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Opposition MPs must declare their stand on 1MDB scandal

Lim Kit Siang
Published:  |  Modified:

MP SPEAKS | Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak made a big bang in his political debut on Saturday after his electoral debacle six months ago, telling his loyal supporters the fable that Umno-BN’s defeat in the 14th general election was due to an uneven playing field marred by lies, slanders and empty promises by Pakatan Harapan and not the 1MDB scandal, which he continued to maintain does not exist.

Najib is perpetrating the 21st-century Malaysian version of the Emperor Has No Clothes with more lies, slanders and fake news!

Some six months after the electoral disaster of the 14th general election on May 9, is it still the stand of opposition parties and MPs that the 1MDB did not exist, and that all the things said about the 1MDB scandal were lies and slanders?

If so, why did Najib and his attorney-general Mohamad Apandi Ali do nothing for two years and allowed the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) to tell the world in its 251-page 957-paragraph report of the lies and slander in its civil kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion out of US4.5 billion 1MDB-linked assets in United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland?

Maybe, Malaysia should have provisions to impeach Najib and Apandi for gross dereliction of duty and even betrayal of the national interests that they did not lift a finger to purge Malaysia of the international infamy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

On Thursday, fugitive financier Jho Low was indicted in the US court in relation to billions of dollars of 1MDB money laundering as well corruption, together with two former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and Tim Leissner (photo).

Most incriminating of all, Leissner pleaded guilty to charges that he bribed officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to get bond deals for Goldman Sachs and enriched himself beyond what was publicly known, with more than US$200 million (RM835 million) in proceeds from 1MDB bonds flowing into accounts controlled by him and a relative. As part of his settlement, Leissner will forfeit almost US$44 million (RM184 million). Were all these lies and slanders?

In Singapore, the fallout from the 1MDB scandal resulted in the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) taking a range of measures against banks and individuals, including shutting down two banks, fining another eight while several individuals had been convicted in court and imprisoned, while others were banned from working in the financial industry. Are these all lies and slanders?

Greatest defender

In August, Malaysia was the first country to indict the 1MDB mastermind, Jho Low, while Najib had been charged with 38 counts connected to the 1MDB scandal. Former IMDB chairperson and former treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah (photo) had also been charged with criminal breach of trust. Are these lies and slanders?

Malaysia lost RM50 billion, totted up a national debt of a trillion ringgit and gained international notoriety as a global kleptocracy. Are these lies and slanders?

Let every opposition MP declare his or her stand during the budget debate starting on Nov 12 on whether the 1MDB scandal was a national catastrophe and whether Najib should be held responsible for Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy or whether all the things said by the Harapan government on the 1MDB scandal were lies and slanders.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as parliamentary opposition leader, should by convention be opening up the parliamentary debate on Budget 2019 when Parliament reconvenes on Nov 12 after the Deepavali holidays.

Let me tell Zahid and all opposition MPs that if they are not prepared to declare their individual stand whether 1MDB scandal was a national catastrophe and whether Najib should be held responsible for Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy, there is no point in their speaking on Budget 2019 in Parliament!

Najib has become the greatest defender of fugitive financier Jho Low; for Najib was, in fact, telling the world that Jho Low, like him, is the victim of widespread lies and scandals about the 1MDB scandal. Why then is Jho Low becoming the most notorious financial fugitive from justice?

Have Zahid and all the opposition MPs, including the newly-elected president of MCA, joined Najib in becoming the greatest defender of Jho Low?

Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has launched an attack on Najib, accusing him of lying about the multi-billion ringgit deposits in his personal bank account which he claimed was a "donation" from the Saudi Arabian government.

He had said in the semi-aborted Al Jazeera interview that the initial deposits in his personal bank account did originate from Saudi Arabia, and therefore, he assumed that subsequent deposits were also from legitimate sources.

It is significant that Awang Selamat, the newspaper’s pen name, cited the old saying that “not all thieves are liars but all liars would always steal", as this was not the only lie in Najib’s Al Jazeera interview – the other lies were about Rosmah Mansor’s US$23.7 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace and his stepson Riza Aziz’s film production company Red Granite Pictures and films like The Wolf of Wall Street.

Malaysians are indeed great people. Even before the film The Wolf in Malaysia is produced, they have already exposed the Wolf in Malaysia – except that the Wolf in Malaysia has still got followers, even among opposition MPs!

Last night in MCA, the kleptocrat faction which supported Najib’s kleptocracy could even win the party elections. Pity that Najib cannot find a new kleptocratic home in MCA!

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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