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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Malaysia Weekly Highlights



MUKHRIZ RESIGNS, AHMAD BASHAH SWORN IN AS KEDAH MB

Malaysia's political tension seem to have gone one tension up, with former PM's Mahathir's son, Mukhriz Mahathir being replaced by Ahmad Bashah as the Kedah Menteri Besar (MB).

Mukhriz out, Bashah in

Mukhriz said he was removed because of his criticism of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak over 1Malaysia Development Bhd and the RM2.6 billion donation.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah, aged 66 was sworn in as the new Kedah Menteri Besar (MB) last Thursday. This has ended the state's leadership crisis after Mukhriz was being told that he no longer had the support of the majority in the state assembly.

Ahmad Bashah, who led the revolt against Mukhriz is the deputy chief of Kedah UMNO.

This is probably a sign of a weakened influence from the Mahathir's camp.

LEMBAGA TABUNG HAJI (LTH) announces 5% dividend, 3% bonus

Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) announced an annual dividend of 5% for 2015 for its depositors. This was despite the controversy surrounding its dwindling reserves. The pilgrim fund will also pay an additional 3% as bonus for depositors who have yet to perform the Haji.

LEMBAGA TABUNG HAJI announced 5% dividend, 3% bonus amid the controversy

For 2014, a dividend of 6.25% was paid out and a special bonus of 2%.

The dividends will total RM3.23 billion and will be less than the original allocated amount of RM3.53 billion and will be less than the original allocated amount of RM3.53 billion, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom last Thursday.

The RM300 million difference will be reserved as per the Bank Negara Malaysia's advice and the economic outlook for year 2016.

TPP deal inked in Auckland, with 11 others

Twelve countries, including Malaysia signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement in Auckland, New Zealand, last Thursday.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA)

International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed signed the trade pact for Malaysia.

The other 11 countries are Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, US, and Vietnam.

THE 1MDB story continues: Singapore's 1MDB probe

I thought that the 1MDB's story is over but it seems that Singapore has a new update for us, with a senior banker at Grupo BTG Pactual SA's Singapore unit had his bank accounts frozen and was questioned in a probe related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).


Yak Yew Chee, employed by BSI Bank in Singapore, has filed a request to the Singapore High Court to have access to his funds, Bloomberg reported, citing sources with knowledge of the case.

He was the relationship manager for 1MDB Global Investment Ltd, a unit of 1MDB, as well as Aabar Investment, SRC International Sdn Bhd and financier Low Taek Jho, it reported.

NAJIB NOT A SUSPECT in US$4 BIL PROBE, ACCORDING TO SWISS AG


This is probably a good news, depending on how you view the story but a spokesperson at the Office of the Attorney-General (AG) in Switzerland told the Nikkei Asian Review last week that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not a suspect in the US$4 billion probe.


A week earlier, Switzerland's chief prosecutor AG Michael Lauber said he had formally asked Malaysia for help with his probe into possible violations of Swiss laws relating to bribery of foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and mismanagement at 1MDB.

This was a relief and the announcement Najib's camp was awaiting for after speculations that he was involved circulating on the internet.

MBSB-BANK MUAMALAT MERGER ABORTED

MBSB is still not a bank.That's the conclusion. Malaysia Building Society Bhd (MBSB), DRB-Hicom Bhd and Khazanah Nasional Bhd have decided to end the negotiations for the proposed merger of MBSB and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd.


The parties were not able to come to an agreement on the terms and conditions of the proposed merger, which would have been the country's largest standalone Islamic bank, according to a filing by MBSB with the stock exchange.

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