Two political bombshells went off today which have seismic effects on the Malaysian political scene in the weeks and months to come
The Selayang parliamentary constituency is the 47th parliamentary seat I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on Oct. 22 in pursuit of the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?” in Parliament.
I have set out on a nation-wide tour of the parliamentary constituencies in these six months to witness the rising crescendo of the people’s demand for answer to the question to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak “Mana RM2.6 billion?” as well as for answer to another of Najib’s twin mega scandals – the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal.
Najib and his Ministers went to great lengths both at the 25-day budget meeting of the Dewan Rakyat and the five-day 69th UMNO General Assemblies to suppress all disclosures and discussion about the twin mega scandals, but apart from causing Najib’s credibility to plumb to ever-lower depths, it could not succeed to bury both mega scandals for the simple reason that events and developments are no more within Najib’s full control.
This is why a political bombshell related to the 1MDB scandal exploded today, not in Malaysia, but far away in the United States where the Wall Street Journal published another 1MDB shocker, claiming that 1MDB sent at least US$850 million (RM3.7 billion) last year to an offshore entity formed to appear as if it was owned by an Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund.
On top of Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal, we now have another RM3.7 billion mysterious offshore account scandal.
According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), this is based on documents reviewed by the publication and those familiar with the matter.
WSJ said: “A 1MDB unit transferred at least US$850 million via three transactions last year to a British Virgin Islands-registered company with a name that made it look like it was controlled by IPIC (International Petroleum Investment Co), according to wire transfer documents viewed by the Journal (WSJ) and two people familiar with the matter.
“The 1MDB fund sent the money to ‘Aabar Investments PJS Ltd’ which closely resembles the name of IPIC’s wholly-owned subsidiary Aabar Investments PJS, the wire documents show”.
Quoting those familiar with the matter, WSJ said executives at IPIC and Aabar investigating the transfers concluded neither of the two Abu Dhabi funds ever owned or controlled the British Virgin Islands company.
“Records in the British Virgin Islands don’t give any details on the owners or directors of the company.
“The records show the British Virgin Islands firm was incorporated on March 14, 2012, and liquidated on June 23 this year, a time of growing criticism of 1MDB from opposition politicians and within Mr Najib’s (Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak) ruling party,” WSJ added.
The CEC of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy will be making his second appearance before the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) tomorrow.
Will Arul be able to throw light on this latest WSJ expose and will the PAC under the new Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin, who has made a name for himself for his “cari makan” philosophy, transform the PAC into a “cari makan” committee by not asking too many questions about the latest WSJ revelation?
This will be a PAC bombshell for the PAC would have become a different creature from the one when it was chaired by Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamad.
But the WSJ 1MDB expose was not the only bombshell in Malaysian politics, as there was another political bombshell – Najib’s continued courtship of the PAS leadership , especially as the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has become the foremost champion of Najib who has come under intense and sustained attack for his twin mega scandals – putting to shame all the other UMNO Ministers and leaders.
In May this year, Hadi publicly advised Najib to continue as Prime Minister and that he should not succumb to pressures like the 1MDB scandal and in July, after the Wall Street Journal expose of the scandal of the RM2.6 billion “donation” in Najib’s personal banking accounts, Hadi rejected the report on the ground that Wall Street Journal did not have four trustworthy witnesses to back its graft allegations against the Prime Minister.
With such a sturdy defender in the person of the PAS President, Najib does not even need UMNO leaders and Ministers to defend him.
These two political bombshells which went off today will have seismic effects on the Malaysian political scene in the weeks and months to come.