Is the Najib camp trying to ingratiate with the new Trump team by alleging that the US DOJ suit on 1MDB was part of US AG Loretta Lynch’s conspiracy to divert attention from Hilary Clinton’s email controversy and should be abandoned by the Trump administration?
Two recent events seem to mark a new “offensive” by the Najib administration on the 1MDB global embezzlement and money-laundering scandal, viz:
- Najib’s written interview with Nikkei Asian Review seeking to claim credit that it was he himself who first instructed multiple authorities in Malaysia to conduct investigations to the 1MDB scandal and blaming the 1MDB issue of having become “highly politicized, with certain elements within Malaysia attempting to exploit it for their own personal political benefit” and "feeding foreign authorities with, at times, false or incomplete information"; and
- The latest round of propaganda offensive by Najib’s propaganda arm, the Special Affairs Department (JASA) of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, among Malaysian university overseas claiming that the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic action in its US$1 billion forfeiture lawsuit against 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland because of over US$3 billion the international conspiracy of embezzlement and money-laundering of 1MDB funds was in part fuelled by US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch’s conspiracy to divert attention from Hillary Clinton’s email controversy.
The allegation that the US DOJ’s largest kleptocratic action against 1MDB under the US Kleptocratic Asset Recovery Initiative 2010 was partly fuelled by the Hillary-Trump presidential battle for the White House is doubly significant, firstly, because it is the first time that the Malaysian authorities have made such an allegation about the motivation of the US DOJ action against 1MDB; and secondly, it would appear to be a deliberate shift of Putrajaya’s 1MDB strategy to ingratiate with Trump team following the shocking Trump win for the White House bid, hoping to get the Trump administration to drop the DOJ suit altogether!
The Australian media has reported that in the latest 1MDB propaganda offensive launched by JASA officials and 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda at three Australian campuses – Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane – a glossy 20-page booklet entitled “DoJ’s summons is questionable” was distributed.
The glossy booklet claims the US DOJ action is “questionable, strange and bizarre” and threatens the stability of Malaysia.
It alleged that the action by the US authorities against 1MDB was in part fuelled by Attorney-General Loretta Lynch’s desire to divert attention from Hillary Clinton’s email controversy.
The Australian Business Review , in its report “Malaysia’s 1MDB in university hard sell” on Nov. 15, 2016, said:
“When it was set up in 2009, 1MDB was touted as a development bank that would invest billions of dollars into energy, real estate and hospitality, but the DoJ alleges the pillaging of the fund began within months of its creation.
“Under increasing pressure from the series of international investigations, 1MDB and the Malaysian Special Affairs Department, JASA, have been secretly shoring up support among backers of the country’s ruling party in a series of closed-door lectures at Australian universities.”
“Accompanied by JASA officials, 1MDB chief executive Arul Kanda last week appeared at three Australian campuses — in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane — where the pamphlet, entitled ‘DoJ’s summons is questionable’, was distributed.
“When confronted by The Australian at the University of NSW about the alleged corruption, including the funnelling of hundreds of millions of dollars into the personal bank account of Mr Razak, Mr Kanda refused to answer questions and was quickly ushered into a waiting car.
“Mr Kanda did not meet with any Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade officials while in Australia, nor anyone at the Australian Securities & Investments Commission or at ANZ, which owns a quarter of AmBank, the Malaysian bank where Mr Najib held the account that allegedly received the money.
“ANZ last week attempted to distance itself from the scandal engulfing its Malaysian affiliate. The bank’s chief executive, Shayne Elliott, who was on the AmBank board until October last year, told a parliamentary inquiry the bank had not investigated activities of ANZ employees seconded into senior AmBank ranks at the time.
“Responding in writing to questions after the hearing, Mr Elliott also declined to comment on his knowledge of an internal investigation into the vast flow of money through Mr Najib’s account, or discussions of the issue while he was on the AmBank board, citing ‘confidentiality requirements under Malaysian law’.
“The contents of Mr Kanda’s presentation on Australian campuses is unknown, with The Australian ejected from the lecture shortly after it began.
“However, the unsigned pamphlet, released ahead of the US presidential election, claims the US attorney-general was pursuing the fund as she is ‘eager to obtain a position under the leadership of the incoming president’.
“’Loretta (Lynch) intends to align the media’s and citizen’s views away from the allegations that she was ‘choosing sides’ as she did not take any further action following the Hillary Clinton email scandal,’ the document, which was written in Malay and translated by The Australian, reads.
“The unsigned pamphlet also attempts to cast doubt that Mr Najib is the person referred to in DoJ court filings as ‘Malaysian Official 1’ and in the Malaysian media as “MO1”, and who is identified as the beneficiary of much of the brazen theft from 1MDB via an account at AmBank.
“’DoJ did not name MO1 because the complaint that was made did not contain information and evidence to link MO1 with any assets and criminal wrongdoing such as was mentioned in the report,” it claims.”
The question that must be asked is whether the Najib camp is trying to ingratiate with the new Trump team by alleging that the US DOJ suit on 1MDB was part of US AG Loretta Lynch’s conspiracy to divert attention from Hilary Clinton’s email controversy and that it should be abandoned together by the Trump administration?
Is JASA prepared to make public its new glossy 20-page booklet entitled “DoJ’s summons is questionable” or is it a tendentious, scurrilous and disreputable publication which cannot stand public scrutiny and can only bring further shame and humiliation to the Najib government?
Is the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Mohd Keruak or the Prime Minister himself prepared to override JASA and order this new JASA publication to be made public?
Najib’s claim that he was the first to initiate investigations into the 1MDB scandal and therefore wants to whole truth about the 1MDB scandal to be exposed, is most laughable and incredulous, when for over seven months, even the very weak, diluted and attenuated recommendation of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) for criminal action be taken against 1MDB officers had not been acted upon!
Najib is very naïve if he thinks that Malaysians and the world had forgotten all the actions that had been taken to frustrate a courageous and full public accounting of the 1MDB scandal – how the Special Task Force on 1MDB, comprising four Tan Sris had been dismantled; how PAC, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara and the Police were brownbeaten when they were too zealous in wanting to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal; the sacking of the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail, the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Rural and Regional Development Minister, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and most recently, the stepping down of the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Husni Hanadzlah who was last year appointed the Cabinet Spokesman for 1MDB – all connected to 1MDB – and most recently, the unprecedented ruling of the Speaker of Parliament barring all questions, debate and discussion about the US DOJ suit on the ridiculous ground of “sub judice”.
As a result of the multi-billion dollar 1MDB international embezzlement and money-laundering scandal, Malaysia in the past few months is regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.
Najib recently asked how I could work with Tun Dr. Mahathir despite our decade of political differences.
Let me tell Najib, that if he is prepared to join the movement to Save Malaysia, to reclaim the country for democracy and to reject kleptocracy, I am prepared to work hand-in-hand with him for the national cause despite our political differences!
Is Najib prepared to work with me to Save Malaysia so that Malaysia can be a democracy and not a kleptocracy?