Thursday, September 24, 2015

Najib Razak Faces US Corruption Probe

The New York Times reported September 22, 2015 that a US Grand Jury had started to examine allegations of corruption involving Prime Minister Najib Razak and the people close to him, citing sources with knowledge of the probe.
The inquiry is focused on multi-million-dollar real estate purchases in America by shell companies. [Note: NYT had reported in February about these purchases using shell companies by a slew of international figures, including his stepson Riza Aziz and a close family buddy Low Taek Jho].
NYT also reported that besides the property buys, the corruption inquiry would also look into the $681 million allegedly deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts, as first reported by The Wall Street Journal and later confirmed by Malaysian anti-graft authorities as a political donation. The fund transfer comes under the United States jurisdiction because it went through American bank Wells Fargo, the paper added.
This particular investigation into Najib under the Justice Department’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative is still in its early days, and it could take years to determine if any federal laws were broken.
Najib’s office had not made any comment so far. A representative for Riza said he was not involved in any investigation, adding that “there has never been anything inappropriate” about his business activities. A spokesperson for Low said that he had not been notified that he was the subject of any investigations, and that his business “adheres to all relevant regulatory requirements”.
In case you are wondering, the property purchases were linked to 1MDB. NYT’s February report had mentioned former 1MDB executive Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, as having signed for the purchase of one of the assets, a $4.5 million condominium bought by a shell company called Cricklewood One Madison LLC last year.
In fact, in a posting on their Facebook page on July 24, 2015, Bank Negara Malaysia had released a “Wanted” poster carrying details of the duo to “assist investigation under the Exchange Control Act 1953”. Malaysia’s central bank is seeking the aid of the pair who previously held senior executive positions in 1MDB.

Picture by Bank Negara Malaysia. Webpage:

Thank you, Najib for splotching the country’s reputation! And the stain of shame is getting bigger.
On Tuesday, I was invited to deliver an inspirational speech at Dataran Cascades in Kota Damansara, PJ, which means I have completed another round of the CC manual. This was at a meeting hosted by IPP Wealth Planners and it was the second demo meeting of the planned Kota Damansara Toastmasters Club.

I was not happy with my speech and I know I could do a lot better.

Here's a notice of an upcoming Toastmaster event:

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