Najib’s statement on co-operation with US and other international authorities on 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering – too little, too late and of no credibility
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak made a very surprising statement during his visit to Germany when asked about international investigations on multibillion dollar 1MDB embezzlement and money-laundering.
He said that Malaysia would cooperate with US and other international authorities investigating the embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of funds from the Malaysian state-owned 1MDB that he founded.
Najib said: “We are equally concerned about good governance in Malaysia and the rule of law.
“So within the bounds of good governance and the rule of law, Malaysia will do its best to cooperate and to do whatever is necessary.”
Isn’t such a statement by Najib not only too little and too late, but totally lacking in credibility?
Why only make such a statement in Germany more than two months after the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits on July 20 on the forfeiture of over US$1billion of assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland, from over US$3billion embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of 1MDB funds, (implicating the Prime Minister himself as identified by a Cabinet Minister that the “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” mentioned in the US DOJ indictment is none other than Najib himself) and months after several countries like Singapore and Switzerland had taken action against banks, financial institutions and their staff in their countries for being involved in the international conspiracy on money-laundering of 1MDB funds?
It is not that Najib or the Malaysian authorities were unaware of international investigations into the 1MDB financial scandal, which is the chief cause why Malaysian has catapulted into the infamous ranks as a “global kleptocracy”.
Investigations by US authorities under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative resulting in the DOJ lawsuits on July 20 would have been initiated more than 18 months ago, and it is not a state secret, as New York Times reported on Sept. 22 last year that a US federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption involving Najib and people close to him in connection with the 1MDB financial scandal.
Many Malaysian leaders, including Najib and Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi had visited the United States from Sept. 22 to July 20 this year.
Did they inquire about these investigations into the 1MDB financial scandal by the US authorities under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, and offered co-operation in such investigations, and if not, why not?
Parliament is reconvening on Oct. 17, and undoubtedly, the 1MDB financial scandal will cast a long shadow over the budget parliamentary meeting as well as the 2017 Budget as it has single-handedly catapulted Malaysia into the international infamy for being a “global kleptocracy”.
Pakatan Harapan Members of Parliament are prepared to give Najib the benefit of the doubt that he must singly bear the greatest responsibility for the 1MDB scandal, provided he seeks parliamentary support through a motion when Parliament reconvenes on Oct 17 to refute the damning allegation that Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy.
Dare Najib move such a motion in the first week of Parliament starting on Oct. 17, or does he feel no shame, remorse or responsibility for the nation to be stained with the infamy of being known as a “global kleptocracy”?
Or has Najib no confidence that he could get unanimous parliamentary support for a motion refuting the Malaysia as a global kleptocracy?
The question whether Najib is capable of persuading Parliament to give unanimous parliamentary support for a motion to refute the allegation that Malaysia is a global kleptocracy depends on his ability to present a full and comprehensive case not only to establish that 1MDB is not a global multi-billion dollar scandal of embezzlement and money-laundering but further, that he as Prime Minister is not a key player in the 1MDB global scandal.
I suggest that three days be set aside for a debate on Najib’s motion if the Prime Minister is brave enough and prepared to come to Parliament to clear Malaysia’s name as a global kleptocracy as well as his role in the 1MDB scandal.