On 27 August 2016, student activists led thousands of protestors into Kuala Lumpur for the TangkapMO1 rally. The rally was to pressure authorities to arrest ‘Malaysian Official 1’, whom the US Department of Justice (DOJ) claimed stole US$731 million in 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
Protestors gathered at Sogo shopping center and Masjid Jamek. They then marched to Merdeka Square.
The Kuala Lumpur City Hall denied them permission to gather at the iconic square. It is possible that the police may take action against the protestors as their notice to the police under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 might not have been valid without assent from the venue owner.
The rally ended with TangkapMO1 rally organiser and spokesperson Anis Syafiqah placing a gigantic effigy of prime minister Najib Razak into a mock prison. Effigies of his stepson Riza Aziz, his wife Rosmah Mansor and businessman Jho Low were also in the mock jail.
‘Stolen’ 1MDB Funds Linked to DiCaprio and Nightclub Empire
US entertainment industry-focused publication The Hollywood Reporter reported that assets and funds possibly sourced from 1MDB have made their way into an eyebrow-raising charity set up by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, known for wild fundraisers.
The publication noted that the July 20 gala this year in St Tropez, was “an expression of one-percenter excess ostensibly in support of saving the environment”, noting that “guests were helicoptering in to dine on whole sea bass after watching a short film about the dangers of overfishing”.
The publication reported that at the St Tropez gala where tickets started at US$11,778, DiCaprio greeted a roomful of about 500 party-goers.
Meanwhile, tycoon Khadem al-Qubaisi was arrested by the Abu Dhabi authorities.
In April, al-Qubaisi was barred from leaving the United Arab Emirates and had his assets in the country frozen.
The DOJ filed lawsuits seeking to freeze US$100 milion of real estate that al-Qubaisi allegedly bought with funds from 1MDB. The DOJ also exposed a US$470 million money trail that stretched from Malaysia to Abu Dhabi to the British Virgin Islands.
Investigators are now looking for connections to Hakkasan Ltd, a company that saw itself at the top of the Las Vegas nightclub scene with two US$100 million venues.
Al-Qubaisi was chairperson of Hakkasan and a member of its board of directors.
September Deadline to File Challenge Against DOJ Forfeiture Suit
Those named in the DOJ 1MDB-related forfeiture suit will have to file their challenge against the department’s claims to their assets by early September 2016.
The four named in the DOJ complaint are Najib Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz, businessman Jho Low, Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem Abdulla Al- Qubasisi and Mohammed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
The DOJ filed civil suits to seize assets in the United States that it claimed were purchased using funds siphoned from 1MDB. It plans to return the proceeds from the sales of these assets to Malaysia.
Chairperson of Government-Linked Bank Remanded to Assist in MACC Probe
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) obtained a seven-day remand order on the chairperson of a government- linked bank. The Putrajaya Magistrate’s Court issued the remand order against the 65-year-old ‘Tan Sri’.
The ‘Tan Sri’ has been alleged to be involved in an offence under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009, for using his office or position for gratification.
It is understood the remand was in relation to the RM15 million payout to a publishing firm for the production of a book concerning a national leader, believed to be Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak. However, the book was allegedly not published.
Court of Appeal Orders Home Minister to Pay Damages to The Edge
The Court of Appeal has ordered the Home Minister and the ministry’s secretary- general to pay damages for the suspension order issued against The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd from 23 July 2015 to 21 Sept 2015.
The suspension order was issued by the minister following a series of articles published by the The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily over 1MDB.
The unanimous decision by the Court of Appeal also saw the court accepting the submission by counsel Darryl Goon representing The Edge that damages can be awarded based on Order 53(5) of the Rules of Court.
This, the senior lawyer submitted, was for misfeasance in public office and constitutional damages which led to violation of the media’s rights to freedom of speech and expression under Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
Namewee Arrested on Arrival at KLIA
Rapper Namewee was arrested upon arrival at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
He is wanted by the police after multiple police reports were lodged against his music video titled ‘Oh My God’. The police reports complained that the music video had used the word “Allah” in a disrespectful manner and portrayed Muslims as terrorists. The reports also took issue with the portrayal of Muslims gambling and the use of the azan in the music video.
Namewee was remanded for four days after he was brought to Penang following his arrest. He was then released on police bail, but the police continued to restrain him.
Global Bersih Website Relaunch
Global Bersih’s revamped website is now more user-friendly and packed with news, updates and information from relevant laws governing Malaysia to human rights updates from the United Nations.
It is a one-stop-center for those who want to learn more about personal rights, human rights and electoral information.
There are also summaries of Malaysian laws like the Federal Constitution, the Sedition Act, the National Security Conucil Act and the Peaceful Assembly Act.
The website keeps you updated with the progress of Bersih 2.0 and Global Bersih. It also includes the archive for Global Bersih’s eNewsletters.
Visit the website here:
Sarawak State Election Report
Bersih 2.0 has released the PEMANTAU Report for the 11th Sarawak State Election 2016.
The comprehensive report includes findings on bribery, treating, the partisan use of government machinery and resources, etc.
You may read the full report here: