I have resumed my tour of parliamentary constituencies as part of the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” nation-wide campaign, following my suspension from Parliament for six months on Oct. 22, in pursuit of the question “Mana RM2.6 billion?”.
Kluang yesterday was the 56th and Pulai today the 57th Parliamentary constituency I am visiting in the new year of 2016, and both visits have shown that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak could not be more wrong when he claimed in his New Year message that his RM2.6 billion donation and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals have been resolved and are no more issues in the country.
In fact, the opposite is the case, as both scandals remain foremost issues among Malaysians, especially as they had been responsible for the most shameful episode in the 58-year history of the nation – Malaysia’s third placing in the world’s “worst corruption scandal in 2015”!
Although it will not be possible for me to visit all the 222 Parliamentary constituencies in the country during the period of my 180-day six-month suspension from Parliament, I will try to visit more than 150 Parliamentary constituencies in the country by the time I am allowed to return to Parliament – with a strong and unmistakable mandate from Malaysians from all over the country, embracing all races, religions and regions in the country, to demand that Najib must fully account for his twin mega scandals.
Najib had tried to bury “once and for all” his twin mega scandals in his New Year message, but his effort could not survive 24 hours.
He claimed that he had honoured his promise in June last year to resolve the 1MDB problem, alleging that with the latest agreement announced on 31st December for the sale of 60 per cent equity in Bandar Malaysia to a joint local and international consortium – composed of Iskandar Waterfront Holdings at 60 per cent and China Railway Engineering Corporation at 40 per cent – 1MDB will see its debts reduced by approximately RM40.4 billion, which represents the overwhelming majority of 1MDB’s debt.
Leaving aside for the moment the details of the 1MDB “rationalization programme” to reduce 1MDB debts, as they are indirect bailouts by the Federal Government, there are two questions which Najib needs to answer.
The first is what are the total debts of 1MDB before the “rationalization programme”.
If the oft-used figure of total debts of 1MDB is RM42 billion, Najib is in a way right in claiming that the reduction of approximately RM40.4 billion of its debts represents the overwhelming majority of 1MDB’s debts.
But up to now, both the Prime Minister and 1MDB had been very shy and far from sincere and truthful in revealing the relevant facts about the 1MDB, especially about the total debts of 1MDB before the sale of Edra to China General Nuclear Power Corp Ltd. (CGN) at the end of November, claiming 1MDB debts have been reduce by RM17 billion.
This is because the RM42 billion figure is not the latest figure, as it represents 1MDB’s total debts as at the end of March 2014 – 1MDB’s last audited accounts.
According to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his last speech as Deputy Prime Minister on July 26, the total 1MDB debts were more than RM50 billion. By late November last year, before the sale of Edra to CGN, the total 1MDB debts could have reached RM55 billion.
If the total debts of 1MDB before its so-called “rationalisation programme” is RM55 billion, 1MDB has still a gargantuan outstanding debt of some RM15 billion to be resolved.
This is the first question that Najib must answer.
The second question is about corporate governance and accountability, why with massive debt hole of some RM55 billion, no one had been sacked or charged for gross mismanagement or corruption.
Is the 1MDB scandal entering the Guinness Book of Records as the “foremost heinous crime without a criminal” in Malaysia?
I fully agree with former Cabinet Minister, Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, that despite its “billions”, 1MDB has not contributed to the country’s economic growth.
It has failed in its original objective to be a strategic development company to forge global partnerships and promote foreign direct investment, as it is undoubtedly the single most damaging cause for capital flight and loss of investor confidence in Malaysia.
The failure of 1MDB is in fact the personal failure of Najib as Prime Minister of Malaysia, because 1MDB is his brainchild (conceived with Jho Low), with him as the only person in Malaysia who is responsible for all the company’s key decisions and investments – which is why it is Najib, and not the latest 1MDB CEO, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, who must give a full and satisfactory accounting for the twin mega scandals which have “crowned” Malaysia with the world’s third “worst corruption scandal in 2015”.
When will Najib give such a full accounting? Will he do so before the Special Parliament on the TPPA on 26th and 27th of January?
(Speech at the DAP Pengkalan Rinting “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang & Mana RM2.6 billion?” kopitiam ceramah at Taman Perling, Pulai on Sunday, 3rd January 2016 at 10 am)