Who will “bell the cat” at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, insisting that Najib should “tell all” to the Ministers and immediately testify at the PAC hearing on 1MDB scandal as it is now established that the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for all 1MDB deals
Who will “bell the cat” at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, insisting that Datuk Seri Najib Razak should “tell all” to the Ministers and immediately testify at the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the 1MDB scandal, as it is now established that the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for all 1MDB deals?
Will the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin, whose speech at an UMNO function on 16th May wanting the 1MDB Board to be sacked and the police called in to investigate - whose recording had been visited more than half a million on times on You Tube - “bell the cat”?
In fact, does Muhyiddin know that the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for all 1MDB deals – as provided by the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) agreement which made it very clear that the Prime Minister has the final say over any “financial commitment” of the company?
Do the Cabinet Ministers know that the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for all 1MDB’s financial deals?
If not, how can the Cabinet Ministers allow the Prime Minister to mislead them in such a colossal manner; and if yes, why have they given the Prime Minister such a “blank cheque” without any check and balance as to plunge the country into a RM42 billion scandal – despite numerous warnings and queries by DAP MP for PJ Utara Tony Pua and PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli in the past four years, and with increasing intensity in the past two years since the 13th General Elections on May 5, 2013?
Would the Cabinet tomorrow demand Najib to “tell all” about his decisions as the final approving authority of 1MDB, before requiring Najib to “tell all” to Parliament and the nation.
Or is there nobody in the Cabinet who will “bell the cat” tomorrow?
Under Clause 117 of M&A agreement, the Prime Minister must give his written approval for any of 1MDB deals, including the firm’s investments or any bid for restructuring.
The clause states that for any avoidance of doubt, none of three things can be executed “without the written prior approval of the prime minister”.
This includes “any financial commitment (including investment), restructuring or any other matter which is likely to affect the guarantee given by the Federal Government of Malaysia for the benefit of the company, national interest, national security or any policy of the Federal Government of Malaysia”.
The clause also stipulates that the government shall have the “final and conclusive” right to determine what constitutes national interest and national security.
Other matters which need the PM’s approval are amendments to the company’s Memorandum and Articles of Association of the Company and appointments and removal of directors and senior management team of the company.
As far as I know, this is the first case of its kind where the Prime Minister is made the final approving authority for any transaction or deal in a company, even a government company.
Why is this the case? If there is to be any final approving authority for a government company, why is it not the Finance Minister but the Prime Minister?
It would appear that the M&A agreement of 1MDB stipulating that the Prime Minister is the final approving authority for any deal, transaction or investment by the company is custom-made for Najib as far as 1MDB is concerned, as the provision was only made after Najib had become Prime Minister.
Are there any other government companies where the Prime Minister, and not the Finance Minister, is the final approving authority for any deal, transaction or investment as in the case of 1MDB?
As the Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Najib owes Parliament and the nation an instant answer to this question.
Najib had said in his defamation suit against Tony Pua that 1MDB’s Advisory Board, of which he is the chairman, had no role in its daily operations as it was run by its board of directors and management. Najib is not totally honest, as he failed to reveal that as provided in the 1MDB M&A Agreement, he as Prime Minister is the final approving authority for any deal, transaction or investment by 1MDB.
As Najib is the final approving authority for any deal, transaction or investment by 1MDB, he should stop procrastinating and should begin to answer the thousand-and-one questions about the 1MDB scandal, starting from the beginning about 1MDB’s involvement, including the following eleven issues:
- the initial USD1 billion investment in Petrosaudi International Limited;
- the additional USD1billion in loans extended to Petrosaudi;
- the US$1.16 billion (RM4.2 billion) which went into the account controlled by Jho Low (made up of payments of first US$700 million in 2009, then US$160 million in 2010 and finally US$300 million in 2011 - all to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by Jho Low);
- the siphoning of USD260 million from 1MDB for the acquisition of 53% shareholding in Utama Banking Group (UBG) from the latter’s substantial shareholder, Sarawak Governor Tun Taib Mahmud’s family vehicles;
- the raising of bonds amounting to USD6.5 billion by paying fees in excess of 10 per cent to Goldman Sachs International;
- the costly guarantee sought from Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) for USD3.5 billion of these bonds.
- the decision to move US$1.1 billion from Cayman Islands to a bank in Singapore;
- the deal with Mongolia-based company Gobi Coal & Energy Limited (GCE);
- the sale of Tun Razak Exchange land to the Lembaga Tabung Haji;
- the source of RM2 billion 1MDB used to pay back several debts owed local banks early in the year; and
- the perennial 1MDB struggle to service its mountain of debts amounting to some RM2.5 billion annually.