I am reminded of the first SSS Lge (Support, Sympathy, Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng) campaign 19 years ago when Guan Eng was disqualified as Member of Parliament and jailed for 18 months for defending the dignity and human rights of an under-aged Malay girl.
In that period, Guan Eng was first imprisoned and Anwar Ibrahim attended one of the SSS Lge ceramahs together with his wife Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and his daughter Nurul Izzah, before Anwar was himself imprisoned.
This time, Anwar is in prison and there are people who want Guan Eng to be jailed for one, two, three or even five years.
The common thread of the SSS Lge campaign and the SSS Lge 2.0 campaign spanning a period of some two decades is the need to change the system of governance to ensure that the national institutions in the country are independent, efficient and professional in upholding the values of justice and integrity.
What happened at the other of the world, which has a 12-hour time differential with Malaysia, illustrates the need for the change of our system of governance.
The Reuters has reported that U.S. federal prosecutors have filed civil lawsuits seeking to seize assets worth more than US$1 billion, allegedly stolen from Malaysian state fund 1MDB, which was overseen by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
None of the U.S. lawsuits name Najib but they contain details that appear to directly implicate the prime minister. They include allegations that $681 million from a 2013 bond sale by 1MDB was transferred to the account of “Malaysian Official 1”, who is described in the lawsuits as “a high-ranking official in the Malaysian government who also held a position of authority with 1MDB.
According to the Reuters report, which read a short while ago, the U.S. lawsuits seek to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.
It is the largest set of cases ever brought by the US Department of Justice (DOJ)’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, which seeks the forfeiture of the proceeds of foreign corruption. The previous largest case in February sought to seize $850 million.
The U.S. lawsuits seek to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The lawsuits name Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz as a “relevant individual. They also named Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, better known as “Jho Low”, and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem Abdulla Al-Qubaisi and Mohammed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
The people named in the complaint have not been charged with crimes – but are the defendants in the civil lawsuits of the properties the US government wants to seize.
Those include luxury properties in New York and California, paintings by Vincent Van Gogh and Claude Monet, and a Bombardier jet.
Tens of millions of US dollars in funds diverted from 1MDB were used to produce the 2013 Martin Scorsese film “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the lawsuits said. The lawsuits aim to seize proceeds from that film, which was produced by Riza’s Red Granite Pictures.
1MDB, which Najib founded in 2009 shortly after he came to office, is being investigated for money-laundering in at least six countries, including the United States, Singapore and Switzerland.
The US billion-dollar action by US DOJ to seize 1MDB-related assets is eloquent proof that Malaysia is careening down the slope of failed and rogue state which must be stopped by all patriotic Malaysians.
It has proven the critics of 1MDB scandal, whether DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua, PKR MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin , the former Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, the former Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukriz Mahathir, and former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamed right and vindicated in trying to raise alarm that Najib’s RM55 billion and RM4.2 billion “donation” mega scandals are global in magnitude and to demand full and proper accountability.
It proved that former UMNO leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan was right and a patriot when he went on a global tour to solicit investigations by other countries into 1MDB scandal, until he was stopped by the police through gross abuses of power like his arbitrary detention under a variety of ludicrous charges, including terrorism and activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy.
This is a system which represents a travesty of justice which must be reformed, and this is what the SSS Lge 2.0 campaign seeks to do, to create greater national awareness to demand reforms and institutional change in our country – it is not just about Lim Guan Eng but the basic rights and interests of 30 million Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region.
(Speech at the first SSS Lge (Support, Sympathy and Solidarity with Lim Guan Eng) 2.0 ceramah in Seremban on Wednesday, 20th July 2016 at 9.30 pm)