As “MO1”, Prime Minister Najib should recuse himself from being the final authority in approval of the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”, and a special Parliament convened to decide on the issue
Although Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani was appointed with the specific task to complete the rationalization and resolution of the 1MDB scandal, he is on public record that he was not involved in the arbitration settlement negotiations and had not been briefed before the “settlement” was concluded.
He said that although he was involved in the decision to take the case to London arbitration as he was confident that 1MDB would win the case because of its strong legal position, the Prime Minister made the decision for the country looking at the “bigger picture”, in terms of relationship between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.
This is not only completely unacceptable but downright unethical and most unfair to Abu Dhabi, suggesting that the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is so dishonest and unIslamic as to demand double payments for its US$3.5 billion bond guarantee!
It is most improper for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as the “M01” cited in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation (as admitted by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan) to be in a conflict-of-interest position to be involved in the 1MDB-IPIC settlement, especially as it involved the Ministry of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc) as a party of the IMDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” guaranteeing that 1MDB would make the payments under the “arbitration settlement” – which is as good as undertaking that the Malaysian taxpayers will finally foot the bill for the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”.
In this connection, it must be asked why the 1MDB statement on the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” on 24th April made no mention that the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc.) is a party together with IPIC, Aabar Investments PJS (Aabar) and 1MDB to the arbitration settlement?
This important fact was also totally omitted by the statement by the Prime Minister’s press secretary, Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin of the same date expressing the government was pleased that IPIC and IMDB “have resolved their differences in an amicable manner” – ignoring the fact that such a resolution would not have come about without the government guarantee of 1MDB’s performance!
As “MO1”, Prime Minister Najib should recuse himself from being the final authority approving the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”, which also involves government guarantee of 1MDB payments to IPIC.
United States President Trump’s government has provided two examples of such recusals – Attorney-General Jeff Sessions who has recused himself from any investigation into Trump’s campaign in view of his earlier contact with the Russian Ambassador in 2016; and the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who recused himself from decisions related to the Keystone XL oil pipeline because he was former CEO of Exxon Mobil Corp, which had a vested interest in the pipeline project.
Surely, Malaysia’s commitment to ethics and good governance principles are not inferior to Trump’s administration in the United States?
According to the IPIC’s filing with the London Stock Exchange on 25th April 2017, the 1MDB/IPIC “arbitration settlement” is conditional on the London Court of International Arbitration making a consent award by 31 May 2017.
Parliament should be convened in a special session to decide whether or not to ratify the IMDB-IPIC “settlement”.