After a two-week relentless barrage by UMNO/BN strategists and cybertroopers, fully supported by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police, the dust over the corruption allegations against DAP Secretary-General and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng based on half-truths, lies and downright falsehoods, are clearing up while on the other hand, a monstrous sandstorm over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega scandals is building up to explosion point.
UMNO/BN allegations that Guan Eng had purchased the bungalow as a result of corruption arising from the sale of Taman Manggis land to KLDIC has been proved to be baseless, as the Taman Manggis land had been sold by the Penang State Government via open tender to the highest bigger.
The other UMNO/BN allegation that the Penang State Government had “robbed” the people of low-cost housing has also been proved to be baseless, with the declassification of the State Exco minutes of the Gerakan State Government in 2005 and 2007 which showed that the Gerakan State Government at the time had rejected the use of the Taman Manggis land for People’s Housing Project (PPR) and proposed instead a mixed project of shophouses and government quarters. In 2012, the DAP-led Penang government had commenced a separate low, low-medium cost and affordable housing less than 2 kilometers away in Jalan S P Chelliah which is nearly 10 times the size of the land in Taman Manggis.
The MACC and Police have swung into immediate action, with some 15 MACC officers descending on the Penang Chief Minister’s office in Komtar, conducting a search for some four hours and carting away boxes of documents.
If the MACC had shown similar alacrity in investigating Najib’s twin mega scandals, MACC should be sending hundreds of officers to swarm and besiege the Prime Minister’s Offices in Putrajaya, and subject individuals involved in the twin mega scandals to intensive interrogation sessions, at least round-the-clock 12-hour interrogation sessions.
Would MACC dare to interrogate the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on a round-the-clock 12-hour sessions?
These questions come to mind as Najib’s RM4.2 billion donation scandal is 1,500 times bigger than Guan Eng’s alleged RM2.8 million bungalow scandal while the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal is 20,000 times bigger than the alleged RM2.8 million bungalow scandal!
A strange and extraordinary thing has been taking place in Malaysia in the last few days.
Inside the country, all efforts are being made by the powers-that-be to sweep Najib’s twin mega scandals under the carpet, culminating with the “note” by the Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia to all Members of Parliament on Thursday imposing a blanket ban in Parliament from referring to Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal on the ground of sub judice – despite the Speaker’s earlier ruling that he will not impose a “blanket ban” but would decide on a case-by-case basis whether the sub judice rule applies.
Externally however, things are moving quick and fast with an avalanche of revelations about various aspects of Najib’s twin mega scandals, viz:
• Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s Four Corners 44-minute documentary on “State of Fear: Money and Murder in Malaysia” which enumerated that the total donations deposited into Najib’s personal bank accounts from 2011 to 2014 exceeded RM4.2 billion and not the oft-quoted figure of RM2.6 billion;
• the Wall Street Journal report about Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor’s US$15 million shopping spree on luxury goods during their holidays in United States, Malaysia, Italy and elsewhere in 2014;
• Luxembourg’s state prosecutor launching a judicial inquiry into allegations of money-laundering, covering payments totaling hundreds of millions of US dollars, against 1MDB;
• Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)’s sequestration of a large number of bank accounts as part of an investigation into possible money-laundering linked to 1MDB; and
• the widening investigation by the US Department of Justice into 1MDB by asking Deutsche Bank AG and JPMorgan Chase & Co to provide details on their dealings with 1MDB.
There had been worse news for Najib in the past 24 hours, with the following international news reports:
• Investigators in two countries, the United States and United Arab Emirates, believe that US$155 million (RM603 million) from 1MDB went to production company Red Granite Pictures to make the 2013 hit movie ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Wall Street Journal).
• United Arab Emirate authorities have issued travel bans on and frozen the assets of two former executives the Abu Dhabi sovereign-wealth fund International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) in an escalation of its probe into monetary transactions involving 1MDB. The UAE’s actions indicate authorities have moved ahead in their probe into the dealings of Khadem Al Qubaisi and Mohammed Badawy Al Husseiny, both of whom had close connections to 1MDB.(Wall Street Journal)
The saying “It never rains but it pours” befits Najib’s mounting woes over his twin mega scandals, despite his success to sweep both mega scandals under the carpet in the public domain at home.
Had Najib’s strategists and minders prior knowledge of this gathering storm over Najib’s twin mega scandals with developments in various parts of the world coming to a head and was the onslaught and barrage against Guan Eng alleging corruption of his RM2.8 million bungalow purchase an attempt to deflect attention from these climatic developments on Najib’s twin mega scandals?
One is fortified in such a mindset by the common thread in the very ham-fisted manner in alleging corruption over Guan Eng’s RM2.8 million bungalow purchase (ignoring the fact that the Taman Manggis land was sold by open-tender and that it was the previous Gerakan Penang state government which decided against building low-cost houses on it) with the outrageous claim that Najib’s donations were meant to fight Islamic State (IS) or that it was in appreciation of Najib’s Global Movement of Moderates (GMM), when both IS and GMM came after and not before the donations.