The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should go on leave as Prime Minister and Finance Minister to allow for a full-fledged investigation into the 1MDB by a Royal Commission of Inquiry and return to office after he has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal.
There is no need for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as proposed by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir that Najib must first resign as Prime Minister to allow full investigation into the 1MDB finances, and that Najib can come back as Prime Minister to lead the Barisan Nasional in the next election “if no crime can be detected and all the money is returned”.
I agree with Mahathir that so long as Najib is still exercising the office and powers of Prime Minister, no proper investigation can be made.
Mahathir should know as during his 22 years as Prime Minister, there could be no proper investigation into the string of financial scandals estimated to cost the country over RM100 billion under his premiership, simply because Mahathir was during this period the Prime Minister of the day.
I do not think it is necessary for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, as taking extended leave would suffice.
It is understandable that Najib would not entertain such a dangerous proposition of resignation as he may not have a premiership to return to after the RCI investigation.
At present, everybody seems to be investigating into the 1MDB scandal – the Auditor-General, the Public Accounts Committee, Bank Negara and even the Police – but nobody has any confidence that any of these investigations would be meaningful and produce the proper results.
All these investigations should be replaced by an investigation by a Royal Commission of Inquiry, with the RCI commissioners appointed by the Dewan Rakyat by way of a motion so that the views of both the government and opposition are taken into account on such appointments.
The RCI into 1MDB should start work immediately, hold public hearings, and be given a time-frame say of six months to complete its investigations and submit its findings and recommendations.
The case for a RCI into 1MDB has become even compelling with the revelation that auditing of 1MDB’s accounts for the year ending March 31, 2015 had not even started.
Even the Prime Minister’s brother and CIMB Chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak had said he was “perplexed” over Putrajaya’s slowness in auditing troubled 1MDB’s financial accounts for the current financial year.
In a posting on Instagram, Nazir questioned if standards in the corporate governance on the Finance Ministry-owned state investment vehicle had dropped, and asked:
“How is this allowed? Has standards of GLC governance dropped so low?”
Who is responsible for the shocking lapse in good governance where auditing of the financial accounts of 1MDB for the year ending March 31, 2015 had not even started although the second quarter of the year will end in less than three weeks.
Can Najib disclaim responsibility for such shocking lack of good governance in a government company where the Prime Minister is the final approving authority under Clause 117 of the 1MDB Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) Agreement, which stipulated that the Prime Minister must give his written approval for any of 1MDB deals, including the firm’s investments or any bid for restructuring.
The Prime Minister’s written approval is mandatory if “any financial commitment (including investment), restructuring or any other matter which is likely to affect the guarantee given by the Federal Government of Malaysia for the benefit of the company, national interest, national security or any policy of the Federal Government of Malaysia”.
With the clear-cut provision specifying that “any other matter which is likely to affect……national interest” requires the Prime Minister’s written approval, can Najib disclaim responsibility for this grave breach of good governance by 1MDB?