Malaysia – PM’s wife causing Razak family’s anxiety?


Her extravagance makes life difficult for everyone, says Shahbudin Husin

RosmahPETALING JAYA: If one were to read between the lines of the recent joint statement by PM Najib’s brothers, one could see that they were concerned by disclosures about their sister-in-law’s opulent lifestyle, according to analyst Shahbudin Husin.

In a blog article titled “Rosmah makes life difficult for everybody”, Shahbudin notes that the Razak family’s statement followed a New York Times report that quoted a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, which said: “Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

He says it’s not Najib or his children whom the Malaysian public associate with opulence, but his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and her son from a previous marriage, Reza Aziz.

He notes that Najib’s brothers were defending the reputation of their father, Abdul Razak Hussein, who, as Malaysia’s second prime minister, was known for his integrity and frugal ways.

He says it appears that the brothers have joined “the many Umno grassroots leaders” in their anxiety over Rosmah’s spendthrift ways.

Shahbudin, who is a former official in Federal Territory Umno and who claims to be in touch with the party’s grassroots, says Umno leaders have often been heard to complain of the burden of having to defend Rosmah against public criticism.

Referring to the upcoming series of celebrations to mark the wedding of Najib’s daughter with a Kazakhstani, he says there’s already gossip about how extravagant the spending will be.

“Again,” he says, “all the opulence will be associated with what Rosmah wants, and not the wishes of the bride herself.

“Will the Prime Minister’s Office again associate the high expenditure with the wealth Najib allegedly inherited from his father?

“Whether or not the relationship between Najib and his brothers is being strained by this uncontrolled extravagance, the reality is that the anxiety over the subject of Rosmah has now spread further.”





Malaysia – Is Najib facing a rebellion?


Kadir Jasin speaks of two recent developments that indicate not everyone in Putrajaya supports 1MDB.

Kadir / NajibPETALING JAYA: Veteran journalist and persistent 1MDB critic A Kadir Jasin appears to be suggesting that some kind of rebellion, maybe not amounting to a revolt, is possibly brewing in the halls of power against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

In a blog entry today, he refers to two recent developments related to 1MDB – the reported Cabinet rejection of the company’s request for a cash injection to the tune of RM3 billion and the Public Accounts Committee’s call for an immediate audit of the company.

He offers conditional congratulations to the Cabinet. “A big thanks and kudos to the Cabinet if indeed it has rejected a request by 1Malaysia Development Berhad for a RM3-billion financing from the government,” he says.

Recent online media reports say the Cabinet rejected the proposal at its weekly meeting on Wednesday by not approving the minutes of the previous week’s meeting on the subject.

Kadir says he is trying to get confirmation of the reports from his contacts in the government.

“I am yet to receive any response to two SMS messages I sent to a minister and press secretary to a senior minister seeking confirmation of the Cabinet decision,” he writes.

“If the online media reports are true, the Cabinet action could be seen as signalling that the Prime Minister … no longer holds sway, at least not on the issue of 1MDB.

“This is a huge setback for him. I would not, at this point, speculate that there is an emerging revolt against his leadership.

He points out that 1MDB is Najib’s creation and it is owned by the Finance Ministry, which he heads.

He says the reported Cabinet decision “could add further burden on the already beleaguered Prime Minister”.

Kadir also takes note of a press statement issued yesterday by the Chairman of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Nur Jazlan Mohamed, an Umno MP.

Nur Jazlan urged the Auditor-General’s Department to carry out an immediate audit of 1MDB. He said the audit should determine the source of the RM2 billion 1MDB used to settle loans with local banks, its proposed plan to borrow RM3 billion from the Treasury, its dealings with PetroSaudi International (PSI) and whether the money it parked in the Cayman Islands has been brought home.




Malaysia – Petronas posts RM7 billion quarterly loss, cuts spending on oil slump

The Malaysian Insider


State-owned oil firm Petronas reported on Friday a US$2 billion quarterly loss and a planned cut in spending over the next two years, hit by a slump in global oil prices.

Petronas posted a net loss of RM7.3 billion in October-December 2014 compared to a profit of RM12.8 billion in the same period in 2013. The loss, which Petronas’s CEO said was its first quarterly loss in at least five years, was also caused by impairment charges.

The company announced plans to cut capital expenditure by 10% and operating expenses by up to 30% this year. The 2016 capital expenditure would also be trimmed by 15%, it said.

“Since we began reporting our quarterly earnings five years ago, in my memory we have never reported a quarterly loss,” outgoing Petronas chief executive Shamsul Azhar Abbas said at a press conference to announce the results.

Malaysia, a net energy exporter, relies heavily on Petronas for most of its oil and gas revenue. But weaker global oil prices have dented its income, and left the Southeast Asian nation faced with a devalued currency and risk of a sovereign downgrade due to mounting debt from its struggling state fund 1MDB.

Unlisted Petronas said government payments in the form of dividends would be about RM26 billion in 2015. It had said in November that government dividend would be 37% lower in 2015 if oil stays at US$75 a barrel.

Brent rebounded to US$61 a barrel on Friday, on hopes of better oil demand, after slumping to as low as nearly US$45 in January. Between June and January, crude oil prices had crashed 60%.

Shamsul said the company sees crude oil prices averaging US$55 a barrel in 2015.

“This current scenario of $50-$60 band is going to be there over the next at least two years. We are going to do a midterm review of this budget and come up with a revised number in the month of May or early June to come up with what possible new numbers there are,” he said.

Petronas has appointed former chief operating officer Wan Zulkiflee Wan Ariffin as its new president and chief executive effective April, replacing Shamsul.

Under the helm of Shamsul, the country’s only Fortune 500 company has expanded abroad to shore up future earnings as output slows at home. It bought Canada’s Progress Energy Resources in 2012 in a deal worth around US$5 billion that gave it shale gas properties in northeastern British Columbia. – Reuters, February 27, 2015.





Current – currency – money

…looks like money is here to stay for a while, and its taking new shapes and forms? Greece, however is returning to the (new) Drachma (see below)


China Launching Gold Backed Global Currency

China new currency

According to the article, China is recasting all of their gold reserves into small one kilo bars in order to issue a new “gold-backed” currency. Many say this will disrupt global trade and will eventually cause a collapse of the US dollar.

There can be no doubt that the US dollar will soon be history. China is recasting all of their gold reserves into small one kilo bars in order to issue a new ‘gold backed’ global currency. This is surely a strategic part of their recent push to sign new trade agreements with Russia, Japan, Chile, Brazil, India, and Iran. The cat is now out of the bag, the US will be given the ‘bums rush’ by the largest trading nations in the world and the dollar will go down in flames. GATA now estimates that 80% of the gold that investors believe they have in allocated accounts is long gone, the majority of it probably wound up in China.

Here is an excerpt from Jim Willie’s ‘Hat Trick Letter’

Jims recent article starts out with…

Many are the events, signals, and telltale clues of a real live actual systemic failure in progress. Until the last several months, such banter was dismissed by the soldiers in the financial arena. But lately, they cannot dismiss the onslaught of evidence, a veritable plethora of ugly symptoms of conditions gone terribly wrong and solutions at best gone awry and at worst never intended in the first place.


China is well along an ambitious plan to recast large gold bars into smaller 1-kg bars on a massive scale. A major event is brewing that will disrupt global trade and assuredly the global banking system. The big gold recast project points to the Chinese preparing for a new system of trade settlement. In the process they must be constructing a foundation for a possible new monetary system based in gold that supports the trade payments. Initally used for trade, it will later be used in banking. The USTBond will be shucked aside. Regard the Chinese project as preliminary to a collapse in the debt-based USDollar system. The Chinese are removing thousands of metric tons of gold bars from London, New York, and Switzerland. They are recasting the bars, no longer to bear weights in ounces, but rather kilograms. The larger Good Delivery bars are being reduced into 1-kg bars and stored in China. It is not clear whether the recast project is being done entirely in China, as some indication has come that Swiss foundries might be involved, since they have so much experience and capacity.

continue reading at worldtruth.TV


New Greek Drachma Unveiled Amid Bank Runs – Greeks Buy Gold Sovereigns Finance

Greek drachma

The Euro Working Group discussed Greece’s imminent funding problems yesterday amid renewed concern about how the country will meet its massive obligations.

Minister of State for Coordinating Government Operations, Alekos Flambouraris, suggested yesterday that Greece might delay payment to the IMF if it cannot find the necessary money. Greece is due to pay the IMF 1.6 billion euros next month but the Greek Minister said that Athens might ask to delay this payment for two months.

Kathimerini reports that “the possibility of Greece postponing the repayment of any debt tranches to the IMF is seen as “exceptionally complicated” with “many obstacles,” according to officials “familiar with the subject”. They stress that such a move would constitute a “clear default,” with consequences for a large number of other loans Greece has received.”

Yesterday the Bank of Greece presented its latest, January, bank deposit data and it shows bank runs continue in Greece. There was a record €12.2 billion monthly outflow of deposits. This is greater in absolute and relative terms than anything experienced during any of the previous Greek crises and bailouts.

…Some analysts have suggested that the EU and Greece have reached a stalemate and are preparing to attempt an orderly exit by Greece from the Euro and back to the Drachma.

This may certainly be the case. Greece has newly designed Drachma notes (see above) and printing presses waiting for the order to start rolling.

Where all this is leading is anyone’s guess. If it is a simple case of Syriza being out-smarted by its EU partners it can only lead to social unrest in Greece and a possible rise of the fascist Golden Dawn.

At any rate, Greece is bankrupt with no hope in sight, at least within the Euro monetary union, so eventual default appears inevitable.

– Mark O’Byrne (gold





#WON the Internet



Today will go down in history as the day we won real protections for net neutrality.

After a long campaign, this morning the FCC voted for what we demanded, and what a few big cable companies did not want: strong, enforceable net neutrality rules based on classifying broadband as a Title II communications service. Huge sums were spent lobbying Congress to try to limit what we can create and build and do online.

We accomplished what seemed impossible: we stood together, took on the goliaths, and won.

This was no small feat. It was the biggest show of public engagement the FCC had ever seen — a mass movement of historic proportions. Millions of public comments flooded Washington on this issue. By banding together, we’ve helped to keep the Web open and accessible for everyone, equally.

What’s next? We’ve known all along that cable companies would turn to the courts if they lost with the FCC, and that’s exactly what they’re preparing to do, but they likely have a very difficult road ahead. The President himself spoke in favor of strong rules to protect net neutrality. The FCC chairman, a former cable and wireless industry lobbyist, led the FCC to a vote on the rules we asked for. And anti-net neutrality bills in Congress have fizzled.

We have built a powerful and unified grassroots movement, and we aren’t going anywhere.

We all know this won’t be the last time we will need to join together to protect the Web from those that want to control it. With the net neutrality fight underway in the European Union, this victory in the U.S. will hopefully boost efforts there. Mozilla’s policy experts are also keeping an eye on legislation about surveillance, privacy, and online safety and security just on the horizon.

A handful of growing empires will no doubt try again to take more control of what is possible and what is imaginable on the Web. I hope we can call on you to stand with us when the time comes. Strength in numbers — that’s how we win.

Today we celebrate — click here to get a special photo to use for your Facebook profile to help commemorate this awesome victory.

Thanks again for your work to make today’s outcome possible and for all that you do to protect the open Web.


Mark Surman
Executive Director


US regulator votes for net neutrality
Biggest government intervention in the internet in two decades could face legal challenges – FT


open mediaWE DID IT! The U.S. FCC just announced an historic ruling to ban Internet slow lanes. It’s been a long road, but the Internet won, and it’s all thanks to you speaking out. Click here to see community reaction, publish your thoughts, and celebrate with the rest of the Internet.






Malaysia – Masked men reveal plot to ‘blow up’ Police Chief

Malay Mail Online

Weeks after threat against judiciary, masked men reveal plot to ‘blow up’ IGP

Three Masked men

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 25 — A band of masked men has threatened to kill Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, just a couple of weeks after several individuals claiming to be Islamic State members said they will set off firecrackers at Malaysian courthouses.

Three masked individuals speaking under the banner of Anak Malaysia Anti Demokrasi claimed in a one-minute and 27 second video clip posted on Facebook yesterday that they intend to assassinate Khalid by blowing up his car.

The spokesman for the group, speaking in a modulated voice, condemned high-ranking officials in Malaysia for “cheating democracy” and claimed that the existing system would not bring better officials to the country.

“Can Malaysians change the Election Commission’s chairman through democracy? Can they change the national chief justice through democracy? Can they change the IGP through democracy?” the spokesman said in the video, posted on a Facebook account under the name Ameno World.

“We, Anak Malaysia Anti Demokrasi, declare that we will kill the IGP and bomb his car. This would cause those in the government to be afraid for cheating democracy.”

The video depicted all three of the masked individuals seated at a table, with a Malaysian flag behind them and two toy cars among other items on the table.

The group ended the video by lighting one of the toy cars on fire, accompanied by sounds of explosions, to symbolise their threat.

The police have yet to respond to queries from Malay Mail Online regarding the latest video.

On February 15, a video surfaced on YouTube of four masked men, claiming to be members of the Islamic State, threatening to throw firecrackers at Malaysian courthouses to symbolise their loss of faith in democracy.

In the video by “isis malaysia 69”, the four individuals garbed in black were seen in front of the Malaysian flag. Three are standing, with one holding up what appears to be a molotov cocktail, while the fourth man is seated at a table with three more molotov cocktails and appears to be reading from a script.

Police have since detained two university students in connection with the video, which was panned by social media users as a hoax.


IGP shot deadIn June 1974, two men gunned down IGP Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim in a narrow lane in Kuala Lumpur.

Source: Chronicle of Malaysia