Malaysians must thank Najib for the semi-aborted Al Jazeera interview for it shows why the 14GE decision of May 9, 2018 was right and why we must forge ahead to build a New Malaysia, far away from a rogue democracy, kakistocracy and global kleptocracy

Malaysians must thank Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the semi-aborted Al Jazeera interview for it shows why the historic decision of the 14th General Election of May 9, 2018 to Save Malaysia was right and why Malaysians must forge ahead to build a New Malaysia which is far away from a rogue democracy, kakistocracy and global kleptocracy.

Although Najib staged a walk-out after some 20 minutes of the interview, enough damage had been done and it is no exaggeration to say that Najib had done more damage to himself with his semi-aborted Al Jazeera interview than the visit of the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister, Abdel Ahmad Al-Jubeir to publicly confess that Najib’s infamous RM2.6 billion in his personal bank account had not come from Riyadh.

This is because apart from Najib’s mindless cronies, Ministers in the Najib Cabinet and leaders of former and current Barisan Nasional parties, no Malaysian with a modicum of judgment and wisdom would have believed Najib’s cock-and-bull stories about donations from Saudi Arabian royalty when they are nothing but abuse of power, misappropriation and embezzlement of 1MDB funds.

But nobody, even Najib’s most loyal and mindless cronies, subordinates and political allies would have expected the idiocy which Najib displayed in the semi-aborted Al Jazeera interview in inflicting so many fatal wounds on his own cause.

In my mind, his most fatal self-inflicted wound was when he admitted for the first time in nine years that the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal was not a fake or figment of imagination concocted by his political enemies to topple him, but a serious scandal whose perpetrators must be brought to justice.

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

Saying all the culprits must be investigated to find out where the money had gone, Najib 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”.

Najib was not only virtually admitting that through the 1MDB scandal, Malaysia under his administration became a global kleptocracy, it also became a kakistocracy.

His government not only have a Cabinet Minister who could not tell the difference between a turtle egg and chicken egg, he as Prime Minister, Finance Minister and Chairman of the 1MDB Advisory Board which must give approval for all major decisions in 1MDB, did not know what was happening in 1MDB!

Is this credible and acceptable for a Prime Minister, and when did Malaysia slip into a kakistocracy?

Najib’s answers on the US$27.3 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace for Rosmah Mansor was disgraceful.

Najib claimed that it was a gift from Prince Sheikh Mansour, the brother of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed, and not a gift using 1MDB funds from fugitive financier Jho Low.

Najib’s maintenance of such a stance is totally untenable after the United States Department of Justice (DOJ)’s updated and enlarged kleptocratic litigation in June 2017 to forfeit some US$S1.7 billion of US$4.5 billion 1MDB-linked assets.

Didn’t Najib read the updated and enlarged US kleptocratic litigation suit which carried a new Section entitled: “”LOW ARRANGED TO PURCHASE A 22-CARAT PINK DIAMOND NECKLACE FOR THE WIFE OF MALAYSIAN OFFICAL 1 USING DIVERTED 2013 BOND PROCEEDS””, from Paragraphs 847 - 863 (4 pages)?

Paragraph 847 said 1MDB funds were used to purchase a 22-carat pink diamond necklace, set in a diamond necklace, and that “the stone and necklace were purchased from New-York based jeweller and jewelry-designer Lorraine Schwartz Inc. which specializes in high-end bespoke diamond jewelry”.

Paragraph 848 said the order for the pink diamond necklace was given on or about 2nd June 2013. Was this to celebrate Najib’s 13th General Election victory on May 5, 2013?

Paragraph 849 – 850 described that on or about July 5, 2013, Schwartz travelled to Monaco and showed the pink diamond to a group of people which included Jho Low and Rosmah on board one of the largest private yachts in the world, the Topaz. “The group discussed the design of the necklace to hold the 22-carat pink diamond, which itself would be made of smaller diamonds.”

Paragraph 851-852 described Schwartz meeting Rosmah and Jho Low in a hotel suite in the Mandarin Time Warner in New York on or about September 28, 2013 to show them the layout of the necklace that Schwartz had designed.

Paragraph 863 reads: “The finished 22-CARAT PINK DIAMOND NECKLACE, which included the 22-carat pink diamond as a pendent, was delivered to the Malaysian Friend in Hong Kong on or about March 7, 2014, so that she could deliver it to the wife of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 Kuala Lumpur. Records reflect that the Malaysian Friend accepted receipt of the necklace.”

Two issues surface. Firstly, after the enlarged and updated US DOJ litigation suit in June 2017, it was no more open to Najib, as he did yesterday in his Al Jazeera interview, to claim ignorance that the 22-carat pink diamond necklace was bought and paid for by Jho Low.

Secondly, Najib claims that Rosmah had not received the 22-carat pink diamond necklace. Has the US$23.7 million pink diamond necklace been stolen? This should be an interesting story.

Najib was not completely truthful in his answers during the interview.

For instance, he was asked as to his relationship with Jho Low. Najib said his relationship with Jho Low was on the basis that he was going to promote investment from the middle east as he was particularly close to the royal families in UAE and Saudi.

Why didn’t Najb mention about Jho Low’s failed special assignment in the 2013 General Election pouring tens of millions of ringgit in Penang and even bringing the top South Korean pop star group of “”Opah Gangnam Style” to topple Lim Guan Eng as Penang Chief Minister in the DAP-led Penang State Government?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri