PeoplePostInsider

News | RM9.5m paid by Najib used to purchase Shafee’s Bukit Tunku bungalow, say witnesses

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): Two Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers who recorded statements from Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah told the High Court here that the senior lawyer told them that the money obtained from former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak in 2013 was used to pay for a three-storey bungalow in Bukit Tunku in 2014.

Mohd Nasharudin Amir, 49, and Zulfaqar Mohd Khalil, 30, who are the fourth and fifth prosecution witnesses respectively in Shafee’s RM9.5 million money laundering and income tax evasion case, said the senior lawyer also told them when they recorded his statement that the money was not payment for his services rendered in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sodomy II appeal at the Court of Appeal.

They both said Shafee told them it was for services rendered for acting for Barisan Nasional (BN) in several election petition cases between 2004 and 2006.

According to Zulfaqar, Shafee, who was interrogated on Sept 11, 2018 at the MACC headquarters, showed him a list of BN election petition files between 2004 and 2006, where he explained that 46 files regarding election petitions were opened during that time.

“He told me that he met Najib on Sept 5, 2013, and told the then PM and BN chairman that the cost for the legal fees for those cases was RM12 million. Shafee suggested to Najib that if payment were to be made, the actual cost was RM11.5 million.

“In his meeting with Najib, Shafee also informed the then prime minister that he needed RM9.5 million to purchase the Bukit Tunku home. Shafee told me that Najib had asked him (Shafee) to take the RM9.5 million first via two cheques of RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million. The RM9.5 million, Shafee said, was as a loan until Najib comes up with a rationalisation [for the payment],” Zulfaqar told the court.

Following that, a letter dated Sept 12, 2013 titled ‘Settlement of Outstanding Professional Fee Owed by Barisan Nasional (BN) for counsel and solicitor work in the Election Petition cases’ was given to Najib to document the understanding between Shafee and Najib over the RM9.5 million payment.

Zulfaqar also told the court that he was referred to a sale and purchase agreement dated Feb 21, 2014, by Shafee with Jasbir Singh Sadu Singh and Devindar Kaur Dulla Singh where the lawyer said the money he received from Najib was used to pay for the land and three-storey bungalow at a cost of RM9.3 million.

The fifth prosecution witness also told the court that the senior lawyer also showed the fiat (appointment) letter issued by former attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail on Shafee’s appointment as deputy public prosecutor to handle Anwar’s appeal at the Court of Appeal.

The other recording officer’s testimony

Shafee had claimed trial on Sept 13, 2018, to two charges of receiving money derived from illegal activities amounting to RM9.5 million through two cheques of RM4.3 million on Sept 5, 2013 and RM5.2 million on Feb 14, 2014, issued by Najib which were allegedly deposited into his CIMB Bank Bhd account.

He is also facing two charges of engaging in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns and in violation of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ended Dec 31, 2013 and Dec 31, 2014.

The proceeds from Najib are said to be from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Meanwhile, Nasharudin told the court that he recorded Shafee’s statement on July 28, 2017, at his office in Shafee & Co, where the witness said the senior lawyer had told him the RM9.5 million payment was for the legal advice given to Najib, the party (Umno) and as PM prior to this.

Nasharudin said Shafee had said the payment had nothing to do with him appearing for the prosecution in its appeal in Anwar’s sodomy II case.

Nasharudin said unlike what was stated by Zulfaqar, Shafee did not show him any documents regarding his claim on the legal advice nor was he shown any documents about election petition files for 2004 and 2006.

“I have not seen this document on the list of election petition cases before. Shafee did not show me when I recorded his statement on July 28, 2017,” the fourth prosecution witness said.

Both Zulfaqar and Nasharudin told the court that after the statements were recorded from Shafee, the senior lawyer read it and signed on the pages.

The prosecution is led by DPP Afzainizam Abdul Aziz while Harvinderjit Singh and Muhammad Farhan Shafee appeared for the senior lawyer.

In his opening statement to the trial, Afzainizam said Shafee was inconsistent on the reason for the RM9.5 million which he received from Najib, where he had earlier claimed that the money was for his legal fee before claiming that the money was intended to be a loan to purchase the property.

The hearing before Justice Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin continues tomorrow with the cross examination of Zulfaqar. – THE EDGE

by Hafiz Yatim

kredit foto: BenarNews

News | Stockpiled COVID vaccines must be handed to poorer nations, says former UK PM

LONDON (Reuters) – A vaccine summit being hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden must come up with a plan this week to transfer 100 million stockpiled COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries before they reach their expiry date, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

Biden is due to convene a virtual COVID-19 summit on Wednesday on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, aimed at boosting vaccinations worldwide with the goal of ending the pandemic by the end of 2022.

Brown said he had sent Biden and fellow G7 leaders research by Airfinity, a scientific information and analytics company, which found 100 million COVID-19 vaccines stockpiled in rich countries in the northern hemisphere would expire by December without being used.

Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa.

“We need a plan to distribute vaccines quickly,” Brown, Britain’s finance minister for a decade before serving as prime minister from 2007 to 2010, said in a statement.

“It will be a profound and collective political tragedy if this summit misses the opportunity to act with doses transferred immediately to poorer countries,” he said.

The Airfinity data predicts that, without a speed-up in the vaccine roll-out, there will be 100 million more COVID-19 cases by next summer and one million more deaths from lack of ventilators and oxygen.

“It is unthinkable and unconscionable that 100 million vaccines will have to be thrown away from the stockpiles of the rich countries whilst the populations of the world’s poorest countries will pay for our vaccine waste in lives lost,” Brown said.

Brown called on the leaders to decide whether countries should swap delivery contracts, how regulatory barriers to vaccine exports could be overcome and who would underwrite the costs of using stockpiled vaccines.

“No one is safe anywhere until everyone is safe everywhere. It is in everyone’s interest everywhere that President Biden and his fellow G7 leaders do what it takes … to eradicate COVID in every corner of our globe,” he said. – REUTERS

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Edmund Blair

credit photo: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

News | Stockpiled COVID vaccines must be handed to poorer nations, says former UK PM

LONDON (Reuters) – A vaccine summit being hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden must come up with a plan this week to transfer 100 million stockpiled COVID-19 vaccines to poorer countries before they reach their expiry date, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said.

Biden is due to convene a virtual COVID-19 summit on Wednesday on the margins of the U.N. General Assembly, aimed at boosting vaccinations worldwide with the goal of ending the pandemic by the end of 2022.

Brown said he had sent Biden and fellow G7 leaders research by Airfinity, a scientific information and analytics company, which found 100 million COVID-19 vaccines stockpiled in rich countries in the northern hemisphere would expire by December without being used.

Out of 5.7 billion doses of coronavirus vaccines administered around the world, only 2% have been in Africa.

“We need a plan to distribute vaccines quickly,” Brown, Britain’s finance minister for a decade before serving as prime minister from 2007 to 2010, said in a statement.

“It will be a profound and collective political tragedy if this summit misses the opportunity to act with doses transferred immediately to poorer countries,” he said.

The Airfinity data predicts that, without a speed-up in the vaccine roll-out, there will be 100 million more COVID-19 cases by next summer and one million more deaths from lack of ventilators and oxygen.

“It is unthinkable and unconscionable that 100 million vaccines will have to be thrown away from the stockpiles of the rich countries whilst the populations of the world’s poorest countries will pay for our vaccine waste in lives lost,” Brown said.

Brown called on the leaders to decide whether countries should swap delivery contracts, how regulatory barriers to vaccine exports could be overcome and who would underwrite the costs of using stockpiled vaccines.

“No one is safe anywhere until everyone is safe everywhere. It is in everyone’s interest everywhere that President Biden and his fellow G7 leaders do what it takes … to eradicate COVID in every corner of our globe,” he said. – REUTERS

Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Edmund Blair

credit photo: Reuters/Russell Cheyne

Berita | Hadkan pengunjung pusat rekreasi

SHAH ALAM – Pihak berkuasa perlu berbincang bagi menetapkan had bilangan kehadiran pengunjung di kawasan rekreasi dan riadah di seluruh negara.

Pengerusi Ikatan Komuniti Selamat, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye berkata, selain dapat mengurangkan risiko penularan Covid-19 di kawasan terbabit, langkah tersebut juga akan membolehkan pengunjung merancang aktiviti mereka dengan lebih baik.

Menurutnya, usaha itu perlu merangkumi peningkatan pemantauan prosedur operasi standard (SOP) Covid-19 oleh pihak berkuasa di kawasan tersebut.

“Setiap tempat riadah atau rekreasi mesti ada pengusaha atau pemilik, misalnya kawasan hutan dan air terjun berada di bawah pengurusan jabatan hutan.

“Kalau di pantai, ia di bawah seliaan pihak berkuasa tempatan dan ada juga tempat dijaga oleh perbadanan negeri.

“Jadi, jika kawasan yang dipantau itu kecil dan terlalu ramai pengunjung, pihak berkuasa boleh mengehadkan bilangan orang yang dibenarkan masuk.

“Mereka perlu pastikan pengunjung boleh mengamalkan penjarakan fizikal di kawasan itu.

“Tetapi kalau langkah itu dibuat, ia mesti dimaklumkan lebih awal misalnya melalui media supaya orang ramai tahu,” katanya ketika dihubungi Sinar Harian.

Susulan kelonggaran SOP yang diumumkan bagi negeri-negeri yang beralih kepada fasa dua dan ke atas di bawah Pelan Pemulihan Negara (PPN), kawasan rekreasi serta riadah kembali menjadi tumpuan masyarakat Malaysia.

Kelonggaran itu bagaimanapun menyebabkan berlakunya kesesakan di beberapa kawasan tertentu.

Walaupun mengakui bahawa langkah tersebut mungkin mendapat sambutan dingin, namun Lam Thye berkata, masyarakat perlu memikirkan mengenai keselamatan dan kesihatan diri masing-masing.

“Kita semua cukup faham, itu hak mereka. Lagipun aktiviti seperti berkelah ini adalah sangat penting selepas hampir setahun setengah terkurung.

“Namun mereka juga kena pastikan kesihatan diri sendiri. Jangan disebabkan ghairah untuk beriadah, kita lupa tanggungjawab menjaga kesihatan,” ujarnya.

Pada masa sama, beliau turut menasihati rakyat supaya sentiasa mengamalkan SOP yang ditetapkan ketika beriadah terutamanya mematuhi penjarakan fizikal.

Lam Thye turut mencadangkan supaya pihak berkuasa meletakkan papan tanda peringatan dan amaran berkenaan SOP Covid-19 di kawasan riadah dan rekreasi masing-masing. – SINAR HARIAN

kredit foto: Kosmo