First Mahathir-Anwar meeting in 18 years an example for all Malaysians to act as patriots to rise above all differences to save Malaysia from being a global kleptocracy heading towards a failed state

The historic meeting between Tun Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the first in 18 years, should be an inspiring example for all Malaysians to act as patriots to rise above all differences to save Malaysia from being a global kleptocracy heading towards a failed state.

Never before had Malaysia fallen so low in international esteem in the nation’s 59-year history as to have our credibility, honour, reputation and good name soiled and stained when we are regarded as an overnight global kleptocracy or suffered the shame and dishonor as the centerpiece of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) single largest kleptocracy lawsuit for the forfeiture of over US$1 billion of assets from US$3.5 billion ill-gotten gains derived from the theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering from the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.

This is the time for the convening of a National Patriotic Summit for all Malaysians leaders and individuals, as well as organisations, whether political, civic, religious , commercial or even communal and clan associations, to come together to take a common patriotic stand in a national and international campaign to save Malaysia from worldwide infamy and to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the international shame of being identified as an overnight global kleptocracy.

Malaysia is presenting a sorry international spectacle.

The United States has taken action to redeem over US$1 billion assets from over US$3 billion stolen, embezzled, misappropriated and money-laundered from the national sovereign wealth fund for the benefit of “multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates” in an international conspiracy which involved “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 US financial institutions.”

The 136-page DOJ indictment detailed the “criminal conduct” in the diversion of the 1MDB funds which “were used for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators and their relatives and associates, including to purchase luxury real estate in the United States, pay gambling expenses at Las Vegas casinos, acquire more than US$200 million in artwork, invest in a major New York real estate development project, and fund the production of major Hollywood films”.

1MDB maintained no interest in these assets and saw no returns on these investments.

Yet in Malaysia, the government has claimed total ignorance and surprise at such global kleptocracy and fraud although the key government strategist and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan had admitted to the world in a BBC interview on Sept.1 that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the person named in code as “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” in the DOJ lawsuit which presented him as the kingpin of the Malaysian “public officials and their associates” in the 1MDB kleptocracy and fraud.

Will the Cabinet, at its first Cabinet meeting tomorrow after Abdul Rahman’s stunning BBC admission, step out into the open to admit that the Prime Minister had been “fingered” in US DOJ’s single largest kleptocracy lawsuit and state what action it proposes to take to purge and cleanse not only Najib but Malaysia’s reputation from being identified as a global kleptocracy?

The Cabinet owe all Malaysians a full explanation as to why for over six weeks, the Ministers collectively have acted in an unimaginably cowardly and irresponsibly in not daring to address frontally the issue of the DOJ lawsuits and Malaysia’s international infamy and notoriety as an overnight global kleptocracy.

Is the Cabinet going to continue to act in such an unimaginably cowardly and irresponsible manner by ignoring Abdul Rahman’s admission – with at least two Cabinet Ministers having said publicly they knew nothing about Abdul Rahman’s admission as they did not know that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” is Najib?

The least the Cabinet should do tomorrow is to recognise the gravity of Malaysia’s becoming an overnight global kleptocracy by convening a Special Parliamentary session to debunk by infamy as well as entrusting the Prime Minister with the specific task of addressing the United Nations General Assembly to purge and cleanse Malaysia’s reputation as a global kleptocracy and convince the world community of the Malaysian government’s commitment to public integrity.

Furthermore, an all-party parliamentary delegation should be sent to the UN General Assembly session to purge and cleanse Malaysia’s reputation as a global kleptocracy.

I do not expect the Cabinet meeting tomorrow to adopt any of these patriotic initiatives.

In such circumstances, let the “historic” meeting between Mahathir and Anwar yesterday mark the beginning of a new Malaysian journey where Malaysians who are the real patriots and concerned about the future of Malaysia come together to save the country from being a global kleptocracy heading towards a failed state.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah