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Panama Papers: It's okay to keep money offshore, says Ku Li

Posted: 05 Apr 2016 02:18 AM PDT

It is acceptable for people to keep their money abroad or anywhere else to evade tax although it may not be legal, said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The Umno veteran also said it was normal for businessmen and politicians to keep their money abroad to evade tax.

"This has been going on for a long time. Everybody knows of the existence of all these facilities and they keep money abroad in order to be shielded from tax," he told reporters on Tuesday.

"It's not only politicians but anyone who feels he needs to keep money in places that can save them from paying tax, why not?" he said in referring to the Panama Papers, an enormous leak of documents incriminating world leaders and celebrities in offshore shell companies and tax shelters.

The leak from the Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca involve more than 11.5 million documents, nearly 215,000 companies and 14,153 clients of the firm, according to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung.

The newspaper said it got the information and shared it with other media outlets and the non-profit International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

"I'm not saying it's not wrong but if that can help them save money, then they save la," Tengku Razaleigh said.

Asked whether the country had laws to prevent this from happening, he said the country has laws to cover everything.

On whether it is illegal, he said "It's not whether it's legal or not legal, it's whether it's proper.

"Some people do avail themselves of the facilities, so why not?" he said.

However, Tengku Razaleigh stressed that it is necessary for the Government to examine the issue.

"For the sake of transparency and good governance, I think we should find out," he said, adding that the reports by ICIJ may be "a little rushed".

He added that those who break the law will have to face the consequences.

"Nobody is above the law. I am not defending anyone. You break the law, you face the music, and that includes me," Tengku Razaleigh said.

Hadi: Involving royalty not way to oust PM

Posted: 05 Apr 2016 01:16 AM PDT

There was no necessity to involve the royalty in forcing the Prime Minister to resign as there are democratic ways of achieving it, said PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

He said there are "others in power" who were better suited to make the decision.

"We don't want to include others who do not need to be included in any kind of change.

"We have political parties and NGOs and others in power and the decision is up to them," Hadi told reporters at Parliament lobby when commenting on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's call for Malaysians to sign the Citizens Declaration in order to urge the royalty to pressure Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to step down.

Hadi said it was important for any action to be taken in accordance with the process of democracy.

"We want any form of change to be carried out in accordance with the right democratic process. Not in the way that that is being done now.

"The process of democracy is either a vote of no-confidence or elections. That is democracy and both are not being done," he said adding that demonstrations should be allowed so long as it was done with the right process and clarification.

Rahman Dahlan: Taman Manggis now a RM59mil issue

Posted: 05 Apr 2016 12:09 AM PDT

Barisan Nasional has produced documents which it claims are new evidence on the alleged sale of a controversial plot

Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman told a press conference on Tuesday that Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has denied that the land had been sold to a third party.

"But what he did not disclose is that the land is now held by the Kuala Lumpur Dental Centre Sdn Bhd (KLIDC) and the sale of the shares of KLIDC has the same effect of selling the land," the Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister said.

Abdul Rahman further argued that the land was then subsequently resold by KLIDC to a third party five years later for RM70.6mil with a projected profit of RM59mil, despite the core project being undeveloped.

The two documents provided by Abdul Rahman were signed and stamped Sale and Purchase Agreements dated Nov 11, 2015. The purchase price of the sub-sale transaction of the land was listed at RM70,643,628.

However, the name of the latest buyer of the land was blacked out.

"When read simultaneously, the two agreements appear to effect the sale of the Medical Centre and Hotel project with the core asset being the land at Taman Manggis," he said.

Abdul Rahman questioned whether the Penang state government had been notified of the sale in November and whether it has given approval for it.

"The land was originally sold to KLIDC on June 16, 2010 when DAP Penang government had awarded it under a controversial RGP process at RM11,552,208 or at RM232 per square foot – a price many believe was grossly lower than the market value at the time," he said.

"With the revelation before you today, on face value, the land previously allocated for public housing to benefit he poor has been sold to a private company at an allegedly underpriced value, without noticeable physical works on the land for almost six years after the award," he said.

Abdul Rahman said that team would be submitting the relevant documents to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police later Tuesday.

The land at Penang's Taman Manggis had initially been gazetted by the state government to build affordable houses.

However, the plan for the People's Housing Project (PPR) on the remaining 0.5ha plot in Taman Manggis was replaced with a proposal for a mixed development project in 2005.

Lim said that the state government had found the size of the Taman Manggis land unsuitable for low-cost housing.

He added that the state government had moved the affordable housing project to a land which was over ten times bigger at Jalan SP Chellilah.

The latest 24-storey hotel and hospital project in the controversial plot is now put on hold after public criticism.

Sepang MP Hanipa now in ICU after successful surgery

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 08:26 PM PDT

Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin underwent succesful surgery on Monday night and is now warded in the intensive care unit of Kuala Lumpur Hospital.

Hanipa was wheeled out of Parliament after he was found slumped against his seat by fellow lawmakers on Monday.

He had complained that he felt nauseous and was unable to move.

Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) vice-president Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa said on Monday that Hanipa was referred to HKL by the National Heart Institute (IJN).

He said the surgery was related to neurology believed to be caused by high blood pressure that led to some internal bleeding.

More Umno branches may hold ‘river’ AGM

Posted: 04 Apr 2016 07:23 PM PDT

After the Bongor Batu 48 Umno Youth branch literally cooled things down by holding its annual general meeting (AGM) in a river, at least one other branch is expected to follow suit.

Bongor Batu 48 branch information chief Al Fattah Ramli said he heard that one or two others within the Baling division would host their AGM in Sungai Ketik.

The novel idea saw some 40 members of the branch seated on plastic chairs with their legs in the river at its AGM last Friday.

Al Fattah said they had two halls to host the AGM, but chose to have it in the river because of the rising temperature.

"The members were receptive to the idea," he said.

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