Najib must learn quick and fast that there is no way to resolve his grave problem of trust deficit unless he gives full and satisfactory accountability on his twin mega scandals

Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s trust deficit, already lowest for any Prime Minister among all racial groups in the nation’s 58 year history, continued to nose-dive after the UMNO General Assembly, with over a dozen adverse developments and stories keeping Najib’s twin mega scandals alive and kicking in the past three days.

There were six such adverse stories in the last 24 hours in Malaysiakini, viz:

  1. PM's flirtation with gaming world draws scorn
  2. Australian court shuts down 1MDB-linked funds
  3. Delay in handing over auditor-general's 1MDB report to PAC
  4. To uncover 1MDB truth, cross examine Najib in court - by Nurul Izzah and Tian Chua
  5. The colourful family and friends of 1MDB
  6. Malaysian police record Justo’s statement in Bangkok

A day earlier there were two news reports about former MCA President Tun Dr. Ling Liong Sik legal entanglements with Najib’s over the latter’s twin mega scandals, about Najib’s claim against Ling and Ling’s counter-claim against Najib, and the former MCA President’s accusation that Najib had not instituted the legal suit against Ling with the genuine intention to seek legal redress, or Najib should have sued all UMNO leaders, past and present, who have criticised him, such as Tun Mahathir as well as Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report.

Malaysiakini in its report “Three reasons why people want to know about RM2.6b donation” quoted senior lawyer Tommy Thomas arguing in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on the PKR suit over the RM2.6 billion donation that there are three reasons Malaysians need to know regarding the RM2.6 billion donation in Najib’s personal bank accounts – (i) who are the people who gave the donation; (ii) what happened to the money; and (iii) why was it given.

Malay Mail Online on Monday also carried the report “PKR lawsuit against Najib interfering with ongoing probe, 1MDB tells court” on the submission in court by the counsel for the troubled state-owned company that a lawsuit initiated by PKR against Najib and several others was an attempt to interfere with the government’s unfinished investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation scandal.

On the same day, the Malaysian Insider carried an article “UMNO Presidential speech could have been more balanced” by Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam, chairman of Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies, lamenting Najib’s inability to put his twin mega scandals to “permanent rest” with full and satisfactory accountability.

It was also on Monday that Malaysiakini carried the hilarious but serious piece by Mariam Mokhtar “The Darth Vader of UMNO Baru” in response to the speech by the UMNO MP for Jerlun at the UMNO General Assembly describing Najib as “The Chosen One” as the reason why Najib is “attacked left and right, from back and front, top to bottom”.

On Sunday, 24 hours after the 69th UMNO General Assembly, the media were replete with articles and speculation whether Najib, who had clearly emerged on top from the UMNO assemblies, have succeeded in burying the twin mega scandals.

The categorical and unmistakable answer has come from the over a dozen news reports linked the Najib’s twin mega scandals in past two days.

This is a lesson Najib and the UMNO leadership must learn quick and fast – that all the apple-polishing of Najib by the UMNO delegates at the UMNO General Assembly cannot bury Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and 1MDB twin mega scandals and that they will continue to dominate the public domain so long as the Prime Minister refuses to give a full and satisfactory accounting.

This is especially the case as Najib’s twin mega scandals have acquired an international dimension with at least seven foreign countries launching separate investigations, making it impossible for the Najib administration to keep them under “lock and key” in the borderless world of information.

Not only to 30 million Malaysians but even to the three million UMNO members throughout the country, these two scandals and the new hard times they are facing because of GST implementation at a period of falling incomes coupled with spiraling costs of living are the real issues of the day, even if they are ignored by Najib and the UMNO General Assembly.

Will Najib learn this lesson before it is too late that he cannot begin to resolve his trust deficit crisis unless he starts to come clean on his twin mega scandals.

In his UMNO Presidential speech last Thursday, Najib devoted only one paragraph to each of his twin mega scandals.

On 1MDB, he said it was “being handled and in the process of completion”, that “with the sale Edra, 1MDB debts have been reduce by RM17 billion” – proof that the “1MDB rationalization plan is progressing well”.

This is just a “sleight of hand” by Najib on the 1MDB scandal – as he, the government and 1MDB had studiously and strenuously avoided mentioning what are the latest figures on the accumulated debts of 1MDB.

The oft-used figure of RM42 billion represents 1MDB’s total debts in March 2014, and according to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister on July 26, the total 1MDB debts were more than RM50 billion. By now, it would have probably reached RM55 billion.

What is the present situation with regard to 1MDB debts after the sale of Edra to China General Nuclear Power Corp Ltd (CGN): is it RM42 billion – RM17 billion, giving RM25 billion or RM55 billion – RM17 billion, leaving RM38 billion or only RM4 billion less than the RM42 billion figure which had been tossed around for the past year.

When Najib is not prepared to provide Parliament and the nation with such a basic data, it is symptomatic of the sleights-of-hand and other deceptions he is guilty of in avoiding accountability for the twin mega scandals and why he must come clean without any further ado about both mega scandals if he wants to save his credibility.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah