1. If someone asked you who is the most thick-skinned person you have ever know, it surely must be Najib Razak. Last two weeks, he and his mouthpiece, Apandi Ali tried to white wash the occurrence of multi billions ringgit being discovered in his private accounts by claiming that these billions are just ‘donation’.
It insults our intelligence to see a government officer holding billions of ringgit in his accounts and spending it without any supervision. In fact, nobody knows how and to where every single sen was spent on. His propaganda machine tried so hard in telling us bogus stories to justify it, but everyone knows, they do not know anything beyond the lies that was spoon-fed to them.
For instance, they began to find stories that Arab Saudi do give out donations to other countries by the billions. They promoted a story that an Arab prince will be donating USD32 billion of his personal wealth from 2015 onwards. Although from the news it is certain that this donation will be transparent and overseen by a board of trustees (as compared to Najib’s secretive and dodgy billions), we were asked to believe that the transaction that was made in 2013 onto Najib’s private accounts were of similar nature.
Malaysians must be that stupid to believe this.
Recently an unknown person interviewed by BBC even gave an irrelevant answer when asked about the bizarre way of donating straight into the personal accounts of a leader in another country. His answer? “Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan have all been beneficiaries of multi-$100m donations from the Saudi”.
Perhaps this idiot do not know how to differentiate between an individual and a sovereign country.
The fact is, Jordan do received USD487 million from Saudi Arabia for development projects, and Morocco received USD1.25 billion, also to finance its local projects. All these were done above board and in a transparent manner.
Another example of absurdity is how they told us a story that Arab Saudi has been donating billions of dollars to governments worldwide. For the past 40 years, USD115 billions have been contributed by Arab Saudi to 90 countries seeking humanitarian aid. But this was done on the basis of government to government arrangement. None was done secretly and into the personal accounts of a Prime Minister and his credit card accounts.
It really is surprising how low these people want to go in order to make themselves look like fools. Nobody believes anything that comes out from the propaganda machine anymore precisely because ordinary Malaysians have realised that Najib and his men had to believe in their own lies.
2. Around the world people are talking about Najib and his ‘donation’ issues. The world do not recognise it as a donation. To them, and to the average thinking Malaysians, it is corruption. Even the MACC laws defined it as corruption.
It is merely a re-labelling of a word, but the substance of the issue is still, a corrupt practise. No public official around the world can receive money in his/her personal bank accounts for no reason whatsoever. The MACC Act 2009 Section 50 automatically deems it as presumption of guilt. The official must prove his innocence in the court of law (after the investigation papers get pass the AG to prosecute him).
In other countries, prime ministers and ministers resign when a few thousand dollars were found secretly stashed in their accounts. But not Malaysia. Over here, we are led by a muslim, and that makes him the Chosen One, only God can remove him no matter how corrupt he can be. Since he is still the Prime Minister that means God Himself wants him to stay?
We have the Financial Times talking about Najib’s corruption scandal. We have the Bloomberg talking about him. We have the BBC making fun of him, Sydney Morning Herald, Nikkei Asean Review and recently Finance Asia ranked him at 12th, making him the worst Finance Minister among the selected countries in Asia.
Facing this economic downturn, everyone in Malaysia knows he is a below-par Finance Minister. Nobody is denying it, well except for his sycophants.
Note that in 2015, Finance Asia ranked Najib Razak as the 8th best performing Finance Minister. But this was before the 1MDB fiasco imploded and the ‘donation’ scandal exploded.
All this came about from his own wrongdoing and his inability to be honest from the beginning. Being accountable is a luxury to him. Magnanimity escapes him. He could not step down due to sheer pressure from the massive machinery that relies on him to provide the perpetual gravy.
3. Tabung Haji was in the news recently regarding their financial well being. Tabung Haji itself (not the Group) had negative reserves (-RM351 million) by year end 2014. A stark difference from the year before with a positive RM2.5 billion in reserves. That was a wipe out of RM2.85 billion in reserves!
Fortunately this year Tabung Haji could still pay their depositors about 5% dividend and a further 3% bonus for those who have yet to perform the haj. Last year, Tabung Haji paid 6.25% in dividends with 2% bonus.
But this still did not go down well with some leaders in the opposition. The recent one came from the deputy president of Amanah. This was after they met Tabung Haji in order to learn more about its finances.
Salahuddin Ayub made a pretty convincing statement when he alleges that Tabung Haji is sacrificing assets in order to pay the bonuses:
“Amanah notes that the five percent dividend and three percent bonus were only announced yesterday, after TH had sold off some of its assets in London. These assets, which have all this time generated lucrative profits for LTH, were sold off just to fulfil the short-term goal of showing that the business is still intact and profitable. Criticisms by Bank Negara Malaysia on its (TH’s) reserve policies as a whole and risk management practices should be strictly adhered to.”
Salahuddin said today that fund’s board of directors and management should be swapped out with a new line-up of members that he said should receive prior approval from the central bank.
The existing members, he said, must be reviewed for their qualifications and their abilities.
“The posts of those in the board and the management should be given only to those who deserve them and not as political rewards,” he said.
For the year 2015, Tabung Haji declared that they recorded a net profit of RM3.53 billion (RM2.98 billion in 2014), the highest in their history. But if we minus RM1.65 billion, then their real profit sans the selling of assets is just RM1.88 billion. This is the lowest profit they have in the past 4 years!
No wonder Amanah made such statement. We hope Tabung Haji will produce their audited financial statements real soon. The Auditor General, being the mechanical apparatus like how an auditor ought to be, had assured us that Tabung Haji will not have any problem in giving out dividends.
And obviously with a windfall of billions from the sale of valuable assets, Tabung Haji will not have any problems to pay out its obligation.
But unlike how 1MDB had to sell off their assets in order to pay its debts, we are grateful that Tabung Haji can still remain afloat. But for how long, that will depend on their cashflows. A brief scan on their year to year cashflow does not augur well. Perhaps its time to change leadership so that Tabung Haji can make real profits without resorting to sell any of its assets, just to make someone look good.
As a side note, Tabung Haji in their press release did not say the payment as dividends, but bonuses. The term ‘dividends’ have never been used by Tabung Haji to describe their payouts.
Jamil Khir, the minister in charge of Tabung Haji gave this ominous statement on the future of the fund:
“I would like to remind depositors, their money in Tabung Haji is based on the concept of Al Wadi’ah Yad Dhamanah, under which it is fully guaranteed by the government. Whereas the bonus to depositors is ‘hibah’ or gift, based on current financial year performance and Tabung Haji’s discretion.
But I have observed that every year, depositors expect that this hibah is an obligation of Tabung Haji. I would like to stress again, although offering hibah is permitted, it cannot be made a permanent practice so as to avoid it becoming a habit as stipulated in the depositors’ contract based on wadi’ah.”
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