To Malaysia’s eternal shame, we are singled out and named in the new book “The Corruption Cure” as the nation which the United States government is combatting in the fight against global kleptocracy

It is to Malaysia’s eternal shame that we are singled out and named in the new book, “The Corruption Cure” by Robert Rotberg as the nation which the United States government is combatting in the fight against global kleptocracy.

This is to be found in Page 288 of the book, which reads:

“Under President Obama and his two attorneys general, the U.S. has intensified its attack on corporate, sovereign wealth fund, and individual corruption because it is wrong, but also because the Department of Justice believes that such corruption is a major cause of global instability, a severe hindrance to economic development everywhere, a major creator of poverty, and a critical abuse of national social contracts. Funds pilfered abroad – as in the Malaysian government sovereign wealth fund case, where more than $3 billion was misappropriated – also distorts real estate markets and the overall American economy (witness Miami and New York). For all those reasons and more, corruption is a ‘threat to American national security’”.

Reading this paragraph, I find it most ironical and indignant that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could speak about Malaysia strengthening the American economy when he visited US President Donald Trump at the White House on Sept. 12.

One important point made in this new book is that Anti-Corruption Commissions are no panaceas to end the problem of corruption. In fact, in many countries, Anti-Corruption Commissions have been worse than ineffective as they have been “weaponized to punish opponents of corrupt regimes”.

Where does the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) stand in this international scheme of things in the battle against corruption?

Not very highly, as the MACC is unable to convince Malaysians and the world that it is leading the anti-corruption battle of “Say No to Corruption” in Malaysia.

A fortnight ago, at the launching ceremony for Johor Pakatan Harapan in Tampoi, I challenged the MACC Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad to explain at the Pakatan Harapan “Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptokrasi” rally at Padang Timor, Petaling Jaya tomorrow what he had done to defend Malaysia’s reputation against being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy as a result of the 1MDB scandal.

So far, there has been no response from Dzulkifli, although he is in the national limelight for a variety of reasons.

Dzulkifli should not forget that he is being watched by 32 million Malaysians whether he is genuine about fighting corruption, in particular grand corruption, and whether he could explain why China had been catching and punishing “tigers” and Indonesia pursuing the “crocodiles”, but in Malaysia, the “sharks” of corruption are swimming freely and merrily in the South China Sea?

Three frequently asked questions (FAQ) on the 1MDB scandal are:

  1. Whether Najib received RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi royalty;
  2. Whether Najib returned RM2.1 billion to Saudi royalty; and
  3. Whether the RM144 million pink diamond necklace for the “wife of MO1” came from stolen 1MDB funds.

The answers to all these three FAQs about the 1MDB scandal are available in great detail in the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland.

The answers to the three FAQs are:

  1. Najib never received the RM2.6 billion donation from Saudi royalty just before the 13th General Election, although he received other donations from Saudi sources which have not been given a proper accounting. The RM2.6 billion monies came from 1MDB funds.
  2. Najib never returned the RM2.1 billion to Saudi royalty, as the money did not come from Saudi sources, but were returned to Tanore account in Singapore which was operated by 1MDB mastermind and Najib’s confidante, Jho Low, and were from stolen 1MDB funds.
  3. The RM2.1 billion returned to Tanore account in Singapore was used to buy, among other things, the RM144 million pink diamond necklace for the “wife of MO1”.

Why is Dzulkifli silent on the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia’s infamy as a global kleptocracy, which is highlighted by the new book on corruption in the world?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah