Thursday, November 28, 2019

Malaysia's Court of Appeal says Menteris Besar (and Prime Ministers) can be removed with show of SDs,and any legal challenge will be rejected on the basis that it would be a futile "academic" exercise : Anwar's SD strategy suddenly made stronger

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Analysts see Anwar-Mahathir clash as inevitable



The Malay Mail has reported:
The Court of Appeal here has rejected former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman’s appeal against the dismissal of his lawsuit challenging the legality of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s appointment as his successor.
Musa’s lawyer, Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, said a three-judge panel agreed with a preliminary objection that the matter was now “academic”.
Shafie’s lawyer, Datuk Douglas Lind, earlier argued that the challenge was no longer relevant as Shafie now commanded the confidence of an indisputable majority in the state assembly, with over two thirds of its lawmakers pledged to him.
He said Musa could, at best, muster the support of eight out of the assembly’s 55 lawmakers and could not conceivably succeed in securing a vote of no-confidence in Shafie.
Elaborating, the New Straits Times reported:
During the submissions on PO(preliminary objection) , Douglas said the appellant’s appeal was not competent because it has now become academic.
He said the outcome of the appeal will have no effect at all on the positions or interests of either Musa or Shafie, adding that such situation is due to the current support garnered by the duo respectively in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.
Based on the support as shown in a lists attached to a letter dated Oct 3, 2019, from the state assembly secretary, Douglas noted Musa, at best, can only garner the support of all eight opposition members, including himself.
Shafie, on the other hand, has the support of 52 assemblymen and therefore has the support of more than two-thirds of the members in the State Legislative Assembly.
"Even if the appellant succeeds with his appeal, the status quo remains and the second respondent will continue to be the Chief Minister as having such a large number of assemblymen supporting him. The second respondent’s position is unshakeable and remains unassailable.
"The appeal has clearly become academic and purely exercise in futile and serves no purpose at all. The appeal is therefore not competent, and it is urged that the court will not proceed but dismiss the appeal," (sic) stressed Douglas.

This is an interesting turn of events for at first instance, in the High Court, Justice Yew Jen Kie said Musa’s legal challenge against Shafie Apdal was not academic as it was a case of public interest.

The Court Of Appeal appears  to have now determined that such challenges are in fact academic.


This has decision of the Court of Appeal renders the conclusion in the  article below by this writer incorrect. A challenger to a Menteri Besar, or Prime Minister, can now depose the incumbent with a collection of statutory declarations or some form of letter suggesting that he has the confidence of the majority, and can be assured that the Courts will not entertain any form of legal challenge to his or her appointment.

Anwar Ibrahim is likely to be counting heads with renewed urgency.

END 


Monday, July 8, 2019


Anwar Ibrahim's solid grip on MPs statutory declarations meaningless: SDs cannot be used to secure a promise

by Ganesh Sahathevan



Muhyiddin, Zahid lash out at fake SDs supporting Anwar;
 probe ordered

The denial by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of  having signed  statutory declarations in support of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim taking over as prime minister beginning July 2 is irrelevant even if it were true.

A uniquely Malaysian innovation, the SD pledging support makes for good theater in the land of the wayang kulit, but otherwise means nothing. A SD is, as its name implies,  a declaration that something is true and for that reason its use is limited to declarations that say,  statements regarding ones name, identity or nationality are true. 
It cannot be used to affirm ones support, affection, undying love or loyalty. These are akin to promises, for which there are contracts or deeds.

So, even if Saudara Dr Anwar Ibrahim obtains SDs of support from all MPs, that fact would mean nothing. He would still have to go back to Parliament, move a vote of no confidence against Mahathir, who would then need to advise the Yang DiPertuan Agong  that Parliament should be dissolved and a general election called.

END 



Tuesday, November 26, 2019

London Court Of Arbitration should never have accepted 1MDB-IPIC settlement: UK Court Of Appeal decision further confirms Realpolitikasia analysis of 2017

by Ganesh Sahathevan




The UK Court of Appeal in London has ordered the London High Court to hear Malaysia’s bid to nullify a consent award involving 1MDB and two Abu Dhabi companies.
 ... Malaysian attorney-general Tommy Thomas said the ruling means the dispute involving 1MDB and Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc) against the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and Aabar Investments PJS, would play out in public.
“Our setting aside application will now be heard by the High Court in London as part of an open and transparent process enabling Malaysians and the rest of the world to follow the proceedings in court.
“It is our case that the settlement deeds, signed in April 2017, further frustrate any legitimate attempt to challenge the settlement by including a condition that no court proceedings should be brought to set aside the consent award recorded following the settlement deeds.
The above further confirms the analysis below by this writer  posted on in April 2017.
END





Thursday, April 27, 2017

Illegality may prevent London Arbitration Court from making a consent award in the IPIC-1MDB matter-Settlement may be denied

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Settlement weakens DOJ's case



IPIC informed the LSE on Monday:


International Petroleum Investment Company PJSC (IPIC), Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar), the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc.) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) are pleased to announce that an agreement has been reached between all parties that provides for a settlement in respect to the arbitration proceedings at the London Court of International Arbitration (the Settlement). The agreement is conditional on the Arbitration Tribunal making a consent award by 31 May 2017.


Meanwhile, a  senior figure in the Malaysian Government and ruling UMNO ,Puad Zarkashi, has said publicly that the settlement is intended to defeat a criminal investigation by the US Department of Justice ,and other national enforcement agencies into 1 MDB, the Malaysian Government and Najib Razak , the Prime Minister and Finance Minister: 

"This arbitration settlement has weakened the US DOJ civil suit and claims that 1MDB's funds were stolen," said Umno supreme council member Mohd Puad Zakarshi in a statement today.Mohd Puad is also the director-general of the Information Ministry's Special Affairs Division (Jasa).

While the rules governing arbitration courts are complex, it is hard to see that the London Court Of International  Arbitration  would want  to be a party to a  consent award where at least one party has made public that the award will be used as a means to defeat a a criminal investigation.To make matters worse, this is a matter that has been very widely publicized. worldwide and it would be impossible for anyone, including the arbitrators in this matter, to deny knowledge of what is intended.

END




Other references:

1MDB -IPIC settlement: 1MDB insists that IPIC will be paid out of "units" guaranteed by IPIC itself:-IPIC now implicated in money laundering







NSW LPAB found Zhu Misnhen's Top Group fit and proper to issue LLBs despite Top's links to Chinese government, tax havens, and a mysterious major shareholder -SMH investigation of 2016 reveals details which should concern ASIO, and cause investigation into the conduct of the NSW LPAB

by Ganesh Sahathevan


Hon George Brandis







In 2016 the SMh reported the following about Zhu Minshen's Top Education Institute:

The institute"s former director and owner of a 10-per cent stake Sydney businessman Qingquan Yang registered Asian Profit Investment to a Samoan bank using law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2005.

Nearly 4000 companies have been registered to the same building, according to documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalis
ts.



The institute"s former director and owner of a 10-per cent stake Sydney businessman Qingquan Yang registered Asian Profit Investment to a Samoan bank using law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2005.

Nearly 4000 companies have been registered to the same building, according to documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalis
ts.

Senator Dastyari declined to comment.

Dongbo Zhang is the director of a New Zealand company Tristar which owns about 10 per cent of the institute's shares.

Mr Zhang is also the director of a multi-billion dollar fund owned by the Chinese government for reducing its energy costs, according to Hong Kong Stock Exchange documents.


He incorporated another company, Joy Surplus Development, in the British Virgin Islands in 2007.

The interests behind the group's largest shareholder, "High Summit Holdings", with a near 20 per cent stake, remains unknown.

An address for the foreign company provided to Australian regulators led to the floor of an office building occupied by a technology investor and video game developer owned by prominent Hong Kong family the Chans.


Both it and a separate address for a parent company provided to Chinese regulators have been used to register multiple offshore companies.

Finally, accounting giant PWC, a 15 per cent nominee shareholder in the institute, has been involved in the development of several tax minimisation services, which were exposed in a 2014 leak of documents, Lux Leaks


A spokesman for the institute declined to provide information on the identity of its shareholders.

"Top Education will not be commenting on this matter," the spokesman said.



In Top's own words:
 In 2013, the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA) formally granted TOP accreditation to provide legal education.
In 2015, TOP made history when the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board accredited the TOP LLB as a course fulfilling the academic knowledge requirement for admission to legal practice in Australia. TOP became the first non-university tertiary education provider in Australia of an LLB degree that enables its graduates to apply for admission as professional lawyers.
The question here is a simple one: How did the NSW LPAB makes this exception for Zhu Minshen's Top, despite this opaque shareholding structure?


The NSW LPAB has a history of non-disclosure and of poor regulation of the educational institutions that it is meant to regulate.
An audit of the NSW LPAB would be a good place to start in trying to unravel what exactly led to the NSW LPAB's decision to make its history making award to Zhu Minshen and his Top Education Group.

See for example:


Why a special audit of Peter Hall's ICAC must include a review of his handling of the China donation inquiry , and the NSW LPAB 's dealings with Zhu Minshen



Timing of Zhu Minshen & Top Group's LPAB decision adds to LPAB audit red flags: AG Mark Speakman must ensure that the details of the LPAB's dealings with Top, Zhu are fully disclosed. Auditor General NSW has a duty to ensure Speakman does so














Donors linked to tax havens condemned by Dastyari


By James Robertson
September 10, 2016 — 6.31pm



Over the past year NSW Labor Senator Sam Dastyari has built a substantial profile campaigning against multinational tax avoidance and freely accusing businesses and political opponents of profiting from "rorts" and immoral behaviour.

But a Fairfax Media investigation has revealed several owners of the Top Education Institute which made the $1600 gift that forced Senator Dastyari to resign from the frontbench have incorporated companies in some of the world's most notorious tax havens condemned by Senator Dastyari.



Senator Sam Dastyari has been dropped from the frontbench.
CREDIT:WOLTER PEETERS

Last October, using parliamentary privilege Mr Dastyari said Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was potentially party to a "tax scam" for registering businesses in the Cayman Islands.

But earlier that week he had updated his own interests register to reflect the $1600 payment from Top Education Institute.





Connections.

Most of the attention on the institute has focused on the company's director, Chinese businessman and donor Minshen Zhu.

Senator Dastyari was forced to step down last week after Fairfax Media revealed that having blown his travel allowance by $1670, he contacted Minshen Zhu to pay the bill.

But the company has seven other shareholders who have escaped the limelight.
"Let's not pussyfoot around it. What is the business model of these tax havens?" Mr Dastyari told an ABC special on the controversial global tax minimisation specialists Mossack Fonseca. "We will allow you to engage in practices for a small fee that would otherwise be illegal in your host country. That's the business model."



The institute"s former director and owner of a 10-per cent stake Sydney businessman Qingquan Yang registered Asian Profit Investment to a Samoan bank using law firm Mossack Fonseca in 2005.

Nearly 4000 companies have been registered to the same building, according to documents published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalis
ts.

Senator Dastyari declined to comment.

Dongbo Zhang is the director of a New Zealand company Tristar which owns about 10 per cent of the institute's shares.

Mr Zhang is also the director of a multi-billion dollar fund owned by the Chinese government for reducing its energy costs, according to Hong Kong Stock Exchange documents.



He incorporated another company, Joy Surplus Development, in the British Virgin Islands in 2007.

The interests behind the group's largest shareholder, "High Summit Holdings", with a near 20 per cent stake, remains unknown.

An address for the foreign company provided to Australian regulators led to the floor of an office building occupied by a technology investor and video game developer owned by prominent Hong Kong family the Chans.


Both it and a separate address for a parent company provided to Chinese regulators have been used to register multiple offshore companies.

Finally, accounting giant PWC, a 15 per cent nominee shareholder in the institute, has been involved in the development of several tax minimisation services, which were exposed in a 2014 leak of documents, Lux Leaks


A spokesman for the institute declined to provide information on the identity of its shareholders.

"Top Education will not be commenting on this matter," the spokesman said.


According to NSW Electoral Commission documents, Top Education gave more than $80,000 to the ALP in 2012, the year after the party lost power at the NSW level, when Senator Dastyari was general secretary.

But a party source denied this could be viewed as being linked to any attempts to influence the party's policies such as its opposition to the sale of the state's ports announced that year.

Many companies opposed port sales because they could lead to higher freight costs. The institute's linked companies include those in the global transport trade, such as Sydney head of global company Amen Kwai Ping Lee.



"[Chinese donors] don't operate in the same way that we think Western donors do," said the source. "It's never about a particular issue".

Senator Dastyari was due to speak on Wednesday, the Australian Financial Review reported, at an event, "Inside the Panama Papers" before pulling out.

Hong Kong is the global capital of tax evasion, the Panama Papers revealed.

About 800 Australians were found to have interests registered in the leak, ranging from suspects in an Australian Tax Office sting on tax evasion through to prominent and legitimate businesses.

There is nothing illegal about registering companies to minimise tax.



Last year Mr Turnbull said all his investments registered through the Caymans paid tax at the proper domestic rates.

Mr Turnbull is under increasing pressure to reform donor laws. Speaking from a series of summits in Asia this week, he reiterated his long-standing personal view that donations would "ideally" be limited to individuals on the Australian electoral roll, striking off corporations, unions and foreign nationals.

Labor is also pushing for a ban on foreign donations, and Liberal figures as diverse as Christopher Pyne, Cory Bernardi and Steve Ciobo have thrown their weight behind change in various forms.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Why a special audit of Peter Hall's ICAC must include a review of his handling of the China donation inquiry , and the NSW LPAB 's dealings with Zhu Minshen

by Ganesh Sahathevan

ICAC Chief Commissioner Peter Hall will head an inquiry that involves NSW Labor.

In his current inquiry into Chinese donations to the Labor Party ,ICAC Commissioner Peter
Hall QC(picture above) seems reluctant to go anywhere near the matter of Zhu Minshen and his Top Group,whose
donations to the NSW Liberal Party may have consequences for Hall's former colleagues at the NSW Bar and Bench who manage the Legal Profession Admission Board, the body that has provided Zhu the status of a law school vice chancellor.


The SMH has reported that NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has tasked the state's auditor with conducting an unprecedented review of the funding arrangements and management of four key independent agencies, including the Independent Commission Against Corruption and the NSW Electoral Commission.



As reported by the AFR Peter Hall's handling of the ICAC Inquiry into Chinese donations to the NSW Labor Party has been distinguished by what it refuses to see:

"The questions ICAC isn’t asking": Peter Hall QC turns away from evidence on Huang Xiama (and Zhu Minshen)



It has been shown here that the evidence with regards Zhu Minshen is in the public domain (see for example story below) but ICAC and Peter Hall seem determined to ignore it.It has been suggested that Hall appears to be conflicted:

ICAC's Peter Hall concerned with Chinese donations to the ALP,but not Liberals: Hall seems conflicted by the fact that an investigation into Minshen Zhu & Top Group's donations to NSW Liberals will involve the LPAB & AG Speakman



At this point one needs to determine if Peter Hall's conflicts of interest and incompetence are affecting ICAC's operational efficiency. Put in another way, simple, straightforward investigations are being drawn out by the Chief Commissioner's lack of expertise and conflicts of interest.

Hall seems to have taken to accusing the Government of depriving him of resources, and using that as a justification for not pursuing pursuing investigations, to the point where he has , as explained above, ignored information in the public domain and worse, attempted to prevent information from coming to his and ICAC's attention.

There is evidence that Hall stopped the flow of information from this writer to ICAC giving the usual three reasons, in order: lack of resources, too many emails, we have already given you an answer.

The first , lack of resources, seems to be a phrase appended to ICAC communications to help it make the case to government that it needs more money.
The second seems to be a way of justifying the first, .but also ensures that ICAC is not troubled by that which is wishes not to know. 
The third, taken with the second, seems to be part of a disturbing trend especially among NSW Department of Justice employees to seek refuge from investigation by claiming harassment, threats and intimidation. 

 Unfortunately for Hall and ICAC, public domain information is growing in volume, and so are the tools available to those of us who have spent many years and hours harvesting that data. It is a sign of Hall's incompetence that he does not comprehend this and continues to act as if he were a lawyer in the 70s, or 80s, where on can be confident that everything that can affect a matter is contained in his brief, and not likely to be found elsewhere.
END 



END


Sunday, September 15, 2019


Top Group IPO a classic case of license trading: Post IPO spike & collapse in market cap raises obvious questions about any political party beneficiaries ,but Peter Hall & ICAC not interested

by Ganesh Sahathevan










The graph above shows the movements in Zhu Minshen's Top Group's share price since its IPO and listing on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

It is easy to see that there was an initial spike after which share price and market capitalisation collapsed.

Anyone familiar with Asian markets will see that the Top Group listing and movement in share price follows the well trodden path of companies that list as soon as hard to get approvals are obtained and then sold via an IPO. In the case of Top Group the relevant approval was the "first and only" license to grant Australian law degrees granted a private company, granted by the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board,after consultation with the Law Council Australia.




It has already been shown on this blog that the granting of that license coincided with donations from Top and Zhu to the NSW Liberal Party. Consequently a inquiry into who the beneficiaries of the IPO were seems a logical step for an inquiry into political donations in NSW, but not it seems for Peter Hall QC and ICAC.




See
Peter Hall QC and ICAC have been provided information about Top Group by Dr Amen Lee, but ICAC will still not call Zhu Minshen




AND



TOP Education Institute's Bachelor of Laws : Political donations,HK Stock Exchange IPO seem to have left regulators confounded, speechless

END 

Sunday, November 24, 2019

"You wake up one day and find decisions made in our country that are not in the interests of our country.":Was Duncan Lewis speaking about his boss, George Brandis? Brandis conduct in the matter of Ausgrid, the Top Group LLB decision, Zhu Minshen's meeting with Brandis,all require Brandis to explain himself

by Ganesh Sahathevan



Hon George Brandis


Former ASIO chief Duncan Lewis declared last week:

"You wake up one day and find decisions made in our country that are not in the interests of our country."


In an interview published by Quarterly Essay Lewis warned that  covert foreign intrusion into the heart of Australian politics is "something we need to be very, very careful about".

ASIO was for much of Lewis's tenure under the purview of the Attorney General, George Barndis. As reported last week, Brandis does have questions to answer about his dealings with Zhu Minshen and especially Zhu's license to issue LLB degrees granted by the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board.


Fergus Hunter reported in the SMH , 


Top Education Institute, the company Dr Zhu established in 2001 and PricewaterhouseCoopers invested in earlier this year(2016) , specialises in law, business and accounting qualifications costing between $8500 and $80,000.
In November(2015) , he met Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for a dinner related to the institute's newly established law school.
In April (2016), he discussed the merits of law degrees with Senator Brandis.
This is interesting given that Top's law school is accredited by the New South Wales Legal Profession Admission Board,which is under the purview of AG NSW Mark Speakman SC.  The common thread however is in the fact that Turnbull ,Brandis and Speakman are all "moderates" which in English means they are of their Liberal Party's Left faction.
The decision to grant Zhu Minshen the authority to award LLBs is exceptional (see story below).
Was Lewis referring to his former boss, George Branids?

END


SEE ALSO

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Why did the LPAB make an exception for China's Minshen Zhu & Top Group -AG NSW Speakman maintains political silence despite weakening share price, China protests

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Top Education Group Ltd

Follow

HKG: 1752
0.32 HKD −0.0050 
19 Aug, 4:00 pm GMT+8 · Disclaimer



Open0.33
High0.33
Low0.32
Mkt cap826.11M
P/E ratio81.66
 
Div yield-
Prev close0.33
52-wk high0.46
52-wk low0.24






Anyone can see that Top Group stands out in this list from the NSW LPAB website:


Accredited law courses

In accordance with Section 29 of the Uniform Law and by virtue of the transitional and savings provisions in the Legal Profession Uniform Admission Rules 32(3)(a) the NSW Legal Profession Admission Board has accredited the following Academic courses
Name of InstitutionCourse
Legal Profession Admission BoardDiploma in Law
University of SydneyLLB or JD
University of New South WalesLLB or JD
Macquarie UniversityLLB or JD
University of Technology SydneyLLB or JD
University of WollongongLLB
University of New EnglandLLB or JD
Southern Cross UniversityLLB
University of NewcastleLLB or JD
Western Sydney UniversityLLB
University of Notre DameLLB
TOP Education InstituteLLB
Australian Catholic UniversityLLB
Charles Sturt UniversityLLB​ or LLB/BCrimJustice



Top Group has been happy to advertise the fact that the LPAB granted it the "first and only" license to grant law degrees granted a private company.


See also 
NSW Libs received donations of $44,275 from TOP Education Group just before after TOP was granted the "first & only" license issued a private company to award law degrees: AG Speakman and his LPAB refuse to disclose all details in the LPAB Annual Reports


China-HK protest on Australian campuses but not at Minshen Zhu controlled campuses-Are legal profession admission rules being used (again ) to suppress complaints and protests