MP SPEAKS | Former UMNO/Barisan Nasional Ministers and officials have followed the example of the first two BN speakers, Zahid Hamidi and Wee Ka Siong, in continuing the debate on the royal address in Parliament.
This move is to shroud the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal in a conspiracy of silence, deploying all sleights-of-hand and employing all possible stratagems and devices to do so, as illustrated by the following:
Firstly, staging of a 65th birthday bash in Parliament House for Najib Razak, which never happened during Najib’s nine-year premiership and the testimonial by his wife, Rosmah Mansor that Najib is “a very truthful man and he is on the right path” – that is hardly one which many in Malaysia would regard as credible.
Secondly, Wee Ka Siong creating a mountain out of a molehill claiming that the prime minister’s reply to a parliamentary question on behalf of Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng could be because of Guan Eng’s incompetence or Dr Mahathir’s lack of confidence in Guan Eng.
There is nothing wrong in Mahathir fielding opposition leader Zahid Hamidi’s question about Japanese loans. During his visit to Japan in the middle of last month, Mahathir had raised the subject of Japanese-yen credit in the form of soft loans partly to retire old loans and offset high borrowing costs. In fact, Zahid may have wrongly directed his question to the finance minister.
What eclipsed both these incidents was Najib’s denial that he had signed off RM470 million from 1MDB to UMNO or BN parties. How is this to square with former Umno minister and BN backbenchers’ club Shahrir Samad’s admission of receiving RM1 million from Najib?
This was after Sarawak Report revealed in August 2015 that Najib had distributed 1MDB monies of RM1 million to Shahrir and RM2 million to then Umno deputy minister Ahmad Maslan after the 13th general election.
In fact, in November 2015, former MCA president Chua Soi Lek made a startling revelation about Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” to the latter’s personal banking accounts before the 13th general election. Chua recollected how Najib had, in a BN Supreme Council meeting before the 13th general election made an “unprecedented pledge to fund BN component parties”.
Chua had said: “I remember clearly. I was the first to thank him. I said I have joined politics for more than 20 years and have gone through five general elections. (We) have never received a single sen from BN before.
“So everyone agreed and many thanked him. When the election came, he delivered – he was able to disburse some funds (to the component parties).”
It would appear that the chickens have now come home to roost. The onus is on Najib to prove that the hundreds of millions of ringgit channelled from his bank accounts to BN parties in the past were not from 1MDB.
LIM KIT SIANG is Iskandar Puteri MP.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.