One of the most accident-prone government front-benchers, the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan announced yesterday that nation-wide roadshows to explain the 1MDB scandal and other government controversies will be launched at the state levels during the second week of Syawal.
I would advise the Federal government to scrap the 1MDB nation-wide roadshows as they will end up as disastrously as the “Nothing2Hide” 1MDB Forum at the Putra World Trade Centre in KL on June 5 where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ignominiously backed out of appearance because of Mahathir’s presence, unless Najib could immediately explain whether 1MDB funds had been misused for the UMNO/BN campaign in the 13th General Election, and are now being spent and misused in Sarawak for the forthcoming Sarawak state polls.
Najib’s thunderous silence on the third day of the Wall Street Journal expose on Friday that the 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bankroll his 13th General Election campaign does not brook well that the Prime Minister’s credibility can recover with any “Public Relations” gimmicry like 1MDB nation-wide roadshows.
Why is Najib incapable of giving a detailed and convincing rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal allegation that one “trick” of using 1MDB billions of ringgit to bankroll Najib’s 13GE election campaign was through the artifice of 1MDB making overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012 – paying RM2.3 billion or around five times for a power plant that was only worth RM400 million, with Genting make a subsequent donation to a foundation controlled by Najib for the 13GE campaigning purposes.
Wall Street Journal even named the foundation – Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YR1M), which lists Najib as chairperson on its website.
It would appear that 1MDB funds are also being deployed in Sarawak in the run-up for the Sarawak state general elections, as YR1M, which is implicated by Wall Street Journal as being an intermediary to channel 1MDB funds for election campaigning, is now actively funding social activities in Sarawak.
For instance, iM Sarawakk, which is an umbrella programme for various projects in the state, listed YR1M as well as Yayasan 1MDB as among its contributors.
The projects include repairing dilapidated houses, building gravity feed systems for rural communities, giving entrepreneurship training and conducting programmes to assist farmers which were clearly designed to counter DAP’s Impian Sarawak programmes to provide basic infrastructure assistance in the rural heartland.
How can Najib expect to restore credibility if he is unable even to counter Wall Street Journal expose on the third day of its publication?
I had said that as the one responsible for 1MDB’s deals, in law and in fact, not only because 1MDB is a government company and Najib is the ultimate authority as Prime Minister and Finance Minister, but also by virtue of Clause 117 of the 1MDB Memorandum and Articles of Association agreement which stipulates that the Prime Minister must give his written approval for any of 1MDB deals, silence is no more an option for Najib as it tantamounts to admission of the WSJ report.
Najib should issue an immediate and convincing rebuttal of the Wall Street Journal or announce that he will personally appear before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) and answer all queries about the WSJ claim that 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bank-roll his 13th General Election campaign.
Najib should be forewarned that even without Mahathir’s daily battering of his credibility and fitness to continue as Prime Minister, every day of silence on his part to serious allegations about the 1MDB scandal like the Wall Street Journal expose will suffice to condemn him in national and international court of opinion of being guilty as the mastermind of the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history.