Pahang bauxite crisis and Felda settlers (update 3a): Chat with a local observer on bauxite riches hope of the 10 acre smallholder, topsoil could be kept for restoration to planting

Editor's note: Escalation of the bauxite mining problem in Pahang with January's 3 month stop-work and MACC investigation. Speaking with a Pahang politician, I hear that there had been less opposition (compared to the Lynas rare earth processing plant) as more locals have financial benefit from the bauxite mining and its supply-chain.

3 February 2016: Chat with a local observer on bauxite riches hope of the 10 acre smallholder

Update from a reader, 3 Feb afternoon: It should be possible for the smallholders with the help of a competent lawyer to insist when they sell the bauxite in their land, that the topsoil be carefully stored to one side of the site and leveled back over the site when mining is complete. There is no reason why oil palms should not grow as well as before under such conditions. This is a regular requirement in Australian mining contracts.

Editor's note: I was recently on the line with a Kuantan-based businessman - a keen local observer. Some background information on the economic calculus for smallholders and mining as follows,

a) For oil palm 10 acre lot (e.g. Felda smallholder), the outlook is that the (illegal?) miner clears the land in 3 months and pays RM 7-10 per tonne, and then it also depends on yield. The smallholder hopes to earn RM1-1.5 million. However the more likely payout may be RM700k-RM1.5 million. A 10 acre plot has about 200,000 tonnes of material. Palm oil experts say that it is not possible to replant oil palm on this land any more.

b) The 3-month moratorium was a bad hit, as this makes some of these deals null and void. Politicians have been greatly concerned about the interest of these smallholders.

c) Locals point out that the China buyers came to Malaysia because Indonesia stopped exporting. These buyers are paying US$29-30 per tonne, and if you clean up the clay a bit you can get US$60/tonne.

d) If you drive your car from the mining area to the Kuantan Port, the entire road is red-desert dusty. During the monsoon season, when this is combined with dust, your car is "repainted" red.

Picture screenshot source:

Others in the palm oil sector have written: Felda settlers are cutting down their palm trees to allow bauxite to be mined on their land. This is very short term once off gain. Once the top soil is removed it will take 10-20 years before oil palm can be planted again so there is no income from the palm fruits until then. Simple maths for 4 hectares of palm oil planted. Once off bauxite payment is RM300,000 (if it is really paid). Loss of continuous income for years at RM50,000 per year. In addition to the social economic issues there are also serious environmental issues.

11 January 2016: News links

Front page of The Star, 11 January 2016

Miners threaten violence BY QISHIN TARIQ 11 January 2016; ... Offers of money, con men and threats of violence have become the bane of families living in the Felda settlement in Bukit Goh here ever since the area was identified as a huge deposit of the “red gold” – bauxite. Settler Mohd Hamdi Shuib, 49, said his father went into depression after being conned by contractors who wanted to mine the family’s 10ha lot. He said the contractors offered RM200,000 but after paying RM40,000 and clearing off the family’s palm trees, they did not mine the land or pay the balance. “Ayah pening (My father doesn’t know what to do),” he said. Without palm trees to harvest and no payment from the miners, the money quickly ran out, as settlers are required to pay Felda RM47,000 in replanting fees if they cut down their trees. “Luckily, it was a contract kedai kopi which allowed us to exit the deal,” said Mohd Hamdi, adding that many other settlers were not as lucky. He said the contractors threatened his family when he approached other contractors to do the mining. “But nothing untoward happened.”....

Solace in moratorium BY AFIQ ISA  11 January 2016; ... The moratorium concerns three key stages. The first is to clear all stockpiles at the Kuantan Port. The second is to remove stockpiles outside of port areas, which are said to have contributed to the pollution of the sea. The last stage is the construction of a central area to house washing and storage facilities for the bauxite deposits to be stored. Abd Wahid added that a lack of infrastructure to handle ore and bauxite deposits had exacerbated the problems in Kuantan, where large stockpiles are kept in open fields, while part of the deposits may seep into the sea. The moratorium will no doubt be a short-term pinch for operators who currently trade or mine bauxite in the state.

Kuantan folk avoiding raw water and fishing  11 January 2016

Buyers fear harm from fish BY FOONG PEK YEEandADRIAN CHAN 11 January 2016; Consumers buying fish here are being extra careful – they fear the controversial bauxite mining in Kuantan, about 195km away may have caused environmental pollution and eating the fish may prove harmful. At the Bentong market here, a fishmonger identified only as Wong said there were those who were scared to eat fish from Kuantan for health reasons. “Falling sick is very costly these days,” she said, referring to the high cost of medical treatment, when met at the Bentong market here. She said she and her husband had been fishmongers for some 20 years and they sourced their fish from the Selayang wholesale market in Selangor. She said there were several factors affecting the price of fish, and she reckoned that the bauxite scare might have resulted in a slight rise in prices recently...

Potential bauxite ban may dent China stockpiles 5 January 2016; A potential suspension on bauxite mining in Malaysia, the world’s top exporter of the aluminium-making ingredient, could dent stockpiles in China but is unlikely to curb breakneck output in the aluminium sector there, industry and analysts said yesterday.... World prices for aluminium, used in everything from planes and trains to packaging, sank to their lowest in more than six years last November as China grapples with oversupply fuelled by its slowing economy. That forced China’s loss-making industry to band together to pledge production cuts, with markets looking out for any other signs output could ease.... “A suspension in Malaysian bauxite mining will impact stockpiles, but it won't impact China's metal production,” said Paul Adkins, managing director of consultancy AZ China. He added that a three-month ban could shave about six million tonnes off China’s current bauxite stockpiles of around 25-30 million tonnes. Malaysia accounted for over 40% of China’s 49 million tonnes of bauxite imports across January to November last year.... The country’s largely unregulated bauxite mining industry has grown rapidly since Indonesia banned exports of the material in early 2014, forcing China to seek supplies elsewhere...

The bauxite boom or bane BY AFIQ ISAandINTAN FARHANA ZAINUL 19 December 2015

MB wrong, bauxite mining killing our businesses, say locals BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA 8 January 2016  - See more at:

10 January 2016 - News links

NGO prepared to help curb abuse by bauxite miners by Bernama | Published on January 10, 2016; It is learnt, 248 of the 762 Bukit Goh settlers had allowed bauxite mining on their land involving an area of 1,005.6 hectares since 2013 to date.   Wahid was also fo the view that the three-month moratorium starting from Jan 15 as sufficient and it was not necessary to extend it as the mining activities are a source of income for the settlers involved. "We abide by the decision for a three-month halt to give time to the government to improve all earlier weaknesses," he said.

Settler has no regrets turning down RM1mil bauxite offer  10 January 2016; KUANTAN: A resident of Kampung Felda Bukit Goh is determined not to lease her land for bauxite mining despite getting an offer of RM1mil as payment.   Salwani Tajuddin, 37, said even though many of the villagers had become “instant millionaires” after leasing their land, their lives seemed to be listless...Salwani said early last year, she was approached by a man who offered her a deposit of RM500,000 to mine bauxite in her four-hectare oil palm plantation, which she rejected.   She said the man, however, came back a few days later to offer a higher amount of RM1mil.   "After I turn down the RM1mil offer, the man was furious and said I was 'stupid' for rejecting that much money.   "But for me, those who lease their land to bauxite operators are the real losers as the money can only last for a while, and their land will not return to its previous condition," she said. As a settler for the last 18 years, Salwani said she did not want her land to be affected by bauxite mining activities. She was also approached by the same man a few months later requesting that her land be used as a “stockpile” area for lorries and bauxite ore with a payment of RM5,000 monthy but she turned it down.... Her father Tajuddin Harun, 68, who runs a food stall at the village said bauxite operators did not fulfil their promise to provide a monthly compensation of RM1,000 for every trader and RM500 for every house.   Tajuddin said he only received a compensation of RM1,000 in November.  "Instead, business is affected as not many customers are patronising our stalls due to the dust from the lorries carrying bauxite. And I am forced to fork out RM6,000 to instal this canvas (to cover the stall)," he added. - Bernama

MACC nabs three more over illegal bauxite mining 10 January 2016

Three more arrested for allegedly protecting illegal bauxite miners  by danial albakri 9 January 2016; “All the individuals, aged between 44 and 59 years of age, are members of the public.  “They are believed to have acted as middlemen in the illegal sale of mineral ore transportation documents or Form 13D to unlicensed miners.    “They have been remanded for seven days starting today in order to aid in the investigation following Section 17(a) of the MACC Act 2009,” it said. The MACC said it was still conducting investigations to locate those who were involved in bribery that allowed illegal mining activity that accumulated an estimated total of RM187mil in lost royalty last year.

Transport Ministry wants bauxite-hauling lorries to slow down  by adrian chan 9 January 2016; "They are a danger to residents and are polluting the environment," he said, referring to the clouds of bauxite dust that lorries kick up. Liow said the proposal was being studied at present, believing that the limit could be lowered.  He added that if drivers continue to flaunt the rules, the Ministry would be forced to impose a "black box" ruling on all lorries transporting bauxite to automatically limit its speed. The Ministry, according to Liow, was also planning to restrict the number of routes allowed for transporting bauxite. "We also want to ensure lorries are cleaned and covered up before driving on main roads," he said.

Perlis mufti: Pollution from bauxite mining more dangerous than vape  8 January 2016

Pahang princess glad but questions duration of bauxite mining ban   8 January 2016

Earlier news

Putrajaya not learning from past mistakes, says Rafidah over bauxite controversy Published: 7 January 2016 - See more at:

Fishermen claim their livelihood affected by bauxite contamination by Bernama | Published on January 03, 2016; "For years we have endured hardship as a result of bauxite mining activities, our income is affected due to poor 'harvest' how long will this persist?  "In the past, we can easily catch 50kg mackerels, but now it is so hard to even get 10kg," he told Bernama here, Saturday.  Che Daud said the situation became serious during the recent monsoon season where the water in the coastal areas including the Balok beach had been contaminated with minerals.  Another fisherman Mustaffa Ibrahim, 52, claimed that the red bauxite-contaminated water not only affected the Balok river and Batu Hitam beach but also the ship route carrying the mineral from the Kuantan Port....

Stopping the red tide  31 December 2015; BAUXITE mining in Pahang and Terengganu which generates millions in revenue, yet appears to be running riot now, will need regulatory tightening to protect the health, quality of life and environmental future of affected communities. And, reining in illegal miners is central to the exercise. There has been a tremendous surge in unregulated bauxite mining activities in the two states, largely to satisfy the hungry Chinese market following Indonesia’s ban on the export of bauxite ore, used for aluminium production. Notwithstanding the economic benefits, the feeling is that the unregulated multimillion ringgit industry is doing more harm than good, as people in Pahang have begun to observe even seawater turning red.... The latest incident took place yesterday, when the normally clear water between Sungai Pengorak and Pantai Batu Hitam in Pahang turned murky red, after heavy rain from Sunday until Tuesday. Some residents living along the beach believe that the phenomenon was caused by extensive bauxite mining activities which had blown clouds of red dust towards the sea. There was no official explanation for the occurrence, but environmentalists have said that local rivers and the shores along Kuantan were frequently stained red from mining run-off. Residents have also complained of a rise in respiratory problems and skin rashes. Prolonged exposure to polluted water and red dust from bauxite mining can increase the risk of developing cancer, say experts. Marine life, too, will suffer... In August, the NST Special Probes Team, through a series of articles, highlighted the issue of environmental deterioration and toxic contamination of water from bauxite residue. Independent laboratory tests had revealed that water samples from the affected areas contained high levels of heavy metals and traces of radioactive, which were hazardous to humans.... Alarmed residents in Pahang wonder if they can trust the authorities to act in their interest. They accuse the authorities of turning a blind eye to what is happening. The illegal miners have allowed greed to overtake their principles. They are reaping a windfall — earning up to RM66 million a month — from the uncontrolled mining of bauxite and it would be hard to stop them, unless the authorities act swiftly and decisively. There are indications that leaders are responding to the alarm raised, and rightly, too. Pahang revoked the licences of 34 mining contractors in July, and Terengganu made the move to freeze all bauxite mining applications in September...

Pahang MB lashes out at bauxite industry players  by ong han seanandqishin tariq 17 December 2015; “I have met, at least four times, with the operators, contractors and transport operators advising them to take into consideration the hardship the people are experiencing due to their irresponsible mode of extracting the ore. “Sadly, this advice has fallen on deaf ears,” he said. The Federal Government also stepped in to help. “InsyaAllah, the state government will come up with a comprehensive plan to manage this issue by the end of the year. “In the final analysis, the social benefit and welfare of the innocent common people must outweigh whatever economic benefits,” said Adnan. The Mentri Besar also expressed his appreciation to the press for reporting on the bauxite mining activities in Pahang. The Star on its front page yesterday reported about experts raising the red flag that the bauxite mining areas in Pahang could cause dangerous mudslides and worsen floods if monsoon rains lash the state.  Even those who support the mining activities are calling for a stop until the rains go away....

Bauxite mining probe hits IPO-bound Spring Energy By F Saad Friday, 16 Oct 2015; Spring Energy Resources Bhd’s bauxite mining – and therefore its initial public offering (IPO) – may hit a snag after the Pahang government’s decision to revoke most bauxite-mining licences. “A large portion of the company’s future income is meant to come from bauxite mining. In any case, the state is looking into all bauxite mining, legal and otherwise, which could interrupt the day-to-day processes of the business and slow income. This means the company must come up with alternatives and approach the Securities Commission to see if it can go ahead with the IPO,” says an investment banker.Bukit Goh near Kuantan, occupied mainly by Felda settlers, was in the spotlight in July after it was found mining in the Felda settlement was not sanctioned.Many settlers say they have been cheated by miners who had promised payment in return for mining on oil-palm plantations. Felda has since ceased all mining in the area.That month, Pahang’s government revoked the mineral-ore licences of 34 contractors, as mining in the state grew rampant. Only 11 operators have been allowed to continue. - See more at:

Sue bauxite miners yourselves, Pahang MB tells Felda settlers Published: 18 July 2015; ...He said the Felda settlers would have to file the suits themselves because the state government was unable to press criminal charges against the bauxite miners who had struck a deal with the settlers. "The (state) government cannot help them. If they have been cheated, they can sue the other party, but it is not easy," he said at his Aidilfitri open house yesterday. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); It had been reported that miners had offered between RM50,000 and RM100,000 to the Felda settlers to extract bauxite from their land now planted with oil palm....It had been reported that 71 settlers in Bukit Goh, who had allowed their land to be mined for bauxite, claimed they had been cheated in the deal. Some of these settlers had received a notice from the Land and Mines Office stating that they had committed an offence by mining without a licence or not having mortgaged their land legally under the Mineral Enactment 2001. They face the possibility of being fined up to RM500,000 or sentenced to a maximum jail term of 10 years, or both, upon conviction. – Bernama, July 18, 2015. - See more at:

Air Asia news (update 8): AirAsia Flight 8501 Indonesia orders inspections, AirAsia pilots call in sick, Aircraft engineers press statement on cost pressure and unrealistic flight schedules

8 December 2015: Indonesia orders inspections, AirAsia pilots call in sick, Aircraft engineers press statement on cost pressure and unrealistic flight schedules

Indonesia Orders Airbus A320 Inspections After Crash Report by Fathiya Dahrul and Chris Brummitt December 3, 2015; Planes to be grounded if any repeat faults, ministry says. Investigator says Airbus recommended improving component.... Indonesia will inspect all Airbus Group SE A320 planes in the country and ground any with repeated faults, on the recommendation of investigators into the crash of an AirAsia Bhd. flight last December. A report released Tuesday cited a crack in the soldering of an electronic component on an A320 rudder, as well as pilot errors in responding to the issue, as reasons for the Dec. 28 crash of AirAsia Flight 8501. The head of the crash investigation told Bloomberg Thursday that in recent months Airbus has researched the component in question and recommended improvements.

Hundreds stranded at KLIA2 as AirAsia pilots call in sick - December 2, 2015 See more at:

AirAsia plane that crashed into Java Sea flew to Perth 38 times by Geoffrey Thomas December 5, 2015

Aircraft engineers: "Air Asia accident highlights safety lessons not being learned"....AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands December 7, 2015 /PRNewswire - The CEO of Air Asia assures us that: "We will not leave any stone unturned to make sure the industry learns from this tragic incident." Although the Air Asia CEO comments are undoubtedly genuine, the fact is that without significant changes in attitude and commitment from CEO's and regulators on a global level, it could happen again.
This avoidable accident regrettably highlights that the industry as a whole has learnt little from two previous tragic accidents. The investigations into the "Spanair" and "Turkish Airlines" accidents (2008, 2009) highlighted very similar causal factors.
• Non reporting of defects.
• Inadequacies in the maintenance system allowing a repetitive low key fault, culminate in an avoidable accident.
• Crew training issues.
• Ineffectiveness of the current regulatory oversight system which consistently fails to detect safety issues prior to an accident whilst the same issues are detected immediately post-accident.
The public must be made aware that aviation today is driven by cost. Cost, not safety, is paramount. Pilots and Engineers are often placed under increasing pressure to accept second best, in order to ensure aircraft meet unrealistic flight schedules. The consequences of which are more incidents and ultimately more avoidable accidents.
With training of pilots and engineers often the bare minimum, spares and manpower levels reduced to unacceptable levels, and increased workloads; the working life of these safety professionals has become centred on lowering costs. The lesson to be learnt from this and other avoidable accidents is, that it is now time for the industry to listen to, and properly support, safety professionals trying to keep flying safe.
To that end Aircraft Engineers International are calling for the following reforms...

1 December 2015: AirAsia Flight 8501 Crash Caused by System Malfunctions, Pilot Response - solder problem had come up 23 times in the previous 12 months... responses to the problem were inadequate; AirAsia questions about accounting and cash flow

AirAsia Flight 8501 Crash Caused by System Malfunctions, Pilot Response - Crash report depicts confusion and escalating trouble in the cockpit By  Ben Otto in Jakarta, Indonesia, and Andy Pasztor in Los Angeles  Updated Dec. 1, 2015... Reflecting further lack of crew coordination, the report indicates the captain also was manipulating his control stick almost from the instant the stall warning activated to the time flight-data recording ended. In an emergency, cockpit discipline requires one of the two pilots to take over the controls and make all flight inputs.... After six separate orders by the Indonesian captain to “pull down, pull down” the first officer, who was French, replied in his native language: “What is going wrong,” according to the report.... That rise led to the fatal stall, Mardjono Siswosuwarno, lead investigator for the crash, said..... Investigators found the solder problem had come up 23 times in the previous 12 months, gaining in frequency in recent months. They suggested responses to the problem were inadequate.... .... The circuit breakers had been reset three days earlier by mechanics during troubleshooting on the ground. The report describes a series of discussions between ground staff and the flight’s captain, including an exchange in which the captain was told he could “reset [the breakers] whenever instructed” by computerized warning messages.....

Accounting issues at Air Asia

UPDATE 1-AirAsia's planned accounting change seen boosting transparency By Anshuman Daga and Praveen Menon Nov 27, 2015  * AirAsia seeks to consolidate group accounts  * Move comes six months after accounts criticised  * AirAsia shares fall as much as 7 pct on Q3 net loss (Adds analyst comments, context)...On Thursday, AirAsia said it swung into a net loss in the third quarter after booking a large writedown on its money-losing Indonesian operations and foreign exchange losses. Its shares fell as much as 7 percent on Friday, hitting a nearly two-month low though trading still comfortably above multi-year lows struck in August.  The airline also said earnings missed forecasts at its Indonesian and Philippine associates, which have high debts to AirAsia....

AirAsia and Associates Need Course Correction - shares have rightly tumbled as investors question how the carrier accounts for relationships with associate airlines By  by Alex Frangos  June 18, 2015...GMT has rightly struck a nerve with investors. The crux of the argument is that heavily indebted AirAsia, listed in Malaysia, depends too much on struggling associate airlines that share its brand name, but operate semi-independently in countries around Asia, to pay it fees. These payments flatter the parent’s bottom line, while obscuring its true health... Much of that transfer is done through airline leasing agreements between the parent, which owns or leases the planes, and the associates who operate them. The parent charges fees for leasing, maintenance, insurance and the like, and in some cases sells planes outright at a profit to the associates, according to GMT. These deals have caused related party transactions at the parent to rise to 213% of operating profit last year, from 22% a decade ago.... What’s troubling is those deals are often not resulting in cash payments to the parent, implying the associates themselves are struggling. Amounts owed by related parties have swelled to 2.8 billion ringgit ($750 million) at the end of March, equivalent to 60% of shareholder equity. The
amount outstanding at the end of 2010 was just 380 million ringgit, or 10% of equity.

AirAsia shares fall on questions about accounting and cash flow by Jeremy Grant in London June 17, 2015;... Shares in AirAsia fell almost 7 per cent on Wednesday amid investor concern over analysts’ reports that have questioned the sustainability of the low-cost carrier’s business. The move came as AirAsia revealed plans to raise $200m through the issue of convertible bonds for its lossmaking Indonesian and Philippine units, ahead of a proposed stock market listing for each business by 2017.

AirAsia replaces chief February 2, 2015  by Jamie Freed Low-cost long-haul carrier AirAsia X has replaced chief executive Asran Osman-Rani and will raise 395 million ringgit ($140 million) to shore up its balance sheet as a result of deep financial losses, including on flights between Kuala Lumpur and Australia. AirAsia X, which competes for budget traffic between Australia and Asia against Jetstar International and Scoot, lost $96 million in the Australian market in the nine months to September 30, 2014. It has yet to report its December quarter results. The airline on Friday said a new management team would spearhead a "reorganisational and turnaround exercise" that would strengthen the company's balance sheet and maximise profitability.

31 January 2015: France opens criminal investigation of crash, French co-pilot's family separately filed charges against Air Asia for endangering lives for lacking the proper permission for the flight

QZ8501: French judge to probe crash, possible ‘manslaughter’ Published: January 31, 2015 08:19 AM PARIS, Jan 31 — France has opened a formal criminal investigation into the crash of an AirAsia plane in the Java Sea last month while a French co-pilot was at the controls, a judicial source said yesterday A judge will investigate possible “manslaughter” in connection with the crash that killed all 162 people on board.... Plesel’s family in France separately filed charges against AirAsia Indonesia for “endangering the life of others” as the airline did not have permission to carry out the flight between Surabaya and Singapore on the day of the crash. “Remi Plesel’s family are delighted at this criminal investigation which, we hope, will reveal the truth,” said their lawyer Eddy Arneton. “It will allow us to finally ask the right questions.” — AFP

Captain of AirAsia QZ8501 'out of his seat' before plane lost control: Report UPDATED: 31 Jan 2015 13:59; SINGAPORE: The captain of AirAsia Flight QZ8501, which crashed into the Java Sea on Dec 28, 2014, had left his seat before the plane lost control, according to Reuters on Saturday (Jan 31). Captain Iriyanto “was out of his seat conducting an unorthodox procedure when his co-pilot apparently lost control, and by the time he returned it was too late to save the plane", two unnamed sources familiar with the investigation told Reuters.

30 January 2015: Pilots disabled computers, triggering events leading to crash

AirAsia disaster: pilots disabled computers moments before crash By Herdaru Purnomo January 30, 2015 Jakarta: The pilots of AirAsia flight 8501 cut power to a critical computer system that normally prevents planes from going out of control shortly before it plunged into the Java Sea, two people with knowledge of the investigation said. The action appears to have helped trigger the events of December 28, when the Airbus A320 climbed so abruptly that it lost lift and it began falling with warnings blaring in the cockpit, the people said. All 162 aboard were killed.... The pilots had been attempting to deal with alerts about the flight augmentation computers, which control the A320's rudder and also automatically prevent it from going too slow. After initial attempts to address the alerts, the flight crew cut power to the entire system, which is comprised of two separate computers that back up each other, the people said.... Flight 8501 climbed more than 1,524 metres in less than 30 seconds, rising above the altitude where it was authorised to fly, Ertata Lananggalih, an investigator with Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee, said in Jakarta on Thursday.... The co-pilot, with 2247 hours of flying experience, was at the controls and talking to controllers while the captain, who had 20,537 hours, was monitoring, said Mardjono Siswosuwarno, the lead investigator of the crash. The account was the first description of the last moments of the flight.....

20 January 2015: QZ8501 likely stalled after abnormally steep climb?

AirAsia Jet Climbed at Rates Beyond Design of Commercial Planes By I-Made Sentana And 
Gaurav Raghuvanshi  Jan. 20, 2015 8:08 a.m. ET; Plane Climbed at Rates Over 8,000 Feet Per Minute, Transport Minister Says... JAKARTA—Data broadcast from the  AirAsia  jet that crashed on Dec. 28 into the Java Sea killing all 162 people aboard show that the aircraft climbed and descended at extreme rates before disappearing, Ignasius Jonan, Indonesia’s transport minister, said in Parliament on Tuesday.... The plane had requested a diversion and a climb to a higher flight level apparently because of bad weather of but air-traffic controllers weren't able to approve the changes immediately because they wanted to check if other aircraft were flying in the vicinity. By the time the controllers tried to contact the pilots with permission to climb higher, the aircraft was lost. The minister said commercial aircraft aren’t designed to climb at the rates the plane appears to have ascended in the radar logs.... An AirAsia pilot said the normal rate of climb of an A320 jet is between 1,000 feet per minute and 1,200 feet per minute and planes rarely climb at rates more than 1,500 feet per minute on their own. The steep rate of ascent could likely be explained by the aircraft getting caught in an updraft of air in bad weather, the pilot said on condition he not be identified....

QZ8501 plane likely stalled after steep climb: minister POSTED: 20 Jan 2015
JAKARTA: An AirAsia plane that crashed into the Java Sea last month with 162 people on board had climbed at a speed that was higher than normal and then stalled, Indonesia's transport minister said on Tuesday (Jan 20).... "In the final minutes, the plane climbed at a speed which was beyond normal," said Transport Minister Ignasius Jonan, citing radar data. "The plane suddenly went up at a speed above the normal limit that it was able to climb to. Then it stalled," he told reporters...

13 January 2015: AirAsia Indonesia's 10-year struggle, Jokowi pledges aviation total reform

Crash upsets AirAsia’s Indonesia ambitions by Ben Bland in Jakarta and Jeremy Grant in Singapore  Last updated: January 12, 2015 5:08 pm; AirAsia founder and chief executive Tony Fernandes has struggled to make headway in Indonesia — one of the world’s fastest-growing aviation markets — because of tough competition and economic turbulence.... Now the ebullient Malaysian tycoon’s Indonesian business is in the headlines for a different reason, after the crash of flight QZ8501 with the loss of all 162 passengers and crew on board.... While recovery efforts continue, AirAsia’s accident-free reputation has taken an immediate hit. The group’s Malaysia-listed shares are down 13 per cent since the incident.... But carriers including AirAsia, founded with one second-hand aircraft in 2001, have been struggling to make money in Indonesia over the past year because of a sharp fall in the rupiah against the US dollar — around 70 per cent of costs including fuel and aircraft are dollar-denominated — and a slowdown in economic growth.... Cutting unprofitable routes and implementing fare increases helped Indonesia AirAsia eke out a small profit in the quarter ended September 30, but it is still lossmaking on a cumulative basis since it was launched a decade ago.
“Lion Air’s Rusdi is a very canny businessman and Tony will have his work cut out for him in Indonesia,” says Shukor Yusof, an aviation analyst at Endau Analytics in Malaysia.... Mr Beer of Citi says Mr Fernandes has built a clever business model with which it can circumvent foreign ownership restrictions in Indonesia and other Asian markets by taking minority stakes in the local operating companies but leasing aircraft to them from the parent group....

Indonesia’s Joko Widodo pledges to accelerate reforms 5:08AM by Ben Bland in Jakarta; Indonesian president Joko Widodo has vowed to accelerate economic reforms after surpassing investor expectations in his first three months by abolishing $18bn of wasteful fuel subsidies and neutralising political opposition in the fractious parliament.... When asked whether he could sustain the pace of change, Mr Widodo traced an exponential growth curve with his index finger, saying: “it will be like that”.... The president — who is universally known by his nickname Jokowi — said he would use the fuel subsidy savings to pump billions of dollars into infrastructure investment and push for “total reform” of the aviation sector following the shortcomings highlighted by the AirAsia crash.... But the 53-year-old has moved quietly to stifle his critics by appealing to key opposition politicians and the public. Several opposition parties, including the largest, Golkar, have become mired in internal disputes after senior leaders switched allegiance to Mr Widodo.... Mr Widodo will channel the Rp230tn ($18bn) of savings into infrastructure and social protection, reversing years of under-investment that have hobbled economic growth and left Indonesia with the highest rate of wealth inequality in Asia after China.... The depth of the problems afflicting the civil service has been underlined by the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 en route from Surabaya to Singapore, which revealed worrying flaws in aviation regulation.... Facing his first major crisis as president, Mr Widodo said the government must use the crash as an opportunity “to totally reform our air transportation”, from the central government to the state-owned airport operator and air traffic control service....

11 January 2015: 61 routes suspended from five airlines, 11 officials suspended

Five airlines sanctioned for flight-permit violations: Minister The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Business | Fri, January 09 2015, 6:39 PM After carrying out a thorough audit of flight permits for all domestic carriers following the AirAsia flight QZ8501 incident, the Transportation Ministry imposed sanctions on five domestic airlines on Friday. Minister Ignasius Jonan said that the companies were national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, Lion Air, Wings Air, Trans Nusa and Susi Air. In total, the government suspended flight permits for 61 routes from the five airlines. Lion Air, the largest carrier in the country with a market share that reached 42 percent in 2013, committed the most violations, with the government suspending 35 of its routes. Garuda, meanwhile, committed permit violations on four routes. Jonan, however, refused to disclose the individual routes violated by the carriers. - See more at:

11 officials suspended in flight-permit violation case Khoirul Amin, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sat, January 10 2015, 9:48 AM . The Transportation Ministry announced on Friday the suspension or transfer of at least 11 aviation officials at the ministry for their alleged involvement in allowing several airlines to fly without proper permits.Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan said the disciplinary measure were required to prevent similar reckless actions from occurring in the future. “This is also part of our effort to improve and supervise all officials at our ministry,” he said in a press conference. The suspended officials, who are all from the ministry’s directorate general of air transportation, comprise three officials of echelon II level and seven officials of echelon III level, while one principal operations inspector (POI) has been transferred. - See more at:

9 January 2015: Jokowi orders compensation from Air Asia, KPK steps in and focus is on violated procedures that lead to air disaster, a lawmaker says minister equally responsible, Indonesia aviation needs reform

Jokowi orders AirAsia to pay compensation by Ina Parlina and Hans Nicholas Jong, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Fri, January 09 2015, 10:02 AM; President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo was concerned with the slow compensation payments to next of kin of passengers on board the AirAsia flight QZ8501, Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan says.Jonan issued the statement after a closed-door meeting with Jokowi on Thursday at the Presidential Office.“The President said that insurance should be paid. I told [him] that there is indeed a regulation covering the issue; Transportation Ministry Regulation No. 77/2011 stipulates that the amount is Rp 1.25 billion [US$98,386] per passenger,” Jonan said. Jonan said that AirAsia must pay the victims’ next of kin regardless of the legal status of the fight. “It has nothing to do with whether the airline is covered by insurance; Rp 1.25 billion per passenger should be paid by the airline.”Local media had earlier reported that AirAsia had only distributed forms to be filled in by QZ8501 passengers’ next of kin for the initial compensation of Rp 300 million per victim.....

KPK steps into AirAsia flight case Haeril Halim and Nadya Natahadibrata, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Wed, January 07 2015, 9:14 AM; Following the revelation that the crashed AirAsia flight QZ8501 might have obtained a flying permit outside of proper procedures, the country’s antigraft body is offering help to probe into the possibility of bribery having been practiced in the case.The Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) is ready to help the Transportation Ministry to curb alleged irregularities that might lead to corruption or bribery practices plaguing flying permits in the country’s aviation system, the agency’s deputy chairman Bambang Widjojanto said on Tuesday.He said the agency would establish communications with the ministry to find out whether AirAsia had eased its way to obtain flying permits by bribing state officials.....

Focus turns to AirAsia’s alleged missteps Hans Nicholas Jong and Indra Harsaputra, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Headlines | Sun, January 04 2015, 10:46 AM; As more than 30 bodies from AirAsia Flight QZ8501 were recovered from the Karimata Strait this weekend, leaked official documents have given rise to allegations that AirAsia Indonesia violated procedures that lead to the disaster.....

Transportation minister ‘responsible for alleged illegal flight route’ The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | National | Tue, January 06 2015, 7:47 PM; Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan should be held responsible an alleged illegal flight schedule involving budget airline AirAsia, according to Bambang Haryo, a member of House of Representatives Commission VI overseeing consumer protection.“The transportation minister should be held equally responsible for the case. A flight-worthiness status, especially for international flights, is based on permission and approval given directly by the transportation minister,” said Bambang as quoted by Antara news agency in Jakarta on Tuesday.He insisted the airline company should not be blamed for the case relating to AirAsia flight QZ8501, which crashed into the waters of the Karimata Strait while en route from Surabaya to Singapore on Dec.28....

Indonesia's Aviation Safety Rules Need Reforming, Opinion By Joshua Kurlantzick   1/8/15 at 4:30 PM Newsweek; The crash of AirAsia Flight 8501, though tragic, was not an enormous surprise to anyone who follows aviation in Indonesia, or who has flown repeatedly in Indonesia. This is not to say that AirAsia has a poor safety record; the airline had never had a fatal accident prior to this one, and AirAsia management has responded admirably to the crash. Senior management, including AirAsia CEO Tony Fernandes, have reached out to families of the survivors, trying to keep them updated about information on the search and rescue operations and personally consoling relatives of people who were on Flight 8501.But anyone who knows aviation in Indonesia knows that the country has a horrific record for airplane accidents and that Indonesia has weaker safety protocols regarding aviation than other middle-income countries.....

8 January 2014: Indonesia questions on ministry corruption, flouting existing regulations, and rationale of raising fares in wake of Air Asia QZ8501 crash disaster. KPK will investigate corruption in the aviation sector. Minister furious on weather briefing.

 Editorial: Minister’s Punitive Stance Doesn’t Fly By Jakarta Globe on 12:54 am Jan 08, 2015
 Category Editorial, Front Page, Opinion Tags: air transportation, airfare, aviation, Ignasius Jonan, Indonesia AirAsia flight QZ8501; Transportation Minister Ignasius Jonan could have started a revolution within his own ministry — in the directorates general of land, sea and air transportation — by, for instance, punishing corrupt and underperforming officials, establishing a clear system of rewards and disincentives, or being more strict about implementing existing regulations.... The crash of an Indonesia AirAsia jet on Dec. 28 should have been an indication of just what a rotten ministry he inherited — in particular the office dealing with air transportation. Jonan should have overhauled the system, technology and manpower, including those responsible for air traffic control, and for granting flight permits.... Instead, he has chosen to shift the blame form the crash of the plane, which was not permitted to fly on a Sunday, to private airlines. He has also punished the public by implementing a new regulation that caps minimum ticket prices. The cheapest ticket now available may not be less than 40 percent of the price of the most expensive one for any given route. His rationale? Ticket prices are so low that poor profitability impairs airlines’ ability to comply with aviation safety standards.... This is as nonsensical as anything can get, and against the law of free market competition...

AirAsia Banned From Flying Key Routes: Report, Jan. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Bloomberg's Alia Karenina has the latest developments in the search for AirAsia Flight QZ8501. She speaks on "On The Move Asia." (Source: Bloomberg); note: There will be an investigation by KPK, the Indonesia anti-corruption agency. The official who approved the Air Asia flight has been suspended. KPK will check if other airlines were flying on non-authorized schedules. This will be the first KPK anti-corruption crackdown on the Indonesia aviation sector. Air Asia Surabaya-Singapore and Medan-Palembang routes have been suspended. Air Asia says it has a 7-days flying permit and that there is merely an administrative error.

Air Asia insurance compensation will look into irregularities. Initial Victim Compensation Is Goodwill: Ribbands, Jan. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Victorian Branch Aviation Law Association of Australia and New Zealand Chairman and Aviation Lawyer John Ribbands discusses the legal aspects of the crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 with Bloomberg’s Rishaad Salamat on “On The Move.” (Source: Bloomberg)

 Minister furious AirAsia 'flouted procedure' 5:12PM Jan 2, 2015 by Malaysiakini; According to Indonesia's, the minister expressed his anger after visiting the airline's headquarters near Jakarta to observe its pre-flight procedures.... Quoting the minister’s aide, the news portal said Jonan warned that stern action would be taken against the breaches.... "Jonan is angry at AirAsia. Furious… Prior to departure, the pilot is supposed to get a briefing directly from the flight operations officer (FOO), especially on the weather.... "However all this while, AirAsia simply relied on the Agency for Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics' (BMKG) website," said his aide Hadi M Djuraid.....
 Meanwhile, Indonesian portal Tempo reported what supposedly transpired during the minister's surprise visit, saying that an unnamed AirAsia Indonesia director had defended its reliance on BMKG’s website.... "This is how it is done internationally. To physically take weather information from BMKG is the 'traditional' way," the director reportedly said to Jonan.Jonan then rebutted by asking why AirAsia is still taking hard copies of BMKG’s weather reports, even after QZ8501 had gone missing, but the reply came, “Yes, because that’s tradition.”... This reportedly infuriated Jonan, who said, “When there are rules, you should follow it. Don’t fight, or I’ll strip you of your licence.”... The director reportedly promised to comply with the regulations....

UMNO/BN fractures (Update 24): Check 1MDB news blog. Permatang Pauh and Rompin by-elections; 20,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition.

Editor's note: In the heavily licensed state-media dominated world of Malaysia news where many print and non-print outlets (and even bloggers) are regarded as politically-associated (with various notable public and less public shifts and hops), the recent cross-over feature of Anwar Ibrahim (de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat / PR opposition coalition which has been facing stresses) by the state-controlled TV3/Utusan stable and Mahathir on the Sarawak Report have those interested in Malaysia media-political analysis agog. What news outlets say or don't say and who they feature are of interest in the "wayang kulit" or shadow play world of the Malaysia's pluralistic and plutocratic political economy. At the same time, members of the PR opposition are also having a public war of words - read here: /khoryuleng/2015/01/malay-unity-and-pakatan-rakyan.html. What does this all portend?

Much of the UMNO/BN tussles have been triggered by the 1MDB financial concerns and engulf Prime Minister Najib in questions about international money flows and big donations. Research on news links are here: On 1MDB

4 May 2015: Permatang Pauh and Rompin by-elections

Amid support for Najib, Umno leaders starting to question, says former minister Published: 3 May 2015 4:00 PM; Umno division chiefs are beginning to realise that people are not happy with Datuk Seri Najib Razak, even as the party leaders continue to express their strong support for his leadership, former information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said. He said that it was wrong to assume that Ummo division leaders were mere yes-men who "swallowed" the country's leaders' every word. "There are Umno division chiefs who realise that the support of the 'red shirts' to the top leadership can no longer represent the rakyat's support," wrote Zainuddin on his blog today. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "They not only reading it on social media or news portals, but they hear it for themselves at weddings, the suraus and mosques, at coffee shops, in open and closed discussions among the top echelon and the grassroots." Zainuddin wrote that even Cheras Umno divison leader Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee could not stay quiet in the face of the scandals surrounding Najib. Two days ago, the Umno man had reportedly urged for businessman Low Taek Jho to be called in for questioning immediately over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. "What is the delay? The rakyat are waiting for answers. And so am I," Syed Ali wrote in the Cheras Umno blog. - See more at:

Pmtg Pauh, Rompin - markers of political future By Bridget Welsh  8:11AM May 4, 2015; Rompin has not received the same level of attention as Permatang Pauh, at least in the English language media, but it is equally important. At issue is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's political future.
This contest emerged after his friend and ally died, and the slated candidate and campaign is closely connected to Najib. His cousin Hishammuddin Hussein is leading Umno's campaign in the party's political base. Najib needs a strong victory to assure that he has the support of his party and its core. This will be similarly challenging as the machinery is not as revved up as in the past, when an incumbent leader was running and a Pahang premier was seeking a national mandate. Today's reality is that there is open opposition to Najib's leadership within Umno led by former leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad and nationally, as the premier has the lowest public support in his tenure. It is thus not surprising that the stakes are high in Rompin, for a reduction in support in Rompin will signal trouble to Najib's political future....... Unlike Permatang Pauh, where a reduction in the majority is expected, given Najib's position and resources, even a small decline in support will be perceived negatively.... From goodies to grumbles -  By-elections have traditionally been 'buy-elections', with goodies galore. The BN, with its hand on the national till and control over the mainstream media, has always had the advantage, especially in the more semi-rural and rural areas. Given the stakes in these contests, there are many items on offer, with even the Penang government making promises of new projects. It remains to be seen how impactful the use of financial incentives will be this time round. One item that is marginally different than GE 2013, and reminiscent of conditions surrounding GE 2008, is a perceived decline in the economy. Ordinary Malaysians are feeling the economic pain, compared with the past, with a depreciated ringgit, the goods and services tax (GST), inflation and lower purchasing power...... Even in the Felda areas of Rompin, where the drop in the prices of rubber and palm oil has hit hard, there is a sense of relative economic deprivation. More than any issue - rights, religion or race - the main driver in voting in Malaysia is the economy, as surveys consistently show that the main issues that concern voters are the bread-and-butter realities. As finance minister in charge of the economy and as a premier who has prided himself on the country's economic performance, negative views of the economy increase BN's and Najib's vulnerability. As the campaigns come to a close, the promises of allocations have risen, with less open defence of the GST and more attention to where GST funds will go - be it towards civil servants, higher pensions and more........The expectation for both contests is reduced majorities. The main reasons for this is the expected lower turnout, with voting coming after a long holiday weekend, the negative mode of the campaigns, active sabotage and weakened support for both sides.

Abandoned by allies, PAS’s Rompin campaign a dull affair BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 4 May 2015 2:48 PM; The lacklustre campaigning suggests that PAS has lost its mojo without DAP and PKR by its side. The latter are busy in the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign, which PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is contesting. However, Temerloh MP Nasruddin Hassan played down the matter and insisted all was well on the campaign front. “About 70% of the (Rompin) voters come from Felda settlements. So we are concentrating on those areas,” he told The Malaysian Insider when met at the Hindar 2.0 ceramah yesterday....The Rompin parliament constituency has 53,596 voters, with 87% comprising Malays living in 14 Felda settlements. The second biggest voters are the Orang Asli, followed by 9% Indians and just 2% Chinese. Tuan Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider that PAS did not employ a general campaign strategy, and instead relied on different approaches for each area, based on the economic activities of the voters. “Our approach is not the same in each area. Our focus is on Felda settlements, so we have to deal with agencies. The mechanism is rather different. “We approach the farmers and the fishermen of Rompin differently. We visit the voters’ homes and employ a welfare approach,” said Tuan Ibrahim. Political analyst Professor Dr Mohamad Agus Yusoff said the factors working against PAS were the fact that it was on its own in the by-election, and that Rompin was an Umno stronghold.....He said the silent voters, who compromise the youth working in the cities, could turn PAS’s fortune around. “There are second- and third-generation Felda settlers who have different views from their parents,” said Agus. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears to be aware of this, and took the opportunity to win the vote bank over by reducing the price of houses from RM124,000 to RM90,000 per unit. However, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has denied that Najib was using the house prices as election goodies, and said that the latter’s announcement was merely a “coincidence”. - See more at:

Rompin voters told: Show your disapproval of Najib by FMT Reporters | May 4, 2015; Shahbudin Husin, who makes the call, also satirises the PM's alleged inability to pay for his daughter's wedding reception; PETALING JAYA: Voters in Rompin have been urged to show their disapproval of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration when they cast their ballots in tomorrow’s by-election.
The call is made by political analyst Shahbudin Husin, an Umno member whose blog is widely followed by Malay readers. He acknowledges that it will be hard for PAS to win in the Umno stronghold, but he appeals to voters to at least reduce BN’s majority to reflect the nation’s unhappiness with Najib over several issues, especially the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He reminds his readers that the government gave an assurance that GST would result in a reduction in the cost of living because the rate is lower than the 10% charged under the Sales and Service Tax, which it was meant to replace. “That has turned out to be false propaganda,” he says. “Nearly all items have risen in price. Even teh tarik has gone up by 10 sen in most restaurants, and that is before applying GST. “Even more painful is the failure of the government to settle the issue of GST charges on prepaid phone credits, something so widely used by youths, housewives and those in the lower income bracket. It shows how weak the government is.”........In an earlier posting, Shahbudin, with his tongue in his cheek, comments on the recent explanation by a Najib aide that the cost incurred in celebrating the wedding of the Prime Minister’s daughter was borne by the groom’s family. ....“It has turned out that Najib and Rosmah could even be poorer than a lot of BR1M recipients. They can’t even afford a reception for their new son-in-law. “To any normal couple, receiving a new in-law would be one of their happiest moments. Many would go to the extent of incurring debts to celebrate it. “But it’s different with Najib and Rosmah. Not only was the celebration on the bride’s side financed by the groom’s family, the delegation to the reception in Kazakhstan was also fully sponsored by the kind groom. This has to be because the bride’s family cannot afford the expense. “Rare indeed can we find a bride’s parents who would sacrifice their dignity in such a manner as to risk having the groom using his generosity as a clout against their daughter should there be marital friction in the future.......

1 May 2015: 20,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition, Grilled lobsters and Xiaomi to lure votes - Permatang Pauh by-election; PAS - Hadi: Political parties in Malaysia should form national unity government; How much PM spent for daughter’s wedding? 

20,000 close in on KLCC Published on 01 May 2015 16:38; More and more people are streaming in. An estimated 20,000 protesters have joined today's rally so far.

10,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition By Malaysiakini Team; A month after the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, a major protest is taking place in downtown Kuala Lumpur today to call for its abolition. Participating groups include Kita Lawan and opposition parties including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) will march from various points around the city to Dataran Merdeka....

Live: Thousands in Workers Day anti-GST rally head for; The Workers Day rally, to begin at several points across the heart of Kuala Lumpur, is backed by Bersih 2.0, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as the opposition. But a post on the Facebook page by the organisers "Bantah GST/Reject GST" states that there will be no speeches by politicians. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "The event begins at 2.30pm with brief speeches by society and NGO representatives. No political party speeches," a post said. A "grand finale" ceramah last night as a run-up to the march today only managed to draw a crowd of about 100 people. It was held at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur where a few Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and activists gave speeches. - See more at:

Grilled lobsters and Xiaomi to lure votes By Susan Loone; PKR has been offering grilled lobsters whereas BN is going around the Permatang Pauh constituency with a Xiaomi - a China-made mobile phone - to woo voters. These are not vote-buying schemes in the by-election, but campaign strategies by the two arch rivals.....

How much PM spent for daughter’s wedding?
YOURSAY ‘They flaunt their new-found wealth regardless of how they got it.’

Hadi: Political parties in Malaysia should form national unity government BY JASON TAN; SINGAPORE, May 1 — With both the ruling and opposition coalitions in disarray and Malaysian politics in a state of flux, all political parties should consider forming a national unity government, said the leader of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). In an interview with TODAY this week, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang blamed the political uncertainties on the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the country’s largest party that leads the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition. “What is happening is due to the weakness of Umno itself. It’s not due to Mahathir, Najib, nor Abdullah Badawi,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his two predecessors, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Hadi, 67, said it was not too late for “a correction can be made” in the form of a unity government involving all major political parties and no opposition. It was an idea he had first proposed in 2008, following the country’s 12th general election, when political wrangling in a series of by-elections led him to call on lawmakers to focus on serving the people instead. While his proposal did not gain traction at the time, he believes that there is a greater need for national reconciliation now. “What I feel today is that a change must be made. We are aware that in Umno, there are still capable individuals. Just that there are trapped in the situation now. I would suggest that all the parties come together to save the country,” he said. Hadi’s call follows a recent proposal of a bipartisan Save Malaysia pact made by another opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP). In recent weeks, Umno has been rocked by a public spat between Najib and Dr Mahathir, who has repeatedly called for the prime minister’s resignation over issues such as the debt-laden state-owned strategic development firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Ties in the three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat have also been strained over PAS’s push to implement hudud, or Islamic criminal law, in Kelantan. Both DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) say the move is not part of the pact’s common policy framework, with DAP going so far as to cut off ties with Hadi and saying that he had betrayed the pact. - See more at:

26 April 2015: Dr M attacks on Najib and 1MDB continue

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. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); 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:

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:
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:

More on the 1MDB saga here:

13 April 2015: Sirul to talk to Dr M, Quit if you don’t support Najib - Kedah lawmaker tells Mukhriz, Umno already broken, only about money now says Dr M, Asia Sentinel list of important question to PM Najib

Puzzled by lawyers’ claims, Mahfuz insists Sirul okayed mum’s meet with Dr M Sunday April 12, 201511:42 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — PAS MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar insisted today that Sirul Azhar Umar had never objected to his mother’s meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite claims by the murder convict’s lawyers that their client had not agreed to it. The federal lawmaker also told The Malaysian Insider that he was unsure why the lawyers said Sirul was disappointed with how his case is being played out in the media. “Also, the mother and I had earlier informed him about the possibility of the meeting and he consented to it,” he was quoted saying in the news portal’s report.... Sirul is reportedly in the midst of a legal clearance process in Australia to obtain a permission to stay put in the country and avoid returning to Malaysia to face the gallows. Mahfuz had revealed to reporters in Parliament on Wednesday that he had arranged a meeting between Sirul’s mother and Dr Mahathir and will be arranging a phone session with the fugitive and the former prime minister next. Last weekend, Dr Mahathir urged the police to investigate the former police commando’s claim that he killed Altantuya under orders, saying it was “grossly unfair” to sentence Sirul to hang for obeying instructions.....

Quit if you don’t support Najib, Kedah lawmaker tells Mukhriz Published: 12 April 2015 4:52 PM Kedah MB Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir told a meeting of state legislators and Umno leaders today that he wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cleared of any allegation related to the 1MDB issue before giving his support. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 12, 2015.As Umno leaders rush to defend their president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has come under fire for not openly stating his support towards the prime minister. A Kedah Umno state lawmaker wants Mukhriz to step down as menteri besar if the latter does not publicly state his support for Najib, as the latter owes his job to the prime minister. Bukit Lada assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin also criticised Mukhriz for linking his support towards Najib to the investigation of debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); “The Menteri Besar’s post is appointed by the prime minister with the support of Barisan Nasional assemblymen. If he no longer supports the prime minister, it is best to resign,” Ahmad Lebai was quoted as saying in a report on SuaraTV. Ahmad Lebai was interviewed by the news portal after a meeting between state Umno leaders, MPs and state assemblymen called by Mukhriz’s officer this morning. Ahmad Lebai claimed that the meeting was supposedly to state their support to the prime minister and party president. - See more at:

Umno already broken, only about money now, Dr M says Sunday April 12, 201512:52 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Not missing a beat despite Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s televised reply to his criticism, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued his diatribe against the former, saying this time that the loyalty of Umno leaders today is dependent on monetary gains. In an interview with blogger Din Turtle uploaded Friday, the former prime minister insisted that the ruling party is headed for doom when asked for his response to calls for his reconciliation with Najib. “Umno is already broken,” the straight-talking veteran leader told his interviewer in one clip. “The Umno that I led before was quite powerful. If you look at our assemblies, the spirit was there. “The Umno now is about money. Its leaders are loyal because they get something... contract, the ones who get posts all get money (too). “But when you do that, you give to the chief... what about the rest?” he asked. Dr Mahathir insisted that the Malays are deeply disappointed with Najib’s rule, with many even be conveying their unhappiness to him..... Among other things, Dr Mahathir said “no investigations were conducted” on convicted former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar’s claim that he was acting under orders in Altantuya’s murder. On Thursday, however, Najib replied Dr Mahathir in a pre-recorded interview on TV3. The second-term prime minister insisted that BN still has the ability to win the next general election as long as Umno stays united as a party. “If we do not fight among ourselves, I am confident we can win in GE14,” the prime minister and Umno president said during the televised interview... Najib has been facing growing pressure from his detractors to step down, particularly from Dr Mahathir. But leaders of the component parties in BN have pledged their full support for Najib as the country’s prime minister.......

Mahathir bares Umno as all money politics by FMT Reporters  | April 12, 2015 A month after Razaleigh, former strongman says whole party is all about cash and contracts. KUALA LUMPUR: A month after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah spoke about RM50,000 a month Umno division leaders, Mahathir Mohamad has bared the truth to the term “money politics” once used to describe vote buying for party positions. Now, it was the whole party which was about money, projects and contracts, said the former Umno strongman. Under its current leadership, Umno was filled with rent-seeking leaders loyal only to money. “The ones who receive posts receive money,” Dr Mahathir said in a video interview with blogger Din Turtle. His remarks echo those of his former rival and challenger, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who said last month that Umno politics is all about money and is a source of income to divisional leaders and MPs...........Tengku Razaleigh had said that Umno was filled with people whose allegiance was with Najib, who could award them projects worth millions. “When they are in that situation, it is difficult for them to turn their backs to Najib as Umno politics is their source of income.”...... Dr Mahathir, who has led a campaign to oust Najib as Umno president and prime minister, denied that his campaign had split the party. He said the party was already split. Ordinary Malays were disappointed with the New Economic Policy and divisions in the community were very deep. “They come and see me, ordinary people,” Dr Mahathir said. “(They say) scholarships are hard to get. In the past, you could get them.”...... However, Dr Mahathir’s leadership caused a deep rift between him and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who teamed up with former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam and came within a score of votes to toppling the party president.......Tengku Razaleigh and Musa had decried the use of vote buying in Umno politics then, describing it as “money politics”....... The rivalry between the two camps, dubbed Team A and Team B, would lead to Umno being deregistered in a court case, the subsequent rise of communal tensions and Operation Lalang, in which more than 100 opposition politicians, activists, academicians and others were arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act....... Dr Mahathir, then home minister, managed to secure registration of a new party, as Umno-Baru, and took control of the assets of the deregistered Umno which were worth millions, including ownership of Utusan Malaysia, United Engineers Malaysia and the North-South Highway concession, and control of TV3 and the New Straits Times Press, among other companies.......

Tame TV, Malaysian-Style, Goes Easy on Najib Posted on April 10, 2015 By John Berthelsen
An interview misses the biggest question: What did he know and when did he know it? Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak went onto Kuala Lumpur-based TV3, wholly owned by the political party he heads, to deny to presenter Hamdan Ahmir that he had ever met the late Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, murdered by two of his bodyguards in 2006...... The interview, aired on July 9 but taped rather than live apparently to avoid any embarrassments, can only be regarded as a disappointment, not only with Najib’s answers but with Hamdan’s questions, which were a series of softballs lobbed to the prime minister to give him a platform to make a case for his non-involvement.
To questions raised by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over Najib’s possible involvement, Hamdan asked this: “…We all concur that the court had decided in this case … it is past. But a criticism has surfaced from Tun Mahathir who asked who had ordered the police officers involved to kill Altantuya. It is weird because the case is over. Were you involved in this?” Najib: This thing happened in 2008 … a long time ago. Actually, I have recited the oath, Wallahi Wabillahi Watallahi, thrice, including at a mosque in Permatang Pauh in 2008 … that I had not known Altantuya and I was not at all involved, directly or indirectly. And the police conducted an investigation. And, at that time, Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), as the prime minister, had reported, and the Inspector-General of Police had issued a statement saying that I was not involved. And there is no proof at all, whatsoever, that I had known Altantuya. None at all … no photographs, no documents, no witnesses and what not. The case went through the courts up to the Federal Court. Are we going to question the integrity of the courts which we had safeguarded for so long?...... Hamdan: It is understood that you, Datuk Seri, have met with Tun Dr Mahathir on several issues. Did he ask you about the Altantuya case? Najib: Not directly, but we did discuss it at one time. During the discussion, I noticed that he did not ask whether I was involved in the Altantuya case. And I assumed that the matter did not arise at all. When I had my discussion with Tun Dr Mahathir, I showed my respect for him. For example, although I am the prime minister, I went to his residence rather than insisting that he come to mine. Nevertheless, whatever it is that we discussed, I had to decide as the prime minister.......
The list of questions Hamdan didn’t ask is considerable. Here are some that Asia Sentinel would have asked:
1. Altantuya Shaariibuu was identified by French prosecutors as a translator in the long-drawn-out transaction in which the Malaysian Ministry of Defense bought Scorpene submarines from the French munitions company DCN. According to the French records, you were instrumental in negotiating the purchase of those submarines (with a huge kickback of EUR114.9 million to UMNO). If Altantuya was recorded by the French government as a translator, how is it that you never met?
2. Both you and Abdul Razak Baginda met in 2005 in Brest, France, with the training crews of the Scorpene submarines your defense department bought, presenting the crews with jackets in honor of their service. At the same time, Altantuya was accompanying Razak Baginda. How is it that, if you were with Razak Baginda, you failed to notice the beautiful Mongolian woman he had on his arm and who toured France in his Ferrari?
3. During the months of trial of the two murderers, why do you think no attempt was made to ascertain their motives in killing her?
.....5. Burmaa Oyunchimeg, Altantuya’s cousin, testified on the witness stand, under oath, during the trial of the two murderers, that she had seen a photo of you having dinner with Altantuya and Abdul Razak Baginda. How do you explain her testimony, since she was under oath?  Why did prosecutors never follow up on her assertion? ..............

11 April 2015: The Economist says “Malaysia’s friends should be blunter about this where they have been mealy-mouthed... They should condemn Malaysia’s corruption, its decaying freedoms and its racial politics... Time to call Najib out" ; Badawi camp flip flops continue on support for PM Najib

An anti-terror law curtails liberties Apr 9th 2015, 14:44 | From the print edition
Najib rescinds his promises THREE years ago Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, fulfilled a promise to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), a draconian colonial-era law which had long been used to lock up dissenters without trial.....

Time to call Najib out, says Economist; Published: 11 April 2015 10:34 AM Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s portrayal of Malaysia as a model of moderate Islam has come under fire after he reneged on doing away with laws like the Sedition Act. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 11, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must come clean on Malaysia’s true state of affairs, The Economist said today, amid growing concerns over issues such as troubled state firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the stifling of rights and freedom in the country. The newspaper condemned the “widening gulf between spin and substance”, adding that Najib’s portrayal of Malaysia as “a model of moderate Islam – a multicultural democracy and a beacon of tolerance” was far from the truth as the prime minister had failed to uphold his promise to repeal colonial-era laws such as the Sedition Act 1948. Although Najib had said three years ago he would do away with the act, Dewan Rakyat on Friday pushed through several amendments to the law, which critics said would only make it more draconian.....More alarming though, it said, was Malaysia’s human rights record which under Najib has taken a hit. The report gave the example of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who in February was sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy, as well as the growing number of individuals arrested or investigated for sedition. “Malaysia’s friends should be blunter about this where they have been mealy-mouthed,” the paper said. “They should condemn Malaysia’s corruption, its decaying freedoms and its racial politics. “They should call for both the Sedition Act and unlimited detention to go.” Until ruling coalition Barisan Nasional stops “using foul as well as fair” means to curb dissent, the paper said, matters would not improve and the country’s image would continue suffer. “It is time to call Najib out.” – April 11, 2015. - See more at:

Pak Lah: Najib not involved in Altantuya murder Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 1:55:03 PM
PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not involved in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday.. He said in a statement that the investigation into the 2006 murder was concluded during his tenure as prime minister. "Among the matters reported to me during my time as prime minister was the result of the investigation of the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. "Based on the findings from the thorough investigation conducted by the Royal Malaysian Police that was conveyed to me, it was confirmed that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not involved at all in the case," he said.... Altantuya was murdered on Oct 18, 2006 and her remains were found in a forest near Puncak Alam, Shah Alam.....
Note: Apparent Badawi camp flip-flops on PM Najib support - just a few days after Khairy Jamaluddin turned to says Najib must answer queries by Dr M (a flip from earlier supportive statements of PM Najib), ex-PM Badawi (father-in-law of Khairy) releases statement PM Najib not involved in Mongolian model murder. Political analysts say that at the last big UMNO vote, the Badawi camp support has been important for PM Najib.

10 April 2015: PM Najib TV3 Q&A much talked about amid shows of support for PM Najib and Dr Mahathir's questions and calls for PM Najib to step down (Dr Mahathir says supporters are party to it all)

Malaysia PM defends himself against mounting criticism 2015-04-10 08:46; Kuala Lumpur (AFP) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has defended himself against a slew of criticisms over corruption scandals and a crackdown on civil liberties, brushing aside suggestions that he should step down.... "I was elected by my party, and by the people of this country, to lead them. As such, I am answerable only to the people -- not to any one individual," Najib said in an interview on state-controlled television broadcast late Thursday night.  ......."Contrary to what some are suggesting, these laws will not be used against critics of the government," Najib said of the terrorism legislation, according to an English translation of his comments released by his office. ........Mahathir had demanded answers on the scandal surrounding the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Fears that 1MDB could collapse have rattled the ringgit currency.... "I recognise that there are a number of questions swirling around 1MDB. Some of these questions are valid, but there are others that appear to be directed at the company solely with the intention of creating controversy," Najib said.... ....The deal has been clouded by allegations of huge kickbacks to Malaysian officials and the still-murky 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman involved in negotiations, amid suspicions she was killed to silence her about the deal.....Najib did not address the issue in his interview..........Political analysts say Najib retains control of his ruling party and looked unlikely to be ousted for now.

Transcripts in English and Malaysia:

  • Transcript of TV3's interview of Najib    2015-04-10 13:09 ; KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today replied to questions on several issues raised by various quarters, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad... Najib, while stressing that his priority was to the nation and people, answered all aspects of the criticisms, pertaining to the management of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB); implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M); the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu; Sedition Act; Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and the economic prospects of the country.... He expounded on the issues in an interview with Hamdan Ahmir on a special edition of the TV 'Soal Jawab' (Question & Answer) programme aired tonight.... Following is the transcript of the interview..........
  • Transkrip Penuh Sesi soal Jawab Bersama Najib Razak 10-04-2015 editor; Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hari ini menjawab pelbagai soalan mengenai beberapa isu yang diutarakan oleh pelbagai pihak termasuk Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad......
some video links:

Will herd mindset drown the nation? By JD Lovrenciear 7:46AM Apr 10, 2015; ....Yes, Dr Mahathir has asked very basic and simple questions that any teenager in a debating bout would have likewise, articulated to the admiration of the audience.  As a Malaysian citizen and a former leader you cannot discount the fact one drop, that he, yes Mahathir, truly cares for the country. He is asking all the questions that patriotic and sensible citizens too have asked and keep asking, but to no avail.
 And as Dr Mahathir just rebutted with wisdom, instead of answering the questions related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, Najib has gone to market to garner a show of popularity-support for himself....  Not only that. There are others who are pleading to “give him another chance’.  And yet there are others who are returning Dr Mahathir’s valid and reasonable questions with an artillery of all kinds of allegations framed against the former prime minister....  Now what kind of herd mentality is this?...  Well, as Dr Mahathir very wisely put it across, if this is what Najib chooses to do and what his supporters have stood up for, then it also means that all of them are in unison with Najib on any and all wrongdoings of the present leadership.

May tabling for hudud Bill Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 7:38:00 AM; PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill did not make it for debate as the Dewan Rakyat adjourned for the day. His Bill will have to be re-submitted during the next sitting in May. Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim confirmed that there was no indication from the day’s order of proceedings that Abdul Hadi’s motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisidiction) Act 1965 would be read by the time the sitting ended last night....

8 April 2015: MCA gives full support to PM Najib, adding to some Sarawak, Sabah support statements and UMNO division heads support event. 

Earlier, support statements from Sarawak and Sabah representatives too. Many UMNO members also came to a red-shirted show of support event for PM Najib. He is facing severe criticisms and call by Dr Mahathir to step down (this is the Doctor's third move against an UMNO leader)

MCA supports Najib’s leadership, says Liow Updated: Tuesday April 7, 2015 MYT 10:46:51 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has reiterated its full support for the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic).
The MCA president said the party would not entertain any criticism against the Prime Minister.  
It said the focus of the party was on working with Umno to develop the country, and it would turn a deaf ear to any criticism against the premier, including calls for him to resign. 
"We give (our) full support to Datuk Seri Najib. We are very focused on developing the nation together with Umno and the BN (Barisan Nasional), and won't allow any attack (criticism) to disturb our stand to build the country," he told reporters at Parliament’s lobby on Tuesday.

5 April 2015 afternoon: Jamaluddin to be buried in National Mosque mausoleum

Jamaluddin to be buried in National Mosque mausoleum Published: 5 April 2015 12:24 PM Rompin MP Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis’s coffin leaving the Kuala Hospital's (HKL) Forensics Department today. He will be buried after Asar prayers. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, April 5, 2015.Rompin MP Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Semenyih yesterday, will be buried at the National Mosque Mausoleum in Kuala Lumpur after Asar (afternoon) prayers today. His eldest son, Ikhwan Hafiz, said the coffin bearing his father's remains left the Kuala Hospital's (HKL) Forensics Department about 11am. The funeral prayers were held at the Taman TAR Mosque in Ampang at 11.30 am before the coffin was brought to the family home at The Mines in Sri Kembangan. "The burial will be held at Makam Masjid Negara after the Asar prayers," he said at HKL's Forensic Department. Members of the Royal Malay Regiment's 1st Battalion were seen readying to accompany the hearse, Bernama reported. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor together with newly-wed Nooryana Najwa and Daniyar Nazarbayev arrived at the late MP’s house to pay their last respects. - See more at:

Oddly, at 3pm today, among most read articles on Malaysiakini is a 2013 article: Rosmah: I'm not involved in Altantuya murder By Ram Anand  7:31PM Mar 19, 2013 Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor has denied being involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, as alleged by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Screenshot of google search for "raja petra" includes these at the top:

5 April 2015: PM Najib loses key staffers in helicopter crash, returning to KL after daughter's Pekan wedding reception: former Ambassador to the US Jamaluddin Jarjis and Chief  of Staff Azlin Alias. Jamaludin also widely noted as the closest finance expert. Witness saw helicopter exploded in mid-air, just off the ground, in heavy rain. PM Najib promises investigation. Note: on Dr M's call for PM Najib to resign, Khairy Jamaluddin says Najib must answer queries by Dr M. 

Najib orders full investigation into helicopter crash in Semenyih Bernama | Updated: April 05, 2015
Najib, grief-stricken by the tragedy described the incident as a great blow for himself and his family as Jamaluddin had been an acquaintance since his university days and a very close ally in his party struggle and political career. "Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis was a person of high caliber, who had sacrificed much for the government, party and country. He had many acquaintances here and abroad," he said of Jamaluddin who had served as Ambassador of Malaysia to the  United States. Najib, who was seen trying hard to hold back his tears at the news conference, said: "Therefore his loss is a big tragedy to me and I am deeply saddened by what had happened." In addition to their university days, he said, Jamaluddin, who was also the Member of Parliament for Rompin, and him were together in their early involvement in UMNO and later in government administration. Speaking on Azlin, whom he described as 'Chief of Staff' in the Prime Minister Office, Najib said the latter's role was to decide on various important matters in office affairs....

Malaysian PM Najib Razak grief-stricken by helicopter crash that killed six by Lindsay Murdoch  Date April 5, 2015 - 11:55AM  72 reading now; ....Grief-stricken prime minister Najib Razak said early on Sunday that "no stone will be left unturned" to establish the cause of the crash that came amid a bitter power struggle in Malaysia's ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
Hours before the crash, as Mr Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor mingled with guests at the wedding reception of their second-oldest 27-year-old daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib, former strongman prime minister Mahathir Mohamad openly called on Mr Najib to step down, saying it was the only way UMNO could stay in power....... "If they want to survive, I think they must change the prime minister," Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending a forum near Kuala Lumpur...... No government officials have suggested the helicopter crash is linked to the leadership struggle.... But the crash is a deeply personal tragedy for Mr Najib as he faces the call for him to resign by 89-year-old Dr Mahathir, who still wields significant power in UMNO......... Dr Mahathir, who led Malaysia for 22 years, has been criticising Mr Najib for weeks over his handling of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad that has more than US$11 billion ($14 billion)  in debts and is now relying on government cash injections. Mr Najib set up the fund and chairs a committee that oversees it........ Writing in his blog on Thursday, Dr Mahathir also called for the re-opening of an investigation into who ordered the killing of glamorous Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu who was shot dead as she begged for the life of her unborn child and blown up with explosives, a case linked to allegations of high-level corruption in Malaysia's purchase of two French submarines when Mr Najib was defence minister in 2006. Mr Najib denied ever meeting Ms Shaariibuu and the government denies any wrongdoing in the submarine purchases......... Sirul Azhar Umar, one of Mr Najib's bodyguards at the time, fled to Australia ahead of his January conviction for the murder where he has claimed from Sydney's Villawood immigration detention centre he was ordered to carry out the murder but has not revealed by whom....... Dr Mahathir's comments have brought UMNO's power struggle into the open following the government's jailing for five years of charismatic opposition Anwar Ibrahim on a charge of sodomy that was widely seen as politically motivated....... Mr Najib's government has escalated a crackdown on freedom of speech and civil rights in recent weeks, arresting dozens of people and charging them under a draconian Sedition Act that carries possible jail terms of up to two years.........

Malaysia helicopter crash: Najib pays tribute to Jamaluddin, Azlin Published on Apr 5, 2015 1:38 AM; Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute on Saturday to former US envoy Jamaluddin Jarjis (above) and 'Chief of Staff' Azlin Alias, who died in a helipcopter crash that killed all six people on board. -- PHOTO:  (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute on Saturday to former US envoy Jamaluddin Jarjis and 'Chief of Staff' Azlin Alias, who died in a helipcopter crash that killed all six people on board. The helicopter crashed at a rubber plantation near Kampung Sungai Pening in Semenyih, Kajang, en route to Subang from Kuantan. Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis contributed much to Malaysia and played a vital role in strengthening Malaysia-America relations, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday, as he visited the crash site.  "I consider him to be a highly capable man who has done much for his party and the nation. When he was our Ambassador in Washington, he played a vital role in building relations with the United States and he shared his opinion and advice with me. Mr Jamaluddin was Malaysia's Ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2012.Mr Najib also spoke of Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, private secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, saying they had a close working relationship when Mr Azlin was private secretary. "He had agreed to leave his career in the corporate world to serve the government in a form of national service. Azlin was dedicated, trustworthy and liked by all. His death is a profound loss for me. He has helped me with many important government matters," said Mr Najib. Mr Azlin was previously director of the Economics Division at the Prime Minister's Department.....

Jamaluddin’s aide shocked to learn tragic news Updated: Sunday April 5, 2015 MYT 7:13:08 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: The special officer to Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis has been waiting for his boss’ arrival when news broke of the crash. Mazlan Yusof said he was shocked to learn of the news at around 6pm. “I had just arrived home in Melawati when I received the news. I knew that earlier they had gone to the Prime Minister’s daughter’s wedding reception in Pekan...

Witness Saw Helicopter Exploded In Mid-air By Nik Nurfaqih Nik Wil & Rohani Mohd Ibrahim
SEMENYIH, April 4 (Bernama) -- The helicopter with six people on board which crashed in a rubber plantation in Jalan Sungai Lalang, Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih this evening, was seen to have exploded in mid-air before hitting the ground.  A witness, Roslan Harun, 54, a security guard on duty near the scene, said the mishap occured during heavy rain.  "It exploded in mid-air, not so high from the ground. Then, the debris, tail and blades were thrown all over the place," he told Bernama at the scene.  Roslan said he had wanted to enter the crash site to offer help and assistance, but changed his mind and called the Fire and Rescue Department instead.  He said the crash site was about 5 kilometre away from Kampung Sungai Pening or 13 km from the Semenyih town.  So far, no bodies had been taken out of the crash site. -- BERNAMA

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.

4 April 2015: Police refute Dr Mahathir's statement, and reassure no sedition seen in his blog posting

IGP refutes Dr Mahathir's statement, says Sirul's claims investigated by natasha joibi Updated: Friday April 3, 2015 MYT 8:04:26 PM; PETALING JAYA: Police have refuted Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that no investigations were carried out on the claims made by former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar over Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder.   Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said he also found Dr Mahathir's comments "not seditious".  He said thorough investigations were already carried out on all the issues raised by Sirul.   "Maybe Tun Dr Mahathir does not know about the actions we have taken, and the investigations that we have carried out.
 "We (the police) have already met Sirul in Australia. From that meeting, we find that there are no issues that need to be investigated further," he said at a press conference on Friday.   When asked if the content of the blog post was seditious, Khalid said, "to me, it isn't." ...........

2 April 2015: Dr Mahathir: I’m not senile, Barisan will lose if Najib remains as PM

Dr Mahathir: I’m not senile, Barisan will lose if Najib remains as PM by t. avineshwaran Updated: Thursday April 2, 2015 MYT 5:25:33 PM; PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) fears that Umno and Barisan Nasional will lose the 14th general election if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak remains as the Prime Minister. In a strongly worded statement posted on his blog, on Thursday, Dr Mahathir said many members and leaders from Umno supported Najib blindly.
“When Umno loses, Malays will criticise the leadership for making the sacred party weak until it is rejected by the Malays themselves. “Once Umno loses, it can never recover,” warned Dr Mahathir.
The former premier added that he is loyal but his loyalty is only for the party and the Malays representing it. “It is not easy for me to write this blog, but from the people and the country, I have to reveal all this. “I am not senile although I am nearly reaching 90 years old. Those who say I am senile are just lying to themselves. “Malays will only be safe if they care for their community instead of themselves,” he said. Dr Mahathir claimed that people from all races would no longer trust Najib because he did not answer the accusations hurled at him. Some of the unanswered accusations hurled at Najib mentioned by Dr Mahathir in his blog are the Altantuya murder, 1MDB controversy and the purchase of a private jet for VVIP use....

1 April 2015: Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts;  Najib's daughter - a grand wedding at KLCC over the weekend

Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 1 April 2015 6:59 AM There was a huge turnout at the #KitaLawan rally on March 7. Soon after, Putrajaya began cracking down on dissent, leading to the arrest of many activists, opposition politicians and academics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 1, 2015.With more than 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression, political analysts say the police crackdown might cripple dissent briefly, but would ultimately backfire on the ruling coalition. While the arrest and investigations on opposition politicians, activists, academics and media personnel would cow the public for a while and drain the resources of those critical of Putrajaya, such actions would not be effective for long, they told The Malaysian Insider......Dr Mohd Faisal Syam Abdol Hazis, a senior lecturer from the department of Political Studies at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), said BN's previous strategies of trying to be inclusive and conduct reforms had failed, and the ruling coalition now felt that the only way for it to stay in power was to destroy PR. Before the 2013 general election, Faisal said, BN’s strategy had been to listen to the electorate and introduce inclusive reforms, but that strategy failed due to lack of political will. “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wanted to introduce reform, but he felt insecure and flip-flopped, so when the voters saw this, they knew he was not serious and change could only happen if BN was defeated. - See more at:

MEGA EXTRAVAGANCE: Wedding pics of Najib's daughter 'banned' from Internet Sunday, 29 March 2015 19:19; Prime Minister Najib Razak’s daughter may have prohibited photographs and videos of her wedding dinner yesterday to be posted on the Internet but the instructions nevertheless made it on Instagram. One of the guests, Filipino personality Kris Aquino, daughter of former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, shared the couple’s request printed on the wedding dinner invitation. It read, “On this day of joy, we thank you for joining us in the celebration of our love and the beginning of our new life together. “In the spirit of keeping this celebration an intimate affair, we would appreciate if you do not post any pictures or videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media. “Thank you for your kind understanding and cooperation.” The dinner took place smoothly at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre after the Kita Lawan rally that had earlier sought to gatecrash it met with a wall of over a hundred policemen ready to make arrests. The roughly five hundred protestors came to an agreement with the police to hold a 45-minute sit in at the barricades, after which they dispersed peacefully. Denying that they had gone to disrupt the wedding reception of the newlyweds Nooryana Najwa Najib and Daniyar Kessikbayev, the protestors came bearing flowers and the traditional ‘bunga manggar’. Following the peaceful rally, Kita Lawan coordinator Fariz Musa, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and two other youths were arrested through the night. - M'kini...

Celebrity wedding pictures always seem to find their way online some how - these appeared online:


Maira says still married, son’s engagement to Najib’s daughter still on By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal Published: 15 June 2012 11:09 AM KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The mother of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s future son-in-law has denied allegations that she and her son are being sued by her multi-millionaire husband, and has maintained that her marriage is still intact. She also said her son’s engagement to Prime Minister Najib’s daughter is still on despite the flurry of allegations which has surfaced from court documents filed by her estranged husband in a New York court. Najib had a glittering ceremony in Kuala Lumpur last year to mark his daughter’s engagement. — File picOn Tuesday, several foreign newspapers including the New York Post reported that Daniyar Nazarbayev, who is engaged to Najib’s daughter, was being sued together with his mother for cheating his stepfather Bolat Nazarbayez, brother to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. He also allegedly fudged his academic qualifications to get into Columbia University in the United States. - See more at:

21 March 2015: PM Najib and UMNO support for hudud

Umno support for hudud law puts Najib in hot seat - Opposition, his coalition partners hit out at efforts to bolster Islamic penal code Published on Mar 21, 2015 By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani Malaysia Correspondent In Kuala Lumpur PRIME Minister Najib Razak is coming under increasing pressure to explain his Umno party's support for hudud law as members of opposition parties - as well as his coalition partners - slammed efforts to strengthen the controversial Islamic penal code as unconstitutional. Yesterday, the secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), Mr Lim Guan Eng, said ally Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) lost its non-Muslim support when it passed amendments to syariah law in Kelantan on Thursday and that the Islamist party was delusional if it believed otherwise. "Such acts of betrayal by PAS Kelantan and some PAS national leaders may have also sealed the fate of PR (Pakatan Rakyat), and not just PAS in Kelantan," the Penang Chief Minister said in a statement. Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru yesterday also called the move in Kelantan unconstitutional. "The enactment goes against the secular structure of our federal Constitution, which does not envisage a theocratic Islamic state, or a parallel criminal justice system where Muslims and non-Muslims are subjected to unequal treatment before the law," Malaysia's The Star reported him saying yesterday. He added that drafters of the Constitution had never intended a dual criminal justice system, one at federal level for non-Muslims, and another at the state level for Muslims. - See more at:

19 March 2015: Hishammuddin faces social media scrutiny of RM330,000 cash purchase for new car

Hisham explains RM330,000 cash purchase for new car by david tan, winnie yeoh, oh chin eng, AND chong kah yuan Updated: Thursday March 19, 2015 MYT 6:37:10 PM ; LANGKAWI: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has clarified that he is paying cash for a new car as he had a positive balance after trading in his old vehicle.... The Defence Minister was responding to a viral photograph spreading on social media depicting a vehicle sales order form for a new Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI vehicle. The form indicated that Hishammuddin would be paying cash for the car that cost RM330,250, including miscellaneous fees. "This is the work of people who use the social media to instigate matters....

18 March 2015: "Creeping authoritarianism won’t slow UMNO’s rising unpopularity among young people, urbanites and ethnic minorities"... MPs to declare assets, interests and benefits to MACC?

Review & Outlook: Malaysia’s Creeping Authoritarianism - WSJ; The government arrests Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.... Malaysian politics are moving down a dark path. A month after the country's highest court upheld the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy, police on Monday arrested Mr. Anwar’s daughter for violating the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law increasingly used to chill political debate.... Western diplomats have also criticized her father’s prosecution. “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts,” the U.S. State Department said last month.  ........Creeping authoritarianism won’t slow UMNO’s rising unpopularity among young people, urbanites and ethnic minorities. Nor will it help Malaysia’s ties with the U.S., which are important for combating terrorism; Malaysian police arrested 19 Islamic State supporters plotting attacks around Kuala Lumpur last year. Nurul Izzah Anwar and Anwar Ibrahim should be released for their own sake and that of a democracy sliding into repression.

‘MPs should declare assets, interests, benefits’  Updated: Wednesday March 18, 2015 MYT 8:51:55 AM; MEMBERS of Parliament should declare their “assets, interests and benefits” following a proposed rise in their allowances, said Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad... “With higher allowance, there must also be more responsibilities. “We want lawmakers to declare not only their assets, but their interests and benefits as well. “This includes going on overseas trips by invitation of foreign institutions from the private sector or government,” the Johor Baru MP told reporters at Parliament lobby... He said the declaration could be done in a confidential manner and handed over to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. “They can also take an integrity pledge as is done by the Sarawak government,” he added....

15 March 2015: Multiple fractures in Malaysia's high politics; PM Najib wealth problem carried widely in global press, Najib wants infighting to stop, Khairy supportive on Petrosaudo's rebuttal

Anwar jailing could hurt both opposition and Najib by Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS  14 March 2015
The jailing of Anwar Ibrahim following a second sodomy conviction could trigger a chain of events that could shake up Malaysian politics. Unlike after his first jailing in 1998, the opposition, which he leads, is already split and could crumble. But this may well play out as Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is currently under siege within his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), fights for his own survival. Anwar currently is serving a jail term of five years for what he maintains was a political conspiracy by his enemies, including Prime Minister Najib.... Unless pardoned by the Malaysian King, the verdict could well end the 67-year-old Anwar’s political career. Besides losing his parliamentary seat, by the time he is released, he would be 72 making any political comeback difficult. But the former deputy prime minister has in the past proven to be like a cat with nine lives — and might just have one more. His family’s move to petition for a royal pardon was unexpected, but that prevented Anwar from losing his parliamentary seat pending the King’s decision. Anwar did not make the appeal, insisting on his innocence.... As he faces these challenges, Najib has to ensure that his ethnic-based ruling coalition remains stable. But a key partner, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), has broken into a public power feud, forcing Najib to step in. Another component party, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has just recovered from its own power struggle. In the anchor party, UMNO, the Mahathir-led undercurrents against Najib’s leadership remain despite the re-jailing of Anwar.... Najib cannot afford any more upsets in 2015, especially as Malaysia will be under the spotlight as chair of ASEAN. Will Najib display sufficient political skill to ensure his survival as leader — even as his nemesis, Anwar, and the divided opposition struggle for their own political survival?

Malaysian PM in hot seat over wealth \•14 Mar 2015 at 14:32; Pressure is mounting on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to explain his family's outsized wealth, with former premier Mahathir Mohamad joining the chorus of critics. Dr Mahathir said people wanted to know where Mr Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz, obtained the funds used to produce a Hollywood movie as well as invest in real estate worth tens of millions of dollars in the United States. Spokesmen for Mr Najib, himself the son of a former prime minister, have said that his family has a sizable sum from an inheritance, but they did not address the source of Mr Riza's wealth directly. However, even the prime minister's own brothers have denied that the inheritance was large enough to support activities on the scale reported.
.........Mr Najib later joined his brothers and described their father as frugal and a man of integrity.
Opposition leaders have urged the premier to address questions raised about his accumulated wealth.
On Thursday, PAS Youth, a wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, lodged a report to press authorities to investigate reports of Mr Najib living a life of luxury....

Don’t let infighting destroy Umno’s team spirit, cautions PM  by oh chin eng  Updated: Sunday March 15, 2015 MYT 8:49:38 AM; ALOR SETAR: Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on party members to get rid of troublemakers (jemuan) who cause disunity and internal fighting. Without such troublemakers, the Prime Minister said Umno and Barisan Nasional could retain Kedah in the next general election.  “Sometimes, people on the ground become batu ronson (instigators), tukang kipas (apple polishers) and maybe also jemuan. “They (jemuan) are worse than the tukang kipas as they try to pit us against each other and threaten Umno’s unity,” he said in his opening speech during the two-day Kedah Umno convention here yesterday....

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.

13 March 2015: Hishammudin complains survey picking him as next PM is meant to 'destabilise' UMNO, another survey finds 1 in 2 Malaysians want veteran politicians to step down (especially so for the opposition party senior leaders); BN supporters tried to defraud a White House petition to counter petition supporting Anwar Ibrahim which achieved the 100,000 signature target

Survey on next PM pick meant to 'destabilise' Umno, Hishammuddin claims Malay Mail Online  - ‎2 hours ago‎;

Malaysians want veteran politicians to step down, survey shows BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 12 March 2015 9:00 AM
BN fans finagle White House petition, get caught Malaysiakini 12:21PM Mar 11, 2015; American authorities may have heard the numerous complaints about possible fraud in the Malaysian electoral system but the superpower got a firsthand taste of it after BN supporters tried to defraud a White House petition.... The petition titled: ‘Respecting the Sovereign Nation of Malaysia’ was aimed at countering a petition started by former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott demanding the US make the freeing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim a foreign policy priority....

12 March 2015: PAS Youth wants probe on PM Najib family wealth, Najib urged to sue foreign publications; 1MDB critics say enough grounds to charge Jho Low and 1MDB officers; Hishamuddin is top pick as future PM (post Najib and Muhyiddin)

PAS Youth wants cops to probe PM's family wealth By Anjulie Ngan 6:23PM Mar 12, 2015
Referring to the recent exposès by the New York Times on the deep pockets of the Najib family, PAS Youth Information chief Mohd Nasaie Ismail has urged the police to open investigation papers on the PM's family's wealth... He said there were doubts all around, particularly about the source of the wealth obtained by Najib's stepson Riza Aziz and his billionaire friend Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho low...

Najib urged to sue foreign publications By Zikri Kamarulzaman 5:41PM Mar 12, 2015; Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin has urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to sue the New York Times and French paper Liberation, which have allegedly tarnished his good name....

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 1MDB crisis here:

Hishammuddin No. 1 pick as future PM, survey shows BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 11 March 2015 6:31 AM; Most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to lead Barisan Nasional should Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire from politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 11, 2015. Most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to lead Barisan Nasional should Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire from politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 11, 2015. As pressure mounts against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim remains behind bars, a survey on the country’s next generation of political leaders has found that most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to become the future prime minister.... The survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center found that 19.8% of the 1,008 respondents polled from January 21 to 30, preferred Hishammuddin as the future prime minister over his peers Khairy Jamaluddin (8.6%), Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (8.4%), Rafizi Ramli (3.9%), Mohamed Azmin Ali (3.7%) and Nurul Izzah Anwar (1.7%).... The survey, commissioned by The Malaysian Insider, also revealed that the majority of respondents (19.4%) wanted Hishammuddin to lead Barisan Nasional if or after Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire. “Malaysians prefer Hishammuddin as he has the pedigree and the family name. He was in the limelight last year over the MH370 disappearance and was perceived to be handling it quite well. He became the face of Malaysia and got good ratings,” Ibrahim Suffian, director of Merdeka Center, told The Malaysian Insider...

M’sians want Hisham as PM, but does Umno? COMMENT Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is probably on cloud nine following a survey by pollster Merdeka Centre, which saw the majority of respondents endorsing him as future prime minister material. The Umno vice-president outclassed the most popular of the three vice-presidents in the party, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. While some may argued that number of the respondents - slightly more than 1,000 - may not be an accurate representation of public sentiment, it’s Umno which will ultimately decide who will be PM...

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Malaysians’ top pick as next PM  Published: 4:12 AM, March 12, 2015; .... In contrast, less than one in 10 opted for Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin or Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as a future Premier. They scored 8.6 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively. The popularity of Mr Hishammuddin — the son of Malaysia’s third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and grandson of UMNO founder Onn Jaafar — also cut across racial and political lines. He was the top choice among all three major races, men and women, as well as supporters of BN and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition alike. “Hishammuddin is generally seen as ... a political thoroughbred and very experienced, who generally carries himself well in international contexts,” Dr Ooi Kee Beng, deputy director of Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, told TODAY....

26 February 2015: Former NST editor Kadir Jasin calls on PM's Office to answer on claims of large inheritance left by Tun Razak (denied by four of his five sons)

PMO must answer report on Razak’s inheritance, says veteran newsman Published: 25 February 2015 4:53 PM The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) must clarify its statement about the inheritance left by Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Husein or risk being accused of tainting his legacy, veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said today... The former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times (pic, right) was referring to the statement issued by four of Razak’s sons last night where they expressed concern over speculation about the "nature and extent" of the inheritance left behind by their father following a report by The New York Times.... "Unless the PMO makes an about-turn and denies ever making a statement to the NYT about Najib’s so-called inheritance, it stands accused of tainting the memory of that great man.... "The PMO propaganda machine can do whatever it likes even at the expense of ethics and morality to protect the PM and his wife.
"But for it to dishonour and disrespect the memory of Tun Abdul Razak is an unpardonable sin," Kadir wrote in his blog today....

25 February 2015: Highly read statement to Malaysian Insider from 4 of 5 Razak brothers (excludes PM Najib) denies big inheritance left by father 2nd PM Razak

Razak family concerned about inheritance talk, say siblings Published: 24 February 2015 8:44 PM; The family of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein today dismissed talks of the extent of inheritance left by Malaysia's second prime minister, saying he was frugal and had integrity. Their statement comes days after The New York Times quoted a statement from the Prime Minister's Office that Datuk Seri Najib Razak's wealth came from a family inheritance after reports that his stepson had bought opulent properties in New York city. "We are extremely concerned that some recent news articles and postings have given rise to speculation as to the nature and extent of the inheritance that our late father, Tun Abdul Razak, had left behind, " the family said in a statement signed by four of Razak's five sons – Datuk Johari, Datuk Nizam, Datuk Nazim, and Datuk Seri Nazir....  Najib is Razak's eldest son..."We wish to put on record that Tun Abdul Razak was a highly principled man, well-known to all who knew him for his frugality and utmost integrity and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation. "We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive. "We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue," they added in the three-paragraph statement sent to The Malaysian Insider tonight....

18 February 2015: Convicted cop Sirul mulls tell-all on Altantuya death from Sydney Villawood detention centre - says "I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free" to Malaysiakini

Convicted Malaysian cop Sirul Azhar Umar breaks silence about death of model Altantuya Shaariibuu by Lindsay Murdoch  Date February 18, 2015 - 11:27AM  1180 reading now
A Malaysian police commander sentenced to hang in Kuala Lumpur has broken his silence from Sydney's Villawood detention centre, saying he was ordered to kill a Mongolian socialite at the centre of high-level corruption allegations in Malaysia.... Sirul Azhar Umar said he was acting under orders when he twice shot glamorous 28-year-old translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in the head as she begged for the life of her unborn child and then wrapped her body with military explosives and blew her up.
"I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free," Sirul, a former bodyguard of Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak, told the Malaysiakini news portal by telephone.

Sirul mulls revealing all on Altantuya murder by Malaysiakini  4:58PM Feb 17, 2015
EXCLUSIVE After fleeing to Australia to escape the hangman's noose, former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar is now mulling answering the biggest riddle in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder - why did he and Azilah Hadri shoot dead the Mongolian woman and blow up her remains with explosives? In a recent telephone conversation with Malaysiakini, Sirul disclosed that several Australian media have requested for a "tell all" interview with him....

13 February 2015: A family feud, a partying PR guru, a bailout and a doctor's advise.... 

  • PR guru (RM500k/month salary?)
  • Mahathir urges leadership resignation, smelling something "rotten" in Malaysia over 1MDB and other issues

Acrimonious Split Rattles Malaysian Premier’s Family Posted on February 11, 2015By John Berthelsen; The announcement last week by top Malaysian banker Nazir Razak of his intention to file defamation charges against bloggers believed connected to a close friend of his brother, Prime Minister Najib Razak, has laid bare what has been whispered about for months in Kuala Lumpur.
There is a growing, acrimonious rift in the Razak family, much of it over the deeply indebted government-backed investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and Najib’s siblings’ relationship with the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, partly because of her ostentatious flaunting of enormous wealth.  Rosmah, in addition to concerns about her behavior, is believed to have convinced her husband to initiate the 1MDB fund, which is backed by the Ministry of Finance.
One of the questions circulating in Malaysia’s business community is whether the family feud might result in problems for CIMB, the fast-growing Malaysia-headquartered bank that Nazir heads and which has become one of Southeast Asia’s leading financial institutions. Observers say CIMB owes at least some of its rapid growth to its connections to the family and hence to UMNO. “Its political connections are probably no longer a slam dunk asset for Nazir,” a business source with connections to the government told Asia Sentinel. ....

Too Much Partying By Najib’s PR Guru Paul Stadlen? | Sarawak Report;

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....
More newslinks here:
  • Sovereign wealth fund / SWF news (update 5): 1MDB clouds PETRONAS $7 billion debt proposal, 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; Jho Low and 1MDB on NY Times front page, 1MDB $2.4 billion sukuk called off?
  • Petronas news (update 15a): 1MDB Mess Clouds Petronas $7 Billion Debt Proposal - Bloomberg; PETRONAS CEO announcement goes to the wire - Wan Zulkiflee (COO and head of downstream) succeeds Shamsul, Bloomberg reports; Shamsul expected 7-month extension did not eventuate; PETRONAS affirms planned RM60 billion for Pengerang, questions about Johor multiple oil & gas hubs including Benalec 1,400 ha reclamation /khoryuleng/2014/06/petronas-rapid-project-in-johor.html

4 February 2015: 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

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: A curious RM shorting allegation (which is denied) has watchers asking who's behind it

Edge owner denies claims he manipulated ringgit Published: 1 February 2015 2:48 PM Businessman and owner of The Edge Media Group Datuk Tong Kooi Ong (pic) has denied allegations made on anonymous blogs that he is betting against the ringgit to make it crash for personal profit, and is trying to identify the individuals behind these claims to sue them....

20 January 2015: Anwar vs Daim reboot courtesy TV3, Utusan & MACC; Perkasa denies given boot by Dr M; Mahathir talks to Sarawak Report on 1MDB problems; Hisham denies letter of support in Zahid-Shafee-Phua-14K triad-FBI question

Hisham: I have never written 'support letters' to the FBI before by t. avineshwaran; PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein(pic) has denied ever writing a letter of support for any individual addressed to the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while he was the Home Minister. Hishammuddin, who is now Defence Minister, was responding to a comment by current Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said that his "predecessors" had written such letters of support to the FBI before.... On Friday, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that his letter to the FBI was not meant to defend Malaysian Paul Phua Wei Seng, who is facing trial in the United States. He said that he was merely clarifying that Phua was not a member of the 14K triad and that the secret society did not exist in Malaysia.... He said Phua's lawyers in the United States had requested the letter through their local counterparts Shafee & Co, which then asked his office to give an explanation to the FBI.....

Anwar on TV3, Utusan signals trouble in Umno By RK Anand and Fathi Aris Omar 6:31AM Jan 20, 2015; COMMENT Imagine Anwar Ibrahim securing air time and print space on TV3, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times to unleash a damning accusation against a veteran Umno leader? This borders on the bizarre given the mechanics of Malaysian politics....  Archives would reveal that the only time the opposition leader had appeared on these Umno-linked media organisations is when he was on the receiving end of brickbats....  Therefore Anwar’s claim of possessing “solid evidence” regarding how Daim Zainuddin, a close associate of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had allegedly abused his position as finance minister to amass wealth has ignited the speculation mills....  Adding fuel to the furnace is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s swift response in wanting to secure the evidence from Anwar.....

Anwar sedia kerjasama dengan SPRM siasat Daim Astro Awani | Kemas kini: Januari 19, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sedia bekerjasama dengan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) jika siasatan dilakukan terhadap bekas menteri kewangan, Tun Daim Zainuddin, lapor The Malaysian Insider.
Read more at:

Siasatan 1998 dapati tiada kes rasuah Tun Daim 19 Januari 2015 6:12 PM; KUALA LUMPUR 19 Jan. - Tiada kes rasuah terhadap bekas Menteri Kewangan, Tun Daim Zainuddin, berdasarkan siasatan yang dijalankan pada 1998 oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) atau kini Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).... “Untuk makluman, siasatan ke atas Tun Daim telah pun dijalankan BPR (kini SPRM) pada tahun 1998. Timbalan Pendakwa Raya yang meneliti kes ini pada masa itu telah membuat keputusan tiada tindakan lanjut (NFA),” katanya dalam kenyataan di sini, hari ini.... Bagaimanapun, katanya, SPRM telah menemu bual Daim baru-baru ini dan keterangan yang diberi Daim, Anwar serta saksi lain akan dikemukakan semula kepada Timbalan Pendakwa Raya.... Beliau berkata, SPRM juga seterusnya akan kemukakan keterangan tersebut kepada Panel Penilaian Operasi, badan bebas yang memantau operasi SPRM.... “SPRM menegaskan bahawa agensinya sentiasa menjalankan fungsinya termasuk siasatan dengan bebas, telus dan profesional berdasarkan Akta SPRM 2009,” katanya. - Bernama;

I know those behind media spotlight on me, says Daim Published: 15 January 2015 8:00 PM Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin says he knows those behind the sudden spotlight on his business empire. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 15, 2015.Tun Daim Zainuddin has revealed he knows those behind a sudden spotlight on his business empire as Malaysia's anti-graft officials investigate the former finance minister's banking business abroad. Daim, in a statement today, said he was surprised that Umno-controlled Media Prima Bhd would provide coverage for opposition party PKR. “While I understand the motivation of these PKR politicians as they know not much other than politics and making baseless allegations, I am quite surprised with the attention given to them by the government-friendly media. - See more at:

Perkasa says Dr M was never patron, denies being dumped By Ida Lim and Shazwan Mustafa Kamal Published: January 19, 2015 10:36 AM; KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was never patron or advisor to Perkasa, the Malay rights group said today to dispute a report the two have parted ways. Syed Hassan Syed Ali, Perkasa’s secretary-general, also said the group has no formal ties with Dr Mahathir, and rubbished a report that the former national leader was distancing himself from the group. “I do not know from where they got the news that Tun M has started to distance (himself) from Perkasa. We feel that that news is not true,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today. He described the group’s ties with Dr Mahathir as cordial, saying that Perkasa’s leadership had met with the latter last November in a yearly closed-door event. “We meet Tun M in a group, all the members of Perkasa Malaysia’s Supreme Council, once a year to exchange greetings and exchange views regarding current issues,” he said. But Syed Hassan maintained that Dr Mahathir was merely a supporter of Perkasa’s ideas and was not their patron, adding that the group felt that Dr Mahathir’s views must be given consideration as they considered him the greatest leader in the country’s history and the Islamic world since becoming Malaysia’s fourth prime minister. - See more at:

1MDB Explanation “Is Not Something I Can Accept” Says Dr M – EXCLUSIVE; 15 January 2015; In an exclusive personal interview granted yesterday to Sarawak Report, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made clear that he is not satisfied with the latest announcement by 1MDB, claiming that the US$2.32 billion (RM8.24 billon), which was supposedly parked in the Cayman Islands, has now been “fully redeemed”..... “The explanation does not enlighten us on anything”, the veteran politician insisted. “I want to know which bank it’s kept in now.  A billion dollars, you must keep it somewhere, you see.  I don’t know where the money is – that is part of transparency.” Dr Mahathir, who has been the most powerful and vocal critic within BN over the management of the so-called... sovereign development fund, had invited the Editor of Sarawak Report to the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya to discuss issues relating to Sarawak’s environmental and human rights record....

Adenan Joins Mahathir To Condemn Timber Corruption! 17 Nov 2014; Jaws have been slowly dropping around Sarawak and Malaysia – and then on around the world.... Earlier today the new Chief Minister, Adenan Satem, echoed Malaysia’s former Prime Minister and condemned the timber corruption in Sarawak! The conversion of either men to this cause is wholly surprising, given that both are long time political associates of Governor Taib Mahmud, who has savaged this website and other concerned NGOs for criticising this very corruption.... Taib has for decades denied that Sarawak’s timber corruption even existed or that the people and the environment were sufferin.
Now, it seems that Sarawak Report has gone from being an ‘enemy of the state‘ to speaking as with one voice with the leaders of BN!.... Sarawak's chain of custody of logs is deliberately kept weak, so no one can prove the origin of timber in ponds like this...