Will Najib clear Malaysia’s name of being a global kleptocracy in his 59th National Day and 53rd Malaysia Day Messages and make it the subject of his address to the UN General Assembly next month?
Malaysians will celebrate the 59th National Day and the 53rd Malaysia Day in five and three weeks respectively.
What should be the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s main concern in these two messages?
Will Najib clear Malaysia’s name of being a global kleptocracy in his 59th National day and 53rd Malaysia Day Messages and make it the subject of his fifth address as Prime Minister to the United Nations General Assembly next month?
When Najib became Prime Minister in April 2009, he prides himself as the ‘Father of Transformation’ or ‘Bapa Transformasi’ with a spate of transformation initiatives and an alphabet soup of acronyms such as 1Malaysia, ETP, GTP, NKRA, NKEA, SRI, NEM, BR1M and KR1M, just to name a few.
But the last transformation Malaysians want from Najib is to transform Malaysia into a global kleptocracy overnight – which the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits for forfeiture of US$1 billion of assets as a result of theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of US$3.5 billion 1MDB funds have highlighted to the international community since July 20.
What is even most embarrassing and incriminating is that although the DOJ actions are “civil action in rem” for forfeiture for 1MDB-linked money-laundered assets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, they do not preclude criminal action, as the forfeiture is but a first step to prevent dissipation of the specified assets.
As the act of money laundering and involvement in a conspiracy to do so are criminal offences, it is likely that criminal proceedings to prosecute those responsible for the alleged misappropriation of 1MDB funds and the laundering of those funds in the United States and elsewhere would follow upon forfeiture of the assets.
But Malaysia cannot wait for such criminal proceedings and their outcome in the United States, for Malaysia’s reputation and good name have been blemished and tarnished in our “transformation” into a global kleptocracy.
What is worse, the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, is not only the subject of the world’s largest single action against money-laundering and forfeiture of assets as a result of multi-billion dollar kleptocracy, “public officials and their associates” are publicly named as being active participants and co-conspirators in an international conspiracy from 2009 to 2013, to “fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through U.S. financial institutions”.
Although some of these “public officials” are mentioned in code, “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”, “1MDB OFFICER 1”, “1MDB OFFICER 2”, “1MDB OFFICER 3”, it is not difficult to guess their identities.
As Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of EPU, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, has said, “only an idiot doesn’t know who that person was” as there is no secret who is Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) mentioned in the DOJ civil lawsuits. The same applies to the “1MDB OFFICERS 1-3”.
As “public officials” responsible for the management of 1MDB were directly implicated as “co-conspirators” in the multi-billion ringgit theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of the funds from the national sovereign wealth fund, how can the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the principal officers of all the national enforcement and investigative institutions like the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara, the National Audit Department and Parliament, adopt a hands-off, indifferent and nonchalant attitude to the DOJ action as in the past 35 days, acting like “ostriches with heads in the sand” to ignore Malaysia’s “transformation” in the international community into a “global kleptocracy”?
There is merit and validity in the cry by the spokesperson of the #TangkapMO1 campaign, Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof – “Whole world knows we’ve been robbed, why are we still relaxed?”
Will Najib address who is “MO1” and how to clear Malaysia’s unworthy transformation into a global kleptocracy in his 59th National Day and 53rd Malaysia Day Messages, as well as make a national commitment to speak at the United Nations General Assembly next month to convince the world that Malaysia is not a kleptocracy but fully committed to the principles good governance and public integrity?