Ministers diss DOJ case; Bersatu says Anwar's proposal tough

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KINI ROUNDUP | Here are the headlines you may have missed, in brief.

Ministers discredit DOJ filing

Three cabinet ministers take turns to discredit the United States Department of Justice's (DOJ) latest filing in its civil forfeiture lawsuit to seize more than US$1 billion in assets it claims was bought using funds stolen from 1MDB.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein challenged the DOJ to press criminal charges if it is confident that a crime had been committed, while Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the DOJ must reveal the complainant to show political motives behind it.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the United States is meddling in Malaysia's internal affairs arguing much of the filing refers to domestic Malaysian matters and is irrelevant to the alleged crime.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini's checks found that the approximately US$30 million worth of diamonds purchased by Penang-born tycoon Jho Low for the wife of an unnamed 'Malaysian Official 1' was mentioned in the filing but is not listed in the assets the DOJ currently wants to seize.

The 22.17-carat pink diamond bought for MO1's wife is also comparable to the most expensive diamonds ever sold at world's auctions.

Bersatu wants some executive powers for chairperson

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) said PKR de-facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's proposal that Pakatan Harapan's chairperson - posited to be Dr Mahathir Mohamad - not hold any executive powers is difficult to implement, arguing that a chairperson needs powers to seek consensus.

Meanwhile, Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang said Harapan must reveal its prime minister candidate before the general election so voters will not be in the dark.

In a related matter, Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director-general Mohd Puad Zarkashi claimed Harapan did not consider Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin for a top post because he is "not of moral standing" and has yet to come clean on his alleged affair with a married woman and explain his supposed wealth. Muhyiddin has denied the claims.

Other Kinibites

DAP's Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh said by leaving the 1MDB investigations to the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is setting a "dangerous precedent" of allowing other agencies to influence whether or not it investigates a matter involving corruption.

Lawyers representing the family of the death-in-custody victim D Vickraman, 37, has called for an immediate inquest into his death.

He died of complications related to a birth defect to the heart, but the family said he never had such problems before.

Looking ahead

More attacks against the DOJ's case are expected from the establishment.

It remains to be seen if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will entertain media questions, especially on the DOJ matter, when he hands over keys to 1Malaysia Housing for civil servants in Putrajaya this afternoon.

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