10 Questions on 1MDB for dummies for Cabinet Ministers at their meeting today

Bravado is no answer to the mountain of queries by Malaysians as to why Cabinet Ministers had not raised questions about the propriety, accountability and transparency of the various deals in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal at the last Cabinet meeting on Friday.

“Do you think Nazri can be threatened?” is sheer bravado and does not answer the question why Ministers, according the Minister for Tourism and Culture, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz himself, were satisfied and happy with the second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah’s explanation on the 1MDB Roadmap and that no minister, including the Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, voiced any objection at last Friday’s Cabinet meeting – when it is obvious that any ordinary person cannot be happy with Husni’s explanation of the 1MDB Roadmap.

Either the Ministers were living in a different planet and did not know the almost daily queries about the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal or they just buried their heads in the sand like ostriches to shut out the mountain of 1MDB queries for the past few years.

The Ministers will be guilty of the height of irresponsibility and negligence if they had given approval to the 1MDB Roadmap without understanding the issues of propriety, accountability and transparency of the numerous deals in the 1MDB imbroglio, out of fear of stepping on the toes of Datuk Seri Najib Razak Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister.

The Ministers must make amends for their gross sins of irresponsibility and negligence on the 1MDB Roadmap at the Cabinet meeting this morning, and the following ten questions on the 1MDB for dummies should be among the questions which Ministers should pose on the 1MDB Roadmap at today’s Cabinet:

  1. 1MDB President and Group Executive Director, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, denied that Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC)’s US$1 billion mentioned by second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah in the 1MDB Roadmap was “a loan, debt or bailout”. What animal is this US$1 billion of IPIC which is not “a loan, debt or bailout”? A grant, gift or present?
  2. What 1MDB has to give in return for IPIC’s US$1 billion so that 1MDB can settle its US$975 syndicated loan?
  3. Is 1MDB being wound down by next year and its operations transferred to three separate companies as part of the deal with IPIC and its Aabar Investments unit to remove another RM16 billion debt from 1MDB – as reported by the government mouthpiece Bernama but subsequently denied by Husni?
  4. Why is IPIC’s US1 billion (not “loan, debt or bailout”) necessary in the first place? Does mean that the consortium of banks led by Deutsche Bank was right when they rescinded their US$975 million loan to 1MDB ahead of their due date on August 31 because 1MDB provided “incomplete documents” as security, i.e. “false bank statements” on the US$1.103 billion being held by 1MDB’s Brazen Sky unit in BSI Singapore, originally from a tranche of offshore deposits it previously kept in the Cayman Islands.
  5. What punitive action had been taken against the 1MDB officials for such irresponsible and criminal mismanagement resulting in the consortium of banks rescinding 1MDB’s US$975 million ahead of its due date?
  6. Whether the Prime Minister under the 1MDB Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) is the final approving authority, and whether he must bear responsibility for the early rescinding of 1MDB’s US$975 million loan by the consortium of international bankers.
  7. If the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for any 1MDB deal, transaction or investment under the 1MDB Memorandum & Articles of Association (M&A), ask the Prime Minister for 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. Who will now be the final authority on the 1MDB Roadmap – the second Finance Minister Husni or Najib as provided in the 1MDB M&A?
  8. How 1MDB could pile up RM42 billion debts in six years when Najib is the final approving authority for all these transactions?
  9. The full relationship of Najib and the “mover and shaker” of the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, Jho Low.
  10. Whether Najib should chair or even be present at any Cabinet discussion and decision on the 1MDB issue because of conflict of interest as the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for 1MDB deals, transactions and investments.

Malaysians hope the Cabinet Ministers will speak up on the 1MDB scandal at the Cabinet meeting today.

Last Friday, Najib asked Ministers to resign if they do not support him on the 1MDB issue.

Malaysians want Ministers to resign if they dare not raise the people’s concerns and worries about the 1MDB scandal in the Cabinet, and are incapable of answering their queries on the 1MDB scandal claiming that apart from Husni, they are banned from speaking on the 1MDB issue!

Banning Cabinet Ministers from speaking and explaining to the public about the 1MDB issue is an insult to the integrity and intelligence of Ministers and make a total mockery of the princilple of collective Ministerial responsibility.

Ministers might as well go around with lips sealed with the wording “1MDP” so that all Malaysians know that they cannot talk about the 1MDB scandal.

Are we having a Cabinet of sheep before Malaysia becomes a nation of sheep?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah