At long last, the Malaysian government has officially admitted that the “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” mentioned 36 times in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuits for forfeiture of US$1 billion of assets as a result of an international conspiracy of theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of US$3.5 billion 1MDB funds is none other than the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
If the Malaysian Government is going to make such an admission six weeks after the US DOJ lawsuits on July 20, why didn’t the Prime Minister and the government make such an admission promptly and immediately after the DOJ actions, especially as the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of EPU, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, has said, “only an idiot doesn’t know who that person was” as there is no secret who is Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) mentioned in the DOJ civil lawsuits, as everyone who has read the court documents or familiar with the issues would know who is the person being referred to.
Is Abdul Rahman, who made such an official admission in the interview with BBC, or the Prime Minister capable of offering an answer to this question?
Why the government’s cat-and-mouse game for the past six weeks as to who is “MO1”, to the extent that it prompted a “TangkapM01” campaign, including a demonstration organized by university students last Saturday?
Furthermore, how many Cabinet Ministers knew from the beginning six weeks ago that “MO1” was Najib, and can they explain why the Ministers shied away from the subject of DOJ lawsuits in the Cabinet for the past six weeks?
Is this because the Ministers dare not raise the subject, as it directly affects the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister in Malaysia has long ceased to be “primus inter pares” in the system of Malaysian governance but is virtually the “Master” over all the Ministers, who are totally at his beck-and-call?
However, after the belated “six-week overdue” official admission that MO1 is Najib, it is height of national cowardice and irresponsibility if Cabinet does not resolve that the Prime Minister should personally address the UN General Assembly to purge and cleanse Malaysia’s reputation as a “global kleptocracy” and convince the world community of the Malaysian govenrment’s commitment to public integrity.
I had hoped that the Prime Minister, in his 59th National Day message, would start the process to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the international indictment as a global kleptocracy as a result of the US DOS’ largest global kleptocracy action against 1MDB and Malaysia, directly implicating Najib as Prime Minister, but to my great disappointment, Najib conspicuously avoided this sensitive subject in his National Day Address.
When Najib became Prime Minister in April 2009, he prided himself as the ‘Father of Transformation’ or ‘Bapa Transformasi’ with a spate of transformation initiatives and an alphabet soup of acronyms such as 1Malaysia, ETP, GTP, NKRA, NKEA, SRI, NEM, BR1M and KR1M, just to name a few.
But Najib’s latest transformation of Malaysia into a global kleptocracy overnight is the greatest shame and infamy to befall the country in the nation’s 59-year history under six Prime Ministers.
What is even most embarrassing and incriminating is that although the DOJ actions are “civil action in rem” for forfeiture for 1MDB-linked money-laundered assets in the United States, the United Kingdom and Switzerland, they do not preclude criminal action, as the forfeiture is but a first step to prevent dissipation of the specified assets.
But Malaysia cannot wait for such criminal proceedings and their outcome in the United States, for Malaysia’s reputation and good name have been blemished and tarnished in our “transformation” into a global kleptocracy.
What is worse, the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB, is not only the subject of the world’s largest single action against money-laundering and forfeiture of assets as a result of multi-billion dollar kleptocracy, “public officials and their associates” are publicly named as being active participants and co-conspirators in an international conspiracy from 2009 to 2013, to “fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through U.S. financial institutions”.
Now, a Cabinet Minister has admitted that the highest-level Malaysian “public official” – “MO1” – is none other than the Prime Minister himself.
In his 59th National Day Message, Najib Razak called on Malaysians to value the “moments of unity” and decried the “moments of disunity”.
Unfortunately, never before have there been more “moments of disunity” under Najib’s premiership when compared to the first five Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.
One of the issues causing unprecedented “moment” of disunity and disharmony among Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, is the damning international indictment of Malaysia as an overnight global kleptocracy.
If Najib is serious in wanting to promote “moments of unity”, and reduce the “moments of disunity”, he should assume the greatest challenge of his premiership to address the United Nations General Assembly at the end of the month to purge and cleanse Malaysia’s good name and reputation from being identified as a global kleptocracy.
Is Najib capable of rising up to this greatest challenge of his premiership – to address the UN General Assembly to purge and cleanse the damning international indictment of Malaysia as a global kleptocacy?