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Thursday, January 29, 2015

How Tong Kooi Ong is attempting to break Bank Negara and crash the RM

TKO header
Exposing The Truth of Malaysians
An owner of a prominent news media empire is casting undue influence on the financial and political state of Malaysia for his own personal monetary gain.
Sources within Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) revealed that Tong Kooi Ong, the owner of the Edge Group and The Malaysian Insider has taken a USD1.4 billion short position on the Ringgit through a proxy. The first transaction took place in August 2014 and subsequent short positions have been taken leading up to January 2015.
Tong Kooi Ong is no stranger to investments, notably during the last financial crisis, Tong took a similar short position with Rashid Hussein which resulted in a significant gain.
He is a former stockbroker, financial analyst and banker who founded and built Phileo Allied Berhad, one of the most successful and innovative financial banking groups in Malaysia in the 1990s. Phileo Allied Bank was subsequently taken over and merged with Maybank in 2000.
According to the source, Bank Negara Malaysia and the securities commission are monitoring Tong closely.
How shorting a currency works:
A short position on the ringgit is essentially a bet that the ringgit will fall. The Malaysian ringgit will be traded for USD and if the ringgit reduces in value, the investor will make money when they buy back the ringgit at its lower value to cover the short position.
When a currency is being devalued, the central bank will step in to release reserves to balance the value of their currency against the currency that it is being most actively traded against.
In the Malaysian scenario as the RM drops, BNM will step in to buy RM in exchange for their USD reserves.
Speculators who short the currency will exploit this by taking a loan in Malaysia or using their own funds in RM to trade for the USD. The goal of which is to trade the RM for USD until the central bank is out of reserves so effectively the currency will crash.
The investor will then go back to the Bank that they initially borrowed money from and will convert it into RM to pay back the loan. The profit would be made off the gain that the USD receives against the RM. As the loan was made in RM and the currency has crashed the investor would have to trade less USD to pay back that initial RM loan.
Media and Mass propagation
With access to his media empire that spans from radio to print and online, Tong Kooi Tong is able change public sentiment through the mass distribution of articles that create doubt amongst the general public about the state of the Malaysian ringgit.
Insider newsAfter reading headlines that spell doom and gloom above, what would you do if you were holding Malaysian ringgit?
Take into consideration that in order for the currency to crash, it is crucial that Bank Negara reserves are pushed to their limit. A media empire would be the perfect channel to damage the perception of the RM effectively facilitating the devaluation of the RM.
The unpatriotic acts of short selling coupled with media propagation will lead Malaysia into a recession causing untold suffering for the average man on the street whilst lining the pockets of a few individuals.
To give readers a better understanding of how investors make money by shorting a currency let’s look at 2 case studies followed by a comparison of how the same could happen in Malaysia.
Soros Breaks the Bank of England and earns $1 Billion in a day
Soros
This is certainly the most notorious forex market event which took place on September 16, 1992 which is called “Black Wednesday” and Soros got his nickname “the man who broke the bank of England” from transactions he performed together with other traders. They didn’t break it directly, but they devalued it so badly that Britain had to take it out from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM).
Fig.1. How Soros Broke the Bank of England in 1992.
Fig.1. How Soros Broke the Bank of England in 1992.
Britain was in a recession from 1990 but despite this the pound (also known as Sterling) joined the ERM thus fixing the pound’s rate to deutschmark in order to make the investments more predictable and stable among Britain and Europe. But as the political and financial situation in Germany changed during the unification of Germany many ERM currencies were under big pressure to keep their currencies within the agreed limits. Britain had the most problems – its inflation rate was very high and the USD rate (many British exporters were being paid in USD) was also falling. So more and more speculators began circling and making plans on how to profit from this situation as it became clear that the pound was not able to artificially stand against the natural market forces. Speculators waited until the financial situation got as bad as it could naturally get and then created extra pressure on the pound by selling it in huge amounts. The most aggressive of them was G. Soros who performed this transaction every 5 minutes profiting each time as the GBP fell by minutes.
The money that I made on this particular transaction would be estimated at about $1 Billion dollars. We very simply used the forward market – you borrow sterling and you sell the sterling that you’ve borrowed. And then you buy back the sterling when the loan expires.”
– G. Soros.
How Soros earns $790 Million, crashes the Thai Baht and triggers the Asian crisis.
The second most notorious trade of Soros came in 1997 as he saw a possibility that the Thai Baht could go down so he went short on the baht (by going long on USD/THB) using forward contracts. His actions are often considered to be a triggering factor which sparked the big Asian financial crisis, affecting not only Thailand but also South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Honk Kong and others.
Fig.2. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
Fig.2. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
  1. Soros goes short on the baht.
  2. Thailand spends almost $7 Billion to protect the Baht against speculations.
  3. Soros sells all his baht resources and keeps telling everyone to do the same by publicly scaring people with the fall of the baht and crisis. It works.
  4. On July 2, Thailand is forced to give up the fixed rate of the Baht and it starts to float freely. Thailand asks for help from the International Monetary fund (IMF).
  5. Thailand takes on hard austerity measures to secure the loan from the IMF.
  6. Baht has fallen from 1$ for 25 baht to 56 baht thus Soros had gained more than 790 million USD.
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How Tong Kooi Ong would break Bank Negara Malaysia
Fig.3. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
Fig.3. How Soros gained $790 Million and destabilized Thailand’s and Asian economies in 1997 – 1998.
  1. Tong Kooi Ong goes short on the RM
  2. . Malaysia spends reserves to protect the RM against speculators
  3. Media empire is used to spread doubt to drive the RM down further
  4. Tong Kooi Ong closes his trade after the RM has devalued enough for a significant profit
  5. USD position of estimated USD1.4 billion is converted to devalued RM for huge profit. Bank is paid back initial loan of now devalued RM. The difference between the initial cost of the RM and the devalued cost of the RM is pure profit.
We urge members of the public to share this article with their friends and family Reports have been lodged with Bank Negara Malaysia and the securities commission but we urge the public to lend their support by lodging their own reports.
Revisiting the 1997 financial crisis.
During the 1997 financial crisis, the greed of a few unpatriotic speculators caused Malaysia to enter into a recession. Greed led speculators to make millions, if not billions, at the expense of the country.
Malaysian bankers then were hard at work unethically betting against the ringgit. Currency speculators borrowed ringgit from offshore forex markets and sold it. They proceeded to dump the money into the market – pushing the exchange rate down even further.
Once the ringgit was devalued sufficiently from all the selling down, these ruthless traders bought back the currency at a much lower price, paid back their borrowings and made a handsome profit, whilst millions of people in the country suffered and continued to suffer as Malaysia entered a recession.
Dangerous rumours were circulated about the deterioration of the economy, as it would aid the profitability of their short selling.
In response to the currency crisis in 1997, Malaysia banned short selling. However, once the economy recovered sufficiently, the ban was lifted in March 2006.
Why should a weakened currency matter to you?
During the 1997 crisis retrenchments soared by 444%. 83,865 people lost their jobs in the first 3 months of the crisis. The per capita income dropped drastically by half from USD5,000 to USD2,500. The ringgit drooped from RM2.50 per USD to, at one point, RM4.80 per USD. The KLCI fell from approximately 1300 points to nearly as low as 400 points in a few short weeks.
When a currency is heavily devalued unemployment rises and household incomes drop. Households change their spending habits to only purchase needs, this affects the entire economy as less people eat out or go shopping. A downward spiral begins as people lose their jobs, businesses have less customers resulting in the need to cut costs further which results in the lost of more jobs.
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10947851_1594888537398136_1995500952_n
During the 1997 crisis despite strict counter measures from BNM, the country’s GDP suffered a sharp contraction of 7.5% in 1998, and the country went into recession.
During a recession people go out of business resulting in loss of jobs, projects get abandoned and local banks get huge withdrawals from customers.
As jobs become scarce people put up with lower pay with higher workloads and harsh working conditions. The number of bankrupts in the country increases as loans are defaulted on. People lose their houses, as they are unable to service their mortgage.
In the aftermath of the assault on the ringgit in 1997, Dr Mahathir said in reference to currency traders “There is absolutely no consideration given to the sufferings and miseries on the suddenly impoverished people and their countries. Going beyond the economic field, the threat of losing confidence was extended into the social and political fields. In one instance, the currency of the country was devalued by 600%”
“Currency war can achieve political objectives just as well as a military war.”
-Tun Mahathir wrote on his blog 29 March 2012 in reference to the 1997 currency crisis.

MH370 families angry after briefing cancelled at the last minute

Families of victims on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 turned up at the Department of Civil Aviation office in Putrajaya today only to find out that a scheduled press conference had been called off. Chinese national Kelly (left) says she has been in the country for a few weeks and had hoped to meet the transport minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, January 29, 2015.Families of victims on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 turned up at the Department of Civil Aviation office in Putrajaya today only to find out that a scheduled press conference had been called off. Chinese national Kelly (left) says she has been in the country for a few weeks and had hoped to meet the transport minister. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, January 29, 2015.
Malaysian civil aviation authorities today called off a press conference about the 10-month mysterious disappearance of flight MH370, citing unforeseen circumstances much to the surprise of families of those on board the Malaysia Airlines jet.
They had turned up at the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) office in Putrajaya where the press conference was scheduled to be held at 3.30pm, but at 4.05pm, an officer from the Information Department told media personnel the briefing had to be called off.
The officer said a new date will be announced to "selected" media later.
"What are they hiding from us? One minute they wanted to tell us and the next, they say it's called off. Be truthful," said Mohd Sahril Shaari, whose cousin Mohd Razahan Zamani had been on board the flight.
Invitations to the briefing had earlier been sent to the media amid talk that the Malaysian authorities would possibly revise the status of the search on the plane that disappeared less than an hour after departing from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8, last year.
There were 239 people on board, most of whom were Chinese nationals.
The briefing was to have been broadcast live on local television news channels, and some Twitter users who had been waiting for it, reacted to the cancellation.
"Kesian juga families day menunggu and you just cancelled it like that," said @rajifusama (Pity the families who have been waiting.)
"If you ain't ready, don't shout 'wolf'!! Yikes! Malulah muka Malaysia lagi," tweeted @rahmatomar (Embarrassing for Malaysia once again).
At the press conference venue, more next-of-kin expressed their frustration at the cancellation.
Sahril said he found out about the press conference from reading the news and wanted to hear the announcement for himself.
"I was here since 3pm. It is frustrating and upsetting. I was told that this was about announcing that the plane is lost. What are they trying to do? This is unacceptable. Other families are upset, too," he said.
Intan Maizura, wife of crew member Hazrin Hasnan, and son Muhammad at the cancelled press conference today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, January 29, 2015.Intan Maizura, wife of crew member Hazrin Hasnan, and son Muhammad at the cancelled press conference today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, January 29, 2015.Jacquita Gonzales, the wife of MH370 flight attendant Patrick Gomes was emotional as she spoke to the media.
"I came all the way here and this is it?" she said.
She also questioned the possibility of declaring the plane's status as "lost".
"What is the definition of lost? Tell me.
"My husband wants to come home. Every lost person wants to come home. Intan Maizura's husband wants to come home. Muhammad has not seen his father. We are concerned more about the person," said Gonzales before excusing herself from the media.
Intan Maizura, the wife of crew member Hazrin Hasnan and Muhammad their son, had also come to the briefing today.
A Chinese national who gave her name as Kelly said she was a family member of one of the passengers and had been in Malaysia for a few weeks to get an appointment with Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.
"I would like to ask them to give us the Inmarsat data in Chinese so the family can analyse it ourselves," she said.
Malaysia Airlines later issued a statement saying “due to the presence of next-of-kin at the briefing, it was not appropriate to continue, and the briefing was cancelled”.
Arrangements have been made for the director-general of the DCA to record a statement, which will be aired by the Malaysian broadcaster RTM at 6pm, MAS added.
- TMI

Tough to extradite Sirul if he engages lawyers, says deputy minister

Attempts to extradite convicted murderer Sirul Azhar Umar (pic) to Malaysia may be more complicated now that the ex-corporal could be engaging his own lawyers to represent him in Australia, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said.
The deputy minister said he was informed that lawyers in Australia were being prepared to represent the former bodyguard of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak if Malaysia were to go to court to have him extradited .
Sirul was found guilty of murdering Mongolian woman Altantuya  Shaariibuu in 2006 and sentenced to death together with police chief inspector Azilah Hadri by the Federal Court on January 13.
He said that if this were to happen, representatives of the Malaysian government would have to attend court proceedings in Australia to attempt to bring Sirul back.
"If this were to happen, a hearing in the Australian courts would take place and it will be up to the decision of the court there," he said.
For now, Wan Junaidi said Putrajaya would wait for further developments before deciding on its next move.
"That is why we are quiet for now, because this is a matter that has to follow the process of international law."
Sirul, 43, was not present in court for sentencing and it was later confirmed that he had fled to Australia and was living in Brisbane. The Federal Court has issued a warrant for his arrest.
Australian media reported that he had been detained for immigration offenses. The Sydney Morning Herald said he may be held indefinitely in a detention centre in Sydney.
Malaysia is in a bind as Australian law does not allow the extradition of a criminal if the penalty faced is the death sentence.
Putrajaya had requested for his extradition but was rejected. Australia is among the countries that does not have provision for the death penalty in their laws.
Wan Junaidi was previously reported saying that Malaysia would attempt to bring Sirul to court in Australia if the country continued to keep him from extradition.
Yesterday, it was also reported that Sirul's Malaysian lawyers were now in Australia to secure his release from the immigration detention centre.
Sirul's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin told an online news portal that his client would need to hire lawyers who were qualified to practice in Australia to represent him should his extradition matter go to court.
- TMI

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

‘Gov’t may table a RM5.2bil supplementary budget’


A World Bank economist predicts the government may resort to tabling a RM5.2 billion supplementary budget even though it announced a RM5.5 billion budget cut in its operating expenditure on January 20.

Frederico Gil Sander, a senior economist of the World Bank, reasoned this because he noticed RM5.2 billion in “new spending” in the figures when the Prime Minister Abdul Abdul Razak announced the revised 2015 budget.
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Perkasa and Isma, thanks for awakening Malaysians


YOURSAY ‘Why is Perkasa so blind with bigotry that it can't even recognise itself?’

Perkasa files defamation suit against Kurup
                   
Asitis: Let the court decide whether Perkasa is indeed racist, chauvinist and extremist. The court of public opinion has definitely decided that this is indeed the case. Let the civil court now judge the matter.

We have nothing to lose. If the court judges in favour of Perkasa, we will all not be surprised. Just another allegedly biased judicial decision in Bolehland. We are used to it by now.

But should the court surprise us by judging against Perkasa, then Perkasa will not be able to deny that it is indeed a racist, chauvinist and extremist group that we all know it is. Yes, so bring it on.

Well Thats Fantastic: Indeed, nothing like having a court order that finds you racist when you lose this one, Ibrahim Ali.

Lamborghini: Any true Malaysian who believes in a pluralistic, multiracial and multi-religious society and has eyes to see and minds to think will agree with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Joseph Kurup.

Why is Perkasa so blind with bigotry that it can't even recognise itself and is vehemently denying the truth about itself and angry with the national unity minister, who clearly and rightly sees it as a danger to unity in our country?

Baiyuensheng: Actually we have Perkasa and Isma to thank for the changes happening in our country. They speed up the awakening process of all Malaysians on the need to change the government.

The moderate Malays are starting to find their voices and speak out. It is a good thing.

Sali Tambap: Let them fight it out in court. The more is revealed about Perkasa, the more informed the public would be of this NGO.

Also, let's see what Kurup is really made of. Much opinion, especially among the Kadazan group that he is supposed to represent, is that he is a mere lackey in the BN government.

A court case could somehow bring to the surface more of his inner being and character. Perhaps.

Spinnot: No problem, all Kurup or his lawyer has to do is to retrieve all the racist speeches and press statements of Perkasa and its leaders and present them as court exhibits.

Survivor: Perkasa is a good for nothing group. What good can this type of group do for a society? If they are not a racist group, then what are they?

Kurup is absolutely right to call them "racist and chauvinist".

Anonymous_3e06: If Umno leaders are too afraid to take on Perkasa, then someone else has to. Kurup has nothing to lose for saying Perkasa is racist.

East Malaysians who voted in Kurup have to back their leader for taking a stand against a group that is slowly destroying the Malaysia that we know.

But Umno will not say a thing, they know they have lots to lose.

BH Yap: This NGO has too much money and no substantial issues to fight for. Soon it may file cases against Umno leaders who don't agree with its activities.

P Dev Anand Pillai: Perhaps Perkasa's panel of advocates ought to advise them that a group or association cannot be defamed. Suing the person who is alleged to have said that is not going to stand in law.

Concerned Malaysian: However you look at it, a threat to burn or even mention the burning of a holy book is racist to the core, it shows no respect to the sentiments of others.

Anon1: A defamation suit filed at the High Court when the Sessions Court already has powers to hear this type of cases? Hopefully when the High Court dismisses the suit, heavy costs are ordered to be paid to the minister.

What irks me is that there are lawyers out there who believe that Perkasa has a cause of action. Such a disgrace to the profession to take sides with a slimy frog.

Smallbigblob: So, Kurup, as the minister overseeing national unity, have you ever asked the PM why is such a group of racists being funded by the government, and why no action has been taken by the Royal Malaysian Police (PRDM) of 1Malaysia Bolehland?

Anonymous #40538199: The government must stop funding NGOs that work against national unity. And don’t provide funding to NGOs that sue a cabinet minister.

Slumdog: Kurup was only making a friendly reminder that Perkasa was "racist and chauvinist". Why is Perkasa so sensitive and insecure?                 

Pakatan-Ku: Well done, Minister Kurup. As the minister in charge of national unity, it is your duty to defend peace-loving Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or culture.

Jae K: I hope this will get to the court and see how our learned judges define racism and extremism. -Mkini

Altantuya’s death ‘just a straightforward murder case’, says ex-lover Razak Baginda

Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda says he was blackmailed by Altantuya Shaariibuu. – Twitter pic, January 29, 2015. Political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda says he was blackmailed by Altantuya Shaariibuu. – Twitter pic, January 29, 2015.Nine years on, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda still does not know the motive for his lover Altantuya Shaariibuu's murder but noted that many people have inexplicably died in police custody.
Razak was acquitted of abetting in her 2006 murder but‎ two police commandos have been found guilty by the Federal Court after a final round of appeal this month.
"Only the two policemen know. Rogue police do kill people, like in so many remand cases," the political analyst told The Malaysian Insider when asked what, in his opinion, was the motive for the murder.
Azilah is on Death Row while Sirul has fled to Australia. Malaysian authorities have applied to have him extradited.
Speaking to The Malaysian Insider recently, Razak said speculation on the case had gone to the point of being extremely ridiculous.
"The situation has become quite ridiculous in terms of the speculations. It is much of the same speculation but now, more twisted because we have reached the end of a long legal process.
"There is a twist to all this because Sirul escaped and went to Australia," said Razak, adding that he is willing to speak now as from a legal point, the criminal case is now over.
He also commented on reports of Sirul's mother lamenting that her son had been framed.

"What do you expect the mother to say," he said.
He also referred to reports of Sirul's son, appearing out of nowhere on a Facebook page, saying he is in Australia with his dad.
The user, who called himself Shuk Sz, claimed to be Sirul’s 19-year-old son.
In one of his postings, Shuk Sz said Sirul was called to record a statement but does not say which authority had summoned him. He said if the statement is publicised, Malaysia’s reputation would suffer.
"We don't even know the authenticity of the Facebook (posting), and yet it got reported. Nobody bothers to check?
"If you just treat this as a murder and do not politicise it, then it is just a straightforward murder case," he said.
Razak insisted that the two policemen had acted on their own accord when committing the murder, adding that, "this was determined by the court".
"At the end of the day, the court proceedings were so transparent, some of the best defence lawyers were there, including the late Karpal Singh. The judge was so liberal, giving opportunities for everyone to ask questions."
He questioned why there was an allegation of conspiracy hanging over the case when there was no evidence to prove it.
"There are still people out there who are convinced that police cannot do this without instructions.
"How many people die in remand? The last count was 156 from 2008 and the figure is going up. So who instructed this?‎"
Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 29, 2015.Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 29, 2015.Evidence in court revealed that the Mongolian woman was either murdered by C4 explosives or was killed first and her remains destroyed on October 18, 2006, in the outskirts of Shah Alam, near capital city Kuala Lumpur.
It emerged during the trial that Razak, a confidante of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had enlisted Deputy Superintendent Musa Safri's help as he could not tolerate the harassment from Altantuya.
Musa was at the time the aide-de-camp for Najib, who was then the deputy prime minister.
On April 9, 2009, the High Court meted out the death sentence on Azilah and Sirul Azhar after a marathon 159-day trial.
On August 23, 2013, a three-man Court of Appeal bench acquitted the two policemen due to lack of evidence. In fact, judge Tengku Maimun Tengku Mat, who delivered the written grounds, said the two should have been freed without their defence called.
The bench ruled that the failure to call Musa proved fatal to the prosecution's case.
Tengku Maimun said it should not be overlooked that the ugly and horrendous episode had started with the request by Razak to Musa before Azilah and Sirul came into the picture.
The prosecution said there was no need to put Musa on the stand as he was only a peripheral figure in the case and that an affidavit by Razak in support of his bail application had revealed that the senior police officer's role was limited to introducing him (Razak) to the Brickfields police chief.
Even Sirul, who gave an unsworn statement from the dock, had said that Musa was not involved and neither did he (Musa) give any directive.
Sirul had also pleaded with the judge not to impose the death sentence on him, saying: "I am the black sheep who has to be sacrificed to protect unnamed people."
Azilah had given a notice of alibi to the prosecution that he was not at the crime scene. He tendered a copy of the station diary that indicated he was at the Federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman at the time of the murder.
The judgment pointed out that Azilah and  Sirul were spotted at the hotel where Altantuya stayed and both were outside Razak's house the night she went missing.
The court also accepted the evidence of information leading to discovery as they voluntarily led police to the isolated crime scene.
Further Sirul was unable to provide an explanation on a blood-stained slipper found in his car and the discovery of jewellery in his house.
Below are excerpts of Razak's interview with TMI:
Q: Why are you speaking up now?
RB: The problem is, it has gone to the point of being extremely ridiculous. It is down right ridiculous. Good Lord, people have twisted and turned. Now suddenly the son (Sirul's son) comes out and latest I heard, the mother says he was framed. What do you expect the mother to say? I mean, come on. Much the same speculation but now, more twisted because we have reached almost the end. All the speculation that comes out of this obviously makes me more angry. From the legal point, the criminal case is now over and that is why I am speaking now.
Q: Can you share with us your experience in prison?
RB: Nobody wants to go to prison. I hear people saying, "I don't care, I want to go to jail". Don't say it because you've never tried it. There was a lot of frustration on my part because I was innocent. I kept asking what was I doing here. The other frustration was the court case dragged on. I hated public holidays because public holidays meant the case gets adjourned. It is a terrible experience.
Q: When you were there, were Azilah and Sirul in the same prison complex? Did you see them?
RB: Obviously they (prison authorities) separated us. I never saw them. Only saw them when we were in court. In fact, I never met them until three or four months after I was in jail. Only met them on the first day of trial.
Q: This is not just another murder case.
RB: Yes, because there were a lot of twists. If you just treat this as a murder and do not politicise it, it is just a straightforward murder. Because of my closeness with Najib, those who wanted to kill Najib (politically) at that time, saw it as a golden opportunity to use it against him.
Now, if I had no connection with Najib, even though I was a political analyst, this thing would have just died down.
There's a herd mentality among Malaysians. A picture was painted right from the beginning. This is the angle you should be looking at, everybody jumps on the bandwagon. I will challenge you to be a bit more creative and look at the wider picture.
If you talk about police conspiracy, there can be other conspiracies taking place as well. The truth to this murder is simply extremely too boring. It was a straightforward murder, but there are still people convinced that police cannot do this without instructions.
How many people die in remand? The last count was 156 from 2008, the figure is going up. So who instructed this?
Q: So you are saying these two acted on their own accord?
RB: Yes, as determined by the court. Simply because, at the end of the day, the court proceedings were so transparent, some of the best defence lawyers were there, including Karpal Singh.
The judge was so liberal, giving opportunities for everyone to ask questions. Whatever you say about our system, it was so transparent.
I was so frustrated because there were so many postponements to the case. So what's wrong if they (Azilah and Sirul) went on their own? Look at MH370, what, there was a conspiracy? Come up with the evidence. Nobody came up with the evidence. Things just happen. Bermuda Triangle. Certain things are just unexplainable. So why not this? That they just went on their own. Why not?
Why? Because Malaysians have been fed from day one that this is the narrative. This is the narrative we played. Everybody, without thinking just jumped on the bandwagon and they went on with this.
Q: There was one incident where you caused quite a stir in court when you were told something, and your wife also screamed, "Look, he doesn't want to be PM". What was that about?
RB: That was so funny. Honestly. If you have been in prison, and you say, I want to finish this case, and then someone tells you the case has been postponed for the next two weeks. I was just pissed off because I see the whole system as just being dragged.
This trial is the most sensationalised case ever in the history of Malaysia. Even Botak Chin did not get this coverage. I still have in my archive all the newspaper cuttings. It is incredible the type of media coverage I had.
You know what this is... the editors are involved. If I owned a newspaper, I just had to tell them, "Hey, play it down, don't play it up". But someone was putting paraffin into the flame. Of course I was frustrated. I was in jail, for heaven's sake. And everybody was speculating this, speculating that.
Q: And that outburst was just because there was a postponement?
RB: Yes, because if you checked the date, there was a two-week postponement. You know what's it like when it is postponed, you go back into prison, you cannot see your family. My father whispered to me they were going to postpone and I was very angry.
Q: Tell us about your relationship with Bala (private investigator P. Balasubramaniam).
RB: Interesting relationship. I had two different rounds with him. The first time was, when you see... the deceased (Altantuya) came to Malaysia twice. The first time she came, after the blackmail, she wanted to get hold of me. I realised I needed some form of protection. I asked around and somebdoy recommended Bala.
His instructions were very simple – follow me, wait downstairs, if she comes, just let me know. And all I wanted to do was to avoid her. I didn't want to confront her. I know what the issues were, she wanted money from me.
I actually met her once, before I met Bala. What happened was, she came in. I told her do whatever "you wanted to do". Hopefully none of you will ever get blackmailed. If you look at all blackmail cases, once you succumb to a blackmailer, it is difficult. A blackmail will not work once you tell that guy, "You want to blackmail me? I don't care". Then he is finished.
What's he going to do? In my case, I succumbed to it in the early stages and then I said no. That's when she started coming. I said I didn't want to pay anymore. She got very angry.

Q: What was she blackmailing you about?
RB: There was some personal matter, the relationship. This is something very personal.
Q: What about the alleged US$500,000 commission (from the submarine deal)?
RB: Where did that come from? That's the thing. Everybody is lazy now days, journalists, everybody is lazy. They never check the source. Trace where the US$500,000 came from.
Q: It was mentioned in Bala's first statutory declaration.
RB: OK, anybody can say that. Where did that come from? Honestly the US$500,000 was news to me. I didn't know that. She (Altantuya) was blackmailing me for US$5,000, US$8,000. That's why I succumbed to it.
Q: No fee for her services as interpreter?
RB: What interpreter fee? The whole episode of her being an interpreter is a joke. She can't even speak French. We are all victims of a political game. And we all fell right into it. It's a narrative from the beginning – the murder, Najib, Razak and then the submarine deal.
This narrative was fed to the Malaysian public from day one and everyone like a herd of buffaloes, followed.
Trace and see if she can speak a word of French. None of the French guys in the submarine deal met her or knew her. The French were so sophisticated. They all speak perfect English. Nobody questioned. Why would you want a Mongolian French interpreter?
Think about it. If I wanted an interpreter, I would have a French interpreter or a British-French interpreter. Why on earth would I want a Mongolian? Has she ever been to France and stayed and learnt French? And yet everybody believed she was an interpreter of French and she got paid. Nobody questioned that.
Q: In Bala's first SD, there was another allegation that Najib introduced Altantuya to you.
RB: That's part of the narrative. I have said this hundreds of times, I don't even know how to say it anymore. Najib never knew the woman. Najib is innocent. If you all think there is a connection, where is the evidence? Let's not forget that in any situation like this, there are a lot of opportunists out there. We have seen this so many times.
Q: How did you come to know Altantuya?
RB: If I know Najib, it doesn't mean that he knows everything about me. But the assumption is that he knows everything I do. I think that is a wrong assumption. I have already said it in my affidavit and that is the truth. The truth hurt my family and there was a debate among my legal team if I should put it in. I even told how I met her. It's all there (in the affidavit).
Q: So are you rubbishing Bala's first SD?
RB: All utter rubbish. Anal sex as well. All rubbish. Everyone took the SD as the truth. Furthermore, in the SD, Bala says: "someone told me" or "I told him". It's all hearsay.
Q: Who is behind all this (narrative)?
RB: Dracula, vampire, werewolf, you name it... My favourite character has always been Dracula.
Q: The main aim then was to implicate Najib?
RB: Yes, of course.
Q: And you were also the victim?
RB: No, I wouldn't say I was a victim. There was a murder that took place and because I had a connection in the whole thing, and it's just too juicy a story to let go.
There are a lot of opportunists out there. And don't forget, Najib at that point was deputy prime minister, and in this country of ours, the DPM is a heartbeat away from becoming the PM. Everyone knew he had the potential of being the PM.
Q: Are you still close to Najib now?
RB: No. But does it matter? The situation has become so ridiculous, if I have tea here with Najib, everyone will say "Oh my god..." So we have to move on.
Q: Do you think that Malaysians will move on? That the ghost of Altantuya will be laid to rest?
RB: It will not, simply because there are interested parties out there. Because it's a political game. We are all victims of this political game. Do you know how many ghosts are out there? No one gives a damn because they are all apolitical. This one is there, because it is political. Simple as that.
Q: You were acquitted on October 31, 2008. Since then this Altantuya issue has been used against Najib. Why didn't you come out sooner to say something, like okay, enough is enough?
RB: As far as my lawyers are concerned, it was very clear. So long as I am involved in the trial, and if the case is not completed, you don't really want to say anything at this point until the whole process is completed.
Q: But Najib was not on trial. You were acquitted. So what was the problem?
RB: I had a PC (press conference after he was released). Statements were issued. Disappointingly, the press didn't ask all the questions. They asked all the narrative questions. They didn't ask anything else pertinent.
Q: Didn't you feel it was right for you to come out after that and say, look, enough of this?
RB: There was a great debate after I was released, and the conclusion was, let me come out with a statement. And not just a statement, a Q and A session.
But six, seven years later, same things come out. Everytime I speak to my lawyers, they say it is best not to say anything. "You have said what you wanted to say...there's nothing new. Let's hang on until... the whole process ends".
And the reason why I thought I should speak now, now that the case has finally ended.
But I still see a lot of the same shit. So I said to myself, let me try again another time.
They said Najib has never denied (knowing Altantuya). No. He has denied it many times. Even with people like Najib, at some point, he is going to say, "What am I going to do".
Q: Najib is now under attack. And now you are coming out to say that Najib is innocent. He wasn't involved from the start. Why now?
RB: I hope the focus will be on me, rather than Najib. You know, it is my story. Poor guy. To be honest with you, words cannot express my feelings towards how he has become a victim.
Q: But you have not explained how you have become a victim?
RB: To be honest, I'm a private citizen. I have no political ambition. I don't really give a damn.
Q: But you still spent 22 months of your life in prison.
RB: Yeah, but that's the system. What can I do. We tried everything possible to get bail, but we couldn't.
Q: Thinking back now, what would you have done differently?
RB: To be honest with you, I would come up with the best legal mind and sue the shit of anyone who deviates from anything they could not prove. I should have done that, that is my regret.
- TMI