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Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


Voters seen lining up for cash at village chiefs’ houses

Posted: 24 Jul 2013 02:13 AM PDT

Malaysiakini

Voters have been sighted queuing up for money outside the houses of at least two village chiefs in Kuala Besut today, supposedly for their travel allowance.

They were spotted at the Kampung Lay Out village chief's residence in the Tok Saboh polling district and at the residence of the chief of another village nearby.

NONEMalaysiakini is withholding the name of the second village pending a formal response from someone in authority.

According to several voters met byMalaysiakini near the SK Kampung Nangka polling centre and outside of the village chief's house – most of whom refused to be named – the money is for voters from outstation returning to vote.

The sum ranges from RM50 for those returning from Kota Baru to RM200 for those returning from Kuala Lumpur.

NONEHowever, when asked to confirm this, a man identifying himself as Kampung Lay Out village chief 'Rajees' replied, "I am the millionaire here. I can give my money to anyone I like."

Asked why the disbursement coincided with the polling day for the Kuala Besut by-election, Rajees said the money was for duit raya.

He said the forms being submitted by voters to claim the allowance was for auditing purposes.

NONERajees refused to give his full name, nor allow pictures to be taken at his house, where BN and Umno flags decorated the gate and about 50 people were queuing to claim their money.

Meanwhile, a local resident met near Rajees' house, who would only  identify himself as 'Rizal', said the money was to meet the travel costs of the voters and that this had also been provided during the May general election.

The scene was also similar at the home of the other village chief about noon, where Malaysiakini sighted a clerk handing out RM200 to a voter while others queued for their turn.

NONEHowever, soon afterwards, a villager told Malaysiakini to leave the scene.

Malaysiakini has not been able to obtain a concrete response from the cash recipients as to whether only supporters of a certain political party were eligible for the money.

According to one of those in the queue at Rajees’ house, a youth from Kuala Lumpur who wished to be identified only as Hilmi, he was contacted by phone before polling day and his name was added to a list.

Court orders AG’s Chambers to pay Anwar’s lawyers

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 09:25 PM PDT

Malaysiakini

The High Court in Kuala Lumpur today ordered the Attorney-General’s Chambers to pay RM1,000 as costs to Anwar Ibrahim’s legal team.

Justice Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad found the chambers to be delaying the hearing of a defamation suit filed by the opposition leader against former home minister Syed Hamid Albar.

Today was fixed for the hearing of the suit.

Anwar’s counsel Sankara Nair said this to reporters after discussing the matter with Justice Nik Hasmat and senior federal counsel Tengku Intan Suraya in the judge’s chambers.

“The court agreed to award RM1,000 in costs to Anwar’s legal team following the delay,” Sankara said.

Anwar was present in court as early as 9am to testify.

Anwar then went to a sessions court in the same jalan Duta court complex to observe the proceedings against Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli, Seremban MP Anthony Loke and student activist Adam Adli.

The trio were charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act in relation to the Black 505 rally held at Padang Merbok in Kuala Lumpur last month.

Anwar had filed his defamation suit in 2008 against Syed Hamid for branding him as a “United States snitch”.

Rafizi throws fire bomb at EC: Why 3 cap deals to 3 firms but all controlled by one crony?

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 09:19 AM PDT

Malaysia-Chronicle

MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli threw another fire bomb at the scandal-tainted Election Commission, exposing more controversial details of the contracts given out by the commission which has been accused of helping Prime Minister Najib Razak’s BN coalition cheat in the recently-concluded general election.

Rafizi, who had two weeks revealed the name of the indelible ink supplier and the businessman with close links to top government and EC officials behind the firm, exposed how the same businessman had swiped 3 contracts to supply caps for the election from the EC through “improper” direct negotiations.

The PKR strategy director demanded answers from the EC as to why it had gone through the direct negotiation process instead of through open tenders, providing reporters with copies of the guidelines from the Chief Secretary that showed the EC may have broken government tender regulations.

“What is most scandalous is the direct negotiation awarded the 3 contracts for the caps to 3 different companies controlled by the same person. If there is nothing to hide, just award to one company,” Rafizi told a press conference on Tuesday.

His public ‘interrogation’ of the EC comes at a time when Malaysia is suffering a record and still ballooning budget deficit.

Already, there is public concern over how the cost of the 13th general election could double to the RM400 million ceiling allocated by Parliament compared to the costs racked up during the 12th general election. This is especially worrying given that voter numbers only rose 20% in the May 5, 2013 ballot, yet costs may be more than twice the RM200 million spent in the March 8, 2008 general election.

So far, the EC has avoided disclosing the full costs or giving specifics and breakdowns. Rafizi pointed out that based on the first and second supplementary budget passed by Parliament, a sum of RM465million had already been spent in 2012. Including the costs for the first 6 months of this year, he is looking at a shocking price tag totaling more than RM500 million.

Why is Mohamed Salleh so favored?

The first-term Pandan MP questioned if the cap contracts were split so as to hide or mask the fact that all 3 deals were given to firms controlled by the same businessman Mohamed Salleh Mohamed Ally.

“You only do this if you have something to hide. You only enter into direct negotiations with the same person but using thee different entities because you want to hide the fact that you are just giving to one person by entering into 3 direct negotiations,” said Rafizi.

“This can only take place if there is something behind the scenes, kept concealed from the public. Whether they are close friends, whether there is a special arrangement, I don’t know. But it is only common sense and it’s my duty to question because we know in a normal procurement exercise, people would only do this if they have something to hide.

“I don’t think the EC chairman and deputy chairman can simply wash their hands and say I’ve got nothing to do it because they are under constitutional duty to uphold the integrity and good image of SPR which includes the good and transparent running of SPR. So when there are questions about how come a person Mohamed salleh Mohamed Ally is so well-connected, so influential he could get direct no tenders compared to other people, obviously there are questions that need to be answered by the top leadership of the SPR.”

Details unveiled by Shahidan in Parliament

According to Rafizi, government guidelines issued in April 2002 by ex-Chief Secretary Samsudin Hitam were clear in that only under 5 exceptional situations could government bodies opt for direct negotiations instead of calling for an open tender when awarding government contracts.

These were (i) in cases of emergency (ii) for uniformity and conformity (iii) a franchise is involved (iv) national security is involved (v) special tenders to help bumiputera firms.

None of the 3 firms granted the contracts to supply caps – Nash Ventures Sdn Bhd, Ayumi Resources Sdn Bhd and Bumi Services Sdn Bhd – qualified for direct negotiations based on the Chief Secretary’s list, said Rafizi.

“If you go back to the Hansard on July 17, 2013, the Minister (Shahidan Kassim) has admitted in Parliament that the contract for supply of SPR (the Malay acronym for EC) caps for use during the election were awarded to 3 companies, Nash Ventures Sdn Bhd, Auymi Resources Sdn Bhd and Bumi Services Sdn Bhd,” said Rafizi.

“The relationship is through 2 individuals. One is Shamsia binte Mansoor, whom we suspect is his wife and the the other is Norsiah binti Yusoff, whom we believe is the chief accounts clerk at his firms. So it is very clear the way that Mohamed Salleh has used 3 different companies ultimately controlled by him to enter into direct negotiations with SPR with the supply of only one thing, which is the supply of hats.”

According to the identification car numbers, both Mohamed Salleh and Salleh appear to be Singapore-born.

3 contracts for GE13 caps, to 3 companies, one common link – why, Rafizi asks EC

Posted: 23 Jul 2013 09:16 AM PDT

TMI

The Election Commission came under attack again, on the eve of the Kuala Besut by-election, when PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli alleged that it breached rules of governance and transparency by awarding contracts to supply caps for GE13 to companies controlled by the same person who supplied the tainted indelible ink.

The PKR strategist said that if the commission cannot be trusted to even follow the process in awarding contracts, how can it be trusted to oversee free and fair elections?

He alleged that the beneficiaries of the cap contracts were Nash Ventures Sdn Bhd, for which Shamsia Mansoor is the director, Ayumi  Resources Sdn Bhd, for which a Norsiah Yusoff is the director, and Bumi Services Sdn Bhd, for which Mohamed Salleh Mohd Alli is the director.

Note: Last week, Rafizi had asked the Minister in charge of Parliament Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim to confirm if a Mohamed Salleh Mohamed Alli, linked to Integrated Challenger (M) Sdn Bhd, was the person and company that supplied the indelible ink in GE13.)

Rafizi at a press conference held at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today that Shamsia is believed to be Mohamed Salleh’s wife as she lives at the same address as Mohamed Salleh, while Norsiah is believed to be Mohamed Salleh’s chief accounts clerk.

Rafizi added that it was scandalous the way the EC did direct negotiations with three different companies, linked to the same person, for the supply of something as straightforward as caps.

He said it also did not qualify for direct negotiations under the circular from the treasury that exempted open tender contracts in favour of direct negotiations.

“There is something going on behind the scenes, whether they are good friends or there is a special arrangement, I don’t know but it is my duty to question,” Rafizi said.

He added the EC leadership also had to answer how come a person like Mohamed Salleh could be so influential that he could negotiate directly with the EC.

He reiterated that he held firm to his earlier revelation in Parliament that Integrated Challenger (M) Sdn Bhd, which was also linked to Mohamed Salleh, was the supplier of the controversial indelible ink used in GE13.

“It was never denied on record in Parliament and I was never referred to any committee for misleading the House, so I take it that Integrated Challenger is the supplier of the ink,” he said.

When asked how much May's general election cost, Rafizi said that it will only be known when the Supplementary Supply Bill for 2013 is tabled next year. However, he estimated that it could have exceeded RM500 million.

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