Reply to Thayaparan: I will never launder Najib’s reputation

Yesterday, I issued a short five-paragraph statement which tantamounts to a declaration that I will never launder Najib Razak’s reputation, and it is a pity that S. Thayaparan, who wrote COMMENT piece “Kit Siang helps Najib launder his reputation” today did not read or chose to ignore the statement.

An example that I will never launder Najib’ reputation was what happened in the Johore state general election early this year, where I said that the DAP MP Damansara Tony Pua went too far in attacking the Foon Yew school board of governors but he was right in condemning Najib Razak in using Foon Yew to exculpate his kleptocracy.

In my media statement dated March 2, 2022, I had said:

“For the last few days, I have been saying that UMNO has forced the holding of the Johor state general election on March 12, 2022 not to defend the lives and livelihoods of the people to enable life and the economy to re-open after more than two years of the deadly Covid-19 pandemic, but to force the early holding of the 15th General Election to enable Najib Razak to return as the 10th or 11th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“The ulterior motive of the UMNO masters is clear. Although none of the UMNO ‘court cluster’ is a candidate in the Johor state general election, it is obvious that the UMNO “court cluster” are calling the shots as they want early 15th General Election so that they can escape punishment and go to jail for their corruption and their abuses of power when they were in government.

“This is why Najib Razak, the other protagonist in the 1MDB scandal, is campaigning so hard in the Johor general election to spread his message of ‘Malu Apa BossKU’, promoting the immoral concept that political leaders need not have moral standards of honesty, probity and accountability.

“The Johor voters should take heed of what is happening in New York in the criminal trial of a Malaysian banker Roger Ng for corruption in the billion-dollar 1MDB scandal.

“For many years, I have wondered why superstars appeared in the 31st birthday party of one of the two protagonists of the 1MDB scandal, Jho Low – a party which the Wall Street Journal had described as “the wildest party (Las) Vegas ever saw”.

“The answer was provided in the criminal trial of Roger Ng in New York in the last two weeks.

“Jho Low spent millions of ringgit in one night from 1MDB funds throwing an extravagant 31st birthday party attended by superstars, who were paid ‘celebrity charges’ for attending his lavish bash -: Leonard DiCaprio (US$250,000), Paris Hilton (US$100,000), Megan Fox ($US250,000) and Kim Kardashian (US$50,000).

“Invoices were produced to show that Jho Low’s Las Vegas party costs US$3.6 million or some RM10 million in one night.

“If these were from Jho Low’s fortune, it would be a separate matter, but he spent from the 1MDB funds, which had to be repaid by Malaysians of this and future generations.”

Is this “laundering” of Najib’s reputation?

In the March 2, 2022 statement, I also said:

“In fact, the then US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions even described it (1MDB scandal) at the time as ‘kleptocracy at its worst’.

“Roger Ng’s lawyer had admitted that the 1MDB scandal is “perhaps the single largest heist in the history of the world” and it is therefore all the more shocking that the other protagonist in the 1MDB scandal, Najib Razak, has shown absolutely no compunction or regret whatsoever over the 1MDB scandal and for turning Malaysia into a kleptocracy.

”For the first time in the 65-year history of elections in Malaysia, we are having an election where a major political party is elevating ‘shamelessness’ as a public good, where its political leaders need not have moral standards or guilt for making Malaysia as a kleptocracy, where political leaders cannot differentiate between what is right and wrong, what is corruption and abuse of power and what is not.

“Is this going to be the fate of Malaysia – far from becoming a world-class great nation but doomed to become a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.

“This is what the Johore state general election on March 12 is also all about.

”I believe that all the great civilisations and religions of the world want their leaders, in fact the people, to have moral standards and can differentiate between right and wrong – to have a feeling of shame where they have lost their moral compass – and not to end up as a society where political leaders have no sense of shame at their corruption and abuses of power.”

Only Thayaparam can see “laundering of Najib’s reputation” in these words!

In his COMMENT piece, Thayaparam wrote:

“Lim is peddling the same manure as religious operatives by downplaying the extent of not only Najib’s corruption but also that when a man supposedly changes, all his sins are washed away.”

Thayaparan also reminded everyone that Najib was willing to take an oath saying that he had nothing to do with 1MDB, and asked whether that was good enough for me.

Thayaparan is making quite puerile statements and my answer to him is a short one - it is not good enough for me for Najib to make empty oaths.

I would want Najib not only to condemn the 1MDB scandal and deplore Malaysia being turned into a kleptocracy, but to declare that the “Malu Apa BossKU” campaign is a new infamy for Malaysia and demonstrates that there are Malaysians who could not differentiate right from wrong and seem to regard corruption and 1MDB scandal as something honourable.

I would also want Najib to serve his jail sentence as handed down by the courts as an example to all Malaysian leaders to stay far away from corruption and kleptocracy.

I am not laundering Najib’s reputation. Is Thayaparan doing so?

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri