Lots of Malaysians in Panama Papers

Lots of Malaysians in Panama PapersAt least 1,784 Malaysian individuals or master clients – including the Sultan of Johor and the sons of three prime ministers – and another 517 offshore entities are among the 215,000 names found in the Panama Papers, the 11.5 million documents taken from the Panamanian law firm of Mossack Fonseca & Co. The files were…

Palm Oil Giant Suspended from Environmental Certification

Palm Oil Giant Suspended from Environmental CertificationThe green image of one of Malaysia’s largest conglomerates suffered a major blow on Friday with its suspension from the world’s largest association for ethical palm oil production, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil. IOI Group was one of the founding members of the RSPO, as the pact is known, but it has been suspended…

Malaysia Watches Warily for Central Bank Governor’s Replacement

Malaysia Watches Warily for Central Bank Governor’s ReplacementThe projected April retirement of Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the 68-year-old governor of Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara, has kicked off intense speculation about who will follow her into the job. Over recent months, as the investigation into the personal finances of Prime Minister Najib Razak has droned on, Zeti is almost the sole person in…

Influential Malaysian Website Closes Down

Influential Malaysian Website Closes DownMalaysian Insider, one of Malaysia’s two most influential independent news websites, has shut down publication after eight years, the victim partly of financial difficulties and more because of unrelenting political pressure on the part of beleaguered Prime Minister Najib Razak, sources in Kuala Lumpur said. The closure of the Insider leaves Malaysiakini, which has published…

Prestigious Publication Lends Support to Embattled Malaysian Central Banker

Prestigious Publication Lends Support to Embattled Malaysian Central BankerIn a clear message of support for Malaysia’s embattled central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the London-based, Central Banking Publications has given her its third Lifetime Achievement Award, previously given only to former US Central Bank Governor Paul Volcker and to Jacques de Larosiere de Champfeu, former managing director of the International Monetary Fund, among…

Will China Save Malaysia’s PM?

Will China Save Malaysia’s PM?What price will Malaysia pay as the embattled 1Malaysia Development Bhd, the state-backed investment fund, sells power plants to China General Nuclear Power Corporation? Or, for that matter, China’s promise to buy lots of Malaysian government bonds to prop up the ringgit when its weakness has become a major political liability for Prime Minister Najib…

1MDB May Have Violated US Election Laws

1MDB May Have Violated US Election LawsRecords compiled by the Sarawak Report, the UK-based news site run by Clare Rewcastle Brown, indicate that the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd. investment fund may have violated US Federal Election Law by channeling money to a well-connected US lobbying firm, which subsequently poured money into the 2014 electoral campaigns of at least seven Democrats. The…

Malaysia’s Broken Biotech Dreams

Malaysia’s Broken Biotech DreamsA decade ago, then-Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi ushered Malaysia into the biotech era with the opening of the BioMalaysia 2005 conference, aimed at making the country a global player by  building a conducive environment for R&D through leveraging existing strengths, particularly in biodiversity and bio-resources. But that policy lies in a shambles, having eaten up…

The Dismal State of Malaysian Agriculture

The Dismal State of Malaysian AgricultureOver the past 30 years, Malaysia has grown into a middle income country, transforming itself from a primary producer of minerals and commodities, to a multi-sector economy. However, the country’s agriculture sector is characterized by missteps that have cost lost opportunity in better food security, rural, community and regional development, development, employment and poverty alleviation,…

Malaysia Stumbles Toward Fiscal Crisis

Malaysia Stumbles Toward Fiscal CrisisA perfect storm of bad economic news appears about to inundate a rudderless government in Malaysia as political squabbling paralyzes leaders, according to sources in Kuala Lumpur. Fiscal revenues are going through the floor, the currency is diving and inflation has risen from 0.1 percent in February to 3.3 percent in July and is expected…
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