Saturday, November 18, 2017

Asian silence complicates Penny Wong's foreign affairs duties :Malaysia uses Australia's "Imams' Panel" discussion to make clear SSM is not acceptable

by Ganesh Sahathevan

While it has been reported that there was " Pride and jubilation worldwide as Australia backs same-sex marriage" Asia,and in particular countries in this region, have remained silent.


Of course, Australia is a sovereign country and will do what is in Australia's national interest.However, there is an obvious problem when one of the most high profile champions of the cause, Penelope Wong Ying Yen, is also the 
 Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs. The  problem is further compounded by Australia's desire to morph into an Asian rather than Western nation.


Penny Wong breaks down in tears as she hears same-sex marriage result

As an indication of things to come, a Malaysian government linked website has referred to an Australian panel of imams discussion to make the point that same sex marriage is against their country's norms.


END 

Reference 

A video by OnePath Network today has shed light to that very thought of those who asked ‘Should Muslims ever support gay marriage?’.
The panel of Australian leading imams had discussed the topic in ‘The Imams Panel’, which involved one imam revealing that Muslims should never discriminate against anyone should they wish to commit same-sex marriage.
“Whoever wants to do whatever, there's the freedom of the country or whatever. But as Muslim, Islam categorically says that it is Haram (prohibited), it is very clear in the Quran in the Sunnah),” says Mufti Zeeyad Ravat from Pillars of Guidance Community Centre (PGCC) in Melbourne.
He adds that if a person chooses same-sex marriage, “We cannot discriminate against him”, though it is an Islamic scholar’s duty to tell them off that it is not correct and it is ultimately up to the individual to repent to God.
“If we say ‘Okay it’s fine in legalising it’ then we are guilty of changing the Shariah (rulings) of Allah,” he advised while further stating Muslims must be firm in their stance as it reflects on the integrity of Islam.
On the LGBT community, Zeeyad shared, “We need to deal with it, we can’t say they are dirty people and push them aside, they need counselling and some love, and with some help they get over it.
“But if we are going to demonise them, they are going to go deeper and more people are going to follow them,” he pointed out.
While Sheikh Dr. Kamal Taleb from Roselands Masjid shared, “Islam is a religion of truth. It advocates truth and justice. If something is wrong, it won’t stand with wrong.
“With LGBT community, we’ll stand with them if they advocate justice, that which is truth and beneficial and not harmful.
“From an Islamic perspective it is wrong, Islamically speaking. Not only Islam but before Islam...in heavenly religions… It's not the norm as some people may think,” he said, adding that LGBT behaviour can be manifested in a proper manner or controlled, but not in the wrong manner.
Sheikh Abu Zoud from Sunnah Foundation, on the other hand reminds, “As a Muslim one is supposed to go back to his book of guidance (Quran), the story of Prophet Lut (AS),” whose people had engaged in homosexual acts.
Lut AS had faithfully preached and warned his people while emphasising the error: "Do you commit immorality while you are seeing? Do you indeed approach men with desire instead of women? Rather, you are a people behaving ignorantly.” (Qur’an 27:54-55)
Hence Abu Zoud affirmed, “Muslims stance on this is always ‘NO’… always Islam would teach against them (LGBT), so that's what we should be teaching,” he emphasised on the importance of educating the younger generation the right thing.

Australian Defence Minister in charge of submarines compromised by allegations about his sexual activities : What intel has he been forced to make available to foreign parties?

by Ganesh Sahathevan
















Christopher Pyne,the Australian minister in charge of the DCNS/Naval Group Australian submarine project has become the target of allegations concerning his sexual activities.  
While these allegations have only just been brought to the attention of the Australian  public the matter of Pyne's sexual activities are believed to have been known at least in government circles for at least the past decade.

While Australia's political reporters (dubbed the Canberra Press Gallery) have decided to keep the matter hidden from public view it cannot then be assumed that Pyne has not been the subject of surveillance ,and consequently compromised, by any number of foreign intelligence agencies. The media's determination to keep matters quite would have made their jobs that much easier. 

The matter of Pyne's sexual activities became public after his Twitter account was hacked. As Defence Industry Minister, Mr Pyne usually uses his Twitter account to discuss military hardware or sometimes to promote his media appearances.
That he has been compromised must be assumed. 
END 

END 

Did Goldman Sachs SSG Unit house fraudulently under priced 1MDB bonds? Does this explain Turnbull's refusal to investigate ANZ/AMBank

by Ganesh Sahathevan




Malcolm Turnbull when he was chairman at Goldman Sachs. Now he runs the country.
Malcolm Turnbull when he was chairman at Goldman Sachs. Now he runs the country. 



First ,from Zerohedge, quoting Bloomberg:


Alex Turnbull, a former executive director of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s special situations group, is planning a Singapore-based hedge fund, said people with knowledge of the matter.
 Turnbull, son of Australian Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, will be the chief investment officer of Keshik Capital Pte, said the people who asked not to be identified as the information is private. The fund, which will be focused on Asia with the flexibility to invest globally, may start as early as January and will invest in equity and credit, including convertible bonds, they added.

Keshik is at least the third hedge-fund startup tapping Asian opportunities in recent years involving a former member of the Goldman Sachs unit that invests in distressed debt and companies with its own capital. The Special Situations Group, known as SSG, is part of Goldman Sachs’s investing and lending operation, which generated $4.3 billion of pretax earnings last year(2013), the most of the New York-based bank’s four business segments.
 His reward: starting "his" own hedge fund, Keshik Capital, at the ripe old age of about 31, not even a decade out of college.

Now see :
The Wall Street bank helped 1MDB, which was founded by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in September 2009, raise $6.5 billion in three bond sales in 2012 and 2013 to invest in energy projects and real estate to boost the Malaysian economy. 
.

Then  see, from the NY Times:

Jack Blum, a lawyer who led corruption investigations for several Senate committees, said that Goldman should have done a thorough investigation of what 1MDB was doing with the money that the bank helped it raise and move around the world, especially given the history of corruption in Malaysia.
“It is a very serious problem when a company is making a hell of a lot of money out of something and everybody in the place says, ‘I don’t know about it,’” Mr. Blum said.
Mr. Blum said that assigning legal blame in situations like the 1MDB case was generally hard because it would be difficult to prove that Goldman executives knew what was going to happen with the money before it happened.

END

Reference

Goldman Sachs's Lloyd Blankfein & Tim Liessner: Which is the greater sin, writing a reference for employment at a competitor ,or knowingly buying sovereigns as junk?



Goldman Sachs alumnus Malcolm Turnbull runs the country; others the US Treasury

Friday, November 17, 2017

Malaysian Government tries to distance itself from Crown Prince MBS,hints at closer ties with Qatar-1MDB Saudi "donation " story likely factor



by Ganesh Sahathevan

"Innocent Owner" Riza Aziz Attended Yacht Meeting Before Good Star Heist - EXCLUSIVE

left to right - Tarek Obaid, Prince Turki and Najib Razak - the three named Shareholders of the 1MDB PetroSaudi Joint Venture meeting a month before the deal on the yacht Tatoosh.
left to right – Tarek Obaid, Prince Turki and Najib Razak – the three named Shareholders of the 1MDB PetroSaudi Joint Venture meeting a month before the deal on the yacht Tatoosh.
 
There was no need for Deputy Foreign Minister Reezal Merican to have made these  comments against Saudi Arabia,and in support of Qatar:

"Malaysia will ensure good relationships with any country. After ties soured between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, we remain in good contact with both. If there are allegations that because of Malaysia's good relationship with Saudi Arabia we are not allowed to have a healthy relationship with Qatar ... that's not the policy that we practice.

"Recently, Malaysia received a visit from the Emir of Qatar (Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani) and several substantive agreements were achieved during the visit,"

We have always been pragmatic. When the time comes for us to call a spade a spade, we will do that,” Reezal said in his winding up of the Supply Bill at the committee stage here today.

It does look as if the Najib administration is taking measures to ensure the elephant that is the  1MDB theft remains somewhat hidden, even despite all this that has just occurred:

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Twitter account of Christopher Pyne, Australian minister in charge of submarine contracts hacked

First see


And now:

Pyne is compromised, if not by the dirty tweet by the hack

Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. Picture: AAP
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne. Picture: AAP
Christopher Pyne’s Twitter headache has once again laid bare the perils of social media for people in positions of power. The Defence Industry Minister accuses hackers of hijacking his official Twitter account and blames them for the “like” on an explicit gay porn tweet. However, that claim in itself raises some red flags.
For a senior cabinet member, especially one in charge of the defence industry, to have his Twitter account compromised shows a glaring lack of knowledge about staying secure on social media. If the account was indeed hacked then it shouldn’t have happened so easily, says Nigel Phair from the University of Canberra’s Centre for Internet Safety.
“What makes it worse is how dismissive (Pyne) was about the thing in his tweets, saying that he was asleep at 2am when it happened, making it out as if it wasn’t his fault,” Phair told The Australian. “It was quite a throwaway remark.”
A Twitter account, like most things on the internet, is relatively simple to hack. More often than not, the number one culprit is an easy-to-guess password and our tendency to use it to access multiple services.
An investigation into the alleged hack will reveal the password Pyne and his staffers have been using to access the account. It’s unlikely to be a robust one. Passwords are routinely stolen using phishing attacks, where a user clicks on a malicious attachment or an email. Hackers then use the passwords to target accounts. They also rely on sophisticated code breakers to break passwords.
In fact, passwords by themselves are no longer sufficient to stay safe on the internet.
Security experts point to two-factor authentication (2FA) as a default deterrent.
The technology, now widely offered by most internet platforms, requires the account holder to type in a code that’s different every time they login. The code is usually sent to the user by SMS or generated by a special app on the user’s phone.
Twitter introduced 2FA in 2013 but it’s unclear whether Pyne and his staffers were using the technology. Two-factor authentication is being increasingly used in corporate circles but its use in public agencies remains limited.
Labor and Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi have called for an investigation but there’s no word on whether the Australian Signals Directorate or the special adviser to the Prime Minister on cyber security, Alastair MacGibbon, will be brought in for the job.
And whether the hacker can be caught is doubtful.
Phair says this should be a wake-up call for Canberra and the Turnbull government, which has been banging the cybersecurity drum rather loudly over the past year.
“They need to learn the absolute basics of information security,” Phair says. “They have a greater responsibility as an elected politician. There are no briefings given to politicians with regards to their personal social media accounts. It’s not so much about the tweet; it’s the fact that an account of a senior politician can be so easily compromised.”

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Al-Waleed's money laundered via Tabung Haji -TH denial contradicted by Al-Waleed's company

by Ganesh Sahathevan



Image result for tabung haji



In response to this story:

Al-Waleed's money laundered via Tabung Haji into property projects in Sydney, Australia; Tabung Haji and its wholly-owned TH Property have said:
"...accusations of its involvement with money laundering were “tainted”, baseless and false.
All investments are made directly by THP from internal funds; under no circumstances that THP has in the past or at any material point of time, sought or secured funds from Crestmount Capital or other external investors.
Cresmount on the other hand has stated :

Crestmount Fund I, with plans to immediately deploy the raised amount into five separate Australian Sharia-compliant projects at a local market value of $100 million (AUD), privately circulated the opening investment opportunity under the guidance of Amanie Advisors. The projects targeted for the capital, at varying stages of progress, are residential developments conceptualized and developed by the largest Sharia compliant developer in Australia, PietyTHP Developments.

PietyTHP is a JV between Piety and THP.As they say:

PietyTHP brings together two great companies with enormous experience in the art of building – Sydney-based Piety and Malaysia’s THP.

From the PietyTHP website:

OUR PEOPLE


Mr. Bilal El-Cheikh
Managing Director



Bilal is the founder of PietyTHP and has over 20 years experience and expertise in the construction and development industry in Sydney, delivering in excess of $250 million in projects. He has developed, and is continuing to develop, over $1B in property. Bilal has managed multiple development projects from inception to completion and has in-depth experience dealing with consultants, regulatory bodies, construction workers and marketing campaigns.

He was Vice Chairman of Vinaconex Advanced Compound Stone, an entity listed on the Hanoi Stock Exchange, employing over 1000 people and exporting engineered stone to over 40 countries around the world.


Mr. Danny Masri
Director



Danny has extensive experience in development and structured finance. Danny has previously served Westpac Banking Corporation and Colonial Financial Services prior to founding One Corp group an award winning, boutique multi-disciplinary financial services firm.

Danny has advised developers and acted on behalf of investors on over AUD $2.0 billion of property development project across New South Wales and Queensland.

Danny has also undertaken a number of boutique development projects in Sydney.

Danny holds a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics, Accounting & Business Law from Macquarie University and a Graduate Diploma in Financial Services from FINSIA.


Dato' Roszali Bin Othman
Director



Dato’ Roszali Othman, 57, was appointed the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of TH Properties on July 1, 2011 owing to his years of experience in the industry.

Dato’ Roszali holds a B.Sc. (Hons) in Land Surveying Sciences from the University of East London. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at INSEAD, Fontainebleau, France in 2004, and also the Oxford Advanced Management Programme at Said Business School, University of Oxford, United Kingdom, in 2008.

He has held directorships in various companies since 2001 including Chief Operating Officer of Negara Properties (M) Sdn Bhd, Director of Property of Golden Hope Plantation Berhad / Golden Hope Development Sdn Bhd and Director of Property of Island & Peninsular Berhad.

Dato’ Roszali is currently the Chairman of THP Bina Sdn Bhd, THP Hartanah Sdn Bhd, THP-SBB JV Sdn Bhd, and TH Universal Builders Sdn Bhd, as well as a Board Member of TH Properties Sdn Bhd, THP Enstek Development Sdn Bhd, THP Sinar Sdn Bhd, THP Development Consultancy Sdn Bhd, THT-HCM JV Sdn Bhd, Ultimate Building Machine Sdn Bhd, Roadcare (M) Sdn Bhd and HCM-TH Technologies Sdn Bhd.

He is also a Fellow of the Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia (FISM).


Tuan Haji Mohamed Rahim Bin Ismail
Director



Tuan Haji Mohamed Rahim Bin Ismail graduated as a quantity surveyor in 1975. He has served in various capacities in Public and Private sector organization.

He commenced his career in 1975 with JKR Headquarters and later posted to Lembaga Lebuh Raya Malaysia as Senior Quantitity Surveyor . In 1981 Tuan Haji Mohamed Rahim Started his career in private sector when he joined Shah Alam Properties as project Manager.

From then on Haji Mohamed Rahim has assumed various positions amongst them are Managing Director of M K Associates , Managing Director of Punca Alam Sdn Bhd a PKNS related company developing Damansara Impian.

Tuan Haji Mohamed Rahim has also served GLC companies in various positions viz. Director of Properties Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd , General Manager and Consultant to Property Division of Permodalan Nasional Berhad, Director of Warisan Merdeka Sdn Bhd and CEO of Permodalan Hartanah Nasional Berhad which he served until 2006.

Tuan Haji Mohamed Rahim is a board member of TH Properties and THP Bina Sdn Bhd.


Peter Munnings
General Manager



Peter has more than 43 years experience within the development and construction industry that includes substantial experience in commercial, residential, industrial, entertainment and retail development. Peter has managed both development and construction of in excess of 100 projects across all sectors including large residential estates, mixed-use developments, office towers, major health facilities and refurbishments.

Peter’s position as General Manager includes managing the approval and design process across all facets of the project with a strong focus on build ability and associated affects on program and quality.

Peter has held positions in the construction industry ranging from Foreman to Project Manager and General Manager spanning development, construction, design and operation capacities. Peter is well respected in the industry for his hands-on approach with clients, consultants, subcontractors and staff.

Peter is highly skilled and experienced in achieving positive resolution outcomes to ensure projects are delivered on schedule. He has a proven track record for the management and successful delivery of larger scale projects. Some more notable projects managed by Peter are Victoria Park mixed use development, The Waterfront, Homebush Bay residential development, Darling Harbour mixed use / heritage project and Sutherland Hospital.


Image result for piety thp
Image result for piety thp
Image result for piety thp
Image result for piety thp

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Al-Waleed's money laundered via Tabung Haji into property projects in Sydney, Australia

by Ganesh Sahathevan

Image result for tabung haji



Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has been arrested for corruption by his own government, and his assets are  in the process of being frozen. These will include assets held by family members who are highly unlikely to have wealth other than that of the family.One among them, his son Khaled  bin Alwaleed bin Talal,,has invested AUD 100 million into various property developments in Sydney,Australia. His partner in these ventures is a subsidiary of Malaysia's Tabung Haji, TH Property.
As reported by the AFR and others:


Rising Sydney residential developer Piety Investments has closed a $100 million investment with Middle Eastern fund Crestmount Capital, run by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family.

Helping Piety close the deal is its relationship with TH Properties, also Sharia compliant, and owned by the Malaysian government's Lembaga Tabung Haji or the Pilgrims' Fund Board.

Given the fact of Al-Waleed's corruption charge and the freezing of his assets,  Tabung Haji's  role in  laundering his money must be assumed.
END





Developer Piety Investments 

gets $100 million from gulf fund 

Crestmount Capital



Saudi Arabian royal family member Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed has invested $100 million in PeityTHP.
Saudi Arabian royal family member Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed has invested $100 million in PeityTHP.khaledbinalwaleed.com

Rising Sydney residential developer Piety Investments has closed a $100 million investment with Middle Eastern fund Crestmount Capital, run by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family.
While Australian real estate has attracted extensive capital from China and other parts of the world, the Middle East's huge pool of "gulf" money has yet to hit Australia in a big way, mainly because there are onerous requirements for investments to comply with sharia, and the volatile currency exchange between the Australian dollar and middle eastern currencies make investment profits patchy, experts say.
Sharia prohibits investments in areas such as alcohol, pornography and gambling, and requires funded transactions to follow certain audits and formats.
As a result, Middle Eastern investors have taken a bigger interest in stable long-lease assets like logistics and industrial assets which even out short-term exchange differences, as seen with Propertylink and Middle East-based fund Sedco Capital's logistics acquisitions.


Saudi Arabian royal family member Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed has invested $100 million in PeityTHP.
Saudi Arabian royal family member Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed has invested $100 million in PeityTHP. Ali Alriffai

Mezzanine-type deal

Piety and its joint-venture residential development partner, Malaysian government's TH Properties (THP) were however able to – after a year long negotiation – structure a mezzanine-type deal for Crestmount to invest in a basket of projects with different life cycles allowing Crestmount to hedge any volatility.
"We have been looking for someone in the Gulf for quite some time," PietyTHP director Danny Masri said.
"The biggest difficulty with the Gulf is they always look to London first because there is no double tax, or the US because currencies are pegged to the US dollar, so there is no currency risk."
"They worry that the shifting currency will hit profits. Because we can't cover a 30 per cent foreign exchange [for example] ... we gave them blended basket of projects with different maturities."
Crestmount, launched through Prince Khaled's investment vehicle KBW Investments, will invest in Piety and THP's mega two-stage Wentworth Point development, "One the Waterfront" which will yield 450 apartments in total, a Lidcombe project with 140 apartments, a 100-unit project in Rockdale and a future site in St Leonards south, which is part of a bigger master plan that has attracted big players such as Country Garden, Poly and Greaton.
All projects are in Sydney's west and south-west except for St Leonards which is in Sydney's lower north shore.
Helping Piety close the deal is its relationship with TH Properties, also Sharia compliant, and owned by the Malaysian government's Lembaga Tabung Haji or the Pilgrims' Fund Board.

Eye-catching transactions

Piety has made some eye-catching transactions in the five years since they started developing in Sydney.
They snatched the Wentworth Point site from Payce Consolidated and its joint venture partner Sekisui House for $100 million in 2015. Their first project was in Waitara in Sydney's north shore, also executed with THP.
Since then they have positioned themselves in many key inner-city suburbs with $350 million in funds under management and 2000 apartments worth just under $2 billion in the pipeline.
"We have been strategic with where our sites lie. We are developing on Hurstville. We took Rockdale on as a lower price point to Hurstville. Those who cannot afford Wentworth Point, we use Lidcombe," Mr Masri said.
"If we are in the right locations we will be fine. Clearly there is some oversupply, but we are not there."
"Look around, there is migration into the city. The banks can slow things but it's not different to previous sorts of cycles."
Piety's managing director is industry veteran and marble and granite products group WK Quantum Quartz owner, Bilal El-Cheikh.
Mr El-Cheikh's sharia links put him in front of Prince Khaled, who has invested in a myriad of global companies including US merchant services aggregator Square, Inc.
The investment in PietyTHP will be placed in the maiden Crestmount Fund I.
Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed is also the son of Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud, chairman of Saudi Arabian investment powerhouse, Kingdom Holding Company.











Saudi Arabian Prince Commits $100 Million To Sydney Developer Piety Investments


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A Middle Eastern fund called Crestmount Capital have closed on a $100 million investment Sydney residential developer Piety Investments.
The deal represents a significant step forward in Middle Eastern finance, according to the Australian Financial Review, who said while Australian real estate attract extensive capital from China and other parts of the world, the Middle East’s huge pool of “gulf” money has yet to hit Australia in a big way, mainly because there are onerous requirements for investments to comply with sharia.
The AFR said Sharia prohibits investments in areas such as alcohol, pornography and gambling, and requires funded transactions to follow certain audits and formats, and the volatile currency exchange between the Australian dollar and middle eastern currencies make investment profits patchy.
“As a result, Middle Eastern investors have taken a bigger interest in stable long-lease assets like logistics and industrial assets which even out short-term exchange differences, as seen with Propertylink and Middle East-based fund Sedco Capital’s logistics acquisitions.”
In order to lock in interest from Crestmount, Piety and its joint-venture residential development partner, Malaysian government’s TH Properties (THP) reportedly organised a “mezzanine-type deal” which would allow the Middle-East investors to engage with a range of projects with different life cycles, “allowing Crestmount to hedge any volatility”.
Piety-THP director Danny Masri tole the AFR that the company had been looking for someone in the Gulf for quite some time, but the biggest difficulty is the fact the Gulf typically looks to London first because there is no double tax, or the US because currencies are pegged to the US dollar, so there is no currency risk.
“They worry that the shifting currency will hit profits. Because we can’t cover a 30 per cent foreign exchange … we gave them blended basket of projects with different maturities,” he said.
Crestmount’s investment will be directed towards Piety and THP’s mega two-stage Wentworth Point development, “One the Waterfront” which, according to the AFR, comprises of 450 apartments, a Lidcombe project with 140 apartments, a 100-unit project in Rockdale and a future site in St Leonards south.
Crestmount Capital is run by Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, a member of the Saudi Arabian royal family.