MP SPEAKS | It is a crying national shame that while the world is trying to get to the bottom of the heinous global 1MDB scandal, described by the former United States attorney-general as “kleptocracy at its worst,” there are still leaders here trying to keep a veil on the 1MDB scandal and prevent open scrutiny.
Last week, it was reported that Germany’s Deutsche Bank was being investigated by the US Department of Justice for its work with 1MDB, including helping the state investor raise US$1.2 billion (RM4.95 billion) in 2014.
The probe into the bank's alleged corruption and money laundering in connection with the 1MDB scandal is being assisted by former Goldman Sachs banker Tim Leissner, who last year pleaded guilty for his role in the massive scandal.
Deutsche Bank, in a statement, said it “cooperated fully” in the 1MDB enquiries, and highlighted asset forfeiture documents filed earlier by DOJ that showed 1MDB had misled the bank.
It is the latest international bank to be dragged into the 1MDB scandal – the others being Goldman Sachs, which now faces criminal charges and demands for billions in damages.
The 143-year-old BSI, one of the oldest in Switzerland, has been closed. Falcon Bank and its former Swiss CEO are under criminal investigation, and numerous others have been fined and censured.
But in Malaysia, there are still leaders who are fighting every inch of the way to maintain the veil of secrecy over the 1MDB scandal, playing to the discredited script of former premier Najib Abdul Razak (photo).
One such example is the attempt last week by BN, through their MCA lawmakers, to prevent any discussion of the 1MDB scandal in Parliament.
Even more shocking, the global 1MDB scandal has not prevented the appointment of the 1MDB global kleptocrat Najib as BN adviser, which has created quite a ruckus in Umno itself, but not in MCA or MIC.
According to Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz and Khairy Jamaluddin, Najib wanted to be BN chairperson, but he was shunted off to the BN advisory board by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi without consulting other coalition leaders.
It is odd that the two former Umno ministers objected to Najib’s appointment as BN adviser, while MCA – which had, less than a year ago, threatened to “kick out” Umno from the coalition if it “cuddles” with PAS leaders to form an unholy pact–now supports both kleptocracy and theocracy.
Since his appointment as BN adviser last Tuesday, Najib had eclipsed the Umno, MCA and MIC presidents put together in his visits to various parts of the country, and any visitor from Mars would say that the leader of BN is Najib and nobody else.
I have no objection to this phenomenon, for it is the recipe for electoral catastrophe.
It is based on the fallacy that Malaysians are fervent supporters of the toxic combination of kleptocracy and theocracy, in which lies are permissible and corruption is no sin – as the greatest supporter of Najib is none other than the PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.
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.