Kini Roundup: Mukhriz sues PM's aide, Scotland bank probed on 1MDB funds

Kini Roundup

Modified 4 May 2016, 12:02 am

Here are the key headlines you may have missed yesterday.

Mukhriz sues PM's aide over topple-PM allegations

Former Kedah MB Mukhriz Mahathir has filed a lawsuit against PM's aide Tengku Sharifuddin Tengku Ahmad for defamation, in relation to the latter's statements alleging that his father was moving to topple the current leadership in order to set him up to be prime minister.

Mukhriz argued that if his father, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to help elevate his political career, the old man would have done so while still in office, not 13 years after his retirement., a news portal aligned to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak took a sarcastic swipe at Mukhriz over the "historic" lawsuit, saying that this is the first time a politician is suing someone for accusing him of wanting to become prime minister.

Royal Bank of Scotland investigated over 1MDB funds

According to the Financial Times, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is the latest financial institution to be investigated over the transfer of funds linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), with Swiss regulators looking into accounts held in Coutts, the former arm of the private bank.

Despite 1MDB's US$50.3 million default on a bond interest payment last week, the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) does not foresee any problem with its exposure on the state investment arm, which EPF said is "very limited" and "fully government-guaranteed".

1MDB won some welcome respite after local investors said they would take no action on a cross default on RM$7.4 billion (about US$1.89 billion) of ringgit-denominated bonds, triggered by the US$50.3 million default.

An industry observer noted that out of the RM51 billion in assets that 1MDB has, as much as RM33 billion, allegedly embezzled through a number of seemingly crooked deals that no Malaysian authority is investigating at the moment, may never be recovered.

‘Same old things’ in Sarawak election campaign

The "lacklustre" election campaign for Saturday’s Sarawak state election has done little to change the political orientation of the electorate, and even less to inspire Sarawakians to vote at all, as parties fall back on old strategies, offering little that is new in their engagement with the electorate.

Though some say this may be due to the debilitating effect of infighting among Sarawak BN components, as well as between their opposition counterparts, which are holding the parties back in the battle for hearts and mind of the people.

Meanwhile, electoral reform movement Bersih 2.0 has accused Najib and his second in command Ahmad Zahid Hamidi of breaching election laws, using government resources for bribery and the authority of their office to project undue influence, with the Election Commission just standing by, merely watching.

Najib, in response to rumours that some constituents are being paid not to vote BN, told voters in Simanggang not to ‘sell’ their rights for money but to retain their votes as a priced possession that can be used to decide their future.

Journalists more into their breakfasts than real news

Veteran newsman Kadir Jasin opened the World Press Freedom forum at Universiti Selangor (Unisel) by noting that some renowned editors, ex-editors and retired journalists are more interested in informing the world about what they ate for breakfast or other happenings in their lives, instead of real news.

Journalist groups marking World Press Freedom Day decried the restrictions and clampdowns that continue to be imposed on the media, watering down its effectiveness as a vital agent of democracy, and demanding an end to intimidation and impunity by the powers that be.

More Kini bites

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin suggested the setting up of a high-level financial management committee in his ministry to monitor the its financial transactions and that of its agencies, to prevent leakage, abuse of power and misappropriation.

A senior citizen and his female passenger cheated death when the Toyota Vios they were traveling in plunged into a 12-metre-deep hole at a construction zone along Jalan Universiti this afternoon.

Controversial academician Ridhuan Tee Abdullah dreams of the day that will see a Malaysian of Chinese descent leading Malay-dominated parties like PAS or Umno.

Looking ahead

The Bar council will hold a round-table discussion on Promoting Greater Police Accountability in Malaysia today.

The trial of those charged with the murder of the late Kevin Morais continues at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur.

The cabinet will hold it's meeting in Sarawak today, the second time in history that the traditional weekly meeting of federal ministers is being held away from the federal administrative capital of Putrajaya.