It is not just UMNO but the whole Malaysian nation which had been hit by the 1MDB scandal like being blasted by an “atomic bomb”, with the crowning ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”

I do not know whether the police will open an investigation paper under Section 506 of the Penal Code against the Shah Alam UMNO chief Zahari Shaari, who lamented this morning that the 1MDB scandal had hit UMNO like an “atomic bomb”.

This was what the Police did the last time an “atomic bomb” reference made news two months ago during the Kuala Kangsar by-election when the PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli said that if the AMANAH candidate, nuclear physicist Ahmad Termizi Ramli, was elected in the by-election, Termizi would be asked to hurl an “atomic bomb” at Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament.

Police reports were lodged against Rafizi and even an UMNO Minister admonished Rafizi for joking about an “atomic bomb”, although eventually nothing came out of the hullabaloo over Rafizi’s “atomic bomb” joke.

But Rafizi was joking while Zahari was deadly serious in comparing the after-effects of the 1MDB scandal to that of an mushrooming “atomic bomb” explosion.

I find some solace that there are people in UMNO, even at the divisional level, who have not yet become mere robots as a result of the “Cash is King” politics and have not succumbed fully to the “mind control” of the UMNO strategists, but are still capable of exercising clarity and independence of thought.

In fact, during the brouhaha over Rafizi’s “atomic bomb” joke at the Kuala Kangsar by-election, I had identified the 1MDB global scandal as one of the five issues of “atomic bomb proportion” afflicitng Malaysia under Najib’s premiership.

It is not just UMNO but the whole Malaysian nation which had been hit by the 1MDB scandal like being blasted by an atomic bomb, with the crowning ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” as a result the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits to forfeit over US$1 billion assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland as a result of US$3.5 billion criminal embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds.

But the catastrophic after-effects of the 1MDB scandal have not ended with the DOJ action as evident from a greater and further loss of national and international confidence in Malaysian governance, when there was no official proactive response to the DOS complaint despite the mass of details about the criminal conduct and grand larceny of 1MDB-linked funds and involving the highest authority in Malaysia, euphemistically referred to as “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” - as well as the latest DOJ developments over the class action suit by Tun Mahathir’s former political secretary, Matthias Chang and former PAS leader Datuk Husam Musa in the United States against individuals linked to 1MDB.

Against such a backdrop, three recent developments have made it clear that the storms from the “atomic bomb” explosion of the 1MDB scandal will not recede but will continue to haunt and hound Malaysia in the coming months and even years, viz:

Firstly, the refusal of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to re-open investigations into 1MDB;

Secondly, the announcement by the Bank Negara Governor, Muhammad Ibrahim that there would be no re-opening of investigtions against 1MDB despite the damning 136-page DOJ complaint; and

Thirdly, the statement by the new Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner, Dzulkifli Ahmad that his main focus is to ensure a civil service which is clean of corruption, misappropriation and power abuse, completely avoiding what should be the greatest challenge of MACC - to purge and save Malaysia from the international ignominy of a global kleptocracy.

The time has come for every Malaysian to know the meaning of kleptocracy – defined as a rule by a thief or thieves.

Is this Malaysia’s new national destiny – to become a global kleptocracy?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah