Friday, April 29, 2016

When you look at the other side of the coin

Salleh Said Keruak

The world is such a dynamic place and we keep seeing economies facing challenges from ever changing situations. Today, the global economy impacts all countries and Malaysia is definitely no different. The more a country emerges as a trading nation the more it is exposed to the uncertainties of the global market. For 220 months Malaysia has been enjoying a trade surplus but we still need to have a strategy to ensure that we stay ahead of the curve.

To do that, we need to strengthen our economic fundamentals. Time and time again we have seen that such a strategy will place a country ahead of the pack. As a result of work done since 2009, and led by the Prime Minister, the economic shock that hit us was well withstood and we as Malaysians continue to enjoy a peaceful life and can continue to live as we have since before the economic storm.

Undeniably we have had to make adjustments but it was not that drastic and at national level we continued to see GDP growth and a rise in the Gross National Income per Capita. This was again verified and ranked by international agencies such as the World Bank and World Economic Forum, just to name a few.

For the vulnerable group, the government was still able to provide the right safety net programmes such as BR1M and economic programmes such 1AZAM against a backdrop of a straining budget due to a decline in commodity prices. Malaysia is also now within the top 10 countries in the world for Financial Market Development according to the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Ranking 2015-2016. The ringgit has improved and has not nosedived as many had predicted. The end of the world is not here, as they are suggesting so.

We need to take into consideration these positive developments and not criticise everything that the government does. The opposition paints a gloomy picture of the country and has nothing good to say about the government. But not everything that they say about the country or the government is true and is merely meant to serve their political agenda. We must give credit where credit is due.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Malaysia’s Transformation Programmes: A Success Story

Salleh Said Keruak 

When we speak about development, Malaysia needs to be dissected into urban, semi-urban and rural. And each has its own needs when it comes to planning its development such as in the National Transformation Programme (NTP) and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that were launched more then five years ago in October 2010. 

The normal complaint is that while the majority of Malaysians live in the rural areas, the majority of the development is concentrated in the urban areas. Hence the people in the towns and cities receive all the money while the people in the villages receive very little. 

This is not entirely true. The problem is one can see the development in the urban areas while development in the rural areas is not so visible. This is because of the nature of development in the rural areas compared to that in the urban areas. Furthermore, the needs of those living in the rural areas differ from those living in the urban areas. 

For example, in the urban areas, the problem is with traffic congestion and the need to improve public transport. So this is the focus of the government, on how to ease the living in the big and busy towns and cities. And this is being done in the heart of Kuala Lumpur with train services extended to the fringes of Kuala Lumpur in the areas surrounding the Kelang Valley plus with the building of more highways. 

Facilities and services that are taken for granted in the urban areas may not be too available to those living in the rural areas. So while this is of not much concern to those living in the urban areas, those living in the rural areas need the basic amenities such as water and electricity, which those living in the urban areas have been enjoying for decades. And this has been one of the priorities of the government for those living in Sabah and Sarawak in particular. 

Take the example of Bario in Sarawak, which did not have a 24-hour electricity supply until quite recently. Due to the Rural Development NKRA under the Government Transformation Programme, Bario now has proper electricity supply. 

In terms of communications, over the last five years, the government has managed to link three million rural citizens via 5,300 kilometres of roads. These roads have enabled the rural economy to grow and have improved the quality of village life. Medical facilities and markets are also now within a manageable range. 

A further 5.5 million Malaysians living in the outskirts have also benefitted through the transformation programme via provision of clean water and reliable electricity. Through the National Transformation Programme, it has funded the rebuilding and restoration of 80,000 homes for 412,000 rural Malaysians. 

Over the last decade, Malaysia’s growth rate was about 4.7%. Sabah and Sarawak saw a growth rate of 3.0% and 4.2% respectively. According to the 2014 report, Sabah and Sarawak also led in terms of agricultural output at 16.8% and 15.2% respectively. What may be surprising to many is that Sarawak’s GDP per capita (RM41,000) is higher than Penang (RM38,000) and Selangor (RM37,000). So these figures speak for themselves. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Working with Pakatan can never be justified

Salleh Said Keruak

Mukhriz Mahathir must be very naïve not to be able to tell the difference between the implications of working with Umno leaders and the implications of working with Pakatan Harapan leaders.

If you work with Umno leaders, and if it is with the purpose of changing the party leadership, then this is done during the party election. However, if you work with Pakatan leaders, then it is with the purpose of changing the ruling party during the general election.

This action can only be construed as an act of betrayal to the party considering that the general election is going to come before the party election. Mukhriz must surely know the consequences of his action.

No doubt Mukhriz tries to justify his action by raising all sorts of excuses as to why he is doing this. Mukhriz should know that the end can never justify the means and no amount of justification can legitimise the transgressions he has committed.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

A new era for Sarawak under Adenan Satem

Salleh Said Keruak

When Abdul Taib Mahmud took over as the Sarawak Chief Minister 35 years ago in 1981, Sarawak’s population was just 1.2 million. Today, it has more than doubled and now stands at 2.6 million. More than half of Sarawak’s citizens grew up with Taib as their leader. Two years ago, Sarawak entered a new era when Adenan Satem took over as Sarawak’s fifth Chief Minister.

They say a leader needs two terms of at least ten years. The first term is to lay the groundwork on which to move forward with. The second term would be to see the result of all this. Adenan has been in office for just two years and he has already not only laid the groundwork but has been able to produce results as well. This is a remarkable achievement by any standards.

There are about 1.1 million registered voters in Sarawak. In the previous Sarawak state election in 2011, there was a 70% voter turnout. It is estimated that more than 100,000 of those who will be voting next month would have not voted in the last state election while more than 500,000 will be voting for the first time under a new Chief Minister.

For all intents and purposes this make the 2016 Sarawak state election quite an historic event. The outcome of this election will all depend on what the voters think of Adenan’s performance over the last two years and whether they have confidence enough in him to give him another term of five years. Feedback from the ground shows that the majority of the people of Sarawak are happy with what they have seen over the last two years.

The opposition is contesting this election with the promise of bringing about change if they win. Adenan is not making promises of change. He has shown that he can bring about change and has, in fact, been introducing change in just the two years that he has been heading the state. Adenan is now known as the man who does not talk but a man who just does. And he has done much in just two years.

At the end of the day we will know in two weeks’ time whether the people are happy with what Adenan has done for Sarawak. One bold move was Adenan’s announcement that the Chinese from Sarawak are not ‘pendatang’ but ‘Anak Sarawak’, a thorny issue in West Malaysian politics. He also announced that he wants to raise the dignity of Sarawakians by classifying each ethnicity according to their native group and not lump everyone under the category of ‘lain-lain’.

Adenan also abolished quit rent and stood up for the equality of women by proposing more women candidates. Adenan gave RM5 million to Chinese schools, which in the past had to depend on generous donors and philanthropists for funding. And to solve the problem of unemployed graduates, Adenan launched the Graduate Enhancement Training Sarawak (GETS) programme.

And all this in just a short space of two years! Sarawakians are asking what more can Adenan do and what more will he do if given another term of five years. This is currently the talk on the ground. And Adenan knows that the route to success is to win the hearts and minds of the people. This is what Adenan has done and is continuing to do, so much so that the opposition is no longer talking about taking over the state but to just try to deny Barisan Nasional its two-thirds majority in the Sarawak State Assembly.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Malaysia’s economy: facts never lie

Salleh Said Keruak

There are so much doomsday predictions by prophets of doom regarding Malaysia’s economic Armageddon. Of course, the soothsayers are mostly Malaysians opposed to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Basically, it is mere political rhetoric and not financial analyses based on economic fundamentals.

I remember once when the Malaysian and Singapore stock markets took a dip because of the rumour that then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s daughter had eloped with an Indian man. What economic fundamentals caused the stock markets to dip? None at all, other than unfounded rumours that were later proven false and the stock marker went up again. And even if the story was true why should the stock market be affected?

Time and again this has shown that Malaysians react to rumours and even if the rumour has no bearing on the economy people still panic. For that matter, if fundamentals were taken into consideration, shares prices would be within single-digit PE ratios (or at the most less than 20) and not in the triple digit or close to triple digit ratio. This shows Malaysians have no notion of how to invest and what to invest in. At least ASB has a PE ratio of less than 15 -- meaning you double your money in less than 15 years and not over 50-90 years.

If one were to read the media reports, especially those online, it would seem that Malaysia is on the brink of an economic collapse, like what happened in the 1920s when the world sort of ‘came to an end’ when the stock market collapsed, banks went bankrupt, and people lost their jobs and homes and had to sleep on the streets.

That scenario cannot reconcile with the fact that investors are still coming to Malaysia to invest and every year we are seeing an increase in foreign investments. For that matter, the reports from the likes of World Economic Forum, World Bank, rating agencies like S&P, Moody’s and Fitch, etc., have all rated Malaysia favourably.

Another example would be Malaysia's new Sukuk bond offering of US$1.5 billion, which received an overwhelming response yesterday despite weaker global conditions. The US$1.5 billion Sukuks was over-subscribed by 4.2 times when it received a subscription of US$6.3 billion. This shows that Malaysia’s long-term fundamentals remain appealing to investors. Compare this to Indonesia’s Sukuk offering last month where their US$2.5 billion Sukuk was 3.4 times over-subscribed.

Then, if we look at the equity market, Malaysia’s capital market showed an increase of up to RM2.8 trillion in 2015, up 150% since 2009. The equity market also expanded by 69.6% to RM1.7 trillion, while the bond and Sukuk market grew 74.4% to RM1.1 trillion.

More importantly, the income for the bottom 40% households has increased by a compounded annual growth rate of 12%, even higher than the national average of 8%. This means the government has managed to lift 2.9 million people out of absolute poverty.

We need to look at facts and not listen to rumours and negative propaganda. Malaysia is not sinking as the critics are saying. No doubt things are tough, that we cannot deny. But Malaysia is still faring better than many more advanced countries like those in Europe where the people do not even know what is going to happen when they wake up from sleep the next day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Mahathir no longer represents Umno

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appears very confused about what his real motives are. On the one hand he says he opposes Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and wants Najib replaced because if not then Umno, and by extension Barisan Nasional, is going to lose the next general election.

If Najib is detrimental to the party and, therefore, he should be replaced, whom does Mahathir propose as the replacement? This, Mahathir will not state and he even said that it should not be Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

As Najib said last week in his interview with the Indonesian media, Mahathir is upset that his son, Mukhriz, has failed to climb the Umno ladder where he attempted to secure the Umno Youth leadership in 2009 and an Umno Vice President’s seat in 2013. This would be a prerequisite for Mukhriz to becoming the Deputy Prime Minister and in future the Prime Minister and that now appears impossible.

Mahathir hides behind the excuse that whatever he is doing he is doing so for the good of Umno. However, there is nothing that he is doing that is good for Umno. How can going into partnership with Lim Kit Siang, the man who dislikes Umno the most, and the rest of the opposition, be considered for the good of Umno? Is burning down the house an act of improving the house?

Mahathir is so deeply entrenched with DAP that he has become an enemy of Umno. Mahathir has made no secret of the fact that he wants to punish Umno, just like he openly did in 2008. Umno has to realise that Mahathir is working closely with Lim Kit Siang and DAP in the hope that Barisan Nasional will perform badly during the 14th general election.

This is why Mahathir cannot accept the positive decision made by PAC regarding 1MDB as well as the explanation given by the Saudi Arabia Government that the RM2.6 billion is indeed a donation. Mahathir will continue to search for whatever excuse to attack the Prime Minister. 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Mahathir’s confusion regarding the OSA 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appears confused regarding the Official Secrets Act (OSA). “I believe (the OSA) is to punish those who leak Government administrative documents on policies, cabinet papers and taxation,” Mahathir said. “They are for preventing the information from being made use of by individuals, companies or foreign Governments to their advantage.” 

Mahathir added, “They are not meant for keeping secret the crimes committed by officers, employees or individuals. Such crimes must be reported or exposed by whoever comes across them. Criminal proceedings should follow.” 

First of all, we need to understand the issue of what a whistleblower is and the rights of a whistleblower under the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) 2010. The WPA says that whistleblowers can provide evidence if it is legally available through the course of their work. The catch phrase here is ‘legally available through the course of their work.’ That does not cover data or document theft or information illegally procured. 

This is a very crucial aspect of the WPA that Mahathir either does not understand or he is not telling us. In short, you cannot fight crime by committing a crime. It is as simple as that. 

Next, any document or file stamped RAHSIA comes under the protection of the OSA. As the late Raja Aziz Addrusse sarcastically said in court back in 2002 in the Ezam Mohd Nor case, even if toilet paper was stamped RAHSIA then anyone who is in possession of that toiler paper has committed a crime and can be sent to jail. 

Ezam was convicted and slapped with a two-year jail sentence by Mahathir’s government for a violation of the OSA even though he told the truth. And Ezam’s crime was to reveal abuses by certain people in power. In other words, it is not the contents of the file that matters. It can even be a menu for the departmental dinner, which is not at all sensitive to the security of the nation. It is the RAHSIA classification of that file that would be the crux of the matter. 

As Prime Minister for 22 years, surely Mahathir understands this. Then there are certain files, papers or documents that do not even need a RAHSIA stamp and are automatically protected under the OSA, with or without any RAHSIA stamp. This is so fundamental it boggles the mind that Mahathir does not seem to understand this. And even more perplexing is the fact that Mahathir sent Ezam to jail for doing precisely what he says Malaysians should do.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Another desperate act of Mahathir

Salleh Said Keruak

I hope Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is not purposely trying to set himself up to get arrested with the aim of gaining public sympathy when he told The Weekend Australian that there was little hope that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would step down without outside pressure.

“Normally I don’t like foreign interference in Malaysian affairs but our avenues for redress have been closed completely,” Mahathir said. “So now we have to allow foreign interference in our domestic affairs. If it is legal, legitimate, yes. If they have information, they should give information. And if there is money laundering, just because it is Najib it doesn’t mean they should suspend that law.”

This is an alarming new development and I am very surprised that Mahathir should even suggest this. Back when Mahathir was the Prime Minister, if any foreign country or government were to say anything about Malaysia, Mahathir would retaliate and tell them that they have no business interfering in Malaysia’s domestic affairs.

In fact, during Mahathir’s time, if any local political activist were to work with a foreign government to criticise Malaysia, he or she would be detained on grounds of ‘treason’ and of working with foreign powers to bring down the democratically elected government.

Mahathir is now saying that the end justifies the means and that we must do anything possible just as long as we meet our objectives of bringing down the Prime Minister outside the constitutional process. In that case no leader is safe if all we need to do to topple a leader is to invite foreign powers to interfere in the country’s domestic matters.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

1MDB: the truth is finally revealed 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Although the Public Accounts Committee’s report on 1MDB presented to Parliament today has not implicated Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in any wrongdoing, he still must be held accountable for what happened, said DAP’s Tony Pua, who is one of the panel members. “The only thing we have on Najib is the shareholders resolutions which he signed,” Tony Pua said. “He signed all these deals. At the very least, he should be held ministerially accountable.” 

That sums up what the one-year of mud-slinging and unfounded accusations has been reduced to. There is no evidence of any criminal activities, RM42 billion of 1MDB’s money has not disappeared into thin air, and RM2.6 billion of 1MDB’s money has not been transferred to the Prime Minister’s personal bank account. All we have is an allegation of bad management and the assumption that surely the Prime Minister must have been aware of this, and even if he was not, the buck still has to stop at Najib’s table. 

Being held accountable for bad management or poor business decisions is a far departure from the allegation of stealing billions of the taxpayers’ money for personal use. Perwaja, MAS, Proton, the RM30 billion Forex losses, Maminco, BMF, and much more, were all cases of either bad management or bad business decisions. But no one was asked to be sent to jail for theft involving the taxpayers’ money. 

Now that this whole matter has been put in its proper perspective, Malaysians need to move on. For more than a year we have been under the dark cloud of unfounded allegations that Malaysia’s Prime Minister is a thief. Najib was subjected to trial by media and was convicted in the court of public opinion. This is something the opposition has been opposed to and would never tolerate but when it comes to Najib the opposition condones it. 

We must note that the PAC does not serve the government. It represents Parliament and comprises members from both the government and the opposition. And the report cannot be released unless there is a consensus from all the PAC members who are unanimous in that the findings are factual and unquestionable. 

Under Najib’s watch debates and free speech are allowed more than they were in the past. But Malaysians need to differentiate between freedom of speech and slander. People need to also be free from being slandered. So under the umbrella of free speech that does not give you the right to slander anyone. And in cases of slander, civil or criminal action can be taken against you. After all, the other person being slandered has as much rights as the person slandering. 

Let the 1MDB affair be a lesson to the government. When dealing with the taxpayers’ money we need professional, competent and experienced managers. Too many times we have seen losses due to bad decisions. To meet the challenges ahead of us we need to give the job to the right person. And this has to be the strategy we adopt in bringing Malaysia forward. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Malaysia is number 12 on the list of 82 tax havens 

Salleh Said Keruak 

A tax haven is a state, country or territory where certain taxes are levied at a very low rate or not at all. In most cases tax havens offer you financial secrecy as well. Tax havens in themselves are not illegal. The issue, of course, would be the source of your money and whether you need to hide it because they were ill gotten. 

I suppose the issue of tax havens is not so much the issue of doing something illegal but more about whether it is moral. And that is what is being debated in the UK regarding the British Prime Minister’s father’s name appearing in the ‘Panama Papers’. 

There are 82 countries that are tax havens and which offer financial secrecy. Switzerland, of course, is number one followed by Luxembourg (2), Hong Kong (3), Cayman Islands (4), Singapore (5), United States (6), Lebanon (7), Germany (8), Jersey (9) and Japan (10). 

Panama (where the controversy has erupted) is actually number 11 followed by Malaysia (Labuan) at number 12. And there are 70 more after that. 

For Malaysia to become number 12 on a list of 82 tax havens, the most crucial element would be banking secrecy and tax savings. This is how they all operate. And if placing money in tax havens were a crime, then Labuan, the brainchild of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, would need to be closed down. 

The Proton willing buyer, willing seller situation 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has asked Malaysians to help Proton. Proton is not government owned but private owned. Mahathir, however, wants Malaysians to help Proton as a sort of national service or as a mark of patriotism. 

Personally I have no argument with this. After all, I am as Malaysian as Mahathir is and anything that helps keep Malaysia’s flag flying high I would be most supportive of. 

But then we need to understand that buying a car is not about nationalism or patriotism. It is about spending sometimes up to half your monthly salary (instalments, road tax, insurance, fuel, toll charges, parking fees, service, etc.), not including the depreciation, which can be as high as 20% the instant you register your car and drive it out of the showroom. 

So when someone buys a car it all boils down to just one thing, value for money, and whether later you can recover as much as possible from your investment when you decide to sell or trade-in your car. And a car is the worst investment you can own because it depreciates the instant you buy it and you loss more money every day you hold on to it. 

So ultimately the issue of market forces and the law of supply and demand dictates what you do. If there is a demand then you create the supply. But you cannot create a demand by asking Malaysians to buy your product just because they are Malaysian and Proton is also Malaysian. 

Sweden did not ask the Swedes to buy Volvo to prevent the company from being sold to the Chinese. Britain did not ask the British to buy Mini to prevent the company from being sold to the Germans. And the current problem the British government is facing is that three Tata steel factories (which are losing RM6 million a day) may be closed in the UK resulting in the loss of 40,000 jobs because people prefer buying cheaper steel from China. 

This is all about willing buyer, willing seller. But when the buyer is not willing then there is nothing the seller can do. Unfortunately, competition and globalisation have turned the world into a buyers’ market. That, basically, is what Proton is suffering from and not due to lack of nationalism and patriotism on the part of Malaysians. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Is ABC now accepted as a reliable source? 

Salleh Said Keruak 

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants the Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘Four Corners’ special report on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to be aired in Malaysia so that Malaysians will ‘know the truth’. 

And what ‘truth’ is it that Mahathir wants Malaysians to know -- that Najib did not steal any money from 1MDB and that the RM2.6 billion banked into Najib’s personal bank account did not come from 1MDB? 

Mahathir now considers ABC as a reliable source and wants the Australian TV station’s special report to be the basis of how Najib should be judged. In short, Mahathir wants Najib to be tried through the media and to be convicted in the court of public opinion. 

This is the same ABC that about 16 years or so ago produced a special report regarding Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial. It was actually a very well done documentary and it managed to raise many prudent questions regarding whether Anwar was a victim of a sham trial and was convicted based on fabricated evidence and false testimonies. 

Of course, at that time Mahathir did not agree that the special report on Anwar’s ‘sham trial’ should be aired on Malaysian TV. 

Later, ABC produced another documentary regarding Anwar and his party, Parti Keadilan, and alleged that they were being financed by the same Arab sources that were implicated in financing the group involved in the 911 attacks. They also reported the FBI raids and confiscation of documents and so on. 

Again, the opposition called this documentary a pack of lies and said that ABC had an agenda and was being paid to smear Anwar’s and Parti Keadilan’s name and reputation. 

When ABC reports about Mahathir, Anwar, the opposition, etc., they are lies. However, when ABC reports about Najib they are telling the truth. Is this what Mahathir is trying to say? 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Finally the truth emerges

Salleh Said Keruak

“Investigators believe money flowed to Malaysian leader Najib’s accounts amid 1MDB probe,” screamed The Wall Street Journal’s headlines on 2nd July 2015. And after that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was subjected to a barrage of attacks by the local and foreign media, Bloggers included.

In short, it was a trial by media and Najib was being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion due to this media onslaught. And he was being treated as guilty until and unless he can prove his innocence, which was precisely what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 so-called revelation also triggered the setting up of a Special Task Force, the purpose of which, according to the announcement, was to investigate the allegation that Najib had stolen US$700 million or RM2.6 billion of 1MDB’s money and had transferred it to his personal bank accounts.

The Wall Street Journal said:

“Malaysian investigators scrutinising a controversial government investment fund have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into what they believe are the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, according to documents from a government probe.”

This would mean, according to what The Wall Street Journal said, the investigation had started before 2nd July 2015 and was not the result of The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 ‘expose’. And The Wall Street Journal confirmed it was in possession of documents related to that probe (which means the investigation had already been launched before 2nd July 2015 if there are already documents related to the probe).

This in itself sounds very suspicious because The Wall Street Journal said its 2nd July 2015 report is based on the investigation while the official statement from the Special Task Force is that it was set up to investigate the Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 ‘expose’.

So which came first? And if The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 came first and the launch of the Special Task Force came after, as what we are being told, this would mean The Wall Street Journal was given documents that were not based on any investigation but were planted to slander the Prime Minister.

But then on 4th July 2015 the Attorney General said that he had just received the documents regarding the investigation and on 8th July 2015 it was announced that a Special Task Force had been set up to investigate the allegation. So where did The Wall Street Journal obtain its ‘evidence’ from and which ‘probe’ are they referring to?

At that time Malaysians should have already smelled a rat. In fact, The Wall Street Journal was actually quite vague about the whole issue but due to the manner the report was crafted it was made to appear like a crime had been committed. For example, The Wall Street Journal said:

Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal include bank transfer forms and flow charts put together by government investigators that reflect their understanding of the path of the cash. The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn’t detail what happened to the money that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts.

In short, The Wall Street Journal said it does not really know what happened but then its stories thereafter, as well as the stories from others, give an impression that it knows precisely what happened.

Now The Wall Street Journal says the money was not from 1MDB after all but was a donation from Middle Eastern sources. And that appears to also be the basis of the recent ABC special report. Even Dr Mahathir no longer talks about stolen money but a donation and he is shifting the issue from where the money came from to how the money was spent.

Najib has been subjected to a gross injustice of trial through the media and he was ‘convicted’ in a court of public opinion based not on evidence but based on a mere allegation. Those who have slandered the Prime Minister owe him a huge apology, which, of course, we know will never happen.