Malaysia must never allow kleptocracy to make a come-back, whether in its old form or in the guise of klepto-theocracy or klepto-democracy
All Malaysians should heed the call by Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah on his installation as Yang di Pertuan Agong to refrain from inciting misunderstanding by raising matters that can undermine and destroy harmony in the country.
Klepto-theocracy which misuses Islam to support thievery, corruption, intolerance, bigotry, lies and falsehoods is one example of a campaign which is against the call by the Yang di Pertuan Agong to Malaysians to ensure that unity and harmony are the pillars and strength of the nation.
Sultan Abdullah rightly warned that "Playing with fire will burn not only oneself but also the whole village".
Opposition parties should compete with Pakatan Harapan parties as to who have the best answer to the challenge of building Malaysia into a top world-class nation where there is unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity and respected by the international community, instead of inciting suspicion, distrust and hatred among Malaysians, pitting race against race, religion against religion and virtually regarded as an outcast by the world community.
It is most regrettable that even up to now, there are important personalities and opposition parties who still do not feel contrite or remorseful that in the past few years, Malaysia had been the object of international ridicule and contempt for becoming a global kleptocracy, to the extent that the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) had filed the largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion out of US$4.5 billion of 1MDB-linked assets, a scandal which the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had condemned in an international forum as “kleptocracy at its worst”!
The Conference of Rulers had the foresight at its pre-council meeting of its 239th gathering in October 2015 to ask the government to complete the 1MDB investigations “as soon as possible” and to take “the appropriate stern action” against all found to be implicated.
For over three years, however, the 1MDB “investigations” were never completed or allowed to be completed and not a single person implicated had “appropriate stern action” taken against them before the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018.
Instead, those who had acted in the spirit of the call of the Conference of Rulers were prosecuted and persecuted by the authorities which was out to engineer a mega-cover-up of the global scandal and kleptocracy.
Even now, the protagonists of the 1MDB scandal, their allies and proxies are harbouring the hope that the political scenario could change overnight to save them from criminal penalties awaiting them for their corruption, abuses of power and money-laundering.
The Rulers had stressed in October 2015 that all concerned should extend “real and sincere” cooperation so that the 1MDB investigation could achieve its objectives.
They said that the findings of the investigation must be reported comprehensively and in a transparent manner so that the people could be convinced of the sincerity of the Government which “shall not at all conceal facts and the truth”.
They warned that the “failure to give convincing clarification and answers” would lead to a “crisis of confidence.”
But the Conference of Rulers’ statement in October 2015 came to nought.
The then Prime Minister and Cabinet did not even bother to comment on such an unprecedented warning by the Conference of Rulers that if the issue was not wisely handled and allowed to drag on, it could “jeopardise the country’s economy and the livelihood of the people as well as threaten public order and national security”.
For some three years, it was the country’s sovereign shame that we had to depend on international investigations launched in various countries like United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore and United States to throw more light on the 1MDB scandal.
Fortunately, Malaysians redeemed themselves to Save Malaysia when they presented an unprecedented unity in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 and made the crucial and critical shift from the trajectory of a failed, rogue and kleptocratic state to head in a new direction of Malaysia as a top world-class nation based on unity, freedom, justice, excellence and integrity.
Having been saved from being a global kleptocracy once, Malaysia must never allow kleptocracy to make a come-back, whether in its old form or in the guise of klepto-theocracy or klepto-democracy.
For the past few years, Malaysians had been haunted an hounded by the latest turns and turns of the 1MDB global scandal – as only yesterday, the US media outlet, the Hollywood Reporter, reported of the latest attempts by the lawyers working on behalf of fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho to suppress the film, The Kleptocrats.
Jho Low’s lawyers sent letters to a number of distributors and platforms carrying The Kleptocrats, asking for the film to be removed from their catalogues, as the documentary film which looks into the 1MDB corruption scandal, is due to be aired on Starz in the USA on August 5 and the BBC later this year.
London-based law firm Schillings accused The Kleptocrats of defaming Jho Low, by claiming he is the central figure in the scandal.
They also alleged that the production had infringed copyright in its use of video footage and was potentially prejudicial towards ongoing legal proceedings.
It is ironic that Jho Low is exhausting his legal antics in the US and UK with the ill-gotten gains from the 1MDB monies while continuing to be on the run from the arms of the law as an international fugitive from justice,
Why didn’t Jho Low return to Malaysia to stop the film The Kleptocrats from being screened locally, as it was first launched in an exclusive screening in Kuala Lumpur in April this year and available thereafter in Malaysia on Astro on Demand.
The documentary centred on Jho Low’s connections with the family of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak was the the first full-length feature documentary about the 1MDB scandal.
Prominent Malaysian figures who were featured in 'The Kleptocrats' included Najib's brother Nazir Razak, Damansara MP Tony Pua, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, National Human Rights Society president Ambiga Sreenevasan and cartoonist Zunar.
International journalists who pursued the 1MDB story for years, including The Wall Street Journal's Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, as well as former New York Times journalist Louise Story, were also interviewed for the film.
The documentary examined the effects of high-level corruption and embezzlement of taxpayers' money and highlighted the efforts of Malaysians in pushing for accountability and change.
It concluded with events that took place directly after the 14th general election, which saw the Barisan Nasional suffer an unprecedented defeat to Pakatan Harapan.
It is noteworthy that the filmmakers had defended themselves, asserting that the film not only had been vetted by their UK and US counsel but was also covered by its indemnities, thus negating any risk to the distributor.
They believed the lawyer’s letter to suppress the film was simply an attempt at intimidation to silence the film.
Let Jho Low stop being on the run with the 1MDB billions, and return to Malaysia to face justice for his infamous role with Najib in nearly bring Malaysia to her knees with the infamy, ignominy and iniquity of the 1MDB global kleptocracy!