The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak blamed his predecessor and one-time patron, Tun Dr. Mahathir of being the “mastermind” for the latest allegation of him siphoning money from 1MDB.
Najib said he believe that Mahathir, “working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind the latest lie”.
The Prime Minister made this accusation in reference to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report on Friday which alleged that US$700 million (RM2.6 million) of 1MDB’s fund was deposited into the Prime Minister’s private account.
Najib declared that he had never taken the government’s money for personal gain.
He said the latest allegation is part of a series of “unsubstantiated and many simply outrageous” claims made against him and his family when he refused to implement Mahathir’s personal demands.
Najib said: “I refused, because I do not believe it is right for Malaysia to be ruled by proxy.”
Nobody knows what Najib is actually referring to with regard to Mahathir’s personal agenda, as it is for him to spell out Mahathir’s “personal demands” for the public to judge whether to believe the Prime Minister or the former Prime Minister.
However, I am not the only one in Malaysia who, in the last five years, had been bamboozled and bewildered by one of the longest and elaborate “smoke and mirrors” displays in the nation’s history – the RM42 billion MDB financial scandal.
But on the WSJ allegation, which the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had described as “very serious” which could affect Najib’s credibility and integrity as prime minister and head of government., it is the Najib’s supporters, whether in Cabinet or the UMNO/BN government, who appears to be the most confused and bewildered.
Several ministers including the Home Minister Datuk Zahid Hamidi and the Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had urged Najib to sue WSJ.
Even the Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein urged everyone “not to speculate”, calling for calm while the 1MDB investigation proceeds.
He said: “I hope all parties remain calm and not make any preemptive conclusions about the allegations …against Najib related to the 1MDB issue.
“Don’t rush to punish the PM because the allegations are merely based on a media report (whose facts) have not been verified for authenticity.
“Don’t speculate, because that will only worsen the situation.”
I am thoroughly shocked that even Ministers have not realised that the most damaging development about the embezzlement allegation of RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal banking account is not the initial disclosure by WSJ report on Friday, but the confirmation by none other than the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail yesterday that the government special task force investigating 1MDB had found documents of the RM2.6 billion deposited into Najib’s personal account.
This becomes crystal clear when the Attorney-General confirmed yesterday that he had viewed documents collected by the special task force probing 1MDB related to the alleged transfer of 1MDB funds into Najib’s account.
Gani Patail said:
“The task force has obtained a number of documents and had subsequently sent them to me for review.
“I confirm that I have received documents from the task force related to 1MDB, including documents related to the allegations of channelling funds to the prime minister’s accounts.”
Clearly, the WSJ was only reporting what the government special task force on 1MDB had discovered to date.
If anyone, whether Prime Minister or his supporters in the Cabinet or government wants to criticise and quibble with the embezzlement allegation, the target is no more WSJ but the government special task force quartet comprising Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM), Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Royal Malaysian Police (RMP) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
When Najib and his supporters challenge the credibility and veracity of the WSJ report, they are in fact questioning the credibility and veracity of the investigation into 1MDB by the government special task force.
As the Attorney-General has verified and validated the WSJ report and allegation, had Gani Patail joined Mahathir’s camp in the “political sabotage” of Najib when the AG confirmed that government probe on 1MDB had found documentary evidence on the RM2.6 billion deposit into Najib’s private account?
Yesterday I had asked Gani whether as Attorney General , he can can charge and prosecute the Prime Minister for criminal offences in the country.
In law, the Attorney-General has such powers as made very clear by Article 145(3) of the Malaysian Constitution which stipulates that the Attorney General “shall have the power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue, any proceedings for an offence”.
While it is very clear in law that the Attorney General can charge and prosecute the Prime Minister for any offence in the country, the reality is a very different matter. Would Gani dare to say that this is indeed the law of the land?
However, before we can come to such a test of constitutional law on the powers of the Attorney-General, an antecedent question may have to be disposed off first – the power of the Prime Minister to dismiss the Attorney-General and to appoint a new and more pliable AG.
Which scenario will take place first in Malaysia?
(5th July 2015)