The entire mega Cabinet of 36 Ministers should resign collectively on Wednesday if it is not prepared to come to grips with the roiling international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry on 1MDB scandal
In his 2016 New Year message more than a year ago on 31st December 2015, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told Malaysians that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues.
Najib could not be more wrong as the Malaysian government and people continue to be haunted and hounded by the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.
In the past 12 months, Malaysia went from the third “worst corruption scandal of 2015” by international website foreignpolicy.com in the last week of 2015, to second worst example of global corruption by Time magazine in March last year, second place in the index of crony capitalism by the Economist’s ranking in May, and full-blown “global kleptocracy” when in July, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the largest kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from US$3.5 billion international 1MDB kleptocratic embezzlement and money-laundering scandal.
There has been no let-up of the incessant international battery and assault of Malaysia’s credibility and reputation in the new year of 2017.
A quick search of the Malaysiakini online media website will show some 100 news reports related to the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal in the first 14 days of the year, an ominous warning that the 1MDB scandal will haunt and hound Malaysia to an even greater extent in 2017 than in 2016 or even 2015.
The country has been spared the worst floods in the East Coast as happened from 15th December 2014 to 3rd January 2015, affecting more than 200,000 people and claiming 21 lives, but the country has been flooded instead with endless bad news as a result of the 1MDB scandal.
The Australian Federal Police have now joined the international bandwagon of investigations into the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal and there has been a “gutting” of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) with the winding down of the MACC Special Operations Division (Bahagian Operasi Khas or BOK) and the early retirement by its former Special Operations Division director, Bahri Mohd Zin, because of dissatisfaction with the MACC’s investigations into the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the SRC International scandal and why the SRC International case was never brought to court.
The message is very clear: the MACC can arrest and prosecute more “ikan bilis” but it should leave the “ikan yus” alone. China can catch and imprison “tigers” while Indonesia net the “crocodiles” in their anti-corruption campaigns, but Malaysia cannot go on a spree against “sharks”!
When Najib spoke at the firstly monthly assembly of the Prime Minister’s Department in the new year and spoke about the recent MACC arrests and reminded civil servants against wastage, there was an unprecedented degree of cynicism and skepticism both among the general populace and the public servants.
I will be surprised if 99% of the civil servants whether at the PM’s Department monthly assembly or at large were not thinking of three things, Malaysia’s ill-repute as global kleptocracy, 1MDB and “MO1” when they heard or learnt of Najib’s speech for staring in their faces was the Prime Minister’s egregious failure to “walk the talk” on the issues of integrity, governance and the war against corruption and in particular his failure to explain the two mega financial scandals of the RM2.6 billion donation and RM42 million from SRC International Sdn. Bhd, the former subsidiary of 1MDB, found in his personal bank account and what he did with the money.
Since then, adverse 1MDB news, both on the national and international front, have increased by leaps and bounds.
In Singapore, Swiss national Jens Fred Sturzenegger became the fourth banker to be convicted, fined and jailed for money-laundering crimes related to the 1MDB scandal.
A former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, Sturzenegger was jailed for 28 weeks and fined S$128,000 on January 11 after pleading guilty to six of 16 charges, which included failing to report potentially criminal transactions involving “astronomical amounts” and for lying to the authorities in order to protect the financial interests of Malaysian billionaire, Jho Low, who received “substanial sums” from 1MDB.
A new facet and twist had in fact opened up in the hydra-headed multi-tiered international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal as a result of the Singapore trial, revealing that Jho Low had used a different name in his financial dealings involving 1MDB funds – that the oft-mentioned “Eric Tan Kim Loong” was in fact an alias for Low.
According to the Singapore case, Sturzeneggar had been in communication with the email address, [email protected], but later discovered that he was actually corresponding with Low.
When the two met, the Malaysian-born billionaire revealed that he used the name Eric Tan on some occasions for “security” purposes.
The Singapore case established that four Falcon Private Bank accounts were held by companies controlled by Low using the alias “Eric Tan Kim Loong” and that Sturzeneggar had tried to conceal this fact.
Does “Eric Tan Kim Loong” exist as a person or operate as a separate and distinct individual from Jho Low?
It is to the eternal shame of Parliament and the UMNO General Assembly they had failed to defend the country’s honour and reputation in failing to rebut and refute the ignominy and infamy of being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy” or to purge and cleanse Malaysia of such international infamy and ignominy.
I do not believe that the first four Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir would have stood idly by and done nothing if Malaysia had been regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy during their premiership.
In fact, I believe that the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah would also have acted to defend the honour and reputation of Malaysia if the country is defamed world-wide as a global kleptocracy.
There is no option that Malaysia must stand up in the world stage to purge and cleanse Malaysia’s of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy if we are true and loyal to the nation-building principles as laid down in the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the five Rukunegkara principles of Belief in God; Loyalty to King and Country; Upholding the Constitution; Rule of Law and Good Behaviour and Morality and the five Rukunegara objectives to (I) achieve a greater Malaysian unity; (2) maintain a democratic way of life; (3) create a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared; (4) ensure a liberal approach to our rich and diverse cultural traditions; and (5) build a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.
With the latest ominous development on the 1MDB front, threatening to make 2017 an even worse year than 2016 or 2015, the entire mega Cabinet of 36 Ministers should resign collectively on Wednesday if it is not prepared to come to grips with the roiling international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal and appoint a Royal Commission of Inquiry on 1MDB scandal.
It the Cabinet and the present Federal Government are not prepared to save Malaysia from the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, then only ordinary Malaysians can save Malaysia in the 14 General Election.
This must be the pre-condition for an effective opposition coalition in Malaysia – agreement on a minimal common objective to save Malaysia from ending up like Zimbabwe as a kleptocracy, Argentina as a failed state and North Korea as an autocratic state where the citizens have lost their basic democratic rights.
There are those in the opposition who do not see anything wrong with Malaysia being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy”, who want proof that “MO1” mentioned 36 times in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) kleptocratic lawsuit to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets is the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or want evidence about the multi-billion dollar 1MDB global financial scandal.
Malaysians should have no truck with such “sheep in wolves’ clothing”!