Sunday, May 21, 2017

SR: 1MDB Cash Was Spent On Najib's Personal PR App....


21 May 2017


The release of data from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigation into the misuse of the 1MDB subsidiary SRC International’s money has thrown up several interesting names.
They come from the lists of recipients paid out of Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts from at least RM72 million that was illegally diverted from SRC to the Prime Minister.
The new Attorney General has now acknowledged the money came from SRC, however he has exonerated the Prime Minister on the basis that Najib says he ‘didn’t know’ the origin of the money he was spending out of his private named accounts.  Likewise, no one has so far contested the authenticity of the leaks which have been available online for several weeks and extensivly reported upon by this site.
Insiders and corroborating evidence to the contrary confirm the genuine nature of this data.
Meanwhile, no one has required the Prime Minister to pay the money back and investigations have been forcibly closed down by the AG in defiance of formal protests from the MACC and the Central Bank.
Up to the second information about the Dear Leader...
Up to the second information about the Dear Leader and his “accomplishments”….

Najib App

Apart from the luxury shops, anti-ageing doctor, polling consultants and UMNO party bigwigs are also listed a number of companies, which seem mainly preoccupied with election paraphenalia – or in the promotion of Najib Razak’s personal image.
Late last year journalists were prompted to look into who was behind a special App launched to promote Najib among the young and new media savvy. As Malaysiakini put it:
When Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced he was releasing his own mobile app, social media was abuzz with concerns that installing ‘Najib Razak’ on their phones would result in their data being abused.
Another concern was the identity of the app’s mysterious developer, Resonate Digital.
For instance, who owns this company? How much funds did it receive to develop ‘Najib Razak’? How much did ‘Najib Razak’ cost? Was the project awarded to it through open bidding?
Mysterious App and company behind it
Mysterious App and company behind it – Resonate Digital
Malaysiakini’s investigators discovered that Resonate Digital was owned by two people, one of whom was an official within the Prime Minister’s own Office, the other an employee of Astra named Har Kok Kit.  The newspaper pointed out that this rather smacked of an inside job and lack of proper tendering. However they were turned away from the offices of the company without any answers to their questions about how much money was awarded to the project and from where.
“A staff soon approached, and, upon learning the purpose of the visit, said the company was reluctant to be interviewed.
A ‘person-in-charge’ joined the conversation as well; asked about the cost of the application and number of downloads, he refused to answer, saying such information was “internal”.
He only revealed that the company had its own team to develop the application.
Asked if he felt it was inappropriate that Amhari, as a PMO special officer, was given the project from the prime minister, he begged to differ. [Malaysiakini]

Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd

Malaysiakini noted that Resonate Digital had only registered assets of some RM8,000 with matching liabilities. Nevertheless the firm maintained plush offices in KL’s PJ Trade Centre.
Following the article further online sleuths reported on the online site Lowyat net that the actual developer of the App was a separate company named Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd, directed by the same people.
Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd
“The actual developing company is Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd… same owners tho”
Company documents downloaded on the site show that Orb Solutions has a rather more impressive capital base of RM2 million ringgit and the shares are evenly divided between the PM Office functionary Amhari Efendi Nazaruddin, who has been associated with the company since its incorporation in 2010 and Har Kok Kit, who only joined the company in January 2015.
A million RM1 shares each shareholder....
A million RM1 shares each shareholder….
Using the leaked MACC files Sarawak Report can now add some missing information to answer those original questions posed last year by Malaysiakini’s reporter.
RM2,000,000 was paid to Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd from Najib's personal account
RM2,000,000 was paid to Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd from Najib’s personal account in August 2014
Because, the data shows that RM2 million was indeed paid to Orb Solutions Sdn Bhd on 27th August 2104 from Najib’s personal account, which was funded by money stolen from SRC.
Perhaps the App should add this detail to the Prime Minister’s list of accomplishments?
Another notable recipient of a lesser RM50,000 is one Asmadi Bin Abu Talib, who appears from his Facebook to be a classic candidate for the UMNO party handouts on which Najib seems to think it is appropriate to shower money originally borrowed from the civil service pension fund.
UMNO worker?
UMNO worker?
According to his Facebook Ahmad is a very keen and active UMNO worker, who spends most of his time going round communities handing out prizes and preaching in favour of the ruling party.
This good worker on behalf of UMNO received RM50,000 from the SRC stolen money - what exactly was it for?
This good worker on behalf of UMNO received RM50,000 from the SRC stolen money – what exactly was it for?
UMNO bigwigs have made it plain they see nothing wrong with party people accepting secret cheques made out in person from their party leader, as long as they vouch that it was only spent on party matters.
However, unfortunately there is a plain and glaring problem with this attitude, given that the handout was not officially recorded, the expenditure does not appear to have been properly accounted for and the source of the money has turned out to have been stolen from the public.
The man from UMNO
The man from UMNO
UMNO does not have the right to help itself to people’s pension money in order to curry favour with voters, at the uwitting expense of those very same trusting voters.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is reported as having made these very points to his party boss last year and was, of course, immediately sacked for his pains.
The previous PM Dr Mahathir has also loudly made the same point to Najib as have others who have quit UMNO over 1MDB.  However, it appears that as long as the money keeps on coming, those presently within UMNO’s ruling circles continue to accept Najib’s practices.
The question is will voters continue to appreciate the bribes once they have worked out that they are paying for them themselves?

Friday, May 19, 2017

SR: Swiss Solidarity On 1MDB...(Pascal & Justo combine force)

Swiss Solidarity On 1MDB...

Swiss Solidarity On 1MDB...

Yesterday two key plaintiffs related to the 1MDB case met in Berne, the Swiss capital to compare notes and forge an alliance for action, they say.  Their exclusive statements afterwards to Sarawak Report indicate that the men have become concerned at the slow pace of the ongoing case relating to 1MDB.
Xavier Justo has remained silent for several months since his return from Thailand, in order to cooperate with ongoing investigations by the Swiss authorities.
“It is important that we see real action in this major case as soon as possible”,
he told Sarawak Report.
Justo, who was a key witness in the 1MDB case, was imprisoned at the behest of the directors of PetroSaudi International, who not only denounced him to the authorities for alleged blackmail, but organised the minute management of his case and imprisonment, thanks to Malaysia’s powerful connections, in particular wealthy friends of Jho Low.  This included a forced confession taken in the Bangkok jail by a PetroSaudi employee in the absence of Justo’s lawyer.
Meanwhile, Pascal Najadi, who says he flew from Moscow to meet Justo, has been campaigning since 2013 for justice over the assassination of his father in KL.  He too has pointed to numerous abuses of due process in the investigation, culminating in the liberation of the top suspect for his father’s murder, who was never brought to trial.
“We will not stop our right to bring justice to those who have ordered and paid the assassination in Malaysia of my late father Hussain Najadi. Todays meeting with Xavier enabled me, us, to shed more light on the ins and outs of this massive crime of global scale. We obviously need to be careful not to disturb any current criminal investigations taking place simultaneously in several countries around the world. I believe the Swiss Attorney General, Michael Lauber, and his team are doing a great job and so do the American DoJ. But we are deliberating whether at this stage we need to take more public steps.
What Xavier revealed to me is not only shocking and deplorable but it calls for Justice to advance faster in the massive 1MDB case. Both our families have become victims of 1MDB and as Swiss Citizens we have every right to see Justice being served to all those criminal elements, and there are many in Malaysia and elsewhere.”
1MDB is a massive investigation involving billions and several banks.  However, it has also touched many lives such as theirs and the continuing uncertainties, secrecy and delays surrounding the financial investigations in Singapore, Switzerland and the US have started to cast uncertainties say the two men.
Yesterday also, reports from California indicated that lawyers for Riza Aziz are attempting to “settle” his case over stolen money laundered in the US, where he bought a number of properties and financed the $100 million movie Wolf of Wall Street.
“This is all Malaysia’s public money, so what is there to settle?”
asked Justo, adding that what millions want to see is justice and warrants out for the ring of people responsible for this crime.
Deep discussion will support continuing collaboration, the two men say
Deep discussion will support continuing collaboration, the two men say

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

SR: We Name More Of The Recipients Of Najib's Stolen Public Money....

We Name More Of The Recipients Of Najib's Stolen Public Money....


One person who features more than once as a lucky recipient of SRC’s stolen funds (thanks to payments from PM Najib Razak) is the property developer Lim Soon Peng.  Together with his son he runs Titijaya Land Berhad, which boasts a number of residential developments.
Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 09.38.52 Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 09.43.56
In July of 2014 Lim received RM91,470 from Najib’s account and then in the following February a hefty RM238,914 – all from the funds stolen from SRC International and initially borrowed from the KWAP public sevants’ pension fund.  So, was Najib buying properties from Mr Lim and if so was he buying them at the market rate?
Or were they up to something else entirely?  Given this was public money, the public have a right to know.  Public servants are often turned out of their accommodation upon retirement and there are very many who would therefore appreciate a roof over their heads from this money saved towards the old age of civil servants, if properties have indeed been bought.
Meanwhile, the recipient list, which includes luxury furnishing shops, diamond sellers and credit card repayments, has long-since undermined Najib’s claim back in 2015 that none of the money was spent on personal uses. It also undermines likely confidence in the present claims of his underlings that the till now unreported cheques, which he presented to UMNO members from the same pot of money, was spent on ‘public’ uses.
Najib’s professional helpers
So, who else was getting gravy from the dish?  Several names spring out, many of which seem linked to election expenses – consultants and companies engaged in the provision of gifts to hand round voters:
“Enjoy this trinket. You might as well, since you paid for it out of your own old age pension” 
Rita Sim
Rita Sim
Najib might have told his grateful electors.
One of these well-paid consultants appears to have been one Rita Sim, the Founder and Director of an outfit called the Centre For Strategic Engagement (CENSE).
Rita and her two female partners appear to have netted a cool million at the start of September 2014 for their work in a direct payment from Najib – RM500,000 on September 1st made out to the Centre and then RM500,000 on September 3rd made out to CENSE Media.
Then the following year there was another tasty payment for a further RM300,000 dated 9th February.
So, what do these three ladies do for people and in particular for Najib, the public has a right to ask?
In her profile, Ms Sim who points out she was named in 2011 as “Woman Super Achiever at the 2nd CMO Asia Awards for Excellence in Marketing and Branding” lists her areas of expertise on the CENSE website as:
The Centre for Strategic Engagement (CENSE) is a private consulting firm established in 2010. We specialise in public policy research with special interest in media, policy & political communications. Our clientele includes Members of Parliament, Ministers, policy-makers and multinationals operating in the region.
The firm says it specialises in:
Branding and marketing, nonpartisan research, analysis, engagement and advisory services. Bespoke strategic planning and implementation (media, business, politics)
To add to a panaply of expertise Sim also currently specialises in Corporate Social Responsibility projects.
The Cense Package:
  • Market Intelligence
  • Surveys and Polls
  • Political Sentiment Analysis
  • Political risk assessment
  • Critical-gap analysis
  • Bespoke socio-political impact studies
  • Up-to-date policy and legislative reports
  • Crisis Management
  • Backbencher engagement
  • Internal and external stakeholder engagement
  • Political and Media Toolkit
  • Individual coaching for political and media engagement
  • Media monitoring, analysis and strategic consultancy
  • Scoping Studies
Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 14.16.23
Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 14.17.05
For the moment Malaysians can only guess what ‘scoping’ or ‘polling’ Ms Sim and her fellow experts were up to on behalf of Najib. However, a clear picture has emerged in one respect, which is that the present Prime Minister appears to have an inexhaustible and extremely expensive media monitoring and manipulation habit.
There appears no end to the numbers of people he is prepared to hire, both publicly and privately, to survey opinion and try to influence it also.  However, as today’s news has shown, it seems he is not happy with what his experts are telling him, because it now appears that a mass exercise is underway to add tens of thousands of new mysterious voters to the electoral lists in opposition constituencies, whilst at the same time making it almost impossible for opposition parties to register voters of their own.
What possible strategic exercise could that be related to, voters might be wondering?
Conference at Le Meridien Hotel.. funded by SRC Money from Najib?
Conference at Le Meridien Hotel.. funded by SRC Money from Najib?

Monday, May 15, 2017

SR: Najib Paid RM655,000 of 1MDB's Stolen Cash To 'Media Warfare' and 'Monitoring' Expert!

Najib Paid RM655,000 of 1MDB's Stolen Cash To 'Media Warfare' and 'Monitoring' Expert!

Najib Paid RM655,000 of 1MDB's Stolen Cash To 'Media Warfare' and 'Monitoring' Expert!

The recipients of payments by Najib from accounts supplied with stolen money from 1MDB are gradually seeping out, as details from the MACC’s halted investigations have appeared online.
Several of these payments went on luxury shopping and jewellers for Rosmah Mansor. However, many of her husband’s secret election expenses and subsequent political activities are also listed, reflecting his clear obsession with the concept of online and social media “warfare”.
These include a whopping RM655,000 payment to a former foreign press correspondent in KL, Singaporean Romen Bose, who went on to specialise in ‘big data’, ‘media warfare’ and ‘social media intelligence’.
Screen Shot 2017-05-15 at 13.58.24
According to a leak on the site SPRM Insider, which has been verified by sources (Sarawak Report has been sent a clearer version of the online documents) Najib paid Bose on 14th August 2014, over a year after the last general election. The money came from one of several AmBank accounts identified by MACC investigators as being in the Prime Minister’s name – No 2112011011906.
Waving the evidence he'd just denied - AG Apandi
Waving the evidence he’d just denied – AG Apandi
This account was supplied by money that had originally been borrowed by the 1MDB subsidiary SRC International from the public pension fund KWAP and it was managed by SRC’s own CEO Nik Faisal, who had been granted authority to put money into the PM’s account.
In July 2015 Sarawak Report originally published information showing that RM42 million had gone from SRC into this and related accounts between December 2014 and February 2015.
Later, in January 2016 more payments came to light when the new Attorney General Apandi Ali attempted to close down that investication, but at the same time waved new papers, which showed that a further RM28 million had filtered into the same 906 account between July and August of  2014.
Payments to Account 906 in mid 2014 - there were 17 recipients of the money later listed... one appears to have been Romen Bose
Payments to Account 906 in mid 2014 – there were 17 recipients of the money later listed… one appears to have been Romen Bose
MACC investigators had noted they had detected “17 recipients” of money from those July/August payments – those names are now being circulated and they include the RM655,000 to Romen Bose.
The following April, shortly after the 1MDB scandal started to beset the Prime Minister, Bose’s new UK-based company, Nevis Associates Limited, was out seeking to hire a ‘Political & Media Warfare Strategist‘ to be based in Kuala Lumpur.
It has long troubled the PM that he does not exert the same control over online media as over the 'licenced' broadcast and print media.  He has spent tens of millions on what he describes as "warfare" against those who criticise and disagree with the government.
It has long troubled the PM that he does not exert the same control over online media as over the ‘licenced’ broadcast and print media. He has spent tens of millions on what he describes as “warfare” against those who criticise and disagree with the government.

Romen Bose – working for “VVIPs”

The advertisement posted by the company that Bose owns together with his wife provided a telling job description. The successful candidate would be involved in providing “tactical advise to corporate and political clients. He/she will be composing speeches, statements, assisting in analytics software development, deriving political strategy and involved in Corporate Social Responsibility projects”.
Furthermore, they would get an opportunity to rub shoulders with political VVIPs and learn about “political strategy” and ‘media warfare”:
There will opportunities to network with well-connected individuals and VVIPs.
A career in this firm will give you exposure to computer science, political strategy, media warfare, speech writing, creative multimedia, economics, framework designing, public relations, statistics, digital media content curation, journalism, editorial and project management.
Only two languages were regarded as essential to the job. They were Bahasa Malaysia and English.
Roman Bose, who had started work at the Singapore Tourism Board, got his break in journalism with a job at Al Jazeera in KL, according to his Linked In. He then moved on to AFP where he worked for 4 years until 2012.  It was in this post that he first managed to curry favour with the new Prime Minister by setting up a Foreign Correspondents Club, to which Najib was invited to launch with an opening address.
Bose honoured Najib with opening the Foreign Correspondents' Club in March 2012
Bose honoured Najib with opening the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in March 2012
Then in August 2012 Bose got involved in something altogether different. He came to the UK to work for the company IHS Markit, as Head of Social Media and Intelligence, Asia.  IHS Markit describes itself as a specialist in the field of what is now called ‘big data’ or ‘deep media intelligence’.
The company says it is “harnessing the deepest sources of information, analytics and expertise” in order to “partner with leaders in business, finance and government”
“We call this The New Intelligence”.
says IHS Markit.
"The New Intelligence" - harnessing social media
“The New Intelligence” – harnessing social media
Amongst other activities the company boasts it tracks millions of Twitter posts hourly to guage a country’s attitudes.  Bose describes his job in interesting terms saying that he was providing daily reports (using his big data analysis tools) to “coordinate/edit daily intelligence bulletins, draft forecasts and bespoke reports on political and violent risk issues affecting countries in Asia” (see base).
Romen Bose’s Linked in site suggests he is still working with IHS, however when we tried to contact him the company switchboard told us he was not listed and his company email appears redundant.
Meanwhile, in 2013 he set up his out outfit Nevis Associates Limited, which appears to specialise in similar activities, focused this time on “monitoring”. He asks his prospective clients:
“Do you need to gauge people’s sentiment towards current issues, newly introduced policies, decisions, programmes, announcements of even gain critical insights about when protests and street demonstrations are going to take off?
“We provide concise intelligence reports for clients so you can have eyes and ears online at all times”
Media monitoring....
Media monitoring….
There are a somewhat limited number of potential prospective clients for such services, particularly in Bahasa Malaysia, so it is perhaps not surprising to see that Bose had indeed netted a fat fee from Najib.
However, there are appropriate budgets for reasonable monitoring of public feelings and public civil service bodies, including Special Branch for carrying out such tasks. So, it is legitimate why was Najib secretly paying this private operator such enormous sums of money?  Also, more specifically, out of money stolen from 1MDB?
Secret intelligence gathering?
Secret intelligence gathering?
Furthermore, what do the Prime Minister and Mr Bose mean by the phrase ‘Media Warfare’, which sounds highly illegitimate and resonates in a worrying way with the mass of anymous online defamation that has poured out against Najib’s criticss and opponents over the years, including Sarawak Report?
Given the limited scope for VVIP clients in Bahasa Malaysia for advising political clients and composing speeches, is it not of concern to Malaysians to know exactly what this Bose was getting up to using 1MDB’s now missing money?
Sarawak Report suggests that it is time that Bose and the other named 17 and then 16 recipients of Najib’s payments from his AmBank accounts ought to be called before a Special Parliamentary Committee to explain their secret and apparently extra-governmental activities on behalf of the Prime Minister.

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