Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad arriving at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur where he is a defence witness in the trial of Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik. — Picture by Choo Choy May

Some people involved in the recent gold investment scandal argued that it was a new business model and questioned on what wrong was with it, since they were neither stealing nor robbing.
They believed that it was originally a profitable business but, unfortunately, the intervention of Bank Negara and media coverage have ruined everything and broken the golden bowl.
No, it is wrong. It is not a new business model, but rather an old-fashioned, repeated ploy.
It was started about 100 years ago.
In 1903, Italian Charles Ponzi immigrated to the US with only US$2.50 in his pocket, and a resolution to make big money on that piece of land.
He did a lot of jobs, but had faced lawsuits and sent to jail for embezzlement and theft.
After he was released, he decided to do something big instead of just stealing and embezzling.
His mind was quite agile. He targeted at posts sent between the US and Europe countries and started selling postal reply coupons. He set up a company in Boston, claiming that it invested in postal coupons.
He promised clients a 50 per cent profit within 45 days, or 100 per cent profit within 90 days, by buying discounted postal reply coupons in other countries and redeeming them at face value in the US as a form of arbitrage. Many saw it as a windfall.
Only a few of the rich tentatively invested in the beginning and, surprisingly, they received the promised high returns and everyone was overjoyed.
The news spread and people rushed to invest. Ponzi rose to become a business tycoon overnight and was highly praised. Together with Columbus and Marconi, they were called the three greatest Italians. Christopher Columbus discovered the New World, Guglielmo Marconi invented wireless telegraphy, and Ponzi created money.
However, no one knew that postal coupon was not a profitable investment. In fact, Ponzi did not invest in postal coupons.
Instead, he just used the money of new investors to pay the returns for earlier investors and when more and more people invested, he would then be able to issue returns. The snowball continued to roll as long as the number of new investors was greater than the number of existing investors.
However, Ponzi’s luck ran out one day. He faced a commercial lawsuit and the incident was reported by the media.
The investigation found that with the investment amount received, his company should have bought 16 million of postal reply coupons, but only 27,000 postal coupons were sold nationwide over the same period.
The Ponzi scheme was exposed and the Ponzi enterprise collapsed. Tens of thousands of people lost everything and Ponzi was put behind bars.
Similar low-risk, high-return investments could be found over the past 100 years and they were actually elaborate Ponzi schemes, instead of new business models.
The Bernie Madoff investment scandal broke out a few years ago, which was known as the largest elaborate Ponzi scheme in history, and the gold investment scandal are just two among the other Ponzi schemes


The Election Commission (EC) is an independent body that is appointed by, and answers to, the Agong, as provided by Article 114 of the federal constitution, the government has maintained.
If the Filipinos and Indonesians were qualified to become citizens because they had stay in Malaysia for more than a decade and spoke the Malay language. These qualifications according to shenanigan Mahathir, had qualified them to become citizens, will the shenanigan Mahathir explain why million of Malaysian born non Malay citizenship applications are being declined ? They not only stay in the country for a decade but all of them stay in the country since birth and also speak the Malay language.
Why most of them are they being denied or some of them have to wait for decades before they are granted the citizenships ? The truth is because the shenanigan and the Umno scumbags and parasites know full well these people know them too well and will never vote for them. That is the real reason !
They are being given red I.D. cards to stay, work and most important of all to pay their taxes for the development of the country. Now you know how the shenanigan stayed in as P.M. for 22 years ?
Ex-premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (second left) gestures after testifying in Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik’s cheating trial in Kuala Lumpur October 8, 2012. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Submitted on 2012/10/08 at 7:49 pm
saya merasa hairan kenapa nama saya d libatkan dalam perkara tersebut,saya tdk pernah memperdaya atau menggunakan PKBS atau andy Bandy Pilo dalam hal ini,saya bkn ahli PKBS waktu itu,dan saya pun tdk saberapa mesra dgn Andy pilo demikian juga Andy Bandy terhadap saya,bagaimana pula saya menggunakan Andy Bandy,saya tdk tahu menahu mengenai dgn kegiatan PKBS,saya pernah d tahan dan d tuduh terlibat dalam perkara itu,tetapi saya nafikan sama sekali semasa d dalam siasatan,memang saya ada menolong kawan2 untuk menjadi warganegara dgn mengemukakan permohonannya ka JPN Sabah waktu itu,itu terplang kpd JPN untuk meluluskannya atau tidak,saya akui saya ada terlibat dalam pendaftaran pengundi2 d kawasan2 yg terlibat,kerana itu adalah tugas saya sebagai ahli parti yg mempunyai tanggung jawab terhadap Partinya,org yg menulis dalam blok ini adalah pembohong yg ingin mencari publisiti murahan,semuanya yg d tulis dalam twitter itu adalah palsu dan lagi pula saya tdk pernah ketemu dgn org2 yg d maksudkan itu apa lagi menyuruh Andy Bandy membuat perkara itu,perhubungan saya dgn. Andy Bandy tidak baik ketika itu,kenapa pula dia mahu jadi kuda tunggangan saya,tolong buktikan kpd saya i/c palsu apa yg saya suruh Andy Bandy buat,kuasa apa saya mengarahkan Andy Bandy pilo untuk membuat I/C sedangkan saya tdk baik dgn nya.
Housewife Fawziah Abdul wants to thank former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad for making her a citizen 10 years after she illegally slipped into Borneo from the southern Philippines in search of a better life.
The 50-year-old lives on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu, the capital of Malaysia’s Sabah state, where her tin-roofed shack jostles for space with more than 1,000 others in a slum where children play beside heaps of rubbish.
She is hopeful that her three children will get a new home and identity cards if she votes for the government again.
With a general election due within seven months, the 13-party ruling Barisan Nasional coalition is banking on Sabah and neighboring Sarawak state on Borneo island to prolong its 55-year grip on power.
But its support in the two Borneo states, which account for a quarter of parliament seats, is showing signs of slipping.
A large presence of Muslim immigrants, like Fawziah, has fuelled complaints of government discrimination against Christians who have also been a bedrock of government support.
Fawziah said she was a beneficiary of a secret plan said to have been approved by Mahathir that has helped fuel a five-fold surge in Sabah’s population since the 1970s and turned it into a vote bank for the ruling coalition.
“I am part of Project Mahathir,” she said, referring to the plan. “I was told to turn up at an office with two photographs and some money,” added Fawziah, who showed her identity card that lists her as a Sabah-born citizen.
Without support in the two eastern states, the ruling coalition would have lost power in the last general election, in 2008, when a resurgent opposition won a majority of votes on peninsula Malaysia. Now that support looks fragile.
Residents of Sabah complain about competition from Filipino and Indonesian migrants for jobs in the oil and gas-rich region, whose revenues are mostly channeled to the federal government and where one in five people lives on less than $1 a day.
Christians, mostly members of indigenous groups such as the Kadazandusun in Sabah and the Dayaks and Ibans in Sarawak, once made up nearly half of Sabah’s population but now form less than a third of its 3.2 million people.
But they can still give a potentially vital boost to the opposition, which won a majority of votes in mainland Malaysia in 2008 but only got three of 56 seats in Sabah and Sarawak.
The election is expected to be the closest in the former British colony’s history after the coalition lost its two-thirds majority for the first time in 2008.
This is partly due to Christian, Buddhist and Hindu minorities in the mostly Muslim country abandoning the coalition, complaining of discrimination over issues such as the airing of Islamic programmes on state television.
Arnold Puyok, a political scientist at Universiti Teknologi Mara Sabah, says the frustration could translate into votes for the opposition led by Mahathir’s former deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, which could pick up at least 10 seats out of 25 in Sabah.
Opposition strategists say they need to win an extra 10 seats each in Sabah, Sarawak and mainland Malaysia to win the election with a simple majority of 112 seats.
The opposition – a coalition of Borneo parties and a mainland alliance that campaigns for greater transparency – won 15 seats from the ruling bloc in Sarawak state elections for its best showing in 24 years. It got votes from indigenous Christians as well as from the ethnic Chinese minority.
As Christian frustration grows over Muslim migrants, churches are becoming more vocal. Malaysia’s largest evangelical group held a 40 day-fast last month, which included prayers for the resolution of what they see as the immigrant problem.
The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship also held prayer meetings across the country for Malaysia Day on September 16 – a holiday marking Sabah and Sarawak’s entry into Malaysia 49 years ago. The Borneo states agreed to join Malaysia on condition that religious freedom as well as the protection of native lands and cultures were guaranteed.
“There are quite a few unhappy Sabah people. Sabahans do not usually show it openly, they are doing it through prayer,” Stephanie Rainier, a Kadazandusun among 7,000 worshippers at a stadium in Kota Kinabalu, said of people’s frustration.
“They are taking over businesses. They are everywhere,” she said of migrants.
The ruling coalition can still rely on an election system that is skewed in its favor, particularly in Sabah and Sarawak. Seat allocations are weighted heavily in favor of rural constituencies with smaller populations compared with urban centers that are more likely to favor the opposition.
But in an apparent sign of concern over his coalition’s chances in Sabah, Prime Minister Najib Razak bowed to pressure in June and formed a royal commission of inquiry into the granting of identity cards to illegal immigrants.
A survey by independent pollster Merdeka center found that immigration was the number one concern among Sabah voters. The survey also found skepticism over Najib’s motive for announcing the inquiry, with only 46 percent of respondents believing it was a genuine attempt to address the problem.
“Only because there is an election around the corner, the government decides to do an inquiry,” said Wilfred Bumburing, a lawmaker in Sabah who quit the government coalition over its handling of the immigrant issue.
Government sources say the inquiry panel has yet to meet due to opposition from the dominant party in the ruling coalition, the United Malays National Organisation, that controls Sabah, and from the still influential Mahathir.
While repeatedly denying links to Project Mahathir to media, Mahathir said in his blog that the Filipinos and Indonesians were qualified to become citizens as they had stayed in Malaysia for more than a decade and spoke the Malay language.
The influx of Muslims, who can largely be counted on to support the ruling coalition, would appear to bolster the government. But despite that, some Christians worry about what they see as Muslim authorities’ growing intolerance.
An example, some Christians say, is the unease over Christian congregations in Sabah and Sarawak using the Arabic word Allah to refer to God.
While these Catholics, like their brethren in Indonesia, have used “Allah” since converting to Christianity in the 19th century, the government says the use of the word is subversive and is aimed at converting Muslims.
Mindful of votes, Najib has not stopped Christians in Borneo from using the word in prayers. But the government has appealed against a court ruling that allowed a Catholic newspaper to use Allah in its Malay-language editions in Borneo.
“I hope there is tolerance. In reality, not publicly, subtly, you can feel there is some erosion of religious tolerance,” said Bishop Cornelius Piong after Sunday Mass in the rice-growing region of Tambunan.
“If there is no balanced leadership, people will think and they will decide,” he said, referring to the election.
If anyone’s citizenship has been approved in recent times based on their political affiliation, this constitutes a gross abuse of power on the part of BN.’
‘Umno soliciting citizenship to boost vote bank’
 This issue again points to the failure of Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein to act fairly. If anyone’s citizenship has been approved in recent times based on their political affiliation, this constitutes a gross abuse of power on the part of BN, and especially the home minister.
The rakyat should file for judicial review, the opposition parties must insist on a royal commission of inquiry to look at this fiasco, not just for Hulu Selangor, but for Sabah and elsewhere in Malaysia.
Nicholas Lim: This is indeed true. Ask some of the Indonesian maids and workers in your neighbourhood and they will tell you they have been approached by “people” to apply for citizenship, i.e. converting their permanent resident status to citizen status.
Of course, most will take up the offer as they want their children to get assistance in education loans and places in local universities. You cannot fault them for that for they only want the best for their families.
The blame lies with the people offering them citizenship through the backdoor. So let’s not make it into an Indonesian-bashing session. Focus on the real enemy: not the Indonesians, but our fellow Malaysians.
DNA: Is this not treason? I, as a citizen, demand an explanation from Hishammuddin over this allegation.
As usual, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP will not open their mouths for fear of offending Umno. Umno is willing to sell Malaysia just to stay in power. Umno is a filthy and corrupt party.
NuckinFuts: Why invest billions of ringgit in jet fighters, patrol boats and submarines to ‘defend’ our country when we already have agents like these abusing their positions selling our country’s citizenship openly like pirated DVD sellers?
This is what newspapers should be shouting about in their headlines, not some cooked-up lies by bloggers on the net.
Playfair: Now watch the backtracking from Umno – they will claim that the letter is a forgery by Pakatan Rakyat to tarnish the image of Umno. Case closed. To Zuraida Kamaruddin, well done for the expose. We are 100 percent behind you, and believe that it is indeed an attempt to undermine the election process.
BTN: That was what happened in Sabah many years ago. The mockery of all this is that the majority of the Sabah folk still support BN blindly and thereafter complain that they are being left behind in every area of development.
As long as Umno has its way, it will continue to manipulate every living human being in this country, no matter what pangkat (level) they are at, to achieve their evil goals.