Donationgate Episode 1: Financial fluff, pure nonsense

Opinion  |  R Nadeswaran
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | Just when you thought the Malaysian edition of Grimm’s Fairy Tales would end with two chapters, another is being resurrected on compulsion. Another round of “revelations” by former premier Najib Razak necessitates a new chapter. Perhaps a few more may be in the works in the coming days and months, depending on “new” evidence.

To recap, on Sept 10, Najib offered proof of receiving US$100 million (RM420 million) claiming it to be legitimate. This was challenged.

He posted a copy of a letter purported to have come from the Saudi royal family. He also posted copies of bank statements related to the transfer to his personal account. The following day, it was yet another statement, and yet another commentary by this writer.

Among others, I made reference to US attorney general Jeff Sessions branding Najib’s dealings as “kleptocracy at its worst”. I wrote: “The courts will decide on your (Najib’s) innocence or guilt. In the meantime, if there is going to be a third chapter, don’t take Malaysians to be fools with (your) implausible, unbelievable and far-fetched stories. If you have to say something, let it be the truth, and nothing but the truth.”

As if some truth serum was injected into his system, Najib produced “new evidence” (even breaking protocol) on how RM2.6 billion ended up in his personal account. In a long Facebook posting, he claimed that he had requested for a US$800 million (RM3,36 billion) “contingency fund” from the Saudi royalty. He received only US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) through Tanore Finance Corporation, based in Singapore.

Tanore, Najib says, is one of the royals’ companies. Well, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have adduced evidence that Tanore was controlled by Najib’s confidante and blue-eyed boy, Low Taek Jho or Jho Low. Tanore is beneficially owned by Eric Tan Kim Loong, believed to be an associate of Jho Low's. There is even suspicion that Eric Tan and Jho Low are one and the same person....

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