NEWS

1MDB and the politics of donation and deception

Charles Santiago

Published
Modified 4 Aug 2015, 5:20 am

MP SPEAKS The last few weeks we have seen the antics of government, which was one big huge drama with a sloppily-written script.

The culmination however was the outcome of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigation, which said that the RM 2.6 billion found in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s private bank account comes from donations.

To me and a large segment of Malaysians, this does not make sense. Why didn't Najib volunteer this information in the first place? Why did he keep mum despite mounting pressure from the rakyat, demanding to know where the huge amount of money had come from? And more importantly, why keep the donations a secret from his former deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, who repeatedly said Najib needs to come clear about the source of the cash.

Before the anti-corruption body revealed its findings, one of its top ranking officers was arrested. Officers in the Attorney-General’s Chambers were arrested. Former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail ( photo ) and Muhyiddin were sacked without notice. Four members from the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were given cabinet positions, halting investigations into 1MDB.

Then Najib’s spin doctors said there is a foreign power-instigated conspiracy to topple the PM and government. And throughout the drama, various government bodies and ruling politicians warned Malaysians against questioning about the 1MDB financial brouhaha or Najib’s role in it.

Therefore can anyone be blamed for questioning if these arbitrary measures were undertaken to help save Najib? Did the MACC sidestep the task force and the PAC to unceremoniously clear the prime minister? Does Najib really believe the people will trust the findings of the anti- graft commission?

Najib and his public relations team have clearly spun a rather complex yarn. But things have changed in Malaysia. And the rakyat are just not buying into their fairy tales any more.


CHARLES SANTIAGO is member of Parliament, Klang.

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