Sunday, May 31, 2020

Malaysia's new constitutional crisis -MPs appointed to the boards of GLCs are disqualified from being MPs; dissolution of Parliament now unavoidable

by Ganesh Sahathevan

  Malaysia's King Abdullah Of Pahang cannot avoid  the matter 
of the legitimacy of his Government.

Malaysia may be at the brink of a constitutional crisis that has arisen as a result of the appointment of a number of ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) Members Of Parliament to the boards of government linked companies (GLCs). The appointments have resulted in the MPs holding offices for profit, thus disqualifying them as MPs.

All but nine of the PN's 112 (or more)  MPs are said to have been appointed to GLC boards, some as chairmen, and there have been demands from at least one component party, UMNO, that all MPs be appointed to such positions.
However, in making these appointments, which are widely regarded as a meanss of consolidating his position, PN leader, the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, seems to have neglected the convention, if not rule, that an  MP  cannot hold an office of profit.

Holding an office of profit is a reason  for disqualification from holding office as an MP.  Given the numbers involved it is difficult to see how a dissolution of Malaysia's Parliament can be avoided.

First, the convention:

While it is true that Malaysian politics, while rooted in the Westminster system, is often played out according to its own peculiar rules, the  current situation where MPs are also on the boards of GLCs raises obvious conflicts of interest; Parliament and its members are  after all meant  to oversee the administration of GLCs. This can include scrutinising GLC  finances, and their management.
Where required MPs may have to pass or review legislation that regulates the structure , management and business operations of GLCs.  Clearly, all this would not be objectively possible if the MPs are also on the boards of those GLCs.

Then , the rule, as stated in the Malaysian Constitution:

Disqualification for membership of Parliament 

48. (1) (c) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament i f he holds an office of profit;

The matter of disqualification of a member asa result of holding "an office of profit" has not arisen in Malaysia so no cases on the matter have been located. However, the matter has been discussed and debated extensively in other Commonwealth countries. , including the UK, Australia and India.

Importantly, the Malaysian case is somewhat obvious; that of a prime minister appointing MPs loyal to him to positions at companies he controls, and will continue to control for so long as he has their support.

It is difficult to see how the King can now avoid the fact that his Government must be dissolved.


Saturday, May 30, 2020

Evidence of China linked political donation before Dan Andrews signed Silk Road/BRI agreement, but Australians cannot still bring themselves to confront the reality that their Silk Road deals are tainted, just like the Malaysian ,Kuwaiti Silk Road/BRI deals

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Daniel Andrews accepts a cheque for the Victorian Labor Party in 2014.

The investigative website Sarawak Report has added to the evidence of corruption in the Kuwait Silk Road/BRI deal:

As Sarawak Report has lately revealed Jho Low had been busy in the course of early 2016 making provision for the transfers of large sums of laundered money from these Chinese contracts using a new business relationship in Kuwait.
The by now fugitive Malaysian financier who, despite denials at the time, was still working for Najib to resolve the growing crisis over 1MDB had forged a business deal with the family of the then Kuwait prime minister and had agreed to pass the billions expected from these Chinese “commissions” through companies owned by Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (Sheikh Sabah) the prime minister’s elder son.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews’ top Belt and Road adviser was instrumental in landing a $100,000 donation to the Labor party through a key Chinese business group years before Victoria signed up to the controversial infrastructure scheme.
Mr Andrews’ senior adviser, Marty Mei, who is on the board of the Hunan Business Association, helped secure the contribution in the lead up to the 2014 state election, according to sources with knowledge of the donation. He later became Mr Andrews' multicultural adviser and worked on the Belt and Road deal.
Despite even this revelation Australians seem unwilling to accept that their Belt & Road deals are tainted in any way. Even in Malaysia an anti-corruption agency and police investigation would have been commenced on the strength of the Nine news report above. 
It is time Australians grew up.
Surgical mask raider Greenland Property featured in Belt & Road deal with Jho Low of 1MDB fame: More evidence from Sarawak Report that Australian Government intelligence on the Silk Road/BRI is false; former Morrison security adviser and south east Asian expert Michelle Chan should be interrogated for intelligence failure

In mid February Sydney Mayor Clover Moore urged Australian manufacturers of masks, protective medical equipment to offer assistance Chinese authorities, and offered to facilitate the process through her office : Council minutes in the public domain

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The following has been posted on the All-China Federation of Returned Overseas Chinese website titled  Coming together, love is boundless-11 Australia New South Wales State Preparatory Committee for Wuhan Anti-epidemic Donation Donated RMB 10 million to Wuhan and other places

Airport workers demand ban on flights from China: NSW Emergency Management Committee inaction needs explanation from Premier Berejiklian, and her SEMC chairman Andrew Cappie-Wood ;has Cappie-Wood again been busy playing politics while neglecting his job

Surgical mask raider Greenland Property featured in Belt & Road deal with Jho Low of 1MDB fame: More evidence from Sarawak Report that Australian Government intelligence on the Silk Road/BRI is false; former Morrison security adviser and south east Asian expert Michelle Chan should be interrogated for intelligence failure

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Michelle Chan is considered a South East
Asian expert .She was until recently
PM Scott Morrison's National Security

Most Australians would not have heard of  the Chinese Government controlled Greenland Property Group and its activities in Australia until recently when Greenland started raiding retail outlets to secure stocks of surgical masks and other equipment for China in its fight against the Wuhan Virus. The raid, as reported by and others:

A Chinese government-backed property giant has secretly raided in bulk Australia’s supplies of masks, hand sanitiser, antibacterial wipes and essential medical supplies and shipped them back to China.
The Greenland Group, which manages high-end real estate projects in Sydney and Melbourne, proactively drained Australian supplies of anti-coronavirus equipment, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.
Three million surgical masks, 500,000 pairs of gloves and bulk supplies of sanitiser and wipes were bought up in Australia and other countries where Greenland operates.
While the bulk purchases and shipping were perfectly legitimate, the goods shipped in bulk to China include the very items that have been in short supply for Australian citizens as well as health professionals.
They were accumulated at Greenland’s Sydney headquarters and sent to China over weeks in January and February.
As coronavirus locked down Wuhan, the global Fortune 500 company put its normal work on hold and instructed staff in Australia, Canada, Turkey and elsewhere to source supplies.
Pallet loads of items including thermometers and 700,000 hazmat suits were sent to China, the Herald reported.
Greenland deployed its HR staff members, contract managers and others away from their desks to go out and amass as many of the items as possible.
It was reported Greenland’s Australian managing director Sherwood Luo even posted about it on social media.

That Greenland was acting against Australian interest and in favour of China is unsurprising given its record in promoting Xi Jin Ping's Silk Road/BRI.

Investigative news site Sarawak Report has disclosed that Greenland has had involvement in Malaysia's 1MDB scandal, apparently woking in tandem with John Holland owner China Communications And Construction Company (CCCC).

Despite Greenland's part in what has been described as the biggest case of kleptocracy the world has ever seen, there have not been any restraints or controls placed on its activities in Australia.The 1MDB scandal has been in the public domain since 2015.

It does appear, again, that Australian government intelligence on the Silk Road/BRI is false. The intelligence failure reaches to the highest levels of government for PM Scott Morrison's national security adviser at all relevant times, Michelle Chan, is a highly regarded South East Asian expert. That Chan was not aware of what has been uncovered and published by a former BBC reporter operating out of her apartment in London is inconceivable. 
She should be required to explain her failure, as should the current Ambassador to China Graham Fletcher.


How Jho Low Created A New Front For 1MDB Kickbacks In Kuwait EXCLUSIVE: 

Project Symphony – Offloading The Park Lane Hotel New York
Then, within days of the opening ceremonies in Kuwait, Al Waseet got a further flavour of Jho Low’s tactics and apparent hidden agenda, after a second set of ceremonies got underway over in China just four days later on 26th April.
The Al Waseet manager had understood that the China meetings were an extension of the same Silk Road engagement protocols and to announce the involvement of another investor in the planned Kuwaiti venture (also introduced by Jho Low) namely the Greenland Property Group, a major development company headquartered in mainland China with a branch in Hong Kong, with whom Jho Low was dealing.
How Jho Low's Park Lane Hotel holding was offloaded to Greenland Properties under the cover of the Kuwaiti al-Sabah Family
April 26ht 2016 – how Jho Low’s Park Lane Hotel holding was offloaded to Greenland Properties under the cover of
 the Kuwaiti al-Sabah Family and China’s Silk Road and Belt initiative
The company sent one of its directors to join Sheihk Sabah, the Kuwaiti Ambassador to China and their new Chinese counterparts in Shanghai to attend what was billed as a country to country event.
“[The Kuwaiti] Prime Minister’s Office informed the Chinese ambassador to Kuwait of the trip and its importance for bilateral relations and informed the Kuwaiti ambassador to Beijing, Mr Mohamed Saleh, who flew from Beijing to Shanghai with Kuwaiti officials to prepare for the reception of the delegation and the ceremony to be held with the flags and the national anthem”
according a source from Al Waseet. However, just before the main ceremony there was an unexpected development involving the company. The company director was instructed by Sheikh Sabah to enter a closed room to take part in the signing of an entirely separate deal involving the sale of Jho Low’s stake in the Park Lane Hotel in New York, which was about to be identified by the FBI as one of the major US assets bought with stolen 1MDB cash.
 Mr. Yuliang Zhang, Chairman and President of Greenland Group, Exchanging Gift with HH Sheikh Sabah J M Al-S, according to official press release

Mr. Yuliang Zhang, Chairman and President of Greenland Group, Exchanging Gift with HH Sheikh Sabah J M Al-S, according to official press release
The deal involved hundreds of pages of closely worded documents drawn up by lawyers (as yet to be identified) that the director was given no time to read, under the title of Project Symphony.
The transaction had the effect of first signing over the ownership of Jho Low’s company Jynwel’s share of the Park Lane Hotel In New York to the bogus Al Waseet International (BVI), one of the offshore subsidiaries created under the ownership of  Sheikh Sabah and then immediately engaging in a share swap with Greeland Corporation in Hong Kong, who as a result emerged as the new owners of the shares in the hotel.
The deal left Al Waseet as the second largest shareholder in Greeland and it was then publicly announced that very day in a press release that described the transaction under the title ‘Project Lane Real Estate’ as if it were part of the state to state agreement for the $8 billion investment by the Chinese Silk Road Fund project in Kuwait, even though it merely related to a private property deal funded by stolen Malaysian money in New York.
The press release took care not to mention the identity of the New York property that had changed hands in the deal, describing it only as the ‘Park Lane Project’ and crucially gave the impression that Greeland had purchased the property from Al Waseet rather than the dubious Mr Jho Low.
Situated at the core of Manhattan’s financial center, the site looks out to an unblocked panoramic view from Central Park to the Hudson River. The Park Lane project will be developed into a world’s top-notch luxury property project … Mr. Yuliang Zhang, Chairman and President of Greenland Group said, “Greenland Group has always been confident in US market and has developed many real estate projects in New York City and Los Angeles.….
The press release then went on to describe the separate Silk Road fund venture in Kuwait as if the projects were in some way connected.
In line with State President Xi’s “One Belt, One Road” vision to foster closer relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the Middle East as international strategic partners in terms of economic cooperation, cultural exchange, regional collaboration and financial platform construction, Kuwait Strategic Investor and Greenland Hong Kong will jointly establish the SRIREF with targeted fund size of US$8 billion, and will start in-depth cooperation with several Middle East sovereign funds in the future.
In short, in a lightening move enabled by careful legal preparation, Jho Low had off-loaded his real estate hot potato in New York to a top Chinese company, using as a front a respected major company in the Middle East and an entirely separate state to state deal between China and Kuwait.
“This way Jho Low avoided due diligence by the Chinese public company and the bank over the property, which would have normally accompanied such a sale”
says a source at Al Waseet.
With the company beginning to be compromised in this way, the situation had become difficult for its managers, who nevertheless clearly relied heavily on their relationship with the Al Sabah family in Kuwait and wanted to continue to please and profit, but within the normal boundaries.
Worse, over the coming weeks the Kuwaiti side were to become more and more aware of the concerns about Jho Low and his role in 1MDB, all of which had made him a toxic business partner on the global scene.

Comoros Bank

Meanwhile, Jho Low himself was clearly still scrambling to find paths to channel the vast sums under his control as global banking institutions and reputable businesses began to close their doors against him.
In this endeavour his new Kuwaiti and Chinese business partners were to become crucial players, Sarawak Report has found, and the Kuwaitis rapidly became sucked into further business plans that again had nothing to do with the initial development projects supposed to be the reason for the business relationship with the Al Sabah family.
For example, Sheikh Sabah was the owner of a bank in the French speaking Comoros Islands BFC (Banque Federale de Commerce). Jho Low had announced he was keen to buy into a network of banks and told his Kuwaiti contacts he was also engaged in buying into a bank in Cyprus (a matter already exposed in Sarawak Report).
The reasons for Jho Low wanting his own bank were obvious. Sarawak Report has likewise reported that one of this close partners, the Thai businessman Laogumnerd, appears to have likewise invested in a Mauritius bank during the same period.
Jho Low came up with what appeared as an irresistible offer for the Sheikh Sabah, which was to buy 50% of BFC in the Comoros at a rate way above its capital value of just US$10 million for €35 million, as long as Sheikh Sabah agreed to remain as the other shareholder (key to adding a respectable and established front for such a remote off-shore concern).
It was at this point, following the June call containing the ‘good news’ about the Chinese agreeing to pick up the “silly situation” with 1MDB, that Jho Low explained to Sheikh Sabah that he would be able to pay for the share of the bank out of the first tranche of the US$3 billion commission promised by CCCC to Najib Razak in return for the inflation of the ECRL project.
Sarawak Report has viewed evidence that confirms the Kuwaiti prime minister’s son, Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah (Sheikh Sabah) agreed to cooperate by receiving the money through companies linked to himself in Kuwait.
Najib duly pushed the new ‘upgraded’ ECRL contract with CCCC through the Malaysian Cabinet in late July (the secret codicil containing the 1MDB repayment targets remaining hidden) and then went to China to ratify the project in November. Sarawak Report has learnt that whilst in Beijing Najib held at least two secret meetings with the fugitive Jho Low.
Meanwhile, in September, the first of the series of kickback payments amounting to 1.4 billion Chinese Yuan (€200 million) arrived in an account in the name of a Kuwait registered concern, Comoro Gulf General Trading & Contracting Company (CG/ Komoros Gulf) at the newly established branch of China’s ICIB Bank in Kuwait, according to bank documents viewed by Sarawak Report, with the promise of a second identical tranche of money due the following month.
An explanatory document for the bank entitled “For ICBC” was drawn up by Jho Low to be presented to account managers to explain the transfers as being part of the arrangement between the Silk Road Fund and Al Sabah family, citing the event with Greenland Property Group earlier in the year in Shanghai:
Background of Transaction and Intention of Funds
  1. Komoros Gulf for General Trading and Contracting Company (“Komoros Gulf”) is a company led by Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Sabah and his partners, and has been in discussions with China Communications Construction Company (“CCCC”) since June 2016 with respect to working with them on being a supplier for various items, together with potentially working with CCCC on projects in Kuwait.
  2. As you are aware, Sheikh Sabah Jaber Al-Sabah (one of the stakeholders of Komoros Gulf) is the eldest son of the Kuwait Prime Minister, and is very keen to establish strong cooperation between Kuwaiti and Chinese companies after his father’s excellent official visit to China the last few years.
  3. Infact, just a few months ago, Sheikh Sabah signed a partnership with China Government’s Greenland Group real estate developer to jointly form a US$8b “Silk Road Integrated Real Estate Fund (“SRIREF”) to invest in projects along the “One Belt, One Road” vision…
explained the document. It then went on to claim that ‘Komoros Gulf’ had entered into an agreement linked to this activity to supply bitumen to CCCC in both Africa and South America at advantageous rates. To justify the enormous payments they supplied copies to the bank of supposed invoices to CCCC run up by these activities:
Invoice for CNY900,000,000.00 in return for 'bitumen supplies'
Invoice for CNY900,000,000.00 in return for ‘bitumen supplies’
The owners of CG were Sheikh Sabah 5%, a business associate 49% and a sister company named KUC 46%. The first CNY450 million arrived on 13th September into the newly opened Yuan currency account at the bank.
Invoices and bank transfer documents viewed by Sarawak Report show that the September transfer was due to be sent in two separate payments of CNY450 million and CNY900 million made from a Hong Kong based subsidiary of CCCC named True Dragon Properties. A second identical payment was scheduled for October.
Evidence shows that the Sheikh and his associates accepted the payment, although they had been privately led to understand that it was part of a US$3 billion backhander to Najib by Jho Low, whose own notoriety had become widespread owing to the asset seizures announced by the United States Department of Justice earlier in July.
Associates of the Al Sabah family involved in the negotiations confirm that despite the misleading document drawn up for the bank they knew that the money had nothing to do with the proposed Silk Road initiative, which was now being used as a front for transferring the Chinese state company’s backhanders to help Najib cover up 1MDB and secure the rail contract.
However, it was at this point that these machinations driven by Jho Low took a direction which led to ruptures with some of Sheikh Sabah’s business allies at the major established company Al Waseet, in which the Sheikh also held a 20% shareholding.
Straight after the money had arrived in the Comoro Gulf General Trading & Contracting Company (CG) ICBC bank account in Chinese yuan, Jho Low explained that he had a number of ‘life or death’ invoices that now needed to be paid in western currencies, primarily to law firms who had assisted in his various dealings.
Crucially however, he wanted those payments to be made in the name of a known upstanding company, in order for them to be acceptable to the legal firms, and he therefore demanded that a large chunk of the Chinese yuan should be transferred into an Al Waseet main business account in the (Bank of Kuwait) in euros, in order that the invoices could be paid by that company in Sheikh Sabah’s name as a front rather than the payment being seen to be for services to himself.
As detailed in an earlier expose by Sarawak Report, Sheikh Sabah had indeed entered into  agreements with a number of law firms and other creditors of Jho Low to cover their fees (given that the businessman could no longer access the global banking system as a wanted fraudster).
A series of instructions drawn up by Jho Low over the handling of the CNY450 million seen by Sarawak Report included a number of invoices from creditors, among them the law firms Kobre & Kim and Gibson Dun & Crutcher as well as the yacht management company WMG and a London based ‘concierge’ company which had all been made out to Sheikh Sabah Jaber Mubarak Al-Sabah “c/o Al Waseet International”.

CNY450 million (US$63m) ‘Profit Margin’

As to why the money was not being used by CG to buy the bitumen requested by True Dragon Properties, but in fact to pay Jho Low’s various bills, Jho to told his Kuwaiti fixers:
The explanation to ICBC Kuwait Bank is that when the next CNY450 million is received, then this will be used to pay for the Bitumen supply to fulfil the contract. Effectively, the first CNY 450 million is the profit margin.

Jho Low’s strategies posed an immediate threat to Al Waseet International’s credibility. By now Jho Low was a known financial fugitive on the run and this would be processing a vast sum of stolen money on his behalf through a respectable company with international clients. “We had auditors and bankers and lawyers to satisfy and could not afford to have this money come through the firm under false pretences”, says one person familiar with the situation.
Meanwhile, the position with BFC Bank in the Comoros had also become scandalous. The chief executive of the Bank in the Comoros had already sent a written request not to proceed with the share sale as he had himself received a warning from his own clearing bank about receiving payments of some two million dollars into the account opened by Jho Low.
The clearing bank would cease to do business with them he explained. Later in December an attempt to process over €26 million from the sale of another Monet through the bank would be stopped, thanks to interventions by the FBI. However, the BFI chief executive took the blame and was imprisoned in the Comoros over the dealings with Jho Low.
Money for Monet transferred to Comoros Island Bank owned by Sheikh Sabah in December 2016
Money for Monet transferred to Comoros Island Bank owned by Sheikh Sabah in December 2016
“Jho Low had organised a series of fake invoices to justify the 1.4 million yuan payments, which was extremely worrying. Next, he was producing fake invoices for payments by Al Waseet to the various law firms he owed money to, either into euro or dollar accounts. This went right over the boundaries and was very blatant corruption”
a source has told Sarawak Report. After the first series of transactions relating to the CNY450 million were processed therefore the businessman connected to Al Waseet terminated the company’s connections with these dealings.
As part of a separation deal all interests in the Comoro Gulf General Trading & Contracting Company were signed over, in a Letter of Agreement drawn up by Jho Low, to Sheikh Sabah at no cost. In return the invoices which had been presented to Sheikh Sabah c/o Al Waseet were paid out of the CG account and not Al Waseet.
Letter of Agreement to remove Al Waseet from arrangements between Sheikh Sabah and Jho Low
Letter of Agreement to remove Al Waseet from arrangements between Sheikh Sabah and Jho Low
“I contacted Jho Low and told him that I could not cooperate in this matter and I needed to cease to be involved. I explained that I had seen a ten page banking document detailing his misdemeanors and that he was wanted by the law. He became very angry and asked if I was threatening him. He accused me of disloyalty to my “Boss”.
 says a former manager linked to these dealings. The episode was to be a turning point in the businessman’s relations in Kuwait as he ceased to do further business with the Al Sabah family and soon became the target, together with his family and associates, of numerous legal attacks by the Al Sabah family.
However, he has confirmed to Sarawak Report his sure understanding that payments continued to be transferred from CCCC to Sheikh Sabah on behalf of Jho Low and Najib as planned over following months, including to a new company that Sheikh Al Sabah created in oct 2016 to continue the transactions named Al Mouniratayen General Trading.
Sarawak Report has viewed invoices that confirm that Jho Low continued during this period to hide out in China, using his new Comoros Island bank account to settle bills with the Peninsular Hotel in Shanghai for example:
Jho Low's Amex payments in 2016 connect him to the Peninsular Hotel Shanghai. He funded himself through the sale of a Monet through Sotheby's paid into the Sheikh Sabah owned BFC bank in the Comoros Islands
Jho Low’s Amex payments in 2016 connect him to the Peninsular Hotel Shanghai. He funded himself through the sale of a Monet through Sotheby’s paid into the Sheikh Sabah owned BFC bank in the Comoros Islands
Jho Low had also managed to acquire a series of island nation passports thanks to the services of another company, Henley & Partners, in particular from St Kitts & Nevis and also Cyprus, giving him valuable access to the European area.
His new business friends in Kuwait meanwhile were tasked with smoothing his path into their own country by arranging VIP business visas for himself and his long-term sidekick Seet Li Lin.
Jho Low's visa to Kuwait
Jho Low’s visa to Kuwait
Thanks to this latest informationSarawak Report has therefore been able to fill in the gaps in Jho Low’s known business activities during this same period as he sought to get himself and Najib off the hook over 1MDB in 2016/17.
It is clear that he was being protected in China not least because he had developed a number of highly placed contacts, including the nephew of the President of China, for whom he was acting as an agent and promising lucrative opportunities in Malaysia and now Kuwait.
These exclusive revelations leave both countries with major questions to answer at the highest official levels regarding their involvement in Malaysia’s financial scandal of the decade.
The prime minister of Kuwait, father of Sheikh Sabah, was removed from office last November amidst allegations of corruption in an unusual scandal for the close-knit family-run Arab state. However, there is no confirmation as to whether the matters of concern were connected to the family’s close involvement with Jho Low’s thefts from Malaysia relating to 1MDB.
Jho Low with Kuwaiti dignitaries and Greenland Properties celebrate the Park Lane Hotel deal in Shanghai April 2016
Jho Low with Kuwaiti dignitaries and Greenland Properties celebrate the Park Lane Hotel deal in Shanghai April 2016

Friday, May 29, 2020

Sarawak Report provides even more revelations about John Holland parent CCCC and its part in Xi Jingping's Silk Road aka Belt & Road project: Details suggest that Australian Government intelligence on the Belt & Road project is false

by Ganesh Sahathevan

DFAT China hand Graham Fletcher seems to have missed  material 
adverse information about the Silk Roadthat has been in the public 
domain since at least 2017. He is the current Ambassador to China

Sarawak Report's latest revelation about John Holland parent  Chinese Communications and Construction Company (CCCC)includes this insight into China's Silk Road (or Belt & Road) project:

On the Chinese side (Malaysian Jho Low) had cultivated another powerful relationship with none other than the nephew of President Xi, Xinyuan Liu, who was present in Kuwait with the Al-Sabahs and key Chinese officials at the signing of the alleged Kuwait-Silk Road  Partnership in April 2016.
The deal was perhaps reminiscent of the ‘state to state’ partnership signed between Najib and Abu Dhabi. Both ventures, like many of Jho Low’s 1MDB related gambits, appear to have proven to be largely empty facades behind which huge sums went missing.

The revelations are available in full at this link. Readers should also refer to Sarawak Report's earlier story about CCCC and the Malaysian scandal. It includes information about the Greenland Group, which recently made headlines in Australia in relation to its hoarding of scarce face masks.

Sarawak Report is published online out of an apartment in London. It does not appear to have any permanent staff apart from its editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown. Despite these constraints it has discovered and  published significant intelligence about the methods used by Xi Jinping to promote and expand his Silk Road since at least 2017. The intelligence should have alarmed any government agency, but here in Australia the current Ambassador to China, Graham Fletcher was of the opinion in 2018 that the Victorian Government 's Silk Road/BRI deal "had merit". There was also no objection to the PLA linked Landbridge buying the militarily sensitive Darwin Port.

In light of the above one must conclude that Australian government intelligence on China and the Silk Road/BRI project is false.
Whether it is false by design, incompetence or negligence is irrelevant but what is needed is a purge of the so-called "China hands".We can start by calling home Graham Fletcher. 


Thursday, May 28, 2020

Daniel Andrews BRI deal had the approval of Graham Fletcher, the current Australian Ambassador to China: Can Australians afford to ignore the existence of a China lobby within DFAT and the Office Of National Intelligence which is working against Australian national interests?

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Graham Fletcher is obviously
a highly regarded "China hand"

The Australian has reported:

Australia’s current ambassador to China gave the green light to Victoria to sign on to President Xi Jinping’s signature Belt and Road Initiative, which has been criticised by Scott Morrison.

The Australian can reveal that Graham Fletcher, then a senior Foreign Affairs official, told the Victorian government in May 2018 that its plan to sign on to the BRI had merit.

Fletcher is obviously a well regarded "China hand" at DFAT.His resume on the DFAT website states:

Graham Fletcher has been Australia’s Ambassador to China since August 2019. Prior to this appointment, Mr Fletcher was head of the North Asia Division in the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) during 2008-10 and again from 2015. During 2014, he led the team that completed negotiation of the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. Mr Fletcher has served in the Australian Embassy to China on three previous occasions: as Third Secretary (1986-88), Counsellor (1997-2000) and Deputy Head of Mission (2004-08).
He was also Deputy Head of Mission in the Australian Embassy in Washington (2011-13) and Deputy Consul-General in the Australian Consulate-General in Noumea (1992-94)
Mr Fletcher has a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) from the University of Sydney. He joined the then Department of Foreign Affairs in 1983. He is married with three children.

As previously reported those who led the ChAFTA negotiations, Peter Vargehse and Andrew Robb, have by their words and actions shown themselves willing to put the interests of China ahead that of Australia. 

There is much movement between DFAT and the Office Of National Intelligence (formerly Office Of National Assessment). For example Scott Morrison's former national security advisor, Michelle Chan, has recently returned to the ONI, after acting as ambassador to a number of South East Asian countries. She is regarded a China "moderate", or "dove".

Be they China hands, moderates or doves, DFAT officials who have been advising successive governments over the past decade have clearly weakened Australia's bargaining position vis-a-vis China. It is immaterial whether they have done so by design or simply been incompetent at what they are being paid to do. They are clearly part of a China lobby, howsoever defined, which must be excised from the government and the civil service if Australian national interests are to be defended.
We could start by recalling Ambassador Graham Fletcher.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

HKEX listed CLP Group reported earnings in doubt given revenue recording issues at wholly-owned subsidiary Energy Australia: Accounting issues add to problems created by EA's closure of its Wallerawang power station in Lithgow, NSW

by Ganesh Sahathevan

By accident rather than design this writer found himself  not once but twice a customer of  Sir Michael Kadoorie and his CLP Group's  Energy Australia Ltd (EA). EA is CLP's wholly-owned Australian subsidiary.

On both occasions the first being in 2008, the second in the recent past, over-billing was the issue. 
In 2008 EA laid blame on the meter reading contractor, on the second a query about over billing resulted in a credit being offered, and then explained away as, in fact, a likely under billing. The credit however remained, as a gesture of goodwill.

All this piqued the curiosity of this writer, given his many years of reporting on South East and East Asian companies, like CLP and so a query was sent first to EA's CEO Catherine Tanna. 

The query was simply this: how did EA account for under and over billing, and what provisions did it make for these issues. Ms Tanna  refused to provide an answer to that simple question. The same query was then sent CLP in Hong Komg,given the implications for CLP's consolidated reports but again, answers to the simple query was refused. 

What has been  received however are a number of emails from EA's PR department which have not addressed the accounting issues.

In light of the above, questions now arise as to the quality of the earnings reported in CLP's consolidated financial statements. published to the HKEX and shareholders. These issues add to the matter of the consequences for EA and CLP arising out of its closure of the Wallerawang power station in Lithgow, NSW (see story below).


Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Is EnergyAustralia's Wallerawang a case of a fraud on the electricity market: could Wallerawang be the basis of a class action against Energy Australia and its directors

by Ganesh Sahathevan

The Honourable Sir Michael Kadoorie

Sir Michael Kadoori's

CLP owns Energy Australia

This is an excerpt from a story sure to warm the cockles of any climate scientists' (and fellow travellers') heart:

EnergyAustralia's Wallerawang power station in Lithgow, NSW shut down in 2014, citing an oversupplied energy market. Even though recent reports point to energy supply issues in the market, there are no plans to re-open the site. EnergyAustralia plans to turn the power station into an "eco-industrial" park with industrial waste recycling business Bettergrow.

"We're really excited by the potential to transform Wallerawang into an industrial hub, as Bettergrow has done with disused mines and industrial sites in the past," EnergyAustralia's Mt Piper power station head, Greg McIntyre, said. "Handing over the keys is a complex transaction and we are all working hard to make it a reality.

"Everything we've done behind the scenes with deconstruction and salvaging work to get the old Wallerawang plant ready for new industry is beginning to pay off."

EnergyAustralia and Bettergrow are in discussions for the development of the site.

"Wallerawang has terrific potential as a 'green-spot' eco-industrial park that Lithgow and the broader region can benefit from financially," Bettergrow managing director Neil Schembri said. "For this to work, we will retain the majority of the plant's ... infrastructure ..."

Mr Schembri said the new industrial park could create between 200 and 300 jobs in the future.

(Cole Latimer, The Age,Film sets to art centres: life after dirty power1 June 2019)

However, as the first line suggests, the closure, " citing an oversupplied energy market" may have been premature; indeed given the state of the market today (just 5 years later) it might be argued that the closure was intended to cause an undersupply, in a market that was likely to experience growing demand.

If yes, then the question arises as to whether Energy Australia is liable for the losses caused by a fraud on the Australian energy market.

Since the Supreme Court of the United States inBasic Inc v Levinson 485 US 224 (1988), United States courts have embraced the ‘fraud on the market theory’ in relation to transaction causation, which essentially does away with the need for members of a class to prove actual reliance on the companies misleading representations on the basis that there is a presumption that an efficient market exists where share prices fluctuate according to publicly available information about the company. A defendant may rebut the presumption showing: „ that the market price of the shares was not influenced by the non-disclosure; the aggrieved investors would have purchased the shares at the same price notwithstanding the non-disclosure; and „ the aggrieved investors knew the information that was not disclosed.

The fraud on the market theory has not been accepted by Australian courts but this writer suggests that the position can easily change if and when a matter in which fraud on the market is pleaded comes before a judge who understands finance theory.

Additionally, while the theory has yet to be extended to electricity markets the fact that electricity markets have begun to draw the participation of hedge funds suggests that it is only a matter of time.

Meanwhile, there is nothing to say that litigants cannot launch a class action against Energy Australia for disrupting the electricity supply market by carefully working through the issue of causation.