Far from having been resolved and ceasing to be issues, thanks to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the focus of Malaysians before, during and after the Chinese New Year of Monkey 2016 is firmly and solidly on Najib’s world-class twin mega scandals on the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM55 billion 1MDB.
There are not only no signs that Najib’s twin mega scandals will end as the premier issues any time soon, all indications point to the reverse – that the twin mega scandals would bulk ever bigger in magnitude and impact to haunt and hound the future of Malaysia as the fulcrum of the country’s multitude of political, economic, good governance and nation building crises.
Almost every day, new angles are surfacing to decry the dismal failure to give full and satisfactory accountability so as to put to rest Najib’s twin mega scandals, which only serve to highlight the great gulf between the profession and reality of Najib’s National Transformation Programme objective of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.
In the past 24 hours, the questions that surfaced include:
1. How can Malaysians believe that Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” came from a Saudi Arabia “royal” donor when the Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said he believed the money was from a private Saudi and was for an investment?
2. Johor UMNO is the first state to accept the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali’s decision of January 26 exonerating Najib of any criminal wrongdoing in the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM42 million SRC International scandals. How can the reasons that the country must “make a closure and move forward” be reasons for accepting the AG’s exoneration decision, instead of getting to the bottom of the truth of the scandals?
3. How can opposition to the Attorney-General’s proposal to increase penalties under the Official Secrets Act 1972 to include life imprisonment and 10 strokes of the rotan to deter whistleblowers and journalists from future exposes like Najib’s twin mega scandals instead of ensuring that there could be no repeat of such mega scandals be slammed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as “actions by certain parties who are trying to politicise the AG’s decision to review the penalties under the OSA”? Apandi’s proposal is in fact the most politicised proposal of the Chief Legal Officer of the land! Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman is right, Malaysia must move with the times towards more transparency and greater freedom of information, not secrecy.
4. How can the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin unilaterally and arbitrarily announce the closing of the PAC investigations into 1MDB after testimony by two more witnesses next week, when many key witnesses, including the two most important individuals, have not been summoned? The two most important witnesses for the PAC investigations into 1MDB are none other than Najib himself and the Penang-born billionaire Jho Low.
Najib cannot escape from the twin mega scandals, which have already brought infamy to Malaysia by ranking the country third in the world’s “worst corruption scandals in 2015” and the country’s plunge in the Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2015 by four places to No. 54 from No. 50 last year.
There is only one patriotic task before Najib and Apandi, not to find ways to prevent expose of future mega scandals but to ensure that mega scandals cannot happen in Malaysia – by getting to the bottom of Najib’s twin mega scandals through a Royal Commission of Inquiry by conducting a public probe by independent and credible Commissioners for the whole truth of the twin mega scandals to be told to Malaysians.