Saudara Syed Saddiq,
You had accepted my challenge to debate on 1MDB (and supposedly also later on Tabung Haji) but the Debate Thread created has seen only deafening silence from you. I know I said you could take your time responding but you have not argued on even one of the 11 allegations I listed down. I had asked you to at least state whether you agree or disagree with any of the allegations and your argument can come later. I even let you have the flexibility of modifying, deleting and adding allegations. Nothing on the debate thread.
Anyway, while waiting for you I thought I might as well respond to your first "argument and concerns" that was obviously intended to be a diversion from the allegations I listed down. Diversion pun diversion lah… I'll humour you anyway but let me say though, that this is the kind of tiresome questioning that I had wanted to avoid because it simply shows you are shooting in the dark and flinging as much mud as possible at the wall hoping some will stick but yet not prove anything.
After this I expect you to state your position for each allegation and argue your case based on facts, logic and common sense on the debate thread. No more delaying and diversion tactics from you please — show respect for the public who are waiting for you to argue your case.
So okay, I'll respond to your diversion:
To facilitate this debate/dialogue, i'll structure my concerns in 3 segments: 1) Interference into the ongoing investigation 2) 1MDB-Business model (Political financing) 3) The lies & flip flopped excuses
1) INTERFERENCE IN ONGOING INVESTIGATION
Whys was the special task force set up last year broken up by the PMO/DS Najib?
First of all, the "special task force had no legitimacy. Under what authority could it be legally constituted? Secondly, it was not "broken up" by Najib but it died a natural death when the new AG had the sense to see not only was there no good purpose for it but a prosecutor cannot be part of an investigation — surely that is common sense. Not having such a task force does not prevent BNM, MACC, PDRM and AGC from cooperating with each other (like they had always done before in cases involving the illegal transfer of funds, smuggling and underground activities) but at least it minimises illegal collusion and conspiracy among government officers with hidden agenda. Furthermore, the task force was supposedly set up to investigate WSJ's claims that donations came from 1MDB and very early on it was established by MACC itself that the money did not come from 1MDB. (Refer to my rebuttal to Allegation #1: The RM2.6 billion donation came from 1MDB — which you have conveniently ignored). It had also been known early on that the "personal" account that received the money from SRCI was not managed by Najib but by others. Conclusion: The dissolution of the task force has no impact on the final verdict.
-2 High ranking special branch officers removed/transferred after in the midst of the investigation. -Members of the PAC upgraded to become Ministers in the cabinet in the midst of the investigation. (Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican (deputy foreign affairs minister), Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin (tourism and culture deputy minister) and Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau
I stand corrected but I believe the SB officers were removed for insubordination. It was also clear from news reports that at least one of the SB officers declared his loyalty to Tun M and not to the government therefore his judgment would be biased and corrupted. As for the PAC members, at most it merely delayed the process but why should being in the PAC prevent members from being promoted? In any case I don't see how these transfers destroyed or changed any evidence to prove allegations. Please answer this question: Did any evidence or investigation papers go missing as a result? If so then what evidence / papers was destroyed? If no evidence / papers went missing then you are making a big issue out of nothing i.e. just a directionless diversion. Conclusion: No impact on the final verdict.
- 2 high ranking MACC officers transferred out and in again. A clear act of intimidation. Also, having MACC officers house raided.
There were grounds for suspicion of leakage of documents by MACC and conspiracy to illegally topple a leader. MACC officers are not immune from being investigated. The officers don't sound that they are intimidated. On the contrary the MACC officers were cocky making statements to the press to the extent that Tan Sri Abu Kassim had to issue a disguised statement basically telling them to shut up. Regardless, did any evidence go missing as a result? If so then what evidence was destroyed? If no evidence went missing and they can still leak information then this is a non issue. We have also been overtaken by events whereby MACC has "completed" their investigation and yet provided no evidence of crime committed. Conclusion: No impact on the final verdict.
- The former Attorney General, arbitrarily retired due to "health reasons" despite him saying otherwise. Why is that?
If you were more perceptive you would pick up that the official "health reason" was for him to make a graceful exit. He could have been sacked for incompetence, negligence, non-performance and/or conspiracy to illegally topple the PM. He could also have been jailed and lose his pension. Nothing is stopping him from babbling to the media -- why do you think he is quiet? Whatever evidence Gani had, MACC and BNM would logically also have since they were in the same "task force" therefore Gani's exit would not affect the evidence, if ever there was any. Conclusion: No impact on the final verdict.
-The Bank negara report (stating wrongdoing of 1MDB) sidelined by the newly-appointed AG of MAlaysia, handpicked by DS Najib.
State SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY the alleged wrongdoing of 1MDB. What evidence did BNM provide? Did BNM say the RM2.6b was from 1MDB - Yes or No. Did BNM say there was money laundering - Yes or No. Did BNM say the donation going into a "personal" account was a crime - Yes or No. My answer to each question is No but you are welcome to prove otherwise. It is also an open secret that BNM has always known and had approved the large donations going into the bank account as well as 1MDB's offshore payments. See if you get the point in these posts: "BNM STATEMENT.... THAT'S ALL YOU'VE GOT?" and, for a bit of humour, "YOU CAN BANK ON THE AGC". Conclusion: You're grasping at straws.
-The MACC findings sidelined as well by the newly appointed AG. (Why is that?) The appeal committee soon to be replaced. The new AG not turning up to the meeting with members of the appeal committee.
State SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY what the AG got wrong with MACC's findings and not short-string it with MACC being "sidelined". The AG went through the IPs before arriving at a decision and theAG explained his decision in a press statement. Also there is no such thing as an "appeal committee" — where did you conjure that up? The meeting between MACC and AG was not intended to be a formal meeting. MACC had wanted to make a courtesy call to the new AG. And since there was nothing official or urgent about the meeting, the AG postponed it because he was summoned by the Sultan on a particular legal issue on national interest that I am not at liberty to mention. If you meant the ORP, which is not an "appeal committee" by the way, then why did the ORP deny MACC's statements? Conclusion: You're grasping at straws.
-Why charge DS Khairuddin & Matthias Chang under SOSMA for reporting this alleged corruption abroad? What is there to hide?
They were not charged under SOSMA. They were charged under Section 124L of the Penal Code. SOSMA is not a law but a procedure. They are being charged for sabotaging banking and financial services and deservedly so. That aside, what evidence did they provide to substantiate their allegation of corruption? What is there for Khairuddin and Matthias to hide from the public that they were willing to share with foreign authorities? I suspect doctored documents and/or selective information that do not tell the true story.
I mean, HK, Switzerland, Singapore & US have opened up investigations into the matter. There must be some truth behind their statements.
What evidence has been provided so far to show there was corruption? None. In this respect the Swiss AG said Najib was not being investigated, the FBI did not arrest Najib when he was in the US recently and Najib has not been afraid to travel abroad despite there surely must be "some truth behind their statements". Maybe you can explain why. Conclusion: You're grasping at straws with merely "There must be some truth behind their statements" — that is not an argument.
-Media critical of this issue widely suppressed. The Sarawak Report/The Edge/Medium and now TMI. Why not take them to the court instead?
You should know that many times TMI has changed their news article headlines because they were misleading They should have been blocked very much earlier. The Edge also made a u-turn on their reporting of 1MDB when they reported the Edra sale — they only had good things to say. Whether any of the media is taken to court later is up to 1MDB and/or the government and it may depend on timing. Maybe they are waiting for the right time e.g. for all reports to be finalised and official that can then be used as undisputed evidence in court. Having said that, will you then make a u-turn if 1MDB or the government sues? Yes or No. If you say you will wait for the court verdict then we all know that the court process will take too long. That being the case the government might as well focus on other priority issues. Not taking any of the media to court is not evidence of wrongdoing.
Aren't these based in Malaysia? Kalau nak bawa ke mahkamah, senang.
Senang? Look at how many cases have taken years to conclude. Don't be naive. Do you recall when TMI made 4 apologies in a week and were not taken to court? Tell you what, why don't you ask those media to take 1MDB to court if they feel 1MDB was wrong to accuse them of lying and spinning. It will give them a chance to prove their allegations.
I won't even start on WSJ/BBC/Al Jazeera/NYT (list of others who have also made the same allegations)
What about them? State SPECIFICALLY and EXPLICITLY the allegations they made so that I know you understand what you're talking about. You couldn't even comment on the specific allegations I listed in the other thread made easy for you. The lies are easily disproved without taking them to court (e.g. source of RM2.6b) while ambiguous statements are not worth taking them to court. Whether to sue or not also depends on legal technicalities and the impact it will have on the Saudi donors but surely you agree that is poor journalism standards and pathetic for WSJ to quote unknown sources without any corroborating evidence. Indeed WSJ was short of answers during the live Q&A session with the public on Facebook so please explain why do you still believe them - See my status "QUESTION AND NO-ANSWER SESSION WITH WSJ" .
Are all of these coincidences?
Coincidences of what? Same news reports? Of course not a coincidence. For example, the NY Post would quote WSJ and Sarawak Report. Sarawak Report parrots local tabloids and even Rafizi's blog. FMT, TMI, MKini quote each other etc. The Edge owns TMI. WSJ, New York Post and Sunday Times are owned by Rupert Murdoch. So please, use common sense. Conclusion: Not a coincidence but coordinated and poor standards of journalism.
By the way, BBC reported "… the payment was authorised from the very top - from Saudi Arabia's late King Abdullah - with funds coming from both his personal finances and state funds… The purpose of the donation was simple, said the Saudi source - it was to help Mr Najib and his coalition win the election, employing a strategic communications team with international experience, focusing on the province of Sarawak, and funding social programmes through party campaigning". CNBC also then quoted the BBC so why don't you believe both CNBC and BBC?
I say otherwise.
Am I supposed to be convinced merely because you "say otherwise"? That is not the quality of someone who is supposed to be debating champion of Asia. I'm still waiting for you to provide your argument and facts to substantiate allegations. "I say otherwise" is merely a bare denial, not an argument.
2) 1MDB Business model
- 1MDB borrowed RM20 Billion to purchase 3 power plants (over priced by 12.1 BILLION), then eventually sold it for RM9.83 Billion (at a loss of 2.27 BILLION).
As alleged by the WSJ & SR corroborated by documents & paperwork, the money was then used for campaign funding (through a special account)
Please elaborate what you mean by "over priced by RM12.1 billion". You then contradict yourself by saying it was sold at a loss of RM2.27 billion. Did 1MDB manage to add value of almost RM10 billion between the time they bought and later sell the power assets? That would be hugely impressive — unless, of course, you were wrong i.e. the purchase wasn't overpriced by RM12 billion in the first place. Nonetheless if you can explain how they overpaid by RM12 billion then you should also be able to explain how they recouped RM10 billion before the sell-off. Also can you please tell me what kind of IRR 1MDB was looking at, which indicated the purchase to be overpriced by RM12 billion — or were you merely comparing to the net book value of assets?
But actually, 1MDB did not make a loss of RM2.27 billion. You forgot to take into account the fact that the buyer would also take over the liabilities. The RM9.83 billion is cash equity without debt — did you not do your homework? Meaning, with the buyer also assuming the debts, the overall price will be much higher (about RM17 billion), which essentially rubbishes your claim of a RM2.27b loss. (Did you also then understand the Bandar Malaysia party equity sale? Read my post where Sat Dee was schooled).
Is this legit?
The allegation that 1MDB's money was used for campaign funding? Of course it would be wrong. So can you show me where in the financial statements of 1MDB it shows that money was used for "campaign funding"? You won't find it because it didn't happen. I already laid the facts that imply "campaign funding" vis-a-vis the RM2.6b did not come from 1MDB and I am still waiting for you to provide other evidence, facts or logical reasoning that show otherwise. You have not read or totally ignored my argument based on the facts given. (Refer to my rebuttal to Allegation #1 in the debate thread).
-1MDB invested or lent a total of US$1.83 billion to Petrosaudi International (PSI) Limited between 2009 and 2011 under the pretext of bogus projects or non-existent assets. Bank Negara Malaysia had demanded 1MDB return above money to Malaysia as their approval was given based on misinformation submitted by 1MDB. Of this sum, a total of US$ 1.45 billion was directly and indirectly siphoned off to Good Star Limited and other companies controlled by Low Taek Jho.
You are recycling wild allegations without showing anything to substantiate them.
Also refer to my rebuttal on Allegation #2 (US$700 million was siphoned out via Good Star Limited) in the debate thread.Refer to my postings (links given above) on BNM's ambiguous statement.I had already shown in the debate thread why even US$700 million could not have been stolen from 1MDB, let alone your ridiculous figure of US$1.45 billion. Now show me how US$1.45 billion could have been siphoned out without detection by auditors, BNM, MACC or PAC. (If you want to show a colourful chart of money flow then be prepared for me to grill you on the chart later — better to save yourself that embarrassment if you can't prove any crime based on the chart).You are also implying that auditors signed off on fraudulent and falsified accounts. We are talking about US$1.83 billion of non existent assets according to you. I challenge you to make a police report against the auditors or at least submit your case to MIA or MICPA. Ada berani?
To hide the missing funds, 1MDB "disoised" its investments and loans to PSI for US$2.318 billion, claiming to have made a profit of US$488 million. However, no money was returned to Malaysia. Instead, 1MDB claimed it invested the funds in Cayman Islands that was subsequently found to be an unlicensed investment manager.
Sorry, I don't know know the meaning of "disoised". I assume you mean "disposed"? (Next time you should read and understand properly whenever someone sends you something to copy paste. If the word doesn't make sense, just ask him). The investment made, proceeds and US$488m gain are correct but you are clearly ignorant about other facts. Refer to my rebuttal to Allegation #2 (US$700 million was siphoned out via Good Star Limited) in the debate thread. The investment also appeared in 1MDB's FY2014 financial statements so do you expect people to take your word versus Deloite (the auditors who said they still stand by the accounts), the Auditor-General and PAC even if you don't believe 1MDB's official statement? What have you got to show that I should believe you instead of them? I don't know details about Bridge Partners -- though I believe they were licenced at the time they held 1MDB's investment -- but it doesn't change the fact that after the redemption the financial asset was held through BSI Bank Singapore without any issues. What are you actually concluding here? At best there is an administrative irregularity and at worst you are telling a lie.
This subsequently led to KPMY (one of the auditors) being sacked. Is this a fair practice in the midst of a crisis?
KPMG (not KPMY) was not sacked. Change of auditors is nothing unusual and MK2 Husni in a TV interview already explained that international standards recommended the change of auditors preferably every 3 years. If KPMG was sacked over irregularities in 1MDB, they would have a duty to report fraud so why didn't they? KPMG partners would not risk going to jail. Even if KPMG was "sacked", the next auditor (Deloitte) would not dare endorse the cover-up of any crime or endorse an accounting disclosure /omission that would violate accounting standards and the Companies Act. Bear in mind that it is a big team of people (juniors, seniors, supervisor, manager, partners) doing audits and any one of them can anonymously blow the whistle to authorities or even leak information to pro-opposition leaders if there was a crime being covered up and that would have triggered an investigation into audit working papers. But like I said on the debate thread, we don't see KPMG or Deloite shredding papers like Arthur Andersen did during the Enron scam.
- 1MDB also took another loan of US$975 million from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium in September 2014, for the very same purpose of compensating Aabar for the terminated options. The Wall Street Journal has exposed the fact that these money have been paid to a different British Virgin Islands entity with a similar name, "Aabar Investment PJS Limited", whose beneficial owner is completely unrelated to IPIC.
What we know is that 1MDB did pay Aabar from the proceeds of the first redemption of US$1.22b — refer to the disclosure note in 1MDB's FY2014 audited accounts. Whether part of the US$975m loan was also used to pay for the option termination (assuming more than one payment) is at best secondary and at worst totally meaningless and irrelevant. The question you should ask is, has IPIC demanded or sued 1MDB for any money owing to them? The answer is No. Why not? Obviously because 1MDB paid them. That's common sense. But if common sense is not good enough then look at IPIC's financial statements for any contradiction or consistency as the case may be.
Let me tell you why your claim that 1MDB did not pay IPIC's Aabar is wild, baseless and illogical. Let's see the evidence and then apply logic and common sense. For evidence look at the interim accounts of IPIC for the period ended 30/6/2015. In the accounts (Note 22 page 30) I'll paraphrase into layman terms that it says (i) IPIC gave up the options (ii) IPIC paid 1MDB US$1 billion to settle the US$975m loan and other liabilites (iii) IPIC took over 1MDB's US$3.5b loans, and (iv) IPIC waived other debt owed by 1MDB to them. Now let's use logic and common sense: If 1MDB had paid someone else and not IPIC/Aabar, would IPIC have done all that? Think real hard before you answer so that you answer sensibly.
- 1MDB announced that it made a 2nd and final RM1.1 billion redemption if the Caymans Island investment in January 2015. Initially, the Prime Minister told Parliament that the sum wes held in cash in BSI Bank, Singapore. However, two months later in May 2015, he inform Parliament that it was not cash but "assets". Subsequently, it was explained that these assets were "units" which meant that they were never redeemed in the first place. This proved that 1MDB and Prime Minister have ben consistently lying to the Malaysia public. It also means that the MONEY INVESTED IN PETROSAUDI which was reinvested in Caymans Island, are still missing and unaccounted for.
Firstly, saying "This proved that 1MDB and Prime Minister have ben consistently lying to the Malaysia public." is a pathetic and desperate conclusion on your part. The error was merely administrative and did not at all mean any money was missing. The BSI asset is a cash equivalent asset. Go pick up a set of financial statements of and you will see a line item in the Statement of Financial Position (Balance Sheet) called "Cash and cash equivalent". It was a minor, insignificant and inconsequential inaccurate description of the asset and nothing more. What you need to show is whether the BSI asset was worthless (see next paragraph below and also refer to my rebuttal on Allegation #2 and later Allegation #10 in the debate thread) or even a risky illiquid asset. I know you will not be able to but by all means give it a try for entertainment purposes.
Secondly, how on earth you conclude "It also means that the MONEY INVESTED IN PETROSAUDI which was reinvested in Caymans Island, are still missing and unaccounted for" is beyond me. If that were true, where did money come from to pay for the termination of IPIC/Aabar's options, working capital and interest payments? Make sure you answer that question. However, if you then want to claim the money came from the US$975m Deutsche loan then explain how they gave out the loan based on money/asset that is "still missing and unaccounted for" as collateral.
-I also wonder why the banker at Goldman who dealt with the 1MDB scandal leave office when investigations are ongoing in the US? *this is know the answer to, but you'll just have to wait another few months for the news to be out ;) *
I also wonder why and how it proves any allegation. If you have to wait a few months to know then I take it to mean you don't know. And if you don't know then you are just shooting in the dark trying to create a diversion. Conclusion: Let me know in a few months.
3) The lies & flip flopped excuses. -From "The money is not in the account" to "fine it is, but it's a donation" Btw i am being generous by skipping the ludicrous notion of it being used to fight ISIS (despite the money coming in BEFORE ISIS ever existed) and more funny funny stuff.
Show me proof of any statement from Najib that said "the money is not in the account". What I recall is that he said it was not for personal gain. Conclusion: You haven't done basic homework.
-Is it a donation then?
Yes. Otherwise state what you believe it is and substantiate your position with facts, not aimless questions.
-The Saudi Foreign Minister stated there was no record of such a gift by the Saudis. He suggested it was probably a Saudi investment. (NOTE- The Saudi led investments companies which were started for 1MDB linkes to Jho Low.....i wonder why?)
*Look at documentations and money trails by WSJ and NYT*
You forgot to mention the part where the Saudi minister said the AG was right to clear Najib of any wrongdoing. But let me understand this: you actually admit that he "suggested"? Well, you're right. He "suggested" because he is not privy to all the details of the donation. So how does that prove it wasn't a donation? Even if he "suggested" it was an investment, it may be because the US was also listening. Another reason could also be that to him, helping a Muslim government win elections is an investment obviously not in the quantitative sense but qualitatively in terms of the interest of the ummah. In any case, like I said, it was reported that the minister said the AG was right to clear Najib of any wrongdoing so you should also take that "suggestion" on board. Wait a minute…. do you then agree the money was indeed from Arab donors and not 1MDB, even if it was an "investment"? You are then contradicting yourself. Make up your mind. Conclusion: You tell me.
FINALLY, IF IT IS A DONATION, WHY IN THE WORLD WOULD DATUK SERI NAJIB RETURN THE REMAINING USD 620 MILLION?
I don't know why you put all that in CAPS as though you thought you had a slam dunk. We are not privy to the conditions of the donation. If it was for the election and not all of the money was used by the time the election was over and won, then the money should indeed be returned and you should be praising PM for his honesty. If it was not a donation then what was it? If you are implying the money was not from Arab donors then why mention that the Saudi minister "suggested" that the money was for "investment", meaning it was not from 1MDB? Like I said above, you are contradicting yourself. Conclusion: Again, you tell me.
Enjoy the read.
It was a tiresome read because of the recycled questions and you totally avoided stating your position and giving arguments to the 11 allegations against 1MDB. It was even more tiresome replying. Nonetheless, now that I have humoured you, I expect you to respond to all of the allegations I listed down in the debate thread created specially for you. You have disappointed many people who have been waiting for the debate to commence so please don't make them wait any longer. Like I asked for earlier, at least immediately indicate for each allegation whether you believe it to be true or false - the argument can come later.
- AA -
P/S - Friends, if you detect what you believe to be a clear mistake, misinformation or an untruth in this post please let me know. I'll then consider and amend accordingly if need be. Thank you.