Have all Ministers accepted collective responsibility for the 1MDB scandal to “sink or swim” with Najib on the issue?

Have all Ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal accepted collective responsibility for the 1MDB scandal to “sink or swim” with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the issue?

This question becomes pertinent when two UMNO-owned newspapers, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times reported in prominence the online portal Malaysia Today article last night that the Prime Minister had told his Cabinet members at Friday’s meeting to resign if they do not support him on the 1MDB issue.

The Malaysia Today article headlined “NAJIB ASKS HIS CABINET MEMBERS NOT WITH HIM TO RESIGN” reported:

Anyway, after Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah presented the Ministry of Finance’s plan for 1MDB to the Cabinet on Friday, Najib looked at all the Cabinet members and asked them who were not with him. Those not with him can tender their resignation and walk out the door.

Nobody spoke. Most looked down at their shoes as if they suddenly needed to check whether their shoes were clean or not. A couple glanced at Shafie Apdal as if to say, “Well, since you are not with the PM are you going to resign and leave?” But not a single cabinet member said he or she does not agree with the 1MDB plan or are not with the PM and would like to resign from the cabinet.

So let us see what they say now. That they do not know what is going on? That they do not know what is happening in 1MDB? That they have not been informed about the affairs of 1MDB? That they do not agree with 1MDB? That they are not with the Prime Minister?

On Friday the Prime Minister gave the entire cabinet a chance to distance themselves from 1MDB and show that they do not support the Prime Minister by resigning. But not a single cabinet member did that, not even Shafie Apdal.

Does this mean that Cabinet Ministers, including Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Shafie, who are on record in expressing disagreement with the 1MDB scandal, have now swallowed their reservations so as to continue to be members of the Najib Cabinet?

Are all 35 Ministers in the Najib Cabinet prepared to announce publicly that they accept full collective responsibility for the 1MDB scandal and will “sink or swim” with Najib on the issue?

The answers from all the 35 Cabinet Ministers are particularly pertinent and relevant as it is doubtful that the Cabinet had been presented with the entire 1MDB Roadmap on Friday, or there will not be the current controversy as to whether “1MDB will be wound down by next year and its operations transferred to three separate firms” as reported by the government mouthpiece Bernama after the Friday Cabinet meeting but denied subsequently by the second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah.

Before the Cabinet meeting on Friday, Husni said he would make public the roadmap for 1MDB after it had been tabled in the Cabinet.

This has not been done, as Husni had merely announced that 1MDB will receive US$1 billion (RM3.67 billion) from Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) to repay a US$975 million loan maturing in August but which a consortium of German lenders is seeking an early settlement due to a breach of covenant in the loan agreement by 1MDB.

But the Malaysian public have not been told what 1MDB's USD$1 billion Abu Dhabi lifelife would cost Malaysia when everybody know that there is no free lunch in the world nor other details of the agreement with IPIC and its Aabar Investments unit or other aspects of the rationalisation plan of 1MDB.

Have these details of the 1MDB Roadmap been presented to the Cabinet on Friday or were the Cabinet Ministers as usual asked to give a blank cheque approval for the 1MDB Roadmap without any meaningful details to allow the Ministers to discuss and decide on the viability and sustainability of the of the Roadmap – even though the Ministers will have to be collectively responsible for the 1MDB Roadmap?

Are the Ministers again in the same position as members of the Malaysian public, to use Shafie’s words, of being as unclear as the public over the 1MDB's opaque deals?

The 1MDB Roadmap is really a Save 1MDB Roadmap to save Najib, as the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for all 1MDB deals. As such the 1MDB Roadmap is no different from being a Save 1MDB Roadmap or Save Najib Roadmap.

Are all Cabinet Ministers aware last Friday when they decided on the 1MDB Roadmap that they were in fact deciding on a Save Najib Roadmap?

Did Najib give a full report to the Cabinet on all his 1MDB dealings in the past six years as the final approving authority for 1MDB deals, transactions and investments and have all Cabinet Ministers understood how 1MDB could pile up RM42 billion debts in six years and endorsed all the 1MDB decisions taken by Najib as the final approving authority for all these transactions?

As Najib is the final approving authority for 1MDB deals, and the 1MBD Board or management would be committing grave offences of criminal breaches of trust, negligence and abuse powers if they had carried out major 1MDB deals without the “written approval” of the Prime Minister, did Najib excuse and absent himself from yesterday's Cabinet decision on the 1MDB Roadmap because of personal conflicts of interest?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah