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U.S. probe of Malaysia's 1MDB picks up speed after Najib's election...

"Hester Littler" (2018-07-18)

PARIS, June 11 (Reuters) - France wants to cap and progressively cut palm oil imports and will propose to do so at a European level, a junior minister said on Monday, as farmers block refineries across the country in protest against use of the vegetable oil in biofuels.

noneThe wealthy financial hub and its larger neighbour were part of the same country for two years in the 1960s until Singapore was expelled over ethnic divisions with Malaysia, and they have been separate nations ever since.

The central bank is under scrutiny over a 2 billion ringgit ($500 million) land purchase from Najib's government. Proceeds were used to pay debts of the official 1MDB investment fund, which is under investigation for possible graft and money-laundering.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said last week he had accepted the resignation of Muhammad Ibrahim as the governor of Bank Negara Malaysia, as the 92-year-old leader purges top malaysia online casino officials seen as close to the previous government of Najib Razak.

Low has previously denied any wrongdoing. The US Justice Department alleges he funnelled vast sums of money from 1MDB to the United States, and used it to buy everything from rare art to high-end real estate.

Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy, with an unique arrangement where the throne of the Muslim-majority nation changes hands every five years between rulers of the nine Malaysian states headed by centuries-old Islamic royalty.

TOKYO (AP) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said Monday he supports free trade but small countries like his should unite in a broad group to deal with challenges, especially as America is turning protectionist.

Malaysian authorities want to ask the DoJ, which is pursuing a corruption and money laundering probe at 1MDB, a state fund, to get Goldman to disgorge profits it made from the sale, after which Malaysia would claim the money, both sources said.

With new properties entering the market in the coming years, the vacancy rate for office space in Kuala Lumpur is expected to go up from the current 15 percent to about 17 percent, said CBRE-WTW managing director Foo Gee Jen.

Civil society groups have alleged Shaariibuu´s murder was linked to her role as an interpreter and associate of Razak Baginda, a former associate of Najib, in Malaysia´s purchase of two Scorpene-class submarines from French shipbuilding giant DCNS in 2002.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 8 (Reuters) - Malaysia may revoke the death sentence on fugitive policeman Sirul Azhar Umar, who was convicted of the 2006 murder of a Mongolian model, to facilitate his extradition from Australia, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday.

The comments by 92-year-old Mahathir, in his second stint as premier after making a political comeback to oust Najib, were the latest sign that the net is closing on Low since the old regime was ousted from power.

The killing -- widely blamed on Pyongyang -- sparked a diplomatic row with Kuala Lumpur, one of the North's few allies, with both countries expelling each other's ambassadors and barring their citizens from leaving.

The pipeline deal was one of a series of big-ticket, Beijing-backed projects signed during Najib's leadership, fuelling suspicions China was helping the scandal-mired leader pay off debts racked up by the stricken fund.

The new government says the country has debts of over one trillion ringgit ($250 billion) after years of misrule by an administration headed by ex-leader Najib Razak, who is accused of having stolen vast sums of public money while in office.

The visit marks his first foreign trip after returning to power in a shock election result last month, and indicates a shift back to the 92-year-old's 'Look East' policy to strengthen ties with east Asia, especially Japan.

He said "great care" should be taken "when making such serious politically-motivated public allegations involving foreign state-owned companies as it may have a negative effect on foreign relations and international trade".

The prosecution of Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor over the 1MDB scandal, which helped lead to Najib's stunning ouster in May 9 national elections, could be sped up with the government's appointment Tuesday of a new attorney-general.

The new government is seeking to unearth suspected graft, in particular in connection with big losses at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), during the nearly 10 years that former premier Najib Razak spent in power, casting a cloud over several top officials.

25 billion ringgit ($2 billion) or 88 percent of the total value of two pipeline projects awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CCPB), although they are less than 15 percent complete. Lim said Najib's government had paid 8.

"We have not decided on his successor because we need to have the approval of the Agong before we can announce," Mahathir said, referring to the king, adding that the new government would meet him as soon as possible to discuss a successor.



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