A Greedy Najib – From China To U.S. Fortune 500, Bailing Toxic Bandar Malaysia

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Jun 25 2017
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Najib son of Razak will soon learn a painful lesson. The Malaysian prime minister will learn the real meaning of “a bird in hand is worth two in the bush”. He should have had honoured the deal that his administration made with IWC-CREC (Iskandar Waterfront Holdings-China Railway Engineering Corp) consortium and let the 1MDB scandal solved on its own.


Perhaps his father didn’t read Najib the story about the greedy dog. If he did, Najib would not have thought that there was another dog with a juicy bone in his mouth, when in fact it was his own shadow in the water while crossing a bridge after gotten the bone from a butcher’s shop. His greed would cost him dearly, as he might end up with nothing.

Najib Razak - 1MDB Scandal - Bandar Malaysia - Greedy Dog Saw CREC as Wanda Group

We had written why Najib must call for a snap election latest by last year (2016), right after winning big in the Sarawak state election. In fact, we had even justified, back in 2015, why a snap election should be called by 2016. But the indecisive and narcissist prime minister, born with a silver spoon, was ill-advised by his half-past-six advisors to play cool and let the 1MDB scandal dies a natural death.


His band of crooked advisors had failed, or deliberately failed, to convince him that if he had called a snap election in 2016, when the only explosive issue was 1MDB, he could win easily and thereafter raise the GST from 6% to 8% this year (2017), and use the estimated extra RM22.64 billion of tax money (2%) to cover whatever debt holes caused by 1MDB.

Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch Announces Lawsuits On 1MDB

The conventional wisdom was that the public has a short memory. But 1MDB is not any common thievery. 1MDB is the world’s biggest financial scandal. In fact, the U.S. Department of Justice acknowledges the 1MDB represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, involving stolen money of more than US$4.5 billion.


Still, none of that matters to ignorant and gullible rural voters in Malaysia. Mr. Najib could have easily bribed them with some cash to win the snap election. However, the non-risk taker Najib had chosen to wait for a better moment, which didn’t come. Now, the situation has turned for the worse. His rural strongholds – Felda settlers – are up in arms due to FGV’s scandal.

1MDB Scandal - How Najib Becomes A Billionaire and Fund His Wife’s Diamonds

The US-DOJ has just dropped a bombshell, hinting that the “wife of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” had purchased a 22-carat pink diamond necklace – worth a stunning US$27.3 million – using money siphoned from 1MDB. The crude oil has hit the lowest of 2017, and could go under US$35 – US$38 a barrel, a bad news to oil producer Malaysia.


More importantly, the elephant in the room – Bandar Malaysia – still stands magnificently staring at 1MDB. If Najib had called a snap election last year, the FGV (Global Ventures Holdings Bhd) scandal and the revelation that his wife allegedly bought an incredibly expensive 22-K pink diamond necklace using stolen money from 1MDB would not have any impact on him.


If Najib hadn’t been greedy and played out IWC-CREC consortium by accusing the Chinese investors of “failing to meet the payment obligations” under the share sale agreement, which is untrue, the bailout money would have fixed 1MDB debt problems. But Irwan Serigar Abdullah, the newly appointed chairman of Bandar Malaysia, convinced his boss Najib that he could raise even more money.


The greedy Najib was excited at the idea of getting more money by putting Bandar Malaysia in a bidding process, never mind that would mean conducting one of the most unethical business practices – terminating IWC-CREC’s rights as the master developer, which the consortium secured in Dec 2016 via a 60% stake worth RM7.41 billion.

Irwan Serigar Abdullah - New Chairman of Bandar Malaysia

Amusingly, despite claiming that IWC-CREC had “failed to meet the payment obligations”, which the consortium denied, Najib administration was kind enough to return RM785.9 million, being the deposit for the project. Of course, Mr. Serigar was also Mr. Najib’s boy who approached the Chinese state-owned company CREC doing other dirty jobs.


Serigar tried collecting “donations” from IWC-CREC as Najib’s preparation for election campaigns shifted into high gear. Thinking CREC was an ATM machine, Serigar also threatened Beijing that they might not get the high-speed rail (HSR) link between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore project, if China disagreed to assume US$3.5 billion of 1MDB bond liabilities – money owed to Abu Dhabi’s IPIC.

Prime Minister Najib Razak with Wang Jianlin of Wanda Group 

Najib thought he was smart to terminate IWC-CREC and start a new partnership with Wang Jianlin of Dalian Wanda Group, China’s largest real estate developer. Billionaire Wang Jianlin, who was dethroned on May 14, 2017 as the richest man in China by Alibaba’s Jack Ma, has a reputation for offering insane top dollars in his acquisition of U.S. companies and assets.


Thinking he could squeeze billions of US dollars more from the generosity of Wang Jianlin, Mr. Najib flies to China seeking Beijing’s blessing. Obviously, his minion Serigar didn’t get the memo. Beijing was not only upset that Najib had unethically broke a business deal; China had also stopped Dalian Wanda Group from bidding for Bandar Malaysia.


Now Najib Razak and his advisor Irwan Serigar Abdullah finally understood that Wang Jianlin is still answerable to Beijing, no matter how rich he is. They can never outplay and betray the Chinese when comes to doing business. You can be cunning and corrupt but a business deal, once agreed and signed, must be honoured. Both Najib and Serigar possess no such honour.


Both individuals have also realized that they have bet the wrong horse. Apparently Wang Jianlin’s Wanda Group, together with other Chinese big boys such as Fosun, Anbang and HNA, are being placed under scrutiny, amid crackdown on money laundering. The Chinese banking regulator is investigating how the country’s top overseas deal makers are borrowing money.

Wanda Group Under Investigation – Najib Bet The Wrong Horse

On Thursday this week, shares of Wanda Film tumbled nearly 10% before trading halted, and the firm later denied speculations that banks had been ordered to dump the company bonds. The Chinese authorities were suspicious over how Wang Jianlin structured massive deals like the snapping up of assets from Legendary Entertainment to AMC Theatres.


Two months ago in April, billionaire Wang Jianlin confirmed that he was forced by Beijing to abort the acquisition of US TV production company Dick Clark Productions for a mind-boggling US$1 billion. On the surface, it appears that China is tightening controls on capital outflows. In reality, however, Beijing is worried about financial risks from overseas asset buys.

US Dollars and China Yuan Renminbi - Currency Notes

Hotels, entertainment and sports are some complicated industries because it is easy to rig the taxes and statistics, which makes them ideal channels for money laundering. By borrowing heavily in China and used the money to purchase overseas asset, billionaires such as Wang Jianlin could leave a mountain of bad debt in China while enjoying his newly found wealth in the U.S.


Suddenly on June 21, Mr. Serigar announced that there will be new criteria for the request for proposal (RFP) process to invite companies to be the master developer of Bandar Malaysia. Laughably, the so-called criteria say the bidding companies must be top, world-renowned companies to ensure the project was developed at a top notch standard.

1MDB Selling Bandar Malaysia Land to China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) and Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) - Signing Ceremony

Serigar specifically mentioned that Malaysia prefers an affiliate of a Fortune 500 company. But CREC (China Railway Engineering Corp) was ranked in the 57th place among 2016 Fortune Global 500 Enterprises, and the 7th place among Top 500 Chinese Enterprises. In comparison, Wanda Group was at 385th position on the Fortune 2016 Global 500.


What Najib administration does not want the public to know is this – China is no longer interested in bailing out 1MDB-Bandar Malaysia, not if what the corrupt Najib administration wanted is more money than already agreed. That explains why suddenly the compass of bailout has changed from China to the United States, or at least that was the impression Serigar tries to project.

Fortune 500 - Companies

The burning question is – which Fortune 500 companies from America would be dumb enough to be scammed into wasting good money chasing after toxic Bandar Malaysia? Is Najib administration looking at Toll Brothers, Las Vegas Sands, MGM Resorts, JLL, CBRE, PCL Construction, TD-Industries or other alien brands, as desperation builds up?


If there was indeed a plan for Najib Razak to resign, taking with him a huge chunk of bailout money as his retirement fund, his plan has backfired spectacularly. The greedy Najib has dropped his juicy RM7.41 billion bone the moment he opened his mouth. The shadow in the water wasn’t Wanda Group but was that of IWC-CREC. But Mr. Najib was too dumb and greedy to realize it.


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