By Azmi Arshad
Wan Ahmad Fayhsal is deceptively, with drama, trying to convince us that the US is going to drag 1MDB into criminal proceedings but I rebutted him in his Facebook comments section:
“The media failed to capture Putin’s real message to question the validity of RICO’s extraterritoriality which could set a dangerous precedent for the US federal law to go places where it originally holds no jurisdiction and sovereignty.”
Are you the only one to have captured Putin’s ‘real message’? From what I understand, the US had jurisdictional grounds because ‘these crimes were agreed and prepared IN THE US, and payments were carried out via US BANKS‘ i.e. they didn’t say anything about merely because it was payment by SWIFT.
2. “What are the potential exposures for 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to be indicted under RICO if the prosecutors managed to establish a racketeering pattern of predicate acts within an enterprise called 1MDB?”
I would say none whatsoever. Of course the fact that there was no racketeering should also not be ignored. (See below).
3. I’m surprised that you are not already aware that Good Star Ltd is owned by Petrosaudi. This being the case, in this respect, no US$700 million could have been ‘siphoned out’ by anybody, including Jho Low (not that I care much if Jho Low is charged for other crimes not related to 1MDB). Therefore the question of ‘racketeering’ does not arise even before there is any concern whether RICO is even relevant.
4. It has already been established that BSI held the US$1.103b financial assets after it was redeemed from Cayman unless you believe that six international banks who loaned the US$975m were stupid enough not to know that the financial assets were “worthless” as collateral. That being the case, how could even a single dollar have gone missing after all the investment that went into Cayman were accounted for: namely, a portion came back to pay for, among other things, the RM2 billion bridging loan while the remaining US$1.103b went to BSI. How much then could have been ‘siphoned out’? Again, with the Cayman investment all accounted for, the question of ‘racketeering’ does not arise, let alone wondering whether RICO is a net that can be indiscriminately cast that wide.
In conclusion, I fail to see how you have “proven” that 1MDB was set up to fail in a geopolitical play. Indeed your standard of proof is way below what I was anticipating. This is not checkmate, rather I’m checking you back.
[WAF had said in a previous post that he was going to prove his theory but his only “proof” was his misguided belief that RICO was going to be used against 1MDB based on the wrong premise how the US managed to arrest the FIFA officials.]
By the way, the AG of Switzerland has also opened criminal proceedings with regard to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup. Nothing to do with RICO. Rather, the grounds of jurisdiction are pretty similar to the US DoJ’s:
“The corresponding unjust enrichment is suspected to have taken place at least partly in Switzerland. Furthermore, the head office of the damaged party, FIFA, is in Switzerland.” [Source: Federal Council portal of the Swiss Government]
Another thing, first the RM2 billion was settled ahead of schedule, which struck down the first prediction that 1MDB’s assets would go at fire-sale prices. And now the US$975mil has just been repaid well ahead of the August due date.
Meaning this kills another of your doomsday forecast — based on the “early settlement” article — that Deutsche and the other 5 banks demanding immediate settlement would trigger cross-default clauses. That’s Strike 2. You need to change your crystal ball Wan Ahmad Fayhsal.
Via WAF posting on June 9 (pic above), he said “Terang benderang beberapa kali nama 1MDB disebut berhubung dengan Jho Low.” to make it appear as though 1MDB was guilty by association if not complicit in a crime.
“If the whole purpose of this post was just to show some kind of link between Jho Low and 1MDB, you actually did not have to look very far. Just browse through 1MDB’s website on Jho Low’s involvement.”
The fact is that this is stale news. Already back in 2009 the Jho Low association was mentioned in The Edge and also published on 1MDB’s own website in the Media section (in 2009).
He was implicated again in the New York Times and subsequently clarified (competently or incompetently) by the minister in Parliament.
WAF however went into overkill mode to show that he had discovered even greater proof there was a link between Jho Low and 1MDB by sharing a British court judgement that gave such an indication (albeit inconsequential).
Even then he was not truthful enough to tell us that the “link” is merely in the form of a letter from 1MDB stating that 1MDB would support the bidding company if they were successful in the hotel bid — and furthermore this has been explained by Husni in Parliament (click the video below, which was uploaded in March).
As it turned out, the bid was not successful and yet WAF still wants that “link” to be the smoking gun and also dramatise it as though it was the murder weapon.
This is what was mentioned regarding Jho Low as reported by The Edge and republished on 1MDB’s website in 2009:
“One of the key people who had advised the King in establishing TIA was Low Taek Jho, a young merchant banker with strong links to the Middle East. Known as Jho Low to his friends, the young man is also said to be well connected and has done a few major corporate deals.
“His “lavish” lifestyle in New York was the subject of a feature article in the New York Post last month. Jho, the son of Penang businessman Datuk Larry Low – a former shareholder and director of MWE Holdings Bhd – has however denied that it was he who had splurged on a lavish celebration as had been reported.”
After someone shared the video of Husni answering in Parliament regarding Jho Low, I then added:
Please also listen to Husni’s answer when he was asked about Jho Low in the recent TV interview. The video link is in the following posting debunking Jebat-Must-Die’s spins and lies.
Much later, WAF then shot out another post:
“Show us the money trail please Mr. Arul.”
So I asked WAF in the comments section: Have you reviewed the audited accounts?
Until now he has not replied with a simple Yes or No.
Not having any accounting knowledge or experience, WAF perhaps doesn’t know how to accurately interpret historical financial statements.
However I think even the layman with some experience in reading audited accounts and asking questions at AGMs/EGMs of PLCs would be able to have a broad idea of the money trail by looking at the Cash Flow Statement (or once known as the Flow of Funds Statement), the Income Statement (or Profit & Loss Account) and Balance Sheet (now known as the Statement of Financial Position).
Actually I don’t know why he has never bothered to ask me since we have been FB friends for a long time – then again, I now do know why.
I look forward to WAF coming over to this thread for a discussion to clear any confusion.
Again, let’s both of us and everyone remember what Imam Al-Shafie (rahimullah) said:
“Never do I debate a man with a desire to hear him err in his speech, or to expose the flaws in his argument, and thus vanquish him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently supplicate, ‘O Lord, help him so that truth may manifest itself in his heart and on his tongue. If it be that the truth is on my side, may he follow me; and if the truth be on his side, may I follow him.”
I love you WAF and that’s why we need to talk.
** Azmi Arshad, a Malaysian aged 50, is currently a CFO of a local company. He graduated with a degree in accountancy from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK in 1986 and passed the professional examinations of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) in 1990. Azmi is known among his circle for his style of writing which is characterised by mixing his accountancy knowledge and analysis. He started his career with KPMG Peat Marwick in London as an associate in 1987 and later held the position as Supervisor of the audit department in Kuala Lumpur in 1991. He was actively involved in the start-up phase of Kuala Lumpur City Centre project and played a key role in business planning, financial modelling and corporate finance analysis for MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems Sdn Bhd.