The last time we wrote about the long-running saga of the scandalous collapse and constant corruption at the Malaysian state wealth fund, 1MDB, which also happened to be an unconfirmed slush fund for president Najib, was a month ago when we learned that the NY bank regulator was looking into fundraising by the fund’s favorite bank, Goldman Sachs. Then overnight, the story which already seemed like it has every possible angle of crime and corruption covered for a series of Hollywood action-adventure blockbusters, got a new twist when the DOJ announced it would seek to seize some $1 billion in assets from individuals affiliated with the fund as part of one of the largest seizures in US history.
The expected asset seizures would be the U.S. government’s first action tied to the 1MDB investigation. Among the properties the US is looking to confiscate, are Van Gogh paintings, Beverly Hills properties, a private jet, ultra high end real estate in NYC and LA, and the rights to profits from the hit movie The Wolf of Wall Street.
The move by U.S. authorities to seize assets tied to an investment fund run by a foreign government would be a major escalation in Washington’s global efforts to fight corruption and block allegedly illegally obtained funds, facilitated by Goldman Sachs, from moving through the world’s financial system the WSJ adds.
- Goldman Sachs is being haunted by a big Asian client
- Wolf of Wall Street film linked to money ‘stolen from Malaysian fund’
- U.S. Set to Seize $1 Billion in Assets Tied to Malaysian Fund 1MDB
- Goldman Sachs’ quarterly profits rebound 78% from worst in five years
- Ex-European Commission head Barroso under fire over Goldman Sachs job
- Goldman Fundraising For Failed Malaysian Wealth Fund Probed By NY Bank Regulator
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government threw its support in parliament this week behind an Islamic penal code that includes amputations and stoning, shocking some of his allies and stoking fears of further strains in the multi-ethnic country.
Critics believe the scandal-tainted prime minister is using ‘hudud’, the Islamic law, to shore up the backing of Muslim Malay voters and fend off attacks on his leadership ahead of critical by-elections next month and a general election in 2018.
The government on Thursday unexpectedly submitted to parliament a hudud bill that had been proposed by the Islamist group Parti Islam se-Malaysia’s (PAS).
Although debate on the law was deferred to October by PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang, its submission to parliament brought criticism from leaders across the political spectrum, including allies of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, who represent the ethnic Chinese and Indian communities.
Najib sought to ease tensions with his allies on Friday, saying the bill was “misunderstood”
Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain win U.N. Security Council seats, Turkey bid fails
‘Venezuela, Malaysia, Angola, New Zealand and Spain won seats on the United Nations Security Council on Thursday for two years from Jan. 1, 2015. The 193-member U.N. General Assembly elected Venezuela with 181 votes, Malaysia with 187 votes, Angola with 190 votes.
All three countries campaigned unopposed for their seats after being chosen as the candidates for their respective regional groups, but still needed to win the votes of two-thirds of the General Assembly to secure their spots.
The only contest was between New Zealand, Spain and Turkey for two seats given to the Western European and others group. New Zealand won a seat during the first round of voting with 145 votes. Spain beat Turkey in a third round of run-off voting.’
- Turkey fails in bid to join UN Security Council
- Venezuela elected to UN security council
- Spain wins seat on UN Security Council
- New Zealand wins seat on UN Security Council
- Angola Goes Big On UN Security Council
- Malaysia: How Will It Perform on the UN Security Council?
- Has America Stopped Even Pretending to Care About the U.N. Security Council?
‘Six months have past since the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in March, which took off from Kuala Lumpur carrying 239 people en route to Beijing. The aircraft veered wildly off course while flying over the South China Sea before turning back over the Malaysian peninsula toward the Indian Ocean, where it is presumed to have crashed.
Despite the largest multinational search and rescue effort ever conducted, not a trace of debris from the aircraft has been found, nor has the cause of the aircraft’s erratic change of trajectory and disappearance been established. The case of MH370 has proven to be the most baffling incident in commercial aviation history and one of the world’s greatest aviation mysteries.’
‘The computers of high-ranking officials in agencies involved in the MH370 investigation were hacked and classified information was stolen. The stolen information was allegedly being sent to a computer in China before CyberSecurity Malaysia – a Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation agency – had the transmissions blocked and the infected machines shut down.
The national cyber security specialist agency revealed that sophisticated malicious software (malware), disguised as a news article reporting that the missing Boeing 777 had been found, was emailed to the officials on March 9, a day after the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) plane vanished during its flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Attached to the email was an executable file that was made to look like a PDF document, which released the malware when a user clicked on it.’
‘When 73-year old Wahidah Md Salleh was evicted from the home she had lived in for more than 50 years, she inadvertantly became a rallying symbol of the struggle of KLites resisting corporate urban renewal and gentrification. The religious teacher’s home village of Kampung Chubadak Tambahan, Sentul, was declared by the Kuala Lumpur High Court in 1998 to have belonged to the people who started the village. Under the terms of that court ruling, the people residing on the land would need to have been compensated with an amount equal to the value of their settlement, should the area ever be earmarked for development.’
Some 83 aircraft have been declared “missing” since 1948, according to data compiled by the Aviation Safety Network. The list includes planes capable of carrying more than 14 passengers and where no trace — bodies or debris — has ever been found.
Editor’s Note: Not going to say that I’m 100% in agreement with everything in this report but it’s worth a watch.
- Files Deleted From Malaysia Pilot’s Flight Simulator
- Experts: No Way Did China’s Radar Miss Malaysia Jet
- Family Of Passengers Of Missing Flight 370 Threaten Hunger Strike (Video)
- Three Pilots Discuss What Theories About Flight 370 Are Most Likely (Video)
- U.S. Using It’s Most Advanced Drone Aircraft Searching For Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (Video)
- Rupert Murdoch’s Insane Malaysia Airplane Conspiracy Theories (Video)
‘Abby Martin calls out CNN’s coverage of the missing Malaysian airliner, given non-stop speculative attention to this story whilst ignoring other important news such as ongoing protests in Turkey, the Paralympics, and the DOJ’s decision to reduce drug sentencing penalties.’ (Breaking the Set)
Ever since planes were invented, there have been stories of them disappearing mysteriously. There was Amelia Earhart in 1937, Pan Am Flight 7 in 1957 and the Flying Tiger Line in 1963. But now we live in the digital era. Thousands of satellites roam above the earth, shooting aerial images directly to our computers. How does a massive plane with built-in GPS and high-tech instruments meant to track and telegraph its every move suddenly disappear? It makes no sense. The story of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 resembles something closer to fiction; it could be the basis for a David Lynch movie, or an episode out ofThe X-Files.
But it’s not the first time a modern plane—with GPS and all the other trappings of 21st-century aviation—has disappeared. Before Flight 370, there was just one other jet of this size to have disappeared in modern aviation history: the Boeing 844AA. In 2003, on a dusty airstrip in Luanda, Angola, two airplane mechanics boarded a Boeing 727. The midsize three-engine jet, tail number 844AA, had been temporarily decommissioned for service repairs. The workers—American flight engineer Ben Charles Padilla and his Congolese helper, John Mikel Mutantu—were there to get the plane ready for its next flight.
- The 727 that Vanished
- Malaysia: Someone Diverted Plane Deliberately
- CNN compares story of suicidal pilot from 1997 with Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (Video)
- Expert says Malaysia Air 370 could only fly for about 2000 miles after it dropped off radar (Video)
- A look inside the passport black market (Video)
The Malaysian prime minister says investigators now know that the missing Malaysian airliner’s communications were deliberately disabled and that it turned back from its flight to Beijing and flew across Malaysia. A newly extended, multinational search stretching all the way from Kazakhstan to the southern Indian Ocean was underway on Saturday after satellite data indicated missing flight MH370 last made contact six hours after previously believed.
Speaking for the first time about the Boeing 777 with 239 people on board one week after it vanished from civilian radar, Najib Razak said authorities believed the plane’s diversion from its original flightpath towards Beijing to be the “deliberate action by someone on the plane”. Malaysian police said on Saturday morning that they were searching the home of the pilot of the missing plane.
Seemingly innocuous pictures of pigs in the front and middle pages of today’s International New York Times (NYT) have been blacked out in the Malaysian edition of the paper, raising both amusement and concern among readers.
A frontpage story in the international newspaper featured a picture of piglets standing in the snow but the printers of the Malaysian edition, KHL Printing Co, had blacked out the faces of each animal.
A continuation of the story about rising demand for pigs reared in the open on page 19 of the paper got the same treatment, with the faces of two adult pigs blacked out.
A representative from the printing company based in Shah Alam told the Malay Mail Online in a telephone conversation that pictures of pigs are not allowed in a Muslim country like Malaysia.
Malaysia has cut fuel subsidies in order to help fund welfare payments for low-income households.
Prime Minister Najib Razak’s government reduced petrol and diesel subsidies by 20 sen (around 4p) each, to 63 sen (12p) a litre and 80 sen (15p) a litre respectively, pushing up pump prices.
Malaysia’s government fixes fuel prices below the market rate for consumers and pays the subsidies to fuel retailers to compensate them.
But a recent report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development said because they are blanket subsidies available to all, they benefit energy companies and wealthy households more than they do the poor.