Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) has described the ongoing 1MDB investigations as neither here nor there, or worse, dead, following a series of political manoeuvrings in the country.
"As far as TI-M is concerned, the investigations are as good as 'hidup segan mati tak mahu' (neither here nor there) or even dead, while some small fish are being hauled up," its president Akhbar Satar said in a statement this morning.
There were two separate 1MDB investigations led by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and special task force comprising the police, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission and Bank Negara, that is coordinated by the Attorney-General’s Chambers.
However, after Tuesday’s dramatic cabinet reshuffle which saw Muhyiddin Yassin dropped as deputy prime minister for criticising 1MDB, both these investigations appear to have hit brick walls.
Akhbar ( photo ) said among the "surprising" developments that have raised doubts about the investigations are:
(1) The sacking of attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail who was involved in the investigation by the special task force;
(2) The appointment of new Special Branch chief Mohamad Fuzi Harun and a fire in Bukit Aman where purported "unimportant" documents were destroyed; and
(3) The appointment of four out of the 13 PAC members, including its chairperson, into the government.
Akhbar said these developments do not bode well with the Malaysian public.
"Given the snail pace of the investigations and the halting of PAC’s activities, coupled with the sackings on July 28, how will intelligent Malaysians view the whole episode?
"Surely, they will think it is clearly a concerted effort to stop the investigation into 1MDB in its tracks," Akhbar said.
Shift in attention of police also a concern
Furthermore, he noted that newspapers such T he Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly , which have aggressively exposed alleged wrongdoings in 1MDB, have also been suspended.
"In addition, there has been an allegation that one of the key members of the task force has been accused as a co-conspirator in a plot to bring down Putrajaya.
"The police are said to have made a sudden shift in attention to the allegation of conspiracy to topple the leadership, while the acceptance of stories from Justo shows an interest in the political, rather than criminal, aspect of the scandal," Akhbar said.
He warned that the country was dangerously close to becoming a "failed state".
"We cannot let this happen - God and our future generations will not forgive us," he said.