Thursday, December 21, 2023

Clare Rewcastle stop tailing when Lee Kim Yew in the picture?

Back in 2018 in the midst of the 1MDB debacle, Sarawak Report's Clare Rewcastle Brown kept highlighting an EPF Executive by the name of Ja'afar Bin Rihan in her pursuit of Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. 

Clare found worldwide fame in her 1MDB expose from 2015. She faced many sceptics, trials and tribulation for her speculative investigation. By the time Najib was sentenced to prison for SRC, she feels vindicated. 

Perhaps, it is too soon.

The 1MDB-Tanore case is struggling in court with the key witnesses namely; the police IO and BNM analyst statement in court indicate it was an insufficiently investigated case. Prosecution lost the Audit case and indication AG should throw out the RM6.6 billion CBT against Najib and Irwan Serigar. 

The civil suit by 1MDB will be a non-issue with the integrity of Rosli Dahlan in doubt. If another SRC case for RM27 million this time, Zeti can be drag in and Najib has the oft chance of being vindicated. 

While Clare is not quite fully vindicated, she still need to raise money to pay the Sultanah of Terengganu. And her expose on Ja'afar cannot be another financial liability because he made police reports.

Meanwhile, Ja'afar has moved on from EPF to LOFSA. Talk in the market is that "bankrupt-ed" crony or an open secret he is proxy or fall guy for Dr Mahathir, Lee Kim Yew will be getting a Labuan banking license. 

Why is Clare silence on this development?  

Or she is not?

In two of Sarawak Report's postings in 2018, Ja'afar name surfaced as though he is a part of Najib's scheme by Najib to embezzle public money via an investment scheme. Now that he is in the position to assist Mahathir's crony, seemed convenient that Ja'afar is out of radar. 

Or maybe not. 

Nevertheless, not going to reproduce the articles but merely the extracts. 

In the February 28, 2018 article, the claim is RM10 billion bond was issued to EPF to raise RM4 billion for Najib via a TJJR Diversified (M) Sdn Bhd. Ja'afar was mentioned below:


How EPF Handed RM10 Billion To A Hungarian Fraudster!

Ja’afar Bin Rihan. Was scouting for investments outside of Malaysia, through ‘EPF proxy’ company, TJJR Diversified Sdn Bhd

Details of the scheme that was eventually used to siphon over RM10 billion out of EPF have been extensively reviewed by Sarawak Report.

We have also spoken to witnesses, who confirm details and documentation related to the matter.

The documents indicate that a key EPF operative, the General Manager in charge of Islamic Finance Investments named Ja’afar bin Rihan, signed over RM10.64 billion worth of bonds, purchased as investments by the fund, to the financial fraudster Dr Gyorgy Matrai of Limage Holdings as collateral to raise billions more in dollars, allegedly to pay for a major hospital project supported by EPF.

Ja’afar bin Rihan has denied he was personally involved in any of these decisions and says that documents naming him are forgeries. It also remains unclear as to whether the formal ownership of the EPF bonds has been transfered.

However, there is overwhelming evidence that EPF and other Malaysian funds did engage with Ladylaw Securities and later also with Limage Holdings over the purported Intergrated Medical Cities hospital project.  This raises serious questions about how it was possible for the closely managed fund to enter into sensitive financial relationships with characters such as Dr George Miller, who spent ten years in jail in the Philippines and Dr Gyorgy Matrai, behind bars for two years in Switzerland (2005-2006), convicted of “fraud, breach of trust, forgery of documents and money laundering”.

From behind bars to Five Star luxury – Matrai from Limage Holdings has been residing at KL’s Intercontinental Hotel negotiating EPF’s ‘hospital project’

Indeed, according to our information, Matrai has spent much of the past year as a guest at the Five Star Intercontinental Hotel in KL, negotiating the alleged hospital deal and assisting in meetings to organise the return of the leveraged cash from the EPF bonds via RHB Bank into TJJR Diversified’s accounts.

This despite the fact that details of his conviction can be readily accessed via a simple internet search  and United States court documents. Swiss records further show that an appeal by Matrai against his conviction was futher dismissed by the Swiss courts in 2014, shortly before EPF apparently entrusted him with finance raised from EPF bonds worth RM10.64 billion.

Matrai boasted in emails to EPF seen by Sarawak Report that his company Limage was authorised under Luxembourg laws to leverage as much as ten times the worth of those bonds to help pay for the ‘humanitarian’ hospital enterprise, that was allegedly being supported by EPF’s management in a joint project with the Department of Health.  According to the emails, this is what an alleged EPF manager with a working EPF email address, calling himself ‘Jaffar bin Raihan’, required his services for.

The project has remained a ghost, according to all available evidence, although documents indicate that at least US$4 billion has been raised through Limage off the back of the EPF bonds, which represent major EPF investments in PLUS, the highway project purchased in 2012, and Tenaga Energy purchased in 2014 and 2001.

Bonds allegedly handed over by EPF to fund a hospital project - checks show they are genuine


Questioned by various news organisations this week, however, the senior EPF executive allegedly cited in the documentation, Ja’afar bin Rihan, has issued total denials of his own involvement. EPF’s Communications Department has also issued a statement on his behalf denying that the executive has met with or even heard of individuals representing Limage Holdings or Ladylaw Securities, companies he also denies knowledge of.

Ja’afar bin Rihan also claims to have recently reported to the police that he has been made a victim of forged documents. Sarawak Report has noted that several of the documents relating to the signing over of the bonds do carry variations of his name and signature.  Separate EPF email and private email addresses have also been used under those variations on his name to conduct much of the project.

Speaking with Sarawak Report, the present director  of Ladylaw Securities, former Australian public servant Nic Manikis, contradicts the EPF denials

However, the outright denials of any engagement in these projects by Ja’afar bin Rihan conflict with the testimony of other witnesses involved in these deals, including the current Ladylaw Securities majority owner and director, Nic Manikis, who has confirmed to Sarawak Report that he and colleagues corresponded with and met Ja’afar bin Rihan in his EPF headquarters office in KL, order to discuss various investment proposals in 2014.

Manikis has also volunteered to Sarawak Report that Ja’afar bin Rihan himself raised the prospect of Ladylaw gaining investment from EPF by becoming involved in the proposed hospital project – the suggestion was raised, Manikis says during late 2014 and early 2015.

One thing that is certain, is that three years on there is no sign whatsoever that a genuine hospital city building programme backed by the Malaysian Department of Health and funded by EPF bonds is underway.  What whistleblowers maintain is that the real purpose of this ghost project was to deliver US$1.6 billion in hard cash into TJJR Diversified’s dollar account No: 6141229-00022915 at RHB bank, which arrived in January 2018.

It has signalled the creation, they say, of the new slush fund that is ultimately controlled by Najib to fund GE14.     

Read in full here

Quite her usual style of creating strings of doubts every step of the way and end it in the obvious conclusion. Clare continued in the March 1 article with more revelation. 

Extracting the one Ja'afar appears, below:

Official Project?

Acting officially?

So, is the RM47 billion Integrated Medical City project an official EPF investment or a ‘dark operation’ designed to raise money for the Minister of Finance, as signalled by sources who have alerted Sarawak Report?

EPF has today denied the entire proposal as a ‘forgery’. However, the evidence is too extensive to be easily dismissed.

What is indicated by the documents and correspondence is that no other EPF executives apart from, allegedly, General Manager Ja’afar bin Rihan, were officially involved in the decision making process on the project or its funding.

Moreover, Ja’afar appears to have adopted an apparent alias of ‘Jaffar bin Raihan’ half way through the correspondence relating to the project, whilst retaining the same title and ID number.  He has denied that this alias is related to him and EPF now says it has reported forgeries to the police.

Timeline of the ‘Hoax’

The large body of documents indicate that kicking off the project was an apparent EPF headed letter, signed by Ja’afar bin Rihan in his own name and in his capacity as a General Manager at the fund, clearly identifying him with the initial stages of the idea.

This letter, dated February 9th 2015, purported to award the role of ‘coordinator for strategic collaboration between EPF and the Ministry of Health‘ to one Azlan Shah Md Radzi, in his capacity as a director of Triple Nice Tales Sdn Bhd:

“With great pleasure we would like to inform you that we have decided to appoint you to be our Coordinator for the strategic collaboration between EPF and the Ministry of Health for the Integrated Medical City” the executive wrote apparently on behalf of the fund:

Original commission in Feb 2015 by Ja'afar bin Rihan to Triple Nice Tales under his own name and title

EPF allege the entire matter was forged, however doubt is thrown on the sweeping nature of that claim by the fact that other related documents have been verified by Ladylaw Securities director Nic Manikis, who says he did receive them.

The next step appears to have been a follow up letter on 29th April 2015, this time to the affiliate of Triple Nice Tales Sdn Bhd, which was TJJR Diversified (M).  On this occasion the EPF headed letter was signed under the altered name of ‘Jaffar bin Raihan’ but using the same job title as the one Ja’afar bin Rihan himself has regularly used in other correspondence  (General Manager, Business Development & Administration Section, Capital Market Department, Investment Division).

This letter appears to be a continuation of the same negotiations and confirmed that EPF had further awarded TJJR Diversified (M), the role of ‘Project Management Consultant’ and stated that the fund had also agreed to put up collateral in the form of RM10.64 billion worth of bonds to back the project:

“..EPF hereby is pleased to appoint your company [TJJR] to be the Project Management Consultant for EPF.  With this appointment, EPF will provide the latest registered and approved list of Government/or Government Link-Companies Bonds owned by EPF with the total amount of RM10,640,000,000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia: Ten Billion Six Hundred Forty Million Only as Proof of Fund (POF)….”

In this letter the alleged EPF Manager addressed TJJR company director and CEO, Junaidah binti Hussin, by her known alternative name ‘June Aida Hussin’ and signed himself as ‘Jaffar bin Raihan’.

Extended signature – ‘Jaffar bin Raihan’ hires ‘June Aida’

Further documentation relating to this project shows that separate EPF and personal email accounts appear to have been set up under this variation of the spelling of Ja’afar bin Rihan’s name.  These have tested to be working email accounts, in that emails have been received not bounced:

Denials From EPF

Late yesterday the Employee Provident Fund issued a lengthy and emphatic denial of the previous article by Sarawak Report outlining its negotiations with two foreign companies run by fraudsters and the evidence that RM10.64 billion in EPF bonds had been diverted as collateral to the hospital project:

In a statement today, EPF said, its has never had any dealings nor entered into any agreements of any sort with Limage Holdings SA, Limage Southwest Holdings, the individual known as Matrai nor any parties as stated by the Sarawak Report.

“As such, no transfer of bonds nor funds of any kind to any of the aforementioned companies, parties or individual could have occurred as alleged,” it said.

According to EPF, a fake ‘Letter of Indemnity’ dated Aug 20, 2015 addressed to Gyorgy Matrai of Limage Holding S. A. alleging an agreement between the EPF and Limage Holdings S.A. was made known to the EPF on Oct 26, 2015.

“As this was clearly a falsified document, the EPF lodged a police report on Oct 28, 2015.

“A ‘Letter of Award’ (LOA), titled ‘Development and Construction of Integrated Medical City Project For EPF’ from TripleNiceTales Sdn Bhd dated May 18, 2015 was made known to EPF on Feb 24, 2016,” it said.

As there were third parties misusing EPF’s name and suspicion of fraud was involved, EPF said, it lodged a police report on Feb 26, 2016 stating that it has no knowledge nor involvement in the transaction referred to in the LOA. [BERNAMA]

In other words the fund is claiming there has been a bizzare and detailed hoax involving numerous letters, emails and communications stretching over two years for reasons that appear unclear. The matter seems to have been barely investigated.

Moreover, during this whole period, Sarawak Report has learnt, there have been ongoing legal proceedings, initiated by a senior UMNO politician in late 2015, who is claiming what he believes to be his share of commission on the bond deal that EPF is denying ever took place.

Established connections - Junaidah binti Hussin and Ja'afar bin Rihan are both on the team of a 'noble heritage' organisation headed by a member of the Pehang royal family.

The EPF version of events further conflicts with frank and detailed testimony provided to Sarawak Report by the present director of Ladylaw Securities, the Australian former government servant, Nic Manikis, who has confirmed his company did enter negotiations with EPF managers, specifically with Ja’afar bin Rihan.

Indeed, Manikis has confirmed to Sarawak Report that he himself met with Ja’afar bin Rihan and Junaidah binti Hussin (aka June Aida Hussin) of TJJF Diversified at EPF’s headquarters in KL in 2014.

He has also acknowledged that EPF documents relating to him (letter and emails of which Sarawak Report has copies) are in fact genuine not forged.

Manikis has explained that these investment negotiations with Ladylaw Securities, which he believed to be entirely above board, did not reach a conclusion. He has told Sarawak Report that the EPF executive together with Hussin started to appear to focus on the separate hospital project and stopped getting back to his company.

Manikis confirms, nonetheless, that he has since late 2015 been receiving legal demands for an alleged US$20 million (2%) commission on money allegedly raised from EPF on the part of a senior UMNO figure, subsequent to the apparent signing of the alleged deal with Limage Holdings to transfer the bonds in August of that year.

Sarawak Report understands that the legal demands have also been directed at TJJR Diversified (M) as an alleged partner in the planned EPF deals with Ladylaw Securities (as confirmed by Manikis) and also the hospital project involving Limage Holdings.

The series of demands, which have been lodged with Manikis’s Australian lawyers, provide evidence that this politician, who claims he was instrumental in the negotiations, is of the firm belief that the money has indeed been raised from EPF via the assignment of the bonds.

Manikis has indicated he will be contesting the legal demands, which he says are baseless, because although he had promised commission should his firm receive an investment from EPF, no deal was realised with Ladylaw itself.  However, today he has commented on EPF’s denials in an email to Sarawak Report:

“So EPF first became aware of Ladylaw in Jan 2017…… really!

Unless of course Jaafar doesn’t work at the EPF….. which I am convinced he does.

EPF awareness of Ladylaw coincides with [XX’s] second letter of demand received in Jan 2017…. I can see how Ladylaw was being drawn into something sinister rather than what we believed to be a relatively straightforward property investment proposal.”

Humanitarian Project?

Contrary to the denials of EPF, Manikis has also confirmed to Sarawak Report, that the alleged devisors of the ‘hoax’ project for the Integrated Medical Cities scheme, namely Azlan Shah Md Radzi and his colleague Junaidah binti Hussin, were already well known to Ja’afar bin Rihan at the time the presentation was produced in January 2015, having interfaced with him at EPF on a series of separate investment proposals over the past few years involving Ladylaw Securities Pte Ltd.

Read on here for further linkage to off-shore companies.

It is understandable the reluctance to read through the long extract. But hey, one is talking RM10 bond and RM47 billion project with RM4 billion allegedly siphoned out.

Not sure whether Clare has stop tailing this project, in which obviously no such hospital got built in Sabah. Otherwise, Shafie Apdal would not have talked about the lack of medical specialists in Sabah recently at the state assembly. 

Ja'afar has since move on to join LOFSA:

A source heard Lee Kim Yew was awarded a banking license in Labuan via the companies below:

The words on the "street" on Ja'afar is that he is a political operative, who is a gun for hire and jumps from group to group. Not verified yet, but it is no secret that many government servants are uncomfortable with the graft busting PMX. 

He may not be an operative but typical government servant. However, it is no surprise had he was employed by the "other side" and positioned into BNM to assist Mahathir to do on to Anwar what Mahathir do on to Najib.

Otherwise, how could a bankrupt Lee Kim Yew, who started out as a salesman in Sabah for a beer company, became a Mahathir crony/proxy, and now ruined as a developer, qualify for a banking license?

For whose and what purpose is it really for? 

All is speculative but Clare should be curious. Ja'afar is not really in the spot. It is more an enquiry on whether Clare stopped tailing this Ja'afar Bin Rihan character?  

Verified to be casually close

It is known that Clare is close to Mahathir's runner, Khairuddin Abu Hasan, who recently met Isham Jalil and may have arranged for his meeting with Mahathir. 

Old friend or new acquintance?

While Isham is setting his guns at Zahid, Mahathir is in pursuit of  Anwar and toppling Zahid would enable his man, Hishamuddin to take up leadership position in UMNO. 

Early this year, Daim targetted 6 to 12 months to topple Anwar. The 6 month is up and effort is being escalated. 

Mahathir and Daim cannot wait for GE16. If they can work with arch enemy DAP, end justify the mean to collaborate with another financial in need and  political arch enemy, PAS.

LOFSA should be issuing Labuan license to foreigners to bring money in. Issuing to local does not serve any purpose. More the reason, Lee Kim Yew is not qualified in all manners for any banking license.

Leave it at that for Clare. 

No comments: