Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet Ministers have suddenly become prolific letter writers to international publications but why is there no detailed rebuttal to serious Wall Street Journal allegations of corruption and gross abuses of power four days ago about 1MDB billions of ringgit bankrolled for the 13th General Election campaigning two years ago?
Two weeks ago, the Foreign Minister, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman wrote an Open Letter to New York Times protesting against the interview by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir who touched on the 1MDB scandal, UMNO and accusations against Najib and expressing regret at Mahathir’s action “to undermine his own country through the international media as part of a personal political vendetta”.
In one fell swoop, the nation’s elder statesman and the longest-serving Prime Minister in the nation’s history has been reduced to an anti-national digit on the same level as other critics of the government-of-the-day who are accused of ignoble and even disloyal motives for bad-mouthing the government and the country.
It is the irony of ironies that Mahathir himself had himself made such allegations against his critics when he was Prime Minister for 22 years.
Another Cabinet member, Datuk Seri Idris Jala, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, wrote an Open Letter to Bloomberg taking the business and financial information provider to task for last Thursday’s article by its columnist William Pesek entitled “Malaysia Gets a Dose of Real Talk”, accusing it of being “consistent with a series of slanted articles that run down Malaysia and its leadership”.
Idris accused Pesek of writing “an unsubstantiated hatchet job on the current prime minister in order to please Dr. Mahathir” and straying from his past writings about Mahathir’s failures and sins as Prime Minister.
What is noteworthy is that Idris avoided all comments in Pesek’s article quoting Tony Fernandes of Air Asia about the Malaysian government’s misguided priorities and its utter lack of accountability, in particular Tony’s tweets on what is wrong about Najib’s premiership, viz:
*“Government and opposition spend so much time on race and religion. Will there ever be a truly Malaysian party that puts people first?”;
*“Good education, good hospitals, fair distribution of wealth, an economy that creates jobs, honest clean government. Transparent leadership.”
*“Where all Malaysians respect each other’s culture, religion but work together to benefit all. If you need an example look at AirAsia.”
But what cries out for answer is the silence from Najib with no Minister coming forward to write an Open Letter to rebut Wall Street Journal’s Friday expose that 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bank-roll Najib’s 13th General Election campaign.
Wall Street Journal reported this was achieved by having 1MDB making overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012, paying RM2.3 billion or five times what was only worth RM400 million, with Genting then making a donation to a foundation controlled by Najib who used the funds for the 13th General Election campaigning.
In the style of the Open Letters by Anifah and Idris, one would have thought that a Cabinet Minister, probably the Second Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Husni would have been assigned the task of writing an Open Letter to Wall Street Journal to tear its expose into pieces.
But there is only deafening silence from Najib and his Cabinet so far on the Wall Street Journal report.
Can Najib explain what this imports, especially as his “Public Relations” outfit has claimed that Najib has “Nothing2Hide” on the 1MDB controversy?