Najib should heed Musa Hitam’s advice and immediately go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation by an independent commission of inquiry

Datuk Seri Najib Razak should heed the advice of his former mentor, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam that he should go on leave as Prime Minister pending investigation into the Wall Street Journal report and allegation of US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into his personal accounts in AmBank within to weeks of the dissolution of Parliament on 3rd April 2013 and his role and involvement in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.

Najib had accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of “working hand in glove with foreign nationals” in “a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically-elected Prime Minister”, but Najib cannot make such an accusation against Musa.

In an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider, Musa said Najib has three options:

  1. to remain in office and fight the allegations;
  2. resign as Prime Minister; and
  3. go on leave pending investigations by a special government task force.

Musa personally would prefer if Najib takes the third option to allow for an open and transparent investigation, as he holds dear to the legal maxim that one is innocent until proven guilty and this applies to Najib.

Yesterday, Najib asked Malaysians “Don’t listen to nonsense” on the social media about him and his family, and that “We will ensure that truth emerges in the end.”

I fully agree and subscribe to the notion that Malaysians should be fair to Najib and the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty, but Najib must be fair to Malaysians and the nation as well, as his total silence on the specific allegations made in the WSJ about his having personal accounts in AmBank which received deposits of RM2.6 billion two weeks before Parliament’s dissolution in April 3, 2013 and the ensuing 13th General Elections, as well as the earlier WSJ report that Najib had used 1MDB funds for his campaign in the 13GE, have not been consistent with a plea of innocence or compatible with the clean and incorruptible image of the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The allegation of Prime Ministerial misconduct, made by a reputable international publication which has repeatedly declared its reports against Najib were fair and

“solid”, is the first to be made against any Malaysian Prime Minister in the nation’s 58-year history of six Prime Ministers, namely Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and Najib.

Also for the first time in the nation’s 58-year history, the wife of a Malaysian Prime Minister had become the target of allegation of impropriety, with the posting yesterday by the whistleblower website Sarawak Report, reported by news portals, alleging that RM2 million was deposited into a bank account purportedly belonging to Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Such an allegation would be completely unthinkable during the times of the wives of the first five Prime Ministers i.e. Tun Sharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah, Tun Rahah binti Tan Sri Mohammad Noah, Tun Suhaila binti Tan Sri Mohammad Noah, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Tun Endon Mahmood Ambak or Tun Jeanne Abdullah Danker.

The investigations into the allegations against Najib should be conducted by independent, reputable and credible Malaysians and definitely not the four Tan Sris heading agencies subordinate and subservient to the Prime Minister – Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, the Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

The special task force comprising the quartet of these four government agencies should be disbanded and be replaced by a Royal Commission of Inquiry of independent, reputable and credible Malaysians who will be under no restraints or inhibitions to get to the bottom of the 1MDB scandal.

If Najib has nothing to hide and he had not been guilty of any malpractices or improprieties, he should even welcome and support the proposal that Tun Mahathir chair the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the 1MDB scandal, with commissioners including the strongest critics like DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli!

It is utterly ridiculous for Najib, as the “accused” in the 1MDB allegations, to dictate the “scope” of the investigations, as when he revealed that the “scope” of the special task force investigating The Wall Street Journal‘s claims against him was whether he used 1MDB funds for his personal interest.

Malaysians want Najib to declare without further ado whether the WSJ report was correct as far as his personal bank accounts in AmBank were concerned, and the deposit of RM2.6 billion on March 21 and 25, 2013 into his personal accounts – just before the dissolution of Parliament on 3rd April, 2013.

And if so, where the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank came from and where they have gone to?

This is a test of Najib’s patriotism, whether he is prepared to end the government paralysis caused by the 1MDB scandal, reaching a new crescendo with the WSJ report and Sarawak Report allegations, by immediately going on leave while investigations by an independent Royal Commission of Inquiry are initiated.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah