Puad Zarkashi has let the cat out of the bag – the obsession of Najib and UMNO leaders about the 1MDB and “donation” scandals which have catapulted Malaysia to world’s top nations associated with global corruption

The Director-General of Department of Special Affairs (Jasa), Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi has let the cat out of the bag – that despite all the show and pretence put up by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that all the problems created by his twin mega scandals had been resolved, and that the country must move on, the nation’s leadership are still haunted and hounded by the 1MDB and “donation” global financial scandals and could not move on!

This is why the head of one of the propaganda units of government had to conduct a double-speak “Veracity Tour” to meet Malay students abroad to “explain current issues” – or to be more exact, a “brainwash tour” to mislead Malay students overseas about what is happening in the country.

This is why five months after Najib announced to the world that his twin mega scandals were “history” in his 2016 New Year Eve message, and a month after the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on 1MDB, which only touched on the “tip of the iceberg” of the 1MDB scandal but which Najib hailed as vindication for his premiership, Puad had to embark on a world-wide “veracity tour” to “brainwash” Malay students because the credibility of Najib and his administration was hovering near the zero level!

Unfortunately, Puad is so used to hard and blatant propaganda among UMNO crowds, silenced and compromised by the distribution of various “goodies” at these brain-washing sessions, that he has lost the ability to discern the importance of showing greater finesse and discretion when dealing with more questioning minds among Malay students overseas.

This was why Puad could trot out such arrant nonsense about Najib’s twin mega scandals to Malay students in Canberra, claiming that Najib had told UMNO leaders when the Wall Street Journal reported the expose in early July last year that he had “Bank Negara documents” to approve the transfer the money (RM2.6 billion) into his personal accounts and that he had discussed it with the Bank Negara governor.

According to Puad, Najib denied the money originated from 1MDB and told UMNO leaders that the money was from the Saudi King (Raja Saudi) to “combat the Islamic State, and secondly, to help in other places such as in Palestine and others”.

If it was so simple and straightforward, why didn’t Najib explain it to the public and the world in July last year instead of equivocating to evade accountability and responsibility, and even now, unable to come straight out in public to declare that the version told by Puad in Canberra was the true one!

If Najib had Bank Negara documents which approved the deposit of RM2.6 billion in his personal banking accounts, why is Najib unable to show them in the past 11 months since the Wall Street Journal report?

If the RM2.6 billion donation had come from the Saudi King, why can’t he produce documentation to prove it?

Can Najib produce these documents now?

The 1MDB and “donation” global financial scandals are already worthy candidates for the Guinness Book of Records for the many “holes” in the saga of the Najib government to present them as ordinary and legitimate business transactions, but Puad has done the virtual impossibility of adding more “holes” to the sorry tale of Najib’s twin mega scandals.

This is the first time that an UMNO leader is claiming that the RM2.6 billion donation was from the Saudi King personally.

Previously, the reference was donation from Saudi princes.

Which is which and who is who?

There had been a long and tortured history of the twists and turns about the donor or donors for the RM2.6 billion “donation” deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts, and Puad has provided the latest “twist and turn” by naming the Saudi King himself.

The history of the twist-and-turn about the donor or donors of the billions in Najib’s personal banking accounts include the following:

  • On August 11, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz said the donation was from a “brotherly nation” which wanted to see certain parties win the 13th general election because they were friendly to them.
  • Four days later, Umno Kuantan division chief Datuk Seri Wan Adnan Wan Mamat said the RM2.6 billion was from Saudi Arabia as a form of appreciation of Malaysia “championing Islam” and fighting militant group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis).
  • But on August 22, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi said the donation came from their “Muslim friends in the Middle East” to help Umno fight DAP in the 14th general election, as the party was funded by Jews.
  • Later that same day, Zahid said he met the donors’ representatives who informed him that the funds was in appreciation for the government’s efforts in countering terrorism, and to help Barisan Nasional (BN) maintain Malaysia’s status as a Sunni country.
  • After the new Attorney-General’s no-further-action decision on Najib, however, the BBC reported an unnamed Saudi source as saying that the money was donated to help the prime minister win GE13 and counter potential Muslim Brotherhood influence in Malaysia.

A top howler among the reasons given for the RM2.6 billion “donation” deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts in March 2013 was the reason that the money was given to combat the Islamic State, not just because Islamic State only came into existence in mid-2014 while the RM2.6 billion donation was made in March 2013.

Furthermore, if it was true that the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal bank account allegedly originated from Saudi Arabia was in appreciation for Malaysia’s efforts in combating the Islamic State (IS), then Najib would not have sang the praises for IS or its predecessor at the time, ISIL or ISIS, at the 20th anniversary dinner of UMNO Cheras Branch on June 24, 2014, calling on UMNO members to emulate the bravery of the ISIL/ISIS terrorists, declaring:

“…when someone dares to fight to his death, he can even defeat a much bigger team. Whether we agree or not is another matter, the group ISIL with the strength of just 1,300 people, can defeat an Iraqi army of 30,000 soldiers, until four, five generals with three, four stars run for their lives, jump out of window at night.”

Najib made that speech on June 24, 2014, a week before ISIS declared the creation of a caliphate and changed its name to Islamic State (IS).

But we must thank Puad, for he has reminded Malaysians that whatever the acrobatics and histrionics, the obsession of Najib and UMNO leaders are Najib’s twin mega scandals which have catapulted Malaysia to be among the world’s top nations associated with global corruption.

Furthermore, the two questions which had led me to visit 130 Parliamentary constituencies in the six months I was suspended from Parliament, remain powerfully relevant and pertinent, which Najib cannot escape from answering: Where the astronomical sums of money in Najijb’s twin mega scandals came from, and where they have gone to?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah