOBER 2016 -- Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is said to be making a final investment decision in December to partner with Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) by offering a 50 per cent stake in its refinery and petrochemical integrated development project (Rapid) in Johor. According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report yesterday, if Petronas proceeds with the plan, the two companies will set up a joint-venture company in the first quarter of next year to run the project, with the refinery due to start operating in early 2019. Read More : 

  • Petronas-Aramco seek $10b loan for Johor project SEP 30, 2016 - Talks with banks have begun; however, analysts say profit squeeze could force rethink of Canadian gas plans - Malaysia's national oil corporation Petronas and the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) have begun negotiations with Malaysian-based banks to raise a record US$7.5 billion (S$10 billion) syndicated loan to finance a planned refinery and petrochemical complex in Johor. Bankers familiar with the loan syndication said that the 50-50 joint venture between the two international oil giants will be a straight-forward loan ahead of a much larger bond issue further down the road to finance the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development Project, or Rapid, as it is called in the Pengerang industrial zone in Johor.

  • Petronas Could Soon Seal Partnership With Saudi Aramco on $21 Billion Refinery - Malaysia’s state oil firm in December is expected to offer the Saudi Arabian giant a 50% stake in the project By YANTOULTRA NGUI Oct. 27, 2016

Note: Customised news update is available for 29 Sep 2016 - 26 Jan 2017

29 Sep 2016: Petronas-led LNG project gets Canada approval amidst China deals tilt

Editor's note: Canada approves Petronas-led $27 bln LNG complex. Reports say Petronas is in no rush to start. The view from KL is that this is an important plus for Petronas. It's good news as a continued stall would have dragged Petronas - this is its single largest project. A significant stake had been sold to China interests. The view from a Canada businessman is that this is good for Canada. Low oil prices have hit Alberta. LNG is clean fuel, although there is some environmental impact from this project. Note: Canada and China recently signed various state level MOUs. Thus, both Malaysia and Canada have had state-level or G2G agreements with China.

Federal government approves $11.4-billion LNG project in B.C. September 28, 2016 -- Pacific NorthWest LNG has been one of the leading LNG project proposals for several years, along with the Shell-led $25-billion LNG Canada project in Kitimat and the Chevron-led $12-billion Kitimat LNG project. Shell and Chevron have secured federal and provincial environmental approvals, plus First Nations support at the terminal, and significant support along their pipeline routes.....But the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade welcomed the announcement, which it noted is subject to 190 conditions, and includes up to $2.5 billion in annual tax revenue and nearly $3 billion in annual contributions to Canada’s GDP. “The Pacific NorthWest LNG project will energize the Canadian economy,” said the board of trade’s president and CEO, Iain Black.

Canada approves $36 bn LNG project, eyes Asia 28 Sep 2016 -- The project includes a pipeline and two Petronas terminals to ship gas to Asia. The gas terminals are to be built on Lelu Island, near Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast. Each will have a capacity of six million tons per year, with the possibility of adding a third down the road. The pipeline built by the operator TransCanada must cross 900 kilometers of British Columbia between Hudson's Hope (about 400 kilometers or 250 miles north of Prince George), ending at Lelu Island. The pipeline deal comes after Petronas in late 2012 snapped up Canada's Progress Energy Resources gas producer for USD 5.2 billion.
The deal means heavy LNG traffic through a maze of islands where salmon is a vital resource. However, others were upbeat about job opportunities. The green light for the pipeline project comes a few weeks after a key meeting between federal and provincial governments to define the necessary steps to reduce carbon emissions under last year's Paris climate agreement.
Read more at:

Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium comprised of Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas 62%), Japan Petroleum Exploration Company (JAPEX 10%), PetroleumBRUNEI (3%), Indian Oil Corporation (10%) and China Petrochemical Corporation (Sinopec 15%).

Fastest Asia-U.S. Shipping Route? Canada’s Ports

China, Canada resolve canola-shipping dispute; to boost trade ties SEPTEMBER 22, 2016 By David Ljunggren and Rod Nickel

Strengthening of Canada-China commercial relationship September 1, 2016

Canada to Join China-Led Infrastructure Bank in Win for Xi by   Bloomberg News  August 31, 2016

29 August 2016: Sarawak and Sabah reps on Petronas board after Sarawak staffing tussle

After Sarawak, Sabah rep to join Petronas board Sunday August 28, 2016 - See more at:

Sarawak says ‘not in picture’ over Petronas’ oil production share with foreign firms Sunday August 28, 2016 - See more at:

Petronas, Sarawak resolve seven staffing issues, says Adenan  22 comments      Edward Subeng Stephen, Bernama     Published 27 Aug 2016

End to Petronas-Sarawak controversy  by fintan ng and p aruna 23 August 2016
Sarawak DAP mulls taking Petronas hiring issue to Parliament Tuesday August 23, 2016 - See more at:

Petronas: Most workers needed in Sarawak will be from the state 10 August 2016 | MYT 9:39 AM

Work permit freeze due to real hiring bias, Sarawak DCM tells Petronas BY SULOK TAWIE Wednesday August 10, 2016 - See more at:

Petronas to explain decision in terminating employees from Sarawak  8 August 2016 | MYT 9:35 PM

14 August 2016: Petronas Sarawak staff retrench woes, oil and gas company woes in Singapore and Malaysia

State will be fair in immigration dealings with Petronas staff: Nancy  August 14, 2016, Sunday Churchill Edward... KUCHING: A Sarawakian minister in the Prime Minister’s Department assured citizens that the state government will be fair in the dealings with immigration involving national petroleum corporation Petronas staff. The minister Nancy Shukri was reacting to the recent action taken by the Sarawak government led by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Adenan Satem following grouses expressed by Sarawakians over Petronas selection of manpower. 
Nancy said: “I have been following the arguments on the drastic action taken by the Sarawak state government against Petronas. It was clearly stated by the Sarawak state government that any new applications for work permits from Petronas  have been frozen as a result of complaints from Sarawakian Petronas officers whose services were terminated and retrenched as revealed by Suarah Petroleum Group. (SPG). It is a normal action by the state.”... She added that the action was based on the complaints by the SPG and definitely there was a basis to the complaints. “The action against Petronas was the first after 1963 using the autonomy power of the state through immigration law.... Secondly, it was an isolated and independent action upon receiving complaints from SPG and Sarawakians as a whole. However. she opines sit also reflects that Sarawakians are becoming more aware of their rights under the constitution and the state government has to act accordingly for the interests of Sarawakians under the constitution. “I would say that it is nothing to do with the devolution issues since the negotiation is in progress and committment given by the federal government  is very positive.......

12 July 2016: PETRONAS reaches cessation deal with SapuraKencana, Petrofac for Berantai

PETRONAS Reaches Deal with SapuraKencana, Petrofac for Berantai by  Chee Yew Cheang Rigzone Staff July 11, 2016 -- Malaysia's national oil company (NOC) Petroliam Nasional Berhd (PETRONAS) announced Monday that it has reached an agreement with Petrofac Energy Developments Sdn Bhd and SapuraKencana Petroleum Berhad's subsidiaries Kencana Energy Sdn Bhd and Sapura Energy Ventures Sdn Bhd for the cessation of the Berantai Risk Service Contract (RSC) located in Block PM 309 offshore Terangganu, Malaysia. "The RSC’s cessation will allow PETRONAS to minimize the project’s long-term value erosion and optimize the development and production activities in Malaysia, in line with its efforts to reduce costs and increase the efficiency of its operations," the state-owned firm said in the press release. PETRONAS will reimburse the balance of outstanding capital and operational expenditures to the contractors over the following 12 months following the RSC cessation that will take effect Sept. 30. Under the agreement, the contractors will transfer ownership of the Berantai FPSO (floating production, storage and offloading) facility to the NOC.

16 May 2016: Sarawak seeks to regulate Petronas activities within state  - says Federal Government has no authority to issue licences 

Sarawak seeks to regulate Petronas activities within state BY SULOK TAWIE June 15, 2016 --  Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem announced today the state government’s plans to regulate the seabed and subsoil activities of national oil company Petronas and its contractors within its territory. He said Sarawak’s regulatory framework would be based on relevant state laws to which Petronas and its contractors would have to abide. “Petronas, a corporation having rights to prospect and mine petroleum both offshore and onshore under the Petroleum development Act, 1974, will have to be regulated and abide by the provisions of the Oil Mining Ordinance of Sarawak and the Land Code in regard to the use and occupation of State Land within the boundaries of Sarawak for the prospecting and mining of petroleum,” he said when winding up the debate in the state assembly here. He said the Land Code of Sarawak, which came into effect on January 1, 1959, defines “state land” to include the seabed and subsoil which forms part of the continental shelf by virtue of an Order made by the British Queen while Sarawak was still a Colony. “Article 73(b) of the Federal Constitution states that the state legislature may make laws for the whole or any part of the State. “Therefore, state laws like the Land Code, the Oil Mining Ordinance 1958 of Sarawak apply to the seabed and sub-soils in the continental shelf regardless of the character of the high seas above that area of the continental shelf....Adenan also said the state government does not agree to the extension of Continental Shelf Act and the Petroleum Mining Act to Sarawak, which purports to authorise the federal government to grant licences for the exploration and mining of petroleum in the Continental Shelf of Sarawak. “Therefore, Parliament has no constitutional authority to pass any legislation relating to the issuance of licences for the prospecting for oil or the oil mining leases within the boundaries of Sarawak which extend to the seabed and sub-soils in the Continental Shelf,” he added. - See more at:

Petronas Bintulu LNG Complex, located approximately 20km from Bintulu Town, covers 276ha and currently accounts for 40.5% of Sarawak's gross export, 6% of Malaysia's total export and 4.2% of the country's GDP. It includes three LNG plants with eight LNG trains in total. The three plants are respectively owned and operated by Malaysia LNG, MLNG Dua and MLNG Tiga, in joint venture with Petronas.

First edition of the Offshore Malaysia Oil and Gas Activity Map to 2019

Malaysia Oil and Gas Profile - » A Barrel Full Oil & Gas Wiki

26 May 2016: Panama Canal upgrade to bring more gas to Asia

Panama Canal Fever Sweeps Globe Again as New Era in Trade Nears by Alex Nussbaum Naureen Malik May 25, 2016... As U.S. gas exports ramp up, new route will slash time to Asia. $5 billion project also shifts oil, crops, container trade....

24 May 2016: Russian state oil firm may buy Petronas' assets, its earnings and assets impaired  on lower oil prices, Canada project news and others

Russian state oil firm may buy Petronas' assets  Published 23 May 2016 ..."Also, Zarubezhneft shows interest in studying the assets of Petronas. The parties are holding consultations about it," he is reported as saying on Friday by Russian news agency Tass. "As for Zarubezhneft, it is studying opportunities to undertake projects in Malaysia....

Malaysia’s Petronas Says Oil Prices to Continue Affect Earnings - National company posts 60% annual decline in profit By YANTOULTRA NGUI May 18, 2016

Petronas’ Q1 profit down 60% on low product prices, asset impairment Posted on 19 May 2016

Petronas and ringgit volatility 21 May 2016

Petronas leaves May crude price factor unchanged at $4/bbl May 12, 2016


PETRONAS' PLNG SATU Heads to Malaysia's Kanowit Gas Field Off Sarawak by  Petroliam Nasional Berhad|Press Release|Wednesday, May 18 - See more at:

Petronas sails Satu PFLNG Anamaria Deduleasa  16 May 2016

Petronas Turns to Jotun to Help "Substantially Cut Fuel Costs" May 18, 2016

Petronas, PetroVietnam extend contract for 10 more years 11/05/2016

Petronas, PetroVietnam extend PSC for 10 more years 9 May 2016

PETRONAS, PetroVietnam Extend PM3CAA PSC in Malaysia-Vietnam Waters to 2027 by  Petroliam Nasional Berhad / Vietnam Oil & Gas Group|Press Release|Tuesday, May 10 - See more at:

Petronas to conduct test at Bintulu plant 12 May 2016

DNeX bags drilling equipment and services job from Petronas Carigali By Supriya Surendran /   | May 19, 2016

On Canada project

Canada Set to Make Petronas LNG Decision as Early as Mid-Summer May 2, 2016

Petronas names new president of Pacific NorthWest LNG BRENT JANG VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail Published Apr. 29

B.C. LNG: First Nations appeal to UN to help stop Petronas project - Scientists have raised concerns about the project slated for Lelu Island The Canadian Press Posted: May 12, 2016

On RAPID project 

PETRONAS Signs Contracts For Pengerang Petrochemical Plants  May 11

AP: Malaysia – Petronas seeking new RAPID partner 13 May 2016

On Petronas Gas

Get set for competitive prices thanks to Gas Supply Bill 2016 BY FERNANDO FONG - 23 MAY 2016  Read More :

Petronas Gas sets RM4.5bil capital expenditure over five years 27 April 2016

Petronas Gas set aside RM4.5b capex over next 5 years  26 April 2016


Profit up at Petronas unit, weak tanker price clouds prospects  May 9, 2016

Petronas unit to buy remainder 50% in joint venture to boost tanker fleet in International Shipping News 26/04/2016

15 Apr 2016: Petronas to slash capex for Canadian LNG project -  to US$500 million over the next 2 years from the initial US$5 billion planned over the next 3 years

Petronas to slash capex for Canadian LNG project - report By Meena Lakshana / | April 14, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR (April 14): National oil firm Petroliam National Bhd's (Petronas) unit Progress Energy Ltd is significantly slashing its capital expenditure (capex) in the US$36 billion Pacific Northwest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in northern British Columbia while awaiting a final approval from the Canadian government's environmental agency. According to a report by Canada-based Financial Post, Progress president and chief executive officer Michael Culbert said the company is reducing its investment to US$500 million over the next two years from the initial US$5 billion planned over the next three years.

Petronas slashes spending as it awaits decision on B.C. liquefied natural gas project by Yadullah Hussain | April 13, 2016

13 Mar 2016: Petronas keeping eye on Candada project EIA process, Mahathir fired as Adviser to Petronas

Petronas keeping a close eye on Canada’s environmental impact assessment process By Dispatch Staff -  March 12, 2016, Just when Petronas, through its subsidiary Pacific NorthWest LNG, and its partners were in the final stages of an investment decision, the new federal Liberal government in Canada is toughening up environmental reviews of major energy projects. This is a step in the direction of regaining “public trust” and to meet with the emission reduction pledge that the government made at the Paris conference last year. The government said in January that major energy projects would be subject to additional assessment on “direct and upstream greenhouse gas emissions” and this is something that spells uncertainty over the $36 billion LNG project says Petronas. Malaysia’s state-owned company has already spent an estimated $12 billion to get its LNG project to this stage and with new assessment, the project which has already suffered from multiple delays, will get delayed again and because of this Petronas has conveyed to federal cabinet ministers it won’t accept additional hurdles....

Petronas to mature Canadian project BY TEE LIN SAY 10 March 2016; PETALING JAYA: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) via subsidiary Pacific NorthWest LNG (PNW LNG) is proactively taking steps to mature the US$36bil (RM147bil) Pacific NorthWest liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in Canada towards its final investment decision, the national oil company said in a statement. This was in response to recent press reports which said that Petronas was close to pulling out of the project, following frustrations with the stance of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s climate-change priorities and the introduction of new uncertainties for the project.  The new federal Liberal government in Canada is toughening up environmental reviews of major energy projects as it strives to meet international commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.... A Canadian newspaper had quoted sources as saying that Petronas was threatening to walk away if it didn’t get federal approval by March 31....

Malaysia Fires Former Leader Mahathir as Adviser to Petronas - Government cites former prime minister’s alliance with the opposition By YANTOULTRA NGUI March 11, 2016 KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia—Former leader Mahathir Mohamad was terminated on Friday as an adviser to state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, over his alliance with the opposition, which is demanding the resignation of embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak. The prime minister’s office said in a statement that Mr. Najib’s cabinet has agreed unanimously to terminate Dr. Mahathir’s service...

Mahathir Mohamad wins jailed Anwar Ibrahim's backing in bit to oust Malaysian PM Najib Razak March 4, 2016 by Lindsay Murdoch Bangkok: Malaysia's jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has declared support for his arch-nemesis Mahathir Mohamad in efforts to topple embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak. Mr Anwar said Mr Najib has "wreaked havoc" in the country with "the most severe scandal" in Malaysia's history... Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad  in his office in Kuala Lumpur last week....  

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in his office in Kuala Lumpur last week. Photo: Bloomberg... 

2 Mar 2016: Petronas to cut 1,000 jobs or less than 2%, expenditure cut of up to RM20 billion in 2016 to affect raft of Malaysia O&G players

The Edge reports: 1,000 job cuts affects less than 2% of the Petronas work force. It has over 50,000 staff at end 2014, up from 39,000 in 2009. Staff costs were almost RM10 billion at end 2014,average cost per employee was RM188,000. Key positions also shift as CEO Wan Zulkiflee appoints new upstream and technology & engineering heads.

source: screen shot of The Edge article,

3 Feb 2016: ExxonMobil sees 2015 earnings fall 50%, cuts 2016 spending by 25%

ExxonMobil sees 2015 earnings fall 50%, cuts 2016 spending by 25%; ExxonMobil Corp. plans to reduce its capital and exploration expenditures in 2016 by 25% compared with that of 2015 to $23.2 billion.  The company estimates earnings in 2015 totaled $16.2 billion, a 50% drop from the $32.5 billion earned in 2014. Capital and exploration expenditures were $31.1 billion, down 19% from the 2014 level.

26 Jan 2016: Petronas, Pertamina, PTT, ONGC retain sovereign ratings while S&P downgrades others including Sinopec and CNOOC

S&P downgrades Asia Pacific energy firms, Petronas not affected 26 January 2016; We don't believe China's national oil companies will be able to stabilise their cash flow adequacy amid the current price environment, despite their efforts to cut capital expenditure and costs," the agency said. The company said it had therefore lowered its credit profile for companies, including China Petroleum & Chemical Corp and China National Offshore Oil Corp (CNOOC) in China and for Woodside Petroleum and Santos in Australia. However, S&P said the revised oil price outlook had no impact on the ratings and outlooks on national oil companies in South and Southeast Asia, such as Indonesia's PT Pertamina, Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional (Petronas), Thailand's PTT Public or India's Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC). "The companies all have an important policy role as major energy suppliers and providers in their respective countries... Therefore, the ratings and outlook on these four companies remain the same as those on their respective sovereigns." The Standard & Poor's reviews come days after competing rating agency Moody's put 175 commodity firms, including in Asia, on review over a bleak outlook - See more at:

12 Jan 2016: Bloomberg - Petronas Sees Three More Tough Years in `Unsettling Environment,'  mulls $30 oil for 2016 (two months ago, assumed $48 for 2016)

Note: This is a still not a major Petronas news update, but an ad hoc one.

  • Petronas also in recent Malaysia news alerts on cuts to contract workers in 2016. Shell Malaysia reported in local news to have cut about 1,300 jobs in 2015. Jobs loss outlook for 2016 worse than some 20,000 lost in 2015 in Malaysia. Other 2015 job cuts include Malaysia Airlines -6,000, RHB Bank -2,700, CIMB Bank -3,600, Standard Chartered -3,600 from The Malaysian Insider compilation from 2015 news. 

  • The recent price drop from around $38 toward $31 may highlight these major producers by cost: United States $36.20, Norway $36.10, Angola $35.40, Colombia $35.30, Nigeria$31.60. See diagram below.
  • Certainly also issues for POGO food-fuel price spread re. biodiesel. 
  • China GDP and oil demand is eyed, and into the future, car makers start to worry about tech disruption to their industry.

Source: What it costs to produce oil By Alanna Petroff and Tal Yellin / CNNMoney - The collapse in the price of oil has squeezed energy companies and countries that were betting on higher returns. Here’s what it costs on average to pump a barrel of oil in the 20 biggest oil producing nations. 

Oil tumbles nearly 5 percent to new lows; analysts warn of $20s - A brutal new year selloff in oil markets deepened on Monday, with prices plunging as much as 5 percent to new 12-year lows as further ructions in the Chinese stock market threatened to knock crude into the $20s.

Petronas Sees Three More Tough Years in `Unsettling Environment' by   Elffie Chew January 12, 2016; Crude oil may average $30/barrel in low-price scenario. Company plans to keep 60-70 billion ringgit annual capex.... Petroliam Nasional Bhd. said crude prices could average $30 a barrel this year and warned the Malaysian state oil company faces two to three tough years.Just two months after the company was assuming an average price of $48 a barrel, Chief Executive Officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin laid out the new "low-price" scenario for 2016. Petronas remains committed to its multi-billion dollar projects as it sticks to its capital expenditure plan of as much as 350 billion ringgit ($80 billion) over the next five years, he said Monday.... The drop in oil has in part led to international investors souring on Malaysia, with the ringgit slumping to a 17-year low in 2015. The net-oil exporting nation stands to lose 300 million ringgit for every $1 a barrel decline in crude, according to government estimates. Brent currently trades below $32 a barrel.Moody Investors Service lowered its credit-rating outlook for Malaysia on Monday, citing an external environment that has crimped government revenue despite Prime Minister Najib Razak’s efforts to improve the country’s finances. Najib said last week he will amendthe 2016 budget to take into account the lower price of oil after using the same price assumption that Petronas did....."The reversal in the price will happen," Wan Zulkiflee said. "It’s only whether it will happen in three years, five years or in seven years’ time.".... The slowing Chinese economy and its weakening yuan are having an impact on Petronas’ sales and operations in the North Asian nation, Wan Zulkiflee said.....In Canada, Petronas is still awaiting environmental approval from regulators to start construction on the Pacific NorthWest LNG project....The company will review its decision within this quarter on whether to proceed .... Wan Zulkiflee said the company will continue to maintain its production levels as significant cuts would result in setbacks when there is a recovery. Petronas hasn’t gotten to the point where it needs to "right-size" permanent employees even as it reviews the status of contract workers, he said. .....Spending Cuts - It’s also lowering spending by improving on procurement processes and cutting costs on business travel that saved the company 24 percent in operating expenditure excluding salaries last year, Wan Zulkiflee said....... It’s still committed to paying the government 16 billion ringgit in dividends this year, down from 26 billion ringgit in 2015...

Oil Extends Losses From 12-Year Low as Stockpiles Seen Expanding by Ben Sharples January 12, 2016, Inventories probably rose 2 million barrels last week: survey, Iran to starting selling new oil grade before boosting exports...

China's Demand for Crude is Showing Signs of Cracking - Resilient supply isn't the only problem for crude. by Luke Kawa, January 11, 2016;

The End of the Monetary Illusion Magnifies Shocks for Markets by Simon Kennedy January 8, 2016; Central banks no longer have as much room to deliver stimulus. HSBC says currencies most sensitive to policy in 15 years... Central bankers are no longer the circuit breakers for financial markets. Monetary-policy makers, market saviors the past decade through the promise of interest-rate reductions or asset purchases, now lack the space to cut further -- if at all -- or buy more. Even those willing to intensify their efforts increasingly doubt the potency of such policies. That’s leaving investors having to cope alone with shocks such as this week’s rout in China or when economic data disappoint, magnifying the impact of such events....

The driverless, car-sharing road ahead - Carmakers increasingly fret that their industry is on the brink of huge disruption Jan 9th 2016; ...Now, Mr Fields is talking about autonomous cars being ready to roll by 2020. More conservative car bosses add five years.... Barclays, another bank, forecasts that the fully driverless vehicle will result in the average American household cutting its car ownership from 2.1 vehicles now to 1.2 by 2040.... The 11m or so annual sales of mass-market cars for personal ownership in America may be replaced by 3.8m sales of self-driving cars, either personally owned or part of taxi fleets, Barclays thinks....

4 Jan 2016: Pressure to cut domestic O&G jobs after expatriates sent packing? Big oil to cut investment again in 2016.

Editor's note: Over the weekend, chatted with some O&G people who report that PETRONAS under pressure from its foreign creditors on why it is not cutting more domestic jobs. O&G expatriate job cuts already impacting the KL rental property markets. **This is a short update only, I shall do a major PETRONAS news review for 14 Nov to end December soon.

Big oil to cut investment again in 2016 By Karolin Schaps and Ron Bousso Jan 3, 2016; At around $37 a barrel, crude prices are well below the $60 firms such as Total (TOTF.PA), Statoil STO.OL and BP (BP.L) need to balance their books, a level that has already been sharply reduced over the past 18 months. International oil companies are once again being forced to cut spending, sell assets, shed jobs and delay projects as the oil slump shows no sign of recovery.  U.S. producers Chevron (CVX.N) and ConocoPhillips (COP.N) have published plans to slash their 2016 budgets by a quarter. Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) has also announced a further $5 billion in spending cuts if its planned takeover of BG Group (BG.L) goes ahead.

14 December 2015, from The Edge Malaysia on loss of jobs by O&G expatriates impacting KL high-end property rentals.

14 Nov 2015: PETRONAS 3Q2015 net profit plunges, capex plans continue, dividend cut, Canada project hurdles, RAPID on track

Petronas Q3 net profit tumbles 91% on weak oil prices Published: 11 November 2015

Petronas slashes 2016 dividend as earnings plummet Published: 12 November 2015

Malaysia's Petronas says committed to capex plans despite continuing challenges (Platts)-- 12 Nov 2015 * January-September capex up 5.5% on year at $11.42 billion * Q3 oil, gas production rises 4.8% on year * Progress of RAPID project on track   Malaysia's state-owned Petronas remained committed to its capital expenditure plans even though it anticipated continuing challenges due to bearish market sentiment, CEO Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said Wednesday. The projects that the company will focus its capital investment on include the Refinery And Petrochemical Integrated Development project in the southern Johor state; the Pacific North West LNG Project in Canada; LNG Train 9 in Bintulu; and the two floating LNG projects being constructed in South Korea. "These capex projects are investments for the long term, and we are set on seeing them through successfully to ensure Petronas' sustainability well into the future," Wan Zulkiflee said in a statement while announcing the company's Q3 2015 results.

Government will not revise Budget 2016 despite Petronas’ lower dividend, says deputy finance minister Friday November 13, 2015 - See more at:

PETRONAS Not Laying Off Permanent Staff Despite Current Market Gloom by  Chee Yew Cheang Rigzone Staff Thursday, November 12, 2015- See more at:

Canadian indigenous, environmental groups urge Trudeau to reject Petronas project Published: 12 November 2015

Another hurdle to Petronas’ project in Canada  11 November 2015; Over 70 Northern British Columbia indigenous leaders, environmental organisations, scientists, businesses, unions, university groups, and faith groups from across the province have signed on to a letter written by Lax Kw’alaams hereditary chief Yahaan (Donnie Wesley) calling on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Environment Minister Catherine McKenna to reject the PNW LNG plant proposed for Lelu Island and Flora Bank. They also want ongoing test-drilling at the site to be cancelled.  The final Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA) decision, expected by early 2016 though possibly sooner, is the final major regulatory hurdle the project must overcome to move ahead.

PETRONAS Celebrates First Production at Bukit Tua, Kepodang Fields by  Petroliam Nasional Berhad Press Release November 05, 2015

Petronas Unit Allocates Up to $300m for Indonesian Oil Fields Next Year By : Retno Ayuningtyas November 09, 2015; A unit of Malaysian energy giant Petronas plans to invest $200 million to $300 million next year on developing its oil blocks in Indonesia, an executive says.  Hazli Sham Kassim, Petronas Carigali’s general manager and head of Indonesian operations, said the company would wrap up production at the Bukit Tua field in Ketapang, East Java, and begin exploration activities in the North Madura II block in offshore East Java in 2016.

OMV, Petronas launch oil talks with Iran TEHRAN, Nov. 11 (MNA) – Describing the latest status of negotiations with Malaysia’s Petronas and Austria’s OMV oil companies, managing director of ICOFC announced several Russian firms’ willingness to invest in Iran’s central oil fields.

PETRONAS FLNG2 Reaches Milestone with Keel Laying at SHI's Shipyard  by  Petroliam Nasional Berhad Press Release Monday, November 09, 20- See more at:

Petronas floating LNG2 to commission in 2018 Posted on 9 November 2015

WCT bags RM315.6 million Petronas EPCC job Posted on 13 November 2015 -

Petronas Dagangan aims to sustain financial results 9 November 2015

Total, Petronas keep eye out for acquisitions as prices pressure oil players October 18, 2015

Icon Offshore appoints Petronas top exec Amir as new MD 3 November 2015

MISC-Bumi Armada FPSO business merger could create huge Petronas subsidary by By Vincent Wee Malaysian shipping company MISC and oil and gas services provider Bumi Armada, both relatively big players in their respective fields, are reportedly in early stages of exploring a corporate exercise involving the consolidation of the floating production storage offshore (FPSO) businesses of both companies, local reports cited sources as saying. According to them, the exercise could see MISC inject its FPSO businesses into Bumi Armada in return for shares, a move that could see Petronas' shipping unit ending up with a big stake in Bumi Armada
Lawas natives yet to see a single sen over Petronas gas pipeline BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA 29 October 2015,  Lun Bawang landowners in Kampung Long Luping said they have either been partially paid or not at all for land taken for the pipeline, which made the news last year after a section of it blew up. Sakai Libang, 54, said the problem was not Petronas but the Land and Survey Department

11 October 2015: Petronas mostly ‘exempted’ from TPP, quit Mauritania, mulling TAP Project, analysts doubt Canada project, credit and rating

Khazanah, Petronas mostly ‘exempted’ from TPP, says minister Published: 7 October 2015 8:56 PM - See more at:

Petronas Renews Pledge to Export Canadian Gas as Analysts Doubt by  Rebecca Penty October 9, 2015 — 7:24 AM HKT. Malaysian energy company says proceeding depends on approvals. Executive vice president dismisses energy market volatility.... Analysts have cast doubt on Canada’s ability to deliver LNG export projects this decade. The global market is entering a period of oversupply, with ventures starting up in Australia and the U.S., and demand is slowing in Asia just as the oil slump has taken down prices for LNG. There are 20 projects under consideration for export from the Pacific Coast in British Columbia and none have started construction.... Canada and East Africa are “last to the LNG party” globally behind the U.S. and Australia, according to CIBC World Markets commodities strategist Katherine Spector. Plunging oil prices mean only about 6 billion cubic feet (170 million cubic meters) a day of LNG exports will be developed in North America by 2022, Spector wrote in a report this week, about half the amount she had forecast last year would be online by 2020.... Petronas in June said it would proceed with the Pacific NorthWest LNG project, pending outstanding approvals, becoming the only Canadian proposal to issue an investment decision to date. Other owners of the venture are Indian Oil Corp., Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., China Petroleum & Chemical Corp. and Brunei National Petroleum Co.

Petronas quitting Mauritania on revenue, oil price fall Published: 7 October 2015 4:06 PM - See more at:

Petronas Said to Mull Buying Statoil’s Stake in TAP Project  by  Ercan Ersoy and Elffie Chew  September 2, 2015 — 1:16 AM HKTUpdated on September 2, 2015 — 8:28 PM HKT

Adding on older news items of interest

UPDATE 1-Malaysia's Petronas to delay RAPID'S refinery start-up to mid-2019 May 18, 2015, * Weak commodity prices prompt review, re-bidding of EPC contracts * Petrochemical chains also rephased due to weak oil prices...

The Yuan Drop Just Added $14 Billion to Asia Inc.’s Debt Burden by Christopher Langner, David Yong and Lianting Tu August 13, 2015 — 2:43 PM HKT; ... The extra yield over Treasuries investors demand to hold the 10-year 5.25 percent dollar bonds of state-owned oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd. -- among Malaysia’s most liquid notes -- has risen 11 basis points this week to the highest since March. “We’re especially worried about Malaysia as its currency faces the most stress after the yuan devaluation,” said Gordon Tsui, the head of fixed income at Taikang Asset Management (Hong Kong) Co

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Petronas takes advantage of improving risk appetite HONG KONG, Aug 5 (IFR) - Petronas saw its bonds tighten as an improvement in risk appetite drove investors to buy into the long-end of the curve. The Petronas 2025s and 2045s tightened around 5bp, according to a Hong Kong-based trader, who put it down to investors taking advantage of an overnight rise in 10-year US Treasury yields....

Fitch Revises PETRONAS' Outlook to Stable; Affirms 'A' IDR Jul 1, 2015 2:38am EDT

British Columbia Sees $7.1 Billion From Petronas Gas Exports  July 7, 2015 — 6:11 AM HKTUpdated on July 7, 2015 — 7:12 AM HKT  British Columbia is pledging to cap levies on Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s natural gas export project as it expects to collect C$9 billion ($7.1 billion) from the venture by 2030. Canada’s westernmost province must compensate the Malaysian oil producer, known as Petronas, and its partners if it adds costs through changes to certain taxes or credits over the next 25 years, according to terms of an agreement signed May 20 that were released Monday. “The revenue opportunities are significant,” British Columbia Finance Minister Michael de Jong said in a briefing with reporters Monday.....

We only produce the oil, Putrajaya sets price, says Petronas chairman Published: 2 July 2015 8:51 AM - See more at:

South Sudan Fighting Escalates in Oil States Before Peace Talks by   Okech Francis  June 6, 2015 — 10:46 PM HKT

South Sudan Oil Field Becomes Battleground as Economy Reels by   Ilya Gridneff  May 26, 2015 — 5:00 AM HKT

MMC Corp appoints former Petronas president Shamsul as chairman Published: 6 July 2015 7:42 PM - See more at:


19 August 2015: PETRONAS slashes rig count to 14 from 39 and operating cashflow woes requires use of cash reserves, Irish probe tanks, environmental doubts on BC LNG project, US starts talks on South Sudan sanctions

On recent earnings and rig count slash, worries of Malaysia contractors
Petronas Irish probe tanks  Written by  OE Staff   Friday, 14 August 2015 02:26  Petronas subsidiary PSE Seven Heads' Midleton well offshore Ireland has failed to discover commercial quantities of gas, according to partner Landsdowne Oil & Gas.

On BC project
  • Malaysia scandal dampens hopes for Petronas LNG Project in BC published by Asianpost on Wed, 08/12/2015 - 08:56  By Ng Weng Hoong  New Canadian Media  Special to The Post British Columbia Finance Minister Mike de Jong’s recent visit to Malaysia yielded a Facebook photo-op with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and a misreported story that state energy firm Petronas and its five Asian partners would begin construction of their US$36 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in northern BC this September. In the reporting of de Jong’s press conference, Malaysian news agency Bernama did not make clear that the project must first receive Ottawa’s environmental approval, due sometime between September and December, before the Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest (PNW) LNG – not the British Columbia government – can make its final investment decision
  • Petronas LNG terminal set in salmon's 'Grand Central Station' - New data shows LNG terminal in middle of nursery for 40 salmon populations CBC News Posted: Aug 07, 2015 3:22 PM PT| Last Updated: Aug 08, 2015 2:13 PM PT

On South Sudan
  • South Sudan: Sides trade accusations after deal falters 3 hours ago; Rebels have accused South Sudan's government of resuming military attacks, a day after President Salva Kiir failed to sign a peace deal aimed at ending the civil war.  Rebel leader Riek Machar said the government had chosen war over peace. But Mr Kiir's chief negotiator said the deal was a sell-out that could not be implemented as the rebels are split....
  • US Pursues New UN Sanctions on South Sudan as Deal Unsigned By THE ASSOCIATED PRESSAUG. 18, 2015, 6:08 P.M. E.D.T.  UNITED NATIONS — The United States has begun talks at the United Nations to sanction South Sudan if its government doesn't sign a peace deal with rebels within 15 days and all sides in the conflict don't promptly implement a cease-fire, President Barack Obama's national security adviser said Tuesday.
  • South Sudan economy 'in intensive care' as famine looms By James Copnall BBC South Sudan analyst 10 July 2014

23 June 2015: PETRONAS C$36 billion gas project faces dissent and low prices, with several LNG startups oversupply  / glut until 2020-2025, Axens to provide processing technology for naptha at PETRONAS RAPID, PSE Seven Heads agrees contract for Irish drilling

Petronas Canada Gas Bet No Cinch as Dissent Adds to Low Prices  by Rebecca Pentyand Allison McNeely June 22, 2015 — 10:04 PM HKT; Petroliam Nasional Bhd.’s C$36 billion ($29.4 billion) Canadian natural gas export project was treading water after the global market for the fuel weakened. Now local opposition is adding a new hurdle. A British Columbia aboriginal group that claims title to land earmarked for the liquefied natural gas terminal says it will take legal action if its environmental concerns aren’t addressed. That follows a decision by Petronas, as the Malaysian company is known, and investors earlier this month to press ahead with the Pacific NorthWest LNG terminal. The Lax Kw’alaams band, which has already turned down C$1.15 billion in compensation, says the terminal is slated for a culturally significant island and would damage salmon habitat, Deputy Mayor Stan Dennis said in an interview. In October, then-Petronas Chief Executive Officer Shamsul Azhar Abbas said the project needs to stay on schedule and begin shipments in 2019 or face a deferral of 10 to 15 years, until another market window opens. “One of the key risks is potential for delay,” said Tom Isaac, a partner at Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Calgary who leads the firm’s aboriginal law group and has no stake in the project. “If litigation were initiated, that could take some time to wind its way through the courts.” Several planned LNG project startups this decade means buyers will be oversupplied until at least 2020. About 40 percent of respondents to a recent Bloomberg Intelligence survey said the glut may last until 2025, analysts led by Elchin Mammadov said in a June 16 presentation. Australia and Canada have the most expensive LNG projects in the world to develop, and some will be shelved or canceled, the analysts said....

Malaysia’s Petronas to Build Natural-Gas Plant in British Columbia - Plan paves the way for export of cheap North American gas to Asia, By  Chester Dawson  June 12, 2015 1:53 a.m. ET
CALGARY—Malaysia’s state-owned energy company Thursday said it would build a large-scale natural-gas plant on Canada’s Pacific coast, paving the way for the export of cheap North American gas to high-demand markets in Asia. The 36 billion-Canadian-dollar (US$29.3 billion) project, known as Pacific NorthWest LNG, marks Canada’s emergence as a hub for exporting surplus North American natural gas to Asia. It is the first of nearly two...

PETRONAS selects Axens Technologies for Malaysia’s RAPID project Monday, Jun 22, 2015
Petroliam Nasional Berhad (PETRONAS), Malaysia’s national oil and gas company has selected Axens as a technology provider for PETRONAS’ Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project located in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia..... RAPID is estimated to cost US$16 billion while the associated facilities will involve an investment of about US$11 billion. PIC is poised for its refinery start-up by early 2019.... Axens was initially selected in October 2010 for a Detailed Feasibility Study, after which their technologies were selected following an open bid in January 2012 on the basis of the best NPV (Net Present Value), as well as proven long term operating experiences supported by the technology and catalyst’s specific features; hence providing  additional benefits to the project. The following technologies from Axens was selected for the RAPID project:
•Naphtha Hydrotreating (NHT), this process purifies naphtha  removing dienes, olefins compounds, sulfur and nitrogen species with a feed capacity of 21,000 BPSD; •OctanizingTM a continuous catalytic regenerative (CCR) reforming process for maximizing the production of reformate from heavy hydrotreated naphtha , with a feed capacity of this unit 14,000 BPSD.........

Petronas inks rig for Irish drilling  Written by  Elaine Maslin   Monday, 22 June 2015 03:59; Petronas subsidiary PSE Seven Heads has agreed a contract to drill on the Midleton prospect offshore Ireland starting in August, according to partner Lansdowne Oil & Gas. PSE Seven Heads, a subsidiary of Petronas' PSE Kinsale Energy will use Diamond Offshore Drilling's Ocean Guardian semisubmersible drilling rig to drill the well, in SEL 4/07, which covers part-blocks 49/11, 49/12, 49/17 and 49/18, immediately southeast of the Kinsale Head gas field, in the Celtic Sea offshore southeast Ireland. The Midleton prospect, about 20km northeast of the Kinsale Head field, has been estimated to contain 330 Bcf gas initially in place, according to Landsdowne....
10 June 2015:  Opinion: Uncertainty grows over LNG deal - ‘Conditional’ final investment decision expected from Petronas by June; Tanjung Offshore secures RM250m contract from Petronas Carigali  

Opinion: Uncertainty grows over LNG deal - ‘Conditional’ final investment decision expected from Petronas by June BY NG WENG HOONG, SPECIAL TO THE VANCOUVER SUN JUNE 5, 2015; The sobering reality is the project faces greater barriers and more uncertainties than a year ago when Zulkiflee’s predecessor, Shamsul Azhar Abbas, began to grasp the magnitude of his over-reach to develop natural gas reserves, pipelines and a large LNG terminal in B.C. all within five years. Company insiders confirmed they had underestimated the extent of environmental and First Nations opposition to fracking, and oil and gas pipeline projects in B.C. Also, like most in the industry, they had not anticipated the crippling effects of the oil price collapse. Political developments in Malaysia and China could add a few more black swans to halt the project’s progress.....Shamsul’s term was not renewed in March following clashes with his boss and PNW’s biggest supporter, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who is now fighting for political survival over allegations of financial mismanagement of billions of dollars in state funds. It was Najib who announced the project’s massive $36-billion price tag, the equivalent of 10 per cent of Malaysia’s GDP, to a surprised Prime Minister Stephen Harper during a visit to Southeast Asia in 2013. Will Petronas or the Malaysian government continue to support PNW’s high-risk project if Najib is no longer prime minister? Zulkiflee made his first move by approving PNW’s offer to pay $1.15 billion to the 3,700-member Lax Kw’alaams First Nations group over 40 years for the right to build the LNG project over their property and ancient fishing grounds. Despite some calling it a generous “game changer,” the sum offered was insignificant as it amounts to less than $8,000 per person per year........“Industry analysts expect only one to three B.C. LNG projects to be operating by 2025. The market outlook for Asia is still uncertain,” she wrote. Also, Canadian projects, requiring the equivalent of crude oil prices at $76 to $90 US a barrel, are expensive when compared with their rivals in the U.S.... Another likely source of concern, not widely discussed, is the commitment of two of PNW’s cornerstone shareholders, Sinopec and IOC.... Amid the LNG price collapse, India is spoiled for choice to increase import volumes through existing channels with Qatar, Nigeria, Egypt and Australia while it pursues talks to develop new overland supply lines with Russia, Turkmenistan and even Iran, which could soon be free of trade sanctions imposed by the West. These developments are leaving Petronas looking increasingly quixotic in its quest to launch B.C.’s LNG industry. The company’s attempts to sell down its 62 per cent stake in PNW LNG to 50 per cent have stalled since the last deal was concluded with Sinopec in April 2014....Rather than clarify the situation, Petronas’ offer to make a conditional final investment decision could set the stage for further negotiations and uncertainty.

Tanjung Offshore secures RM250m contract from Petronas Carigali Tuesday, 9 June 2015
KUALA LUMPUR:  Oil & gas services provider, Tanjung Offshore Bhd secured a RM250mil contract to provide topside maintenance to Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd’s platforms in Sarawak.
It said on Tuesday the construction work request contract would involve the maintenance for Petronas Carigali’s offshore and onshore facilities in Sarawak. The contract is for two years with an option to extend for another year....

1 June 2015: Petronas top official robbed of RM300,000 (c. USD 81,000) in house break-in

Petronas top official robbed of RM300,000 in house break-in Posted on 27 May 2015 - 09:21pm
KUALA LUMPUR: A gang of robbers escaped with more than RM300,000 in cash and valuables after holding up a top official of national petroleum company Petronas and his family at their bungalow near Taman Tun Abdul Razak, Ampang today.
The Petronas top official, who is a Datuk, was asleep when he and his family were woken up from their sleep by the robbers who broke in at about 5am.
The gang fled after getting cash, gold jewellery, luxury watches and other items.
Minutes after they left, the victims, who were unharmed, managed to untie themselves and alerted the police.

22 May 2015: Malaysia's Petronas posts Q1 profit drop, cuts dividend; Petronas reports first oil from Indonesia's Bukit Tua field 

UPDATE 1-Malaysia's Petronas posts Q1 profit drop, cuts dividend on oil price fall  By Anuradha Raghu Fri May 22, 2015 6:59am EDT * Q1 net profit 11.4 bln rgt vs 18.8 bln rgt in Q1 2014 * Maintains projection for crude prices at avg $55/barrel in 2015 * Price will be rangebound for many, many quarters- CEO (Adds details of results, CEO quotes) KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 (Reuters) - Malaysian state-owned oil firm Petronas posted a 39 percent drop in first-quarter net profit on lower crude prices, but a mild rebound in oil helped earnings bounce from the previous quarter when it made its first quarterly loss in at last five years. Global oil prices have climbed more than 40 percent from six-year lows hit earlier this year to touch 2015 highs in early May. Prices, though, are still well-down from the peaks of June 2014, when growing evidence of a worldwide glut sent crude markets into free fall. Petroliam Nasional Bhd, which is called Petronas, reported on Friday a net profit of 11.4 billion ringgit ($3.18 billion) for the January-March period, compared to a profit of 18.8 billion ringgit in the same period in 2014. It had suffered a net loss of 7.3 billion ringgit ($2.03 billion) in the previous quarter. Malaysia, a net energy exporter, relies heavily on Petronas for most of its oil and gas revenue. Out of the 66 billion ringgit of oil revenues in 2014, 29 billion came in the form of dividends paid by Petronas, a government report showed. That dividend would be cut to 26 billion ringgit in 2015, Petronas said.....

Petronas reports first oil from Indonesia's Bukit Tua field WorldOil (subscription) KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- Petronas has reached a significant milestone in its upstream operations in Indonesia with first oil achieved from Bukit Tua field on May 17. “This upstream project is an integrated development as it also involves the ...

18 May 2015: LNG's adverse impact on Petronas and Malaysia  - Citigroup cited in The Star; PETRONAS suggests that Malaysia's many O&G players should consolidate

LNG's adverse impact on Petronas and Malaysia Monday, 18 May 2015  By: TEE LIN SAY PETALING JAYA: The earnings of state-owned Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and the country’s current account are expected to come under pressure in the next few months due to the steep drop in the average price of spot liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG prices track crude oil prices and have more than halved, with the average spot price down as of April to US$7.60 mmbtu (million British thermal units)since oil prices started their downward descent last July. LNG makes up two-thirds of Petronas’ total oil and gas production, and with contract agreements up for renewal, analysts pointed out that earnings would be hit. The average price of spot-LNG in July 2014 was US$13.8MMbtu, and prices rose slightly to US$15.1mmbtu as of Dec 2014. It started adjusting early this year, and as of April, it stands at US$7.9mmbtu. Economists believed that the country would face a current account (CA) deficit in the second quarter if countracts negotiated were not favourable. Citigroup Inc economist Kit Wei Zheng warned that headwinds from lower oil prices, which have not been as severe based on first-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) data, could increase going forward.  “The impact of weaker LNG prices on the CA should be maximum in the second quarter, and the CA surplus should recover in the second-half for leading to a full year surplus of 3.2% of GDP,” he said in a report following the release of Bank Negara’s first-quarter GDP data last Friday. In 2014, Petronas produced a total of 1,358 kboe (kilo barrel of oils equivalent) of gas out of a total of 2,226 kboe of oil and gas. Gas made up 61% of Petronas’ total oil and gas production that year. The LNG sales volume that year increased 4% to 30.12 million tonnes from 28.85 tonnes in 2013, driven by higher trading volume and higher sales from the Petronas LNG complex in Bintulu, Sarawak. Not only would that have implications on Petronas earnings, but Petronas’ contributions to government revenue could be impacted. Petronas contribution had dropped to about 22%, from 30%. In 2012 and 2013, when the going was still good and Brent crude stood above US$100 per barrel, Petronas had contributed RM80bil and RM73.4bil respectively to the Government.

M'sian O&G companies should explore consolidation opportunities, says Petronas Monday, 18 May 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian oil and gas (O&G) companies must consider exploring consolidation opportunities within the fraternity to increase competitiveness and put the industry in a good stead when the global oil market recovers. Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) President and Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin said consolidation opportunities were  plentiful.   "Those with heftier cash and other means to fund consolidation and guided by a clear strategic focus, will be able to beat competitors to the negotiating table for winning deals," he said. The manoeuvres, he added, would also position the companies ahead of the pack when oil prices recover. Wan Zulkiflee said this in his welcoming remarks at the Asia Oil and Gas Conference 2015 here today.

6 May 2015: PETRONAS JV group offers US$950 million to native group for Pacific NorthWest LNG project, Petronas completes asset acquisition - 15.5% interest in the Shah Deniz production sharing agreement in the Caspian Sea, a 12.4% stake in Azerbaijan Gas Supply Co and a 15.5% share in the South Caucasus Pipeline Co; PETRONAS carigali pay cut report quickly denied

Petronas-led JV offers aboriginal group US$950m in Canada for project nod (Update) Tuesday, 5 May 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Pacific NorthWest LNG is offering up to C$1.15bil (US$950mil) over 40 years to an aboriginal community in Canada to approve its natural gas export terminal on Canada’s Pacific Coast.  Reports said on Tuesday the joint venture, which is led by Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) had made the offer to the community, which would be paid over 40 years.
Pacific NorthWest LNG is offering the payments to the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation so it can build the unit on the community’s traditional lands at the port of Prince Rupert in northern British Columbia, the native group said on its website. The reports said the deal also included incentives from the provincial government and gas pipeline developers.  According to the native group, the payments are for the life of projects (approximately 40 year to 60 years) using 40 years as an assumption in its summary.

Petronas still in talks with Canadian aboriginal group By Fatin Rasyiqah Mustaza / The Edge Financial Daily   | May 6, 2015 : 8:41 AM MYT KUALA LUMPUR: A Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) led consortium has yet to conclude the long drawn out negotiations with the Lax Kw’alaams First Nation group on the oil company’s plan to build a gasification terminal to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) at the port of Prince Rupert, western Canada.  The consortium’s Pacific NorthWest LNG project is required to have the consent of the Lax Kw’alaams to construct a LNG terminal within their territory. The project will liquefy and export natural gas produced by Progress Energy Canada Ltd in which Petronas also holds a controlling stake. Currently, Petronas owns 62% of Pacific NorthWest LNG. Other stakeholders include China Petroleum & Chemical Corp Ltd (15%), Japan Petroleum Exploration Co Ltd (10%), Indian Oil Corp Ltd (10%) and Brunei National Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (3%). Petronas said an impact benefit agreement offer has been tabled to the Lax Kw’alaams, in addition to offers from both the government of British Columbia and TransCanada Corp....

Petronas completes asset acquisition Monday, 4 May 2015 - 15.5% interest in the Shah Deniz production sharing agreement in the Caspian Sea, a 12.4% stake in Azerbaijan Gas Supply Co and a 15.5% share in the South Caucasus Pipeline Co; BAKU: Malaysia’s state-owned oil and gas (O&G) giant Petronas has completed its transaction for the acquisition of O&G related assets in Azerbaijan, following a sales and purchase agreement it signed with Norway-based Statoil in October last year.
Petronas’ Azerbaijan country chair Zainal Abidin Zainudin said Petronas completed the acquisition on April 30 and now officially owns a 15.5% interest in the Shah Deniz production sharing agreement in the Caspian Sea, a 12.4% stake in Azerbaijan Gas Supply Co and a 15.5% share in the South Caucasus Pipeline Co. It was reported earlier that Statoil sold its stake in the Shah Deniz project for US$2.25bil (RM8bil). The deal was Petronas’ third largest acquisition, after its US$5.7bil acquisition of Canada’s Progress Energy Resources in 2012 and the US$2.5bil acquisition of Gladstones LNG project in Australia in 2008. Zainal Abidin said the acquisition gives Petronas a strategic presence in a producing field in oil-rich Azerbaijan, where the company is involved in project development totalling around US$38bil....

*This was soon denied: Petronas Carigali cuts salaries by 20% Posted on 15 April 2015 - 05:39am  by Eva Yeong PETALING JAYA: Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd has asked its staff to take a 20% pay cut in view of the challenging market conditions caused by low global oil prices, a source told SunBiz. According to a memo obtained by SunBiz, Petronas Carigali indicated that a 20% reduction in current salaries would be required effective May 1, 2015. The company said in the memo that it intends to continue investing to sustain production levels despite the low oil price environment affecting its expenditure and projects feasibility. However, it would be challenging to do so at the current cost structure and as part of its cost optimisation efforts, the company has decided to revise salary rates. Petronas Carigali is the exploration and production (E&P) subsidiary of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas).

UPDATE 1-Petronas not cutting pay or staff, chief executive say (Adds details from Petronas statement) Wed Apr 15, 2015 7:39am EDT  (Reuters) - Malaysian state oil firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) on Wednesday denied a media report that said staff at one of its units were asked to take a pay cut due to the plunge in global oil prices. "It is misreporting. There is no salary cut and retrenchment for Petronas staff," Chief Executive Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin told reporters following a shareholders meeting for a Petronas unit. Local newspaper SunBiz earlier reported that Petronas Carigali issued an internal memo asking its staff to take a 20 percent pay cut due to low oil prices.

21 April 2015: PETRONAS FLNG by 1Q2016, Carigali strives to improve efficiency, Petronas Chemicals gears up for 80%-85% plant utilisation rate; Pengerang terminal added to Platts recognised loadings from Pasir Gudang, Tanjung Langsat, Tanjung Bin and certain floating storage units in nearby waters for its Singapore price assessment process

Petronas FLNG to tap marginal fields by 1Q of 2016 Tuesday, 21 April 2015 By: INTAN FARHANA ZAINUL; KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) expects to complete its ambitious floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) vessel by the first quarter next year.  Petronas vice president and venture director LNG project domestic Datuk Abdullah Karim said on Tuesday the Petronas FLNG 1 (PFLNG) is now 91% completed. "With PFLNG we are able to monetise gas fields which previously were considered too small or stranded," he told reporters at the PFLNG briefing.
He explained that a marginal field for gas would have a reserve of about half a trillion cubic metres.
For the PFLNG1, Abdullah said would be on site, which is in Bintulu, Sarawak (Kanowit field) by March 1 next year. "We are looking about 1.2 million tonnes per annum of LNG production from the PFLNG 1," he said. The PFLNG 1 was designed to operate in shallow waters. The final investment decision for the PFLNG Satu was made on March 27, 2012.........

Petronas Carigali strives to improve efficiency to mitigate oil plunge impact Published: 21 April 2015 5:58 PM Petronas Carigali has implemented strategies to improve cost efficiency. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 21, 2015. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas)'s upstream arm Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd has implemented strategic approaches to improve its cost efficiency to mitigate the adverse impact of the plunge in oil prices. Among the initiatives taken is production with minimal cost, leaner operations and drilling, integrated logistics, and better innovation and collaboration, according to a statement issued by the state oil company today. In the same statement, Petronas Carigali president Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib urged Petronas contractors to remain agile, resilient and versatile.  Anuar also shared that Petronas Carigali's deliverables were significantly growing in terms of number and complexity....

Petronas Chemicals gears up for 80%-85% plant utilisation rate Tuesday, 21 April 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Integrated chemicals producer, Petronas Chemicals Group Bhd (PCG) is currently pushing for a higher average plant utilisation rate of between 80 to 85 percent in a bid to drive sales volume. PCG President  and  Chief Executive Officer Datuk Sazali Hamzah said the company's efforts in this respect are progressing well.  "PCG has improved operational excellence, with a plant utilisation rate of 80 per cent last year compared with 78 per cent in 2013, and for 2015 our utilisation rate is expected to rise to 80 to 85 per cent.  "And with the latest Sabah Ammonia Urea (SAMUR) plant due for commission next year, PCG's utilisation rate could hit beyond 85 per cent from 2016," he told Bernama on the sidelines of the 3rd Hazards Asia Pacific symposium held here today.......... On the SAMUR project in Sipitang, Sabah and the Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) in Pengerang, Johor, Sazali said they are progressing well and on track. "SAMUR is 90 per cent completed and we target to commission it by the first quarter of 2016.
"As for RAPID, as far as I know the project is also progressing as planned," he said.
The world-class SAMUR project aims to produce 740,000 metric tonnes per annum (mtpa) of liquid ammonia and 1.2 mtpa of granulated urea. Meanwhile, RAPID is expected to produce 7.7 mtpa of differentiated and specialty chemicals such as synthetic rubber and high-grade polymers, and its refinery will be capable of producing petrol and diesel that meet Euro 4 and Euro 5 fuel specifications..........

Pengerang gets Platts’ nod Tuesday, 31 March 2015; PETALING JAYA: The Pengerang oil terminal in Johor is expected to receive greater interest following its inclusion into oil agency Platts Singapore’s pricing assessments for middle distillates and gasoline. Industry players said the inclusion of the Pengerang oil terminal was expected to offer traders more flexibility in loading cargo and improve market liquidity.  “This will help efforts to make Johor the region’s oil and gas trading hub by providing traders accurate and timely information on the prices of oil products,” an analyst said. The Pengerang terminal, majority owned by the 51%-49% joint venture between Dialog Group Bhd and Dutch oil and chemicals storage company Vopak, started operations last year.
“The accreditation (by Platts) will help us in marketing our terminal. We can market to those traders on Platts.  ........Meanwhile, Reuters quoted a source from Vopak who said that the facility was in the process of being filled but it has not yet reached full capacity. “With the Platts approval, we expect interest to pick up,” Reuters quoted the source as saying.  .......Apart from landed storage tanks in Singapore, Platts currently recognised loadings from Pasir Gudang, Tanjung Langsat, Tanjung Bin and certain floating storage units in nearby waters for its Singapore price assessment process.
.......Platts said Pengerang joined those as an alternative delivery location, and would be subject to the same performance requirements and normalisation processes. The terminal has five berths, with the largest able to accommodate a VLCC (very large crude carrier).  The new terminal has an initial storage capacity of 1.3 million cu m over 50 tanks, though a second stage could add an additional one million cu m.......

12 April 2015: Low oil prices improving economics for Petronas-led B.C. LNG project

Low oil prices improving economics for Petronas-led B.C. LNG project by Yadullah Hussain | April 9, 2015 12:06 PM ET TORONTO – Low oil and gas prices have improved the economics for a Petronas-led natural gas export project on the British Columbia coast as the company looks to make a final investment decision in June. “Over the past three months, we have driven costs down … in a very significant way,” Michael Culbert, CEO of Pacific NorthWest LNG, a consortium led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, told an energy conference in Toronto this week.

5 April 2015: Japan's Toho Gas to buy LNG,  Petronas’ Botswana operation hit by fall in prices

Japan's Toho Gas to buy LNG from Malaysia's Petronas TOKYO, Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:35am EDT
(Reuters) - Japan's third-biggest city-gas supplier, Toho Gas Co, said on Tuesday it signed a basic agreement with a wholly-owned unit of Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to buy liquefied natural gas (LNG). The company is set to accept seven to nine LNG cargoes a year during the 10-year contract starting in April 2017, it said in a statement. The prices will be linked to crude and U.S. Henry Hub prices, with an option to change the destination on condition of obtaining the seller's prior consent, it added.......

Petronas’ Botswana operation hit by fall in crude oil prices By: MOHD HAFIDZ MAHPAR Friday, 3 April 2015 KUALA LUMPUR: Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s (Petronas) Botswana-listed operation last year recorded its first profit drop in four years due to the decline in international crude oil prices.
Engen Botswana Ltd told the Botswana Stock Exchange on Friday that its net profit was halved to 65.2 million pula (RM24.1mil) last year on the back of a slightly lower revenue of 2.6 billion pula (RM962mil). The downstream petroleum marketer said its gross profit fell by 26.9% mainly due to the decline in international crude oil prices, which necessitated the revaluation of inventories during the course of the year in line with International Financial Reporting Standards. Foreign exchange gains also decreased from 9.7 million pula (RM3.6mil) at the end of 2013 to 1.4 million pula (about RM520,000) at the end of 2014. It said this was due to the depreciation of the Botswana pula against the South African rand. Engen Ltd, which operates South Africa’s second largest refinery, is 80% owned by Petronas and has a 70% stake in Engen Botswana, according to Engen Botswana’s 2014 annual report.....

31 March 2015: Cost management crucial for O&G, says Petronas

Cost management crucial for O&G, says Petronas COO By: WONG WEI-SHEN  Tuesday, 31 March 2015 “I strongly believe that one of the issues that the O&G industry needs to focus on in the current environment is cost management,” said Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) chief operating officer and executive vice-president of downstream Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin (pic). Due to falling prices and increasing costs, companies are now re-prioritising shareholders’ returns over production growth, he said at the launch of the Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) Asia 2016. He added that across the board, there had been a reduction in budgeted capital expenditure, lower production plans and more targeted exploration efforts, as well as rationalisation of the downstream business.
Petronas executive vice-president and chief executive officer of upstream Datuk Wee Yiaw Hin said: “In this challenging environment, it becomes more important that we really push technology to the limit to help manage cost.”........

26 March 2015: PETRONAS Carigali JV strikes oil off Sabah

Petronas Carigali JV strikes oil off Sabah By: MOHD HAFIDZ MAPHAR  Wednesday, 25 March 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: A Japanese-led group exploring Deepwater Block R off Sabah, which includes Petronas Carigali, has made “a significant oil discovery” at the Bestari-1 exploration well. The group comprises operator JX Nippon Oil & Gas (27.5% interest), Inpex Corp of Japan (27.5%), Petronas Carigali (25%) and Australia-listed Santos (20%).... Santos told the Australian Stock Exchange on Wednesday that the discovery was being evaluated with a view to planning an appraisal campaign. “The Bestari-1 well encountered 67 metres of net oil pay in multiple sand packages within the primary Miocene age formation at true vertical subsea depths ranging from 1,860m to 2,702m,” it said. “The oil bearing sands are of high quality with good porosity and permeability. Oil samples, recovered from wireline pressure and sampling tools, confirm 27-30 degree API Oil with no indication of hydrogen sulphide and neglible carbon dioxide.”.... Petronas awarded the production sharing contract for Deepwater Block R, a 672 sq km area where the well is located, in January 2012. .... The national oil company said the exploration block was near key discoveries such as the Kikeh, Kebabangan, and Gumusut-Kakap fields.

24 March 2015: Petronas says $5 bln bond issue for capex, possible M&As - Reuters

Malaysia's Petronas says $5 bln bond issue for capex, possible M&As KUALA LUMPUR, March 19  Thu Mar 19, 2015 4:00am EDT (Reuters) - Malaysia's Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) plans to use the $5 billion it raised in Asia's largest bond offering so far this year for corporate expenses as well as possible acquisitions, the company said. In a statement to Reuters, the state-owned energy firm, which posted its first quarterly loss in at least five years in the fourth quarter due to the slump in global oil prices, declined to give any details about its potential M&A plans. It had earlier stated plans to cut capital expenditure by 10 percent and operating expenses by up to 30 percent this year, but still went ahead with the bond and sukuk issue, its first foray into the debt market in six years.

 12 March 2015: US$5 billion bonds sold, some bonds sold at lower premium than initially offered, analyst says "risk on for Asia" when PETRONAS gets the deal out, new PETRONAS bonds seemed expensive compared to the curve but cheaper than CNOOC (PETRONAS used to trade inside CNOOC)

Malaysia’s Petronas Sells $5 Billion of U.S. Dollar Bonds by Elffie Chewand Christopher Langner 2:25 PM HKT  March 11, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Petroliam Nasional Bhd., Malaysia’s state-owned oil company, sold $5 billion of dollar-denominated bonds Wednesday.... Petronas issued the debt in four parts, including a sukuk tranche, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The longest-dated portion was $1.5 billion of 4.5 percent, 30-year bonds that yield 1.9 percentage points more than similar-maturity U.S. Treasuries.... The Kuala Lumpur-based energy company borrowed in dollars at a time when Malaysian issuers in the currency are the worst performers in Asia for the year. It also sold $1.5 billion of 3.5 percent, 10-year notes, $750 million of 3.125 percent, seven-year securities, and $1.25 billion of five-year 2.707 percent sukuk, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Petronas’s new Islamic bonds were sold at a premium of 110 basis points. It had initially offered the debt with a yield of about 135 basis points, people familiar with the matter said earlier this week.
Its seven-year conventional debt paid 130 basis points, versus a marketing spread of about 150, while the 10-year and 30-year securities were marketed at about 175 basis points and 220 basis points respectively. The 30-year debentures priced at a 190 basis-point premium.

ASIA CREDIT CLOSE: Petronas curve holds steady as EM bonds weaken Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:54am EDT; SINGAPORE, March 11 (IFR) - Malaysian energy giant Petronas Corp dominated attention today with its four-tranche bond and sukuk offering, which is expected to be USD6bn-7bn in size.... "If Petronas can get this deal out of the door, it will be risk on for Asia," said one credit trader. "That's not a given, thanks to the size and the weak oil price."... Petronas's old bonds were little changed, despite the new supply. The 2019s were at Treasuries plus 115bp/122bp, around 2bp wider, while the 2022s were at T+135bp/140bp. The new bonds offer around a 5bp concession to the curve, according to a bond investor. However, many investors are underweight Malaysia, and a new issue of benchmark bonds gives them a quick way to balance their portfolios.... Investors said that the new Petronas bonds seemed expensive compared to the curve, but cheap in comparison to CNOOC's 2018s, for example, which were quoted today at a Z spread of 77bp/86bp. Petronas used to trade inside CNOOC....

9 March 2015: PETRONAS starts roadshow for RM17 billion bond and sukuk, S&P assigns preliminary A- to sukuk,  Mahathir urges external auditors to allay public concerns about the billions of overseas investments by PETRONAS and other key entities / agencies

REFILE-Malaysia's Petronas begins $17 bln bond and sukuk drive Thu Mar 5, 2015 7:28am EST
(Reuters) - Malaysian energy company Petronas began roadshows on Thursday to raise up to $17 billion from conventional and Islamic bonds, or sukuk, for working capital.... State-owned Petronas met potential investors for a $15 billion multi-currency conventional bond programme and a one-off dollar-denominated sukuk issuance of $2 billion, two sources told Reuters.... A spokesman from Petronas confirmed the plans.... Bank of America Merrill Lynch, CIMB Group Holdings , Morgan Stanley MUFG, JP Morgan and Citibank are lead arrangers, while HSBC and Deutsche Bank are playing smaller supporting roles, the sources said. Petronas will conduct roadshows in Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, London, Hong Kong, Boston, Los Angeles and New York from Thursday to March 10, they added. Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Thursday assigned a preliminary rating of A- to the Petronas sukuk.... The move by Petronas comes after the company announced its first quarterly loss in at least five years on Feb. 27 because of the global slump in oil prices. It stated plans to cut capital expenditure by 10 percent and operating expenses by up to 30 percent this year....

Felda chairman’s son quizzed on London luxury hotel buy Published: 7 March 2015 5:09 PM; Felda's overseas buying spree was raised by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad earlier this year, when he urged Putrajaya to appoint external auditors for all its agencies to allay public concerns about the billions being spent on investments across the world. "We see entities such as Felda, EPF, Tabung Haji spending billions in acquiring foreign properties while others such as MAHB (Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd) and Petronas have bought shares in airports and Canadian ventures also involving huge sums of money," the former PM had written in his blog....

28 February 2015: PETRONAS says no more RSCs when oil price below US$80, earnings weakness in Malaysia O&G inevitable with 10-15% capex cuts in 2014-2015 (mulling 30% opex cut too), Canada project FID by June 2015 with award of capital tax allowance (sources earlier said not given) and re-bidding of tenders to save cost.

 Malaysia’s Petronas Swings to First Quarterly Loss- State oil-and-gas firm intends to cut investment plans over next two years after $2.7 billion loss.By Saurabh Chaturvedi  Feb. 27, 2015 8:33 a.m. ET
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Malaysia’s national oil-and-gas company, Petroliam Nasional Bhd., or Petronas, on Friday said it would cut its investment plans by as much as 30 billion ringgit ($8.3 billion) in the next two years as the company reported its first-ever quarterly loss.... Petronas Chief Financial Officer George Ratilal told reporters that the loss was primarily due to the fall in global crude-oil prices and on account of some asset impairment charges totaling 20 billion ringgit for the full year. ... The company’s cut represents a reduction of 10%-15% for this year and the next as Petronas expects crude prices to hover around the $55-a-barrel level, Chief Executive  Shamsul Azhar Abbas  told reporters at an earnings briefing. The company is also evaluating options to cut operating expenses by 30%....

Shamsul: No more RSC for third party for now  By: NG BEI SHAN  Saturday, 28 February 2015
THERE was a time when redeveloping marginal oil fields was a “hot” topic among local oil and gas services players.... Some of these companies’ aspirations to move upstream, however, are shattered as Petrolaim Nasional Bhd (Petronas) has reiterated that it would not dish out any more new risk sharing contracts (RSC) at below US$80 per barrel.... “We don’t see any future awards of RSC contracts at prices below that,” says president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas....
It will be re-developing the brownfields on its own via Vestigo Petroleum Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary that was set up less than two years ago to develop small and mature fields... “We reckon the time has come for us to say that we are capable of doing this ourselves rather than award to other international or local players,” he says, explaining that the upstream unit of the national oil company has garnered the capabilities and knowledge from its partners over the years.... To recap, Petronas’ upstream unit Petronas Carigali Sdn Bhd has established Vestigo in July 2013 to complement the former’s upstream activities with the focus on small, marginal and mature fields....

Earnings weakness from O&G inevitable Saturday, 28 February 2015; IT must have come as a shock for Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to report its first quarterly loss in five years since it started reporting quarterly figures. The RM7.3bil loss was mainly due to an impairment of assets after a revaluation, but the headline figure does indicate that 2015 is not going to be rosy. Petronas has said it will cut capital expenditure (capex) by 10% this year and by 30% for some items. This directly means less activity for the sector, and it has started to show in some of the oil and gas (O&G) service providers in the latest earnings season.

Canada project on track Saturday, 28 February 2015; PETROLIAM Nasional Bhd (Petronas) will make a final investment decision (FID) on a project to build a multi-billion-ringgit liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminal in British Columbia, Canada, by June this year... However, president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas has alluded that the national oil company would pursue the development as it has received what it wanted from the Government and was waiting for further approvals.... “The issues outstanding with the local provincial government and the Canadian government have been resolved. The capital allowance will be given, which will further improve the economics of the project,” he said yesterday... He also dismissed speculation that Petronas was considering walking out of the project because of the economics.... “Enough of such speculation …we can wait until the end of June and still complete it within time,” he reiterated.
Petronas will be re-bidding the tenders for the job to build the LNG plant because cost has come down with the decline in oil and gas prices....

27 February 2015: PETRONAS 4Q2014 loss or RM9.9 billion / US$2.7 billion on US$76.27 Brent (down from US$109.27 a year ago) and impairment, planned capex spend will be cut by RM30 billion over next two years, PETRONAS cash from operations RM10 billion shortfall versus capex spend and dividend commitments in 2015 says Moody's; Shamsul's says 2015 outlook likely "bad"

Petronas Turns to $2.7 Billion Fourth-Quarter Loss on Oil Slump 'By' Pooi Koon Chong 5:31 PM AWST   February 27, 2015 (Bloomberg) -- Petroliam Nasional Bhd., the Malaysian state oil company preparing for a leadership transition in April, reported a loss in the fourth quarter following crude’s plunge. The loss was 9.9 billion ringgit ($2.7 billion) in the three months through Dec. 31, compared with a 9.6 billion ringgit profit a year ago. Revenue dropped 6.4 percent to 79.4 billion ringgit. ... “Petronas Group is taking steps to reduce its planned capital investments and operating expenditure in order to mitigate the potential adverse effect on its profitability and cash flows,” the company said in a statement today.... Natural gas futures dropped to $2.58 per million British thermal units on Feb. 6, the lowest since 2012, while Brent futures are down 44 percent since June. Petronas derived 21 percent of its revenue from gas and an equal amount from crude, with petroleum products being the... Petronas will pay Malaysia’s government, its sole shareholder, a dividend of 26 billion ringgit from 2014 profit of 37 billion ringgit, Petronas Chief Financial Officer George Ratilal told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. Planned capital spending will be cut by as much as 30 billion ringgit over the next two years, he said.... Petronas won’t generate enough cash from operations this year to cover capital spending and dividend commitments, said Vikas Halan, a Singapore-based vice president at Moody’s Investors Service Inc., estimating the shortfall to be at least 10 billion ringgit. .. Petronas deferred its final decision to build a C$36 billion ($29 billion) liquefied natural gas project in Canada’s British Columbia in December, citing low oil prices...Petronas has said it aims to reduce its share in the development to as low as 50 percent.....

Petronas postst first quarterly loss in 4Q, braces for grim year ahead - Petronas said the Dated Brent averaged US$76.27 in 4QFY14, a decline from US$109.27 a year ago...on prospects, Shamsul 2015 will likely be "bad"...

Malaysia's Petronas posts $2 bln quarterly loss amid global oil slump KUALA LUMPUR  Fri Feb 27, 2015 3:03pm IST

25 February 2015: Canada hopes C$18+ billion BC LNG project put on hold on 3 Dec 2014 will be revived on major cost drop; PETRONAS "humble pie" says Kinibiz on novation of four LNG carriers costing US$1.1 billion to MISC 

Petronas visit bolsters hopes for dormant B.C. LNG project  by BRENT JANG; VANCOUVER — The Globe and Mail;  Published Sunday, Feb. 22 2015, 4:27 PM EST; A major B.C. LNG project put on hold by Petronas in December is showing signs of a revival as three executives from the Malaysian energy giant prepare to visit Canada..... The Pacific NorthWest LNG joint venture, led by Malaysia’s state-owned Petronas, is positioned to become the first major exporter of liquefied natural gas from Canada, despite a delay that has lasted nearly three months.... On Dec. 3, Petronas and its four Asian partners placed the venture on hold indefinitely due to anticipated high capital costs that make the project uneconomic to build.... Since then, Petronas-led Pacific NorthWest LNG has made progress in extracting cost savings from prospective contractors and suppliers, B.C. Deputy Premier Rich Coleman said. “Evidently, those costs have come down dramatically,” he said in an interview.... The Petronas-led group estimates that $36-billion will need to be spent in order to achieve planned exports to Asia in 2019. The huge budget includes $6.7-billion in two pipeline projects and $11.4-billion for the export plant at Lelu Island, located near Prince Rupert in northwestern British Columbia... Incoming Petronas chief executive officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin will travel to Vancouver to meet with B.C. Premier Christy Clark and Mr. Coleman....Pacific NorthWest LNG is scrutinizing international engineering costs, subcontractors and two natural gas pipelines to be built by TransCanada Corp. – the $5-billion Prince Rupert Gas Transmission plan and the $1.7-billion North Montney Mainline....

Petronas eats RM4bil humble pie By TigerTalk  8:47AM Feb 25, 2015; KINIBIZ The collapse of crude oil price in the last 12 months is forcing many oil giants (to quote the usual biz speak) “rethink”, “reprioritise” and “reposition” their business plans drastically. Budgets are slashed. Expenditure reduced. Mega projects are postponed or scaled down.... In many cases, some may say that they are eating a long overdue humble pie.... Case in point is the recent move by Malaysia’s state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to transfer ownership of four new liquefied natural gas (LNG) carriers to Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Bhd (MISC).... The carriers will be constructed for an estimated US$1.1 billion (RM4 billion) and are to be delivered to MISC in 2016-2017.... Petronas will then charter these LNG vessels from MISC for 15 years, or maybe even more.... The deal is practically an amendment to a deal that was signed two years ago. It novates or replaces a previous shipbuilding contract signed in 2013 between Petronas, MISC and Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI)...

24 February 2015: MISC - PETRONAS extends time on 5 and signs 5 new LNG carriers

MISC reports that Petronas extends the time charter of five existing LNG carriers and signs on five new LNG carriers. UOBKH Research 24 Feb 2015.

22 February 2015: SapuraKencana's Mokzhani sees need for PETRONAS to manage expectations of Malaysia O&G players as well as sector consolidation (4,000 companies of which 40 are public listed); PETRONAS to set aside RM2.1 billion for Sarawak O&G contractors; Johor to take 10% stake in Pengerang Terminals 2 and Pengerang LNG 2; Pengerang Package III contracts awards; Petronas-Vopak-Dialog industrial terminal info

New Petronas CEO urged to encourage consolidation By: WONG WEI-SHEN Saturday, 21 February 2015; A prominent oil and gas (O&G) player feels that one of the primary tasks of the newly appointed president and chief executive officer of Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) should be to encourage consolidation within the industry....  “He has to encourage consolidation, as a lot of service companies had mushroomed in the last five to 10 years, enjoying US$100 oil. Having said that, at US$50 oil, we will all have to revisit our cost structures and find efficiencies to help with bringing costs down,” says SapuraKencana Petroleum Bhd vice-chairman Tan Sri Mokhzani Mahathir (pic) of Petronas’ new head Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin.... Mokhzani is one of the major shareholders in SapuraKencana with a 10.38% equity stake. He also has a 18.55% stake in Yinson Holdings Bhd via Kencana Capital Sdn Bhd.... To paint a clearer picture, there are currently about 4,000 O&G firms that come under the purview of the International Trade and Industry Ministry, while only about 40 of them are listed on the local bourse.... Wan Zulkiflee will be taking over the helm from Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas starting April 1.... Mokhzani foresees more companies turning to Petronas for help and shelter during this “rough patch” for the next two years.... While there is no more cheap oil production, innovative solutions can help save, Mokhzani adds.... “That’s where Petronas has to encourage Vestigo/Carigali to work smarter with contractors to do this. I think Wan Zulkiflee will be the right person to spearhead this new business approach.... “He has to manage the expectations of both his shareholder and stakeholders (everyone involved in the O&G industry),” he says....

RM2.1bn Petronas ang pow just for Sarawak by FMT Reporters  | February 21, 2015
Exclusive yearly bonanza for oil and gas contractors in the state; KUCHING: Oil and gas contractors in Sarawak have been given a RM2.1 billion “ang pow” from Petronas, to be given every year. The figure is the value of yearly contracts that will be set aside by the national oil corporation exclusively for oil and gas contractors in the state, Star Online reported today....

Johor state to take 10% stake in Petronas’ Pengerang terminals Thursday, 5 February 2015  KUALA LUMPUR: The State Secretary, Johor (Incorporated) will take a 10% stake in two terminals at Petroliam Nasional Bhd’s Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC).  The Johor government had on Thursday signed two lease agreements with Pengerang Terminals (Two) Sdn Bhd (PT-2) and Pengerang LNG (Two) Sdn Bhd (PLNG-2) respectively.  “The issuance of the lease agreements by the state of Johor marks the next stage of progress in the development of Petronas’ Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Pengerang, Johor,” said the national oil company. Subsequent to the signing of the agreements, the Johor government would hold a 10% equity in PT-2 and PLNG-2 respectively. PT-2 terminal will serve as a dedicated storage and industrial terminal for Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (RAPID) complex.... RAPID is estimated to cost US$16bil while the associated facilities will involve an investment of about US$11bil.

Muhibbah gets RM116m Petronas Rapid job in Pengerang Published: February 4, 2015 02:48 PM
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 4 — Muhibbah Engineering (M) Bhd today announced it has been awarded a RM16 million contract by Tecnicas Reunidas, SA Group for the design and building of temporary construction facilities and accommodation camp for package three in Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (Rapid) project in Pengerang, Johor. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Muhibbah said the construction was scheduled to commence in the first quarter and was expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016. Tecnicas Reunidas is one of the leading international engineering and construction company for oil and gas production, refining and petrochemicals and power generation projects. The company was awarded by Petronas as an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) contractor for Package III, the construction of kerosene hydrotreating unit, diesel hydrotreating unit, naphtha hydrotreating unit, cracked naphtha hydrotreating unit, and continuous catalytic reformer units in Petronas’ Rapid project. - See more at:

Petronas, Vopak, Dialog to develop major storage terminal in Malaysia 4 February 2015 The companies recently signed a shareholders agreement for the development in Pengerang, JohorPetronas, Dialog and Vopak are to develop and operate an industrial terminal in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia. The industrial terminal will serve the world scale Petronas Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project. Each company recently signed the shareholders agreement to jointly develop an industrial terminal in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia. Vopak will have a 25% share. The industrial terminal will serve the users of the new world-scale Petronas' RAPID project which is an integral section of Petronas Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC). The industrial terminal will have a storage capacity up to 2.1 million m3 for crude, refined products, petrochemical products and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The marine infrastructure includes 12 berths. The 24m draft can accommodate very large crude carriers. Berths for unloading and reloading of LNG vessels up to QMax are included in the project plans. - See more at:

13 February 2015: "1MDB Mess Clouds Petronas $7 Billion Debt Proposal" - Bloomberg
1MDB Mess Clouds Petronas $7 Billion Debt Proposal; 'By' Christopher Langner and Elffie Chew  12:00 AM AWST  February 13, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s national oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd is paying for troubles at a state investment fund.... The yield premium on Petronas’s 2022 U.S. dollar-denominated debt over Treasuries has surged 54 basis points in the last six months after the government said it wasn’t liable for 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s debt and the fund missed a loan payment. That was unfortunate timing for Petronas, which is planning its first dollar bond in five years to raise as much as $7 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.... The cost of insuring Malaysian sovereign debt reached a 16-month high on Jan. 13, one week after local media reported 1MDB’s missed payment, and is up 27 basis points since Dec. 31. Fitch Ratings said last month it may downgrade Asia’s only net crude exporter, citing plunging oil prices and “uncertainty” surrounding finances of the investment fund, whose advisory board is headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak.... “The 1MDB mess is being factored into the spreads for Malaysia and there aren’t that many bonds in which you can express that view,” said Dilip Parameswaran, the Hong Kong-based head of independent advisory firm Asia Investment Advisors Ltd. “That, mixed with lower oil prices and a potential downgrade of the sovereign, are all weighing on Petronas.” ... Natural gas futures dropped to $2.58 per million British thermal units on Feb. 6, the lowest since 2012, while the price of Brent futures is down 46 percent since June. Petronas derived 21 percent of its revenue from gas and an equal amount from crude, with petroleum products being the biggest contributor to its top line, according to its 2013 annual results...The investment fund (1MDB) failed to repay a 2 billion ringgit loan due in December, Edge Financial Daily reported Jan. 6. The spread on the 2023 notes soared 115 basis points in two days to 417 basis points. It had widened to a record 430 basis points on Feb. 12...

More news links on 1MDB here:

12 February 2015: PETRONAS goes to bond market for $7 billion with Deutsche, CIMB & BofA

Today Petronas announced their biggest USD bond offering ($7b)  where they mandated Deutsche, CIMB & Bk of America.

KL bank specialists have interesting observations on choice of mandated banks.

10 February 2015: PETRONAS CEO announcement goes to the wire - Wan Zulkiflee (COO and head of downstream) succeeds Shamsul  on 1 April 2015; Shamsul expected 7-month extension did not eventuate

Malaysia Names Wan Zulkiflee as Petronas CEO Succeeding Shamsul  'By'Pooi Koon Chong
5:59 PM AWST  February 9, 2015 (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia named Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin as president and chief executive officer of state oil company Petroliam Nasional Bhd from April.
Wan Zulkiflee succeeds Shamsul Azhar Abbas, whose contract ends today and will serve through March 31, Prime Minister Najib Razak said in a statement via state news service Bernama today. Wan Zulkiflee, currently Petronas’ chief operating officer and head of its downstream business, will take over the top post in a three-year term....

Next 24 hours will determine who runs Petronas By: RISEN JAYASEELAN Monday, 9 February 2015; While it had been widely reported recently that the oil giant’s current president and chief executive officer, Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas, will be offered only a 7-month contract extension, nothing has been firmed up yet considering that there is no statement from Petronas at the time of writing.... The last day of his contract is supposed to be today.... Four names have been speculated to be front runners for this – Datuk Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin, Datuk Mohd Anuar Taib, Datuk Ahmad Nizam Salleh and Md Arif Mahmood....

4 February 2015: Malaysia - PETRONAS next pressure point in LNG risk, BofA says 10% fall in LNG price worsens current account by 0.5% GDP versus 10% oil price drop impact of 0.1% of GDP

Malaysia's Next Pressure Point Looms in LNG Risk, BofA Says 'By' Sharon Chen 11:45 AM BNT   February 3, 2015; (Bloomberg) -- Malaysia’s current account surplus will probably narrow as liquefied natural gas prices drop, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch, adding a new risk to the nation’s weakening economic outlook.... LNG prices may be down 50 percent by the middle of this year from last June, as they track oil with a lag of four to six months, according to Singapore-based Bank of America economist Chua Hak Bin. Such a decline would probably reduce Malaysia’s current account surplus by about 2.5 percent to 3 percent of gross domestic product, he wrote in a report Tuesday.... “Collapsing LNG prices will likely be the next pressure point,” Chua said. “Malaysia may be a small net oil exporter but the net gas trade surplus is huge” at 58.9 billion ringgit ($16 billion), or 6 percent of GDP in 2013, he said.... Crude prices at about half the level of a year ago have forced oil-producing Malaysia to cut government expenditure.... The currency has fallen more than 11 percent against the U.S. dollar in the past six months, the second-worst performer among 11 most-traded Asian currencies tracked by Bloomberg.....  Malaysia’s current-account surplus shrank to 7.6 billion ringgit in the third quarter, the smallest in more than a year. A 10 percent decline in LNG prices will worsen the current account by about 0.5 percent of GDP while a 10 percent drop in oil prices will only hurt the current account by 0.1 of GDP, according to Chua.....

31 January 2015: PETRONAS affirms planned RM60 billion for Pengerang, questions about Johor's multiple oil & gas hubs, on-hold APH rights sold Dubai investors with no progress since, Benalec reclaimed land project in echo of newbie reclaimed projects affecting Johor property sector?

One too many oil and gas hubs By: M. SHANMUGAM Saturday, 31 January 2015
Going forward, what the nation would be watching closely is the kind of numbers that Petronas would be forecasting to churn out this year. Considering that Brent crude has come down by more than 50% since it hit a high of US$115 per barrel on June 19 last year, Petronas’ earnings would be impacted. The impact would be felt not only in the pockets of the Treasury but also the 4,000-odd oil and gas companies operating in Malaysia. Petronas, however, had said that it would not reduce its planned expenditure for the integrated oil and gas hub in Pengerang where it would be spending RM60bil over several phases. This amount would multiply many times over if investments from other oil and gas majors to set up downstream oil and gas related ventures in Pengerang are included.
...........However, the oil and gas hub in Pengerang is not the only one coming up in Johor.
Earlier this week, Benalec Holdings Bhd received approval to reclaim some 1,400ha in the Straits of Johor that will be developed into an oil and gas hub. Benalec is essentially a company that made its fortune by reclaiming sea-fronting land in Malacca and selling or jointly developing it. Its expertise is to reclaim land. But the business plan that it has mapped out for its 1,400ha of proposed development in Johor is similar to the Petronas-led Pengerang development, albeit on a smaller scale. Benalec has influential partners in the form of the Johor royalty and businessman Daing A. Malek Rahman. So although it seems like a Herculean effort for Benalec, there is no reason to doubt that the project is here to stay......Apart from Benalec’s proposed oil and gas project in Tanjung Piai, there are two more oil and gas hubs in Johor already in operations – in Tanjung Langsat and Tanjong Bin.
Johor Corp owns the Tanjung Langsat oil and gas terminal and it operates the oil and gas hub together with its partners Trafigura, Technip and MISC. As for Tanjung Bin, there is a petrochemical and maritime industrial park there that is owned by MMC Corp Bhd and its partners are Vitol and MISC. Not to be forgotten is the yet to be completed Asia Petroleum Hub (APH) bunkering and storage facility that is saddled by financial difficulties and is now under the control of banks. CIMB Banking group announced in September that it was selling its rights on the APH project that is to build oil storage and bunkering facilities, to a group of investors from Dubai. Since the announcement, there has not been any progress.......... There is nothing wrong in the creation of oil and gas hubs. But too many hubs lead to over-crowding and eventually forces price-cutting. The end result is there will be casualties. It is already happening in the Johor property sector where prices are dropping. The Iskandar dream is in jeopardy because of several unplanned projects on reclaimed land..........

29 January 2015: PETRONAS alternative energy from shale gas in Canada and Australia might not see immediate returns (but be for future generations?), JGC Corp US$502 million contract to expand LNG Bintulu to help Japan energy security

Petronas digs deeper for future generations by yuen meikeng Updated: Thursday January 29, 2015 MYT 7:51:00 AM;  PETALING JAYA: Exciting times lie ahead for Petronas as it explores new sources of oil and gas or “unconventional energy” at locations which include Canada and Australia.
“Petronas is investing heavily in unconventional energy as we are working hard to safeguard and ensure that there is sufficient energy supply for future generations” said Dr Chan Tuck Leong (pic), the process engineering head of Pacific Northwest LNG, a subsidiary of Petronas. He said unconventional hydrocarbon resources were oil and gas, similar to what consumers use today.
In its venture in Canada, Petronas will be converting natural gas extracted from the shale reservoirs into liquefied natural gas (LNG), similar to its operations in Malaysia LNG, Bintulu. Apart from Canada, Petronas has been exploring and producing different types of unconventional energy in Australia too. Dr Chan said these investments might not see immediate returns, but “would definitely benefit future generations”.

Japan’s JGC Corp secures US$502m Petronas contract By: JOSEPH CHIN  Monday, 26 January 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Japan’s JGC Corporation has secured a 60bil yen (US$502mil) contract from Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) to expand the facilities at its liquefied natural gas (LNG) complex in Bintulu, Sarawak.... JGC Corporation said on Monday the contract was awarded by Petronas LNG 9 Sdn Bhd (PL9SB) which included engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC).... JGC Corporation said the PLC is one of the world’s largest LNG production facilities and has eight production trains with a combined capacity of 25.7 million tonnes per annum (MPTA). JGC said the project would help stabilise Malaysia’s capacity to export LNG which would help to support the country’s continuing economic growth.  “The project will also be important in helping Japan’s energy security, as they currently rely on Malaysia for more than 15% of its total LNG imports,” it said.$502m-Petronas-contract/?style=biz

20 January 2015: GDP outlook dampened, Ringgit at 6 year low, qualitative budget adjustments, most savings from removal of energy subsidy? Petronas' dividend slightly lower as calculated on last year's prices. PETRONAS quashes talk of plan to cut 10% of its workforce.

29 January clarification: An economist friend confirms that the energy subsidy cut savings was already built into models and known with effect for Dec 2014; so the recent budget revisions would not reflect such savings

Petronas Says NST's Job Cuts Article is 'Misreported and Inaccurate' by  Rigzone Staff  Tuesday, January 20, 2015; Malaysia's state-owned Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) clarified Sunday that a local newspaper's article published Saturday saying that the firm plans to trim its workforce by more than 10 percent was "misreported and inaccurate", the firm said in a press release.... In an article entitled "Petronas Trimming Expenditure," the New Straits Times (NST) reported that the Malaysian national oil company plans to reduce its workforce by around one-tenth "as part of measures to lower operating cost in response to the plunging global oil prices," the newspaper said, citing unnamed company officials.... "The downsizing and restructuring would include axing redundant positions and underperforming staff," the NST article revealed, quoting a company official who disclosed that these issues were raised at a senior management briefing last week that was led by Petronas CEO Shamsul Azhar Abbas....

Petronas’ dividend ‘slightly lower’ this year Published: 20 January 2015 4:07 PM. Petronas' dividend contribution to the government this year will be slightly lower than the previous contribution as the amount would be calculated based on last year's crude oil price. Dispelling misconceptions that the national oil corporation's contribution to the government would be severely slashed due to the slump in crude oil prices, Treasury Secretary-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah said the amount, which has been decided by Petronas, would be announced soon. "Last year, the price was strong whereby in June Brent crude oil was sold at US$115 per barrel. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "It (amount) will be slightly lower, but not that much of a drop in dividends," he told reporters after a briefing on the special address on measures to strengthen Malaysia's economic resilience by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today...

A downgrade to GDP growth outlook and some trimming of the federal budget (including a move to defer the National Service programme, which would save the country RM400 million) and qualitative changes. Chatting with analyst friend at lunch, the quick reaction was that the oil price drop impact is likely mitigated in large part by the removal of energy subsidies - on fuel subsidy alone that saves some RM11 billion, and more also saved on gas subsidies. Last year some RM70 billion came to the federal budget from PETRONAS.

What is Putrajaya cutting from Budget 2015? By Ida Lim Published: January 20, 2015 12:07 PMUPDATED: January 20, 2015 02:33 pm; He said that the government stood to save RM10.7 billion by removing direct fuel subsidies for the public and using the managed float mechanism for RON95 petrol and diesel. - See more at:

PM announces measures to strengthen Malaysia's economic resilience Last updated on 20 January 2015 - 09:18pm; In a special address this morning, Najib said that the government remained confident that the country's gross domestic product (GDP) will grow by between 4.5% to 5.5% in 2015. Meanwhile, in light of falling oil prices, volatile capital flows and a worsening global economic outlook, the prime minister also announced that Malaysia's fiscal deficit target would be revised to 3.2% of GDP in 2015.... "It is higher than the three per cent set out in the Budget, but lower than the 3.5% in 2014, and in line with the government's continuing commitment to fiscal consolidation," said Najib.... The development expenditure for 2015 meanwhile would be fully maintained, but operating expenditure is expected to be reduced by RM5.5 billion, he said. The government will also encourage government-linked-companies (GLCs) and government-linked investment companies (GLICs) to invest domestically; further reduce the cost of doing business; allocate 30% of the annual procurement budget of government agencies and GLCs for goods and services to local SME producers; and increase local goods and services in government procurement.

Highlights of PM's special address on the economy Last updated on 20 January 2015 - 03:23pm
* Malaysia is a crude oil exporter. Thus, when oil prices plummeted recently, there was a perception that export receipts will also decline drastically and result in a current account deficit. Indeed, this perception is not correct.
* As a net crude oil exporter, Malaysia had a surplus of RM7.7 billion from January to November 2014.
* Malaysia is an importer of petroleum products with a net import bill of RM8.9 billion during the same period.
* The perception that Malaysia is a large oil producer is also not true

Ringgit extends losses against US dollar at close - Bernama Last updated on 20 January 2015 - 07:27pm; At 5pm, the local note was quoted at 3.6060/6730 against the greenback compared with 3.5700/5590 on Monday. A dealer said the ringgit hit a near six-year low after the government increased its fiscal deficit target to 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product and cut forecast economic growth and inflation this year to adjust the country's budget after a sharp fall in earnings from oil and gas....

18 January 2015: Najib to hold 20 January talk but consensus that Malaysia can hold up with removal energy subsidies and new 6% GST; some concern over impact of PETRONAS Sarawak gas pipeline explosion in June 2014 on its earnings

This Is Asia's 'Undisputed Loser' From Oil and Fiscal Cuts Are Looming By Sharon Chen and Liau Y-Sing  Jan 16, 2015 10:44 AM GMT+0800; The plunge in oil prices that spurred a currency crisis in Russia and endangered Venezuela’s leadership is also roiling markets in Malaysia, a net oil exporter in Southeast Asia. Economists say it’s not time to panic, yet.... For one thing, Malaysia’s oil and gas products account for about 22 percent of its exports, compared with more than 70 percent for Russia’s energy. For another, Prime Minister Najib Razak is buying some fiscal breathing room by abolishing decades-old energy subsidies and introducing a 6 percent goods and services tax in April, according to Nomura Holdings Inc..... That would allow Najib to keep close to his budget goals even as declining investor confidence pushed the currency this week to its lowest level since April 2009 and boosted the cost of insuring the nation’s debt.... Najib will hold a special session to talk about economic developments and the country’s financial position on Jan. 20, the finance ministry said. With crude prices at half the level of a year ago, the pressure will be on him to accelerate the restructuring of an economy grappling with a cash squeeze and elevated household debt and further reduce the nation’s dependence on oil....

Baru wants Petronas to clarify rumour on February LNG sale – BorneoPost Online | Borneo , Malaysia, Sarawak Daily News | Largest English Daily In Borneo -
Petronas' evaluation of SSGP ongoing - Business News | The Star Online -
Sarawak PKR chief demands answers from Petronas over pipeline explosion - The Malaysian Insider -
Portion of Petronas RM3bil Kimanis-Bintulu pipeline project exploded (photos) - Bintulu Weekly - News, Opinions and Multimedia -

13 January 2015 evening: Najib says Budget 2015 may be revised next week

Putrajaya might tweak Budget 2015 in face of falling oil prices, flood aid Published: 13 January 2015 Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak says today Budget 2015 might be revised because of unexpected major events. Falling global oil prices and a weakening ringgit have forced Putrajaya to relook Budget 2015. The recent flood in the east coast states might also affect government spending after it said it would spend RM800 million for flood relief. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today the budget might be restructured in view of current developments, national news agency Bernama reported today. "I will come out with a statement (on this) next week," he said after receiving flood relief assistance from China today.....Treasury had ordered all government-linked companies and statutory bodies to hold off foreign purchases in response to falling global oil prices and a weakening ringgit. "After taking into consideration the uncertain world economic outlook in 2015, the government on December 17 is of the opinion that domestic consumption must be increased to generate and support the country's economy," according to the Treasury circular....

13 January 2015: World Bank sees significant risk for Malaysia with 1.5%-age point drop in key balances versus GDP if Brent average $63.80 in 2015; talk of naivety of fossil fuel "get rich quick" schemes in Greenland and Norway on alert, looking at tapping reserves and observations on need to revamp government spending

Thanks to reader N who pointed out World Bank Economic Report Dec 2014 to me on Malaysia. It analyzes the impact of lower oil and gas prices as significant for Malaysia at the $75 and $63.80 levels for Brent for 2015. Currently, that's trading just below $50 and we'll have to see how average prices pan out in 2015.

source: World Bank Malaysia Economic Monitor December 2014

Elsewhere, talk of naivety of fossil fuel "get rich quick" schemes in Greenland and Norway on alert, looking at tapping reserves and observations on need to revamp government spending

$50 Oil Kills Bonanza Dream That Made Greenlanders Millionaires By Peter Levring  Jan 12, 2015 7:00 AM GMT+0800 Greenland, an island that may be sitting on trillions of dollars of oil, has had to acknowledge that its dream of tapping into that wealth looks increasingly far-fetched. Back when oil was headed for $150 a barrel, Greenlanders girded for a production boom after inviting in some of the world’s biggest explorers, including Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) Now, with Brent crude dipping below $50 last week, Deputy Prime Minister Andreas Uldum says Greenland’s hope of growing rich quickly on fossil fuels was “naïve.” ... ://

Oil Losses Force Norway to Consider Measures to Back Economy By Mikael Holter, Saleha Mohsin and Jonas Cho Walsgard  Jan 9, 2015 6:37 PM GMT+0800; Norway is considering tapping reserve funds to shield western Europe’s biggest oil producer from the worst slump in crude prices in more than half a decade.... Prime Minister Erna Solberg said the government is now “on alert” to respond to the rout. “If the economic situation requires it, we can react quickly,” she said yesterday at a conference in Oslo organized by Norway’s confederation of industry. Erna Solberg, Norway's Prime Minister, said her government is working on models that...

Hayman’s Bass Sees Oil Slump Disciplining Petro-State Norway By Saleha Mohsin  Jan 8, 2015 5:20 PM GMT+0800; Hayman Capital Management founder and chief investment officer Kyle Bass said, Norway... The oil rout that has dragged down Norway’s krone since June will ultimately discipline a government that has relied too much on its petro-dollars to finance expenditure.
That’s according to Kyle Bass, the founder and chief investment officer of Hayman Capital Management LP, who was in Oslo yesterday to attend a Skagen AS conference.... Norway “trades like an emerging market because of its dependence on crude,” Bass, one of the first hedge-fund managers to predict and make money on the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis, said in an interview. “A traditional cleansing is a good thing in the long run, it keeps government spending in check. Politicians are going to have to figure out how to cut back on the spending that they shouldn’t have been doing in the first place.” ....

10 January 2015: Petronas’ quarterly results avidly awaited, How bad will it be? Malaysia oil and gas companies planning to lobby that PETRONAS stop awarding contracts to foreign companies.

How low will Petronas profits dip? Saturday, 10 January 2015  By: M.SHANMUGAM; A clearer picture will emerge on the impact that the almost 50% drop in the price of crude oil over the last six months has had on the coffers of the Federal Government when Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) unveils its next quarterly results... Everybody knows that Petronas is not going to show a sterling set of numbers. When Petronas released its third-quarter results on Nov 28, 2014, it had already sent a clear message that the final quarter would be bad. The question is: How bad will it be?... As at end-November, Shamsul had predicted Brent Crude to stabilise between US$70 and US$75 per barrel. At the upper limit of US$75, Petronas’ payout to the Government in the form of dividends, taxes and royalties would be RM43bil.... But now, it would appear that the best-case scenario for Brent Crude next year is US$75 and not many are betting on that price.... The domestic oil service providers have stopped forecasting the price, while global oil majors have not discounted US$60 or below as the average.... So, even a prospective payout of RM43bil to the Government this year is looking rather shaky. Previously, Petronas’ quarterly results used to be a mundane affair. But surely, it is not going to be the same this year, as all eyes will be on how low its profits have dipped...

Source: The Edge Malaysia, 12 January 2015

Note: Some local companies have suggested that they be allowed to at least match the bids of the foreign companies. However, there is no indication to date of Petronas bowing to political pressure... The national oil company has in the past come under fire for awarding jobs to foreign companies such as Hyundai. These awards are said to have resulted in Malaysian companies that did not win the contracts labouring to make ends meet. However Petronas has stood firm, looking at improving its cost efficiency... In 2013, Petronas paid the government some RM63 billion, contributing 29.5% to tis revenue. The sum comprised RM36 billion in tax income and royalties, and RM27 billion in dividends... However, The Edge understands that Malaysian oil and gas companies are planning to collectively lobby the Ministry of Finance (MoF) to ensure that Petronas contracts are not awarded to foreign companies... Late last year, the MoF had asked government-linked companies (GLCs) to refrain from acquiring assets in foreign countries in order to stem capital outflow... In this vein, the local oil and gas companies argue that Petronas too should not award jobs to foreign companies....

9 January 2015: PETRONAS wants to slash OPEX by 30%
After slashing capex, Petronas plans up to 30% cut in opex By: JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU, NG BEI SHAN; Wednesday, 7 January 2015; PETALING JAYA: Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is looking to make cuts in its operating expenditure (opex) by between 25% and 30% to preserve its profitablity as crude oil prices continue to tumble.... Sources said that the national oil company was reviewing its spending and was in the process of identifying where cuts could be made. Projects it has committed to from last year and in its budget are likely to continue.... Oil company executives said word was starting to filter to them that cuts in opex would be made as the price of crude oil continues to fall. As the price of Brent crude oil was falling and at US$70 a barrel late November last year, Petronas said it would slash its capital expenditure (capex) up to 15% this year.... With the price of global crude oil now at around US$50 a barrel, more oil majors have announced cuts in not only capex but also their opex, which includes payroll....

7 January 2015: Oil & gas work has been in favour, energy companies drop with oil price plunge

From Mat Rempit to being an offshore rig worker Updated: Wednesday January 7, 2015 MYT 7:13:03 AM; BANGI: When he was a teenager, Mohd Ikhwan Iskandar would spend his nights racing bikes on the highways and his days loitering in shopping malls. Now 23, he is a new man of sorts especially after signing up for Kem Perkasa, an intervention programme for the so-called Mat Rempit. “I wanted to change and become a better person,” he said in an interview at the camp’s “graduation ceremony” at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) here yesterday. He said the intervention programme was “life-changing” as he made new friends, learnt vocational skills and gained an insight into his own character. “Now I am working on an offshore rig. My parents used to tell me don’t just sit at home, go study or get a job. Now I can support them and they’re very happy,” he said.... Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor was present yesterday at the camp organised by Permata, an initiative on early child care, and UKM’s Centre for Youth Empowerment, assisted by the Youth and Sports Ministry. Rosmah, who heads Permata, also launched camp coordinator Dr Rozmi Ismail’s book on Rempit di Malaysia.... “The ‘alumni’ of Kem Perkasa had gone on to become fitness instructors, chefs and managers of entertainment centres,” she said....

Asian Stocks Extend Drop, Led by Energy Companies on Oil Plunge By Jonathan Burgos  Jan 7, 2015 8:10 AM GMT+0800  Asian stocks fell, after yesterday sinking the most in nine months, as U.S. equities extended declines and the slump in crude oil deepened. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index (MXAP) declined 0.3 percent to 134.57 as of 9:03 a.m. in Tokyo, with energy companies dropping the most. The Asian gauge slumped 1.7 percent yesterday and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index fell for a fifth day, extending the longest losing streak in 13 months. West Texas Intermediate oil sank below $48 a barrel in New York amid speculation data on U.S. supplies today will fuel concern over a global glut....

16 December 2014: Petronas' newer foreign investments in question?

Low oil prices, domestic politics put Petronas’s B.C. LNG project at risk by Ng Weng Hoong, Special to Financial Post | December 15, 2014; "VANCOUVER – The announcement by Petronas Berhad this month to delay its final decision on whether to invest $36-billion in a Canadian LNG export project may be just that  — a delay. But it could also be a sign the Malaysian national energy company is caught in a difficult pinch between collapsing global energy prices and political turbulence back home undermining Petronas’s global expansion plans.... With those two pressures together, the planned Lelu Island project near Prince Rupert in British Columbia appears to be very much in the company’s — and the country’s — crosshairs. Analysts say the case for a major Canadian LNG-export project is rapidly weakening amid the energy price collapse, the emergence of the United States as an oil and gas supplier and the advanced state of competing projects in Qatar, Australia, Russia and even Papua New Guinea and Angola............ With the coming expiry of some long-term sales contracts with Asian customers and the development of new capacity in Australia and Malaysia, Petronas will have as much as 26 million tonnes of flexible and tradeable LNG capacity by 2022. Even without PNW LNG, Petronas will still have nearly 20 million tonnes of capacity, Mr. Chong said.... Days before the deadline for its final investment decision, the company said it was deferring the 12-million tonnes/year project despite having secured agreements with the B.C. government............“The U.S. factor emerged strongly in 2014,” Mr. Munro said. “We have a very competitive neighbour, which has raised the odds against the development of a major Canadian-LNG export industry.”... Petronas is under pressure to increase investments back home largely to placate powerful politicians and counter Malaysia’s slowing economy. As a result of reduced earnings from lower oil prices, the company’s expected reduced contributions to the economy next year could spark criticism following its recent costly forays into Canada, Brazil and Venezuela... At Petronas’s third quarter results briefing last month, CEO and President Shamsul Azhar Abbas warned of a 15% to 20% cutback in next year’s capital expenditure, and a 37% reduction in oil-based payments to the government if Brent crude averaged US$75 a barrel. Brent is now trading below US$65......... While the company was unhappy with what it saw as a delay by the B.C. government in announcing its final LNG tax rules, it also gave itself the herculean task of completing the massive greenfield project from conception in 2013 to plant start-up within five years.... Lacking experience with North America’s regulatory, aboriginal, labour and environmental challenges, the company plunged into Canada’s shale sector by proposing to bet the equivalent of 10% to 12% of Malaysia’s GDP on a single project...."

15 December 2014: Weaker credit metrics, PETRONAS lower earnings problem for Malaysia coffers, award of Sabah onshore deals

Sharply lower oil prices is driving concerns about the oil & gas sector in Malaysia. PETRONAS has warned about a 30% reduction in earnings.

Low oil prices and high capex will weaken credit metrics for rated oil & gas firms, says Fitch
By TheEdge /   | December 15, 2014 : 12:06 PM MYT    
KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 15): Low oil prices and high capex will weaken credit metrics for rated oil and gas companies in south-east Asia, but ratings to remain stable in 2015, according to Fitch Ratings. In a report released Dec 14, Fitch said South-east Asian oil companies continued to require high capex to maintain and increase their upstream and mid-stream production capacities.
It said low oil prices would reduce their net operating cash generation in 2015, at a time when the capex flexibility of these operators is somewhat limited;

Petronas juggles lower earnings  By Farah Saad & Doreen Leong; Friday, 12 Dec 2014, 12:30 AM
Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) is experiencing one of the toughest challenges of its corporate history. Revenue and profit are plunging. Its RM109 bil Canadian dream gas project could become a nightmare and another RM90 bil in other projects it announced in the last five years may have to be reviewed. The slump of more than 40% in world crude oil prices in the last six months, from US$112 to US$64 per barrel, has affected its bottomline. Each US dollar fall in the world oil price has a RM1 bil impact on Petronas’ pre-tax profit. Poor market sentiment has also affected at least three of Petronas’ five listed companies – Petronas Dagangan, Petronas Chemicals and Petronas Gas, which have lost a combined market capitalisation of RM30.3 bil this year alone. The rest of the industry catches cold when Petronas sneezes. When the oil company announced a 15-20% cut in its capex on Dec 1, oil-and-gas stocks on Bursa Malaysia fell by 5-20% the next day....

Petronas urges Putrajaya to 'tighten belt' over possible lower ...Nov 28, 2014 - Petronas pre-tax profit fell 12% in the third quarter ended September 30, 2014, against the previous quarter this year. - The Malaysian Insider ... Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas), which contributes to almost 40% of the national coffer, is urging the government to "tighten its belt" as the national oil firm is facing the possibility of less earnings in light of the falling crude oil prices. Petronas president & Group chief executive officer Tan Sri Shamsul Azhar Abbas (pic) believes that the price range of Brent crude oil at US$70 (RM237) to US$75 may be a 'new era', until the end of next year, if not for the next two years.  Based on the new oil price assumptions, Shamsul said Petronas is looking to cut as much as 15%-20% of its capital expenditure (capex) budget for next year. Shamsul also called on the government to be prudent on its spending as the state oil firm has to safeguard its growth plans.  "If we are to maintain our dividend contribution or higher, it would significantly impact our growth plans," said the chieftain at Petronas' third quarter results briefing today.....

‘Lower oil price is a reality check’   By Cynthia Blemin / The Edge Financial Daily   | December 11, 2014 : 9:30 AM MYT     “Our dependency on O&G has been reduced over the years,” he said, adding that Malaysia is now a broad-based economy which will help to ride the current fluctuations in the oil price. Wahid said that the country has also managed to reduce its dependence on oil revenues. “Back in 2009, we were at 40% in terms of contribution from oil revenues and that has been reduced to 36% in 2011 and 31% in 2013,” Abdul Wahid added....‘lower-oil-price-reality-check’
Sunday, December 7, 2014; Sabah news (update 6): Sabah onshore oil & gas, the oil royalty push, secession talk is sedition; 7 December 2014: Sabah onshore oil & gas, the oil royalty push, secession talk is sedition:  News is out - we had been hearing about talk of this from friends in the oil & gas industry for some time now. Is there big onshore oil & gas in Sabah? Notably in the vicinity of Sahabat? Sabah signed oil and gas production sharing contracts (PSCs) effective 20 November 2014 for 27 years. Petronas awarded.... /khoryuleng/2014/08/sabah-sulu-problems-fester-on.html

29 June 2014: Petronas RAPID project in Johor

There is considerable and growing interest in the PETRONAS Rapid project in the south eastern coast of Johore, just north of Singapore. Some useful links on public information and academic sources are put together here. Broadly, while the project is said to be complementary to Singapore's oil and petrochemical hub role there are many who also view it as potentially competitive, especially in light of relatively stagnant growth in this sector for Singapore. Industry veterans do point to general over capacity in refining in the region and the shifting economics of the oil and derivatives trade, given large investments in China and India and also the changes triggered by the US shale gas revolution[1].  Pengerang terminal's deepwater jetty with a draft of up to 24 meters to berth one VLCC, is due by the end of 2014. Companies doing ventures with PETRONAS at Pengerang include Evonik and Itochu; whilst BASF declined. What's interesting are also some Malaysia Federal versus State kerfuffles[2].

[1] WSJ 25 June 2014 19:14: "The Obama administration cleared the way for the first exports of unrefined American oil in four decades. We report that the Commerce Department gave Pioneer Natural Resources Co. and Enterprise Products Partners LP permission to ship a type of ultralight oil known as condensate to foreign buyers, in separate rulings that haven't yet been announced. Our story considers the implications of the decisions, which allow energy companies to start chipping away at the longtime ban on selling U.S. oil abroad. Shipments, we note, could begin as soon as August, though they are likely to be small and it isn't clear how much oil the two companies are allowed to export. Meanwhile, we find that the fracking boom has its downside as refineries are starting to complain that oil extracted from shale formations  is quite hard to handle with existing equipment because it's full of volatile gases that make it tricky to transport and to process into fuel."
[2] View our posting here: /khoryuleng/2014/06/johor-iskandar-policy-admin-moves.html

PETRONAS REACHES FINAL INVESTMENT DECISION FOR PENGERANG INTEGRATED COMPLEX, 3 April 2014: "Based on the current progress, the project is poised for its refinery start-up by early 2019. The project will further strengthen PETRONAS’ position as a key player in the Asian chemicals market, focusing on key growth areas of differentiated and specialty chemicals and capturing the growing automotive, pharmaceutical and consumer products sectors. Domestically, the PIC will contribute towards meeting the growing demands for petroleum products and Euro 4M and Euro 5 specification fuels." Link to press release:

Readers might be interested in some recent back history on Petronas. Released in February 2011, our report entitled "PETRONAS: Briefing on Petronas' new strategy," update on new marginal field contract and issues on its Sudan concessions with the impending secession of South Sudan expected in mid-2011. Download here:

Across in Singapore, there was a proposal for a 4th refinery by Hin Leong (to be sized larger, possibly at 500,000), but that seems shelved having gone rather quiet for a while. News links include (from older to newer):

Note: our annotations include yellow highlight of PETRONAS Rapid project area and red circled approximate area of Country Garden's land reclamation project. Notable that the Rapid project zone looks to be bigger than Singapore's Jurong Island. Legend removed - please do go to the original map source. Map source: "THE EXTENDED STRAIT - Singapore's Oil Hub" by Martin Garcia and Magnus Nickl, Draft Version. Which notes that the key oil hubs in the Malacca Straits are: "1. Port Klang: Port Klang is divided mainly in two ports, each one with its own operator. These are called the North Port and the West Port. Both have oil tank facilities of considerable dimensions. Port Klang is the biggest oil storage harbour in the Strait of Malacca. 2. Port Dickson: Port Dickson is one of the locations of Royal Dutch Shell in Southeast Asia and ExxonMobil, each of them running a refinery at this location. 3. Malacca Oil Storage Terminal: Very near Malacca in Sungai Udang petronas erected a refinery taking a large part of the terrain. Through one major jetty the tankers that brings the crude oil and takes the refining products can dock perfectly even if the depth are quite small. 4. Jurong Island in Singapore: Jurong Island of Singapore is the biggest oil and petrochemical hub in the region and is the preffered location for bunkering of both tankers and cargo vessels because a lot of their main operative actions take place in Singapore."
Dialog Group is leading the oil storage thrust in Johore with key JV partners. There are several other storage projects in Johore, and some seem likely to compete with each other, while several are part of Dialog (company website link: The Dialog JVs seem akin to the Tanjung Pelepas move in Johore in the late 1990s when two key container line operators were encouraged to relocate from Singapore. The latest news, is that Malaysia's Pengerang oil terminal seeks to extend its storage to biodiesel and LNG too.
Related to this are large Johore land reclamation projects (located off Singapore's western tip) that are apparently raising new transboundary questions. Specialists tell us that congestion in maritime traffic is resulting in a rise in the number of vessel collisions in the waters off Johore - Singapore.
NST news link:; "The Department of Environment has issued a temporary stop-work order against all coastal land reclamation works for the development of the massive Forest City off Tanjung Kupang here pending a detailed study.... State Health and Environment Committee chairman Datuk Ayub Rahmat said any negotiation on lifting the suspension would be between the department and the project’s joint developers, China’s Country Garden Holdings Co Ltd and state-owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor... The project hit a snag after the Singaporean government raised concerns over the state’s coastal land reclamation projects, citing that it might cause trans-boundary issues...."[3]

[3] Other land reclamation (non-oil & gas sector) in Danga Bay area, just west of Johor Bahru town: Land and development on man-made Danga Bay island to cost RM8bil, Published: Tuesday February 19, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM;

Johor / Iskandar watch (update 31): Johor Baru City Centre set for transformation - $6.7b plan

23 November 2015: Johor Baru City Centre set for transformation - $6.7b plan


Johor Baru City Centre set for transformation - $6.7b plan to turn area just after former Johor checkpoint into international business district by Reme Ahmad 23 Nov 2015; Johor yesterday launched a RM20 billion (S$6.7 billion) plan to transform Johor Baru's old city centre into an international business district. Over the next decade, the Ibrahim International Business District (IIBD) will emerge in the area, located just after the former Johor checkpoint at the end of the Woodlands Causeway. It is named after Johor Sultan Ibrahim Ismail, who celebrated his 57th birthday yesterday. The JB city centre currently has a mix of narrow streets, old shophouses and upgraded malls such as Komtar JBCC and City Square. The IIDB aims to improve infrastructure in the area and dot it with newer towers to leverage on its proximity to Singapore and lower costs, officials said.

19 October 2015: Checking back news - RM30 billion target expected in 2015, Johor hopes to tap large scale Chinese industries,  New Johor-Singapore vehicle permit system delayed again

RM30bil target for Iskandar can be achieved this year By: ZAZALI MUSA Monday, 12 October 2015

New Johor-Singapore vehicle permit system delayed again, exco says Updated: 5:10 PM, October 7, 2015 KUALA LUMPUR — The new Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) system meant for both causeways linking Malaysia to Singapore has been delayed a second time despite an earlier announcement that the system would go live last Thursday (Oct 1). Johor Public Works, Rural and Regional Development committee chairman Hasni Mohammad said that the new start date for the system, which has already registered 20,000 Singaporean vehicles according to the Road Transport Department (RTD) website, will be determined during the mentris besar and chief ministers meeting. “We have to wait for the outcome of the meeting before making any comment or announcement,” he was quoted as saying by The Star Online. This is the system’s second delay, the first resulting from “technical difficulties”, which pushed back its August 1 launch. According to newswire Bernama, the VEP system will initially involve foreign-registered vehicles entering Malaysia through Johor but will eventually be applied to all 12 road entry points into the country. Roads from Thailand will be next to receive the VEP system, followed by Brunei and Indonesia. THE MALAY MAIL ONLINE

While some expats work in Singapore, their kids study across the Causeway 938LIVE reports: A look into the appeal of Iskandar's international schools for some expatriates based in Singapore. By Lee Gim Siong, 938LIVE  POSTED: 09 Oct 2015 12:41  UPDATED: 09 Oct 2015 13:48

Johor hopes to tap large scale Chinese industries   By Halim Said - 14 October 2015 @ 5:49 PM NUSAJAYA: Johor is hoping to tap into various large scale industries from China, especially in the manufacturing sector.  Johor Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (JACCCI) vice-president Datuk Tan Seng Leong said the association was bullish and is on the look out for suitable land in the state to accomodate demand from Chinese investors.   "There has been a lot of demand from Chinese investors to set up their operations in Johor," said Tan.   According to Tan, with the rising costs of operation and labour, including the increase in utility tariff in China, Johor was particularly attractive to Chinese investors.   Tan said for large scale industries from China to grow in Johor, there is a need for a bigger land area estimated at around 1,200 to 2,000 hectare to accomodate demand.

China manufacturers plan to locate ops in Johor By: ZAZALI MUSA Thursday, 15 October 2015

MNC looking to invest $60.4m, set up shop in Iskandar Malaysia by Liz Lee October 12, 2015:  A multinational company specialising in the distribution of tropical vegetable oils and their derivatives, has expressed interest to invest MYR250 million ($60.36 million) in Iskandar Malaysia, according to the Johor Tourism, Domestic Trade and Consumerism committee. Committee chairman Tee Siew Kiong said the Europe-based company, with its head office in Singapore, plans to set up its operations in the Southern Economic Corridor in peninsular Malaysia. “The investment could be realised by this year or in the first quarter of next year,” he told a press conference after opening D’ Elegance Hotel in Taman Nusanatara last Friday.

Bosch continues to invest in Malaysia with new Johor office October 14, 2015, Wednesday Read more:

16 October 2015: Johor has right to secede if Putrajaya breaches federation’s terms, says crown prince

Johor has right to secede if Putrajaya breaches federation’s terms, says crown prince October 16, 2015, KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 16 — Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibrahim has asserted the southern state has a right to secede from Malaysia if it finds a breach to the terms agreed...Tunku Ismail also said the Johor royal family should not be associated with “the mess” currently affecting the country, adding that it has always been strong, independent and resourceful.....The call for Johor’s secession has been picking up steam online, with social media posts depicting pictures of imaginary Johor currencies—Johor dollar and Johor dinar—going viral earlier this month - See more at:
Editor's note: will need to fill in some story links from late August to mid October soon!

22 August 2015: Johor Strait Development Corridor Master Plan,land tax hike for Johor River Waterworks, more theme parks, UMLand land bank, Wah Seong contract

Johor Strait Development Corridor Master Plan timing could be wrong: Consultant  By Chuah Bee Kim - 14 August 2015 @ 7:00 AM JOHOR BARU: The Johor Strait Development Corridor Master Plan is a good policy, but the timing could be wrong, said a property consultant. KGV International Property Consultants executive director Samuel Tan, who has viewed the master plan, which is up for public viewing at six venues until Aug 19, said he understood the need for the state government to protect the interest of Malaysian property owners and to ensure sustainability of the environment. However, he said the implementation of the master plan now could possibly deter investors from coming to Iskandar Malaysia. Tan said the 99-year lease imposed on foreign property owners, which is one aspect of the master plan, could drive investors to areas which have no such restrictions.   “This would drive the investors to go to Medini, a premium waterfront urban development that has no restrictions on foreign ownership, no minimum price threshold for foreign property buyers, and where investors are exempted from real property gains tax until December 31, 2025  “The price threshold of RM2 million for landed properties and RM1 million for strata-title on foreign property owners could spur developers to push up prices of properties built for Malaysians in Iskandar Malaysia,” said Tan, adding that foreigners would pay three times more for quit rent and assessment as compared with Malaysians in the growth region. Tan was commenting on the Johor Strait Development Corridor Master Plan, which was unveiled last week and covered housing, green technology, sustainability, reclamation and setting up of international zones for foreign property owners....

Singapore notified Malaysia of concern over land tax hike for Johor River Waterworks: Shanmugam; PUB's operations in Johor are governed by the 1962 Water Agreement which does not require the water agency to pay the land tax says Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam.
By Monica Kotwani, Channel NewsAsia POSTED: 18 Aug 2015 16:25

Four more theme parks for Iskandar Malaysia Friday, 14 August 2015  By: ZAZALI MUSA; Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim (pic) said the growth corridor would have eight theme parks within the next three to five years. He said talks were going on between Irda and theme park operators from Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Europe and North America to set up their theme parks in Iskandar Malaysia. “The size of the new theme parks will range between 20.23 ha and 40.46ha and they could be either outdoor or indoor theme parks,” Ismail told a press conference at the launch of the SME City @ Indahpura here. He said the eight parks included the existing Legoland Malaysia Theme Park, the Hello Kitty Indoor Theme @ Puteri Harbour, the Angry Birds @ JBCC and the water theme park currently under construction at Taman Mount Austin.\

UMLand eyes land acquisition in Iskandar Malaysia Wednesday, 19 August 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: United Malayan Land Bhd (UMLand) is exploring opportunities to acquire land in Iskandar Malaysia as part of its future plan, says chief executive officer Charlie Chia. He said that the company was in the midst of talks to buy a piece of land, between 80.937 hectares to 121.406 hectares in the Iskandar region. ... To date, UMLand's landbank stands at 809.37ha.

2 Indonesian oil tankers detained for entering Pengerang waters illegally   By Halim Said - 13 August 2015 @ 4:30 PM

Wah Seong bags RM189 million Pengerang subcontract Published: 19 August 2015 10:03 AM Wah Seong Corp Bhd has bagged a RM188.96 million subcontract from Penta-Ocean Construction Co Ltd for the supply and delivery of coated steel pipe piles for the Pengerang Deepwater Petroleum Terminal Project in Johor. - See more at:

21 July 2015: Johor crown prince a substantial shareholder in TMC Life Sciences

Johor crown prince a substantial shareholder in TMC Life Sciences Published: 7 July 2015 7:44 PM; The Johor crown prince Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim has emerged as a substantial shareholder holding a 7.67% stake in TMC Life Sciences Bhd, in which Singaporean tycoon Peter Lim controls a 70.5% stake. The filing to Bursa Malaysia shows that Tunku Ismail was issued the 133 million TMC Life shares after he sold an indirect 30% stake in BB Waterfront Sdn Bhd. TMC took over the entire stake in BB Waterfront, a wholly-owned unit of Best Blend Sdn Bhd, for RM400 million by issue of shares. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); The Johor royalty held a 30% stake and Lim owned the remaining 70% in Best Blend. BB Waterfront owns Thomson Iskandar, a medical hub project located on 1.6ha in Stulang Laut, which is within 1km radius of the Malaysian CIQ complex located at the Causeway linking Singapore to Johor Bahru. The medical hub will contain a hospital named “Iskandariah Hospital”. Co-located with the hospital is an outpatient medical centre that will contain 400 clinic suites. The medical hub will be managed by Thomson International, a subsidiary of Thomson Medical Pte Ltd – a private hospital owner and operator in Singapore - See more at:

Singapore-Malaysia border crossing (update 5): Singapore-Johor Baru shuttle train - The Shuttle Tebrau and Johor-Singapore taxi services resume after licence extension

24 May 2015: 2.5 meter waves near Pengerang, Zelan eyes Pengerang projects; Tash Aw writes in NY Times Iskandar appeal to Singaporeans, Forest City says 700,000 homes to come but large number of new homes coming up in Johor has raised concerns in Singapore the nearly 336,000 new private residential units are more than the total number of private homes in Singapore; Lakeside Iskandar project offers 'guaranteed' returns for serviced apartments; slew of articles in Singapore Straits Times including Editorial; government of Johor plans to unveil new laws which will restrict foreign home buyers to new international zones to protect locals from being priced out of the market 

Barge hit by 2.5 metres waves - MMEA Bernama | Updated: May 20, 2015  (First published on: May 20, 2015 21:17 MYT) The barge was believed to be carrying a load of sand from Teluk Ramunia towards Pengerang when it was hit by waves and capsized. - File pic  KOTA TINGGI: Waves as high as 2.5 metres may have caused a barge to capsize with 14 of its crew members still missing off Tanjung Pungai, Pengerang this morning. Read more at:

Zelan eyes projects in Pengerang to boost order book Thursday, 14 May 2015  By: S. PUSPADEVI KUALA LUMPUR: Construction outfit Zelan Bhd, with an order book of RM1.1bil, is bidding for some of  the Pengerang projects which are up for tender in Johor.

Path to ending an old rivalry by tash aw in NY Times Updated: Sunday May 17, 2015 MYT 7:51:26 AM Despite years of tension, the surge of Singaporeans moving to Malaysia illustrates the underlying closeness of the two countries. JUST after 6am on a Monday, and traffic on the Johor-Singapore Causeway is already busy.  In less than an hour, still shrouded in semi-darkness, the Singapore-bound traffic leading to the 1.05km bridge will have slowed to a crawling pace; in bad weather or on the eve of public holidays, rush hour queues sometimes last up to two hours. A striking number of family sedans with Singaporean licence plates stream steadily toward the expressway that leads to the heart of the island republic. Inside the cars, bleary-eyed schoolchildren contemplate the long day ahead.
.......A 3,000-sq-ft house in Horizon Hills, a development that boasts a clubhouse, gym and lush golf course, costs around US$170,000 (RM606,900) – the price of a small government-built Housing and Development Board apartment in Singapore.  For this alone, Singaporeans are prepared to face the daily routine of waking up at 4am in order to get their children to school on time, and then waiting until 7pm for all family members to have finished work or extracurricular activities before driving across the causeway again. As the population of Singapore increases and the cost of living, especially of housing, remains high, more Singaporeans are choosing to live across the narrow strait in Malaysia and commute. The traffic is a visible sign of reinvigorated links between the two countries, whose relationship has been punctuated by political tensions despite shared historical roots and huge bilateral trade. As Singapore celebrates the 50th anniversary of its independence – and separation from Malaysia – the rivalry between the two neighbours seems finally to be giving way to a greater recognition of their interdependence.Last month, the front page of the widely read Today newspaper featured a lavish spread highlighting the growing trend of Singaporean families relocating to Iskandar, the 2,217sq km special development zone in the southern Malaysian state of Johor.
Established in 2006, Iskandar covers a land area about three times the size of Singapore; its ambitions rely in large part on its proximity to its neighbour’s mature and continuously expanding economy.
.......The growing Singaporean presence in Iskandar signals an accelerating détente between Singapore and Malaysia. Until 1965, the two countries were part of the same union, first under British colonial rule and then under the fledgling state of Malaysia.  .........The huge number of people now travelling between Malaysia and Singapore is a fresh reminder of just how close the two countries fundamentally are. Malaysians have for many years been relocating to Singapore in search of job opportunities and higher salaries. According to Singapore’s 2010 census, roughly 13% of the resident population is Malaysian. Now it is Singaporeans who are searching for a gentler pace of life in Malaysia. In moving across the causeway, both peoples are giving the lie to the prejudices of recent decades by reaffirming links between their cultures that go back centuries.

Johor's Forest City could house up to 700,000: Developer Published on May 13, 2015 7:15 AM  By Reme Ahmad, Assistant Money Editor; THE master developer for the 1,400ha reclaimed land in Johor near Tuas said that over the next 20 or 30 years, homes may be built that can house as many as 700,000 people. The homes being built in the Forest City project would add to the nearly 336,000 new residential units that are in the pipeline for the rest of Johor state. The large number of new homes coming up in Johor has raised concerns in Singapore. The large number of new homes coming up in Johor has raised concerns in Singapore.  Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, who is a board member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, told Parliament on Monday that the nearly 336,000 new private residential units are more than the total number of private homes in Singapore.

Lakeside project launched in Iskandar - Developer offers 'guaranteed' returns for serviced apartments May 21, 2015 7:57 AM

EDITORIAL Building Iskandar on firm ground May 21, 2015 5:53 AM  As a growth proposition for Iskandar Malaysia, it is natural to leverage its proximity to Singapore and the city-state's readiness to trade with all for mutual benefit. Supported by ample space and relatively lower costs across the Causeway, that strategy has seen much development taking place in Johor over the years - to the point that analysts have lately flagged the prospect of a glut in certain sectors. For example, Maybank Investment Bank warned that the pro-perty oversupply in Iskandar is "likely to get worse before it gets better". Given Singapore's close ties with its neighbour, it's in the nation's interest to see Iskandar Malaysia - formerly known as Iskandar Development Region and South Johor Economic Region - succeed over the long term. Singapore is the largest foreign investor in Iskandar at RM11 billion (S$4.07 billion) as of June last year, primarily in the areas of manufacturing, education, healthcare and property development. Singaporeans are building, among other things, a medical hub, an international school and factories in the sprawling economic zone about three times the size of Singapore. A number of small and medium-sized enterprises are looking to locate there to take advantage of lower labour and land costs. And Singaporeans with money to buy a second residential property have been wooed by developers of condominiums and landed property in Johor.
- See more at:

$928 million plan to turn Johor Baru river into tourist destination Published on May 15, 2015 1:54 PM - See more at:

Johor to create special foreigner zones Property GuruProperty Guru – Tue, May 19, 2015..
The government of Johor plans to unveil new laws which will restrict foreign home buyers to new international zones to protect locals from being priced out of the market. According to Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi, Johors Minister for Local Government and Housing, details of the plan will be released in June or in August in order to get feedback from the property industry and the public prior to making a final decision. The move follows complaints that thousands of residential units built by developers are primarily targeted at foreigners. The units, which include three-storey landed homes and luxury condominiums, are often priced way beyond the reach of most Johoreans. Last year, the Malaysian government set a minimum price threshold of RM1 million for foreign property buyers. Abdul Latif noted that the move only worsened the situation as property developers keen on selling units to foreigners have set RM1 million as the minimum price. We do not want foreigners to buy all over (Johor), as prices would then go up and the locals cant afford them, he said. We will decide on these areas after engaging with the public and others. Generally, foreigners are allowed to acquire up to 50 percent of the units at property projects in Iskandar provided the minimum price is RM1 million. They are prohibited from purchasing units built for low-income Malaysians or for the indigenous bumiputera and Malay communities.

Iskandar Malaysia records RM7.98 bln in new investments in 1Q 2015 Posted on May 7, 2015, Thursday JOHOR BAHARU: Iskandar Malaysia recorded RM7.98 billion in new investments in the first quarter of this year. It brought the cumulative committed investments secured to RM166.10 billion from 2006 until March 31, 2015. Announcing the investment figures, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said of the committed investments, RM78.53 billion or 47 per cent represented those realised as projects on the ground. He said domestic investments made up RM102.34 billion or 62 per cent while the rest were from foreign players. “We continue to see strong support from Singapore, China, the United States, Spain and Japan. “However, it is the domestic investments which truly reflects the confidence in the region’s development,” said Mohamed Khaled after launching the Synergy Cloud Data Centre at Senai Business Aviation Terminal, here yesterday.
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16 May 2015: Johor property glut prompts Singapore to warn buyers of risks

Johor property glut prompts Singapore to warn buyers of risks Published: 12 May 2015 7:29 AM
An artist's impression of the Iskandar Development Project in Johor. A possible property glut has seen the Singapore government advise its citizens to be more cautious when buying property in the southern Malaysian state. – May 12, 2015.An artist's impression of the Iskandar Development Project in Johor. A possible property glut has seen the Singapore government advise its citizens to be more cautious when buying property in the southern Malaysian state. – May 12, 2015.In Johor alone, there are around 336,000 new private residential units in the pipeline – more than the total number of private homes  in Singapore. And this does not include the 1,400ha of reclaimed land near the Tuas Second Link, which will be developed from 2020 onwards. In the light of rising concerns about this oversupply of private properties across the Causeway, the Singapore government will ramp up efforts to raise awareness of the risks involved in buying overseas property. “Given these indications, buyers are becoming more cautious, as shown by many reports,” Singapore minister for culture, community and youth Lawrence Wong said in the Singapore parliament yesterday, in his capacity as a member of the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) board of directors. “Official Malaysian data suggest the Johor housing market is already slowing down ... Singaporean buyers, too, are becoming wary.”
According to a survey of real estate agencies, the number of Malaysian properties bought through these agencies dropped from 2,609 in 2013 to 838 last year, said Mr Wong, who was replying a query by Singapore MP Dr Lee Bee Wah (of the Nee Soon group constituency). Her question on how many Singaporeans are individual owners of properties in Iskandar Malaysia comes after a recent Maybank report cautioned investors that the glut of homes in Iskandar will be aggravated by a huge incoming supply this year and next. The report pointed the finger at aggressive land-banking activities by Chinese developers, which could worsen the glut and lead to price wars in the high-rise mixed-development segment. - See more at:

1 May 2015: Iskandar Malaysia records RM158b in committed investments - expect a year-to-year of RM25-30 billion

Iskandar Malaysia records RM158b in committed investments Thursday, 30 April 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: Iskandar Malaysia, the major development corridor in Johor, recorded a total cumulative committed investments of RM158 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014. Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) chief executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said the targeted cumulative committed investments was RM383 billion.  "Since its establishment in 2006, domestic investments have been growing steadily, making up 67 per cent of RM158 billion and 33 per cent foreign investments. "We are optimistic that from this year, we can expect a year-to-year of RM25-30 billion," he said at the launch of the third batch of the Iskandar Malaysia Creative Industry Talent Development Programme (IMCITDP) here today. The programme is a collaboration between IRDA and Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios. In a partnership with Japanese digital post-production company, Imagica International Asia, four courses from a total of 28 courses, will be offered....

26 April 2015: On Iskandar property glut, lawmakers views; Johor state government has requested Bank Negara to review housing loan policies to enable buyers own homes worth more than RM140,000 in Iskandar Malaysia - the problem is that banks don’t give out loans; Part of VEP fees to be used to improve Johor public transportation 

In Iskandar glut, lawmakers see foreign optimism meeting poor local demand BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY, MELISSA CHI and SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL Monday April 20, 201507:01 AM GMT+8; “There is a misconception of the demand market here... there is a clear mismatch between supply and demand,” Johor Baru MP Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad told Malay Mail Online. “While there is an oversupply of premium properties, the demand however is for medium and low cost ones owing to peoples incomes,” he added. Shahrir said it is only natural for developers of premium residential properties in Iskandar to be hardest hit by the dip in prices and secondary sales, as that was never the focus of the region. “You have to be fair to Iskandar as housing was never part of its main draft. The crux of its investment was more on services, hospitality and manufacturing as well as allocations for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). “The investments we are interested in are not housing and this is why we have called in Pinewood and Legoland to Iskandar. That is the main investment strategy but because of all these, foreign developers think there is a demand for their properties and that is not happening. “This is what’s happening and they have to live with it. If they are willing to take the risk then we can’t stop them,” the senior Umno lawmaker said..........Johor opposition leader and Skudai assemblyman Dr Boo Cheng Hau noted that the number of residential projects launched in the state was done without sufficient supporting services or industries in place to make them viable in the near term. The DAP leader said that the region is not yet able to accommodate a surge in tourism, nor is it able to fulfil the needs of foreign investors seeking to take advantage of Malaysia’s second home schemes. “There will be a sustainable demand for properties here but not in the near future. It will take another five to ten years to see booms in economic sectors such manufacturing, service sectors and so on  before there is a more steady increase of demand for properties,” he said in an earlier email interview. ..........DAP’s Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong stressed that the the rapid pace of property development in Iskandar has no real legs to stand, a situation that is not helped by the general slowdown in the property market nationwide.
“Johor is a case of killing the golden goose too fast, too greedily. The property market is not sustained by a genuine working population with income to support their investments, while borrowing rates are surging, awaiting the bubble to burst,” he said when contacted. ..........Umno’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed, however, believes the upcoming RM53 billion Pengerang Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project will provided the needed jobs and spending capacity to revive the region’s flagging property market. “Property in Iskandar is experiencing a down cycle, but it (sales) will pick up itself once corporate businesses like RAPID kickstarts. “Once corporations set up business in Iskandar, then things will pick up. When businesses come in offering higher job opportunities, only then will the supply (of residential property) be taken up. It (Iskandar) will not become a white elephant,” he said....

Johor asks Bank Negara to study housing needs Wednesday, 22 April 2015; JOHOR BARU: The Johor state government has requested Bank Negara to review housing loan policies to enable buyers own homes worth more than RM140,000 in Iskandar Malaysia. State housing and local government executive committee chairman, Datuk Abdul Latif Bandi, said such move was needed to help developers overcome the difficulty in selling their housing projects and excess houses.
“The problem is that banks don’t give out loans.  “Even though the buyers command salary of RM10,000 a month, the banks will not release loans so long as they see the buyers having other debt-paying commitments. “Hence, Bank Negara has to study the housing needs,” he said after opening the 17th AGM of the Bumiputra Contractors (cleaning services and solid waste disposal) Association of Johor here yesterday. He was responding to a survey conducted by Malayan Banking Bhd on excess of luxury homes in Iskandar Malaysia recently.

Part of VEP fees to be used to improve public transportation  by nelson benjamin Updated: Monday April 20, 2015 MYT 12:28:34 PM; JOHOR BARU: The state government will use its share of the proposed vehicle entry permit (VEP) fees to improve public transportation in the state. State Public Works, Rural and Regional Development Committee chairman Datuk Hasni Mohammad said the money collected would be channelled to improve the bus transportation system. “We are also looking at improving traffic flow, especially on the major roads, such as Jalan Tebrau, Jalan Tun Abdul Razak and Jalan Skudai, which are congested during peak hours,” he said. The state is expected to get 25% or RM5 from the RM20 that will be imposed on foreign vehicles entering Malaysia through the Causeway here and the Second Link Expressway in Tanjung Kupang, Gelang Patah, from Aug 1.
Asked for the four-month delay in implementing it, Hasni said there were certain issues which needed to be ironed out, including tabling a proposal in Parliament because it involved border crossings..... Besides Singapore, Malaysia also has border crossings with Brunei, Thailand and Indonesia. He said under the 11th Malaysia Plan, the state had requested RM7.674bil from the Federal Government for infrastructure and rural development......... Under the 10th Malaysia Plan (2011-2014), Johor received RM8.5bil. Hasni said the bulk of the allocation totalling RM3.06bil under the 11MP would go towards 10 major road projects. They include the Gemas-Ayer Hitam road, the Pasir Gudang Highway (third phase), the Muar-Tangkak-Segamat road (fifth package) and the Batu Pahat-Ayer Hitam road. He said the state was also looking at ways to improve east-west connectivity, especially with a better road system........

19 April 2015: Maybank cautions on "huge incoming supply" for Iskandar residential and commercial property; Jho Low quick flip of Iskandar property, UEM Sunrise RM42 billion project Gerbang Nusajaya, plan to ban lorries on Causeway, crooked bridge / Causeway replacement won't be revived says Johor MB, relocation of Singapore businesses and families to Iskandar, Singapore re-engineering driving "higher capital-labor ratios, more innovation and downsizing. Some companies are relocating offshore to Iskandar and Batam"

Caution advised on Iskandar residential, commercial property: Maybank UPDATED: 18 Apr 2015 00:06; Oversupply, "huge incoming supply" in a crowded development space and "aggressive landbanking activities" by Chinese developers among the reasons for concern flagged by Maybank Investment Bank's research unit. "We prefer the Klang Valley and Penang over Iskandar."

Edge Weekly - Jho Low made RM400 million by quick flip of Iskandar land deal By The Edge Malaysia / The Edge Malaysia   | April 3, 2015 : 10:00 PM MYT  IN late 2006, the then 26-year-old Jho Low approached Khazanah Nasional seeking support for Kuwait Finance House’s bid for RHB Bank Bhd ( Financial Dashboard). Khazanah had a 30% stake in RHB Bank at the time. He did not succeed, but he got whiff of a business opportunity in the then emerging Iskandar regional development in Johor. After finding out that Khazanah was inviting bids from Middle Eastern investors to buy and develop various parcels of land in the Medini area, Jho Low quickly used his connections to form Iskandar (Holdings) Company Ltd with three Middle East parties. The shareholders

UEM Sunrise unveils Gerbang Nusajaya with GDV of RM42b Wednesday, 8 April 2015; KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Sunrise Bhd has unveiled comprehensive development plans for Gerbang Nusajaya – the gateway to Iskandar Malaysia – with a gross development value of RM42bil. UEM Sunrise said on Wednesday Gerbang Nusajaya is master planned for connectivity and is easy to reach from Malaysia, Singapore, and regional cities. Gerbang Nusajaya features a number of catalytic developments including Nusajaya Tech Park, a 519-acre integrated eco-friendly tech park and FASTrack Iskandar, which is a 300-acre “motorsports city”. The massive development would be over 25 years and would create 76,000 direct job offerings, 137,000 indirect job offerings together with a population of 220,000.  UEM Sunrise is the master developer of Nusajaya, which is one of the five flagship zones and key driver of Iskandar Malaysia. It said Gerbang Nusajaya as the gateway to Iskandar Malaysia, will be the commercial and business engine for Nusajaya.  “The 4,551-acre second phase development of Nusajaya is designed for growth via catalytic developments and strategic partnerships with established developers and multinational companies,” it said.....

19 April 2015: Plan to ban lorries on Causeway /khoryuleng/2014/08/singapore-malaysia-border-crossing-fees.html

Housing, water more vital than ‘Crooked Bridge’, Johor MB says Friday April 17, 201509:34 AM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 ― Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled Nordin said yesterday that the state prioritises housing and clean water supply over the discontinued “Crooked Bridge” project. Local daily the New Straits Times reported Khaled as saying that the Johor state government will not revive the project and that any talks instead would likely centre on the underground tunnel proposed during the Malaysia-Singapore Leaders’ Retreat last year. “I have been informed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak (about the crooked bridge) and the state government will abide by the federal government’s decision,” Khaled was quoted saying. Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad recently told Perak Today in an interview that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak did not talk to him for six months after a dinner discussion that had ended in questions over the delay of the “Crooked Bridge” project. Najib told TV3 in a televised interview last Thursday that Dr Mahathir wanted the 1 Malaysia People’s Aid cash aid policy scrapped and the “Crooked Bridge” project to be revived — two issues that he said could have been part of the reason why the former prime minister has become more vocal in his criticisms towards him. The so-called “Crooked Bridge” was Dr Mahathir’s idea to replace the Causeway linking Johor and Singapore, but was discontinued by his successor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and believed to be among reasons why the latter was hounded out of office by the man who put him there. - See more at:

Najib, Mahathir on 'crooked bridge': What is the issue about Published on Apr 13, 2015 10:44 PM; KUALA LUMPUR - The so-called "crooked bridge" never took off in the 14 years after it was first mooted by then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, but the recurring national issue may yet take down a second successive Malaysian leader. In 2003, just before ending his 22-year tenure as PM, Tun Dr Mahathir announced that Malaysia would go ahead and build a crooked bridge - a six-lane S-shaped highway that would curve in such a way that it allows vessels to pass under it - if Singapore refused to demolish its half of the Causeway. The failure of his successor Abdullah Badawi to push ahead with replacing the Causeway led Dr Mahathir to viciously attack him in 2006. The move, observers say, eventually pushed Tun Abdullah to resign in 2009. The still influential Dr Mahathir now claims that Datuk Seri Najib Razak also failed to keep his promise to build the crooked bridge, and has asked the prime minister to step down amid a host of other outstanding issues plaguing his administration....

KTL Global relocating bulk of Singapore operations to Johor Published on Apr 7, 2015 9:40 AM
SINGAPORE - Oil-and-gas rigging equipment supplier KTL Global will be relocating the bulk of its Singapore operations to Johor, Malaysia, as part of key corporate changes announced on Tuesday following a strategic review of its businesses.
By June, the group will have relocated most of its heavy steel rope and rigging production from Singapore to Tanjung Langsat. "This will resolve the issues of high labour costs, utility charges, and government levies faced in Singapore, as well as a shortage of manpower," the company said.....

Recycler finds bigger green pasture by Ariel Lim and Jacqueline Woo The Straits TimesThursday, Apr 09, 2015 FOR local plastics recycler Winrigo, having enough space is essential.The firm needs to stockpile large amounts of waste material. This was why Winrigo jumped at the opportunity to set up a 24,000 sq ft manufacturing plant in the Iskandar development zone about five years back. Operations director Teri Teo, 44, told The Straits Times last month that Iskandar's proximity to Singapore made it "the best candidate" for the company to expand operations in. "We're dealing with scrap material, so it's important Iskandar has the space we need and is near enough for us to transport materials without spending too much time travelling," he said. "Commuting is easy, and we can go home in the evening to spend time with our families." The green-tech firm is devoted to the development of its line of environmentally friendly plastics known as R3plas....

The Big Read: Iskandar’s lure is a strong pull for S’poreans  By YVONNE LIM  Updated: 4:20 AM, April 4, 2015; SINGAPORE — Every weekday morning before the sun even rises, Singaporean teacher Naharudin Shariff, 46, will leave his home in Nusajaya – about 20 minutes’ drive from Johor Bahru city centre – and make his way across the Causeway to send his three daughters to different schools, before driving to work himself. Come evening, he repeats the routine: After work, he will wait for his daughters - one is studying in junior college, the other two in secondary school - to finish their classes, pick them up, and head back to Malaysia. They try to reach home by 7pm every night and have dinner together. “If one of my daughters has to attend an extra class in school, we all plan our day around that. Everyone tries to arrange their schedules so that everyone does something that day. That way we don’t have to make so many trips to and fro,” he said.  The daily shuttling between the two countries is a small inconvenience for a better quality of life in Johor, he said. “The whole family is happier (in Johor),” he told this newspaper at in his three-storey house in Horizon Hills, a gated community in Nusajaya. “Our house here is a lot bigger (compared to the condominium unit he used to own in Singapore). My wife can now have the spice garden she had always wanted, and our kids keep a rabbit and a chick as pets.” He added: “It is very quiet, especially at night. Very peaceful and relaxing, you don’t hear vehicles or the MRT. When you look out the window, you see trees instead of another concrete block.” ..........

Singapore's Growing Success Sparks a Backlash - This story appears in the April 2015 issue of Forbes Asia. Forbes Staff Forbes Staff , Contributor     By Jane A. Peterson; Wild Rocket Group started ten years ago in Singapore and now has four restaurants serving modern Singaporean cuisine. But sometimes it’s forced to turn away guests because it can’t hire enough staff. “It’s incredibly frustrating,” sighs 43-year-old Willin Low, the owner and, at his flagship restaurant, the head chef. “All of my expansion plans have halted.”.....Investors want him to open outlets in Jakarta, London or Tokyo, but Low refuses. He can’t build a competent staff to expand his $3.7 million business in Singapore, let alone launch overseas. Tightening government limits on foreign workers oblige Wild Rocket to hire Singaporeans for 60% of its openings, even though most locals shun restaurant work. Add to the mix an extremely tight labor market (the unemployment rate is just 1.9%) and rising taxes on each foreign worker hired. “You end up hiring Singaporeans who are not good,” laments Low, “and you can’t fire them”–at least not without losing a competent foreign worker to maintain the same balance.... Still, complaints reverberate across the business community as the growth in foreign manpower shrinks, from 6.8% in 2012 to just 2.6% last year. “When I started Singapore was a very welcoming, pro-business environment,” says Australian Chris Wanden, who owns the 12-year-old Dimbulah coffee chain. “Now it’s under threat. [Foreign-worker limits] undermine growth. Labor-market controls are not part of a free-market economy.” Companies also routinely beef about locals who job-hop relentlessly. “Singaporeans can be very picky,” explains Tan. “They see it as a birthright to get good jobs. The good life here may well have contributed to the lack of perspective on global competition, and this has curbed their hunger.” ...Many analysts applaud the government for managing an economic restructuring in which the fittest companies survive and the least productive fold. “With time, things like service standards can be repaired,” says economist Manu Bhaskaran of Centennial Asia Advisors, a research and advisory firm. “The real threat to Singapore’s tourist trade is high costs. Singapore needs a period of cost-adjustment before it regains competitiveness, whether in tourist services or other areas. [Before,] there was no incentive to upgrade and become productivity-driven. Now companies have no choice.” Leading Singapore companies are beginning to reengineer, he says, through higher capital-labor ratios, more innovation and downsizing. Some companies are relocating offshore to Iskandar and Batam, while others, such as Procter & Gamble and Unilever, are expanding their local operations....

13 April 2015: A dozen international schools targeted

Iskandar Malaysia aims to have a dozen international schools by yee xiang yun Updated: Saturday April 11, 2015 MYT 8:47:25 AM; JOHOR BARU: Iskandar Malaysia is well on its way to establishing itself as an education hub with a target of welcoming a dozen of international schools to set up their campuses in Johor. Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda) chief executive officer Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said that it had achieved half its target so far with six international schools already setting up their respective campuses here. Ismail said that the international schools here offered syllabus from the primary school level up to the O and A Levels or equivalent levels.
“Our ideal target is to have 12 international schools in Iskandar Malaysia but there is no timeframe for achieving that as we prefer for it to take its natural course....

12 April 2015: New Iskandar hub to cater to datacentre demand surge

New Iskandar hub to cater to datacentre demand surge Updated: Wednesday April 8, 2015 MYT 4:10:03 PM Sedenak Iskandar data hub — a 700-acre data hub in the Iskandar Malaysia area of Johor — has been announced to meet the region’s rising demand for datacentre space and services.
The Malaysian cloud services and datacentre industry recorded RM795mil in revenue for 2014, a 26% leap from RM630mil in 2013. Exports grew from 7% to 18%.
Sectors that contributed to this growth include the federal government (29%), banking and financial (19%), and content and technology (17%). There was also growth in high-value datacentre services such as managed services that accounted for 50% of the total revenue, a 20% increase from 2013.
The data hub was announced by the Data Centre Task Force that consists of the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu), Johor Corporation (JCorp) and Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA).
Datuk Yasmin Mahmood, chief executive officer of MDeC said, “Cloud services and datacentres are a key sector identified to contribute to the national gross income. With the new Data Hub, we aim to attract high value investments from top cloud services and datacentre providers to Malaysia, to further accelerate the growth of industry and position Malaysia as a world-class data hub in the region.

31 March 2015: Singapore rental versus interest cost for 150-200bp positive carry spread

Will look out for similar property review on Iskandar. One of the justifications for Iskandar property prices was that it could go to 30% below Woodlands, Singapore and be considered fair value.

UOBKayHian - Monday , 30 March 2015; Property − Singapore; Does Rental Income Still Cover Interest Costs?....  Positive carry still exists but increasingly difficult to rent out. Those who are able
to rent out their units will continue seeing positive carry as rental yields (2.5-3.5%)
exceed mortgage rates of 1.5-2%. However, the positive carry spread will narrow to
about 100 bp (from 150 bp earlier) as the variable mortgage rates effectively increase
by about 50 bp compared with four months before. Also, it has become increasingly
difficult to rent out units as the increased completions and slower influx of foreigners is
resulting in rising vacancies (about 8.5% of condo & apartment units are vacant).
Another 100 bp rise in SIBOR or alternatively a 30% drop in rents from here on would
result in the positive carry situation turning into a negative carry situation...........

19 March 2015: In-depth interview with the Sultan of Johor - The Star

Sultan of Johor speaks his mind by wong chun wai AND nelson benjamin Updated: Wednesday March 18, 2015 MYT 2:07:15 PM; JOHOR BARU: Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Ibni Almarhum Sultan Iskandar moved into Istana Bukit Serene weeks ago from Istana Pasir Pelangi and the interview with The Star was at the new official residence overlooking Singapore.

Driving up the road leading to the palace, it was amazing to see several huge cages on both sides, with tigers, panthers and cats inside them. The edifice, some 2km away from the Jalan Kolam Air entrance, was perched on a hill and overlooked a huge swimming pool......We were ushered into the interior of the grand palace, passing through a large hall area with ornate wooden furniture and chandeliers, and huge portraits of the Johor royal family adorning the walls. Sultan Ibrahim was already there to meet us, wearing a sky blue short sleeved linen shirt and in a jovial mood. “Go ahead and ask me anything,” he said as we all sat down.

And throughout the hour-long session, the monarch took all our questions, including tough ones on his business ventures, Chinese investors coming to Johor, the change in the state’s weekend, rumours of a casino and his son’s liver transplant in China.

On the coronation - Q: Tuanku, The Star extends its congratulations to you on your forthcoming coronation. Your Royal Highness, why is the coronation taking place only after more than four years?......
Q: What are the events planned in conjunction with the Coronation?.........
Q: What are your wishes and hopes for Johor? A: I hope that people from all races will unite irrespective of their religion and belief. This is our home and it belongs to all Malaysians. This state is the home of all Johoreans regardless of race and religion. The people should also appreciate the stability of the state and, of course, Malaysia. We live in a multi-racial society. We must respect each other. There is no room for extremism in Johor. Please uphold the values and principles of moderation.

On business, development and reclamation in Johor  Q: Tuanku, your increasing business and commercial dealings have become a talking point. The Johor royalty is involved in a variety of businesses, including a power plant (the 1,000MW-1,400MW Project 4A) and property development in Johor. How does the royalty balance what is good for the people and the state when it has a personal interest in so many businesses? A: If you look at the history of the Johor royal family, we have been involved in business from the days of my great-grandfather. I have never tried to hide my business dealings using proxies, like some people do. I am open and transparent. Tracing the Johor royal lineage, you would have seen how the Johor royal family has a long history of doing business. It began with gambier and black pepper during the early days. .... I was doing palm oil business when I was the Tengku Mahkota....  Let’s be honest here, we are a constitutional monarch. I have to earn my living like everyone else. I cannot depend on my allowances of RM27,000 a month. I must earn a living, like ordinary Malaysians. I am sure Johoreans do not want to perceive me as one selling titles for my income. It is unfair to say that the private sector would be crowded out. Look at the number of private companies doing business in Johor. It is a free market. No one is forced to buy anything from anyone. Monopoly does not exist in Johor.

Q: What are your views on claims that the land reclamation works will affect Singapore’s shoreline? A: There is plenty of land in Johor but the coastline is strategic. People only talk about reclamation by Johor, but not many are aware that land reclamation in Singapore reportedly started as early as the 1820s.... Singapore has reclaimed over 70sq km of land from 1960 to the present day, I am told..... .... Then, there is talk of the environment. I have done my checking. There is not a single dugong that would be affected; get your facts right. According to the MB, a 30-sen fee has been imposed for every square foot of land reclaimed to help fishermen affected by the reclamation. It will bring in over RM104mil to help the fishermen.

Q: The 1,386ha Forest City property project has become a controversy. Forest City will be almost half the size of Putrajaya and will rise in the Johor Straits, southwest of Johor Baru, where the Second Link to Singapore is situated. It is a joint venture between Guangdong-based Country Garden Holdings and the Johor state-owned Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ). A: As the Sultan, I welcome all investors, just as the mentri besar would. It would be insane for anyone to reject investments.... If there are any Americans, Britons, Australians or Germans who would want to put money in Johor, they are welcome, but where are they? If the Chinese are prepared to invest here, why should it be an issue?...All these investments will be good as this will have a spill-over effect for other sectors such as retail, more job opportunities for locals and for the transportation services....

Q: Johor has seen a few major Chinese developers launching large-scale property projects. One developer, for instance, launched 9,000 units at one go and most are to be sold to buyers from China. But a large number of units are not sold yet. There are concerns that Johor is seeing an over-built situation and possible creation of ghost cities. Local developers have also been speaking up about preferential treatment to these overseas developers. Please comment. A: The fear of a glut is just an assumption. All these homes will not be built simultaneously.... We are talking about investing in the future and these Chinese investors know the Hong Kong and Shenzen scenario very well.  Over 200,000 people cross to Shenzen each day in just 45 minutes. That is how the cross-border culture has changed dramatically.... I think local developers just have to work harder. I believe that healthy competition among the developers is good for the industry.

Q: Is it correct to say that not many people dare to speak up against your Royal Highness? There is fear and respect, all mixed together. After all, you do have a controversial reputation. A: (Laughs) Well, you are asking me tough questions. I think I am a friendly and easy-going person. I am straight-talking. I cannot stand hypocrites. I expect people to speak up. Be a man. You have asked me difficult questions straight to my face.... A lot of people, including some politicians in Kuala Lumpur, don’t know me but talk as if they know me. There are those who have preconceived ideas of me. I don’t blame them.

On his son, Tunku Abdul Jalil Q: On a personal note, there has been speculation over the health of Tuanku’s son, Tunku Abdul Jalil ibni Sultan Ibrahim (pic), also known as Tunku Laksamana Johor. Can you comment, especially on his liver transplant? A: He is fine and well after the transplant, thanks be to God. The next five years will be very crucial for him as he needs to watch his food and his lifestyle.... We only discovered the cancer last year as initially my son was complaining of shoulder pain and was only treated at the local General Hospital, which just provided him with pain killers and sleeping tablets.... We only discovered that something was wrong while holidaying in London. After discussing with surgeons from Singapore, we decided to go for a full organ transplant in Guangzhou, China. They told me not to waste any more time... I am thankful that the procedure went well and we were well cared for when in China... The Chinese went to great lengths to help my son. They sent two doctors to Singapore to talk with the doctors there. They provided English-speaking doctors and nurses. They also provided other facilities for me there. I am greatly touched and grateful to them. I also want to thank my subjects as I was deeply touched when informed that thousands of people from all races and religions came together to pray for my son and my family. All those prayers certainly helped him.

On the Johor weekend Q: Will the Friday and Saturday weekend for the civil service still remain or does Johor, as a developing state, plan to revert to Saturday and Sunday to compete internationally, especially with so much talk about doing business with Singapore? Or will the private sector be forced to change to Friday and Saturday as well? A: It’s already over a year since Johor has had Friday and Saturday as the weekend. The aim of the change is to enable Muslims to perform their prayers without having to rush back to their offices.... I understand it has its implications for the private sector as well as doing business with Singapore. I am still in the process of gathering feedback from the public and private sectors.

> TOMORROW: Sultan Ibrahim’s thoughts on royal awards, rumours about a proposed casino in Johor, his relationship with mentris besar past and present, and more.

Sultan Ibrahim also wants a balanced development where the people will benefit  by wong chun wai AND nelson benjamin Updated: Thursday March 19, 2015 MYT 8:34:26 AM; JOHOR BARU: Johor rulers have always been strict when giving out state awards. Each year only a few people are awarded Datukships in the state. ............
Q: Tuanku, Johor is known for its reluctance to give awards. What is your response to talk by Malaysians that there are far too many Datuks in Malaysia? A: I can tell you this. I am aware the people are saying that if you throw a stone, you will hit a Datuk but I can add this — if you throw a stone now, it will hit a Datuk; it will then rebound and hit another Datuk. That is the situation now and we cannot deny this talk. We must feel the pulse of the people.
Q: There are accusations that Tuanku plans to open a casino in the state. Please comment.  A: I know that there is a lot of talk and speculation that Tan Sri Vincent Tan and I plan to team up to open a casino, after I bought Berjaya shares simply because he has a licence (for Sports Toto). I can assure my subjects that as long as I am around, there will be no casino in Johor. In Johor, we do not encourage the issuance of any gambling licences and if possible I want all the illegal ones to be cleaned up by the police.

On environmental issues  Q: You have expressed concern about the environment many times. Could you elaborate?  A: It is pointless to be a developed state if our environment is all polluted as it will not be a conducive place for the rakyat to live in. That is why I directed the state government and relevant authorities to ensure that there are no illegal logging activities in the state. I fully support the state’s decision to freeze any logging activities statewide beginning this year, while existing ones will continue until their contracts expire. Then there will be no more. I also want the state government to increase the number of green lungs in Johor, as well as maintain existing forest areas, as an effort to preserve the environment. That is why in the Forest City project, great emphasis will be placed on the environment and greenery. Transportation on the island will be free as there will be a monorail everywhere. Meanwhile, cars will travel and park underground. I want to see green and trees everywhere in the midst of this massive development.

On state development - Q: Johor is seeing a large number of unplanned developments that were not in the Iskandar Master Plan. Considering this, would you like to see a freeze on property development approvals in the state? A: It is for the Mentri Besar to decide but as the Sultan, I wish to see balanced development. I do not want to see Johor Baru filled with buildings only. ....... There must be spillover effects with the ordinary people being able to open up businesses to serve the people who have bought homes here....I hope that the Government will speed up the building of the 28,000 affordable homes in the state, especially for first-time buyers.
Q: There are some who say that Tuanku has used his power to acquire state land. What have you to say about that? A: I can quote you the amount of land that has been acquired by the state from me, instead of the other way around. In Pengerang, the state acquired my land. In some cases, it has ended with me paying the state because they could not afford to pay me after acquiring the land....There is misconception, as I do not need to take government land. I never ask for anything for free as I am willing to pay for it, above market price and in cash.

On ties with mentris besar - Q: Speaking about the MB, there are perceptions that you have more clout than the MB. What is your response? A: You chose the word “perceptions”. I cannot control what some people want to say. I cannot tell the MB what to do.  He is the head of the state government. He is elected and enjoys the majority of the House. I am the Sultan and I understand my role very well. Whatever our positions, we share the same goal – to see Johor prosper. I have a good relationship with him. It helps, perhaps because we were schoolmates. We have a good working relationship.
Q: Did your Royal Highness have a problem with the previous mentri besar, Tan Sri Ghani Othman?  A: I do not want to talk about the past. It’s over.


18 March 2015: First VLCC at Pengerang 
Dialog announced that its Pengerang Deepwater Terminal received its very first Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) – the Liberian-registered “MT Mesdar”. The 333-metre long vessel weighing in 315,802 metric tonnes arrived from the Middle East to discharge its crude oil cargo at Phase 1 of the deepwater terminal. “MT Mesdar” is the first VLCC to call at Pengerang and, the first to berth at Malaysian jetty, since the recent commissioning of the crude oil tanks in early Mar 2015 (Bursa Malaysia).

17 March 2015: Johor Sultan boosts stake in REDtone to 20% (the third corporate transaction with the family of Vincent Tan), Singapore buyers interest waning and worry about policy issues including cross-border tolls; Iskandar sees RM26.77 billion investments in 2014, some Japanese buyer interest

Johor sultan ups stake in REDtone, The Star/Asia News Network, Tuesday, Mar 17, 2015; PETALING JAYA -  Johor's Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar has emerged as the single-largest individual shareholder in REDtone International Bhd following a spate of open-market purchases, coupled with the conversion of his warrants and convertible loan stocks into ordinary shares.... The recent activities have boosted his holdings in the company to 20 per cent from 4.8 per cent previously... "We are excited to have Tuanku as one of our major shareholders, especially at a time when we are aiming to further solidify our growth and widen our profits," REDtone chairman Datuk Seri Syed Ali Syed Abbas Al Habshee said in a statement....Meanwhile, the other substantial shareholder of REDtone, Berjaya Corp's chairman and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Robin Tan Yeong Ching, said he was pleased to hear of the stake increase by Sultan Ibrahim...The corporate transaction in REDtone is the third major notable corporate transaction between the Sultan and the Tan family's related companies. Prior to this, StarBiz had reported back in February 2014 that he had paid RM396mil (S$148 million) for a 15 per cent stake in Tan Sri Vincent Tan's privately-owned MOL AccessPortal Sdn Bhd....In December 2013, the Sultan paid RM250mil for 20 per cent in Berjaya Times Square Sdn Bhd, which among others, owns the Berjaya Times Square Mall in Kuala Lumpur....

Interest in Iskandar not waning - Security issues and inconsistency in policies are concerns By: THEAN LEE CHENG Saturday, 7 March 2015; THE number of launches in Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia has dropped of late, with each new quarter seeing fewer launches, according to the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (Irda). ince January this year, there have been very few launches.
....The others in the group were Property Guru country manager Gerard Kho and Gabungan AQRS Bhd senior general manager Jerry Lau. Chur Associates managing partner Chris Tan was the moderator for the discussion entitled “Have Singaporeans Lost Their Appetite for Iskandar Malaysia?”.... Kho, whose company has been conducting quarterly property shows in Singapore over the last two years, said he had noticed a drop in the number of visitors between June 2013 and June 2014. “At our peak, in June 2014, over a two-day weekend, developers who participated in the event sold between RM70mil and RM80mil worth of Malaysian property. Recently, we only had enquiries, not outright purchases. The number of visitors has also dwindled.” Kho said the questions visitors were asking about the Johor market were also different. “They do not ask if Iskandar is a viable proposition. Instead, they want to know the proportion taken up by fellow Singaporeans. They also want to know the sort of policies that will be put in place, and have concerns about the daily toll rates between the two countries. They also voice concerns about policy inconsistency,” said Kho.... The debate on Iskandar is interesting for various reasons. Nowhere in Malaysia have so many high-rise residential projects been approved in such a short period of time. .... According to KGV Lambert International, the local authorities there have approved 80,900 units, although only 8,000 are being constructed today....

Iskandar Malaysia Secures RM26.77 Billion In Investments; JOHOR BAHARU, March 10 (Bernama) -- Iskandar Malaysia secured RM26.77 billion in new investments last year, bringing the total cumulative committed amount to RM158.3 billion since 2006. In 2013, the new investments were RM25.05 billion.Iskandar Regional Development Authority chief executive, Datuk Ismail Ibrahim, said of the total, RM77.07 billion, or 49 per cent, represented investments that had been realised.... Of the total cumulative committed investments, 36 per cent, or RM56.99 billion, came from foreign investors, he said. ... From January until September last year, top foreign investors were Singapore, US, Spain, Japan and China... Ismail said with the launch of the enhanced Iskandar Malaysia Comprehensive Development Plan (CDPii) by the second quarter of this year, investors and stakeholders may also get an insight into the outlook and opportunities in Iskandar Malaysia as it moved into its third phase towards maturity in 2025....

Growing Japanese interest seen in Iskandar, says UMLand Tuesday March 10, 2015 06:44 PM GMT+8; NUSAJAYA, March 10 — There has been a steady increase in Japanese interest in Iskandar Malaysia properties due to the conducive environment and proximity to Singapore, a property developer said today. United Malayan Land Bhd (UMLand) Group Chief Executive Officer Datuk Charlie Chia Lui Meng said the group’s projects here, for example, has been receiving a lot of interest from the Japanese that subsequently translated into sales. Citing the landed properties in Sapphire 8, Bandar Seri Alam, he said 75 units had been sold to the Japanese. “From our purchase profile, they (Japanese) are actually young tenants. They are going to bring their family here. Most probably because of better environment and is closer to Singapore,” he said to reporters when commenting on the trend in property purchases in Johor, here today. Another UMLand project that is currently being developed – Medini Lakeside, also saw a 30 per cent take-up by the Japanese out of the total 50 per cent that has been offered for sale. - See more at:

15 March 2015: Platts to introduce Straits benchmark to replace Singapore benchmark as Johor oil storage  terminals take off; Forest City project behind mass fish death farmers say; Singaporeans seek JB nursing homes

Pengerang gets big boost from Platts UPDATED: Mar 9, 2015 06:32pm; Oil pricing agency Platts said it is considering a proposal to reflect deliveries from Pengerang Terminal in southern Johor in its Singapore pricing assessments for middle distillates and gasoline.... This will be in addition to approved loading points outside of Singapore such as Pasir Gudang, Tanjung Langsat, Tanjung Bin and a few floating storage units, Platts, a unit of McGraw Hill Financial Inc, said in a note to its subscribers today.... Platts, which provides Asian benchmark assessments for most oil products traded in the region, is planning to change the loading points in its pricing assessments for fuel oil, gasoil, jet fuel and gasoline from July 1. It will introduce free-on-board (FOB) Straits benchmarks to replace the existing FOB Singapore benchmark, where traders will not have to specify a loading port at the time of placing a bid or offer in its pricing process and could include cargoes to be loaded from approved terminals in either Singapore or south Malaysia....; note: as Singapore runs low on oil storage terminal expansion space, Johor has come in to office terminals for global companies including Vopak, Trafigura and others. This is akin to what Tanjung Pelepas did to compete with PSA on container traffic, but perhaps the oil storage competitive move may prove to be quite successful. Platts is already shifting from its long standing Singapore benchmark price to a "Straits" price to reflect the growing popularity if oil storage terminals at Tanjung Bin and other sites in Johor.

 RM600 billion Forest City project behind mass fish death, say farmers BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 15 March 2015 6:27 AM; This is not the first time the area has been hit by mass fish deaths. In the past, locals have blamed Forest City’s land-reclamation works for the deaths, although the developer, Country Garden Pacific View (CGPV), has denied it. Previous episodes have also been attributed to plankton blooms, brought about by rapid changes in water temperature, poor water circulation, and higher than usual nutrient levels in the water. But the deaths in early March were massive, bringing up sea creatures from the depths such as sea horses and moray eel. A BBC report on March 6 said the scene on the beach looked like a "mass grave" and even after the first batch was cleared up, the next high tide brought in a new wave of dead marine life. Forest City will see four man-made islands built in the waters in Tanjung Kupang between southwest Johor and northwest of Singapore. The mixed-development project will include residential and commercial lots and is expected to take 30 years to complete....Residents near the area said this year’s mass fish deaths had even claimed bigger and more resilient fish, such as groupers and catfish. “From afar, I could see the dead fish begin to float to the surface. At first I only saw small fish, but when I went deeper in the ocean, I spotted big ones such as groupers, barramundis, also floating up. This went on until late in the night,” said marine coordinator Kamaruzzaman Mohd Yunus, 56. Kamaruzzaman, who preferred to be called Man Pendas, said unlike last year, when only farmed fish were affected, this year’s wave of deaths had also claimed the wild fish in the sea. “It could be due to the weather or the land-reclamation works, which have polluted the waters… there is definitely a link there,” he said..... Fishermen around Pendas, which is famous for its crabs, told The Malaysian Insider their haul had also reduced considerably. “At that time, I lost Many fish farmers in Kampung Pendas, Gelang Patah, are abandoning their business. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, March 15, 2015. RM1,000 in two weeks as I didn’t catch anything,” said Aziz Sulaiman, 67, who is usually able to earn up to RM2,000 a fortnight from the 20 traps he sets up. Another fisherman, who only wants to be known as Jai, said he normally catches 50kg of crabs a day, but his haul was reduced to 1kg to 2kg during that period. “A bucket of crabs is worth only RM15. When the fish died, I was only bringing back one bucket,” he said.... The company that had prepared the DEIA report had, however, apparently raised caution about the dredging and sedimentation caused by the project that would impact on the seabed, according to the New Straits Times, which had obtained a copy of the report. The paper said despite the mitigation measures to cushion the environmental impact, including the use of a “silt curtain” around the reclamation area, experts noted that more damage could be expected.

Sick, ageing Singaporeans pack JB nursing homes by janice tai AND toh yong chuan - The Straits Times/ANN  Updated: Sunday March 15, 2015 MYT 8:48:31 AM; SINGAPORE: In a quiet private estate within Taman Johor, a 30-minute drive from the Causeway, there is a large two-storey bungalow with high ceilings and a lush garden.... At first glance, it looks like a typical suburban residence. But it is really a nursing home, and Singaporean Andrew Tan is one of its residents.
The house is part of a cluster of 10 bungalows within the estate, making up the City Heart Care Nursing Home. "There are computers for me to check my Facebook page, my own TV to watch the news and I can even go to the coffee shop outside for noodles," said Tan, 43, who is paralysed from the chest down after a car accident 20 years ago. His family, who lives in Singapore, sent him there as his ageing parents no longer have the strength to care for him. After visiting more than 10 nursing homes in Singapore and Malaysia, the former electrical technician, who is single, chose City Heart Care as "it does not feel or smell like a hospital". "I also have my own room, which means I have privacy when my diapers need changing," he said.... He is one of a growing number of infirm Singaporeans who have been admitted to nursing homes in Johor Baru, where prices can be as low as half those in Singapore.... Tan's family pays $900 a month for a two-bedded private room. A similar room in Singapore would cost more than double.... The growing influx is convincing major nursing home players to expand in Johor Baru ........The space crunch in homes in Singapore is another reason more are heading across the Causeway. There are 10,000 beds now and the Health Ministry is pushing to increase this to 17,150 by 2020. Work on seven new nursing homes began this year.Operators said demand for nursing home space here will only grow, given Singapore's ageing population, creating a spill-over effect across the Causeway...........

27 February 2015: Masteel-KUB RM1.23 billion 37-year concession for intercity Iskandar rail system gets support letter; China developers downplay property glut fear saying new demand from China middle class "buy without any questions," villagers affected by Forest City project received RM3000 to RM6200 state agency compensation last year on earnings drop on reclamation works

Note: The Temasek move for geographic diversification up to Penang is raising antenna in KL circles. A specialist says: "Temasek signals a significant geographic diversification from Johor, while big job numbers creation announcements for Johor unfortunately still lag...." 

Steel mill boon for Masteel By: NG BEI SHAN Saturday, 21 February 2015; Masteel has been actively pursuing its proposed RM1.23bil intercity rail transit system in Iskandar Malaysia, Johor, and is waiting for the final nod from the Government before proceeding... In fact, the company has not slowed down in its pursuit of the project and has even identified the train to be used for the rail project.... “Once the economic council approves the project, we are well on our way to roll it out,” Tai enthuses... According to him, the company and its partner, KUB Malaysia Bhd, are discussing a 37-year concession from the Government.... The project will be taken under a 60:40 partnership known as Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd (MCN) between Masteel and KUB.... The business model will be sound with the income streaming in from three areas: rail passengers from the train operation, property development based on the 21 stations, and construction of the track, he explains.... MCN has received a support letter from the Iskandar Regional Development Authority and a review by the Unit Perancang Ekonomi Negeri Johor, as well as the presentation to the Transport Ministry and a meeting held by the Unit Kerjasama Awam Swasta. ...

Iskandar developers: China buyers will mop up excess unitsby Marissa Lee, The Straits Times; Monday, Feb 23, 2015; BIG-NAME Chinese property players in Iskandar say fears of a property glut in the development zone may be overblown. These developers argue that they bring with them fresh demand for the burgeoning number of new Iskandar homes from China's rising middle class. Said Country Garden Holdings sales and marketing general manager Nicholas Hum, referring to the company's projects: "We have one million owners in China, and it's like a fan club. Wherever we go, there are just buyers that buy without any questions." The Hong Kong-listed company has drawn some flak over its vast Forest City island project, being built on reclaimed land near the Second Link off Tuas.....

Housing glut worries over Johor's mega projects by Reme Ahmad and Rennie Whang, The Straits Times, Monday, Feb 23, 2015; MALAYSIA'S biggest reclamation project is raising concerns over a potential oversupply of homes in Johor, marine environmental damage in the Strait of Johor and the effect it may have on the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen. At Kampung Pok, tucked under the Second Link that connects Johor to Singapore, some residents are making known what they think of Chinese developer Country Garden's ambitious plan to raise four islands that total nearly three times the size of Sentosa at their doorstep. The massive site will house thousands of luxury homes, if artists' impressions provided by the developer are any indication. "Villagers protest that the route to Forest City passes through our area," reads a banner in Malay hung along the only road in the area.... The villages are bordered by mangrove swamps and the Strait of Johor on one side and hectares of mostly empty land in Nusajaya on the other. The edge of the Port of Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia's biggest container port, is just 1km away. "Sure, there are concerns about the environment and the future, but things have cooled down as the developer has talked to us," said Mr Abu Bakar. Mr Abdul Malik Sabtu, head of the fishing community in southern Johor, said about 245 full-time fishermen received between RM3,000 (S$1,120) and RM6,200 last year through a government agency to compensate them for a drop in their earnings after reclamation work began last year....  "With all the new projects, I don't think it will be as easy to get tenants as before," said a Singaporean resident of Causeway View, an estate just 600m from the Causeway. He had previously bought a condominium unit in Johor for RM250,000 and rented it out, but he has since sold it. Recent changes to the vehicle entry permit, toll charges and the minimum property purchase price of RM1 million for foreigners are also a put-off, he added....
Note: screenshot of article with focus on graphic on Johor projects facing Singapore

10 February 2015: Hershey Senai plant due to open soon? 400 job openings

Hershey Company investment in Iskandar Malaysia to garner more job opportunities
 By Chuah Bee Kim - 8 February 2015 @ 5:42 PM; State Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong said the move of the Hershey Company, which has invested in a RM816 million confectionary manufacturing plant at the Senai Free Trade Zone and Greenland Malaysia to develop the first coastal luxurious condominium project sprawling close to seven hectares in Iskandar Malaysia with an expected gross development value of RM2.8 billion.....
Hershey names manager for new Johor plant Published: 24 February 2014 3:30 PM Subas joined Hershey in 2011 and has 20 years of manufacturing leadership experience.... During the remainder of 2014, Hershey will be hiring nearly 100 people to fill a range of key positions that are critical to the plant’s operations, including the plant senior management team, engineers, maintenance technicians and skilled specialists. Hiring will continue in 2015, when approximately 300 manufacturing roles become available....Hershey is working with Malaysian engineering firm MEI Project Engineers Sdn Bhd, and the team expects the construction project will be completed in early 2015 - See more at: - JOB OPENINGS - We're excited to announce that we have started hiring for more than 400 positions in 2014 and 2015.  The positions below represent some key roles that are open or will be opening in the next 12 months.
Hershey Building State-of-the-Art Confectionery Plant in Malaysia to Serve Asia Region - New Facility Will Support Growing Consumer Demand Across the Region; $250 million USD (RM816 million) plant is single-largest investment in Asia in company history... The new plant will include innovations in automated candy-making technology, including proprietary equipment and systems developed to Hershey’s specifications.... The plant’s capabilities will include high-speed wrapping machines featuring proprietary, specially engineered wrapping technologies.... The Malaysia plant investment continues Hershey’s ongoing modernization and expansion of its global supply chain to position the company for its next 100 years of growth. This includes the company’s “Project Next Century,” a $300 million investment in its manufacturing and logistics, which culminated with the opening of the world’s most technologically advanced chocolate making facility in the company’s hometown of Hershey, Pa.... After Hershey completes the building structure in early 2015, the Malaysia plant will be one of the largest facilities in the company’s global manufacturing network with 700,000 total square feet. The company has nine plants in the United States as well as facilities in Canada, Mexico, India, Brazil and China. The Malaysia plant will also have the capability to produce the broadest array of finished products of any Hershey factory outside of the United States and Mexico, including millions of Hershey’s Kisses each day.... The plant will produce four of Hershey’s five global brands, which include: Hershey’s Kisses, Ice Breakers, Reese’s and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate bars. Hershey is expanding its global distribution of these brands as part of the company’s ambitious global growth vision to achieve $10 billion in annual revenue by 2017.... The company plans to hire locally to staff hundreds of plant positions as well as management roles.. With revenues of more than $6.6 billion USD, Hershey offers confectionery products under more than 80 brand names... HERSHEY, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 3, 2013-- The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) today announced it will build a new confectionery manufacturing plant in Johor, Malaysia, to meet the growing consumer demand for its products in its fastest-growing region.....

8 February 2015: Iskandar commitment on sustainable development - emissions reduction

Iskandar Malaysia declared as RCE by Bernama | Updated: February 08, 2015 JOHOR BAHARU: Iskandar Malaysia has been declared as the Regional Centre of Expertise for Sustainable Development (RCE).... State Health and Environment Committee chairman, Datuk Ayub Rahmat, said Iskandar RCE is a platform to bring together individuals and organisations to promote sustainable development... "This recognition is a step towards ensuring that Iskandar Malaysia achieve 50 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emission by 2025" ....

30 January 2015: PAS MP asks why Perkasa silent on Iskandar Malaysia sold to Singapore, Taiwan, HK nationals; Temasek (a big investor in Iskandar) also goes big time to Penang with RM11 billion GDV project for 25k-30k jobs; rapid growth at Iskandar Malaysia contributed to property price rises with housing affordability worsening (Sabah, Penang and KL worst)

Question: Why not these investments and jobs for Johor, rather than for Penang? Iskandar Malaysia's been terribly good at property projects, but specialists say that the long term job creation investments need a boost?

Why stay silent on Johor developments? PAS MP asks Perkasa By Zurairi AR  Published: January 29, 2015 01:15 PMUPDATED: January 29, 2015 01:49 pm; Khalid urged Selangor’s religious authorities to probe the group for being extremists and deviants. — File picKhalid urged Selangor’s religious authorities to probe the group for being extremists and deviants. — File picSHAH ALAM, Jan 29 — PAS MP Khalid Abdul Samad questioned today Malay rights group Perkasa’s silence over various development projects affecting the Malays in Johor after the recent flare-up against the Datum Jelatek project in Keramat.... The Shah Alam MP also urged Selangor’s religious authorities to probe the group for being “extremists and deviants”, claiming their actions have painted a negative image of Islam....  “Why are they silent when there are worse actions being done in BN states?
“Iskandar Malaysia has been completed and sold out to Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong nationals,” Khalid told reporters here.... "Why are they quiet? Is there no Perkasa in Johor?”... Khalid also listed down the Petronas’ Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development project in Pengerang and the 2,000-hectare man-made island “Forest City” as other developments which he pointed out have allegedly displaced many Malay villagers.....

Penang sees RM5bil investments from 4 China MNCs listed in US By: DAVID TAN
Thursday, 29 January 2015; GEORGE TOWN: Penang will see some RM5bil worth of investments coming into the state in 2015 from four multinational corporations (MNCs) involved in electronic-based manufacturing activities.... investPenang director Datuk Lee Kah Choon said these were only initial investments that would materialise over the next 12 months.... Declining to name the companies, Lee said these could be China companies but public-listed in the United States..... Lee said the Penang International Technology Park and Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) projects in Batu Kawan and Bayan Baru respectively, would be jointly developed with Temasek Holdings and Economic Development Innovations Singapore and due for completion in five to 10 years...... “The projects has a gross development value of RM11.3bil and will generate 25,000 to 30,000 jobs in the future,” Lee said.....

Housing affordability worsens with Sabah top of list, Penang, KL Thursday, 29 January 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Housing affordability, which is based on the ratio of average terraced house price to average household income, has worsened over the past five years, according to Rahim & Co, Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd.... In its survey of the Malaysian property market 2014/2015, the ratio increased from 3.4 in 2009 to 3.6 in 2012 and 2014.... “This essentially means that an average terraced house would cost an average household or family in Malaysia, 3.6 times its annual gross income.... “The least affordable terraced house in Malaysia in 2014 was recorded for Sabah (6.2 times), Penang state (5.9 times) and Kuala Lumpur (5.6 times). Sarawak was fourth with a ratio of 4.4 times,” the survey showed.... Rahim & Co, which is one of the largest real estate consultancy companies in Malaysia, also said in its outlook that transaction activities in the residential sector after expected to soften with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April 2015.
To recap, Rahim & Co said that over the past four year, property prices were fuelled by the nation’s development plans, investment concentration and also the rapid growth in Iskandar Malaysia.
“The cautious market sentiment echoes the state of property market in reaching its plateau and reconciliation period is expected in the near future,” it said......

18 January 2015: Kluang gets more development

Majupadu previews Newpark in Kluang 16 Jan 2015; KLUANG: Majupadu Development Sdn Bhd, a Kluang-based property developer, has announced the development of Newpark, the first eco-friendly real estate development in central Johor. “Newpark represents an opportunity to upgrade Kluang. Newpark will be the largest master-planned commercial project in Kluang,” said Majupadu founder and managing director Tey Ah Kau in a press release. “The location is very strategic, surrounded by large, mature housing estates, the Federal Building, the future Inland Revenue Board building and Intan (Institute Tadbiran Awam Negara). Access is just 10 minutes ...

15 January 2015: Forest City gets go ahead for 1,386ha after apparent policy flip-flop

In about-turn, KL approves bigger area for Forest City project Published: 4:00 AM, January 15, 2015 by THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER; KUALA LUMPUR — In an apparent reversal of its earlier reported stance, Malaysia’s Department of Environment (DOE) has greenlighted the RM600 billion (S$228 billion) Forest City mixed-development project in Johor.... The decision comes barely a week after reports in Malaysia quoted the DOE as saying only a fraction of the project — 405ha, instead of the developer’s planned 1,386ha — would be given the go-ahead. Yesterday, however, the developer said approval had been given for 1,386ha — only a shade smaller than the original plan of 1,623ha.
The project, now divided into four reclaimed islands, instead of one huge island nearly three times the size of Ang Mo Kio as originally planned, will have a total size of 1,386ha — smaller than the 1,623ha proposed by the firm.... CGPV is a 66-34 per cent joint venture between China’s Country Garden Holdings and Esplanade Danga 88, whose main shareholder is the Sultan of Johor. Johor state company Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) is also a partner... Fishermen and fish-farm operators have blamed land reclamation work for mass fish deaths in the area, but the developer has denied this.... The firm that prepared the DEIA report, however, had apparently raised caution about dredging and sedimentation caused by the project that would affect the seabed, said the New Straits Times, which had obtained a copy of the report and reported on it last month.....

13 January 2015: Residents relocated for PETRONAS RAPID project face swampy problems

Tilted houses, swamp land haunt Pengerang folk By Lee Long Hui 9:54AM Dec 31, 2014
SPECIAL REPORT Fear, worry and anxiety are the most common words used by the people of Pengerang in Johor to describe their state of life after being relocated for the RM60 billion Refinery and Petrochemical Integrated Development (Rapid) project of the national oil and gas company Petronas.... The residents simply did not expect to face problems such as land subsidence and swampy soil in the area they were relocated to - Taman Bayu Damai - thereby bringing never-ending inconveniences upon them....

12 January 2015: Forest City denies limit to under 1,000 acres, Johor warns on middlemen-civil servants linkages, view on Malaysia property consolidation in 2015

Developer denies DOE limit on controversial Johor Straits housing project by The Malaysian Insider  - ‎Jan 5, 2015‎; The developer of the controversial Forest City in the Johor Straits has denied that the size of its housing project has been limited to less than 1,000 acres, refuting a report by The Malaysian Insider on the matter. Country Garden Pacific (CGP) View ...

Malaysia sets new development limits on Johor's Forest City project Published on Jan 5, 2015 1:42 PM; JOHOR BARU - China developer Country Gardens Holdings can only develop less than a quarter of its planned Forest City project in Johor Strait, under new limits set by Malaysia's Department of Environment.... The company was informed verbally about the new limits (405ha), Malaysian Insider has reported, after complaints from locals and the Singapore government over reclamation works in the narrow waterway between Malaysian and the city state.....

Don't collude with middlemen, Johor civil servants warned by The Star Online  - ‎Jan 1, 2015‎ 
Ismail hoped that Johor civil servants would provide efficient service and make Johor one of the most developed states in the country.... Ismail also called on local council presidents to check on their subordinates as the state government had also received reports of middlemen operating at local councils.... Ismail hoped that Johor civil servants would provide efficient service and make Johor one of the most developed states in the country. “We have the Iskandar Malaysia economic growth corridor and the multi­-billion ringgit oil and gas hub in Pengerang in Kota Tinggi. The two projects will be the main drivers of Johor’s growth in years to come,” added Ismail.... He said that with more domestic and foreign investors showing strong interest in the two projects, civil servants had to improve on their delivery system.... He reiterated that the state government had never appointed individuals or companies to represent agencies and departments offering services on­ behalf of the state government....

Year of consolidation for property sector by The Star Online  - ‎Jan 2, 2015‎; THE property sector is expected to slow down further this year following cooling measures and tougher lending conditions implemented in 2014. Although it has often been said that the Johor market is different from the rest of the country, due to the economic growth area of Iskandar Malaysia and the leverage provided by its proximity to Singapore, the feel-good factor which spurred sales and ...However, the rate of the slowdown may be cushioned with the continuous fall in the price of oil....  The changing dynamics of lower oil prices on the economy are still unravelling. But economists are not looking at any rate hikes for Malaysia in the near term, unless there are changes in the external sector, and this is something which will work well for the property sector.... While oil price is a factor, CIMB said the goods and services tax (GST) is another. In a report entitled “Property Development and Investment: Post GST Blues?”, CIMB Research head Terence Wong foresees a pick-up in buying momentum in the first half of 2015....

23 December 2014: Forest City land reclamation worries a possible negative on investor confidence? Cross border car fees tit-for-tat with Malaysia VEP to start mid-2015? EcoWorld in Iskandar.

Will Forest City issue affect ties with Singapore?  By SIM BAK HENG - 23 December 2014 @ 8:13 AM; JOHOR BARU: JOHOR lawmakers fear that Malaysia and Singapore may be embroiled in a diplomatic row once the detailed environmental impact assessment (DEIA) report of the controversial Forest City project is approved.... They are worried about the possibility of retribution from Singapore, citing the republic’s reclamation works in Pulau Tekong and Tuas more than 10 years ago as an example... Malaysia was prompted to file a case with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) following Singapore’s actions then.. A state assemblyman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said this could become a reality should the Department of Environment (DOE) approve the DEIA report.... “The Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on Environment was formed following the ITLOS decision on Pulau Tekong in 2004.... “I hope both governments can work together to resolve the Forest City reclamation issue.... “If it is brought to the ITLOS for arbitration, it can affect investors’ confidence in Johor and Iskandar Malaysia.” ....

‘Resolve VEP fee issue amicably’   23 December 2014 @ 8:13 AM; JOHOR BARU: Malaysia and Singapore have been urged to discuss issues related to toll fees and the imposition of the Vehicle Entry Permit (VEP) fee for the good of Johor’s Iskandar Malaysia region.... Pulai member of parliament Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said it was important for both sides to look at the bigger picture and take into consideration the total impact that any increase by Singapore would have on Iskandar Malaysia.... “It is time for both governments to resolve this issue and work together for the long-term benefits,” he told the New Straits Times yesterday.... Nur Jazlan, who is also Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman, was responding to yesterday’s Singapore media report, which said its Ministry of Transport would be studying Malaysia’s move to impose a VEP fee of RM20 (S$7.55) for foreign vehicles from Singapore starting middle of next year.

Eco World Devt targets RM7b sales Wednesday, 10 December 2014; KUALA LUMPUR: Eco World Development Group Bhd posted earnings of RM7.18mil in the 13 months ended Oct 31, 2014 as the company remained upbeat about its prospects with four new projects.... Announcing its results on Wednesday, the property development company targets to achieve RM7bil sales over FY2015 & FY2016 with the current and new projects.... “For the upcoming financial year, the Group intends to launch four new projects – these are Eco Sanctuary in Shah Alam, Eco Terraces in Penang, Eco Tropics and Eco Business Park III in Iskandar Malaysia. Along with its existing projects in the Klang Valley and Iskandar Malaysia, the group targets to achieve RM7bil sales over FY2015 & FY2016,” it said....

22 December 2014: 2014 saw halving of property transactions; Johor freezes serviced apartments (they are mostly actually owner-occupied) on glut fear with 3.3x more units than needed? Johor to spur SMEs

Iskandar’s plunging fortunes; 8:27AM Dec 17, 2014 By Khairul Khalid; KINIBIZ This has been a year to forget for the Iskandar economic region in Johor. After much lauded growth in the last five years, led by a robust property market, cracks began to show in Iskandar this year. Bullishness about Iskandar’s property market has been replaced with a more cautious, sometimes even bleaker outlook.
 What is causing this dwindling optimism about Iskandar? For a start, the numbers don’t lie.
“In comparison to the first half of 2013, there was a drop of about 48 percent in terms of total transactions in the same period this year,” said V Sivadas, executive director of PA International Property Consultants based in Johor Baru (JB).  That is an alarming drop in sales by any standards. The fact that it is happening just when Iskandar seems to have picked up momentum in the last few years has rattled the market. According to Sivadas, this decline is across all sectors of the property market in Iskandar. “Our records indicate 5,419 total transactions in the first half of this year at a value of about RM3.7 billion. In comparison with the first half of 2013, there was a drop of about 48 percent in terms of total transactions and about 37 percent drop in terms of total value of transactions in the first half of 2014,” said Sivadas, who based his analysis on available records of properties sales within Iskandar Malaysia.

Freeze on serviced apartments in Johor Updated: Sunday December 14, 2014 MYT 7:46:05 AM JOHOR BARU: The state has rejected new applications to build serviced apartments; Mentri Besar Mohamed Khaled Nordin said this was to ensure that the property market would not be flooded by serviced apartments, especially in Iskandar Malaysia. “All new applications have been frozen,” he said.  “Those who have received their approval can continue with their projects,” he said at the ground-­breaking ceremony of affordable homes by state-linked PIJ Holdings Sdn Bhd at Jalan Datin Halimah here yesterday. Mohamed Khaled said construction of serviced apartments was not subjected to housing development conditions such as the providing of basic amenities such as schools, multi-purpose halls and places of worship..... Nowadays, such apartments were no longer rented out but owner-occupied. “Hence, developers should provide these amenities to buyers,” said Mohamed Khaled.....  It was reported that about 86,000 units of serviced apartments had been approved for the country’s first economic growth corridor until 2025.

Fear of service apartment glut by New Straits Times Online  - ‎Dec 10, 2014‎ 
A TOTAL of 86,000 units of service apartments which have been approved for construction in Johor, especially in the Iskandar Malaysia, is excessive, said Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin... He said, based on the Iskandar Regional Comprehensive Development Plan 2025, there would only be demand for 26,000 service apartments in the state until 2025....

Efforts for Johor SMEs to tap into Iskandar and Pengerang projects Monday, 22 December 2014
PUTRAJAYA: The Johor Entrepreneurial Development Centre (EDC) is spearheading efforts to spur the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) by exploiting the spillover of the Iskandar and Pengerang development.... Johor Education, Information Entrepreneurial Development and Cooperative Committee chairman Md Jais Sarday said EDC would formulate a five-year strategic plan to assist SMEs in seizing opportunities.... “The plan is expected to be unveiled under the Johor Strategic Growth Plan in the first quarter of next year,” he told reporters on the sidelines of a workshop organised by EDC and SME Corp Malaysia.... Jais said although Johor had the third biggest number of SME companies after Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, their contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) was merely 8.4% compared with that of Selangor (28.3%) and Kuala Lumpur (29.1%). He attributed the low percentage to Johor SMEs’ concentration in the services and agriculture sectors, apart from financing constraints....

17 December 2014: Shanghai's Greenland plans 52ha Iskandar Malaysia project

Greenland 21 for Iskandar Malaysia?  By SIM BAK HENG - 16 December 2014 @ 12:14 AM;
SHANGHAI-based property giant Greenland Holdings Group is expected to replicate the concept of its flagship integrated development project called Greenland 21 at Iskandar Malaysia.... The Fortune 500 company is finalising the acquisition of a 52ha plot in Permas Jaya, Johor Baru, for the project. This waterfront project marks Greenland’s second venture in Iskandar Malaysia, after its low-density Jade Palace condominium development located at Danga Bay on the western side of the causeway.....

12 December 2014: Indonesia investors, Tanjung Langsat as largest private jetty operator

Will look for more info to update this.

Tanjung Langsat Port sees double digit growth in 2014 Thursday, 06 March 2014 | 00:00 Tanjung Langsat Port sees double digit growth in 2014; "After registering a healthy 47.7% growth of its total cargo throughput in 2013, Tanjung Langsat Port (TLP) in Johor is poised to see double digit growth in 2014.... “2013 was a milestone year for us; the 11.60 million metric tonnes in total throughput achieved last year elevated the port to the country’s largest “private jetty” operator,” said Johari Shukri Jamil, TLP Chief Executive Officer.... The two additional berths, which bring total liquid berths at TLP to seven, will provide an edge to current investors such as Dialog, MISC and PUMA that jointly operate Langsat Terminal One (LGT1) and Langsat Terminal Two (LGT2)..... TLP has a combined capacity of about 770,000 cubic meters for oil storage of which 100,000 cubic meters come from the port operator’s tank terminal.  LGT1 provides 476,000 cubic meters storage facilities for petroleum and naphtha while LGT 2 facilitates 171,000 cubic meters for gasoline. The remaining 20,800 cubic meters of edible oil is from Langsat Bulkers Sdn Bhd (LBSB), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Felda Johor Bulkers Sdn Bhd. TLP continues to receive strong interests from independent oil storage operators and oil traders to set up their operations in the port.....the new port users of Malaysia’s largest “private jetty” will include Turkey’s Evyap Inc, one of the world’s leading soap and personal care products manufacturers; Singapore’s KTL Offshore Pte Ltd which operates one of the world’s largest rigging facilities; and Musim Mastika, a subsidiary of Musim Mas Group, one of the largest edible oil producers from Indonesia...."

Projects In Iskandar Malaysia Open Up New Opportunities For Indonesian Investors BY BERNAMA  /  News  /  Source  /  Top Stories March 19, 2013 by BERNAMA Subeditor; "To date, Indonesian investors in Iskandar Malaysia included Sinas Mas, which invests in leisure and tourism development in Senai; Musim Mastika in the production of palm oil industrial cluster in Tanjung Langsat; Mulford Plastics in plastic moulding manufacturing in Pasir Gudang; and Delphi Cocoa that manufactures cocoa-based food products in Pasir Gudang....Ismail said the total investments by Indonesian companies in Iskandar Malaysia now stood at less than RM1 billion...."

22 November 2014: Johor nuclear plants & Malay Reserve land questions, Iskandar plan 2014-2025, 25 hospitals for Iskandar, film production hopes, Economist says "early optimism is fading"

DAP rep claims two nuclear plants being planned for Johor;  Updated: Wednesday November 19, 2014 MYT 7:38:35 AM; AN Opposition assemblyman has claimed that two nuclear plants will be built by the Federal Government in Johor within the next eight years... Tan Chen Choon (DAP-Jementah) alleged that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mah Siew Keong had made a statement to that effect. He claimed that Mah had stated that the Federal Government was in the final process of drafting the Control of Atomic Energy to enable the project to get off the ground.
“The nuclear power plant costing RM21.3bil was announced by the Federal Govern-ment in June, 2010, under the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) where seven locations were identified in several states including Kedah, Perak, Terengganu, and two in Johor,” he said when debating the state Budget at the state assembly yesterday.... Earlier, Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin had quashed claims that the size of Malay Reserve Land in the state had shrunk, particularly in areas where developments are taking place in Iskandar Malaysia. He said the claims were untrue as such lands are protected under the Malay Reserve Enactment 1936 and Federal Constitution. He said under such laws if the land owners wanted to cancel its status with an excuse for development, the person must replace it with another plot of land with same value or size. He said based on the current data, Malay Reserve Land had increased from 87,563.6ha in 1957 to 432,157ha in September this year. “This shows that there is an increase in the size of Malay Reserve Land to 279,744ha or 18.2% since our country gained independence 57 years ago. In Johor Baru and Kulaijaya alone, which is under the Iskandar Malaysia area, lands gazetted as Malay Reserve have also increased to 23,517.37ha this year from a mere 1,921.4ha in 1957,” he said.... Mohamed Khaled said under the Enactment, the state government agreed to enforce a ruling to seize any Malay Reserve Land that had changed ownership to non-Malays....

Comprehensive Development Plan for Iskandar Malaysia approved; 2014-11-07 11:28; KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Bernama) -– Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has announced the approval of the 2014-2025 Comprehensive Development Plan for Iskandar Malaysia. Najib, who is also finance minister, said the announcement was made at the 16th Iskandar Regional Development Authority Advisory Council Meeting today. "Since January 2014, it is encouraging to note that Iskandar Malaysia has successfully attracted new investments worth RM24.97 billion. "In committed investments alone, Iskandar Malaysia has secured RM156.51 billion since 2006, of which 51 per cent or RM79.17 billion has been realised to date," he said in his latest Facebook entry tonight....

Iskandar Malaysia to have at least 25 hospitals Updated: Sunday November 16, 2014 MYT 10:03:15 AM; NUSAJAYA: More foreigners, especially from Singapore, are expected to come to Iskandar Malaysia to seek medical treatment with the setting-up of at least 25 hospitals, including private specialists centres by 2016. One of the health industry members involved – IHH Healthcare Bhd – has invested over RM400mil for the first phase of its Gleneagles Medini Hospital here.  Its CEO and managing director Dr Tan See Leng said that the 300-bed hospital, which is set to open its doors to the public by June next year, would have an initial capacity of 148 beds “With the setting up of the hospital right at the heart of the Iskandar region here, we hope to attract foreigners, especially Singaporeans to seek medical treatment at our hospital. “The rates will be relatively cheaper for Singaporeans to get medical treatment in Johor Baru compared to what they will be paying in the republic,” he said...

Pinewood Iskandar eyes foreign investments in film production by kathleen ann kili at the johor state assembly in nusajaya; Updated: Monday November 17, 2014 MYT 8:53:52 AM; THE creative industry in the state is expected to boom with Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS) targeting to attract RM1.9bil in foreign production investments and create some 11,300 freelance jobs until 2020. “Investors can look into areas such as pre-production, production, post-production, distribution and marketing, logistics, food, equipment rental, construction materials, hospitality and other services,” said Tourism, Trade and Consumerism Committee chairman Datuk Tee Siew Kiong. In efforts to further enhance the industry, Tee said a state-level organisation – Filem Johor – had been set up to promote the state as an international film destination. “Filem Johor is dedicated to managing and facilitating enquiries and preparations needed to speed up film production processes. “Besides that, we also have MaGIC-X, which is a ‘gamification’ centre to support individuals or SMEs to market their commercial products,” he added....

Johor to redevelop idle, underutilised govt land, buildings by Bernama; Posted on 4 November 2014 - 05:36am; JOHOR BARU: The Johor state government plans to rejuvenate and redevelop idle and underutilised government land and buildings through public-private partnership (PPP) model as part of the Johor Baru transformation programme. Mohamed Khaled, who is also co-chairman of Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), said there was also an increasing need for social-focused PPPs in the areas of affordable housing, education, healthcare, youth development and other public facilities.... The PPP projects that are currently in the pipeline for Iskandar Malaysia include the much-needed Bus Rapid Transit project which would help boost the public transportation system within Iskandar Malaysia," he said. The PPP conference 2014, which is jointly organised by IRDA and Johor Economic Planning Unit, attracted over 300 participants from both the public and private sectors...

Malaysia and Singapore: Milking it - Old enmities plague a crucial partnership; Oct 25th 2014  | JOHOR BAHRU; The Iskandar plan started brightly, with some $40 billion of private money, according to local bigwigs. Legoland Malaysia, which opened in 2012, anchors a busy entertainment district; an outpost of Marlborough College, a posh British school, has helped launch a much-vaunted educational cluster. Though retaining the some of the air of a frontier town, Johor Bahru is scrubbing up.... Yet early optimism is fading. Housebuilding appears to have raced ahead of job creation, and a housing glut looms. Not all Johoreans are happy with the suspension of corporate-ownership rules that elsewhere favour the ethnic-Malay majority. A battering in last year’s general election has made it harder for the Barisan Nasional, Malaysia’s ruling coalition, to ignore their concerns. Singapore hints that foot-dragging is slowing down plans for a cross-strait rail link...

22 October 2014: Who benefits?

About two weeks ago, I spoke to a friend who keeps an eye on some Iskandar property prices - notably the high-end (high rise integrated developments) Puteri Harbour area. In recent years, prices went from some RM700 psf to RM1400-1600 psf. However, a recent launch offered some investors early access to larger units at some RM900+ psf. Prices making a big up and down?


After 8 years, who does Iskandar Malaysia really benefit? BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 21 October 2014; "It was a mega-corridor meant to rejuvenate the state capital, Johor Baru, but eight years after it was launched, Iskandar Malaysia has come up short on its promise to give ordinary residents in southern Johor better jobs and better lives. This was the sentiment gleaned from a straw poll by The Malaysian Insider among two groups of people, ordinary residents and business owners in four locations in southern Johor –  Masai, Bandar Baru Uda, Bukit Indah and Kampung Melayu Majidi.... More than half of the 18 interviewees said that their lives had not changed for the better, even as Iskandar Malaysia seeks to transform southern Johor's physical and economic landscape.
About two-thirds of the businesses surveyed said that they had not felt any spillover effects, in terms of money-making opportunities or profits.... This is after the initiative has brought in RM156.35 billion in investments since 2006 according to an October 18 report by state news agency Bernama. Yet, many respondents remain optimistic about Iskandar Malaysia, with a majority in both groups saying the initiative was, on the whole, good for southern Johor.... But this optimism was heavily tempered with intense frustration at the rise in the cost of living and the price of houses. There is also a growing sense among residents that the rich and connected would get the lion’s share of benefits from Iskandar Malaysia while everyone else would get the table scraps......"

Iskandar Malaysia to receive another ‘big’ investment Published: 18 October 2014; "Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said Iskandar Malaysia is expected to receive another 'big' investment, which will continue to strengthen the region's image as an attractive investment destination in the country. Mohamed Khaled however declined to comment further on the investment. "We have to wait for the announcement of the big investment as it is the federal government's project. I expect the announcement will be made soon," he told reporters today..... He said with the inflows of local and foreign investment, Iskandar Malaysia is expected to create 1.5 million high-income jobs in 2025...."

Iskandar secured RM10b investments in third quarter, October 16, 2014; JOHOR BAHARU — Iskandar Malaysia has secured investments worth RM10 billion in the third quarter of this year, bringing the total cumulative committed investments since its inception in 2006 until Sept 30 this year to RM156.35 billion. Of the total cumulative committed investments, RM77.17 billion or 49 per cent represents investments that have been realised.... IRDA chief executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim said the creative sector continued to grow in the third quarter with an investment from Astro Production Sdn Bhd (APSB) through Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (PIMS)..."

Slowdown looming for Iskandar Malaysia by The Sun Daily  - ‎Oct 6, 2014‎; PETALING JAYA: "The property prices in Iskandar Malaysia (IM) are expected to stay weak and flat over the medium term as there will be more incoming supply ahead, whereas the Klang Valley's property market appears to be more sustainable, according to ...Malaysian developers are scaling back and slowing down on their new launches in IM hotspots like Danga Bay and Nusajaya-Medini, and shifting their focus to landed and industrial properties due to rising competition in the high-rise integrated property segment.
"We remain cautious about the increasingly crowded development space in IM. Oversupply of apartments/retail spaces in hotspots such as the Nusajaya-Medini and Danga Bay areas may cause a decline in property values over the medium term....The focus is now more on whether the demand for high-rise apartments and retail space can keep pace with the incoming supply (serviced apartments, hotels, offices and retail spaces) from aggressive launches by the Chinese developers over the past year (citing Maybank Kim Eng Research analyst Wong Wei Sum in a report last Friday)..."

25 September 2014: UEM Sunrise seeks to diversify earnings base from Iskandar, notes Selangor foreign purchase clampdown

UEM Sunrise to rely less on projects in Iskandar Malaysia Posted on 25 September 2014 - 05:38am  by Eva Yeong; "KUALA LUMPUR: UEM Sunrise Bhd plans to restrategise in terms of product offering and location, in order to reduce dependency on its projects in Iskandar Malaysia and spread out risks, said its managing director and CEO Anwar Syahrin Abdul Ajib. "Our strategy is to diversify a bit. One of the concerns that people have about UEM Sunrise is the high dependency on our developments in Iskandar Malaysia. If you look at our landbank, perhaps just a bit more than 60% is actually in Iskandar," he told reporters at a briefing yesterday. "If there is an opportunity for us to diversify away, we can do some form of land swap or monetise some of this land that we have in Iskandar for an acquisition of land somewhere else in Malaysia or abroad, why not? It's something that we are willing to consider," Anwar said, adding that it is looking for opportunities in land banking both locally and abroad.... Meanwhile, the group is maintaining its RM2 billion sales target, despite having only achieved about RM560 million in sales as of end of August.... Izzaddin said 60% of this year's sales will come from projects in Nusajaya, 25% from Australia and the balance from projects in the Klang Valley.... On a separate issue, Anwar said the new minimum prices for foreign purchases in Selangor has created uncertainty within the market but the group is able to mitigate the risk as it has projects in other states as well as abroad. The Selangor state government, which has divided the state into several zones, has increased the minimum price for foreign purchases to RM2 million for certain zones, effective Sept 1...."

22 September 2014: Forest City - company claims support while villagers vent their anger

Johor villagers vent anger at mega reclamation project BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 21 September 2014 - See more at:; "Irate villagers of Tanjung Kupang in Johor vented their anger at the developers of the biggest land reclamation project in the state, arguing during a public dialogue today that it will lead to the loss of their land and livelihood. About 200 residents from about a dozen villages around Tanjung Kupang also accused the developer, Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGP), of bulldozing the project through their area without their knowledge even though it could have a huge impact on their lives... The Forest City project will see four man-made islands being built in the waters in Tanjung Kupang between south-west Johor and north-west of Singapore. It was reported that the islands will have both residential and commercial lots and the project is expected to make a profit of nearly RM290 billion over the next 30 years for CGP. The Gross Development Value (GDV) will come up to RM600 billion... CGP is a 66-34% joint-venture between China’s Country Garden Holdings Ltd and Esplanade Danga 88 Sdn Bhd, whose main shareholder is the Sultan of Johor. Johor state company Kumpulan Prasarana Rakyat Johor (KPRJ) is also a partner in the project..... Explanations from the developer’s consultant that they had polled the opinions of 10% of the village’s population were disputed by the audience and the hall exploded in a hail of boos and shouts of “who did you talk to?” Forest City project director Datuk Zamani Kasim then claimed that there was a focus group meeting with village representatives in June where the community’s leaders had supported the project. But this further angered the audience who shouted back: “Who did you speak to?” and “What meeting?” The company claimed it had surveyed 100 heads of households in the village. The survey showed 69.2% had agreed to the project while 71.3% thought it had more positive than negative impact. CGP also claimed it had a focus group meeting with village heads and elders where they agreed to the project.... Anuar, along with some other residents, were unconvinced by the company’s promises that locals will benefit from more jobs, contracts and business opportunities once property construction began. “These promises had also been given to us by PTP (Port Tanjung Pelepas) when that was being built. Until now, they have not been fulfilled.” KPRJ executive vice-chairman Datuk Md Othman Yusof tried to calm the crowd and win them over with arguments that the people of Johor would benefit from massive project. But residents would have none of it and shouted that they still rejected the project. “You tell us we will benefit, but who are those homes you are building for? Singaporeans and foreigners, not Johoreans,” said a resident of Kampung Pok, who did not give his name. Another member of the audience attempted to get KPRJ to confirm or deny whether CGP had been exempted by the government from having to build affordable houses.... "

commentaries on the above article, snapshot at 11.30pm 22 Sept 2014:
+14 benardquek -95p · 10 hours ago I live here. Next to Lido beach, which is no more. I use to harvest clams and mussels during my free time. During my childhood, I remember having picnics by the seaside with my parents. My late grand father would even fish for food if he wanted to. He could have a rich catch of groupa, swimmer crabs and kembong. There was also a rich habitat for oysters in the old what do you find now? Country Gardens, Danga Bay and similar like places....all I see now are large cranes arched over the horizon, stacking up pillars for the nouveau rich who are to come, with the promise of high net worth and big spending. Johor Bahru is no more. It is destroyed for the sake of industrialisation. Time to move on people.

+89 1 day ago Singapore should do some reclamation at the same area too (since the country needs land), then the two countries will be separated by a "longkang" and pedestrians can just walk across a "papan" to reach the other side. No need to pay toll. Save money-lah.

+56 Rightospeak 129p · 1 day ago OMG, the greed of these developers and they are supported by the BN government! No wonder Singapore is protesting, because they are literally narrowing the strait and killing all the sea creatures living there. God and the people will have the final laugh for I foresee bankruptcy here. Just wait! There will a serious glut with no buyers when it's finished.
+64 drngsc 137p · 1 day ago Dear residents, please while you get angry, remember the people who sold you out for their own gains. Search the land office and the registrar of companies to see who are the shareholders of the company and who are the nominees. Remember remember remember. When GE 14 comes, you must know what to do. Did they care about your family, your livelihood? Did they care about you Johoreans? The Johore state government and their powerful associates will sell off all of Johore to foreigners for quick profit. Soon you can only see the tall buildings, your land would all have belonged to some one else. You will be strangers in your own land. Remember.

+90 sputjam 99p · 1 day ago Plenty of land in iskandar but they developer dowan to pay. Got state land,they sold it of to developers instead of building affordable homes for locals.

+76 smokinlala 153p · 1 day ago Now we know why BN lost Gelang Petah! With this rate, PR will have better chance in GE 14

-124 auchinaman 133p · 1 day ago There is a need to change...there is a need to accept PELBAGAIAN (Diversity) to achieve PROGRESS. I believe these villagers are too afraid to change, they are so used to the old comfort of their own. So the more advance party taking over their life sent shivers down their spines. This is also what is happening in Malaysia. When the capable seem to demand more to achieve progress, they felt threatened. Where as these people should change with the wind...let the capable to do the job and you share the benefit as a whole. This is what we call MERITOCRACY and the ONLY WAY for PROGRESS.

Sabah news (update 14a): IGP urges review of Malaysia-Philippines trade ties - includes considering breaking economic and trade ties; Massive hunt for Filipino gunmen who took two Malaysians in latest Sabah kidnapping ' War in Mindanao cost P2.013 trillion ; Pan Borneo Highway To Be Toll-free; Philippines to ‘downgrade’ Sabah claim to fight China by FMT Reporters ; MILF leaders alleged to be Malaysians

20 May 2015: IGP urges review of Malaysia-Philippines trade ties - includes considering breaking economic and trade ties

Citing security breach, IGP urges review of Malaysia-Philippines trade ties By JULIA CHAN Wednesday May 20, 201502:11 PM GMT+8;
KOTA KINABALU, May 20 — Malaysia may need to review its bilateral trade relations with Philippines in order to put more pressure on the Philippine government to curb terrorist activities from its southern rebels, especially cross-border kidnapping. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, in furthering his proposal to ban barter trade between Sabah’s east coast communities and southern Philippine residents, said it was more important to secure the country’s safety than its economic standing. “Their people are threatening the safety of our people. We need to take serious action that will affect the relationship of the people like reviewing our trade relation with the Philippines. This includes considering breaking our economic and trade ties. “Some may disagree with my proposal but I put our safety first,” he said, adding that the country is under continuous threat from these terrorist groups. “Philippines also needs to teach these groups a lesson and send the message that it doesn’t pay to cause problems for us,” he said during a press conference at the state police headquarters here. Local security forces have long faced criticism over numerous reports of armed intrusions on Sabah’s borders over the years. The latest kidnapping occurred in Sandakan last Thursday, when four armed men raided the popular Ocean King Seafood Restaurant and took away a man and a woman. Restaurant manager and co-owner Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, and patron Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39 were abducted during peak dinner hours are now believed to be held on a southern Philippines island while their kidnappers have demanded a “very large” ransom. - See more at:

16 May 2015: Massive hunt for Filipino gunmen who took two Malaysians in latest Sabah kidnapping

Massive hunt for Filipino gunmen who took two Malaysians in latest Sabah kidnapping Published on May 16, 2015 9:15 AM; SANDAKAN (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A massive hunt is underway on both sides of the Malaysia-Philippines sea border for Filipino gunmen who brazenly abducted two Malaysians from a popular seafood restaurant here.
As Sabahans reeled in shock over the latest daring raid on a restaurant on the mainland, 3km from here, Malaysian security forces and their Filipino counterparts combed the islands along their borders for the gunmen who snatched Ocean King Seafood Restaurant manager Thien Nyuk Fun, 50, and Sarawakian engineer Bernard Then Ted Fen, 39, during a raid on the restaurant on Thursday evening.
The kidnappers are believed to be linked to the extremist Abu Sayyaf group based in Jolo.
- See more at:

2 April 2015: War in Mindanao cost P2.013 trillion

War in Mindanao cost P2.013 trillion - From 1970 to 2001 by Philippine News Agency April 2, 2015; Manila — The Mindanao war cost the Philippine government a staggering P2.013 trillion during the 31-year period from 1970 to 2001, an amount nearly equivalent to the P2.606-trillion 2015 national budget. This was disclosed by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) based on the data it gathered from various sources, including the World Bank (WB).
In 2009, the peace process was resumed in the remaining six months of the Arroyo government and was pursued by a new administration under President Aquino in 2010 that resulted in the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro (CAB) between the government and MILF on March 27, 2014. Under the agreement, the MILF would turn over their firearms to a third party, which would be selected by the rebels and the Philippine government. The MILF has agreed to decommission its armed wing, the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF). In return, the government will establish an autonomous Bangsamoro. The Aquino government is now asking Congress for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL), the legal instrument that will operationalize the agreements as contained in the Framework Agreement on the Bangsamoro signed on Oct. 15, 2012 and its annexes....

1 April 2015: Pan Borneo Highway To Be Toll-free

Pan Borneo Highway To Be Toll-free - Najib; BINTULU, March 31 (Bernama) -- The Pan Borneo Highway will be toll-free, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Tuesday. He said the highway was the main artery connecting Sarawak and Sabah and there were no alternative routes between the two states. This was unlike the case in peninsular Malaysia where the North-South Expressway was the main link and there were many alternative routes, he said when launching the first phase of the highway, the Pan Borneo Sarawak, that costs RM13 billion. Najib said toll was imposed on the North-South Expressway in peninsular Malaysia but the people could choose to travel on the toll-free alternative routes. He also said that the subsequent phases of the Pan Borneo Highway would be built also this year, with the next launch expected to take place in September....

 Philippines to ‘downgrade’ Sabah claim to fight China by FMT Reporters  | March 30, 2015
The question that arises is whether it can “downgrade” something that it never had in the first place.
KOTA KINABALU: The Philippines, in a desperate note which literally asks Malaysia to risk its growing ties with China, has offered out of the blue to “downgrade” its “claim” to Sabah if Putrajaya supports its (Manila’s) case against China, on its maritime borders, at the United Nations Arbitral Court.... It’s not entirely clear what this “downgrading” means”. The question that arises is whether it can “downgrade” something that it never had in the first place. Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, in an immediate response, said Putrajaya does not recognise any claim by the Philippines to Sabah. “What claim? We don’t recognise any claim, (so) the note is irrelevant.” He was speaking on the sidelines of the launch of the two-day Asian Regional Forum (ARF) Workshop on Combating Wildlife Trafficking in Tuaran, Sabah... Manila’s offer is contained in a note verbale, a copy of which was obtained by VERA Files according to the Philippine Star, handed to the Malaysian Embassy in Manila last week by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA). The note follows a week after a visit by Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to Manila.... The note refers to the May 6, 2009 joint submission by Malaysia and Vietnam to the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental She’d (CLCS). Malaysia, in the joint submission, claims an extended continental shelf, 350 nautical miles from the baseline, which was clearly projected from Sabah..... The Philippines, which protested the joint submission on Aug 4, 2009 on the grounds that Sabah belongs to it, is now willing to “review” its protest. China protested the submission too and this is likely to stand even if Manila withdrew its objections...... However, Manila’s review would depend on Malaysia’s support for its case against China at the UN. The case is contained in two “requests” i.e. Malaysia to confirm that its extended continental shelf extends from the peninsula; and that it will not claim any continental shelf beyond 12 nautical miles, as provided for under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), from the maritime features in the Spratly Islands it claims....commentary... Datuk Gunda'dal Gurudam ·  Top Commenter: Putrajaya must not entertain such claim, if they do, it's just a recognition to Philippine's claim to Sabah; Maxeemillian Sv ·  Top Commenter: but they did.. send official replies..about the rental !! Why did they do such a foolish act ? Syed Abdul Khaliq ·  Top Commenter: Why do we need to pick a fight with People's Republic of China? What does Philippines has to offer, another poor country? Syed Putra Jamalullil ·  Top Commenter · St. John's Institution, KL: China will guarantee the minorities in Sabah to use any word they want in their religious obligation. Odi Rex ·  Top Commenter: Actually there is no freedom of religion in China.
Terence Lee ·  Top Commenter · St Gabriel's Secondary School:  In the first place Philippines has no right to claim Sabah belong to them. Why play such stupid game? Zosimo Jimeno · Follow ·  Top Commenter · Trainer at Ed2Career: The claim is as likely as the Sultanate of Kedah claiming back Penang. Syed Putra Jamalullil ·  Top Commenter · St. John's Institution, KL: penang is on indefinite lease, which means, if penang default in payment, that claim stands.....

15 March 2015: MILF leaders alleged to be Malaysians, Nograles worries about sacrificing Philippines sovereignty if BBL Law is written for Malaysians, urges subpoena of Murad and Iqbal travel documents

Moro Islamic Liberation Front leaders Murad, Iqbal are Malaysian citizens: Lawmakers may be liable for treason by Ishi Gonzales Sunday, March 15th, 2015 at 1:58 pm; Leaders of Moro Islamic Liberation Front are Malaysian citizens travelling with Malaysian passports. “This is a very serious allegation and must be investigated immediately, even before we continue deliberations on the BBL,” Davao City Representative Karlo Alexei Nograles said on Saturday.... “According to former Secretary Rafael Alunan III, both Chairman Murad and Chairman Iqbal travel with Malaysian passports, and are in fact Malaysians,” Nograles said.... “I raise this concern because if it is true that we are writing the BBL Law for Malaysians then we in Congress will be criminally liable for acts of treason,” the lawmaker explained. “We are all for peace but we should achieve peace in Mindanao without sacrificing our sovereignty as one nation and one people.” ... He urged the House of Representatives Ad Hoc Committee on BBL to call on Bureau of Immigration and subpoena all travel documents of Al Haj Murad Ebrahim and Mohaquer Iqbal to shed light on the issue.

11 February 2015: Lahad Datu intrusion trial, 27 Filipinos and three local residents in the dock

Wife of accused in Lahad Datu intrusion trial may not have left country, court heard Posted on February 11, 2015, Wednesday; KOTA KINABALU: The High Court today heard that the wife of an accused in the Lahad Datu intrusion trial, who was arrested with him about two years ago, may not have left Malaysia.... Acting ASP Mohammad Khairani Khalid, who was attached to the Bukit Aman Special Action Unit (UTK) when he made the arrest on Datu Amir Bahar Hushin Kiram, said he did not know what happened to Gina Teves as she was not implicated in the case despite being arrested with her husband.... The couple was arrested on March 23, 2013 at a bushy and swampy area at Kampung Sri Melor in Semporna.... In the dock are 27 Filipinos and three local residents who are facing one to multiple charges of being members of a terrorist group, waging war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, recruiting members for a terrorist group or wilfully harbouring individuals they knew to be members of a terrorist group....

1 February 2015:  Secession is a right?

Secession a right of any state that joined Malaysia voluntarily, says Sabah politician Published: 1 February 2015 1:08 PM Bingkor assemblyman and Sabah STAR party chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said talks of Sabah and Sarawak's secession should not be deemed seditious if federal leaders do not honour the Malaysia Agreement. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 1, 2015.It is not seditious for Sabah and Sarawak nationalists to call for secession from Malaysia if the agreements that formed the country in 1963 are not honoured, Sabah opposition politician, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said. - See more at:

30 January 2015: Housing affordability worsens with Sabah worst

Comment: We hear that Sabah property was a hot sector with a lot of money coming through from the palm oil sector boom. Although palm oil prices have moderated in recent years, the margin has still been good for most.

Housing affordability worsens with Sabah top of list, Penang, KL Thursday, 29 January 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Housing affordability, which is based on the ratio of average terraced house price to average household income, has worsened over the past five years, according to Rahim & Co, Chartered Surveyors Sdn Bhd.... In its survey of the Malaysian property market 2014/2015, the ratio increased from 3.4 in 2009 to 3.6 in 2012 and 2014.... “This essentially means that an average terraced house would cost an average household or family in Malaysia, 3.6 times its annual gross income.... “The least affordable terraced house in Malaysia in 2014 was recorded for Sabah (6.2 times), Penang state (5.9 times) and Kuala Lumpur (5.6 times). Sarawak was fourth with a ratio of 4.4 times,” the survey showed.... Rahim & Co, which is one of the largest real estate consultancy companies in Malaysia, also said in its outlook that transaction activities in the residential sector after expected to soften with the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in April 2015.
To recap, Rahim & Co said that over the past four year, property prices were fuelled by the nation’s development plans, investment concentration and also the rapid growth in Iskandar Malaysia.
“The cautious market sentiment echoes the state of property market in reaching its plateau and reconciliation period is expected in the near future,” it said......

15 January 2015: A Suluk leader (former asst DO of Kudat, Sabah) of 2013 Lahad Datu crisis dies

Sulu leader of Lahad Datu attack dies Updated: Wednesday January 14, 2015 MYT 11:37:51 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: Raja Muda Azzimudie Kiram (pic), who led the armed Sulu intrusion into Kampung Tanduo in Lahad Datu, Sabah, is dead..... Philippines intelligence sources confirmed that Azzimudie, 74, died of cardiac arrest in Tawi Tawi province in southern Philippines on Tuesday.
Azzimudie or Agbimuddin, the younger brother of the late Jamalul Kiram, who was the self-styled Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram, led a group of armed men to invade Tanduo in February 2013..... He disappeared without a trace after he "fled'' Lahad Datu on March 11 as Malaysian security forces recaptured Kampung Tanduo, Sabah in a massive offensive. A total of 73 intruders were killed (59 bodies have been recovered) in the nearly eight-week armed showdown with Malaysian security forces..... Malaysian police have arrested 184 people and charged 31 with various criminal offences, including waging war against the Agong. Their cases are ongoing in court..... Azzimudie was a former assistant district officer of Kudat, Sabah in the early 1970s....

On the Lahad Datu crisis: ISEAS Perspectives: The Sabah-Sulu Crisis Threatens the Palm Oil Supply-Chain By Khor Yu Leng, /khoryuleng/2013/03/iseas-perspectives-sabah-sulu-crisis.html

7 December 2014: Sabah onshore oil & gas, the oil royalty push, secession talk is sedition

News is out - we had been hearing about talk of this from friends in the oil & gas industry for some time now. Is there big onshore oil & gas in Sabah? Notably in the vicinity of Sahabat?

Sabah signed oil and gas production sharing contracts (PSCs) effective 20 November 2014 for 27 years. Petronas awarded Sabah government's 100%-owned M3energy Bhd a 25% stake in PSCs for Blocks SB331 and SB332 onshore; it partners SapuraKencana Petroleum (70%) as operator and Petronas Carigali (5%). Expected production will come in 2021. The Edge writes that "last year, Sabah's three main soruces of revenue were sales tax on crude palm oil, oil royalty and issuance of bonds, which accounted for over 70% of total revenue.... Oil royalty accounted for 30.5% of total state revenue...(Gumusut-Kakap and Kikeh oilfields which are) deep-water projects.... With 5% oil royalty being guaranteed to oil-producing states, a major stake in PSCs could provide additional and sustainable contributions to Sabah's coffers...the Sabah government's big stake in the PSCs caught many by surprise as previously, state governments only held minor stakes in downstream projects. For instance, the Sabah government has only 10% interest in LNG 9 in Bintulu, Sarawak...(there has been) dissatisfaction over the quantum of oil royalty.. in May, Sarawak passed a resolution to request an increase in oil royalty from the current 5% to 20%, which prompted oil-producing states (Terengganu, Sabah and Kelantan) to follow suit...." The Edge also writes that "the amount of reserves and resources available in the two blocks is not known.. Petronas says, "there have been minimal activities in the blocks, but the presence of oil and gas seeps indicates a probable working petroleum system"

Source: The Edge, 8 December 2014

Sarawak folk slam Najib for Sedition Act use against secession calls BY DESMOND DAVIDSON Published: 27 November 2014; "Sarawak leaders and social media users, such as Borneo Wiki, reacted negatively to Datuk Seri Najib Razak's U-turn on the Sedition Act.... Sarawak leaders and social media users were quick to take to Facebook to condemn Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for reneging on his promise to repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and more importantly, his proposal to amend the act to criminalise calls for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak.... "

22 November 2014: Security concerns linger

Nazri: I was speaking the truth about Sabah security; Updated: Saturday November 22, 2014 MYT 3:21:32 PM; PETALING JAYA: Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has defended his remark that Sabah was still unsafe to visit amid criticism that his statement harmed tourism in the state.... He told The Star Online that he made the remark during a debate in Parliament as he had to tell "the truth" so that he did not give a wrong impression to tourists. "When we are still in this situation, it means it is still not safe to go to Sabah. I cannot say it is safe now just because we have Esscom there," said Nazri. Nazri said the continued extension of curfew in the state’s east coast also gave the impression that Sabah was still under threat. "I had to tell the truth because if I told journalists overseas that Sabah was safe, then they would ask, why are our people still held by the kidnappers? "In fact, among those who were kidnapped are policemen who are supposed to guard our security. So, how do I answer that?" asked Nazri..... On the statement by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar that Sabah was safe to visit, Nazri said it contradicted the announcement of another two-week extension of curfew made by the Sabah Police Commissioner Datuk Jalaluddin Abd Rahman.  The minister had on Monday in Parliament said that he would not guarantee the safety of tourists in the state as long as the two kidnapping cases remained unsolved.... "If the Sabah Tourism Minister, the IGP and also the Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (Matta) feel my statement is wrong, I hope they can help me by going to China and declaring that Sabah is a safe place to visit.... "Don't just blame me...just go to China and meet their media and say that Sabah is safe. I would be really grateful if they could do that for me," he added.

16 October 2014: Sabah projects for Sabahans?

Sabah projects should go to Sabah firms, Dewan told, Thursday, October 16, 2014; "KUALA LUMPUR: Development projects in Sabah should be given to locals there instead of wealthy companies from the peninsula, a Sabah Barisan Nasional MP said in Parliament. Kalabakan MP Datuk Seri Abdul Ghapur Salleh said the Pan Borneo Highway was one infrastructure project that should be awarded to Sabahans to benefit the state economy. "There's this letter being circulated that said the project was awarded to Syed Mohktar's company. "I would like the Prime Minister to look into this and if this is true, action should be taken," said Ghapur, referring to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary.... Ghapur said after 51 years of being Malaysia, Sabahans still feel "left out" of development compared with other parts of the country. "There are still many who live in the rural areas, like in Kinabatangan, who have to dig a hole for their toilet," said Abdul Ghapur in his speech on Budget 2015, Wednesday. .... Ghapur said it was no surprise that a so-called secessionist movement was taking root in Sabah given the lopsided policies accorded to a state that helped BN retain power in the previous two general elections.... "Our people remain poor. Our oil royalty remains low and when there is development, like the upgrade of the pan-Borneo highway, it is given to Syed Mokhtar," he said... It was reported that UEM Group Bhd will be partnering MMC Corp Bhd, an engineering and construction group owned by tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, for the project...."

Abu Sayyaf suspected of shooting fishing boat by stephanie lee; Thursday October 16, 2014 MYT 7:01:48 AM; KOTA KINABALU: Gunmen linked to the Abu Sayyaf might be behind the shooting of a Sabah-registered fishing vessel in the border waters between northern Kudat and the Philippines.
Two of the vessel’s 10 Vietnamese crew sustained gunshot wounds as they evaded the gunmen and fled towards Sabah in the 9am incident on Tuesday, some 22 nautical miles east of Pulau Banggi.

23 September 2014:

Red alert over Abu Sayyaf-IS links Updated: Monday September 22, 2014 MYT 10:02:49 AM
Loyalty pledge: A video grab of Hapilon taken from YouTube by the Philippine National Police and the US Rewards for Justice Program. KUALA LUMPUR: A red alert has been raised in Sabah following an open declaration of support for the Islamic State (IS) movement by Isnilon Hapilon – one of the most wanted terrorists with up to RM16mil bounty on his head. The 48-year-old Abu Sayyaf leader, along with masked men, posted a video of themselves on YouTube in July but intelligence sources said it gained momentum on social media last month. Sources said pro-IS and jihadist websites in Bahasa Malaysia were being watched following this new development.
In the video, which appeared to be shot in the jungles of southern Philippines, the IS movement’s symbolic black flag is depicted in the opening scene.  In the six-minute clip, Hapilon is seen wearing a black gown, linking his arms with his men, some of whom wore masks. Speaking mostly in Arabic and in his native dialect of Yakan, they swore allegiance to IS and its head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in the form of baiah or oath of loyalty...."

No need for referendum in Sabah, Sarawak; Bernama | Updated: September 23, 2014; (First published on: September 23, 2014 09:13 MYT) KOTA KINABALU: There is no need for a referendum to determine the number of people in Sabah and Sarawak who want out of the Malaysian Federation, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Nancy Shukri. She said the people of Malaysia, including those in East Malaysia, had worked as a team to develop the country and it was unfair to neglect those who helped Sabah and Sarawak achieve "what they have today". "I don't think there is a need for that yet...there is no need for a referendum because there are more people talking about being in Malaysia, rather than out of Malaysia.... Nancy was asked on whether there was a need for a referendum in Sabah and Sarawak, as was done by the United Kingdom Government in Scotland.... The Batang Sadong MP stressed that the people of Sabah and Sarawak enjoyed development under the Federation of Malaysia, including education, security and infrastructure, and were accorded some of the special rights. Meanwhile, she reiterated that the Sedition Act 1948 was essential in safeguarding security, harmony and unity in the country...."

17 September 2014:

Sarawak and Sabah will not leave Malaysia, says PM by stephen then;  Updated: Wednesday September 17, 2014 MYT 6:50:19 AM; MIRI: There is no turning back. Sarawak and Sabah will never break away from Malaysia because the country has gone too far together and the only way to march forward is together, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Speaking before 40,000 people at the Miri City Fan Recreation Park when launching the grand celebration for the 51st anniversary of Malaysia Day here last night, he said Sarawak, Sabah and the peninsula had become one big family over the past 51 years.

16 September 2014:

Painful to be part of M'sia, say Borneo leaders, 5:00PM Sep 16, 2014; "The Federation of Malaysia is meaningless if Sabah continues to be "occupied" by "Malayan" government officers and federal agencies, said Borneo Heritage Foundation chairperson (BHF) Jeffrey Kitingan..."

11 September 2014: Sabah Secession talk worries and the Scotland effect

Interesting that old news on Sabah from July is now being highlighted in the national dailies in Malaysia. The Felda Sahabat incursion was first reported a case of low politics i.e. land promised and not given. But increasingly it was reported otherwise, and secession talk crops up again.

I had a chat yesterday evening with a senior historian for the Malay archipelago (the meet up was triggered in part by my updating on the Johor Iskandar-Singapore project and its historical resonance). As we meandered through different topics, he highlighted to me his interest in the Scottish secession referendum, and how this might trigger Catalonia (Barcelona) which is a rich region in Spain to do similar (wiki:; and we also noted that the Crimea is making some noises on the same (news link: Why is there seemingly a wave of secession talk and how will these notions affect us in this part of the world - Southeast Asia?

Handily enough in my email box from a few days ago was a report from a bank on the political betting odds of the Scottish Referendum (which points to a "yes" to remain; which differs from opinion polls results) and how it would affect England.  Do read the article excerpts (see below!), which also discusses recent accuracy of opinion polls versus betting odds in politics and points out how reliant Labour is on its Scottish MP base. Looking at 18 September Scottish Referendum betting odds sites suggested,
 accessed 8.35am KL/Singapore time

News headlines:

Three held for joining bid to claim Sabah for Sulu sultanate, Published: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 12:00:00 AM, Updated: Thursday September 11, 2014 MYT 7:43:20 AM;; "KUALA LUMPUR: Police have detained three people, including a Filipino, for their alleged involvement in the so-called Royal Sulu Army... Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police arrested the three – Abu Bakar Jayari, Zainuddin Mislani and Kassim Ibrahim – on July 22 under the Prevention of Crime Act for allegedly joining the group with the aim of removing Sabah from the Federation of Malaysia... “The three are believed to have been recruiting new members to join their cause... “It is supposed to be a starting phase in their bid to claim Sabah for the self-proclaimed Sulu Sultan,” he said in a statement yesterday... Khalid said the three men were detained under Section 19A of the Act which provides for detention for not more than a two-year period...."

Anger over Barisan’s incompetence fuelling secession talk, say PKR MP, 4 September 2014;

Bank of Singapore: Follow the Money in Scotland Vote, 9 September 2014  
Economics has plenty of obscure areas of research and sometimes they are relevant to financial markets. One field looks at the predictive power of opinion polls compared to the odds in betting markets. The strong conclusion is that we should “follow the money” as betting markets have a much better track record... This is important now that the opinion polls are suggesting the Scottish referendum on independence will be a close vote. Here ( is a link to a BBC website that tracks how opinion polls have developed. Sterling has fallen sharply after one poll showed a majority in favour of “Yes” in the vote for independence that will take place on 18 September, and others showed a tight contest... In contrast, betting markets (such as Betfair or Ladbrokes) continue to show a strong prediction of a “No” vote. Admittedly the odds have narrowed – until recently the betting market gave the Yes vote about a 25% chance, while now it is up to 34%. That is still a huge distance from the neck-and-neck race shown by opinion polls... Betting markets have an established track record of predicting the winners in US politics. Recent examples were when the opinion polls were showing a close race between Bush and Kerry in 2004 or between Obama and Romney in 2012, while the betting markets were leaning strongly in favour of the eventual winner... The idea seems to be that numerous informed and interested participants express their views through a betting market. It is not one-man, one-vote – the biggest wagers will have the most interest in the outcome. In contrast opinion polls are a relatively narrow cross section of potential voters, where the presentation of the question can also affect the result... There is a high degree of uncertainty about the consequences of a Yes vote. Much would depend on negotiations in the 18 months before independence in March 2016, with national defence, the allocation of government debt and assets, location of financial institutions, the choice of national currency and membership of the EU all to be settled... The direct impact on the remainder of the UK does not appear too large, as Scotland represents less than 10% of the economy. However, there is potentially a large political impact, as Scotland predominantly sends Labour politicians to the UK parliament in Westminster. Currently there are 41 Labour MPs from Scotland (out of a total of 257) and just one Conservative, so it would become harder for Labour to win an election.... It is not clear how a pro-independence vote would affect the next UK general election due by May 2015, as the Scottish seats might not be contested or they could only serve until the split in the Union... From a financial market point of view it would increase the chance of a Conservative government bringing a referendum on continued membership of the EU in 2017. Moreover, without the influence of (relatively pro-EU) Scotland it would make an exit more likely. Whether or not this is negative for GBP is debateable, as it would probably lead to a more free market orientation to the UK, less constrained by the social democracy of the EU. However, markets seem to be viewing such an outcome negatively. If the betting markets are right then these are complications that will not trouble us after the vote on 18 September..."

4 August 2014: Sabah-Sulu problems fester on while China expresses interest

Sabah issues continue after the Sabah-Sulu crisis of early 2013, which we wrote about here in March 2013: Initially, the incursion on Felda Global Ventures leased plantations at Sahabat was reported as a land dispute gone out of hand. Thus, a problem of low level politics and the grand Suluk territorial claims took advantage of the situation? Since then, there have been several kidnappings, including of China nationals which has significantly disrupted the tourist business. Over the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations at a friend's home, I had occasion to speak to retired military man who had worked on major operations in Sabah. Unfortunately, he did not have a positive solution to mind, as he said that the military may occupy and clear out an area for 3 days, but 3 days later the people who had dispersed would just return through the very porous sea border.

What's also new is China's apparent stepped up interest in Sabah - a plan to establish a consulate in Kota Kinabalu and suggestion to link Sabah with Shandong Province for cross-investments.

News items:

Curfew along Sabah's east coast extended for another two weeks, Updated: Monday August 4, 2014 MYT 7:30:21 AM; "KOTA KINABALU: The dusk-to-dawn sea curfew along Sabah’s east coast will be extended for another two weeks in a bid to clamp down on cross-border kidnappings. Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) commander Datuk Abdul Rashid Harun said the extension started yesterday until further notice from the Home Ministry. Legally, however, the curfew can only last up to two weeks. Rashid said in the fortnight that the curfew was imposed from July 19, 40 fishermen in Sandakan and Tawau had been given special permission to work during the curfew hours...... The curfew was imposed in the wake of an attack on two policemen at the Mabul Water Bungalows in Semporna on July 12. Kpl Ab Rajah Jamuan, 32, was killed while his colleague Kons Zakiah Aleip, 26, is still being held hostage by Filipino gunmen in southern Philippines. Another hostage, Chan Sai Chuan, 32, who was kidnapped from a fish farm in Kunak, Tawau, on June 16, is also being held captive.... The curfew covers an area of three nautical miles from the shore until the international border with the Philippines. The area stretches for about 362 nautical miles from Tanjung Pundaras in Sandakan to part of Pulau Sebatik near Tawau. The six districts involved are Sandakan, Kinabatangan, Lahad Datu, Semporna, Kunak and Tawau..."

A Sabah-Shandong G2G mooted? Expand China-Sabah collaboration – envoy, The Borneo Post  - Posted on July 25, 2014, Friday;; "The Malaysian and Chinese Governments should create a platform to promote exchanges and understanding between East Malaysia and China, said Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Kuching Liu Quan. Liu said there was still a lack of exchanges between East Malaysia and China, which caused a lack of understanding on both sides.... Liu said he had visited Sabah Economic Development and Investment Authority (SEDIA) in this trip, in which he learned about the enormous potential in Sabah, particularly in the oil palm, aquaculture, oil and gas industries as well as biodiversity. e said Sabah and China could potentially collaborate in these sectors... Even though there were incentives in place for investors, and that policies in Sabah were relatively open, there was still a lack of exchanges and understanding between Sabah and China, he said. Hence, Liu said the Sabah State Government could kick start a collaboration with a province in China. For instance, the Sabah Chief Minister could lead local investors to visit Shandong Province with the aim to establish good relations and vice versa.... Liu hoped to see the setting up of a Chinese consulate in Kota Kinabalu as soon as possible, which would provide assistance to Sabahan businessmen who wished to invest in China. Although the Chinese consulate in East Malaysia is located in Kuching, Liu said the consulate served Sarawak, Sabah and Labuan...."
Shandong Province: and its largest city Qingdao:

While MH370 issues seem to be stabilizing, China-Sabah tourism is seeing impacts from problems that started arising about the same time as the air disaster.
Sabah kidnaps have had more impact than MH370 on Chinese tourist numbers, says minister; BY EILEEN NG Published: 17 June 2014 | Updated: 17 June 2014 2:32 PM - See more at:; "Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said as of April this year, China cancelled 76 flights to the state capital city, Kota Kinabalu.... National carrier Malaysia Airlines saw 10 scheduled flights from Shanghai cancelled, while China Southern Airlines cancelled 22 flights from Shenzhen. Chinese low-cost carrier Spring Airlines cancelled 44 flights from Shanghai to Sabah.... "Yes, what happened in Sabah has had a worse impact than the MH370 incident," he told Azmin Ali (PKR-Gombak)...."