On Monday, ABC Australia aired an episode of their programme Four Corners, detailing the shocking events surrounding the 1MDB scandal. The prime minister of Malaysia is alleged to have received vast amounts of money by improper means.
Yesterday morning, in a report entitled ‘Najib Razak 1MDB Scandal: Malaysian Prime Minister’s accounts triggered internal money-laundering alarm’, ABC News disclosed that Najib’s account received more than US$1 billion in two years and that millions were spent on luxury hotels, cars and jewellery.
What was interesting was the disclosure that Najib used this money in his account to fund ‘political affiliates’ in the run up to the 2013 general election, naming the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) as one of the recipients of the PM’s tainted money. This is a serious matter which the leaders of SUPP must explain to the public. There are legal and ethical issues about being the recipient of the proceeds of corruption.
Besides that, one must ask what price the PM extracted from SUPP for his generosity. Blind and unquestioning support? Is this why the leaders of SUPP have not made any stand about the 1MDB scandal?
The other question that springs to mind is this: did the other BN component parties receive similar handouts from Najib? If SUPP was a recipient, it is logical to assume that the other BN parties were also on the receiving end of Najib’s generosity. This means that they are all beholden to Najib.
It is no wonder that they fall over themselves fawning over him when he comes to Sarawak, pledging their undying loyalty to him. It is no wonder that they are all silent about the 1MDB scandal. Is the price for this largesse that they all shut down their thought processes and not apply their minds to whether it is possible, in the face of all the evidence, that the PM is in fact engaging in corrupt practices?
I invite the leaders of all the BN component parties to come clean and tell the public whether they received money from Najib for GE13, before further disclosures are made by the investigative journalists. This 1MDB money belongs to the people of Malaysia and we have the right to know. They must explain to us how they can claim to be fighting to safeguard Sarawak’s rights when they are beholden to Najib for the huge sums of money given to them.
The chief minister must also make his stand on 1MDB. Just saying that a man is innocent until proven guilty does not work in this case as the accused has removed the parties who are believed to have intended to bring criminal charges against him. The gravity of the situation should not be lost on the BN leaders.
Human beings have been murdered over this scandal and I hope these leaders will ask themselves whether it is worth them sacrificing their conscience to continue to deny an unassailable fact. The prime minister is unable to explain this obscene amount of money flowing into his accounts. The story keeps changing. Nobody believes he is clean. Do not insult our intelligence by insisting he has done no wrong.
BARU BIAN is the state assemblyperson for Ba'kelalan and Sarawak PKR chief.