Miranda Kerr asked to relinquish jewels linked to Malaysian laundering case

Miranda Kerr: Malaysian financier Jho Low gifted Miranda Kerr jewellery worth millions, according to US prosecutors.© BEI/Shutterstock Malaysian financier Jho Low gifted Miranda Kerr jewellery worth millions, according to US prosecutors.

Australian model Miranda Kerr should hand over millions of dollars in gifted jewels that were allegedly purchased using money stolen from a fund established by Malaysia’s prime minister, a Malaysian NGO has said.

US prosecutors say the jewellery — including a $3.8m (£3m) 8.88 carat diamond pendant from New York-based designer Lorraine Schwartz — was gifted to Kerr by Jho Low, a financier at the heart of the corruption scandal that has engulfed the Malaysian government.

SABM Australia, a nongovernmental organisation based in Melbourne that says it advocates for enhanced governance in Malaysia, said it was “not alleging any wrongdoing by Miranda Kerr” but called for her to “hand over all jewels gifted to her”.

The US justice department says more than $4.5bn has been stolen from the 1MDB fund and is seeking to seize assets including a Picasso painting given to actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the rights to two Hollywood films — The Wolf of Wall Street and Dumb and Dumber To.

Related: US government seeks Dumb and Dumber To rights in corruption case

The films were produced by Red Granite, which was founded by the Malaysian prime minister, Najib Razak’s, stepson, Riza Aziz. Continue reading

Posted in 1MDB, MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Dr Mahathir dares Rosmah to sue him

Mahathir-Rosmah PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today cited an allegation from the recent Department of Justice (DoJ) filings on 1MDB, urging the prime minister’s wife Rosmah Mansor to carry out her threat of taking her accusers to court.

“Rosmah says she wants to hunt down those who slander her, and I do not fear because this is not slander. Courage for truth,” the PPBM chairman said in a short video clip posted on his Facebook today.

It comes two days after lawyers acting for Rosmah warned that they were “monitoring social media and all forms of publications”.

“Recently, more malicious and baseless attacks have surfaced against Rosmah Mansor on blogs and social media,” said a statement by law firm Messrs Noorhajran Mohd Noor, following a spike in postings linking the prime minister’s wife to allegations of embezzlement in the DoJ report. Continue reading

Posted in Dr Mahathir Mohamad, MoCS (Sarawak), Rosmah Mansor | Leave a comment

Malaysian PM Najib’s wife linked to S$41.5m worth of jewellery bought with 1MDB funds: US Justice Department

Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor arrive to attend the opening ceremony of the Asean leaders' summit in Manila on April 29, 2017.Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor arrive to attend the opening ceremony of the Asean leaders’ summit in Manila on April 29, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (REUTERS) – Nearly US$30 million (S$41.5 million) of funds stolen from scandal-hit 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) was used to buy jewellery for the prime minister’s wife, including a rare 22-carat pink diamond set in a necklace, according to latest filings by the United States Justice Department in a civil lawsuit.

The filings lodged at the US District Court in Los Angeles on Thursday (June 15) did not identify Prime Minister Najib Razak or his wife Rosmah Mansor by name, but said the jewellery purchases were for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1”.

Malaysian and US government sources have previously confirmed that “Malaysian Official 1” refers to Najib.

The diamond necklace set alone cost US$27.3 million, according to the latest filings in a lawsuit that was launched in July last year.

The accusations will provide further ammunition for Najib’s political rivals, who often criticise his wife for lavish spending, and come at an awkward time for the Malaysian leader, as he had been expected to call a snap election later this year.

Rosmah’s aide did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The prime minister’s office, in a statement early on Friday, said it was “concerned by the unnecessary and gratuitous naming of certain matters and individuals that are only relevant to domestic political manipulation and interference.” Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing. Continue reading

Posted in 1MDB, MoCS (Sarawak), Rosmah Mansor | Leave a comment

Anwar wants Najib, Shafee to reveal their bank accounts

anwar-najib-syafie KUALA LUMPUR: Jailed former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has applied for a court order to make Prime Minister Najib Razak disclose his bank accounts, following allegations that RM9.5 million was transferred to lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

In the application filed at the High Court today, Anwar wants the court to compel Najib to produce banks accounts for three months from August 2013 and another three months from January 2014.

He also wants Najib to reveal entries for the transactions on Sept 11, 2013 and Feb 17, 2014, allegedly showing payments of RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million respectively.

Anwar, who filed the application through legal firm Messrs Daim & Gamany, also wants Shafee to disclose his bank account details during the same period.

The PKR de facto leader in his supporting affidavit said there was a RM9.5 million payment to Shafee who was appointed ad-hoc prosecutor for the government in the Court of Appeal and Federal Court in Anwar’s sodomy trial.

“These payments were concealed from the courts and plaintiff (Anwar) and render Shafee as not an independent prosecutor,” he said. Continue reading

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim, MoCS (Sarawak), Najib Abdul Razak | Leave a comment

5 facts you didn’t know about the Malaysia Agreement

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Shortly after the Federal Government’s announcement of tourism tax that’s slated to take effect in July, the Sarawak state government made a surprise move by withdrawing its state representative from the Malaysian Tourism Board with immediate effect.

This move is believed to be a result of Sarawak’s request for the July implementation to be postponed to a later date, which was denied. But what’s interesting is that Sarawak State Minister of Tourism Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said that tourism was a matter to be discussed as part of the Malaysia Agreement 1963:

“If they do not want to defer it in Semenanjung, that is up to them. But at least defer it in Sabah and Sarawak … You have to respect the Malaysia Agreement 1963. And another thing ― the state government must have some say in the matter; maybe the state government wants part of the tax collected to be returned.” – Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, as quoted by The Maiay Mail Online.

 

So….what’s the Malaysia Agreement all about?

As a quick refresher on what you read about in school textbooks, the Malaysia as we know it today was initially formed as the Federation of Malaya on 31st August 1957 in accordance with the Federation of Malaya Agreement:Article 3, Federation of Malaya Independence Agreement (in part):

“As from the thirty-first day of August, nineteen hundred and fifty-seven, the Malay States and the Settlements shall be formed into a new Federation of States by the name of … the Federation of Malaya…”

However, this did not include Sabah and Sarawak. This inclusion actually came about later, when another agreement was signed which led to the merger between Sabah, Sarawak and, briefly, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya to form the present day Federation of Malaysia.

That agreement is the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), which set out the terms and conditions in which the three states agreed to merge the Federation of Malaya to form Malaysia:

Article 1, Malaysia Agreement 1963

“The Colonies of North Borneo and Sarawak and the State of Singapore shall be federated with the existing States of the Federation of Malaya as the States of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in accordance with the constitutional instruments annexed to this Agreement and the Federation shall thereafter be called Malaysia.”

Aside from being the crux of the debate for greater autonomy for East Malaysia and (now) the tourism tax issue, the MA63 is a pretty fascinating document. For instance, did you know…

Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak), Sabah, Sarawak | Leave a comment

Sarawak opts out of Malaysia Tourism Board

johari-abang-openg-tourism- PETALING JAYA: The Sarawak state government today announced that it was withdrawing from the Malaysia Tourism Board, as tensions mount over Putrajaya’s move to push ahead with a new tourism tax despite reservations from a local minister.

“The state government deems that the participation of its representatives in Tourism Malaysia is not necessary as this is duplicating the role and functions of the Sarawak Tourism Promotion Board,” said a statement issued by the Chief Minister’s Office today.

It comes a day after Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Aziz lashed out at Sarawak minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah for urging Putrajaya to defer the tourism tax, which could see hotels nationwide forced to charge between RM2.50 and RM20 per night.

letter© Provided by MToday News Sdn Bhd letter

Karim’s call for the federal government to exempt Sarawak from the new tax drew strong words from Nazri, who called him an upstart minister. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak), Sarawak BN

Tourism tax: Nazri ticks off ‘rookie’ Sarawak minister

Tourism and Culture Nazri Abdul Aziz today gave Sarawak Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Minister Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah a piece of his mind after the latter urged the federal government to defer the implementation of the new tourism tax.

Karim had cited the Malaysia Agreement in asking that the tax be deferred in Sabah and Sarawak.

Mohamed Nazri however said that Karim did not understand the crux of the matter when the latter argued that such a tax should be a state matter.

“There’s no need for him to mention about the (Malaysia Agreement). We know (what we are doing),” Nazri told reporters at a buka puasa event at Dataran Merdeka.

Stressing that the new tax was part of the federal list, Nazri said Putrajaya decided to make it a federal government tax to avoid confusion.

“It is not about seizing Sarawak’s rights when it has become a federal tax.

“He (Karim) is a new minister, he is a Barisan Nasional minister, he should not be showing his arrogance.

“He can just meet me, I’m also a BN minister. (And) I have been a minister for many years.

“You are still new. Setahun jagung (still immature). You shouldn’t say much,” said Nazri. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak), Sarawak BN