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Dr M: New reform bodies to monitor police, civil servants

PUTRAJAYA — The government will rebrand the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) and replace it with the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC), Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

This would ensure a more comprehensive body to monitor the police force.

“There are many complaints about the police and we will try to clean up the police force and ensure the policemen get good treatment and, at the same time, they should ensure that they themselves are clean,” Dr Mahathir said.

The Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, in its report published in 2005, had recommended the establishment of an independent police complaints and misconduct commission.

It would function as an external oversight body to probe complaints against police personnel. 

“Since then, many civil bodies including the Bar Council have called for the setting up of IPCMC,” Dr Mahathir said at a press conference following a Cabinet special committee meeting on anti-corruption here yesterday.

Seven papers were presented during the meeting, focused on boosting the country’s image in terms of governance, human rights, integrity and anti-corruption.

Dr Mahathir also said the Public Complaints Bureau will be transformed into the Malaysian Ombudsman, adding it will require a special Ombudsman Act to be tabled.

“We will likely table or at least discuss the Ombudsman Act during the next parliamentary session,” he said.

He said an ombudsman would greatly assist the management of public complaints and be independent of the agency or ministry in which it monitors.

“It is difficult to find people with integrity to serve in the ombudsman but we will find them,” he said when asked who would be best suited to lead the ombudsman.

Dr Mahathir said the Malaysian Integrity Institute — which has been placed under the National Governance, Integrity, and Anti-Corruption Centre (GIACC) — will now function along a new model.

“The model will enable the institute to work at building the competency of both government and corporate agencies,” he said.

The Integrity and Good Governance Department will be absorbed into the GIACC.

Meanwhile, Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) commissioner Gerald Joseph said the ombudsman would help reform the civil service.

“We welcome this independent oversight system and hope it can be done the soonest,” he told Malay Mail.

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism executive director Cynthia Gabriel told Malay Mail recently an ombudsman would be an invaluable asset to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission by helping it to hone in on fraud or corruption cases.

As the role is filled by someone of influence and experience, such as a retired judge, this meant the individual is free from political influences.

“What differs an ombudsman from the MACC is that they have the power to look at the risk factors of a certain organisation, and whether its compliance mechanisms are being properly followed,” she said.

“The system is such that it can publish its own reports on its findings.”

She said similar models are used in other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand.

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Eye on police force

The Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) is set to replace the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the IPCMC would be able to monitor the police more holistically. There have been calls since 2005 to set up IPCMC — an independent body responsible for receiving complaints and conducting investigations into misconduct of police personnel.

CHARGES AGAINST NAJIB which he claimed trial to:

YESTERDAY SEPT 20, 2018

‘’ 25 charges for money laundering and power abuse over US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) that he maintained was a donation from Arab royalty in 2013. ‘’ 21 counts of money laundering involving over RM4.3 billion ‘’ four counts of corruption involving RM2.3 billion in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds which was deposited into his personal account.

ON JULY 4, 2018

‘’ Three counts of criminal breach of trust and another charge of power abuse over RM42 million of funds said to belong to former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.

ON AUG 8, 2018

‘’ Three counts of money laundering amounting to RM42 million said to belong to SRC International Sdn Bhd with the first count involving RM27 million, the second count involving RM5 million and the third count involving RM10 million.

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Najib denies all 25 charges

Third time in court, former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak claimed trial to 25 new charges of money laundering and power abuse amounting to over RM 23 billion, bringing the total number of cases filed against him to 32 since July.
The court set bail at RM3.5 million, allowing him to pay the amount in instalments, starting with RM1 million today.

›› See pages 2 & 3

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Ronaldo red-faced

CRISTIANO RONALDO is treated like a king in the Champions League but the five-time winner’s perfect record in the competition was blemished with a first red card in 154 matches on Wednesday. The 10-men Juventus still won 2-0 against Valencia but the Portuguese superstar will miss the next European game at home to Young Boys on Oct 2.

 

›› MORE ON PAGE 36

‘Mother’s house raided by cops’

KUALA LUMPUR — The police raided the home of Tun Rahah Mohd Noah, the mother of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his lawyer said.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was quoted as saying the house in Jalan Eaton here was raided while Najib was in court earlier.

“The police came to check the home of Najib’s mother. Every inch of the house was checked but I was informed that the police did not take anything,” he was quoted as saying by New Straits Times.

“This action seems unfair. What is the connection between Tun Rahah and Najib’s case? If they need to investigate the premise, there must be a reasonable excuse,” he said.

Najib had regularly visited his mother’s house amid the marathon raids on his own home in Langgak Duta in May.

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Najib claims trial to charges, insists cash from Arab royal

KUALA LUMPUR — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected all criminal charges filed against him yesterday for money laundering and power abuse over his receipt, use and transfer of nearly RM2.3 billion allegedly from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

He claimed trial in the Sessions Court here to 21 counts of money laundering and a separate four counts of power abuse. Najib maintains the sum was a donation from an Arab royal in 2013.

The charges were read out to him earlier yesterday afternoon before Sessions judge Azura Alwi.

Najib was charged with four counts of power abuse committed during the period from Feb 24, 2011 to Dec 19, 2014, with the amount linked to these offences totalling RM2,282,937,678.41.

The charges were made under Section 23 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 and are punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and a fine of at least five times the sum involved, upon conviction.

On the money laundering charges, Najib was accused of receiving a total of RM2,081,476,926 in illicit funds through nine transactions.

He was also charged with seven counts of transferring a total of RM2,196,786,711.87 in illegal funds, while the remaining five counts of the 21 money laundering offences were over Najib’s alleged use of RM22,649,000 of illegal funds.

The money laundering offences were alleged to have been committed during the period from March 22, 2013 and Aug 30, 2013.

The charges were brought under Section 4(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act
2002 (AMLATFPUAA).

The offence is punishable by a maximum 15-year jail term, and a fine of RM5 million or a minimum five times the value of the unlawful proceeds at the time the offence was committed, depending on whichever
is higher, upon conviction.

Najib’s lead defence counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah highlighted to reporters that the charges showed Najib transferring the bulk of the money which he received back to the same account which he received it from, insisting that his client had believed it to be from the Saudi royal family.

The police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) publicised the intended charges against Najib before he was brought to court yesterday.

MACC says Najib may face more charges

KUALA LUMPUR — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak may face several more charges, according to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

However, Deputy Chief Commissioner (Operations) Datuk Seri Azam Baki declined to comment further on the possible charges awaiting the Pekan MP.

“I don’t deny that there will be several other charges made against him (Najib),” he told reporters at the lobby of the Kuala Lumpur Court Complex here yesterday.

Asked whether Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor would also be charged, Azam did not deny it.

According to media reports, Rosmah may face over 20 criminal charges, mostly on money laundering. — Bernama

RM3.5m bail to be paid in instalments over a week

KUALA LUMPUR — The Sessions Court allowed Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pay his RM3.5 million bail in instalments, starting with RM1 million today.

Sessions judge Azura Alwi said the instalments — as requested by Najib’s defence team — have to be fully paid up by next Friday.

“The bail is to be paid, starting from tomorrow (Friday) RM1 million, and subsequently, RM500,000 in instalments until Friday, Sept 28,” she said.

That would mean a one-week grace period to allow Najib to finish paying bail.

Earlier yesterday, the prosecution team led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the court it objected to bail being granted to Najib for the 25 counts of money laundering and power abuse charges of over nearly RM2.3 billion of funds.

Deputy public prosecutor Ahmad Akram Gharib said this was because the offences were “non-bailable” offences — where the accused is not entitled to bail and bail is subject to the court’s discretion.

The prosecution also said it was seeking RM5 million bail in two sureties and additional conditions, if the court chose to exercise its discretion to grant bail.

“This is because regard has to be had to the seriousness of the offences, the number of charges,” Gopal said, citing at one point the US attorney-general’s description of Najib’s conduct as allegedly the “worst case of kleptocracy”.

Gopal also sought for Najib to be barred from being in any public space except for religious purposes or to fulfil family duties as an additional condition for the bail.

Najib’s defence lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, however, cited various reasons to object to the RM5 million amount sought, which he said would be tantamount to punishing Najib before he has been convicted.

“RM5 million is not an easy amount to raise and not commensurate with the charges,” he told the court.

Shafee also objected to any bid to stop Najib from appearing in public as Najib is an MP and has to meet his voters.

He said Najib is not a flight risk as he had voluntarily showed up for Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and police investigations and had also given up his two international passports.

Shafee urged that that the maximum bail amount be fixed at RM500,000.

The judge decided to grant bail at RM3.5 million in two sureties but did not grant the other conditions.

Shafee said Najib’s son, Mohd Nizar and Mohd Shahrir Arifin, will act as the two guarantors.

The new charges yesterday will come up for mention on Nov 16. Shafee told reporters he would apply for the cases to be transferred to the High Court.

Shafee: Gag order bid shows prosecution desperate

KUALA LUMPUR — The prosecution has exposed the weakness of its case against Datuk Seri Najib Razak when it asked the Sessions Court to prohibit the former prime minister from speaking publicly about it, his lawyer claimed yesterday.

Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the request for a gag order was “desperation” on the prosecution’s part, which he alleged has not been able to build a solid case against his client.

“Now you will notice the desperation on the part of the authorities,” Shafee told reporters.

“I think they are beginning to understand Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he makes explanations. I think he is becoming effective in his explanation and the authorities are worried that his explanation is beginning to take bite.”

The prosecution had sought for Najib to be barred from issuing public statements and from attending public functions, except for religious or family purposes, as additional conditions for his bail.

The conditions were rejected by the court.

Shafee claimed the deputy public prosecutors had requested for the gag order under the direction of
Attorney-General Tommy Thomas.

He said it underscored the attempt by the Attorney-General’s Chambers to silence Najib, “an action of a desperate person trying hard to win a flimsy case”.

“This is clearly a step of a desperate person, a desperate authority … by all means, they want to get Datuk Seri Najib
at all costs,” he said.

“You notice the desperate application that the prosecution made to stop him from speaking to the press.”

Shafee claimed the defence team has a solid case, highlighting the large sum from RM2.3 billion returned by Najib as proof the money was not stolen.

“These charges are not well thought out,” he said.

“The charges about US$651 million (RM2.6 billion) was the subject matter of transmission into his account.

“I don’t think they realised the same charges also showed he transferred back into the same account US$620 million (RM2.5 billion), which means all the claims that he took RM2.6 billion are not true because he returned most of it to the same account he received it from.”

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