Friday, February 23, 2018

LKY on the futility,and stupidity of a carbon tax

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Image result for lee kuan yew grave quote


Lee Kuan Yew: Because we are too vulnerable. If the water goes up by one meter, we can have dikes and save ourselves. If the water goes up by three, four, five meters, (laughs) what will happen to us? Half of Singapore will disappear! The valuable half - the seafronts!
Well, let us say, it has gone up to one meter and we have protected ourselves. But our neighboring islands have disappeared! And then Indonesia may not have 30,000 islands - many will be under water.
IHT: Yeah, so what's the answer to that, cap and trade [referring to a program to cap emissions and trade pollution allowances] or can you somehow tax industry a carbon tax of some sort?
Lee Kuan Yew: If you ask me, I think you can ameliorate this problem. But you cannot solve it. Because our dependency on energy will only grow - can only grow. I do not see any tribal leader, any democratic leader, any dictator telling his people, "We are going to forgo growth. We are going to consume less. Travel less. Live a more spartan life and we'll save the earth."
(Excerpts from an interview with Lee Kuan Yew)



END

Reference

Singapore wants to kill its refining ,petrochem industries to save the planet: Carbon tax beggars belief, then again taxes save governments begging



Singapore wants to kill its refining ,petrochem industries to save the planet: Carbon tax beggars belief, then again taxes save governments begging

by Ganesh Sahathevan

There is nothing that needs to be added, but readers are reminded that Singapore's contribution to world carbon dioxide emissions are probably negative,given its size (or rather lack thereof) and the fact of the yearly "haze" from Indonesia and Malaysia.

As to the effect of climate change on Singapore, one would think that a country that boasts of its ability to reclaim land from the sea would understand that reclamation is not without its own inherent
problems,that are of more immediate danger.
Meanwhile, Singapore's PAP seems to have forgotten that it relies on the very industries it wants to punish. On the other hand, this is a tax,it goes to government, government gains, but why this desperate measure?
END








$5 per tonne carbon tax 'fair' for 

firms: Masagos



A carbon tax is a common tool used to control the amount of earth-warming greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere. PHOTO: ST FILE

Amount as a start will give big emitters time to 'adjust and get used to compliance regime'

Getting large carbon emitters to pay $5 for every tonne of greenhouse gases they generate is a "fair" way to start a compliance regime, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli said yesterday.
From next year till 2023, all facilities producing 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gas emissions a year will be taxed $5 per tonne of emissions - significantly lower than the $10 to $20 per tonne envisioned last year.
However, the Government will review the tax rate in 2023, and eventually increase the carbon tax to between $10 and $15 per tonne by 2030.
Mr Masagos called the starting $5 per tonne a "fair amount", which gives the affected 30 to 40 companies - which contribute 80 per cent of Singapore's greenhouse gas emissions - time to "adjust and also get used to the compliance regime".
He said: "They will need time to change their processes and improve their emissions."
He added that the transition period will allow the affected companies - mainly from the petroleum refining, chemicals and semiconductor sectors - to be better placed to comply with the higher tax rates to be imposed by 2030.
Mr Masagos was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to Bukit View Secondary School, where he launched a new green classroom comprising various eco-friendly features, including a green wall - covered in plants - and motion-activated fans.
A carbon tax is a common tool used to control the amount of earth-warming greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere.
About 67 countries and jurisdictions, including China, the European Union and Japan, have implemented or announced plans to implement such a scheme. They aim to encourage companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Households here could see their total electricity and gas expenses increase by 1 per cent on average due to the carbon tax, which will be offset by additional Utilities-Save rebates.
Asked how companies can be made accountable, Mr Masagos said it is necessary to pass a carbon tax Act which will require companies to submit data on their greenhouse gas emissions, and which will impose stricter requirements on large emitters such as an audit report that confirms their data.
"By doing so we will have a better grasp of how much each of these industries and companies emit and, therefore, have an idea of how we can then nudge (them) to do better," he said.
The Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources said there are no plans to make individual company emissions data public.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 23, 2018, with the headline '$5 per tonne carbon tax 'fair' for firms: Masagos'. Print Edition | Subscribe

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Any Bumiputera has standing (locus standi) to bring to court matters concerning 1MDB :-The Bumiputera Economic Council serves Bumis, not Government

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Related image




This is from the Bumiputera Economic Council (MEB) website:

The Bumiputera Economic Council (MEB), chaired by the Prime Minister was established after the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Programme in September 2013 to replace the Bumiputera Agenda Action Council (MTAB).
With the establishment of the Bumiputera Economic Council, YAB Prime Minister monitors the implementation of initiatives under the Bumiputera Economic Empowerment Agenda closely across ministries and GLC.


Clearly, the BEC/MEB serves Bumiputeras, not the government. It does so by overseeing GLC's including 1MDB. It follows that any Bumiputera has standing (locus standi) to have any matter concerning 1MDB brought before the courts.
END 





Sunday, February 4, 2018

KWAP is receiving regular payments on its SRC loan.....but perhaps not in cash

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Copied and pasted below is page 218 of   KWAP's 2016 Annual Report. As readers can see there has been  a sudden and unexplained increase in receivables from brokers. One would think that a RM 700 million increase in receivables would be explained, but not here.
Interest income from receivables has also risen, by RM 70 million.Interest on THAT loan ,  the "SRC International money in Singapore loan", would be about RM 132 million per annum, assuming a rate of 3% on about RM 4.4 Billion.
In 2014, interest receivables were only about RM 121 million. 





Meanwhile , KWAP  CEO  Datuk Wan Kamaruzaman Wan Ahmad  has had this to say about the SRC loan:


Currently, they are paying the interest on their loan which comes into two tranches of RM2bil each, due in 2021 and 2022, respectively,” he said to reporters on the sidelines of the Invest Malaysia 2016 here yesterday.
According to the terms of the loan, he said that the company was required to service interest on the loan in the first five years and interest and principal in the remaining five years.
“The loan is guaranteed by the Government to safeguard the interest of KWAP stakeholders,” he said.

END 






Saturday, February 3, 2018

Johari Ghani will not be recovering any SRC money deposited in Singapore, FINMA of Switzerland said so in 2016

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani refuses to divulge details on plan to retrieve money in BSI. — File picFinance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani refuses to divulge details on plan to retrieve money in BSI. — File pic


Switzerland's FINMA

In the context of the 1MDB case, the bank failed to adequately monitor relationships with a client group with around 100 accounts at the bank. Transactions were executed within the client group and with third parties without the bank adequately clarifying their commercial justification.
  • In one case involving a deposit of 20 million US dollars, for example, the bank was happy to accept the client's explanation that the funds involved were a "gift". In another case, an account was credited with more than 98 million US dollars without any effort to clarify its commercial background.
  • The bank executed transactions involving similar amounts even though in some cases the explanations and contractual documents obtained contradicted the purpose of the account as stated when it was opened.
  • Transactions were often generically justified on the basis of loan agreements, although the agreements provided no sufficient explanation of the real background to the transaction in question.
  • Finally, in many cases there were clear indications of pass-through transactions. In one case, 20 million US dollars were routed through a variety of accounts within the bank on the same day before eventually being transferred to another bank. Transactions of this kind are often a clear indication of money laundering. Nevertheless, the bank failed to properly document or carry out plausibility checks on these transactions or was happy to accept the explanation that the beneficial owner of all the accounts was the same person or that the transactions were being executed for "accounting purposes".




There is a plan to redeem SRC International's money stuck in BSI Bank Limited (BSI Bank), the Finance Ministry announced today.
Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani, however, refused to divulge details on the plan and said it was a work in progress.
“SRC is also one of the companies we are facing a problem, so I don't want to elaborate details about that.
“Let the process of SRC trying to recover their money (happen) first. We are working out through various means to establish the money that has been deposited under BSI,” he told reporters on the sideline of an event today.
Malay Mail Online obtained a transcript of the press conference.
Johari explained that the money was stuck in BSI Bank as the bank is currently under probe in Singapore over links to funds from local state investment firm, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“I was told by the management of SRC that the money in BSI bank got frozen and therefore they cannot take back the money.


Clearly not just frozen but lost, for good.

END 


News

 
Press release

BSI in serious breach of money laundering regulations

Through business relationships and transactions linked to the corruption scandals surrounding the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, BSI AG committed serious breaches of money laundering regulations and “fit and proper” requirements. This is the outcome of enforcement proceedings launched by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA. In the case of 1MDB, the bank executed numerous large transactions with unclear purpose over a period of several years and, despite clearly suspicious indications, did not clarify the background to these transactions. Among other measures, FINMA has ordered the disgorgement of profits amounting to CHF 95 million. FINMA has also launched enforcement proceedings against two of the bank's former top managers. At the same time, FINMA announces its approval of the takeover of BSI by EFG International with the condition that BSI will be integrated and thereafter dissolved. This takeover is a positive development providing clients and employees with a perspective for the future.
FINMA launched enforcement proceedings against BSI in 2015 after indications that the bank had breached money laundering regulations. The problems related to business relationships and transactions in the context of the corruption scandal involving the Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB. FINMA investigated a large number of transactions, as well as the internal processes and organisational control functions at the bank. The proceedings were concluded in May 2016. FINMA also closed its investigation and sanctioned BSI's misconduct in the Petrobras case. In connection with the same two cases, FINMA has investigated more than twenty other Swiss banks and launched proceedings against six of those banks. 

1MDB: deliberate management decision

In the context of 1MDB, misconduct on the part of BSI was particularly serious. On numerous occasions, business relationships relating to 1MDB were discussed at top management level. This was particularly the case when at the end of 2013 FINMA highlighted to the bank the many serious risks inherent in the client relationships and pressed the bank for further clarification. Nevertheless, the bank's Board of Directors and Executive Board knowingly and repeatedly expressed their intention to continue with these financially lucrative client relationships without adequately clarifying the numerous clear risk indicators or controlling the said risks. 

BSI in breach of money laundering regulations  

In its proceedings against BSI, FINMA found serious shortcomings in the bank's anti-money laundering processes resulting from inadequate risk management and the failure of the internal control system. FINMA's findings are as follows: 
  • In the period from 2011 to April 2015, there were serious shortcomings in identifying transactions involving increased risk. These failures related in particular to business relationships with politically exposed persons (PEPs), the origin of whose assets was not sufficiently clarified, and whose dubious transactions involving hundreds of millions of US dollars were not satisfactorily scrutinised.  
  • The bank repeatedly, systematically and for an extended period breached its obligation to establish the necessary documentation for transactions with increased risks. 
  • In the context of 1MDB, the bank had business relationships with a range of sovereign wealth funds whose accounts were booked in both Singapore and Switzerland. The fact that this was BSI's largest and most profitable client group was reflected in the remuneration paid to the bank employees involved. 
  • The fees charged were above average and out of line with normal market rates. Senior management at the bank did not question why the sovereign wealth funds should use a private bank to provide institutional services and pay excessive out-of-market fees for doing so. 
  • In the context of the 1MDB case, the bank failed to adequately monitor relationships with a client group with around 100 accounts at the bank. Transactions were executed within the client group and with third parties without the bank adequately clarifying their commercial justification.
    • In one case involving a deposit of 20 million US dollars, for example, the bank was happy to accept the client's explanation that the funds involved were a "gift". In another case, an account was credited with more than 98 million US dollars without any effort to clarify its commercial background.
    • The bank executed transactions involving similar amounts even though in some cases the explanations and contractual documents obtained contradicted the purpose of the account as stated when it was opened.
    • Transactions were often generically justified on the basis of loan agreements, although the agreements provided no sufficient explanation of the real background to the transaction in question.
    • Finally, in many cases there were clear indications of pass-through transactions. In one case, 20 million US dollars were routed through a variety of accounts within the bank on the same day before eventually being transferred to another bank. Transactions of this kind are often a clear indication of money laundering. Nevertheless, the bank failed to properly document or carry out plausibility checks on these transactions or was happy to accept the explanation that the beneficial owner of all the accounts was the same person or that the transactions were being executed for "accounting purposes".
  • The bank executed substantial transactions for the foreign sovereign wealth funds, in some cases involving hundreds of millions of US dollars, without adequately clarifying the background to them.
    • The sovereign wealth funds' assets were typically invested through specially created intermediate structures. BSI supported the development of these structures with the aim of achieving a higher level of confidentiality for the investment activities. Ultimately, however, BSI was therefore unable to determine how these assets were invested.
    • This was recognised by some within the bank and flagged up as an issue. In 2012, one employee of the bank sent the following communication to management: "My team is implementing these transactions without really knowing what we are doing and why and I am uncomfortable with this. […] there should be a stronger governance process around all this." However, no further action was taken by the bank in this regard.
  • The client advisor responsible for these relationships was repeatedly notably uncooperative in terms of compliance, particularly in dealing with the inadequate clarification of transactions. Management was aware of the situation but gave their support to the client advisor instead of the Compliance department. Consequently, no corrective action was taken and bonuses, for example, were unaffected. In fact, the opposite was the case. The client advisor in question was one of the bank's top earners. 
  • Exceptions to the bank's internal rules were made for important clients and justified as special client service. Management was informed, but took no action to monitor these exceptions.
  • Overall, the management of the BSI Group during this period did not adequately supervise its subsidiary in Singapore, even though they had close and frequent contact and the Group's executive management was represented on the subsidiary's Board of Directors.
Summary: FINMA has therefore come to the following conclusions: The deficiencies identified constitute serious breaches of the statutory due diligence requirements in relation to money laundering and serious violations of the principles of adequate risk management and appropriate organisation. BSI was therefore in serious breach of the requirements for proper business conduct. Right up to top management level there was a lack of critical attitude needed to identify, limit and oversee the substantial legal and reputational risks inherent in the relationships. 

FINMA orders the disgorgement of profits and launches proceedings against individuals

In addition to taking action to restore compliance with the law, FINMA has taken the following measures:
  • Disgorgement of illegally generated profits: The serious breaches of supervisory law linked to the client relationships the bank maintained over the period under investigation enabled it to charge high fees. FINMA has ordered the disgorgement of illegally generated profits in the amount of CHF 95 million. The money disgorged will go to the Swiss Confederation. 
  • Clarification of individual responsibility: In enforcement proceedings launched in May 2016, FINMA is investigating two former top managers to determine what they knew about these breaches of the law, how they behaved and their individual responsibility. FINMA reserves the right to launch further such proceedings.

FINMA approves full takeover of BSI by EFG with conditions

At the same time as the closure of the proceedings, FINMA has approved the full takeover of BSI by EFG International under the condition that BSI must be completely integrated and dissolved within 12 months. None of the BSI top management responsible for the misconduct will be allowed to take up leadership positions at EFG. This takeover is a positive development providing clients and employees with a perspective for the future.

Good cooperation between authorities

The transactions described above were executed between banks in a variety of jurisdictions and across several continents and financial centres. FINMA therefore worked together with several foreign regulatory authorities when conducting its investigations. Cooperation with Singapore's financial market supervisory authority (the Monetary Authority of Singapore, MAS) was particularly intensive. It carried out on-site investigations at the BSI subsidiary in Singapore in parallel to FINMA's proceedings and identified comparable control failures there. MAS has also informed about its intention to withdraw the BSI's local licence and impose a fine of approx.13 million Singapore dollars (approx. CHF 9 million). In Switzerland FINMA has worked closely together with the Office of the Attorney General, which has also launched criminal proceedings.

FINMA acknowledges the positive cooperation of the newly installed directors of BSI during its investigations. 

Contact

Tobias Lux, Spokesperson, Tel. +41 (0)31 327 91 71, tobias.lux@finma.ch

My blog has gained a readership in China: Chinese seem especially interested in Penny Wong's Malaysian citizenship

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Ganesh Sahathevan is happy to report that his Realpolitikasia blog has recently gained a readership in China.
This new readership appeared for the first time when these two stories were published :


Friday, December 8, 2017

Australia's Penny Wong claims to have internal Malaysian Home Affairs and Foreign Affairs correspondence which proves she is not a Malaysian citizen

by Ganesh Sahathevan





Australia 's Senator Penny Wong has recently   released documents concerning her citizenship.
These include the letter below (click to enlarge) from the Malaysian Citizenship Department, which comes under the Ministry Of Home Affairs addressed not to her but the Second Secretary , Malaysian High Commission Canberra, which appears to acknowledge that she is no longer a Malayasian citizen.





Malaysian readers in particular would  recognise this as  highly confidential inter-departmental communication , which is seldom if ever provided anyone, even the person who it concerns.
Wong has also attempted in her declaration to distance herself from her Malaysian citizenship, admitting in her documents to only being "possibly Malaysian",despite her birth, Malaysian citizenship, and Malaysian IC.
END

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Penny Wong took steps to CONFIRM Malaysian citizenship by applying for a Malaysian National Identity card,which has been retained by the Malaysian Government

by Ganesh Sahathevan




The documents submitted Parliament by Senator Penny Wong Yin Yen show that Wong had in addition to her Malaysian birth certificate a Malaysian National Registry Identity Card (NRIC).

The possession of a NRIC makes her declaration of being "possibly Malaysian" misleading at the very least for the NRIC ,unlike the Birth Certificate is not automatically issued, but has to be applied for. The application has to be made in person, and is a ritual that Malaysian children undergo when they turn 12. A Malaysian child who has reached the age of 12 must register for the identity card.

The reference to Wong's NRIC is in the Malay words " No Kad  Pengenalan". Paragraph 2 shows that the NRIC has been retained by the Malaysian Government. 





So may think that all that does not matter, given this letter which apparently conforms Wong is no longer a Malaysian citizen. However as previously reported ,this document would normally be considered a highly confidential government document ,which would not be made available to anyone outside of Government. 

And then there is the matter of its contents...........

END