COMMENT | Just a few days away from GE14, with Dr Mahathir Mohamad leading the opposition charge towards Putrajaya, one gets the feeling that this will be a momentous occasion for Malaysia.
Older readers may recall a time back in the 1980s and the 1990s when Malaysia was internationally recognised as a model of stable, multicultural and developing country with an impressive economy.
Malaysia, respected and seen as a leader among Third World nations, was one of the fast-growing economies in the world, poised to challenge the then Asian Tiger economies of South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore.
So much has changed since then. Today, Malaysia makes international headlines for all the wrong reasons: corruption, corruption and more corruption, all linked to caretaker prime minister Najib Abdul Razak and the 1MDB scandal.
His administration has robbed Malaysians of everything – our wealth, our dignity, and the future that could have been.
If we were to attempt to compile a list of reasons to vote Najib and his ilk out, it would likely not be finished in time for polling day. Failing that, however, this is all the reason that you should: 1MDB, the biggest kleptocratic theft the world has ever seen.
Kleptocracy at its worst
As chairperson of the 1MDB advisory board, the finance minister, and prime minister, Najib held all the reins of power and was answerable to – laughably – himself. Over the span of five years, 1MDB became a cash cow, with over US$4.5 billion allegedly siphoned and laundered through countries like the United States, Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Luxembourg and
others, according to the US Department of Justice (DOJ) investigations and forfeiture suits.
Using a complex web of subsidiaries such as a shady Cayman Islands fund worth US$2.32 billion and a shell company registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), billions of dollars were siphoned out for non-existing investments and contracts...