The past two weeks had been Malaysia’s most dark and shameful fortnight as three infamous things happened to Malaysia during this period:
• On 20th July, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filed its largest single action to forfeit over US$1 billion of assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland (making it also the world’s largest single action of forfeiture) embezzled, defrauded, misappropriated or money-laundered from 1MDB, the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund.
• Overnight, Malaysia became notorious worldwide as a kleptocracy with the DOJ civil action under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative (KARI) 2010 for forfeiture of over US$1billion 1MDB-linked assets out of US$3.5 billion embezzled, defrauded, misappropriated or money-laundered from 1MDB which compelled 1MDB auditors, Deloitte Malaysia to disavow the reliability of its audit of 1MDB in 2013 and 2014 on the ground that they would have been impacted if it had known at that time the information contained in the DOJ lawsuits. “Kleptocracy” literally means ‘rule by thieves’.
• The inability of the Malaysian Government to issue a White Paper or a Statement in the past fortnight to clear Malaysia’s name and reputation from being named as a kleptocracy and ranked as one of the world’s top countries afflicted with global corruption.
All that the Malaysian Government has been able to do in response to the unprecedented DOJ suit under KARI is to adopt a “wait-and-see” attitude and basically ignore the US DOJ action, as highlighted by Najib’s initial response that it was “not wise to make assumptions until the (US legal) process is completed” (which the Attorney-General’s Chambers expect to take “years” in its Q&A on the DOJ suit on its website) and the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Apandi Ali’s initial comment that “there is currently no evidence that money had been misappropriated from 1MDB” (despite the weight of evidence in the 136-page DOJ complaint).
An Umno supreme council member said yesterday that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”, which was mentioned 36 times in the US DOJ complaint, was not discussed by the UMNO Supreme Council because “nobody knew who ‘MO1’ was.
Presumably, this was also the reason why the Cabinet, which had met twice since the DOJ filing, had not discussed “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” because “nobody knew who ‘MO1’ was”.
This has become the greatest mystery in Malaysian public life today for every Malaysian who regards himself or herself as belonging to “the informed Malaysian public” would know the identity of “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1”!
Serious questions have therefore been raised whether we have the right people in the Malaysian Cabinet and the UMNO Supreme Council.
With the information and resources at its command, it should not be difficult for the government to come out with a White Paper or a Government Statement to debunk the 136-page DOJ filing relating to 1MDB, and in the process clear Malaysia’s name and reputation not only as a new member of the Club of Kleptocracy but having become a top kleptocracy in the world.
Can Najib explain why it has not been possible to issue a White Paper or Government Statement in past fortnight to clear Malaysia’s name and reputation from being named a kleptocracy in US DOJ’s legal suits to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in US, or whether such a statement is being prepared and in the making?