Najib is right for first time for a long while – it will not only not benefit him at all but will be a great detriment to him to engage in a public discourse on the 1MDB scandal - the greatest global scam of recent times

Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said he does not see any benefit in engaging in a public discourse on the 1MDB and that he had been advised that it would be inappropriate to respond to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng’s questions regarding 1MDB.

Najib is right for the first time for a long while – it will not only not benefit him at all but will be a great detriment to him to engage in a public discourse with Guan Eng or anyone on the 1MDB scandal, undoubtedly the greatest global scam in recent times.

Najib’s survival instinct seems to have kicked in as he had been living in a bubble of his own and that of his highly-paid advisers’ creation, completely divorced from reality.

It is not that Najib is unaware that the 1MDB is his Achilles’ heel but his greatest failure in life is to believe in the fairy tales of his highly-funded advisers that it is possible to bamboozle the country about the 1MDB scandal and that he could prove Hans Christian Anderson wrong and could get away with immunity and impunity by being a modern-day Emperor without clothes!

Although in retrospect, it is the height of folly in the information age when information travels at the speed of light and the attempt to cordon off and sanitise Malaysia from the barrage of global information in the Internet era is as foolish as King Canute trying to command the tide from rising, it should be very sobering that Najib nearly came to succeeding in his grand conspiracy of silence and kleptocracy to the extent that he was convinced on the eve of Polling Day that he could not only win big but even regain parliamentary two-thirds majority for UMNO/BN!

Najib’s belated realization that that it will not benefit him to discuss the 1MDB is in sharp contrast to his hubris during the general election when unleashed Arul Kanda Kandasamy on a 1MDB roadshow during the 14th General Election Campaign.

This was why a week before polling on May 2, 2018, I said in my media statement:

“New Straits Times today carried an extraordinary headline: ‘Ask me anything, Arul Kanda tells DAP leaders’ on the invitation of the 1MDB Chief Executive Officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy to DAP leaders to a townhall session in Penang to explain issues about the 1MDB.

“Let me tell Arul – that he is at least two years too late. Furthermore, nobody is interested in Arul’s fairy tales about the 1MDB scandal, as the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should step forward to account fully for the 1MDB ‘kleptocracy at its worst’ which has landed Malaysia with the ignominy, infamy and iniquity as a global kleptocracy!

“In the past 16 days, Arul was suddenly holding court almost everyday, purportedly seeking to explain the various facets of the octopian 1MDB money-laundering scandal.

“I was surprised that Arul had suddenly become a daily publicity-seeker on the 1MDB scandal but now it is obvious it was all part of Najib’s 14th General Election strategy to pull the wool over everybody’s eyes, neutralise any Pakatan Harapan offensive on the 1MDB scandal and to remove the sting from multi-faceted octopian scandal of the 1MDB “kleptocracy at its worst” – to use the description of the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions.

“Why didn’t Najib, who must legally, politically and personally bear full responsibility for the 1MDB scandal, tell Malaysians and the world in the past three years: Ask me anything about the 1MDB?

“Instead, even Parliament was prevented from probing the truth of the 1MDB scandal, and MPs were not allowed to ask questions or debate the 1MDB scandal.

“I was twice suspended from Parliament for six months, both occasions basically related in the 1MDB scandal. In the last meeting of the 13th Parliament, I was virtually treated as a parliamentary ‘ghost’ by the Speaker and the Deputy Speakers who claimed that they could not see me although I was sitting in the parliamentary front row and attended Parliament daily and diligently for the last six days of the meeting.

“Now suddenly, the 1MDB wanted to explain everything about the ‘kleptocracy at its worst’ although they were doing their utmost for over three years to keep the scandal under wraps.

“Even the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) was not allowed to probe Najib’s role in the 1MDB scandal, which is why Najib dared not accept my challenge for him to publicly quote chapter and verse in the PAC Report on 1MDB where the PAC had cleared him of any wrongdoing in 1MDB!

“But the present preparedness to tell everything about the octopian 1MDB scandal did not come from Najib, but from the highly-paid 1MDB hack, the 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

“Before Arul deserves any attention, let him declare how much remuneration he had received for being 1MDB CEO, not only his monthly pay and allowances, but all the perks and privileges he received and would be receiving as 1MDB CEO and all other agreed terms of his remuneration.

“Is Arul prepared to declare all the remuneration he had received and would be receiving as 1MDB CEO, performing the role as public defender of the octopian 1MDB kleptocracy?

“Strangely enough, thanks to Arul, the octopian 1MDB ‘kleptocracy at its worst’ has returned to the forefront of issues for the 14th General Election.

“I challenge everyone of the 730-odd Barisan Nasional parliamentary and state assembly candidates to declare before Polling Day on Wednesday, 9th May 2018 that they want full investigations into the international 1MDB money-laundering scandal, which spans the globe, causing Malaysia the ignominy, infamy and iniquity of a global kleptocray.

“This will be a crucial test as to whether the 730-odd BN parliamentary and State assembly candidates are men and women of principle and substance who are prepared to subordinate their self-interests of being elected as MP or State Assembly representative to the greater interests of saving Malaysia from becoming a kleptocratic state and rogue democracy.

“Let us see whether there is anyone among the 730-odd BN parliamentary and State assembly candidates, whether from UMNO, MCA, MIC, Gerakan or anyone of the Sarawak and Sabah component parties of Barisan Nasional who are prepared to break ranks with Najib because the UMNO/BN leadership must bear full and final responsibility for the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy.

“Najib believes that he could get away from full accounting for the 1MDB scandal in the 14th general election, by allowing Arul to run riot on his 1MDB roadshow, obfuscating and censoring detailed examination and debate of what the US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had described as ‘kleptocracy at its worst’.

“If Najib succeeds in burying the 1MDB scandal as an important issue in the 14th General Election, the 1MDB scandal would become not only the ‘heist of the century’ but the biggest electoral fraud in Malaysian history.”

Malaysians must thank their lucky stars as well as their patriotism and love of their country in saving Malaysia from a failed, rogue and kleptocratic future.

But Najib should explain if he has nothing to hide, and the 1MDB scandal is not “kleptocracy at its worst”, why has he reverted from the “Tell All” stance of “Ask anything about 1MDB” during the 14th General Election to a “Total Clampdown” when at this late stage, he should come completely clean about the 1MDB scandal, to salvage whatever is possible of his public persona, reputation and credibility?

Furthermore, who will be the first from the 730-odd BN parliamentary and state assembly candidates in the 14th General Election who will break ranks with Najib to demand that the former Prime Minister should come clean on the 1MDB scandal?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Iskandar Puteri