The Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) Chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahman has announced that following advice from the Prime Minister, the plot of prime land in the Kuala Lumpur city centre which LTH purchased from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is to be sold to the highest of three bidders within the next two weeks.
This has however not ended the storm over the scandal and stigma of criminal breach of trust of pilgrim funds to bailout 1MDB, which is acquiring increasing gale force with rising chorus for the resignation of the Chairman and the four top executives of LTH, the termination of the 1MDB-LTH land deal and the refund of the payment made by LTH, and even for the resignation of the Prime Minister himself.
The Prime Minister cannot continue with his policy of elegant silence while giving private and meaningless assurances that “he will not protect those involved” if there was any wrongdoing.
Even his cousin-UMNO Vice President, Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein had broken ranks and joined Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to express concerns about the government’s credibility as to suggest an international, independent auditing firm to examine 1MDB accounts – which tantamounts to a vote of no confidence in Najib’s initiative in early March asking the Auditor-General to audit the 1MDB accounts.
It is now more than two months since Najib had ordered the Auditor-General to independently verify the accounts of the 1MDB but nothing has been heard about its progress. Will the Auditor-General at least table an interim report on its audit of the 1MDB accounts to Parliament when it reconvenes on May 18?
Najib should break his public silence on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and explain his role in the 1MDB-Tabung Haji bailout fiasco, in particular whether he had approved or directed LTH in the land deal with 1MDB, selling land 1MDB had acquired from the Federal government four years ago for less than RM64 per square feet and selling it to LTH for 43 times returns at RM2,773 per square feet.
If Najib had not approved the LTH’s land deal with 1MDB, then let him reveal who is the Minister who had given the approval and the reasons why.
As Chairman of the 1MDB Advisory Board, will Najib recommend to the 1MDB to terminate the land transaction with LTH and to refund the payments made by LTH as 1MDB has not fulfilled all conditions of the sale?