Monday, 3 October 2016

Will the Kra Canal be a reality one day?

This is certainly interesting write from the Independent of Singapore:

The real threat to S’pore – construction of Thai’s Kra Canal financed by China
By The Independent -  October 2, 2016

By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond

The Kra Canal or the Thai Canal refers to a proposal for a canal to cut through the southern isthmus of Thailand, connecting the Gulf of Thailand with the Andaman Sea. It would provide an alternative to transit through the Strait of Malacca and shorten transit for shipments of oil to East Asian countries like Japan and China by 1,200 km, saving much time. China refers to it as part of its 21st century maritime Silk Road.

China is keen on the Kra Canal project partly for strategic reasons. Presently, 80% of China’s oil from the Middle East and Africa passes through the Straits of Malacca. China has long recognized that in a potential conflict with other rivals, particularly with the US, the Strait of Malacca could easily be blockaded, cutting-off its oil lifeline. Former Chinese President Hu Jintao even coined a term for this, calling it China’s “Malacca Dilemma”.

History of Kra Canal

The idea to shorten shipping time and distance through the proposed Kra Canal is not new. It was proposed as early as in 1677 when Thai King Narai asked the French engineer de Lamar to survey the possibility of building a waterway to connect Songkhla with Marid (now Myanmar), but the idea was discarded as impractical with the technology of that time.

In 1793, the idea resurfaced. The younger brother of King Chakri suggested it would make it easier to protect the west coast with military ships. In the early 19th century, the British East India Company became interested in a canal. After Burma became a British colony in 1863, an exploration was undertaken with Victoria Point (Kawthaung) opposite the Kra estuary as its southernmost point, again with negative result. In 1882, the constructor of the Suez canal, Ferdinand de Lesseps, visited the area, but the Thai king did not allow him to investigate in detail.

In 1897, Thailand and the British empire agreed not to build a canal so as to maintain the importance of Singapore as a shipping hub, since by that time, Singapore was already prospering as an international hub with great importance to the British.

In the 20th century the idea resurfaced with various proposals to build the canal but did not go far due to various constraints including technology and cost constraints as well as indecisive political leadership of Thailand.

China shows Thailand the money

In the last decade, China has now become the potential game changer who can possibly turn Kra Canal proposal into reality in the 21st century. It has the money, technology and strong political leadership and will to support the project if it wants to.

Last year, news emerged that China and Thailand have signed an MOU to advance the Kra Canal project. On 15 May 2015, the MOU was signed by the China-Thailand Kra Infrastructure Investment and Development company (中泰克拉基礎設施投資開發有限公司) and Asia Union Group in Guangzhou. According to the news reports, the Kra Canal project will take a decade to complete and incur a cost of US$28 billion.

But 4 days later on 19 May, it was reported that both Chinese and Thai governments denied there was any official agreement between the 2 governments to build the canal.

A statement by the Chinese embassy in Thailand said that China has not taken part in any study or cooperation on the matter. It later clarified that the organisations who signed the MOU have no links to the Chinese government. Separately, Xinhua news agency traced the announcement of the canal project to another Chinese firm Longhao, which declined comment when contacted.

Dr Zhao Hong, an expert on China-Asean relations from the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, told the media that China would not embark on such a project lightly, given the political and bilateral implications.

“China will have to consider the feedback from countries such as Singapore, which it has friendly ties with, given the impact that the Kra canal might have,” he said at the time when news of the MOU emerged. But Dr Zhao added that China might be open to private companies studying the feasibility of such a project, but will not directly back it for now.

It was said that the the chairman of Asia Union Group, the Thai party which signed the MOU, is former Thai premier Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, a long-time supporter of the Kra Canal.

Thai PM: Kra Canal project should be looked into by future democratic governments
In Jan this year, the Thai PM reiterated again that the Kra Canal project is not on his government agenda. His announcement came after a member of the King’s Privy Council, Thanin Kraivichien, wrote an open letter to the government advocating for the canal’s construction.Thanin was the 14th PM of Thailand between October 1976 and October 1977. His call is part of a growing chorus of Kra Canal proponents in Thailand’s political and business communities that started talking openly last year after several Chinese firms expressed interest in funding and constructing the canal.

Responding to Thanin’s call for the project, the Thai PM said the Kra Canal project should be looked into by democratic governments in the future, meaning to say Thailand has not ruled out the construction of Kra Canal completely. And in the case of Thailand, changes to its government occur frequently like the changing of clothes.

China getting angry with Singapore

In the last couple of months, China is increasingly angered by PM Lee’s move to side with the US over the South China Seas issue, even though Singapore has no claims over any of the territories there.

It all started 2 months ago when PM Lee was invited to the White House and was hosted to a rare White House state dinner on 2 Aug( During his toast, PM Lee welcomed the US to adopt a strategy to “rebalance” the Asia Pacific and went on to call President Obama as the “America’s first Pacific President”.
China immediately responded through their Global Times. “Lee Hsien Loong addressed Obama as the American ‘first Pacific President’. Such flattery (‘戴高帽’) given to Obama directly does not concern us (‘倒也没啥’),” the Global Times’ article said. “The key is he praised the American strategy to ‘re-balance Asia-Pacific’ and publicised that all Southeast Asian countries welcome such American ‘balancing’. Because the ‘rebalance Asia-Pacific’ strategy is pointed at China to a large extent, Lee Hsien Loong is clearly taking side already.”

“If Singapore completely becomes an American ‘pawn’ (‘马前卒’) and loses any of its resilience to move between US and China, its influence will be considerably reduced. Its value to the US will also be greatly discounted,” it added.

The article went on to say that China has its limit in tolerance. It said, “Singapore should not push it (‘新加坡不能太过分’). It cannot play the role of taking the initiative to help US and South East Asian countries to go against China over South China Sea matters. It cannot help American ‘rebalancing Asia-Pacific’ strategy, which is directed at China’s internal affairs, by ‘adding oil and vinegar’ (‘添油加醋’), thereby enabling US to provide an excuse to suppress China’s strategic space as well as providing support to US.”

“Singapore can go and please the Americans, but it needs to do their utmost to avoid harming China’s interests. It needs to be clear and open about its latter attitude,” it cautioned. Singapore’s balancing act should be to help China and US to avoid confrontation as its main objective, and not taking side so as to increase the mistrust between China and US, it said..

The article gave the example of Singapore allowing US to deploy its P-8 reconnaissance aircraft to Singapore, which from the view of the Chinese, increases the tension in South China Sea, and thereby, increasing the mistrust between the 2 big countries.

“Singapore needs more wisdom (‘新加坡需要更多的智慧’),” the article concluded.

PLA General: We must strike back at Singapore

And yesterday, SCMP reported that a PLA General had called for Beijing to impose sanctions and to retaliate against Singapore so as to “pay the price for seriously damaging China’s interests” (

The General’s remarks came after a recent spat between Global Times and Singapore Ambassador Loh. On 21 Sep, Global Times carried an article saying that Singapore had raised the issue of the disputed South China Sea at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit held in Venezuela on 18 Sep. It added that Singapore had “insisted” to include an international tribunal’s ruling on the waterway, which was in favour of the Philippines, in the summit’s final document.

Singapore’s ambassador to China, Stanley Loh, rejected this and wrote an open letter stating that the news report was “false and unfounded”. Mr Loh said the move to include the international ruling in NAM’s final document was a collective act by the members of the ASEAN. But the editor-in-chief of Global Times came out to stand by his paper’s report.

Then, the Chinese government also came out in support of Global Times, not buying Ambassador Loh’s arguments. When a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman was asked about the tiff between Global Times and Singapore, he blamed an unspecified “individual nation” for insisting on including South China Sea issues in the NAM document.

Xu Liping, senior researcher on Southeast Asia studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said China expected Singapore to be a neutral mediator between China and the countries of Asean, and did not want to see disputes over the South China Sea raised in a multilateral platform like the NAM Summit. And that was why China was so angry over Singapore’s active moves in broaching such a sensitive topic, he said.

“If Singapore does not adjust its policies, I am afraid the bilateral relations will deteriorate,” Xu added. “Singapore should think twice about its security cooperation especially with the United States, and strike a better balance between China and US.”

“2-headed snake”

On Thursday, the overseas edition of People’s Daily also published an online commentary, saying Singapore “has obviously taken sides over South China Sea issues, while emphasising it does not”. In other words, China is accusing the Singapore government of saying one thing but doing another – a hypocrite.

Online, the Chinese netizens condemned Singapore as a “2-headed snake”. One of them wrote:
(Translation: China should quickly embark on the Kra Canal project and turn Singapore back into a third world country. This is the best present to give to a “2-headed snake”.)

If the Kra Canal truly becomes a reality, ships would certainly consider by-passing the Strait of Malacca and Singapore altogether, making the Singapore’s all-important geographical location redundant. We may truly become a third world country after all.

Read more and in full here.

No I do not think it would happen, not in my lifetime anyway and I am 55 years young this year...why?....Singapore offers efficient ship repairs and logistics facilities not to mention great air connectivity and also entertainment facilities among others.

The Straits of Malacca is an open sea lane for maritime traffic patrolled by the navies of Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, no tolls to pay. No Chinese or US Government to control the free flow of traffic in the Straits of Malacca. 
Imagine how much the toll to pass the Kra canal would be? Who would ultimately control the Kra canal? No it would not happen....hear it from the Thais themselves here.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Presentation of Preliminary Results of the Criminal Investigation on the downing of MH17 - JIT

In remembrance of the passengers and crew of the ill fated MH17.

Presentation preliminary results criminal investigation MH17 28-09-2016

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

InsyaAllah one day.....

I pray that I will make the pilgrimage to Mekah in good mental and physical health before the end of my time on earth.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

The Zika Virus has reached our shores...

Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that is spread by the Aedes species of mosquito, the mosquito also responsible for the transmission of dengue and chikungunya viruses.1-3

Unlike malaria-carrying mosquitos, this species is mostly active during the day and so barrier methods such as mosquito nets are ineffective. These mosquitos can survive in both indoor and outdoor environments.1

The two known species responsible for Zika transmission are the Aedes albopictus, known as the Asian Tiger mosquito, and the Aedes aegypti species.2

The Zika virus was first identified in monkeys in Uganda in 1947. The first human case, however, was detected in Nigeria in 1954, and following that there have been further outbreaks in Africa, South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

While the symptoms of Zika typically pass within the space of a week, there have been recent concerns about the virus are due to a potential link between Zika and birth defects such as microcephaly.

In light of a strongly suspected causal relationship, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared that the Zika virus outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 1 February 2016. (for more read here)

What are its symptoms?
The virus usually causes mild illness. 
Symptoms that may appear a few days after being bitten are: 
  • Headache;
  • Slight fever;
  • Rash;
  • Conjunctivitis (inflammation of the underside of the eyelid);
  • Muscle and joint pain;
  • Tiredness.
The symptoms usually last from two to seven days, though incubation periods may vary.
There is no known difference in the symptoms of infected pregnant and non-pregnant women. (Read more here.)
From the NST 1 September 2016:

This is a good video on the Zika virus:

Our Country like Singapore has got the Aedes mosquitoes which also unfortunately carries the Zika virus. So beware friends especially you young one who are starting your own families....take the necessary precautions, take care.

Monday, 22 August 2016

Do we really need the High Speed Rail (HSR) Train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore?

Do we really need the High Speed Rail (HSR) Train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore? ever?

Good read from M'kini's Mr.  P Gunasegaram :

Who needs RM40-80b high-speed rail?


Here are 10 reasons why we should can this unfeasible, money-wasting (perhaps for a few, money-earning), uneconomic, grandiose invention of those who merely want to create a large contract and benefit from its largesse, once and for all. Consign it to the dustbin where it should remain until circumstances are so different that it warrants a re-look.

1. It is very costly. The cost is mostly estimated at RM40 billion. But if it is to be finished only in 2026 - 10 years from now - expect it to at least double. You can bet that the cost will be at least RM80 billion - that’s nearly two times 1MDB’s last-published total liabilities of RM42 billion.

And it’s about two times the Education Ministry’s budget allocation of RM41 billion for 2016. Just imagine the number of schools and universities we can build and the teachers we can train. Sacrifice all that for a faster way to get to Singapore? Whatever for?

2. It is unfeasible. For the project to be feasible and bankable, let’s assume a 7 percent return on project cost. That’s RM5.6 billion - in profit! Assuming a high 20 percent margin, revenue needs to be RM28 billion for that kind of profit. Assuming a ticket cost of RM200 one-way (who is going to pay more?), that will be 140 million trips a year or 384,000 trips a day, a physical impossibility!

That’s a fifth of Kuala Lumpur’s population going to and coming back from Singapore every day of the year. And just for perspective, Malaysia’s tourist arrivals last year were under 26 million. Yes, we know it’s 10 years down the line. But does anyone think that by then, demand would have risen so much to make the service feasible? Surely not!

That means expensive, and I mean expensive, government guarantees now and massive subsidies in future. 1MDB will begin to look paltry by comparison.

Read the rest of the reasons here.

I think the HSR is not feasible and not necessary at all. We need taxpayer's money to be spent on education, healthcare, and other transport for the future.

What we do really need now is to complete the long over due double tracking rail way project between Gemas and Johor Bahru.

Monday, 15 August 2016

Bersatu Mengangkat Maruah Melayu - TSMY

Muhyiddin Yassin


Tidak sampai seminggu saya mengemukakan permohonan kepada Pejabat Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia untuk menubuhkan BERSATU, serangan terhadap parti yang belum lagi ditubuhkan ini datang bertalu-talu daripada pemimpin UMNO. Terbaharu ialah daripada Presiden UMNO sendiri, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

Ketika merasmikan Mesyuarat Perwakilan UMNO Bahagian Kota Tinggi, Najib mempersoalkan keupayaan BERSATU untuk membela nasib orang Melayu kerana hubungan parti ini dengan DAP. Katanya, kerjasama BERSATU dengan DAP tidak akan memberi manfaat kepada orang Melayu.

Aneh juga sebuah parti yang belum lahir ini mendapat perhatian dari Najib. Parti ini belum ada ahli dan tidak ada cawangan. Ia hanyalah parti serpihan umpama parti nyamuk.

Belum apa-apa lagi Najib telah melompat. Orang putih kata “jump the gun”. Bagimana Najib boleh bercakap mengenai kerjasama antara sebuah parti yang belum ditubuhkan dengan DAP? Malah dia mengandaikan bahawa kerjasama itu tidak akan menguntungkan orang Melayu. Ini adalah satu kenyataan yang amat tidak bertanggungjawab dan pra-matang.

Namun, saya sedia maklum bahawa inilah taktik kotor yang akan digunakan oleh Najib dan konco-konconya untuk menakut-nakutkan orang Melayu. DAP bakal dijadikan “hantu” yang paling menggerunkan orang Melayu untuk mengalihkan perhatian orang Melayu daripada segala kesalahan dan kemungkaran Najib. Mereka akan terus berkata bahawa DAP adalah musuh utama orang Melayu sambil mengajak orang Melayu untuk terus mempertahankan Najib yang terpalit dengan skandal kewangan paling buruk dalam sejarah bangsa Melayu!

Jika Najib ragu-ragu dengan perjuangan BERSATU untuk membela orang Melayu, saya cadangkan supaya beliau berhubung dengan pejabat Pendaftaran Pertubuhan Malaysia untuk mendapatkan senaskhah Perlembagaan BERSATU yang telah kami serahkan semasa proses permohonan pendaftaran parti ini. Daripada 13 matlamat dan tujuan BERSATU, tiga yang teratas ialah menegakkan Islam sebagai agama bagi Persekutuan dan menghormati hak orang bukan Islam untuk menganut dan mengamalkan agama masing-masing secara aman dan harmoni; menjunjung kemuliaan dan kedaulatan institusi Raja-Raja Melayu; dan mempertahankan kedudukan istimewa orang Melayu dan anak negeri Sabah dan Sarawak dan hak-hak yang sah untuk semua kaum.

BERSATU juga komited untuk memperkasa agenda memerangi rasuah dan salah guna kuasa untuk mewujudkan amalan tadbir urus yang baik dan pemerintahan yang bersih, beramanah dan berintegriti. Ini adalah kelemahan utama pentadbiran Najib. Rasuah bermaharajalela, penyelewengan berleluasa dan pecah amanah menjadi amalan biasa.

Inilah yang menyebabkan kerajaan pimpinan beliau tidak popular dan amat tidak disenangi oleh rakyat. Jadi, untuk menutup segala kerosakan yang telah dilakukan oleh beliau, maka Najib memainkan sentimen anti-DAP dengan harapan orang Melayu akan berasa takut untuk menyokong parti selain daripada UMNO, dan menerima kepimpinan beliau yang terpalit dengan skandal rasuah.

Sudah-sudahlah. Saya yakin orang Melayu tidak mudah terpengaruh dengan tipu daya Najib dan konco-konconya. Saya tahu orang Melayu walaupun mereka diam, tetapi mereka bijaksana. Masakan mereka boleh menerima dengan hati terbuka sejumlah RM4 billion wang negara dileburkan oleh orang-orang yang rapat dengan Najib, termasuk anak tirinya sendiri, di Amerika Syarikat. Malah seorang yang dinamakan “Malaysian Official Number One” yang gambarannya tidak ubah seperti Najib terlibat secara langsung dalam kecurian wang negara berjumlah berbillion ringgit yang digunakan untuk membeli hartanah mewah dan membiayai gaya hidup berfoya-foya orang-orang tertentu, termasuk membayar hutang judi. Jumlah RM4 bilion ini hanyalah sebahagian daripada RM14 bilion (USD 3.5 bilion) wang 1MDB yang dilaporkan hilang oleh Jabatan Keadilan Amerika Syarikat.

Apa yang telah terjadi dengan wang sebanyak ini? Adakah ia diterima oleh orang Melayu? Jawapannya sama sekali tidak! Sebaliknya, ia telah dibelanjakan sesuka hati oleh Jho Low, Riza Aziz (anak tiri Najib) dan kawan-kawannya untuk membiayai gaya hidup mewah mereka, termasuk menaja pembikinan sebuah filem Hollywood. Malah menurut laporan Jabatan Keadilan Amerika Syarikat, sejumlah RM2.6 billion dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi Najib!

Ini hanyalah secebis daripada wang 1MDB yang asalnya berjumlah RM42 bilion yang dipinjam daripada pelbagai institusi kewangan dalam dan luar negara. Jumlah tanggungan 1MDB kini meningkat kepada lebih RM50 bilion. Sebahagian besar wang ini tidak dapat dikesan dan kemungkinan juga telah lesap.

Adakah orang Melayu akan melupakan semua ini dan memaafkan Najib dan konco-konconya? Tentu sekali tidak. Amat malang jika Najib berfikiran begitu. Beliau sebenarnya memandang rendah nilai, budaya dan maruah orang Melayu.

Jika Najib seorang yang berani dan ingin membersihkan namanya, beliau seharusnya menyahut cabaran Tun Dr Mahathir untuk berdebat. Tidak perlulah Najib cuba mengalih perhatian rakyat dengan menyalahkan pihak lain. Usah berselindung dan berdolak dalih lagi.

Saya yakin orang Melayu yang tinggi adab dan tatasusilanya akan bangkit bersatu secara terhormat untuk menentang kemungkaran Najib dan pentadbirannya yang telah merosakkan maruah bangsa dan negara. Saya percaya masa untuk mengembalikan maruah bangsa dan negara yang kian tercalar telah tiba. Masanya ialah sekarang!

Bersatulah demi menyelamatkan Malaysia!

Presiden Penaja

my thots:

Bersatu can knock UMNO/BN cold in the next GE.

Be scared Umno people, be really scared.....

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Monday, 25 July 2016

Who are 1MDB Officers 1, 2, 3 and the others in US Department of Justice list?

The DoJ of the United States of America recently filed documents to the American Court to allow seizure of properties alleged to have been acquired through embezzlement/fraud of 1MDB, the filing documents can be read here. courtesy of WSJ.

M'kini has produced an article which would be helpful to us who follow events as they unfold:

Who are 1MDB Officers 1, 2, 3 and the others in US Department of Justice list?

KiniGuide In the US Department of Justice’s recent filings related to the 1MDB scandal, among the relevant individuals named in the suit are ‘1MDB Officer 1’, ‘1MDB Officer 2’, and ‘1MDB Officer 3’.

Like the much-reported ‘Malaysian Official 1’ in the document, the names of these other 1MDB officers are also concealed throughout the document.

And yet, there are tantalising clues throughout the 136 pages of the DOJ document.

Thus far, little attention has been given to the identities of these 1MDB officers.

In this instalment of KiniGuide, we look back at the history of the 1MDB scandal in an attempt to shed some light on this mystery, as well as on several others who have not been identified by name in the court filings.

1MDB Officer 1

“1MDB OFFICER 1 is a Malaysian national who served as the executive director of 1MDB from the time of its creation until approximately March 2011.”

The court filings state that 1MDB Officer 1 had served as Terengganu Investment Authority’s (TIA) executive director of business development, and later became 1MDB’s executive director. Casey Tang Keng Chee is the only person who fits the description.

TIA is 1MDB’s predecessor until it was taken over by the federal government and rebranded as 1MDB in 2009.

Tang, 51, was sought by Bank Negara Malaysia in July last year in connection with an investigation under the Exchange Control Act 1953.

A Facebook post by the central bank listed Tang’s full name, identity card number and last known address, and appealed to members of the public for information on his whereabouts.

The US Department of Justice filing alleged that 1MDB Officer 1 had misled banks and concealed certain facts from 1MDB’s board of directors in order to transfer US$700 million to Good Star Ltd, which in turn is supposedly owned by the Penang-born businessman Low Taek Jho (also known as Jho Low).

1MBD Officer 2

“1MDB OFFICER 2 is a Malaysian national who served as 1MDB’s chief executive officer (‘CEO’) between at least 2009 and 2013.”

1MDB’s chief executive during this period was Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi, who held the post until March 2013, which means that ‘1MDB Officer 2’ refers to him.

Many of the most significant deals of 1MDB took place under this Stanford University graduate’s watch, including TIA’s issuance of RM5 billion in Islamic Medium Term Notes, the transfers totalling US$1.3 billion from 1MDB to Low’s Good Star Ltd, the acquisition of power assets worth billions of ringgit, and more.

While helming TIA as its CEO, Shahrol (photo) had disregarded its board’s directions to suspend the issuance of the RM5 billion notes and was briefly sacked from his post, although he was later reinstated, notes the Public Accounts Committee report on 1MDB.

According to the US Department of Justice, Shahrol had misled banks and 1MDB’s board of directors into believing that Good Star Ltd is owned by PetroSaudi International, and not by Jho Low.

1MDB Officer 3

“1MDB OFFICER 3 is a Malaysian national who served as 1MDB’s general counsel and executive director of group strategy during, at a minimum, 2012 and 2013. 1MDB OFFICER 3 was a main point of contact between 1MDB and Goldman in connection with the three Goldman-underwritten bond offerings in 2012 and 2013.”

Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, 43, was previously 1MDB’s general counsel and executive director of group strategy, and a likely candidate for ‘1MDB Officer 3’. Like Tang, Bank Negara had made a public appeal for her whereabouts in July last year.

According to the US Department of Justice, some US$1.367 billion had been siphoned from 1MDB during the ‘Aabar-BVI’ phase of the supposed embezzlement.

Of these, about US$5 million ended up in a bank account in Zurich, Switzerland, on Dec 6, 2012, which was held under the name of ‘River Dee International SA’. 1MDB Officer 3 is alleged to be the account’s actual owner.

The court filings also state that 1MDB Official 3 is an authorised signatory of a bank account held in the name of Tanore Finance Corporation.

This account was used during March 2013 to transfer US$681 million to an Ambank account held by a certain ‘Malaysian Official 1’, of which US$620 million was returned around Aug 26 that year.

Two non-Malaysians also named

The US Department of Justice’s filings had directly implicated five people as ‘relevant individuals’ in the case, three of them being Malaysians: Jho Low, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz (photo) and Low’s associate, Eric Tan Kim Loong.

The two non-Malaysians are Khadem Abdulla al-Qubaisi, a United Arab Emirates national who was the International Petroleum Investment Company’s (IPIC) managing director and Aabar Investments PJS’ chairperson, and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy al-Husseiny, a US national who was Aabar PJS’ chief executive.

Both were also directors in the British Virgin Islands-based Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (Aabar-BVI).

Khadem Abdulla al-Qubaisi

“Khadem Abdulla Al QUBAISI (‘QUBAISI’), a UAE national, was the managing director of IPIC from 2007 to 2015 and the chairman of Aabar in at least 2012 and 2013… QUBAISI also was a director of Aabar-BVI.”

According to Reuters, Khadem, 45 (on left in photo), joined the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority in 1993, in the same year that he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics, and was transferred to IPIC in 2000 to become its investment manager.

He was appointed as IPIC’s managing director in May 2007, but was abruptly replaced in April last year amid the 1MDB scandal, and he resigned from various board and management positions in the UAE and throughout the region in the following months.

On April 2 this year, the UAE government froze the assets of Khadem and Badawy and their bank accounts, and banned them from travelling abroad pending investigations on their dealings with 1MDB.

Mohamed Ahmed Badawy al-Husseiny

“Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-HUSSEINY (‘HUSSEINY’), a US citizen, was the CEO of Aabar from 2010 to 2015. He was also a director of Aabar-BVI.”

Khadem and Badawy hold key positions in both Aabar Investments PJS and Aabar Investments PJS Ltd.

Despite the names differing only by three letters, the latter British Virgin Islands (BVI) company is not a subsidiary of 1MDB’s business partner IPIC, unlike Aabar Investments PJS.

The court filings allege that in May and October 2012, Goldman Sachs International raised a total of US$3.5 billion through bond issuances for 1MDB, codenamed ‘Project Magnolia’ and ‘Project Maximus’. Of these, US$1.367 billion ended up with the Aabar-BVI.

After several transfers, the money eventually ended up in the bank accounts of Khadem, Badawy and several others, some of which were used to buy high-end real estate.

The US Department of Justice claimed that Aabar-BVI was created and named such to create a false impression that it is associated with Aabar Investments PJS, although in reality, Aabar-BVI has no genuine relationship with either Aabar nor IPIC.

“Plaintiff alleges on information and belief that the Aabar-BVI Swiss (bank) account was used to conceal and to facilitate this unlawful diversion of funds,” it said.

Who is “Malaysian Official 1’?

“MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 is a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who also held a position of authority with 1MDB.

“During all times relevant to the complaint, MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 was a ‘public official’ as that term is used in 18 U.S.C. § 1956(c)(7)(B)(iv) and a ‘public servant’ as that term is used in Section 21 of the Malaysian Penal Code.”

Following the US Department of Justice’s filing of its civil forfeiture suit in relation to the 1MDB scandal, speculation has been rife about the identity of ‘Malaysian Official 1’ listed in the suit.

According to the filings, Malaysian Official 1 is a relative of Riza Aziz and held a key position in 1MDB since it was founded. Any 1MDB financial commitments that would likely affect the Malaysian government’s policies or guarantees would require his approval.

In addition, the filings claim that the largest transfer to the bank account of Malaysian Official 1 was a March 2013 transaction of US$681 million to an AmBank account.

The description of the transactions match those in Malaysian attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali’s Jan 26 press statement regarding the findings of investigations into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s RM2.6 billion donation scandal and transfers from the 1MDB-linked company SRC International.

Najib is Riza’s stepfather, and is also the prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia. He was the head of 1MDB’s advisory board until the board was abolished this year.

Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB matter, and assured his cooperation with international investigators in the interest of good governance.

Apandi also noted that Najib was not named in the lawsuits.

Responding to a question, US attorney-general Loretta E Lynch said the lawsuits only named those the department needed to name to meet the objectives of seizing the various assets.

Read more here at M'kini