12 October 2018
Lim Kit Siang for Malaysia
How theatrical! When will Najib “order” police report against himself on the 1MDB scandal to establish his innocence?
How theatrical! When will former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak order his assistant to lodge a police report against himself on the 1MDB scandal to establish his innocence?
Najib’s theatrics remind of two other theatrical events.
Firstly, a Feb. 9. 2015 New York Times article reported that Najib’s family had vast wealth, most of it overseas, and in that article, the prime minister’s office defended Najib’s wealth by claiming that “neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewelry purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.” The prime minister has made subsequent statements saying his wealth derives from inheritance.
This prompted a formal statement by Najib’s four brothers on Feb. 15, 2015 which said that there were no “legacy family assets” and that any claim to the contrary is an insult at their father, Tun Abdul Razak, the country’s second prime minister and a man known for his parsimony with government funds.
Without naming any names, the brothers’ statement said, “We wish to put on record that Tun Abdul Razak was a highly principled man, well-known to all who knew him for his frugality and utmost integrity and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation. We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive. We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue.”
The statement was signed by Nazir Razak, the chairman of CIMB group, as well as his brothers Johari, Nizam and Nazim. It was not signed by Najib.
The second instance involved Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor. Later in the same month of February 2015, she drew scorn on the social media after she complained about the rising cost of house calls from hairdressers and tailors, lamenting the RM1,200 she had to spend on house calls by stylists to dye her substantial head of hair and RM500 for tailored dresses.
Rosmah had always deflected criticism by saying that she can afford luxuries on her husband’s US$130,000 salary because she started saving early” and was given “many gifts”.
(Media Statement (3) by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah on Friday, 12th October 2018)
14 March 2015
Kuala Lumpur: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad Friday joined the chorus of voices asking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to explain his family’s outsized wealth, following claims that the money was from family inheritance.
The former Prime Minister said this was what the people wanted to know after Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz, burst into the Hollywood scene as co-producer for the Oscar-nominated “Wolf of Wall Street” movie, which stars Leonardo DiCaprio, two years ago.
“The movie did not rake in any profits. It is impossible that the money made from the movie was used to purchase luxury properties worth millions of US dollars,” Dr Mahathir said in a blog posting.
“The question is, if the money had not come from Tun Razak’s family, then where did such a large amount come from? Is it from a business? If yes, what business, where? Has the income tax been paid? To which government?” Riza had raised eyebrows with a series of property purchases despite his previous job as a junior banker in London.
The paper revealed the “incredible wealth” of Najib’s immediate family members and raised questions how the wealth was accumulated. The report also stated that Najib had been tainted by news of his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s alleged spending habits on jewellery and designer handbags.
The Prime Minister’s Office responded to the NYT report saying: “… neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”
3 March 2015
By: Our Correspondent
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak seems to be digging himself a deeper and deeper hole over the source of what is believed to be vast personal wealth referred to by the New York Times in a Feb. 8 article describing family assets.
In the Times article a prime minister’s office spokesman said the premier’s wealth derives from what was called “legacy family assets”, implying that a considerable estate had been amassed by his father, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, who died in 1976. That in turn precipitated an explosion by Najib’s four brothers, who issued a public statement saying their father was a highly principled man who had died in modest circumstances, “and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation. We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive. We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue.”
The entire issue has been boiling over for weeks amid concerns that the wheels have come off 1Malaysia Development Bhd., the ill-starred sovereign development fund initiated by Najib in 2009 along with a flamboyant then-27-year-old financier named Low Taek Jho, known universally as Jho Low. The fund is believed to have billions of dollars in unfunded liabilities from unwise investments, although its officials say it is solvent.
The issue is deeply intertwined with the country’s internecine political wars. The source of the premier’s wealth has become a potent weapon in the hands of both his enemies in his own UMNO and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition…
Najib, who has been careful not to bait critics, immediately backed away from the family legacy statement, blaming his press secretary. In a statement to two Malay-language newspapers owned by UMNO, Utusan Malaysia and Berita Harian, Najib said his father had never abused his powers for personal benefit.
That in turn has raised a huge storm, with critics pointing out that Najib’s annual salary is RM350,000, hardly enough to support the family investments in property in New York and Beverly Hills running into the tens of millions of US dollars, as well as the lavish spending by his wife, Rosmah Mansor, for jewelry including diamond and emerald rings and bracelets and a half-dozen Birkin handbags worth upwards of US$7,000 each.
“If…Najib Razak believes that his source of unusual wealth and a lifestyle of exuberant luxury is all acquired scrupulously, then he must explain how he obtained them when his only occupation was as the Pahang Menteri Besar [chief minister,1982-1986], cabinet minister [1986-2004], Deputy Prime Minister [2004-2009] before assuming the Prime Ministership since 2009,” said Tony Pua, a member of parliament from the opposition Democratic Action Party, in a prepared statement. “I am certain that the Prime Minister will agree with me that his lack of transparency and the exposé of his family’s hidden and not-so-hidden wealth will only encourage more unhealthy speculations on the origins of his family’s outsized wealth.”
The denials in the Malay language papers raised other issues. The Utusan article explained that Najib’s maternal grandfather, Mohamad Noah Omar, financed his and his siblings’ education. However, A. Kadir Jasin, a close ally with former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is seeking to oust Najib, sprang into the debate, pointing out that “When Mohamad Noah is dragged into the issue of the alleged inheritance that Najib is benefitting from, there are bound to be questions about who he was and how he acquired his wealth.”
Mohamad Noah, one of Umno’s founders, Kadir said, was a business partner of Lim Goh Tong, in a venture to create Malaysia’s gigantic casino project at Genting Highlands in the mountains above Kuala Lumpur in 1965. Gambling is strictly verboten by Islamic law.
“On April 27, 1965, Tan Sri Haji Mohd Noah and I set up a private company called Genting Highlands Sdn Berhad,” Kadir quoted Goh as writing in his memoirs. “Between the years 1965 and 1970, we made applications to the Pahang and Selangor governments for 4,940 hectares and 1,110 hectares of freehold land respectively.”
2 March 2015
Najib joins brothers in dismissing talk of inheritance from Tun Razak
KUALA LUMPUR (March 2): Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has joined his brothers in dismissing talks over the extent of inheritance left by their father, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, saying that Malaysia’s second prime minister was frugal and had integrity, Utusan Malaysia reported today.
The prime minister said all his life, his father had been known to uphold those ideals and was never involved in any wrongdoings.
“Throughout his career, Tun Abdul Razak was never involved in corruption or wrongdoings.
“He placed the country’s needs above his own and this can be seen in his engagement with the people and also contribution to the country, which has become his legacy.
“Since his involvement in politics till his last days in office, Tun Abdul Razak was always known to practise a simple lifestyle and was frugal as well,” he told the Bahasa Malaysia daily.
His remark comes after his brothers – Datuk Johari, Datuk Nizam, Datuk Nazim, and Datuk Seri Nazir – issued a statement dismissing talks of the extent of inheritance left by Razak.
“We wish to put on record that Tun Abdul Razak was a highly principled man, well-known to all who knew him for his frugality and utmost integrity and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation.
“We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive.
“We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue,” they added in the three-paragraph statement sent to The Malaysian Insider recently.
Their statement came just days after The New York Times quoted a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office that Najib’s wealth came from a family inheritance after reports that his stepson had bought opulent properties in New York City.
In the Utusan Malaysia report today, Najib also said his father’s frugality went to the extent that their education were sponsored by his grandfather, Tan Sri Mohamed Noah Omar.
The four brothers of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak yesterday expressed concern over news reports regarding inheritance said to be from their father, Malaysiaâ€™s second prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein.
Speculation arose after the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office toldÂ theÂ New York TimesÂ that Najib’s lifestyle is not unusual “for a person of the prime ministerâ€™s position, responsibilities and legacy (of) family assets”.
In an unusual move, four of Najib’s younger brothers issued a rare “private” statement late yesterday evening expressing worry that the name of their father, who was known for his “frugality”, could be tarnished by such talks of family assets.
“We are extremely concerned that some recent news â€‹articles and postingsâ€‹ have given rise to speculation as to the nature and extent of the inheritance that ourâ€‹ lateâ€‹ father, Abdul â€‹Râ€‹azakâ€‹, â€‹had â€‹leftâ€‹ behind.
“We wish to put on record that Abdul RazakÂ was a â€‹highly-principled man, well known to all â€‹who knew him â€‹for his frugality and utmost integrityâ€‹ and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation.â€‹
“We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive. We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue,” they said.
The short statement was sent by Najibâ€™s youngest brother Nazir and signed by him, Johari, Nizam and Nazim.
Their eldest brother, Najib, was not among the signatories and it is not clear who his siblings were directed at when referring to those who taint their father’s memory.
Nazir, who is CIMB chairperson, in aÂ commentaryÂ last year recalled how Abdul Razak lambasted his boys for asking him to build a swimming pool at the official residence.
Stressing Abdul Razak’s care with the public purse, he wrote that their father was angry they expected him to use public funds for their pleasure.