SELANGOR- A CONSTITUTIONAL MISUNDERSTANDING

INTRODUCTION

A primary consideration which escapes the minds and thinking of all those who argue against the Sultan’s exercise of the discretionary powers he enjoys under the constitution vis a vis the appointment of the Mentri Besar is their flawed reading of the constitution.

The Sultan’s constitutional discretion (which it is) does not exist in a vacuum nor in isolation from his many other obligations including his duties and rights under the constitution as monarch (or ruler of the state).

Paramount or at least running a close runner up to all his duties is his position as defender of the faith (the English equivalent of the Queens corresponding duties in this regard). The Sultan has two important duties to consider. One as the guardian and protector of the faith of Islam, the other being as protector and guardian of Malay culture.

Wan Aziza’s conduct by her comments, her silence, her alliance with people like Anwar Ibrahim and those opposition political parties who have brought ridicule and disrepute to the courts, the judiciary, parliament, the rulers and Islam, would have weighed heavily against her appointment to the post of Mentri Besar and that’s that. It had nothing to do with her gender or the Sultan being wrong. Far from that.

THE SULTAN’S CONSTITUTIONAL AND MORAL OBLIGATIONS

In considering the position of who the most suitable candidate is for the post of Mentri Besar the Sultan has an overriding duty to consider the appointment in the context of his two other duties. After all the Mentri Besar is his Mentri Besar just as ministers in England and Australia are ministers of the crown and not of any political party. The subtleties of these points are lost on those experts who claim to know all there is about the constitution. Tommy Thomas included.

More important the constitution does not expressly recognize political parties. It recognizes representatives of constituencies who assemble in parliament on behalf of the people. These representatives then nominate a single person from their ranks with the confidence of the majority of the house to be Prime Minister in federal parliament or as it is the case of the states the Mentri Besar.

The PM (as with the Mentri Besar) then forwards a list of names to be sworn into cabinet as ministers of the crown. They are ministers of the crown not of the Mentri Besar or his party.

These are conventional positions and colloquialisms that have developed over the centuries thought not cast in stone. It can be said that in Westminster and in Canberra there is tacit recognition of political parties in the constitution because out of the consolidated fund the chief whips of each party receives a special payment. But that’s neither here nor there in this argument.

WHERE THE “EXPERTS” GOT IT WRONG

Tommy Thomas’s ( constitutional law expert?) analogy and analysis of the Sultan’s position and his decision in the context of the Selangor Mentri Besar appointment, which he says the Sultan got wrong suffers from a number of embarrassing defects Thomas is himself appears oblivious to.

In citing the example of the Queen’s involvement in what he claims was a “refusal” by the sovereign to have Mrs. Thatcher removed in office Thomas is misinformed a far as the facts relating to that particular event is concerned.

Whether the Queen agreed to the removal of Margaret Thatcher (in his example) or not (as was the case) was a question of the exercise of her “discretion” under a constitutional power she enjoys just as the Sultan does in Selangor under the constitution. It had nothing to do with gender issues as suggested.

The details of this power and discretion Thomas does not explain properly because he understands little about the constitution I suspect. Yet it is all about a discretion and a power the Queen, like the Sultan enjoys under the constitution.

In fact by providing this example Thomas answers the very question he poses by the examples he provides. Likewise the Sultan has a discretionary power he exercised and that is that. Nothing to do with gender issues as Thomas appears to suggest was the case in denying Wan Aziza the Mentri Besar’s job..

THE AUSTRALIAN EXAMPLE

In the case of the second example  posted by Thomas, that of the deposing of Kevin Rudd in Australia by Julia Gillard his successor in office, it was the same situation. The discretion by the governor general of Australia pleased some but not everybody. But that did not make the governor general’s decision illegal or a demonstration of his affirmation on the subject of gender equality as Thomas appears to suggest.

What Thomas is suggesting in his analysis of the constitution is that the governor general of Australia appointed Julia Gillard over Kevin Rudd inspite of her being a woman as if that was a conscious constitutionally driven act by the governor general. That’s a nonsense and sheer drivel which Thomas has no evidence to support.

Gender played no part in that decision of the governor general. Gillard herself would disagree vehemently with Thomas’s suggestions in this regard as she has in numerous interviews and in her memoirs released just recently said otherwise.

Gillard in fact condemns and accuses all Australia of being chauvinistic males and parliament of being a chamber of misogynists. How could Thomas have missed that point? It was the hilite of Gillard’s career in politics. Her comments on misogyny.

Thomas is attempting to push the misogynist barrow for a failed Wan Aziza who failed on the merits of her attempts to become Mentri Besar of Selangor. Again her gender is a point she raises to explain her failings.

In 1975 the governor general sacked an entire popularly elected government in Australia. It was not wholly unprecedented but it rattled a nation who believed till then that the Queen was nothing more than a figure head.

Thomas should inform himself of the powers that reside within the monarch before condemning him. The Malaysian Bar ought to do the same.

Sultans may lie dormant like volcanoes erupting in a demonstration of their  dormant powers from time to time. That does not mean their exercise of that power that lies dormant within them makes them wrong or deserving of comments like Thomas’s. Instead they ought to be applauded for being more than simple puppets of tradition and convention especially when they re required to make a decision that is above politics.

The Sultan of Selangor’s decision in difficult circumstances is a sign of Malaysia’s political maturing.

The old phrase in the constitution “The King can do no wrong” is misunderstood by many like Thomas and his “learned friends” at the Malaysian Bar.

MAS-PRIVATIZATION OR ASSET STRIPPING

MAS-GOLD UP FOR GRABS

Even before the bodies of MH 17 passengers had turned cold, representatives of Malaysian Airlines now under siege and in severe financial stress, have laid out on the table, the assets of their company to be devoured by a regional competitor, suitor and raider.

That suitor raider is the national airline of a large and powerful neighbor. In between that proposed acquisition of MAS stands a Vulture fund. That Vulture fund appears to be Kazanah (raider) and a third party financier.

Nothing is likely to happen in the immediate aftermath of this revelation nor any announcement made in the short term about the proposed merger/ acquisition of MAS by the acquirer national carrier of a neighbour.

MAS and Kazanah in the event the acquisition is queried by the public will say that “the deal has always been on the cards. There is nothing new about it”.

Such a response will not only be misleading but it will not be reflective of the true situation regarding the planned asset stripping of MAS. The truth is more like this:

Whilst the proposed takeover of MAS has been in the contemplation of both sides for some time now as it has been in the minds of others still, it has not been taken so far as to allow the Australian media to run a paid and lengthy campaign by one of its media channels to further run MAS to the ground with sordid allegations of sexual impropriety by MAS staff making any acquisition of the airline cheaper than it should be.

BEAT IT UP AND MAKE IT LIGHTER

An allegation of a sexual assault by an Australian woman the subject of an Australian TV station run documentary is no coincidence. The allegation has not been tried in a court of law, yet the paid for and aggressive campaign by the Australian TV station against not only the steward at the centre of the complaint but MAS as an airline has been allowed to run unchallenged by MAS or the Malaysian government.

The silence by MAS management and the Malaysian government in the face of this allegation and trial by media, a breach of all norms and the legal rights of both MAS and the steward in question if not hopelessly incompetent is criminally negligent of Malaysia’s government and MAS’s management.

The purpose of this media exercise we understand is to run the reputation of MAS to the ground by those forces acting in collusion with a potential buyer of the airline so that any proposed acquisition of MAS’s assets will be considerably less than if its goodwill and reputation was part of the bargain.

But the delisting (as a first step) then proposed stripping via a merger of MAS with this foreign airline had never been simply “on the cards” so to speak as far as the long term intentions of asset stripping of MAS by the suitor is concerned. It has been a planned campaign waiting in the wings. It is just that the script has recently been changed to accommodate the recent tragedies involving MAS.

MAS A TOP 10 AIRLINE- THE SUITOR A 10 5 LOSER

MAS’ assets are and have been for some time coveted by many major airlines. The airline industry has been in a state of flux for over a decade with volatility in labour markets, cost overruns with aircraft manufacturers, delays in delivery times for new aircraft, volatility and unforeseen price fluctuations in the price of fuel and finally last but not least risks presented by foreign exchange fluctuations all of which have impacted on MAS’s bottom line.

Barring some of these contingencies and unforeseen events MAS has for sometime been a profitable and well managed airline. The foreign airline presently seeking to acquire MAS via a proposed “merger” has been a complete opposite in terms of its image, profitability, quality of service, reputation and long term viability. The suitor raider airline has a great record for airline safety but nothing else to show as an airline. No two airlines given their respective histories could be more different and incompatible.

The opportunistic and some would say mercenary, insensitive approach to a take-over of MAS at this time in its history, for a song at that, is from the information available, nothing short of ‘stealing the pennies off a dead mans eyes’. And further still what appears to be an irrational accommodation by the Malaysian government of the foreign airline’s ambitions through Kazanah may well be unlawful.

30 SEN IN THE RINGGIT OR 30 PIECES OF SILVER FOR A BETRAYAL

The rumoured offer of 30 sen for every share held by non-government shareholders is not a proper offer for the purpose of an acquisition and privatization of MAS by Kazanah. The terms of the offer have not been properly disclosed. The authority and the power under which such a restructure or offer can be made is not properly addressed. Even if they have been they are not complete as far as disclosures under the companies act is concerned to the level required.

The remaining 30% of the MAS share register is being held ransom to the ambitions of those at Kazanah who stand to reap millions in fees in order to “midwife” this privatization (prior to an asset sale or striping as we see it) is unfair.

Their payment to the government shareholder for its shares may be a preferred transaction and one that could be set aside if challenged by other shareholders in the minority in  a court.

The Malaysian government, the largest single shareholder in MAS is literally being offered pennies for the assets of MAS in this privatization bid, later intended to be a merger of MAS with that regional competitor.

If the Malaysian government as shareholder of MAS accepts the Kazanah proposal without a proper debate on all outstanding issues and disclosures relating to the transaction it will be in breach of the corporations law.

BEGGARS BANQUET?

The regional competitor airline seeking to acquire MAS’s assets through a cosmetic merger is itself a struggling financially distressed behemoth. The would be acquirer airline in this case has itself been spurned by other airlines it has approached to bail it out of its own seemingly insurmountable problems over the past 3 years.

Its own assets and brand has been turned down by almost every major airline it has approached  because of its torrid history of industrial disputes  and staff misconduct in its home base.

Industrial action is believed to be the single most destructive factor that has caused the near demise of the suitor airline who Kazanah is believed to be working with and for. And the situation for the suitor airline it will not get any better unless it is able to register most of its fleet and operations in a foreign jurisdiction like Malaysia or Singapore where labour laws are more rigid and intolerant of disruptive industrial action, compliance and operating costs much lower than it is in its home base.

WHO DARES WINS

Much money has already changed hands in “consultancy fees” “due diligence” and lobbying. It runs into millions of dollars even before a proper shareholder announcement has been made.

MAS’ board must come clean with full disclosure now not through Kazanah which has an agenda of its own and relies on the fat fees it makes from brokering such deals. It has to disclose its intentions, lay bare its creep up acquisitions since MH 370 and before and how much it has since acquired since MH 17 off market. It has an obligation to the investing public as the government has to its constituents at large.

The government of Malaysia appears to be unconcerned by the media campaigns to destroy MAS’s reputation regardless of how and who is conducting that smear campaign against MAS and one of its employees.

Whats particularly disturbing is that the media campaign against MAS of an allegation of sexual abuse is before a court in Paris and the airing of one side of the story by the Australian media channel will not allow a jury or court to decide the fate of the steward with the benefit of impartial and independent evidence.

It is time the Malaysian government showed some spine and upheld the rights and dignity of its citizens and its flag carrier in the face of such a situation rather than remaining indolent and impotent like servants of the old colonials in days gone by.

 

 

SELANGOR BACK TO THE POLLS?

SELANGOR TO HOLD FRESH STATE ELECTIONS

It appears that after all Wan Aziza will not be Mentri Besar of Selangor. The Sultan of Selangor is understood to have been advised to accept Khaled Ibrahim’s request for a dissolution of the Selangor state assembly. This necessarily means that fresh writs could be issued anytime soon for a fresh poll to be held in Selangor.

The Sultan it is said had considered all options including the alternative of retaining the current government with Khaled Ibrahim as caretaker Mentri Besar till fresh elections could be held. However it is known that this option although still on the cards will only further prolong the life of a dysfunctional Selangor state government. 

It is further understood that the coalition that rules Selangor has developed very deep divisions within because of the overpowering and overbearing influence and disruptive conduct of a few high profile members of one the coalition. PAS has itself complained to PKR’s leadership of the disproportionate influence wielded by the Chinese within the Selangor state executive, a reason why Khaled Ibrahim himself was removed.

ALL POWER TO THE SULTAN-ALL POWER WITH THE SULTAN

By the PKR machinery moving to weaken and compromise PAS’s earlier position vis a vs the Menteri Besar of Selangor the opportunity for a new PKR government in Selangor will gradually usher in the means by which successive government’s will be able to dis empower the Sultan(s) not just in Selangor but also in every other state in the Federation of Malaysia. That is if the PKR continues to agitate against the Sultan independently exercising his discretion under the constitution to either dissolve parliament, appoint a caretaker for whatever term he sees fit or in a further alternative dismiss the current Selangor government altogether.

These are all discretions in the hands of the Sultan. And they are constitutionally valid even if not expressly so provided for in the constitution.

The ramifications and long term consequences of by passing the Sultan’s legal and constitutional authority in such a situation as the state of Selangor now faces is to say the least, dangerous, especially so for the Malays whose religious and temporal affairs are by the constitution vested in the guardianship of the Sultan.

With the current impasse over the appointment of the Menteri Besar unresolved, the Sultan still has the final say as to who the Menteri Besar will be. The appointment of Menteri Besar under the constitutional powersthe sultan wields still requires his stamp of approval and consent.

There are no real provisions in the constitution to by pass the Sultan his powers and authority in the event he withholds his consent to a PKR nominee to the position. And there are real reasons for that even though the contrary appears to be what the opposition and their lawyers will argue.

SELANGOR IN CRISIS

There has been much speculation of late as to how and why the Sultan of Selangor should act in he face of the current crisis in the Selangor state Assembly. In unicameral parliaments as state parliaments are in Malaysia, there is no house of review such as the senate in the Federal Parliament to review the actions or the legislation from the lower house.

The Selangor government is a coalition government patched together from 3 different and disparate (policy wise) political parties. These are the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dominated by the nepotistic politics of Anwar Ibrahim and his family, the Democratic Action Party (DAP) a Chinese race based party dominated by Chinese Malaysians and lastly the Parti Islam (PAS) of the emergent Muslim conscience of Malaysia. The latter is more of a symbolic political statement dominated by east coast Malaysian Muslims although the fundamental ideological platform they stand on is universally theocratic and based on the fundamental tenets of Islam (Sunni Islam).

THE THREE STOOGES

In much the same way as Larry Curly and Moe ran around chasing their tails, landing painful blows on each other whilst living and working ( for want of a better word) together, the Selangor state government led by the Anwar Ibrahim family and ably encouraged by the DAP have been running round the table chasing their tails landing blows on all and sundry in their path to no productive outcome since taking the reins of government in Selangor.

Selangor remains a policy free zone with nothing suitably seminal in terms of policy changes to speak of. Inspite of all the rhetoric and fireworks that preceded the elections that brought them into power the only constant in their government has been their dysfunctional existence.

Now they wish for a sitting Mentri Besar to be removed and replaced by someone whose stature in government is unquestionably tainted. They argue through their supporters the move is one that should be entertained unchallenged and the constitution be ignored in the process.

Wan Aziza the wife of Anwar Ibrahim has no known pedigree or demonstrated capacity to run the state inspite of any alleged shortcomings on the part of the incumbent. This is nothing more than a symbolic power play to wrest control of the most important state in the nation by the Ibrahim family’s matriarch In their “long march” to Putrajaya.

Khalid Ibrahim (no relation to Anwar Ibrahim) must now see the Sultan and the Sultan of Selangor has a constitutional duty and a cultural religious obligation inter twined in that constitutional duty to consider. The Sultan must decide who the next Mentri Besar (if the incumbent in the job is removed or voluntarily steps aside). The PR don’t want the Sultan to act independently. Instead they simply wish for him to approve the removal of Khalid Ibrahim and the appointment of Wan Aziza in his place.

DISSOLUTION AND FRESH ELECTIONS

At Khalid’s request and on his advise the Sultan may and is likely to issue writs for fresh state elections to be held in Selangor to break the current impasse that has paralysed the state government there. The alternative reading of the situation with regards the Sultan’s role is that on the advise of counsel via his ministers in government, the Sultan must accept the nomination of the majority and appoint Wan Aziza the new Mentri Besar.

There are a couple of matters for the Sultan to take into consideration if he has to appoint Wan Aziza. Paramount in his consideration would be his obligations and his duty to protect the religion of Islam and the Malay culture.

AND WHY NOT WAN AZIZA?

In considering his obligations and his duty towards protecting Islam (and the image of Islam) the Sultan has to give priority and due consideration and weight to the impact of an appointment of someone as Wan Aziza is into the position of Mentri Besar.

Wan Aziza is the wife of Anwar Ibrahim. Her conduct through her deafening silence on the allegations and subsequent conviction of Anwar Ibrahim on matters of sexual impropriety appears to be at odds with what an observant Muslim person would be expected to do in such a situation. Especially a leader or aspiring leader.

Like the decision or not Anwar Ibrahim has been convicted after an open trial in a court whose jurisdiction he submitted to. Wan Aziza like her husband Anwar has supported causes and political philosophies that run contrary to Islam and to the protection and maintenance of Islam and its religious institutions in Malaysia. The examples of these points are too numerous to detail here.

WHY A FRESH MANDATE IS NECESSARY

It could be argued that the idea of a dissolution of parliament on this issue is unnecessary and as some have argued ‘un constitutional’ and perhaps ‘dangerous’ because it is unprecedented. Neither of these arguments holds much water.

When the people of Selangor went to vote at the last state elections they did so in the belief they would have stable and functioning government. They did not vote for the ascendancy of the Ibrahim family through stealth and sleight of hand.

For the PR to claim that since they have the numbers and won at the last election they somehow have a right to bulldoze parliament and all those within it Khalid Ibrahim included is fanciful.

The PR has lost its moral mandate and now its legal mandate has been placed well and truly in the hands of an independent entity, the Sultan to decide. It was their call and they can’t now cry foul if does not go their way.

The purpose of the constitution and the relevant articles of the constitution empowering the Sultan to act in a number of ways in such a situation requires the Sultan to do certain things in the exercise of his discretion which although unpopular is nonetheless lawful.

The only precedent the Sultan’s actions will establish (however unpopular they may be) such as the dissolution of Selangor state parliament, is the proof in fact (rather than the theory) that the Sultan is neither a puppet or rubber stamp of government but a living and functioning entity in the office of Sultan and in that of his person.

GOVERNMENT FAILURE TO INVESTIGATE OR DISMISS THE SELANGOR STATE GOVERNMENT OVERDUE

What is perhaps a matter that is long overdue having been neglected by the Federal Government is the disclosure by Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan that the Selangor government financed her anti government movement, Bersih, with funds from state government coffers to advance “projects” including Bersih which was primarily designed to bring down a properly elected Federal Government (Malaysia Kini interview).

That act of itself amounted to treason by the executive in the Selangor state government, Bersih and its members such as Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan. It is an act based on Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasan’s confessions that has gone unpunished and un remedied for far to long.

To date there has been no disclosure by the Selangor state government as to what authority or power it relied on to by pass parliamentary processes in order to make state government funds available to a group as partial as is Berish for such treasonous acts as the Bersih 1&2, its street  marches, propaganda and smear campaigns all designed to bring down a lawfully elected government.

The Selangor state government has failed to disclose if opposition members within Selangor state parliament were informed of the funding of Bersih or whether such funding was approved by parliament, the subject of parliamentary debate or whether the matter of funding Bersih was tabled in parliament at all before the Selangor state government under PKR facilitated the funding of Bersih.

PAS it is known has some skeletons in its closet which PKR has threatened to make public if they fail to agreeing to the two PKR candidates.

More later.

UKRAINIAN PM RESIGNS GOVERNMENT COLLAPSES

THE BEGINING OF THE END

Reports from Kiev confirm that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned in a shock move after the collapse of the ruling parliamentary coalition paving the way for new legislative elections.

Yatsenyuk is known to have been on poor terms with the more forceful and independent but dictatorial Poreshenko the president of Ukraine. The government of Ukraine came into office when all but a few in the former government and opposition were  silenced, jailed, kidnapped or “arrested” after the US and UK financed “Revolution” at Maidan Square in Kiev which toppled the legitimate government of former President Viktor Yanukovic and forced him to flee to Russia.

There has been much disquiet in the way Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have been handling the MH 17 crisis and the civil war that is crippling the economy and security of Ukraine”, a minister in the Yatsenyuk government said on condition of anonymity.

MILITARY DIVIDED -TALK OF A COUP

There is talk of a military coup circulating in diplomatic circles and the army because the way in which soldiers are dying like flies in the face of an internal rebellion Yatsenyuk created. Soldiers and commanders are not willing to be photo opportunity props for these two clowns” a Lt. Colonel in the Ukrainian army said. We could have resolved this dispute peacefully with the Russian armed forces and Putin. “We are closest brothers in history“, he said.

“Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are taking scripts from Australia, Holland and the US. It is not the way Ukraine is meant to operate. Sure we have our sovereignty and our long history with Russia and we are not going to join with NATO” he said further.

THE OILGARCHS AND LONDONS COMPLICITY

Yatsenyuk is believed to have Jewish roots, a fact which many Ukrainians do not sit comfortably with. Many Ukrainians are suspicious of his links with the Jewish oligarchs who stripped Russia and Ukraine bare now living on their ill gotten gains in London. It is also widely believed that this is the reason that David Cameron British Prime Minister is so vocally pro Yatsenyuk and anti Putin. It is also a point that was not lost on the French Prime Minister when rebuking Cameron over the sale of the Mistral to Russia recently.

It is widely believed it was these oligarchs including Khodorkovesky the oil Billionaire, himself a Jew and jailed by Putin till earlier this year financed the Maidan coup in Kiev. Many are beginning to believe Yatsenyuk does not care for the Ukraine much. He is being used by outsiders like Khodorkovesky for other objectives than the advancement of Ukraine..

We do not yet know who gave the order to fire a missile or send war planes up in the corridor used by civilian airliners that caused the MH tragedy. They are not only blaming what they call Russian separatists. They are also making the army of Ukraine look like idiots and fools and that is not the case. We  are a professional army and can defend our motherland but we do not know who controls some sections of the army and that is not good. There is division and this government will have to go“.

The rhetoric against Russia has begun to recede from the US although even if it did not, analysts say there is little the US can do to weaken or “punish ” Russia because of the very well structured economic relationships Putin has cultivated throughout western Europe and elsewhere that benefits an already weakened Europe struggling to recover from a series of banking disasters recently.

AS THE DUST SETTLES OVER MH 17

 

AN ABOUT FACE- SO WHO BROUGHT DOWN MH 17 REALLY?

Reports coming out of the US this morning now show a change of heart as to who may have been responsible for bringing down MH 17.

Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.

They say the passenger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and that Russia “created the conditions” for the downing by arming the separatists.

The officials briefed reporters on Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week’s air disaster, which killed 298 people.

They said they did not know if any Russians were present at the missile launch, and they wouldn’t say that the missile crew was trained in Russia.

This is a far departure from the very shrill bellicose rhetoric used by the US and its allies including Holland and Australia about who brought down the Malaysian airliner. They were so very sure then that it was a Russian conspiracy and the attack against Russia was being led by its illegitimate new ruler Poroshenko and  Arseniyev both virulent anti Russian individuals known to be on the payroll of Oligarchs who now live comfortably abroad.

NO SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA – FRANCE AND GERMANY

The French who have been relatively silent about who did what to MH 17 also have one of the more powerful and reliable intelligence services in Europe. They have finally broken their silence over the anti Russian tirades coming out of Europe and the US this week over MH 17.

It was the clearest signal yet from Paris that they are not part of this hastily cobbled conspiracy against the Russians in an effort to protect a US/ European strategy to demonise then encircle Russia,  

France’s response has been to go through with the controversial deal to sell a helicopter carrier ship “Mistral” to Russia despite the Ukraine crisis. And its decision to do so came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be “unthinkable” for France to fulfill such an order.

Hollande is not backing down. He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to,” Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of Hollande’s ruling Socialist Party, told I-Tele television on Tuesday.

This is a false debate led by hypocrites … When you see how many (Russian) oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard.” “Just because the Americans say ‘jump’ we shouldn’t jump,” Xavier Bertrand, a former minister under Sarkozy and senior member of his conservative opposition UMP party, told France Inter radio. “France’s word, its signature, must be respected.”

President Barack Obama expressed concerns about the “Mistral” contract in June because of Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The wrangling over the warships highlights the difficulties the 28-member European Union has had in agreeing a joint line on dealing with Russia, a major gas supplier to countries such as Germany and Italy, as well as to central Europe.

MALAYSIA’S OPPORTUNITY TO STAND OUT AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION

Malaysia like all other civilized nations has an obligation to carpet the British and American Ambassadors along with the Australians to demand they explain their conduct and hand over their “intelligence” over the downing of MH 17 and demand answers from each of them.

The disinformation campaign (a euphemism for propaganda of lies) has been flowing thick and fast. It appears to be undeniable now that 289 people could have been sacrificed to provide a western smoke screen for the barbaric Israeli incursion and attacks in Gaza against Palestinians of all religions classes colours and creeds.

Only a few days ago Britain, Holland and the US were certain along with Ukraine that the Russians were responsible for the downing  of MH 17. They must now come out with their “intelligence” to back those claims or apologise and tell the truth. Malaysia has a stake in the whole affair as it was a Malaysian aircraft and crew that was murdered by people the west say they have identified as perpetrators.

Malaysia has the single greatest opportunity to show the world leadership at a time of crisis. The opportunity has been handed to it by a European American miscalculation by an act of their barbarity in shooting down a Malaysian Airliner with all its passengers aboard. Malaysia is in a position to demand answers from each of the Obama Administration, David Cameron, Tony Abbot and Mark Rutte over the MH 17 affair.

As an Islamic nation it has the moral high ground to demand answers. It has also the right to demand if MH 17 was a smokescreen used to cover the west’s indulgence of Israel’s incursion into Gaza seeing as no other Islamic nation has the moral clout it seems or the proverbials between their political legs to do so. If it does not, it remains a two bit excuse for foreign investment, devoid of political, moral and policy independence.

All Arab states (and Turkey) without exception have proved to be an insult to Islam, an anachronism where their connection and claims to represent Islam and humanity are concerned. Beginning with Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Royals with their un Islamic excesses these nations have reduced Islam and the words of the Prophet (PBUH) into a cash cow and a justification for indulging in every known excess and vice on earth.

Apart from Malaysia and its Muslims there are very few (if any ) in any other state that could call themselves Islamic and point to their conduct and lives to justify it. The Arabs themselves speak highly in praise of Malaysia and its Muslims and their examples as such. The Muslim world now needs a leader. Malaysia and Najib should step up to the plate now or forever lose the opportunity that God (or fate by MH 17) has delivered to them on a silver platter.

UKRAINE WITHOLDING THE FACTS ON MH 17

Putins Plane

ALL CLUES POINT TO A FAILED ATTEMPT AT ASSASSINATION OF PUTIN

Quite correctly an indignant Russian Deputy Minister of Defence made the following statement to RT Media (a Russian Media outlet) 3 days after the downing of flight MH 17.

Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov criticized Western countries for jumping to conclusions just “24 hours after the crash of MH 17” that Russia was to blame for the crash of MH 17 without providing a shred of independently verifiable and credibly admissible evidence to support their far fetched allegations.

“They try to show to the whole world that we are responsible for the crash. It is very strange that without any evidence my colleagues from western media would like to find somebody who is responsible for the crash,” Antonov said. “It seems to me that this is part of information warfare which has been started against the Russian Federation and armed forces.”

He then put 10 questions for the Ukrainian regime in Kiev to answer which has thus far only elicited scorn and regrettably evasive and questionable answers from both the Ukrainians and the west.

TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES TO RESPOND TO BEFORE APPORTIONING BLAME ELSEWHERE

1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?

2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses BUK Missile Launchers in the conflict zone? (Ukraine owns several of these) And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?

3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an independent international commission of inquiry into the crash ? When will such a commission begin its work if one is indeed planned?

4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?

5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources tracking the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?

6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?

7. Why was airspace over the war zone not closed to civilian air traffic, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?

8. How does Kiev officially respond to comments on and on media reports in the press and on social media, by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine,  who alleged that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?

9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?

10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a  similar flight in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.

A HISTORY OF SHOOTING CIVILIAN  AIRCRAFT IN WAR

What most of  us fail to realise is that whatever we read in the media as “evidence and proof” is insufficient by any civil standards to constitute  evidence let alone conclusive proof to satisfy a conviction for a motor traffic offence. But since there is a propaganda war out there it is those who speak loudest that need to be scrutinized.

Each of the US, the former USSR (not the present day Russia), the Ukraine in 2001, Israel and Belgium have all had the ignominious distinction of having shot down civlian airliners on one pretext or the other. Of these the Belgians are known to be the worst offenders as the evidence unearthed years later would show, Belgian Air force planes stationed in the Congo brought down the plane carrying Dag Hammerzhold the then UN Secretary General who did not approve of their handling of the Congo crisis.

A POSSIBLE PLAUSIBLE SCENARIO EMERGING

The fact there is a war going on in the Ukraine between rebels of many different ethnic backgrounds, many such as the Cossacks who speak Russian and identify with Russia appears lost on the west. Convenience? perhaps. But whats more astounding in the heat of this war and its most pitiful victim, MH 17 and its passengers is that, the plane and its passengers have become a “shield” for the west and its new illegitimate political progeny bordering Russia (the Ukraine) in its anti Russian propaganda war.

The US and Europe have been threatening sanctions against Russia but have thus far not succeeded because of the implications and fall out of any sanction on Europe and the US itself. Putin’s Russia has carefully placed strategic investments of the west in their grasp and hold firmly on to these. Rocket engines which the Russians supply the US cannot be replaced and substituted overnight.

Gas and oil from Russia’s massive fields are piped to Europe via Ukraine and Ukraine itself is dependent on Russian gas for which it owes Russia over $15 billion it can’t repay. The west has promised to underwrite Ukraine’s debt to Russia is it joins NATO. A listening outpost for the west on Russia’s border. It has not been easy for the west dealing with the ascendancy of a political, militarily and economically strong Russia. The western media says otherwise.

More to the point. The failure of the west cripple Russia’s military might with an illegal coup using the Maidan demonstrators to overthrown a Moscow friendly government in Kiev has embarrassed and strengthened Moscow’s hold in the region. The Black Sea Fleet is stationed in the Crimea. Without this port the Russian navy is literally non existent.  Putin took it over with Russian forces. No one did anything but write about it.

IT WAS A FAILED ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE PUTIN

It has become clear to the west that the only way to check mate Putin according to Russian intelligence is to “take him out”. He has always been aware of plots to assassinate him. Putin questioned the west’s right to assassinate Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein in the face of overwhelming silence by others. He has always questioned the west’s legitimacy to assassinating Rumanian leader Nicolau Caucescu, to kidnaping Panama’s Manuel Noriega and its aiding in the ouster of democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi of Egypt.

Putin’s plane was dovetailing MH 17 on the fateful day of the crash of MH 17 and for reasons best known to Russian intelligence the flight took a different route over Poland avoiding Ukrainian airspace. Malaysian airlines was lapped by Putin’s aircraft returning from Brazil. Nothing is yet clear about why Putin’s plane made that diversion from its planned path. The secretive Russians are immune to western criticisms of their actions and are used to being demonized by the west.

What is clear now is that this time this matter has turned personal. If history is anything to go by, the long term consequences for the western nations that participated in what is now widely believed to have been an attempted assassination of Vladmir Putin will not be pleasant or civil. The Ukrainian leader’s President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk have a lot to account for now.

Former KGB station head in Delhi now turned commentator and Russian critic Vitaly Yurchenko (Ukrainian) is reported to have told a reporter at the New York Times last week that both Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have sought assurances of protection from the US following the downing of MH 17. In short what he alluded to was their request for assurance of a place to flee to in the event they are implicated in an attempted assassination of Vladimir Putin. 

The Germans have washed their hands of the event an are paying lip service to sanctions against Russia. This he says is because Angela Merkel’s intelligence chief had already warned her of an impending disaster ahead. German intelligence had uncovered plans for a “black job” and identified the sources of that “black job” within the US embassy and their operatives in Bonn. It is what prompted the German response of identifying the CIA station chief in Bonn then expelling a number of US “diplomats” in the week prior to the shooting down of MH 17.

THE WEST AND UKRAINE OVERREACHING THEMSELVES

Having helped to set up an illegal regime in Kiev the west has now found itself with a battle on its hands it cannot contain lest it disrupt and weaken the new NATO states of the former Soviet Union that border the Ukraine. Poland in particular. There is no drunk compliant leader as Boris Yeltsin was signing away everything the US wanted to destabilize Russia with for a few million dollars.

There is no more a corrupt vain Sheverdnazy either for the west to rely on for their failures. They the CIA destroyed him according to a former CIA operative in the region. They were CIA funded NGO’s that entered parliament in Georgia and forced him to flee for his life. More importantly the bear, the vain CIA stooge Mikhail Gorbachev has been caged, humiliated, scorned and reduced to figure of public ridicule and contempt in the Russian Republic.

The west has to deal with a professional soldier in the Kremlin a man more than a match for the Hollywood cut out of himself the token African American Barack Obama. No choreographed Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder props in the background. No Saddam Hussein or Gadaffi’s in the Kremlin for him to rattle. This Gremlin in the Kremlin bites and bites back hard. Obama is no strategist no soldier. he will be out of office in 18 months. Not Putin. he in for the long haul.

There is disquiet amongst the polish especially who realise the consequences of sabre rattling a Russian cage by the west without feet on the ground when the need arises. Radoslaw Sikorsky former Polish foreign minster said recently that their relationship with the US was worth nothing.

Only two weeks ago Angela Merkel the German Chancellor had the bitter experience of having to expel two very senior US diplomats accused of spying on her country and its government. In addition it was discovered that there was a nest of CIA spies working out of the US Embassy in Bonn. The US has been actively trying to destabilize its own friends in Europe for its own ends regardless of the consequences to these countries from their espionage there.

RON PAUL AND THE DANGERS OF THE US LOGIC ON RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT IN MH 17

Drawing parallels between the potential for a Russian-made missile system’s connection to the attack of the passenger jet on Thursday over the restive Donetsk region of Ukraine and the capture of US-made weapons by Islamist insurgents in Iraq, US Senator Ron Paul pointed out that the missile’s potential source of manufacture was largely immaterial.

“That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons,” said Paul. “We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al-Qaida ends up getting it — it doesn’t mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons.”

“So who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were,” Paul added. “So even if it was a Russian weapon — doesn’t mean a lot.”

 

 

MH 17 HOW DOES THE WEST KNOW SO MUCH SO SOON?

Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 (2001) Now Malaysian Airlines MH 17 (2014)

Siberianairlines

Oleksandr Kuzmuk, pictured above, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense who resigned after the shooting down Siberian Airlines Flight 1812.

WAS PUTIN THE INTENDED TARGET OF THE MISSILE ATTACK

Times of India one of many media organizations reports that there is speculation Vladmir Putin’s aircraft may have been the intended target of the missile battery that brought down MH 17. Both planes are painted in similar colours and if visual contact was required the colours of a Malaysian Airlines aircraft could have been deceptive enough to look like Putin’s Illyushin IL 96 aircraft.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

Whats interesting is that the Times of India once owned by Bennett Coleman is a very pro western paper with one of the largest if not the widest circulation in the English speaking world. The claim or suggestion is no more a conspiracy theory than that being floated by US vice president Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Perhaps the Air India pilots who flew within visual range of the ill fated MH 17 could shed some light on what occurred. They were only 25 Kms behind MH 17.

ANOTHER UKRAINIAN SHOOTING OF A CIVILIAN AIRLINER? LEST WE FORGET

The precedent for the shooting of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 in the Ukraine is the shooting down in 2001 of a Russian built Tupolev passenger jet a TU 154 by Ukrainian Armed Forces missile batteries on October 4, 2001.

In that crash 64 Siberian Air passengers and 12 crew on board the ill fated aircraft en route from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv were killed when the plane was shot down over the Black Sea by a Ukrainian missile. No reason was cited for the shooting down of the plane except for the speculation that it was a military exercise gone wrong. The victims were mainly Jews.

There was an outpouring of grief and the Ukrainians were described as anti Semites by various Jewish groups following this event (and for their history of supporting Hitler and their documented careless disregard for human life in world war 2). It did not help that at the time of the crash their denials over the shooting down of a civilian airliner were equally careless as it is with the crash of MH 17.

More notably the Ukrainian armed forces then too offered speculative reasons as to what happened attempting to blame others for the shooting down of the Air Siberia TU 154.

DENIALS THEN AS THEY ARE NOW

It took a while for the Ukraine to admit that it had in fact shot down the aircraft. And that too after considerable pressure was brought to bear o the Ukrainian leadership by Russian investigators.

Ukraine’s then-president, Leonid Kuchma, eventually conceded that the Ukrainian military was responsible for the shooting down of the Russian passenger jet.

The day of the shoot-down of the aircraft occurred at a time the Ukrainian military was conducting a massive military exercise which involved shooting down 23 missiles at drones. “Experts say that the radar-guided S-200, among the farthest-flying and most capable antiaircraft missile in the arsenal of former Soviet nations (at the time), simply locked onto the Russian airliner after it raced past the destroyed drone some 20 miles off the Crimean coast,” the New York Times’ Michael Wines reported then.

Then President of the Ukraine Leonid Kuchma accepted the resignation of his Minister of Defense, Oleksandr Kuzmuk, following the admission that the military was culpable. From 2003 to 2005, Ukraine paid a total of $15.9 million to families of victims following a deal with the government of Israel.

Oddly enough the Ukrainians today rush to play what they say (without independent verification) that they intercepted radio conversation between Russian backed separatists discussing the shooting down of an aircraft at the same time MH 17 went down. The west likewise keen to demonise the Russians and take the heat off  the Ukraine on one side whilst conveniently taking the attention off Israel’s bullying of Palestinians by their armed forces on the other is playing up that smokescreen of Ukrainian “evidence” that Pro Russian separatists brought the aircraft down.

If it indeed was a Russian mistake then how different a mistake would it be to that of the US shooting down an Iranian Air civilian passenger aircraft in the late 1980’s? In that particular instance, the US claimed its radar could not distinguish between civilian and military aircraft. How criminally convenient.

THE MYTH OF THE AUDIO INTERCEPT

The latest from the “audio intercept” as the Ukrainians claim to have in their possession is one which requires very close scrutiny for what it does not say rather than for what it purports to. The Russians have one of the most sophisticated field radio systems for communication in a battle zone which is designed to hop frequencies and to avoid detection.

The Russian made ant aircraft radio or wire guided missile batteries which the Ukrainians and the American say brought down the MH 17 aircraft is in the military inventories of both nations.

The BUK (s 300 or its predecessor S 200) is a Russian designed and built anti aircraft system often marketed to client states via Belorussia and the state arms corporation Rosoboronexport. To “brother states” like the Ukraine it is sold directly. Most former Soviet states have these in their inventories.

It seems that social media is attributing many absurd claims about the crash of MH 17 to a pro Russian military commander.  And the US and Australia appear to be lending credibility to these absurd comments each time they appear in the  press.

IT WAS ” (THE MUSLIM) COSSACKS” AND THE GRU- GOOD GUYS BAD GUYS

The rush to blame Russia and the Cussacks (the ethnic Muslim Russians who live in the Ukraine supporting Russia) in the “intercepted radio messages” is suspect.  Being Muslims they the Cossacks are an easy target of hatred worldwide. The apocryphal so called radio message “audio intercept” released by the Ukraine does not support Russian  (or any other trained army) protocols for communication on the battlefront in the field.

The Russians and their allies do not contact the GRU directly just as the filed operatives of US backed militia in Iraq, Afghanistan or other battle zones do not contact the CIA and its director directly to report an event. It is unlikely and it is unprecedented. It is for the consumption of the likes of Tony Abbott, Australia’s “wet behind the ears” prime minister and the Huffington Post.

NEW IDEAS NEW TACTICS- NO SUCH THING AS AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER

There was no such radio intercept of the downing of the 3 other aircraft or more supposedly downed by Pro Russians separatists in the Ukraine. Suddenly all sides change tactics radically with the Pro Russian separatists speaking to the head of the GRU Igor Sergun and a Russian Major in the armed forces of the Russian Federation we are made to believe.

Then we have the paradigm shift in Ukrainian tactics of intercepting highly classified but uncoded open line communications by pro Russian separatists with Moscow.

What is tragic about this incident coming so close to the heels of the yet unsolved MH370 incident is that civilians are now more than ever coming to grips that there is no such thing as “innocent bystanders in a conflict” as the Palestinian hijacker of a BOAC aircraft in the early 1970’s told his passengers.

A LESSON FOR MAS AND THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT

It is time the government of Malaysia and its national Airline learned how to deal with the world and the media by engaging professional people regardless of their race colour class or creed when dealing with such disasters. There is nothing wrong in an investment in quality, impressive public speakers (without the fake US accents) personnel, trained and savvy when dealing with the international media.

As it stands the prime ministers own ability to impress is impaired following the MH 370 incident. The then acting minister Hishamuddin Onn although not incompetent was short of what the media had expected. There is a special skill required to deal with a media organizations and agencies run by sensationalists ready and waiting to bait an ill prepared minister or other official in such situations. And that damage from not being prepared in such situations may be irreversible.

There is an art and a skill not present within the existing Malaysian media scrum. Neither is it present in Malaysia’s government apparatus capable of dealing with such a situation. And that’s a disaster in itself.

Government needs spokespersons who are skilled. People who are informed, with a legal background, international current affairs specialists who are forensic, articulate and possessed of people and crisis management skills sufficient for them to be able to interact amiably with the diverse and often hostile international media that throng to KL each time something like this occurs.

The Staccato Malaysian accent is horrible and for most of the time not understood. With punctuations and expressions all misplaced in what should otherwise be a short and sharp response is often dragged on, disabled by the accent, the diction, mispronounced words and analogies.

It is best that Malaysia give the media a plausible explanation of events than for them to make up their own minds and lend their own interpretations in frustration from dealing with incompetent spokespersons.

Such a situation always ends up causing untold damage to a nation that has gained so much in a short time and has so much to lose in a shorter time by the poor handling of these events.

 

 

 

SECRET MONEY

A PLAGUE ON OUR HOUSES

In 2004, when Heinrich Kieber told a criminal psychologist that he, “no longer held the keys to the kingdom of Liechtenstein”. Kieber wasn’t telling the whole truth.

Liechtenstein is one of the world’s leading centres of shadowy private banking services to the wealthy. The others are Switzerland, Monaco, Israel (secret if you are not Jewish), Singapore and Dubai. Kieber was the most significant defector and whistleblower from the world of secret banking in the last 65 years. 

Kieber’s  ‘declaration’ that he had returned all of the confidential client data he had stolen in 2002 from LGT Group, the financial fortress owned by the Liechtenstein royal family  was in fact not true at all.

At the time, we all trusted him,” said Wolfgang Mueller, his lawyer in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. Muller’s fees at the time ironically and in a bizarre twist of events were paid by LGT.  

The bank and a few thousand very wealthy individuals in Europe and the United States were very worried. And they had good reason to be so.

KLIEBER’S AND OTHER REVELATIONS

Income tax and generally tax evasion is a criminal offence in Europe and the United States punishable with a jail sentence and confiscation of untaxed assets.

Kieber, who has been in hiding with a new identity has also possibly undergone cosmetic surgery to conceal his physical identity. He is known to have sold copies of the data he downloaded at the bank to several foreign governments. It does not stop there. Kieber is also wanted by Interpol.

Kieber a former data entry clerk at LGT, not a very highly rated position in the bank precipitated one of the biggest banking scandals in years.

Nearly a dozen global tax authorities, including the United States Internal Revenue Service are now using Kieber’s treasure trove to ramp up their scrutiny of former LGT clients. Kieber is not alone.

In 2008 Credit Suisse handed over to US authorities over 2000 names of account holders at their bank whose accounts may have violated US laws. In 2013 the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) revealed to US IRS (Internal Revenue Service) the identities of several suspected money launderers from Mexico, Columbia and the US who had laundered tens of billions of dollars through their bank over the past decade.

For its early admission HSBC was fined over US$1.9 billion.

More recently French bank BNP Paribas agreed to pay US$8.9 billion in fines for unlawfully laundering Iranian oil money in breach of a US embargo on Iran. Germany’s Commerzebank is likely to have to cough up over $500 million US dollars for the same offence. Each of the major European banks have histories of concealing and salting away illegally obtained money from politicians in the developing world.

The cross trading of PETRONAS oil from its vast and diverse oil assets worldwide, supplying  to customers of Iranian oil in Europe and in Asia is being investigated by US authorities for breaches of the Iran embargo. Nothing concrete of the investigation has yet yielded a prosecution in the case of PETRONAS.

What has to be said about the PETRONAS case is this. Whilst it is without doubt a 90% Bumiputera dominated and run institution the benefits of cross trading of its oil  and the profits from those activities are going to investment banks in Europe, Singapore, and China. And the operatives in this business apart from a handful of elite foreign trained and educated Bumiputeras in PETRONAS’S case are mainly Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore.

WHO AMONGST IS WITHOUT GUILT?

In 2010 another informant, believed to be a German intelligence operative, breached banking secrecy again provided an American TV network with information relating to private accounts held in Singapore by government officials, industrialists and high profile personalities from places as far away as Australia and New Zealand and as close to Singapore as Malaysia. is.  Europe was his primary target though. The rest of his information was collateral damage to his cause.

But the Kieber affair is not just peeling back layers of banking secrecy and exposing a tiny Alpine country blacklisted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for being a money-laundering haven.

His revelations have had far reaching effects in governments far and wide. It has rattled the cages of a range of institutions from the Vatican to the US senate and more relevantly in places such as Malaysia.

SOURCES AND APPLICATION OF FUNDS

The data from Kieber and the more recent revelations by other foreign banks forced by US authorities to hand over information has revealed a wide range of illegal depositors from an equally wide range of countries.

There are Princes, Kings from Europe, Sultans, royalty in general in the Malay states, churches, NGO’s and their executives issuing false invoices to their organizations or paying off the local media. A Scandinavian princess and the wife of Spain’s recently crowned King are but two examples of Royalty engaged in criminal activities using secret banking accounts. 

More interesting in this cache of information obtained from Kieber and others recently is the revelation of the sources of money and its links to political and clandestine organizations in places like Malaysia, Afghanistan, Syria, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Egypt and Thailand.

The relevance of  the discovery of these sources of funds and their political purposes was not apparent till the uprisings in Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and Malaysia reached their peak and local agencies attempting to trace the origins of funding for these “springs” began running into a common source, where previous inquiries ran into ‘brick walls’. It was the ICCI Bank all over again.

The resignation of the last Pope Benedict the XVI threw up more information about the uses of secret money passing through these banks to organizations in places such as Malaysia in furtherance of ultra right wing activities by their ultra right wing think tanks set up during Pope John Paul the II’s time.

The widening investigations which had earlier threatened to bring to light more LGT client names, according to a person briefed on the matter came to a halt in 2012. It has now come back to life with the discovery of new identities arising out of US investigations into circumvention of the Iran embargo by banks.

Kieber’s treasure trove, which he sold secretly to authorities in Germany, Britain and the United States, details billions of dollars in tax evasion by 1,400 LGT clients, 150 of them American, according to officials who have seen the documents.

Malaysia interestingly did not seek to access any of the information from Kieber’s treasure trove. Of the remaining 1250 in Kieber’s list at least 60 are known to be Malaysians. High profile Malaysians whom people would least expect to be violators of tax laws and laws against money laundering.

The Kieber data cache, the subsequent German intelligence coup and the Swiss hand over to the US of secret banking information is conveniently avoidable issue for Malaysia.

MALAYSIA AND THE TIP OF A VERY LARGE ICEBERG

In general countries like Malaysia do not go after tax dodgers abroad. The situation with this revelation by Kieber’s conduct changes that perception that Malaysia’s tax dodgers and clandestine money (Black money) industry is an  unsophisticated one.

In February of 2005 German tax authorities raided the home of Klaus Zumwinkel, a corporate pillar who is the former chief of Germany’s postal system based on Kieber’s information.

Not long afterwards Kieber was filmed, face blocked out by investigators for a United States Senate subcommittee in which he described LGT’s inner workings and disclosed other global clients, including an unnamed “head of a social government department” in “a third world country” with $5 million in income from unexplained sources.  What the redacted information did not reveal was that this was merely the tip of a very large ice berg.

There was in fact much more of unaccounted for wealth from the third world. The money of former Indonesian minister for petroleum under Suharto, Ibnu Sutowo which passed through LGT disguised as a trust of a foundation which his and Suharto’s families controlled. And their booty ran into billions of dollars.

Malaysia’s PETRONAS did not appear in the Kieber data although there is widely held suspicion from later revelations that kick backs flowed into Swiss, Dubai and Singapore accounts for contracts traceable to PETRONAS from the 1990’s. These are believed to have been discovered in other records if not discoverable.

CORRUPT EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS AS BAD AS THOSE OF ASIA

Several other government officials and ministers in these so called “third world” countries had deposited tens of millions of dollars in private secret accounts.

Subsequent information emerging from later revelations would provide the impetus for anti corruption and pro compliance  audits capable of implicating heads of European and Asian governments and the multi lateral organizations in the west that sprout NGO’s as an arm to their political activities in donour states.

Many of those in Europe implicated in bribery scandals and secret commissions took secret commissions from recipient countries for the aid given to them. These commissions were stashed in secret accounts in the LGT or Switzerland.

Very few European countries, Australia or the US are not guilty of the foreign aid kickback scams. Australia’s government is still reeling from disclosures they bribed Saddam Hussein in the food for oil scams.

Money sources ranged from disaster relief donations, foreign aid and money for political causes paid for by countries like the US, France, the UK and other developed nations funding regime change in smaller countries.

OH HOW THE MIGHTY FALL

The recent arrest and charging by French police of former French Prime Minister Nikolas Sarkoszy whose government decorated Malaysia’s Bersih leader, is the target of a wider investigation that began with Kieber’s whistleblowing and grown into a monster of intrigue and political bastardry. There is more to come on the Sarkoszy affair.

Malaysian industrialists, Churches, NGO executives, Sultans, heads of several funds (including a large Islamic religious statutory benevolent fund) and members of parliament including prominent members of the opposition in Malaysia have all been stashing away money obtained illegally and placed in secret foreign accounts. Most of it not settling in Lichtenstein.

The arrest of two Cardinals of the Vatican on similar money laundering offences by the Italian and French authorities is also believed to have its origins in the Kieber revelations even though it occurred over a decade ago.

THE TENGKU ABDUL RAHMAN – “MR. CLEAN” THE MYTH

In Malaysia the Tengku the much revered “Mr. Clean” of Malaysian politics appears to have been the most corrupt of them all. He had 4 wives. One an English woman, two Chinese women and a Malay wife who was nothing more than a part of his accessories and a dress up if there ever was one to satisfy his Malay Muslim credentials. These were, Meriam Chong, Violet Coulson (his landlady in England and a former Special Branch UK operative), Sharifah Rodziah Alwi Barakbah and another Chinese but unnamed woman (for legal reasons).

A prominent Chinese banker in Malaysia at the time laundered all of the Tengku’s 10% of almost every deal that was awarded by the public sector. Tengku for his part had a relatively small Swiss account. Most of his fortunes were kept behind proxies in Singapore banks. It is known that when the Tengku was cultivated by the CIA having already been secured by British Intelligence and set up by them, he was plied with women, money and property in exchange for his services to the organization. 

One of his roles, created for him by the CIA was to help set up the Organization of Islamic Conference in 1969. Corrupt as he was he was seen as a better less controversial Muslim leader (wine women and song) and a more malleable one at that for the CIA to manipulate. And manipulate him they did with little effort.

The Tengku would also be supported by Washington to help set up the Islamic Development Bank which acted as a personal piggy bank not to him alone but also to a large number of Malaysian Chinese and at least 3 known British businesses to which he channeled Islamic Development Bank monies. This was the quid pro quo for his compliance with the CIA’s agenda for him.

In 1960, when he was still the Prime Minister, the Tengku declared Islam the official religion of Malaysia and established the Islamic Welfare Organization (PERKIM) as a guiding body for Muslim converts. He became president of PERKIM and served until a year before his death.

As President of PERKIM, he  channeled money from PERKIM and other sources through PERKIM to mainly Chinese businessmen who converted to Islam for convenience. One of these is believed to have been the late Lim Goh Tong of Genting Highlands fame. PERKIM also received funding for its activities from the Saudi and other pro western Muslim governments for a different purpose. But who was checking? It was a convenient ruse by a corrupt political elite in Malaysia then who continue to claim the Tengku was Mr. Clean.

A number of Malaysian cabinet ministers over the years including a prominent member of a royal family who had fallen out of favour with the Mahathir government had also amassed a sizeable fortune courtesy of an English private bank and his Hong Kong connections. Much of it unaccounted for wealth.

There are others in opposition prominent and those within government who are as dirty as they come with public money. And if the government were truly serious about putting an end to corruption all they need do is to ask. Money channeled out of government coffers during the time of Anwar’s stewardship of the ministry of  finance is staggering.

It is difficult in the circumstances if not impossible to believe that as responsible minister in that portfolio Anwar Ibrahim had no knowledge of the plunder of state coffers and the corruption within particularly the insurance and banking sectors then.

Nothing remains hidden forever.

HOW SECRET BANKING WORKS

What is not known by those who siphon money from places like Malaysia to deposit it in foreign secret accounts via Singapore is that the process which works like this leaves behind a trail.

Initially a fee for setting up the account is charged to the client. Setting up the account say, at the Union Bank of Switzerland Singapore branch, necessarily involves the use of a shelf company first (Shelf company 1). It is used to deposit the money of the client in the Singapore branch of a foreign bank like the UBS. The depositor is the first shelf company. Its directors all nominees provided by lawyers and the UBS.

At the next step the Singapore Bank like the UBS (for example alone) then wires that money on the instructions of the client (that shelf company 1) to a third country (Bahamas or Lichtenstein countries with similar banking secrecy legislation) where it arrives and is deposited in the name of another shelf company (Shelf company 2) created in the Bahamas for the purpose with nominee directors again provided by the bank in Bahamas. The Shelf company  1 is now deregistered in Singapore. No trace now of the original depositor or that transaction (well…… to a point).

The money is then passed through another bank like the LGT group bank in another secrecy banking country from the Bahamas.  The Shelf company 2 and the account is now closed in the Bahamas after the money is transferred from the Bahamas to the LGT in Liechtenstein. Here Shelf company 3 is waiting to receive the funds. Again its directors are provided by the bank all nominees. 

In its final stage the money from Shelf company 3 is then wired back to Singapore into a numbered account from Liechtenstein into a Singapore bank which only the client and certain bank officers know the details of. The entire transaction can take an hour to accomplish. The account in the LGT is not closed.  It is where the money now remains.

The Singapore account is nothing but a reflection of what Liechtenstein’s LGT keeps in its secret books accessible by the client and the responsible officer known only to the client. Singapore has no jurisdiction over the money unless the bank is a Singaporean bank. 

DIRTY MONEY FROM MALAYSIA

A prominent Malaysian entrepreneur with connections to franchising businesses and sports is known to have been identified by another whistleblower this time in Switzerland and not by Kieber. His money is believed to have been passed through several transactions originating in KL via Singapore then returning to Malaysia via Singapore as loans and profits to his companies and his personal wealth.

Several of Royalty, Sultans and their connections including members of parliament  in Malaysia connected to them have also been identified as holders of secret numbered accounts going through Liechtenstein and Switzerland to Singapore and Dubai. These accounts comprise “commissions” paid for influencing deals and at least two are known to have receive money this way for providing Knighthoods (Datukships).

No one in Malaysia has been yet been charged or investigated as far as we know for money laundering through numbered foreign accounts o this day. The Bank Bumiputera scandal in Hong Kong in the early 1980’s did leave a trail which did not go quite cold as believed to be by the key players in that scandal. George Tan and his friends did open their mouths to avoid prosecution by US authorities in Oakland California and in other places.

That information was subsequently passed on to third parties and more importantly and in breach of client confidentiality stored by accountants in the employ of two of the large accounting firms of the time. That information has been sighted by one of the authors.

Money in commissions originating from transactions involving Malaysia’s national Airline MAS is believed to have gone through Swiss, Singaporean, Dubai and Liechtenstein banks to conceal commissions between 1995 and 2009. The recipient and payee were German nationals and a Chinese Malaysian national. 

Nothing about the controversial French submarine deal so widely touted by NGO’s has surfaced thus far.

Neither side of government in Malaysia is keen to pursue the issue of foreign accounts and tax evasion of this sort because Malaysia’s legislation is weak in this respect.

The KL turf club, two of the largest accounting firms in Malaysia and several large law firms have also been identified as being conduits for the rich and well connected having sent money abroad on their behalf and under the radar so to speak.

Most large Malaysian companies are known to use foreign banks in secret banking domains as Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Dubai and Singapore in this regard to effect transfer pricing of their goods and services. Transfer pricing is a practice whereby skimming off the top any profits rightfully belonging to their customers  via accounting means and third party intermediaries not at arms length.

A reason proffered for the lack of prosecution or investigation into compliance issues in the corporate sector in Malaysia is that the vast majority of Malaysians companies even the listed ones have been historically treated by their majority shareholders as virtual personal piggy banks. 

There has been little or no shareholder activism to check the excesses of corporate boards and management and the legal fraternity lack the will the skills sets or the capacity to tackle such problems. In many cases they are complicit in the commission of these offences. The practice has become so rampant that the regulator is not interested or  willing to investigate what is now customary practice there.

Mario D’Marco, David Capella and Stella Chan each contributed to this article

MALAY ANGER BOILING OVER

THE CAULDRON BOILS OVER WITH MALAY ANGER

There is growing concern amongst foreign governments and in diplomatic circles in Malaysia and Singapore that the continued provocation of Malays in Malaysia by opposition groups and religious minorities promoting a hatred for Islam and anything Malay will spill over soon

An unnamed British diplomat has suggested that the atmosphere in Malaysia today is more heated and polarized than it was prior to 13 May 1969. The “sweep you back into the kampungs” rhetoric has been replaced by the incessant and highly inflammatory social media promotion of anything  negative about Islam to a Malay majority highly sensitive about negative references to their religion Islam.

This hate propaganda includes contributions by so called “Malay Muslim Liberals” (the urban and urbane elite) whose contribution to the propaganda campaign is often conveniently and poorly disguised as a part of the international campaign on gender equality and government reform in the developing world.

There have been reports of violence reported recently in provincial districts outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, with the ransacking and ‘trashing’ of opposition Democratic Action party (DAP) offices and threats by now radicalized Malay Muslim groups to take the law into their own hands.

The government of the Barisan Nasional (BN) a Malay majority government under English educated current Prime Minister Najib Razak is seen by many Malays as having been too soft on the opposition for far too long. The government of Najib Razak  is also viewed by many Malays and non Malaysia as being complacent and indolent in the face of a well orchestrated and financed hostile anti Malay, anti Muslim campaign funded from abroad.

ANOTHER NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES OR FORCING KETUANAN MELAYU?

Large numbers of Malays especially the youth from rural areas and urban die hards of the Malay dominated UMNO (United Malays National Organization) have been seen gathering in and around the capital defiantly dressed in their national costume complete with songkoks and traditional ceremonial daggers, the “Keris”.  This was a sight not seen in Malaysia since the bloody communal riots of 13 May 1969 often referred to as May 13 by those who remember that bloody night.

Many  more Malay youth have been seen driving in SUV’s motor cycle groups and in trucks wearing white bands around their songkoks traditional Malay headdress) in a threatening show of defiance and readiness to tackle in their own way what they see is over a decade of humiliation and antagonistic rhetoric directed at them freely since the resignation of the former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed in 2002.

Malaysia observers and diplomats all point to an internal power struggle within UMNO as being a catalyst for the current eruption by radicalized Malays. “It won’t get any better till it gets worse and the feeling of frustration, humiliation and anger has been spent” according to a Singaporean diplomat who did not wish to be named.

When pressed further about contingencies and arrangements for foreigners to flee into Singapore in the event the situation in Malaysia gets worse as it appears to be getting, he replied “contingencies have been in place to relocate and accommodate Europeans, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American personnel working in Malaysia for some time now. In other instances non-essential personnel from embassies will be evacuated but that’s not new or novel”.

“Not so” according to a long time foreign press correspondent who works as an academic at a Singaporean university. “The heightened level of security and intelligence gathering on the situation in Malaysia by foreign diplomats and governments is far greater now than it was before GE 13″.

RATS DESERTING THE SHIP?

At least 7 of Bersih’s more prominent activists are known to have made requests to seek assistance and refuge at foreign embassies in the event the situation in Malaysia deteriorates.

The Prime Minister’s faction within UMNO appears intact for the present although members of the Youth Wing and known to be leading an internal rebellion calling for sterner and more decisive action against anti-Islamic anti Malay groups within the opposition.