Malaysia suspects Chinese cash paid troubled 1MDB’s debt - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Officials here are investigating whether the government of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak used funds from a China-backed infrastructure program to help pay debts owed by the state investment fund at the center of one of the world’s biggest graft probes.Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in July froze over $20 billion in Malaysian infrastructure projects that are part of China’s One Belt One Road initiative, saying the contract values appeared to be inflated, in what he called a sign of possible corruption.Now, Dr Mahathir’s government suspects cash intended for the projects was diverted through offshore shell companies and used to pay nearly $700 million of debt owed by 1Malaysia Development Bhd., or 1MDB, according to two government officials involved in reviewing the projects.Malaysians associated with the Najib government, working with representatives of Chinese companies, appear to have arranged the diversion of funds, the officials said.“Chinese companies may be involved in round tripping of major infrastructure projects in Malaysia that siphons off funds from these projects to help 1MDB,” Malaysia’s new Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng told The Wall Street Journal.China’s foreign ministry didn’t respond to a request for comment.Dr Mahathir took office in May after pledging to voters to clean up the government, and has since moved quickly to restart investigations into what went on at 1MDB under his predecessor. Mr. Najib has denied any wrongdoing by himself or

Source:The Star

August 01, 2018 05:15 UTC

Fewer drivers registering with Grab following new rules - Business News

KUALA LUMPUR: Grab Malaysia has seen a reduction in the registration of new part-time drivers following the regulations imposed by the Ministry of Transport (MOT) on ride-hailing companies.Country Head Sean Goh said the number of new part-time drivers had decreased, but he is positive this situation will eventually recover. "It is normal that during a transition period we see a decrease. "We are finding the best solution for all (parties) as we understand the majority of our drivers are part-timers and their income from Grab contributes 30 per cent to their household income," he told reporters after meeting with the Council of Eminent Persons here today.Goh said that Grab had engaged with the MOT and emphasised it would be a continuous discussion between the two parties to find common ground.It was previously reported that e-hailing services would be subject to the same regulations as taxis, especially for licence and registration, vehicle inspection and operational requirements.E-hailing companies must also register with the Companies Commission, or Cooperative Commission, and ensure vehicles undergo yearly inspections if older than three years.Currently, more than 50 per cent of Grab's fleet are above three years.Meanwhile, Goh said Grab is in discussion with various insurance companies on new insurance requirements and had yet to close the door to any interested party.The MOT had announced that e-hailing services must provide insurance coverage for drivers, vehicles, passengers and damages to third parties.Grab was given a grace period of one year to comply with the new regulations.

Source:The Star

August 01, 2018 05:03 UTC

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