21 JULY 2016
In view of the latest announcement by the United States Department of Justice concerning the 1MDB scandal, the Prime Minister must once and for all come clean on the matter which can no longer be swept under the carpet. Neither can the Prime Minister pretend that this latest action is not bringing shame and scandal to the country.
As reported in the international press and all the major news portals except our mainstream UMNO-BN controlled media, the DOJ has finally instituted legal process to seize properties worth more than US$1 billion (RM4 billion) tied to 1MDB, as part of the US$3.5 billion misappropriated from the institution.
Announcing this at a news conference, US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch said the 1MDB officials treated the state investment fund like “a personal bank account” and “stole billions of dollars from the people of Malaysia” and that this action was part of an effort “to combat global corruption” and ensure that the US would not serve as a “safe haven to those who illegally use public funds for private gain”.
At last, after all these months of trying to white wash the mother of all financial scandals in Malaysia, the truth concerning 1MDB has finally surfaced confirming beyond the shadow of a doubt that there was indeed a conspiracy to defraud and launder billions of the taxpayers’ money committed by those closely connected with those occupying the highest rungs of public office.
While it is true that none of the lawsuits named Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, specifically named are his step son Riza Aziz, Jho Low, and Abu Dhabi government officials. The assets involved include penthouses, mansions, artwork, a private jet and proceeds from the “Wolf of Wall Street” movie that it says were illegally acquired through money diverted from 1MDB of which the Prime Minister was also the chairman at all material times.
As we have consistently maintained, Najib Razak’s decision last year to sack deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, relieve the then Attorney-General Gani Patail of his duties and displace top MACC officers who were actively involved in the 1MDB investigation strongly suggested a conspiracy to cover up the scandal.
In light of the latest development, the Prime Minister can no longer hide behind a wall of silence and must instead address the nation on this matter.
DATO’ SERI MOHAMED AZMIN ALI