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Najib must come clean on 1MDB to Parliament

Lim Kit Siang  |  Published:  |  Modified:

MP SPEAKS | Yesterday, I asked whether the letter which Najib Abdul Razak’s secret spy chief Hasanah Abdul Hamid wrote as director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation (MEIO) to the CIA was why the Najib administration had not protested against the US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions’ public condemnation of the 1MDB corruption scandal as “kleptocracy at its worst.”

Sessions’ condemnation was a very serious matter, as it was as good as an international indictment of the US government that Najib – the then-prime minister named as “Malaysian Official 1 (MO1)” in the US Department of Justice litigation on 1MDB – was a “kleptocrat at its worst” on the world stage.

I had continued to ponder on the question why in the past three years, there was no hue and cry from the Najib administration at being unfairly regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy, no initiative to defend and clear Malaysia’s reputation from the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of a global kleptocracy?

The Najib government not only failed to do all this, it went out of its way to bar national institutions, especially Parliament and the media, from probing and debating the issue. On the eve of the 14th general election, it even rushed through the Anti-Fake News Act in Parliament – not to combat ‘fake news’, but to enable the Najib government to penalise anyone from pursuing the 1MDB scandal.

I confess that I was floored and in a daze when the thought struck me that Najib probably did not mind being described as a kleptocrat provided he could enjoy lifelong immunity by banning any ventilation of the 1MDB scandal on Malaysia’s shores – for he would be in the exalted company of world kleptocrats like former Suharto, Ferdinand Marcos, Mobutu Sese Seko, Sani Abacha, Jean-Claude Duvalier and Alberto Fujimori.

Najib was confident that he could continue to enjoy impunity for all the alleged corruption, abuses of power and embezzlement in the 1MDB scandal as he never expected to be evicted from power and to lose the 14th general election.

It is imperative for Najib to take the floor in tomorrow’s debate in Parliament on the royal address, and explain why his administration never protested or sought to clear Malaysia’s reputation as a global kleptocracy – or whether my damning thoughts are right after all.

Is this the reason why Najib has allowed other Umno leaders and operatives to give different and even conflicting versions about the infamous RM2.6 billion deposits in his personal bank accounts?

These different and conflicting versions include:

  • Former Special Affairs Department director-general Mohd Puad Zarkashi telling Malaysian students in Canberra in May 2016 that the money was from the Saudi king to combat Islamic State, and secondly, to help in other places such as in Palestine and others.
  • Former tourism minister Nazri Abdul Aziz saying in August 2015 that the donation was from a “brotherly nation” which wanted to see certain parties win the 13th general election because they were friendly to them.
  • Umno Kuantan division chief Wan Adnan Wan Mamat saying in August 2015 that the RM2.6 billion was from Saudi Arabia as a form of appreciation of Malaysia “championing Islam” and fighting IS.
  • Then-deputy transport minister Abdul Aziz Kaprawi saying in the same month that the donation came from “Muslim friends in the Middle East” to help Umno fight DAP in the general election, as the party was funded by Jews.
  • Then-acting Umno deputy president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi saying he met the donors’ representatives who informed him that the funds were in appreciation for the government’s efforts in countering terrorism, and to help BN maintain Malaysia’s status as a Sunni county.

These different and even conflicting versions were most ridiculous, as one needs only to point out that IS only came into existence in mid-2014, while the RM2.6 billion donations were deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts a year before.

Perhaps Najib could also explain in Parliament tomorrow how he could give such high praise for the terrorist group at the 20th anniversary dinner of Umno Cheras Branch on June 24, 2014 – where he called on Umno members to emulate their bravery, when he is supposed to be an exemplar of the international war against the group?

Was he also indifferent to the additional filing of the DOJ litigation for the forfeiture of US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets in June 2016, although there were 10 “killer paragraphs” which run contrary to his claim that the RM2.6 billion deposits in his personal banking accounts were donations for Saudi royalty?

In a previous statement, I specifically asked then-attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali whether he had read the ten “killer paragraphs” in US DoJ’s additional 1MDB kleptocratic filings to forfeit US$1.7 billion 1MDB assets – i.e. Ppragraphs 339-348 under the section “$681 Million was transferred from the Tanore account to an account belonging to MO1.”

In fact, Paragraph 346 referred to Part VI.CC of the DoJ litigation, which traced how a portion of the US$620 million MO1 is alleged to have returned was passed through various additional accounts controlled by 1MDB mastermind Jho Low, and ultimately used to purchase the US$27.3 million 22-carat pink diamond pendant and necklace for the wife of “MO1.”

It is time that Najib make a clean breast of his involvement in the 1MDB scandal in Parliament tomorrow.

LIM KIT SIANG is the MP for Iskandar Puteri.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

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