Najib can walk out of an Al Jazeera interview, but he cannot walk out of the dock when tried for 1MDB charges of corruption, abuse of power and money-laundering unless he opts for the right to silence in his trial

Former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, can walk out of an Al Jazeera interview to avoid a slew of allegations against him and questions ranging from the 1MDB scandal, the 22-carat pink diamond necklace for his wife Rosmah Mansor to the murders of Altantuyaa Shaaribu, Hussain Najadi and Kevin Morais.

However, he cannot walk out of the dock of a court room when he is tried for scores of 1MDB charges of corruption, abuse of power and money-laundering unless Najib opts to exercise his right to silence in his trial.

Is Najib prepared to state whether he will go into the witness box during his trial not only to state his own case and defence but to be cross-examined by the Deputy Public Prosecutors.

Najib told Al Jazeera that it was not being fair to him. But Najib fails to realise that it is him who is unfair to the Malaysia and Malaysians who made him the sixth Prime Minister for the past nine years in spearheading a major national cover-up operation to sweep the 1MDB scandal under the carpet – where even the 13th Parliament was made to aid and abet him in the “kleptocracy at its wost” where Members of Parliament were not allowed to submit questions or to debate the 1MDB scandal!

Can Najib tell Malaysians what would have happened to the 1MDB scandal if on May 9, 2018, Najib had succeeded to continue as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia?

Najib said earlier in the Al Jazeera interview that a “perfect storm”” sank Barisan Nasional in the 14th General Election.

Does he realise that if there was a “perfect storm”, this “perfect storm” was solely of his own making?

If Najib had been frank, honest, transparent, trustworthy, democratic, and not used the powers of the Prime Minister’s Office to cow the Cabinet, Parliament, Judiciary, the national institutions and agencies as well as the national press to turn them into key allies and subordinates in aiding and abetting the suppression of the 1MDB scandal, this so-called “perfect storm” in the 14GE would not have come about?

In his Al Jazeera interview, Najib said that investigators should not stop at Jho Low, but should probe others who were allegedly involved in stealing from 1Malaysian Development Bhd.

He said:

“Fine… let them do their work but don’t just stop at Jho Low. Get others who are involved as well because there are other international figures who probably are involved. They must also be investigated.

“We want to know where the money flowed to. And who really benefited from the whole 1MDB issue. I would like to know, too”.

An answer is needed from Najib immediately – whether he is finally admitting to the existence of a monstrous 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal which gave Malaysia the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy?

If so, this will be a new start not only for Najib but for investigations into the 1MDB scandal.

Najib cannot be silent on this issue now if the country is to move on.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri