How the Pandemic Is Keeping Malaysia’s Politics Messy
Malaysia’s first transfer of power in six decades was hailed as a milestone for transparency, free speech and racial tolerance in the multiethnic Southeast Asian country. But the new coalition collapsed amid an all-too-familiar mix of political intrigue and horse trading. Elements of the old regime were brought into a new government that also proved short-lived, leading to a third prime minister in just 18 months and the return of the United Malays National Organisation to the country’s top postwashingtonpost.com
Malaysia ex-PM's wife ordered to make defense in graft trial
The court Thursday ordered Rosmah to enter her defense in a corruption trial linked to a 1.25 billion ringgit ($310 million) solar energy project. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)KUALA LUMPUR – A Malaysian court Thursday ordered the wife of ex-Prime Minister Najib Razak to enter her defense in a corruption trial linked to a 1.25 billion ringgit ($310 million) solar energy project. Najib, who was there to show support, rubbed her shoulders to console his wife after the judgment before leaving for his own graft trial in another courtroom. Last July, Najib was found guilty in his first graft trial linked to the 1MDB scandal. The aide testified Rosmah was feared by civil servants and requests from her department were often swiftly carried out.
Goldman Sachs subsidiary pleads to US charges in 1MDB probe
A subsidiary of Goldman Sachs pleaded guilty on Thursday and agreed to pay more than $2 billion in a foreign corruption probe tied to the Malaysian 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, which was looted of billions of dollars in a corruption scandal. The company, Goldman Sachs Malaysia, entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn. Goldman Sachs Malaysia entered the plea in federal court in Brooklyn. Goldman Sachs' board of directors decided to claw back pay and bonuses from top executives, including current CEO David Solomon and former CEO Lloyd Blankfein. Two Goldman Sachs executives have also been personally charged for fraud.
Malaysian ex-PM Najib arrives in court for graft verdict
KUALA LUMPUR Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak arrived at court Tuesday for a verdict in the first of several corruption trials linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund. Whatever the decision in the High Court tomorrow, it does not end here ... after this, we will go to the Court of Appeal. Najib set up 1MDB shortly after becoming prime minister in 2009 to ostensibly accelerate Malaysias economic development. Najibs lawyers said Low used the donation as a guise to keep Najib from being suspicious of his plundering of the 1MDB fund. Prosecutors argued Najib was the real power behind 1MDB and SRC, and called the Arab donation manufactured evidence to cover up his tracks.
Graft verdict for Malaysia ex-leader a test of rule of law
This decision is a test of the independence of Malaysias political institutions and the rule of law in a country that has seen this fraying in recent months, said Bridget Welsh, honorary research associate at University of Nottingham Malaysia. Muhyiddin was fired as Najib's deputy in 2016 for speaking out on the 1MDB scandal but is now beholden to Najibs party for its support. Najibs party is the biggest bloc in the current Malay nationalist alliance, which was formed in March after a political coup by Muhyiddins party toppled the former reformist government. Another senior member of Najib's party was also freed after prosecutors dropped 46 corruption charges against him. Najib's wife and several officials from his party and previous government have been charged with graft as well.
Malaysia affirms social media users exempt from license rule
But he backtracked in a statement Friday, saying that social media users are exempted. “The government of Malaysia stresses that it stands by the principle of media independence and individual freedom on social media,” Saifuddin said. Many Malaysians and opposition lawmakers have slammed Saifuddin's announcement as affecting videos produced on social media. Over 80% of Malaysia’s 32 million people are social media users. Police also questioned an activist about a social media post alleging mistreatment of refugees at immigration detention centers.
Goldman Sachs in $3.9B settlement with Malaysia over 1MDB
KUALA LUMPUR Goldman Sachs has reached a $3.9B settlement with Malaysia over the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund that was used to launder money. Malaysian and U.S. prosecutors had alleged that bond sales organized by Goldman Sachs for 1MDB provided one of the means for associates of former Malaysian leader Najib Razak to steal billions over several years from a fund that was ostensibly set up to accelerate Malaysias economic development. Najib was arrested as part of the scandal. Two former Goldman Sachs bankers have been charged for their role in helping 1MDB launder money. Goldman on Friday said it had agreed to pay the government of Malaysia $2.5 billion and to guarantee that it gets at least $1.4 billion in proceeds from assets that have since been seized around the globe.
Malaysia PM wins tests of support, ousts house speaker
KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin narrowly won a motion to boot the parliament speaker Monday, scraping through the first test of his support nearly five months after taking power. Its success could thwart the opposition's bid of a no-confidence vote against Muhyiddin, analysts said. Lawmakers engaged in heated debates over Muhyiddins unprecedented proposal to replace the house speaker with his own candidate. Then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned in protest of the plan, and filed a motion of no-confidence against his former party ally. Chin said the speaker replacement suggested parliament cannot act as an effective check and balance against Muhyiddin.
Malaysia's ex-PM to hear verdict in 1st graft case in July
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak wearing a face mask arrives at court house in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Thursday, June 4, 2020. Closing arguments are expected in the first corruption trial of him linked to the multibillion-dollar looting of the 1MDB state investment fund. The High Court set July 28 to deliver its verdict that will be closely watched as Najibs Malay political party is reviving its fortunes. Prosecutors argued Najib was the real power behind 1MDB and SRC as premier and finance minister at the time. Sithambaram said the change in Malaysia's government didn't affect the prosecution's case and that there was no order for them to back off against Najib.
Malaysia's Muhyiddin named PM in shock that sidelines old rivals
Malaysia's former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin shows a document after submitting an application for a new political party on August 9, 2016. "His majesty has decreed that the process of appointing a prime minister cannot be delayed," it added. "I only ask for all Malaysians to accept the decision announced by the national palace," Muhyiddin told reporters at his home. Former UNMO prime minister Najib Razak is on trial for corruption. UMNO, which Mahathir led from 1981 to 2003 during a previous stint as prime minister, supports Malay nationalism.cnbc.com
Malaysia's Mahathir wants nonpartisan gov't if picked as PM
Malaysia's ruling alliance collapsed this week after 94-year-old Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned and dozens of lawmakers defected in an audacious attempt to form a new government. The move had thwarted a pre-election agreement by Mahathir to hand over power to his named successor, Anwar Ibrahim. He made no mention of Anwar in his televised speech, but reiterated that the lower house of Parliament should be the one to pick the prime minister. Mahathir spoke as the king finished consulting all 222 lawmakers to determine who they support as prime minister or if they want fresh elections. The king's role is largely ceremonial in Malaysia, but he appoints the person with majority support in Parliament as prime minister.
Alleged Malaysian fraudster settles with US for $700 million
A yacht named Tranquility was part of the lavish lifestyle Jho Low was accused of building for his family and friends through fraud, prosecutors said. WASHINGTON, D.C. - The alleged mastermind of a multibillion dollar corruption scandal that rocked Malaysia has struck a $700 million deal with the US government to end a legal case against him. The scandal helped bring down former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, who was also hit with dozens of corruption-related charges in the case. Low has been identified by some as the alleged mastermind of the embezzlement, a charge he has strongly denied. Other legal cases related to the fund are still ongoing in the US, Malaysia and other jurisdictions.
Top Goldman Sachs banker among 17 charged in 1MDB scandal
CNNMoney(CNN) - Malaysia filed criminal charges against 17 current and former Goldman Sachs employees on Friday, including the bank's top international executive. Among those charged Friday was Richard Gnodde, the CEO of Goldman Sachs International. Malaysia has accused Goldman Sachs and some of its bankers of misleading investors about the bond sales and fraudulently diverting $2.7 billion of the proceeds. Goldman Sachs and some of its employees have been central figures in the case. Malaysia last year charged Goldman Sachs and four individuals, two of them former Goldman employees, with what authorities called "grave violations" of Malaysia's securities laws.
Back Story: The global financial scandal that has spread from Malaysia to Hollywood
Investigators say Riza, who is Najibs stepson, used money from 1MDB to bankroll a production company, Red Granite Pictures. Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "The Wolf of Wall Street." (Handout)Among the films they financed were Dumb and Dumber To, the sequel to the 1994 comedy blockbuster, and the $100-million The Wolf of Wall Street, directed by Martin Scorsese. It is believed DiCaprio, Scorsese and others involved in the film did not know the source of Red Granites money. But he allegedly used 1MDB money to throw star-studded Las Vegas parties and shower celebrities with expensive gifts.latimes.com
Malaysian P.M.: "Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean"
Malaysian P.M.: "Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean" Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak holds a press conference the disappearance of Flight MH370 and delivers the grim news that, based on the new analysis, the flight "ended in the southern Indian Ocean."cbsnews.com
Special Report: Malaysian P.M. says new data shows missing plane plunged into southern Indian Ocean
Special Report: Malaysian P.M. says new data shows missing plane plunged into southern Indian Ocean Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak announced at a press conference Monday Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean. "CBS This Morning" co-hosts Charlie Rose and Clarissa Ward speaks with CBS News' Seth Doane, Holly Williams and Bob Orr about the newest information.cbsnews.com