For the past two days, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report yesterday that Malaysian investigators have found almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB’s funds have been deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts have shaken the Malaysian body politics to its very core.
Overnight, Malaysian politics underwent a sea-change and Malaysian politics will never be the same again, before and after the WSJ Report “Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leaders’ Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe” on Friday.
Everyone is back to the drawing board, to compute anew what are the political possibilities of the country.
Three events of such a sea-change in Malaysian politics in the last 24 hours are:
*Firstly, WSJ statement this morning standing by its investigative article accusing the prime minister of embezzlement, saying it was based on government investigations, the report of which was seen by Najib himself and shared with the Attorney-General and others in the Malaysian government.
*Secondly, the call by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin this evening for the allegation against Najib to be investigated by the quartet of investigating authorities – the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), the Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) as the allegation is “very serious and can affect Najib’s credibility as the Prime Minister and leader of the Malaysian government”.
*Thirdly, the statement by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail confirming that he has viewed documents collected by a government special task force related to the alleged transfer of 1MDB funds into Najib’s bank accounts.
The Attorney-General’s statement is in fact a confirmation of the WSJ report that Malaysian government investigators have found documents showing that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) had been deposited into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts.
I had earlier today in Gelang Patah asked why Najib can’t just say “yes” or “no” to the grave WSJ allegation that almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) were deposited into his personal accounts before the 13th General Election – whether such personal accounts existed and whether some RM2.6 billion had been deposited into them before the 13th general election.
All Najib had said so far was that “I have never taken funds for personal gain as alleged by my political opponents – whether from 1MDB, SRC International or other entities, as these companies have confirmed”, which completely avoids the question whether some US$700 million had been deposited into his personal bank accounts.
In one fell swoop, the Attorney-General’s confirmation of documents from a government probe on some RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal accounts have changed the character of the allegation against Najib – for it is now no more just WSJ allegation of embezzlement against the Prime Minister, but also a similar allegation by a government special task force comprising BNM, MACC, RMAF and AGC.
In fact, with the Attorney-General’s confirmation, the WSJ allegation against Najib has assumed an even more serious character and import, sparking a political and government crisis of the first magnitude never seen in Malaysia’s 58-year history.
Can Najib, Muhyiddin, Gani Patail, the Inspector-General of Police, the Bank Negara Governor, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Chief Commissioner, all the Cabinet Ministers and the entire body politic in Malaysia continue to pretend that nothing seriously amiss has taken place in the past 48 hours?
Malaysia is in uncharted waters, with a Prime Minister charged with Prime Ministerial misconduct like the crime of embezzlement not only by WSJ but by a government probe.
Where does Malaysia, and in particular the Malaysian government, go from here?
I have discussed with Parliamentary Opposition Leader and Chairman of PKR, Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, and she has agreed with the convening of a meeting of progressive MPs in Parliament on Tuesday at 12 noon to consider the impact, implications and Malaysia’s future as a result of the WSJ allegation and the Attorney-General’s confirmation on the existence of document from a government special task force probe on the serious charge of embezzlement against the Prime Minister.
The convening of a meeting of progressive MPs to meet in Parliament on Tuesday on “Quo Vadis Malaysia with a Prime Minister accused of embezzlement not only by Wall Street Journal but by a government probe” is most relevant and urgent. I urge and welcome all progressive MPs to meet in Parliament on Tuesday noon.
A leading progressive Malaysian political leader, Mat Sabu, is with here at the dinner tonight and I have asked him to attend as a guest of the meeting of Progressive MPs in Parliament on Tuesday, and he has agreed to come.
I do not believe that there is no one in the UMNO/BN coalition, whether among their MPs or political leaderships, who is not disgusted with the corruption, abuses of power and malpractices which have become even more rampant than previous times, and if there are such progressive MPs in the UMNO/BN coalition, they are also welcome to Parliament on Tuesday to collectively ponder the question: “Quo Vadis Malaysia with a Prime Minister accused of embezzlement not only by Wall Street Journal but also by a government probe”.
(Speech at the DAP Kluang Anniversary dinner held at Restoran Super One, Kluang on Saturday, July 4, 2015 at 10 pm)