The Wall Street Journal expose five days ago has probably started the end-game for the six-year RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with attention focussed on the question which the parliamentary duo, DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua and PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli, joined by former Prime Minister Tun Mahahtir, have repeatedly asked: “Where have the 1MDB billions disappeared to? Show us the money!”
The Wall Street Journal report, “Fund Controversy Threatens Malaysia’s Leader”, alleged that 1MDB had bought Genting Group’s power assets at an inflated price, and the group then made substantial donations to the 1MDB-linked charity YR1M.
YR1M had then allegedly bankrolled BN’s 13th general election, and is now funding social programmes in Sarawak where state elections are widely anticipated.
The Wall Street Journal reported last Friday 1MDB made overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012.
The price, which was equivalent to about US$740 million at the time, came to RM2.3 billion, around five times what it was worth.
Genting later reported it had a 1.9 billion ringgit extraordinary gain on this sale, implying a value for its stake in the power plant of just 400 million ringgit – or less than one-fifth what 1MDB paid for it.
A few months after the sale, a unit of Genting called Genting Plantations Bhd made a donation of about US$10 million to a Najib-linked charity, Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M), which lists Najib as chairperson on its website.
Though set up to help underprivileged Malaysians through education and sport, YRIM poured funds into the 13th general election campaign in Penang for BN’s bid to recapture the state.
It and other charities linked to the government spent millions of dollars before the voting in Penang on polling day on 5th May 2013, and Najib visited Penang during the campaign and announced that Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia would donate RM2 million to two local schools.
What is most intriguing about the expose is the deafening silence in the past five days from the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who should have no qualms about instituting legal proceedings against Wall Street Journal as Najib had already sued both Tony Pua and Rafizi Ramli over the 1MDB scandal.
Has Najib a soft spot for Wall Street Journal that he has prepared to be defamed without wishing to clear his reputation?
Furthermore, a Cabinet Minister, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz (Tourism) has issued an extraordinary statement which could only be interpreted as justifying Najib’s misuse of 1MDB billions of ringgit for the 13th General Elections campaigning for the UMNO/BN coalition.
Nazri had said:
“If the report carried by WSJ is proven true, then it is good, as it shows the money was not lost. Then why do you (critics) say the money is lost?
“What’s wrong with (Finance Ministry wholly-owned 1MDB’s) money being spent on the people?”
Without going into the pros and cons of Nazri’s shocking statement, it must be pointed out that the Wall Street Journal report only directly referred to the US$10 million donation which Genting had subsequently made to YR1M which were used to bankroll Najib’s 13GE campaign.
What has happened to the fourth-fifth of the overpriced total paid by 1MDB to Genting for the power plant?
What other charities had benefited from Genting’s largesse and were they similarly used to bankroll Najib’s 13GE campaign?
1MDB paid US$740 million or five times the worth of the Genting power plant i.e. US$592 million above the plant’s actual worth. Genting donated US10 million to YRIM purportedly for charity work but were used to bankroll Najib’s 13GE campaign.
What happened to the balance of fourth-fifth of the “overprice” paid by 1MDB i.e. US$592 million – UD$10 million or US$582 million or RM1.8 billion?
Where did this RM1.8 billion “overprice” for the Genting power station go to?
It has been estimated that of the R18 billion paid by 1MDB for 15 power stations, there was an overpayment of at least RM3 billion.
Where have these RM3 billion of 1MDB ringgit disappear to?
Najib should begin a 1MDB Nothing2Hide confession starting with the revelation what has happened to the RM3 billion which were “overprized” in acquisition of 15 power stations for RM18 billion!