Malaysia: Crackdown on Free Speech Intensifies

Malaysia: Crackdown on Free Speech IntensifiesMalaysia’s prosecutions of peaceful speech over the past year have spread beyond activists and politicians to ordinary citizens on social media, Human Rights Watch said today in a new report. The government’s actions signal an ever-broadening crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly in the country. The 40-page report, “Deepening the Culture of Fear: The…

1MDB, Criminal Probe Separate Key Aide from Malaysia Tycoon’s Empire

1MDB, Criminal Probe Separate Key Aide from Malaysia Tycoon’s EmpireAugustus Ralph Marshall, the trusted key aide to T. Ananda Krishnan – Malaysia’s second-richest man – has left all posts in the sprawling cross-media empire as of end September, several sources told the Asia Sentinel. Marshall has been under investigation in the past few years in India and Indonesia over joint ventures by Malaysia’s dominant…

Former PM Mahathir Adds to Malaysia’s Muddled Political Mix

Former PM Mahathir Adds to Malaysia’s Muddled Political MixExtraordinary times call for extraordinary measures, and nowhere more than in Malaysia, struggling with a political scandal that has all but paralyzed governance. Thus it was that on Sept. 5 the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim met his enemy and persecutor of 18 years, Mahathir Mohamad.  It was Mahathir’s forces that engineered trumped-up charges of…

Najib’s Mystery Millions Caught in US Seizure?

Najib’s Mystery Millions Caught in US Seizure?Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak may have lost a huge chunk of the fabled US$681 million that was allegedly steered to him from the scandal-plagued 1Malaysia Development Bhd fund, according to sources in Kuala Lumpur.  The money appears to have been used to acquire a major part of the estimated US$1 billion in assets seized…

International Financial Community Grows Leery of Malaysia

International Financial Community Grows Leery of MalaysiaAlthough Malaysian politicians and government officials remain in full denial of reality over a US Justice Department investigation of massive fraud involving Prime Minister Najib Razak and his family, local and international bankers are not. The bankers are trying to digest the implications of a downgrade by Fitch Ratings in late July of  long-term foreign…

Malaysia’s Mahathir Seeks to Lead New Party Against Najib

Malaysia’s Mahathir Seeks to Lead New Party Against NajibHow much chance the rebel political party being established in Malaysia and backed by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has of besting the deeply corrupt Barisan Nasional is open to question. But it is emblematic of the desperation by  his opponents to break the power of the United Malays National Organization and Prime Minister Najib…

Malaysia May Have Known Fate of Doomed MH370

Malaysia May Have Known Fate of Doomed MH370It seems almost impossible to believe, but the Malaysian government must have known since shortly after it crashed that Zaharie Ahmad Shah, the pilot of the doomed flight MH370, deliberately put the plane down in the Indian Ocean on the night of March 8, 2014 after rendering everybody aboard unconscious and creating the greatest mystery…

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tightens the Screws on his Enemies

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tightens the Screws on his EnemiesIt is all but certain that at some point over the next few weeks if not the next few days, the justice agencies of other countries are going to follow the United States in issuing charges of money laundering, theft of public funds and a plethora of others against Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and…

Najib’s Spectacular Carnival of Thievery

Najib’s Spectacular Carnival of ThieveryAmong all the questions triggered by the announcement last week that the US government had seized US$1 billion from assets stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd since 2009, the biggest one is perhaps this: How on earth did they think they could get away with it? That cool billion announced by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch…

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Finally in Danger?

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Finally in Danger?For the first time since he began the theft of vast amounts of Malaysian government funds, beginning at least in 1999 when he was named defense minister for the second time, Prime Minister Najib Razak’s kleptocratic career may finally be in danger. It is rare, if ever, that a foreign head of state and an…