Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 25 July 2017:
Yes, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, the Opposition blew up 1MDB issues to topple the Government because we are now a world-renown kleptocracy
For the local and foreign investors listening to the Prime Minister’s speech when opening the InvestMalaysia 2017 conference, it must have been an utterly surreal experience.
While he acknowledged that there “were lapses in 1MDB's governance”, and he had “personally given instructions for a rationalisation of the company's operations”, he denied culpability and even blamed the Opposition for fanning the flames.
"But let's not forget that while there were issues in 1MDB, certain politicians blew them out of proportion, and tried to sabotage the company, in an attempt to topple the government in between election cycles,” he said.
In a parallel development, the opening of the mid-year Parliamentary sitting this week saw more than 30 questions thrown out for utterly bizzare and frivolous reasons.
My question on the current value of the 1MDB “units” investment and who is the custodian bank was rejected because they apparently contained questionable assumptions (“sangkaan”) and were a figment of my imagination (“buah fikiran”).
My question on whether the Attorney-General had investigated the claims made in the latest United States Department of Justice (US DOJ) suit to seize up to US$1.7 billion worth of launder assets from 1MDB funds was similarly and incomprehensibly rejected because it was deemed a “sangkaan”.
I had a total of 5 questions relating to 1MDB which were rejected.
The investors on the floor would have loved an opportunity to ask the the Prime Minister, if he had indeed done no wrong, why would he not just give simple answers to the simple questions above?
In fact, Malaysians would also like to know why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak only has the courage to deliver his “defence” of 1MDB with a straight face to an audience without a opportunity to raise questions, and refused over the past 5 years to address the Parliament?
In fact, the Prime Minister would have had the best opportunity to make the Opposition look like complete idiots if it were true that the latter was blowing the issue “out of proportion”.
What’s more, Malaysians would also like to know why Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has refused to comment on the origins of the US$731 million which was deposited into in personal bank account in Malaysia since the anti-kleptocracy action was filed in July last year by the US DOJ?
How about the latest expose last month where the US DOJ also discovered that a 22-carat pink diamond necklace cum ring was purchased by the Prime Minister’s wife for US$27.3 million with money traced back to the sums deposited in his personal bank account? Why haven’t the Prime Minister or the wife refuted the above “discovery”?
What’s more, while the Prime Minister wants to take credit to initiating investigations into the 1MDB fiasco, he failed to highlight the fact that he replaced the Public Accounts Committee Chairman with Dato’ Hassan Ariffin who refused to summon the Prime Minister for questioning because he had to “cari makan”. The Prime Minister also ‘retired’ an Attorney-General who was about to prosecute him and he refused to instruct 1MDB to comply fully with the Auditor-General after the company failed to provide any of its overseas bank records and statements for audit.
Let us make it clear that the Opposition did not sabotage 1MDB. The Prime Minister and the 1MDB top management did the sabotaging by carrying out misappropriations exceeding US$5.7 billion (RM25 billion) resulting in the company failing to meet its debt obligations.
However, we are in agreement with the Prime Minister that we are indeed fanning the single largest financial scandal in the history of Malaysia. This is in order to topple his disgraced administration, which has become a renown kleptocracy in the eyes of the world.
The investment community are not gullible fools who would believe the naked emperor. Their confidence in the country will only be returned when a new clean and competent government gets elected by 2018.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of theedgemarkets.com/The Edge group.