Friday, November 30, 2018

Petronas & Vitol: Why, How Much, And Petronas Must Make Contracts Public

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Petronas recently announced that it entered into a 15 year LNG  sale contract with Vitol, one of 

The deal seems odd for Petronas as a national oil company (NOC) has rights ,access and financing that the likes of Vital and even the majors can only dream of. The LNG will come from Petronas' long delayed Canadian Kitimat project, where Petronas' JV partners have rights to product in exchange for their investment. 

Petronas has a 25% stake, and it is hard to understand why Petronas needs the likes of Vital to sell the LNG.Quite apart from direct contact with NOCs around the world, Petronas has trading hubs in ,among others, Singapore and the UK.

In the spirit of New Malaysia, Petronas needs to explain why this deal with Vitol is necessary.

Petronas, Vitol Asia inks LNG supply deal


Thursday, 29 Nov 20188:05 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR: Petronas, through its subsidiary, Petronas LNG Ltd (PLL), signed a binding heads of agreement on Oct 1, 2018, with Singapore-based Vitol Asia Pte Ltd for a long-term liquefied natural gas (LNG) supply deal.

The supply to Vitol Asia would commence in 2024 for up to 800,000 tonnes per annum with a period of up to 15 years on both delivered ex-ship and free-on-board basis.

“The primary supply to Vitol will come from LNG Canada and other PLL's global LNG supply portfolio. LNG Canada is a major LNG project located in Kitimat, British Columbia, Canada, where Petronas is one of the joint venture participants with an equity holding of 25%,” it said in a statement today.

Canada is Petronas' second largest resource holder after Malaysia, with vast unconventional oil and gas resources in North Montney.

Meanwhile, Petronas LNG Marketing and Trading Vice-President Ahmad Adly Alias said Petronas was able to provide flexible solutions within a changing and evolving LNG market due to its strong global supply portfolio.

“Petronas is pleased to sign this long-term LNG supply deal with Vitol and hopes that it will continue to enhance the long history of business collaboration with the Vitol group,” he said.

Vitol LNG Head Pablo Galante Escobar said Petronas supplied the company's first LNG cargo in 2005 and the company has now extended its LNG relationship until at least 2038.

“We are also committed to the long-term development of the LNG market and its evolution to become a more flexible and tradeable commodity.

"This supply deal with Petronas will further strengthen our ability to offer reliable and flexible LNG solutions to customers, worldwide,” he added. - Bernama


Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Reposting :Deloitte admits it missed billions in fraudulent 1MDB transactions-Will Deloitte International go the way of Arthur Andersen

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Image result for deloitte

The Star reported:
Member of Parliament for Kepong Lim Lip Eng has asked the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) on the status of its investigation of Deloitte Malaysia over its handling of the audit of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Speaking to reporters in Parliament where he had earlier posed a question to the Ministry of Finance on the role of Deloitte in the 1MDB scandal, Lim said that top executives of Deloitte had defended its work when they testified to the Public Accounts Committee in 2015."We all know now that these defences were false. We call upon MIA to take action," said Lim. 
Mr Lim makes his demand in a very different 
context from that which existed in 2016 when the story below was published. Deloitte in Malaysia as well as the international partnership can no longer be assured that it will have the Malaysian Government on its side.\\



DOJ info would have impacted 1 MDB audit, Deloitte says-Deloitte admits it missed billions in fraudulent transactions-Msian partnership might take international firm the way of Arthur Andersen 

Looks  like Deloitte will join KPMG:

DOJ info would have impacted audit, Deloitte says

     37 comments     Published Today 11:57 am     Updated Today 12:57 pm

    Deloitte Malaysia said its audit of 1MDB in 2013 and 2014 would have been impacted if it had known at that time the information contained in the United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) lawsuits to seize 1MDB-linked assets.
    As such, 1MDB's 2013 and 2014 financial statements, which the auditing firm signed off on March 28, 2014 and Nov 5, 2014, "should no longer be relied upon", it said in a statement.
    "The complaint (filed by DOJ) contains information, which, if known at the time of the 2013 and 2014 audits of 1MDB, would have impacted the financial statements and affected the audit reports and, accordingly, those audit reports issued by Deloitte Malaysia dated March 28, 2014 and Nov 5, 2014 respectively in connection with the 2013 and 2014 financial statements of 1MDB should no longer be relied upon," Deloitte said in a statement.
    This comes after 1MDB announced that Deloitte is quitting as 1MDB's auditor, making it the third audit firm to part ways with 1MDB since its inception in 2009.
    Deloitte notified 1MDB of its intention to quit in February, the state investment said in a statement yesterday.
    Deloitte remains 1MDB auditor until a replacement is appointed, 1MDB said.
    1MDB's accounts from 2010 to 2012 were audited by KPMG, but the firm's services were terminated in December 2013.
    According to the Public Accounts Committee report on 1MDB, KPMG was fired after it refused to sign off on the accounts without details of investments worth US$2.32 billion.
    KPMG signed off on the accounts after Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Compny guaranteed an investment, the PAC report said.
    The Wall Street Journal reported another audit firm Ernst & Young was fired in 2010 for raising similar questions.
    The DOJ is seeking to seize more than US$1 billion of assets it said were purchased using funds siphoned from 1MDB.
    The 1MDB board yesterday said it is confident of no wrongdoing.
    However, it is taking precautionary measures by discounting its 2013 and 2014 financial statements until the DOJ lawsuits have been dealt with in court.

    Friday, November 16, 2018

    Malaysian Bar Council "menu" candidate Roger Chan continues to stonewall queries about his promotion of an Australian "Practical Masters", despite obvious problems

    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    The current secretary of the Malaysian Bar Council ,Mr Roger Chan, has put himself up for election as part of a "menu",reminiscent of  that ill-fated 1990s "Team Wawasan":

    Meanwhile  he and the current  Bar Council Executive have maintained a stony silence with regards their promotion of an "applied masters" offered via Sydney's College Of Law. Being offered out of Sydney  local approvals from Malaysia's Ministry of Education may not be required,but that sounds like too clever a scheme.

    The Australian  College Of Law “ Practical LLM” is based on the Practical Legal Training course . It survives to this day due to government support.
    Lawyers in Sydney refer sarcastically to the College Of Law as the "College Of Knowledge".

    Students at the College tend to be careful about what they say for fear of being denied admission to practice ,as this writer discovered,but that is a story for another day.

    Nevertheless, in 2006 some did speak to local industry paper  Lawyers Weekly.This is what they had to say:

    In a report on practical legal training (PLT) this week, Lawyers Weekly reveals that some students feel that a $6,000 fee could be lessened and considerable time saved if PLT was actually more practical, with more hands-on hours. One student, who wanted to remain anonymous, said his PLT course offered him little that he could not have picked up in a law firm.
    Now working part-time in a firm, our source said he is being exposed to many things he did not encounter during his PLT. “You can only learn so much in the theoretical sense. On my first day of work I had to write an affidavit for a man who’d punched his wife out. It was totally different to be doing this on real cases. If I hadn’t done college, I don’t think it would have been that much different. Maybe I would have had to ask the partners a couple more questions, or looked at a few more websites. But I don’t think that’s enough to warrant a $6,000 fee,” he said.
    “I drafted forms and affidavits in college. But I didn’t get a real idea about what it was about until I worked, and got this job. Maybe that says I wasn’t sufficiently involved in the learning process. But I still maintain that you have to be in the law to learn from it,” he said.
    It would be more useful to have internships within law firms, so that students can really understand what it is like to work in private practice, our source claimed. “I think three internships would be much more effective. Many people I study with agree with me. Most of my peers online think [the course] is a real hassle. 
    “You can’t teach practical application in an educational institution. Universities should have a system where you can do many internships… When it is taught by professionals, rather than on the job, you are losing an essential part of the learning process,” he argued.
    “My solicitor friends say that some things are quite important to do in college, such as trust accounting. But, on the whole, it isn’t the kind of diploma that is giving you a great deal of hands on knowledge. Ninety per cent of what I have learnt so far I learnt through work experience,” he pointed out.
    Stephanie Booker, another PLT student, questioned whether ‘practical legal training’ is an accurate term. “[My course] certainly taught me where to look for things that I may need — rules, areas of law... As for helping me to apply these rules, there is a huge difference between the reality of my workplace and the comfort of my PLT course. For example, I find that the way I draft letters for [my course] is not acceptable in my workplace, and vice versa.”




    Programme Director: James Jung

    Further faculty to be appointed

    Saturday, August 18, 2018

    YA Daryl Goon , the Malaysian Applied Law LLM ,and YAA Richard Malanjum

    by Ganesh Sahathevan


    This writer has spent much time this week, and the last praying that the newly appointed Yang Ariff Daryl Goon might condescend to explain why he has has endorsed something called the Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Malaysian Legal Practice.

    Goon has been asked to explain given the fact that this LLM (and indeed no others) have been approved by the Legal Profession Qualifying Board..

    The Malaysian Bar Council seems to have played some part in promoting the course (see below) but its President and Secretary have refused numerous requests for information about what

    approvals if any the Malaysian Bar Council had obtained to promote the course in Malaysia.

    The course website , hosted by the private college in Australia that manages the course (with a faculty of one person) shows prominently the Bar Council's logo. YA Daryl Goon is listed among its advisers.

    The private college also claims that it produced in 1985-86 the first group of "elite" law graduates from MARA who were admitted to practice in Malaysia. This does come as a bit of surprise to this writer and others like him who know and know of Malaysian lawyers who graduated from MARA in the 1970s. In the latter category (for I do not know him personally) is the current Chief Justice , YAA Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, who graduated in 1973.
    One hopes that the newly minted YA will at least have an explanation for his YAA.


    The questions (see below) remain despite this promotion by the Bar Council Malaysia:


    Circular No 147/2017
    Dated 11 July 2017n
    To Members of the Malaysian Bar
    Providing Assistance to The College of Law, Australia | Development of Localised Master
    of Laws Programme
    The Bar Council Malaysia has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with The College of
    Law, Australia and New Zealand in order to create further legal education and training platforms
    for the benefit of Members of the Bar.
    In this regard, The College of Law is interested to localise the content of its existing Australian
    Master of Laws (“LLM”) in Applied Law programme for Malaysia, and is interested in working
    with Members of the Bar who have relevant legal research and writing, and practical legal
    experience. This is to be carried out on a project basis, and the Members will be remunerated.
    The first six subjects in this new LLM programme are near completion and will be offered in
    September 2017 as part of a new LLM (Applied Law) with a major in Malaysian Legal Practice.
    The next 11 LLM subjects that The College of Law is interested in localising are listed below:
    Alternative Dispute Resolution Practice;
    Banking and Finance;
    Family Law Practice;
    Intellectual Property Practice;
    Islamic Banking and Finance;
    Mergers and Acquisitions Practice;
    (10) Negotiation; and
    (11) Wills, Estates and Trusts.
    If you are interested in pursuing this opportunity, please send your expression of interest together
    with your detailed resume and any queries, directly to:
    Peter Tritt
    Director | Asia-Pacific
    The College of Law Australia and New Zealand
    Level 23, Nu Tower 2
    Jalan Tun Sambanthan,
    50470 Kuala Lumpur
    Mobile: +6013 305 7660
    Thank you.
    Roger Chan Weng Keng
    Malaysian Bar

    Australia has a history of undermining Mahathir ,so why does his opinion on the embassy move matter?

    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    Scott  Morrison pushed back at 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamed leader whom he met the day before in Singapore and described ...

    Scott Morrison pushed back at 93-year-old Mahathir Mohamed leader whom he met the day before in Singapore and described as "the elder of ASEAN". "I will not have our policy dictated by those outside the country," he said.Wallace Woon

    Treasurer Josh Frydenberg scolding Mahathir seem to be  the fighting words of a proud Jew and Australian,  but unfortunately  history proves otherwise.
    First , many who know Mahathir ,and that would include senior figures in  Australia (Bob Carr does not count,but ask Bob Hawke), would  not consider Mahathir anti-semetic despite his public statements.

    They would understand that his reference to hook-nosed
    Jews  is in the same vein as his description of his own Malay Muslim coreligionist  as being  " unproductive, corrupt and dishonest”.

    However there  are ongoing attempts in Australia to undermine Mahathir in every way. The latest attempt, which appears to be linked to an umbrella effort to insulate Australian personalities from Malaysia's 1MDB scandal,  has involved  the NSW Department Of the Attorney General And Justice asserting as credible  claims on the "Thirdforce" website that Mahathir paid this writer US 1 Million ,which was then used to fabricate stories about ex-PM Najib which were ultimately put to air by ABC 4 Corners.

    This comes after the fact that Australia's ex-PM Turnbull went out of his way to honour ex-PM Najib despite the US DOJ's actions in seizing assets that were  acquired by Najib's relatives and associates with money stolen from the 1MDB sovereign wealth fund, even as Mahathir led an ultimately successful campaign to remove Najib , given that theft.

    Mahathir had on many occasions just prior to the Turnbull-Najib public display of affection  called on Australia to join with the US, Switzerland and Singapore to help recover money stolen from 1MDB, but to no avail.

    Having ignored him for so long , the  Australian pretense that   Mahathir's opinion matters is laughable, Moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem matters to Malaysia and  Mahathir  as much as  Australia's same sex marriage laws.PM Scott Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg know this.

    The real question here is why the government they lead is now looking for excuses not to make the move. That has to do with Australian opposition to Israel in favour of  Palestine ,which can be found even among Australian Jews. Readers should not be surprised that there would be among  Australia's Jewish population opposition to moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem. For an example of that muddle headed thinking, consider their treatment of Raphi Israeli.


    Raphael Israeli: Muslim apologist, thy name is coward

    AS an Israeli, one becomes used to the bias of the world's media and the frustrations of being misrepresented in the face of hysteria. But as a visiting academic to the land of the fair go, I didn't expect to find the same thing here.
    At the end of last week, the Australian Jewish News interviewed me about my research into Muslim communities in Europe. Having spent much of my life studying and writing about this subject, I was asked by a reporter about my views and how relevant they were to Australia. He pressed me as to whether the violence that Europe was experiencing with its Muslim population could happen here.
    I said it could happen anywhere, including Australia, that Muslim immigration occurred unchecked.


    The response in the media has been less than friendly. Sydney radio broadcaster Mike Carlton and The Sydney Morning Herald implied that I was a racist, and I have been denounced by some leaders of the Jewish community.
    I came to Australia to speak about Islam and the Middle East and to share the fruits of my books and research. But I've been dragged into an argument on a sensational issue that was not part of my schedule here. The many audiences who were to attend my lectures throughout the land were deprived of hearing them, except that private organisations, Jewish and non-Jewish, picked up the sponsorship of those lectures and I will end up giving more lectures than previously planned.
    I am vastly rewarded by the multitude of supporting voices and the outpouring of calls and emails, from Jews and non-Jews, in Australia and abroad, and by the pressing queues of learners who've signed up for my classes. (There have also been a few hostile callers, some of whom identified themselves as Muslims or Muslim converts who typically use abusive language instead of a civilised voice of reason.)
    I have been researching Islam in Europe and have come to some disturbing findings about the new third Islamic invasion of Europe: specifically, the Muslim neighbourhoods that breed violence and trouble and the home-grown European Muslims who have sworn to change Europe to their tune, to Islamise it and to use violence, if necessary, to that end.
    So much so that erstwhile proponents of immigration such as France, The Netherlands and Britain have had to revise their laws, introduce new restrictions and shelve the marvellous utopia of multiculturalism as simply unfeasible and counterproductive.
    There is nothing racist about adopting those policies, much less about describing them in a scholarly fashion. Moreover, it's fair, honest and educative to infer from those data to other parts of the Western world, such as Australia, which face the same issues.
    I do not wish to play the victim and I appreciate that Australia is noted for robust debate. But when a scholar who has no axe to grind honestly describes and analyses what policy-makers in Europe have done, and draws a straightforward conclusion about Australia, to be abused and branded as a racist is extraordinary.
    Shouts and abuse are not a policy, nor do they encourage public debate. If someone wishes to dismiss data by providing alternative sets of facts and arguments, that is a debate, but by shooting the messenger instead of addressing the issue, no public cause is served. It is a fact that since 2000, Jewish facilities were attacked by Muslims in Europe and Australia, but never the other way around. To state that is racism?
    Some, of course, prefer to hide behind hollow slogans of "inter-communal harmony", "inter-faith co-operation" and "multiculturalism" instead of exposing Muslim violence and inflammatory rhetoric and act, together with Muslim moderates, to uproot these phenomena.
    Aware of the European parallel, I am neither surprised by the Muslim leaders' attempts to shut off any debate in Australia and intimidate anyone who raises his voice against such actions, nor by the Australian press complicity in that process. Only yesterday I received threats from a Chechen Islamic website. So much for civilised debate.
    But I am stunned by the behaviour of some Jewish leaders, who didn't seek to find out what I had said but instead relied on a report in the Australian Jewish News that misrepresented the context (not distorted or falsified) of what I said. Instead of supporting free debate in this country, these Jewish leaders have elected to shamefully disown it in statements that were geared to placate Muslims.
    People who lack courage and stamina to stand up for principles, who whisper in my ear that they agree with me but then act in public to protect their positions and the illusions they are trying to cultivate in this society, do not act in a Jewish, Australian or even civilised fashion.
    Raphael Israeli, a professor of Islamic, Middle East and Chinese history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, has been brought to Australia by the Shalom Institute of the University of NSW.

    Monday, November 12, 2018

    1MDB : Malaysia's SC & ASIC have a mutual assistance agreement that has been ignored: ASIC chief Shipton must step-aside given at very least perception of bias.

    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    While the Malaysian end is being cleansed by the removal of the relevant officials (see below), in Australia there is still no action from ASIC chairman James Shipton maintains his silence :

    Goldman Sachs CEO breaks silence on 1MDB: ASIC's James Shipton needs to do the same

    Shipton's position at ASIC is untenable given his former position at Goldman Sachs He needs to stand aside and ASIC must start doing its part in the worldwide investigation into 1MDB.




    Friday, June 29, 2018

    RE 1 MDB: Malaysia's SC has a 20 year old mutual cooperation agreement with Australia's ASIC that SC refuses to activate (and keeps hidden from 1MDB taskforce,MACC)

    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    Don't ever trust incompetent and shifty looking people
    Don’t ever trust incompetent and shifty looking people

    Apandi Ali and Ranjit Singh received awards for not doing their proper jobsPosted on June 4, 2016 by JEBATMUSTDIENo less a person than the former Attorney General of Malaysia, Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman , who now oversees the 1MDB investigation has declared:

    "They (investigators) are facing a lot of challenges as these are cross-border transactions (and) have to comply with proper protocol and laws applicable as requested by the Prime Minister.

    "(He) said you have to comply with due process and rule of law, so they are complying with that as said so (by the PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad)," 1MDB investigation committee head Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman told reporters today after being briefed by the investigators.

    "It may look simple but it can be complicated as it involves so many parties. Our jurisdiction ensures that there are no overlaps in the investigation. We (have) identified the overlaps but we clarify it. The overlap is with the SC and police. However, we are getting clearer on the investigation," he added.

    The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) inquiry is led by the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC), the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police.

    The SC has had a mutual assistance with the Australian Securities And Investment Commission (ASIC) since 1998.

    It's provisions can easily be activated to obtain information from various Australian sources, which the MACC seems to be unaware.

    The SC is clearly compromised, if not compromised and incompetent. Like the MACC ,it needs to be flushed before it is allowed anywhere near the 1MDB investigation.


    See also

    Australian High Commissioner visits MACC,assured despite the evidence & PM Mahathir's complaint that 1MDB investigation will not involve Australia

    Australia And New Zealand Slide From Their Responsibilities Over Mass Corruption In Malaysia

    Australia And New Zealand Slide From Their Responsibilities Over Mass Corruption In Malaysia

    What has turned the sleazy 1MDB corruption scandal, involving a wide-boy from Penang and a dirty Malaysian politician, into a global issue, has been the light it has thrown on the willingness of major financial instutions to turn a blind eye to massive money laundering.
    This has in turn been permitted by deliberately under-staffed regulators, controlled by ‘First World’ politicians, who see no benefit in dealing with corruption in places like Malaysia. They have been willing instead to see their own institutions make money out of the proceeds and to hell with the human misery caused back where the thieves are thieving.
    Confronted with the blatant nature of the grubby pillaging of 1MDB, however, and the huge sums flushed through property, businesses and the art market, countries like the United States, Switzerland and Singapore have taken action and are punishing financial facilitators in their regions.
    Yet, down south, Australia and New Zealand are still doing their best to pretend none of this was to do with them.
    ANZ Bank is the most atrocious example of this failure, since the Australian regulators have done absolutely nothing to investigate, let alone chastise or punish blatant failures by this bank to control vast money laundering activity in a subsidiary where it was the dominant shareholder, namely AmBank.
    All the top responsible personnel in charge of compliance, executive decisions and customer care at AmBank were on secondment from ANZ and remained primarily employed by ANZ during their periods of deployment at the KL subsidiary.
    Yet, when questioned about the failure of this substantial body of Australian staff members to honestly do their jobs, the response of the bank has been that they had no control over their seconded employees, who in turn were apparently not responsible for their own failures to carry out their legal obligations and report money laundering.
    ANZ want to have their cake and eat it. They wanted to be able to brag that AmBank was, thanks to their own investment and major shareholding, a top class bank, run according to the highest global benchmark standards. Yet, when it turned out to be a corrupted can of worms, ANZ have turned round and said they cannot be held responsible.  No one in Australia’s regulatory establishment is holding them to account.
    The cover-up is now well underway.  Lowly staff have been sacked, those more senior have quietly retired and ANZ is eagerly preparing to sell off its stake in AmBank, so it can slide away unscathed.
    Stunningly, the proposed purchaser of that stake is none other than the Malaysian Government/Najib controlled public pension fund KWAP, which was itself already a victim of 1MDB, having lent some RM4billion to the fund, which Najib then proceeded to notoriously help himself to.  No accounts have been filed for KWAP since December 2015.
    Yet now, once again, this public pension money is being funnelled in to get a 1MDB player off the hook and the Australian bankers responsible are showing not the slightest degree of contrition over their responsibility for the this disgraceful outcome.
    It is shameful behaviour that will come back to haunt those who have failed their duties.

    Trust Us No More! New Zealand’s Reforms Expose Past Lies

    In New Zealand, meanwhile, 1MDB has had a different impact, which the authorities are equally attempting to ignore, according to financial commentators who have passed on their observations to SR.
    A headline catching court case at the start of the year in Aukland, saw Jho Low win an important battle in his fight to hang on to a previously secret trust he and his family had used to park ownership of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of assets around the world (including in London, Singapore, Paris and the United States) all of which had been purchased with money stolen from 1MDB.
    Justice TooGood agreed that in order to contest the asset seizures the Lows could regain control of the New Zealand trust, which they had pretended Rothschild bank had been managing on their behalf – thereby proving that such trusts (which then existed by the thousand in New Zealand) are effectively bogus fronts.
    But, if Jho Low won that battle, the exposure of this rotten system seems to have lost the war for the New Zealand bogus trust industry. Following the Panama Papers outcry and cases such as this one the government was forced to officially investigate the scandal and then implement reforms, which included new regulations requiring that the beneficiaries of the thousands of rich man trusts set up in New Zealand now need to be declared.
    No longer could such billionaires hide behind companies registered in the Caymans, Bahamas or Mauritius.
    No problem, if such individuals are indeed the genuine article.  A review of the country’s trusts by one of its top financial big-wigs, John Shewin  had concluded it could find absolutely no instances where the lax system in New Zealand had been abused. Although, Mr Shewin conceeded that it would plainly be possible to do so, hence these telling reforms.

    Shine A Light And The Roaches Run

    Now the reform has been implemented as of June 30th of this year, it has predictably resulted in some devastating figures.  This from the country’s own Business News:
    “.. new foreign trust disclosure rules came into effect in New Zealand on June 30, which meant foreign trusts have to register with Inland Revenue and provide particulars of all parties, including the settlor and beneficiaries, and assets. They will also have to file annual returns and pay registration and filing fees.

    New Zealand had 11,645 trusts in April last year but fewer than 3000 have registered with Inland Revenue under the law changes. Some 3000 said they didn’t want to operate under the new rules while another 5000 didn’t respond, meaning they will be struck off.
    However, as financial writer Graham Adams has told Sarawak Report “Extraordinarily, the government is spinning this as trusts finding the new conditions to be onerous rather than evidence of the trusts formerly being used to hide illicit money and packing up shop because their cover has been blown”.
    And, so it seems. The government minister responsible appears to believe the whole episode provides a grand excuse for New Zealand’s regulators to pat themselves on the back rather than hang their heads in shame over years of harbouring thousands of crooked accounts:
    “Revenue Minister Judith Collins said the drop in trust numbers was not surprising and it shouldn’t be assumed that was because many had been handling the proceeds of illegitimate activities.  “There is a much heavier compliance burden under the new regime with more disclosure required than ever before.”.. she said, adding New Zealand now had a “world class regime”.[Stuff NZ]
    Who believes that – after all, how burndensome is it to write down your own name?
    Nor is this system yet ‘world class’.  The New Zealand Government have notably refused  to extend to the full transparency that would actually be expected of a benchmark regime i.e. an open register where journalists and others could cross reference potentially illegal activity.
    This means that, for example, Sarawak Report is unable to inform Malaysians whether Jho Low and his family are one of the few to have re-registered their trust in New Zealand.  They may have done so. After all, in the end they got what they wanted from the courts despite being fully exposed in the process.
    Like Australia with its banks, New Zealand should be ashamed of the comparatively paltry $40 million a year that certain financial folk were making out of facilitating grand theft through such trusts from countries around the world, including the largest kleptocracy case ever from Malaysia.
    We give the last word to their Labour Revenue Spokesman, Michael Wood, quoted as saying “Our view is the most likely reason [so many trusts have quit New Zealand] is because the people engaged in setting up foreign trusts are by definition wanting to hide their assets from their own jurisdictions and don’t want there to be any sunlight on their activities,
    That conclusion is inescapable and Australian and New Zealand spokesmen have fooled nobody by denying the obvious.

    Friday, November 9, 2018

    Bourke St jihadi was another known wolf, from a known network: ASIO,AFP ,state counterparts in Vic, NSW continue to reject passive supporters of jihadis as a threat.

    by Ganesh Sahathevan 

    These  facts of the jihadi attack in Bourke St ,Melbourne, as reported by, have not been disputed:

    The attacker in Melbourne was shot by police after he set fire to a ute laden with gas cylinders in the centre of Melbourne and stabbed three people, killing one. The attacker died later in hospital.
    Police are now treating the stabbing attack in Melbourne's Bourke St as a terrorism incident.
    The knifeman, a 31-year-old Somali-born from Melbourne’s north-western suburbs, died in hospital last night after being shot in the chest by police.
    The Herald Sun, on its Twitter page, said the terrorist’s wife “was missing and is believed to have been radicalised”. They say Victoria Police are searching for her.
    In a press conference yesterday afternoon Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton said the man who is alleged to have stabbed three people, killing one, was known to Victoria Police and federal intelligence authorities.
    “We are now treating this as a terrorism incident,” he said.
    Commissioner Ashton revealed the man came to Australia from Somalia in the 1990s and had relatives known to police from a “terrorism perspective”.
    “He’s got family associations that are well known to us,” he said.
    There were some reports that the man yelled “Allahu Akbar” during the attack but Commissioner Ashton said this had not been confirmed.

    As with the case of Numan Haider, the attacker was known, and was known to be affiliated with a network who can be at very least be described as a network of passive supporters. This writer has described the existence of such networks in the literature , in South East Asia,and in Australia, but  rather than review all that, readers are directed instead to this story from last year which describes the  consequences of not addressing the problem of passive supporters, in an earlier incident that took place under Graham Ashton's watch:

    Two police officers stabbed by teen terrorist Numan Haider to sue ASIO for not warning them he was a threat



    Lone terrorist responsible for deadly attack on Bourke Street
    9 November 2018 — 9:33pm

    A lone terrorist was responsible for a deadly stabbing attack that unfolded on Bourke Street in Melbourne's CBD on Friday afternoon.

    One man was killed and two others injured after being stabbed by a man who set a ute alight outside the Target store near the busy intersection of Bourke and Swanston streets.

    He was taken to hospital in a critical condition, but died on the operating table.
    A relative of the man was arrested on terror-related charges last year. However, sources said there had been no intelligence from counter-terror authorities about any serious threat.

    "He is known to both Victoria Police and federal intelligence authorities," Police Commissioner Graham Ashton said on Friday night.

    "There is no ongoing threat that we know of ... as I speak to you tonight.

    "But certainly we are treating it as a terrorism incident. He's got family associations that are well known to us."

    Late on Friday night, there were reports that IS had claimed responsibility for the attack via the Amaq news agency. However, IS is known to have claimed responsibility for attacks in the past that it has not in fact had any connection to.

    It is believed the attacker, who lives in Melbourne's north-western suburbs, arrived in Australia in the 1990s.

    Two victims in hospital

    Prominent Launceston businessman, Rod Patterson, 58, was one of two victims in hospital on Friday night. He suffered head injuries and was undergoing surgery.

    The other victim, a 26 year-old man, was believed to be in a critical condition with neck injuries.

    Mr Patterson's wife, Maree, posted a message on social media thanking everyone for their wishes.

    "So unfortunately we got caught up in the attack in Bourke Street this afternoon and Rodney was hurt – good news is he is in a great hospital and doing OK given the circumstances," she wrote.

    Mr Patterson, a former Autobarn franchisee and president of the South Launceston Football Club, owns an apartment in Melbourne.

    The identity of the victim who died has not been released.

    How the attack unfolded

    The attacker stopped his dual-cab ute on Bourke Street before setting it alight about 4.30pm.

    Fire crews later found a number of barbecue-style gas cylinders in the ute.

    "This is an evil and terrifying thing that has happened in our city," Premier Daniel Andrews said.

    A section of Melbourne's CBD remained in lockdown overnight after the attack sent Friday afternoon shoppers and commuters running for safety.

    However, some bystanders risked their own lives to help police stop the attacker. One man tried to repeatedly ram the attacker with a shopping trolley, while another used a traffic cone to fend him off.

    A large crowd of people also stood and filmed the man's confrontation with police.

    How the attack unfolded

    The attacker stopped his dual-cab ute on Bourke Street, near Swanston Street, before setting it alight about 4.30pm.

    He then started attacking people with a knife, stabbing at least three people.

    Witnesses told The Age they were shopping in the area when they saw a man throw what they believed to be a bomb into a car before it exploded.

    They had initially thought the man was running to catch a tram close by, before a nearby police car rushed to the scene.

    They heard screams and cries from the crowd before they were rushed from the area.

    One bystander tried to push a trolley into the attacker. That man was pushed over onto the street, but got up and tried again with the trolley to stop the attack. Another man tried to ward him off with a traffic cone, a third was seen with a cafe chair.

    Transit officers were the first to respond, with one officer using a tree to protect himself from the attacker as he lunged at them with the knife.

    Police then shot the lone terrorist in the chest and arrested him before he was taken to hospital.

    By 5.20pm, the body of one of the victims was lying under a white sheet on Bourke Street surrounded by police tape, near the entrance to Russell Place. There were large spots of what appeared to be blood near the body, as well as a pair of men's black lace-up shoes.

    About 6pm, police confirmed the victim had died.

    Witnesses were taken to Melbourne West police station in police vans, some looking shaken.

    On Friday evening, there were two dozen people in the police station foyer waiting to give statements. Most sat in three rows of chairs, before being called to one of six tables set up by police.

    One man briefly exited the building to greet a woman. He looked shaken as he hugged her - one sleeve of his white jumper was stained with dried blood.

    Earlier, a witness, Sarah Krug had told The Age she had been heading to the night noodle markets when "all hell broke loose".

    Her immediate thought was, "Oh no, not another Bourke Street incident," she said.

    "I thought the car was coming for us," Ms Krug said.

    "I didn't know what was happening there was just so much chaos and screaming."

    They all had panicked faces'

    Stuart Gaut was inside the McDonalds on the corner of Bourke and Russell Streets when he felt the building shake and heard an explosion.

    As he ran to the entrance, he saw about 40 people sprinting past in fear. "They were bolting, they all had panicked faces," he said.

    An amateur photographer, Mr Gaut grabbed his gear and ran in the opposite direction, towards the scene, to take photos.

    "I just saw the car, then the whole area was covered in smoke. There were a lot of policemen moving everyone away. It's funny how everyone just stands around and looks, no one was really running away."

    Mr Gaut then went back into the McDonalds, which was in lockdown for more than an hour, to pat the shoulder of a trembling witness recounting his account to police.

    The Bourke Street Mall, including Myer and David Jones stores, were evacuated shortly before 5.30pm.

    Melbourne's anti-terror sirens and loudspeakers were used for the first time, sounding out across Bourke Street.

    The message over the loudspeakers said: "This is Victoria Police, please evacuate the area."

    The attack came on the second day of the highly-publicised murder trial of James Gargasoulas, who allegedly drove through Bourke Street Mall on January 20 last year, killing six people and injuring 27 others.

    by Ganesh Sahathevan

    The following is an extract from a Monash press release(see full form below) quoting "terrorism expert" and lead investigator Greg Barton:

    GTReC researchers found Australian militants and terrorists frequently consulted and consumed online extremist material but other factors played far more important roles in radicalising them. Their real world social networks of friends and family, and access to individuals who fought overseas or attended terrorist training camps were far more influential in affecting their thought and behaviour than materials circulating in the virtual world.

    Lead chief investigator Professor Greg Barton said relationships, in the sense of social networks, belonging, and the allure of an enhanced sense of identity, play an important role in violent.

    Australian jihadis are said to be very well prepared, and the best equipped for battlefield duties. As reported in The Australian:

    THERE was something about the six Australians that made them stand out. Thousands of foreigners have ventured into Syria and Iraq during the past year for their journey to jihad; but, for locals who live along the border between Turkey and Syria, this group was different. As they sat drinking coffee before making their final walk into a foreign war, these Australians stood out: they were supremely confident, well-dressed and well-resourced. “It was clear they were not rookies,” says one local who watched them sitting at the coffee shop in Turkey about 50m from the border with Syria. “They seemed to know what they were doing.”

    Locals watching the group were struck by several things. First, only one of them spoke Arabic and had to translate everything for the other five. He seemed to be their leader and looked to be in his 40s while the others were younger, in their 30s. Every so often he walked away from the group to talk on the phone, as if for privacy.

    Second, they were clearly well prepared; they wore new, strong-looking walking boots, a contrast to many of the bedraggled jihadists who depart from this cafe clothed in little more than their well-worn attire and a desire to join the battle for Islam between Sunnis and Shi’ites. Good shoes and bags full of supplies were low on the list of priorities for those zealots.

    Observers who saw the group of Australians said they seemed prepared for a long assignment. But what stood out most was their demeanour. They were calm, confident and relaxed. Locals noticed they all had Australian passports.

    They were, one local commented, physically very large — he found them intimidating — and they wore the crocheted woollen caps popular with some Muslim men. All were “very beardy”.

    (Unholy foot soldiers in a foreign fight THE AUSTRALIAN JULY 12, 2014)
    It is obvious that these Australian jihadis had been trained professionally, were well funded, and had support of strong network of passive supporters. It is time for the Government, law enforcement agencies, and Muslim leaders, to tell us who these people are, and what is being done to eradicate the threat they pose this society.

    Understanding Terrorism in an Australian Context: Radicalisation, De-radicalisation and Counter-radicalisation
    8 August 2013

    The key findings from a four-year Australian Research Council-funded collaborative research project on terrorist radicalisation in Australia by researchers from Monash University’s Global Terrorism Research Centre (GTReC) will be released on Thursday 8 August.

    The project, conducted in partnership with Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Victorian Department of Justice, is the most significant and in-depth examination of radicalisation undertaken in Australia.

    Understanding Terrorism in an Australian Context: Radicalisation, De-radicalisation and Counter-radicalisationfocused on developing the understanding of radicalisation in an Australian context and sought international perspectives to enhance the understanding of violent extremism in Australia and relevant international threats.

    Project members conducted over 100 interviews, including current and/or former violent extremists, in Australia, Indonesia, Europe, North America and elsewhere, from various ideologies (jihadist,far-right, far-left, IRA and Tamil Tigers). Also interviewed were many of the world’s leading counter-terrorism practitioners and analysts, and representatives from a variety of community groups, canvassing their attitudes on why some individuals become radicalised and ways community, government and religious stakeholders might work together to counter violent extremism.

    The role of the internet and on-line materials in radicalising some individuals was also thoroughly investigated. Online sources provided both the lethal inspiration and the technical know-how for Norwegian Anders Behring Breivik’s anti-Islam motivated terrorism in Oslo and Utoya Island in July 2011, in the attack Tamerlan and Johar Tsarnaev perpetrated at the Boston Marathon in April 2013 and the brutal murder of off-duty British soldier Leigh Rigby in Woolwich, London, in May 2013.

    GTReC researchers found Australian militants and terrorists frequently consulted and consumed online extremist material but other factors played far more important roles in radicalising them. Their real world social networks of friends and family, and access to individuals who fought overseas or attended terrorist training camps were far more influential in affecting their thought and behaviour than materials circulating in the virtual world.

    Lead chief investigator Professor Greg Barton said relationships, in the sense of social networks, belonging, and the allure of an enhanced sense of identity, play an important role in violent 

    “Academics like to focus on ideas and ideology, but emotions, social bonds and experiences also play a crucial role. For many who become caught up in violent extremism social networks are much more important than ideology," Professor Barton said.

    The findings also highlighted the importance of using, where possible, non-coercive measures to work with vulnerable individuals and groups to deflect and dissuade them from using violence to achieve their goals. These measures, commonly described as ‘CVE’ (countering violent extremism) initiatives, are becoming more prominent in Australia and overseas as many countries’ security services have observed that such ‘hard’ responses, by themselves, have often been ineffective, sometimes paradoxically increasing, rather than deterring the prospects of radicalising individuals. GTReC’s research highlights the effectiveness of including the social networks of radicalised or vulnerable individuals in countering violent extremism in both Australia and elsewhere.

    CVE approaches prioritise interventions that are well ‘upstream’, averting problems before they are fully formed and give rise to criminal behaviour. Recognising key signs, or indicators, of radicalisation is an essential element of CVE. To this end GTReC researchers have developed a model that will enable a diverse range of practitioners to collectively recognise signs of radicalisation through observing indicative changes in behaviour, thinking and social relationships that, when occurring together and trending over time, point to reasons for concern and the need for some sort of intervention.

    CVE also requires ‘downstream’ initiatives focusing on rehabilitation and helping individuals and groups disengage from violent extremism and re-engage with mainstream society. All forms of CVE require attention to both the individual and their environment.

    For more information contact Glynis Smalley, Monash Media & Communications + 61 3 9903 4843 or 0408 027 848.

    The Problem Of Passive Supporters Of Jihadi Terrorists And The Putin Solution

    by Ganesh Sahathevan
    While I have previously taken a top-down approach to describing the networks that support  jihadists (see , the profileartion of Al-Qaeda franchises and off-shoots, such as those at work in Syriai requires that a bottom-up , or grassroots, approach be adopted.
    While the top down approach looked at the support states provided jihadists, the bottom-up approach is concerned with how individuals at the grassroots can comprise networks that jihadists might rely on for their activities. Civil rights activists might be alarmed by such language, afraid that large sections of a given population could be branded jihadists, but there is in fact a theoratical framework and empirical  evidence to support this hypothesis.
    Juan José Miralles Canals ii describes these types of networks using a mathematical and computer modeling approach:
    Passive supporters of the jihadist cause are normal people who do not need to express their position explicitly. They just do not oppose a jihadist act in case they could. They are sharing independently an identical opinion of identifying with the jihadist cause. They do not need to communicate between then. This is an individual dormant attitude associated to a personal opinion. It does not need to be explicitly so. They are unnoticeable, and most of them reject the violent aspect of the jihadist action.
    Social permeability to the jihad describes the physical pathways that nodes of the jihadist networks can establish and use to move freely and safely along, thanks to the passive supporters of the jihadist cause.
    Social permeability to the jihad  describes the physical pathways that nodes of the jihadist networks can establish and use to move freely and safely along, thanks to the passive supporters of the jihadist cause.
    Canals provides a mathematical analysis which concludes that disruption at the nodes is required to disrupt jihadists activities. Given what was seen in Iraq, and now Syria ,and well before these, Gaza, of apparently innocent non-combatants supporting the jihadists' cause, it does appear that Cannals theoretical perspective has and is being borne out in the real world.
    I have previously written about the relevance to this day of the British Malaya administration's policy of new villagesiii, used to defeat the Communist Party Of Malaya, which while being financed by the Peoples' Republic Of China, relied heavily on the support of local Chinese to facilitate their activities on the ground.
    That solution may today seem inhumane, but critics conveniently forget that lives were saved by that solution. Be that as it may, Russian President Vladimir Putin might have provided an alternative , a middle path:
    Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law the controversial bill ….amending the Criminal Code to expand the number of offenses classified as terrorism and require the relatives of people deemed to have committed acts of terrorism to pay financial compensation for the material damage they causediv.
    Not unexpectedly Putin's law has already come under criticism. However it is suggested that critics should rather see this law as the basis for other similair policy instruments that might be used to curb acts of terrorism. Either that, or a return to the new villages.

    ii Fourth-generation warfare: Jihadist networks and percolation
    iv Russia To Hold Relatives Of 'Terrorists' Financially Responsible For Material Damage

    See also