When was Johari removed by the Cabinet or Prime Minister as the final “gatekeeper” for the resolution of the 1MDB scandal?
Although Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani has denied contradicting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the arbitration settlement between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), he has clearly tried to dissociate and distance himself from the settlement.
It is therefore quite unworthy of him to allege that DAP PJ Utara, Tony Pua, was trying to create a wedge between Najib and him.
When news of the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” was first reported in the international media exactly a week ago that 1MDB was on the verge of inking a “settlement” with IPIC, Johari was mentioned as part of the “high powered team” leading the negotiations to resolve the dispute, but this was promptly denied by Johari the very next day from Washington, where he was attending a World Bank meeting - that he was not involved in the arbitration settlement negotiations and that he had not yet been briefed on the final outcome of the settlement.
This has come as a surprise to all Malaysians – as all this while, everyone, including Members of Parliament, were under the impression that Johari as Finance Minister II had become the key player in the whole 1MDB imbroglio, in fact the final “gatekeeper” in the resolution of the 1MDB scandal.
In July last year, the Minister for International Trade and Industry, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad said the only Johari and the 1MDB President Arul Kanda Kandasamy are the Federal Government spokesmen about 1MDB.
Has Johari himself forgotten all he had said in the past about his confidence about 1MDB’s legal position in the arbitration case and bringing to book the culprits in the 1MDB scandal?
On 1st August last year, Johari said in an interview that after going through 1MDB’s documents, he was confident of the company’s legal position and that the arbitration case will go in 1MDB’s favour.
This is what Johari said: “As far as I am concerned, I am very confident that we will win. I have looked in detail all the documents supplied by 1MDB.
“The dispute is that they (IPIC) do not acknowledge Aabar BVI as their company. But our records show it indeed belongs to them.
“Now suddenly they claim it does not belong to them. Let the arbitration court look at our documents. We need to make sure we fight and win this case.”
Why has the Malaysian Government done an “about turn” and agreed to the so-called “arbitration settlement” which would involve (i) 1MDB conceding that Aabar BVI is not IPIC company and 1MDB and Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoF, Inc) assuming all liabilities from the US$3.5 billion of bonds which were previously guaranteed by IPIC; and (ii) the Malaysian taxpayers having to pay double the US$3.5 billion bailout of 1MDB, or more than double the US$3.5 billion of bond borrowings of 1MDB.
Johari is now talking about a Registrar of Corporate Affairs of British Virgin Islands letter dated August 11, 2016 confirming that Aabar Investments PJS Ltd. (BVI) is a subsidiary of IPIC.
Is there such a letter dated on August 11, 2016 when Johari had said earlier on August 1, 2016 that he was confident that 1MDB will win based on all the documents supplied by 1MDB?
In March this year, Johari said the government could not press charges on 1MDB without a full picture, as whatever has been made public about 1MDB is only half the story. He said ongoing investigations by the various authorities must be completed first as Malaysia is relying on these evidence before any further actions were taken.
Furthermore, any action taken during the arbitration process between 1MDB and IPIC would weaken Malaysia’s position.
Now, without the “full picture” of the 1MDB scandal, Malaysians are asked to look at a “bigger picture” to justify the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”, which is most weak and unconvincing, as the “final picture” is none other than the protection of the “MO1”!
When Johari was appointed as the Finance Minister II, he was supposed to be the final “gatekeeper” for the resolution of the 1MDB scandal, and hopefully, clear Malaysia’s ignominy and infamy for being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”.
When did the Cabinet or the Prime Minister remove Johari from this position to the extent that he was not involved in the final decision-making process for the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” saddling Malaysian taxpayers with the new burden to being responsible for the colossal losses of the international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal, without bringing any 1MDB culprit to book?