Malaysians must always be reminded of the 1MDB scandal and the national catastrophe we avoided by a hair’s breadth six months ago until we have suceeded in redeeming ourselves by transforming Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity
Six months ago, we were rushing headlong in the trajectory towards a rogue democracy, a kakistocracy where a Cabinet Minister could not differentiate between a turtle egg and a chicken egg and where even those with the of IQ of a carrot can hope to get into the Cabinet, and an instant global kleptocracy.
By a hair’s breadth, on May 9, 2018, Malaysians escaped the national catastrophe awating the country if we had continued unchecked towards such a trajectory towards disaster.
Voices are gathering saying that it is time to put the 1MDB scandal behind us now that multiple charges on the 1MDB scandal had been made against various personalities in the courts, including the former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, and that the people should leave it to the courts to adjudicate on the matter.
I cannot disagree more.
The scope, breadth and magnitude of the corruption, criminal breach of trust, abuse of power and money-laundering of the 1MDB scandal is so humongous and mind-boggling that it has suceeded in winning the condemnation of the United States Attorney-General in a global conference on asset recovery as “kleptocracy at its worst”, condemned Malaysia as a global kleptocracy and qualified it to rank as one of the greatest financial frauds in the world.
Just imagine, two former Goldman Sachs bankers caught in the web of the 1MDB scandal - Tim Leisener, who pleaded guilty to 1MDB corruption and money-laundering charges, forfeiting US$43.7 million of ill-gotten gains and Roger Ng, who is challenging extradition to the United States, reported to have agreed to surrender about US$29 million (RM120.7 million) linked to 1MDB to Singapore authorities and later return to Malaysia.
If just two of the conspirators in the 1MDB scandal had agreed to cough up over RM300 million of ill-gotten gains from the “kleptocracy at its worst”, and Goldman Sachs itself could make US$600 million from three kleptocratic bonds totalling US$6.5 billion, it totally boggles the imagination as to the tens of billions of ringgit which had been stolen from Malaysians, which could have gone to create jobs, provide places in schools and universities as well as providing Malaysians with the best public health and welfare systems in the world!
In June 2015, Najib gave an assurance to some 1,000 UMNO divisional leaders and selected representatives of NGOs that the controversy surrounding 1MDB would be resolved by year-end.
In his 2016 New Year Message on 31st December 2015 as Prime Ministe of Malaysia, Najib 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.
Today, hardly a day passes without the monstrous 1MDB scandal dominating the news.
For instance, the 1MDB news today include:
- Naming of the former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein as the “unidentified high-ranking” executive who met former prime minister Najib Razak, identified as “MO1” in the US Department of Justice litigation on 1MDB scandal, in New York in 2013.
- Singapore police report by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) against the author of an article published on www.statestimesreview.com on Nov 5, 2018, titled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target” which alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore, in exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance in laundering 1MDB’s funds. MAS said the statement claimed in the website was false and malicious, and impugned the integrity of MAS as a financial regulator.
Yesterday, 1MDB news included:
- Fugitive businessperson Jho Low's second passport had been deactivated by its issuing country, Saint Kitts and Nevis.
- Former Goldman Sachs banker Roger Ng and his family reportedly agreed to surrender about S$40 million (US$29 million) to Singapore authorities, which will be repatriated to Malaysia.
The day before, on Wednesday, 7th November, the 1MDB news included:
- Goldman Sachs chief executive David Solomon admitted that its former employees "blatantly broke the law" in their dealings with 1MDB.
- Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng asking Goldman Sachs to pay back the US$588 million (RM2.44 billion) it received in fees from 1MDB in 2012 and 2013.
- Former Bank Negara governor Muhammad Ibrahim questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in connection with a 22.5-hectare plot of government land that the central bank had bought for RM2 billion in January this year, allegedly to bail out 1MDB.
On Tuesday, 6th November, the 1MDB news included:
- Najib’s absurd claim that he had never lied about the infamous RM2.6 billion donation in the 1MDB scandal.
- News by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Deputy Chairman Wong Kah Woh that PAC will proceed with its 1MDB proceedings following a clarification sought with attorney-general Tommy Thomas the previous Friday to avoid sub judice to ongoing 1MDB criminal trials.
Yesterday’s sacking of Jeff Sessions by US President Donald Trump as US Attorney-General will be one of Najib’s greatest regrets that it did not take place when he was still Prime Minister, when his “mainstream media” would be able to crow that even President Trump had repudiated Jeff Session’s caustic indictment of the 1MDB scandal was “kleptocracy at its worst” and the stage set to salvage the 1MDB scandal - in the way that Najib’s “mainstream media” were able to present Najib’s meeting with Trump in the White House in September last year as a “resounding success” when US and world media regard it as a disaster for both countries.
All the possibilities, combinations and permutations that could have changed the history of the 1MDB scandal if Najib had won the 14th General Election and remained as Prime Minister are now so much water under the bridge, for it is completely unthinkable that under the present circumstances, Trump after the US mid-term election would even spend a second of his time on the question of how to bail out Najib – although things might have been different IF Najib had won the 14th General Election and remained as Prime Minister.
So Najib’s main strategy now is to divert and distract attention from the unfolding crime all over the world of 1MDB scandal, in particular to suggest that the country must look forward and not backwards about the 1MDB scandal.
I have said I do not agree with this school of thought.
On the contrary, the terrible corruption and crime of 1MDB must remain in the forefront of Malaysian consciousness and Malaysians must always be reminded of the 1MDB scandal and the national catastrophe we avoided by a hair’s breadth six months ago until we have suceeded in redeeming ourselves by transforming Malaysia from a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity