The Sembrong Parliamentary constituency which covers the two State Assembly seats of Kahang and Paloh is the 75th parliamentary constituency I am visiting since my six-month suspension from Parliament on 22nd October last year because the Najib administration refused to give full and satisfactory accountability for his two world-class mega scandals – the RM2.6 billion donation and the RM55 billion 1MDB scandals.
Wherever I went, regardless of whether they are Chinese, Malays, Indians, Kadazans or Ibans, Malaysians are united in their demand that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should come full and clean on his two world-class mega scandals.
Ever since the beginning of the new year, Najib had been declaring that his twin mega-scandals were no more issues as they had been resolved, but the opposite was the case – as Najib’s twin mega scandals have become even bigger than in the past and gone fully international.
Najib’s RM2.6 billion and RM55 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals were the reasons why Malaysia was placed as the No. 3 in the world in the “worst corruption scandals in 2015”.
They were also the chief reason why Malaysia had dropped another four notches in the latest Transparency International 2015 Corruption Perception Index (CPI) ranking compared to the previous year, announced a few days ago.
Malaysia was ranked 50th among 175 countries in 2014 but dropped to 54th among 168 countries in 2015.
In fact, Malaysia’s ranking in the TI CPI 2015 could have been lower, as five countries, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Puerto Rico and St Vincent – which had been ranked higher than Malaysia – were excluded due to not meeting three minimum secondary sources for research.
If these five countries which rank higher than Malaysia had been included, Malaysia’s ranking in 2015 would be between 59 to 60 instead of 54.
Furthermore, if the TI CPI 2015 ranking had taken into consideration the shocking announcement by the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali rejecting the recommendations of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and exonerating Najib from any wrongdoing or crime for the RM2.6 billion donation scandal, Malaysia would have fallen to the lowest ranking in the TI CPI history and be consigned to between No. 65 – 70 in the TI CPI ranking!
This has been a bad week for Malaysia for our international reputation after the Attorney-General’s rejection of the MACC investigations and recommendations with the shocking exoneration of the Prime Minister – as it caused shock-waves not only in the country but world-wide.
The Swiss Attorney-General Michael Laubersaid’s announcement well after office hours on Friday that it suspects about US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion) from 1MDB had been misappropriated and that it will formally ask the Malaysian authorities for mutual assistance in the next few days is seen as a rejection of Apandi’s exoneration of the Prime Minister.
Switzerland is only one of the seven countries which had launched independent probes into Najib’s twin mega scandals.
In fact, Najib is also the target of the probe by Federal Bureau of Investigations and the US Department of Justice under the US Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative 2010, the first time a top Malaysian official had been investigated by the US authorities as to whether he is a kleptocrat.
Instead of continuing to cause shame to Malaysia in international circles over the twin mega scandals, it is time that Najib place national interests above personal interests and give to Parliament a full and satisfactory accounting of his role in the two world-class mega scandals.
(Speech at the DAP Kahang Branch Chinese New Year dinner held in Kahang, Johor on Saturday, 30th January 2016 at 9 pm)