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MP SPEAKS | Reading some of the remarks made by some individuals on the US Department of Justice's ( DOJ) latest civil suit in rem in order to forfeit some misappropriated funds involving 1MDB, I can only conclude that some confusion and misunderstandings have unfortunately appeared from such remarks.

I shall begin with the remarks made by the PAS President. He seems to liken the latest move by the DOJ as a form of foreign intervention in Malaysian politics. By implication, he tries to drive home this message- we all should be patriotic and not allow any foreign powers to dictate us.

This remark presupposes that he is very well versed in US laws. It also signifies that the DOJ suits in the US, using the US law, is still considered foreign intervention, at least in his myopic view.

As far as I am concerned, this remark smacks of utter ignorance. It also demonstrates the failure of the PAS President to grasp the whole issue of 1MDB. To begin with, this comment is uncalled for. It reinforces a popular belief that PAS is so detached from worldly affairs. To add salt to injury, such careless criticism only tarnishes any residual image of PAS.

To reply to his unwarranted concerns, I graciously invite him to look at the following official statement by US acting Attorney- General, Kenneth Blanco, who said: " We simply would not allow the United States to be a place where corrupt individuals can expect to hide assets and lavishly spend money that should be used for the benefits of citizens of other nations."

There are other remarks from some compliant ministers. Inter alia, the remarks go like this-1MDB and MO1 are not named as defendants. Some even say that there is no evidence of misappropriation of funds by 1MDB, despite the fact that this suit has not reached a trial stage where the issue of adducing evidence is appropriately addressed.

First things first. Yes,1MDB and MO1 are not named as defendants by DOJ. My immediate reply: So what? Are you, therefore, saying that no liability can be associated with them? If, at all, no liability can be attached to these two entities simply because they are not named as defendants, why won't they instruct lawyers to oppose the suit?

After all, the contents of the suits have specifically named them and in turn linked them with the allegation of misappropriation of 1MDB funds. Thus, they must certainly have some interests over the DOJ suit.

I am not sure whether they have read the entire claim filed by the DOJ. This is because by raising this issue, it seems that they are sending the following message - the DOJ suit is frivolous, hence it should not be duly entertained by the government.

I have perused the relevant US law on this subject. It is interesting to note that under the American law, the US government may, via the DOJ, file a civil suit in rem not only against any individual who allegedly laundered the money but it can also name the property concerned in order to forfeit any illegal money. Here, we don't have such a law, hence, we cannot name the property as a defendant.

Be that as it may, in my view, all the contentions that DOJ has not named the 1MDB or MO1, with due respect, do not hold water. They are highly irrelevant. They are merely raised in order to confuse the concerned citizens. Period.


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