Parliament next month must address the nation’s infamy and ignominy as a “global kleptocracy” and cannot continue to pretend that the 1MDB scandal does not exist
Parliament next month must address the nation’s infamy and ignominy as a “global kleptocracy” as Members of Parliament, regardless of political party, cannot continue to pretend that the 1MDB scandal does not exist.
Parliament is entitled to a full explanation from the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as to why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has fallen from his predecessor Tun Abdullah Badawi’s promise that it will be Malaysia’s ICAC (Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption) as it has instead become a new laughing stock of the world as a blatant political pawn to harass the Prime Minister’s critics and opponents.
The 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya on 2nd – 4th September 2015 on “Ending Impunity: People. Integrity. Action” was to be MACC’s crowning glory in winning international recognition as an anti-corruption agency ala-ICAC which could act independently and professionally in an untrammeled battle against corruption, but it proved to be a global disaster with the Prime Minister’ last-minute pull-out from the opening ceremony of the IACC for fear of hard questions, “personal issues” and “a possible hostile reception” by 1,000 international delegates at the conference.
Right from the very beginning of the opening ceremony of IACC, Malaysia’s corruption crisis, in particular the “two elephants in the room”, the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion Najib “donation” financial scandals, took centre-stage and remained the most obsessive issue throughout the three-day conference.
Also right from the beginning of the IACC, Transparency International President Jose Ugaz opened with a powerful plea for “honesty and integrity” from the Najib administration, asking Najib pointedly to restore confidence and trust by answering questions about the US$700 million in his personal bank accounts – (1) who paid the money and why; and (2) Where did it go.
For the past 29 months since the 16th IACC, Najib had completely ignored the advice of world anti-corruption authorities and even his erstwhile adviser on anti-corruption matters and Transparency International co-founder, Michael J. Hershman, who publicly told Najib at 16th IACC: “Tell the truth about where did the money come from and address the accusation. And if he did something wrong, then asked for forgiveness and face the consequences.”
Hershman said that since Najib had control of the account, he must know where it came from.
He said: “There is no reason for a panel for investigations. Just tell the truth. Get it out in the public.”
Whatever the stratagems of the Najib administratio, the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy of being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy are not going to disappear into thin air internationally.
The 1MDB scandal has not only sullied Malaysia’s international reputation and Najib’s premiership, it has destroyed MACC’s international standing, credibility and repute because it is regarded merely as a political pawn to harass the Prime Minister’s critics and opponents.
Parliament must restore Malaysia’s international honour, reputation and respect by bravely demanding a full accounting from Najib on the 1MDB scandal next month.