Time to come clean on 1MDB issue, DAP stalwart tells Najib

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KUALA LUMPUR (July 22): It is imperative for former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to take the floor in tomorrow’s debate in Parliament on the royal address and explain why the Najib administration had never protested or sought to clear Malaysia’s epithet as a global kleptocracy, says Iskandar Puteri lawmaker Lim Kit Siang.

The DAP stalwart points to the different and conflicting versions recently made by Umno leaders and operatives about the RM2.6 billion of funds deposited into Najib's personal bank account in 2014, saying it is time that the former premier come clean on his involvement in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal to the House.

"Is it because he (Najib) does not mind being in the exalted company of global kleptocrats provided he could enjoy life-long immunity and impunity that he is indifferent to the additional filing of the US Department of Justice (DoJ) kleptocratic litigation for the forfeiture of US$1.7 billion  1MDB-linked assets in June 2016, although there were 10 'killer paragraphs' which exposed him as a liar for claiming that the RM2.6 billion deposited in his personal account were donations from the Saudi royal family?" asked Lim in a statement today.

Lim said he had issued a statement on June 16 to ask former attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali whether he had read the 10 paragraphs -- Paragraphs 339-348 -- in US DoJ’s additional 1MDB kleptocratic filings to forfeit US$1.7 billion 1MDB assets, which directly linked Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation to 1MDB, and had also asked Mohamed Apandi why no action has been taken by the Malaysian authorities to defend the country’s honour and integrity.

"In fact, Paragraph 346 traced how a portion of the US$620 million the 'Malaysian Official 1' (MO1) alleged to have returned was passed through various additional accounts controlled by alleged 1MDB mastermind Jho Low (Low Taek Jho) and ultimately used to purchase the US$27.3 million 22-carat  pink diamond pendant and necklace for the wife of MO1," he added.

Lim said yesterday he had also asked whether the letter which Hasanah Abdul Hamid, the director-general of the Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation, wrote on May 4 to the CIA seeking US support in the event the 14th general election results turned out to be close, was related to the reason why the Najib administration had not protested or taken any action against the US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions’ public condemnation of the 1MDB corruption scandal at an international forum as “kleptocracy at its worst” in December 2017.

"Sessions’ condemnation is a very serious matter as it is as good as an international indictment of the  US government that Najib, then prime minister named as MO1 in the US DoJ litigation on 1MDB, was kleptocrat at the worst on the world stage," he added.

Lim said he has continued to ponder why in the past three years, the Najib administration had not protested at international forums at being unfairly regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy.

"The Najib administration not only failed to do this, it went out of its way to bar national institutions, especially the Parliament and the media, from probing and debating the issue, and on the eve of GE14, even rushed through an Anti-Fake News Act in Parliament not to combat fake news, but designed to enable the Najib administration to penalise anyone from pursuing the 1MDB scandal as guilty of violating the Anti-Fake News Act," said Lim.

"It is time for Najib to make a clean breast of his involvement in the 1MDB corruption scandal in the Parliament debate tomorrow," he added.

Najib has consistently denied wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB since the scandal erupted in 2015, but he replaced an AG and several Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission officers to shut down an investigation. Mohamed Apandi, who was then appointed as the new AG, had also cleared Najib of wrongdoing in the 1MDB affair.