There is an air of panic in Putrajaya as a result of the historic 304 Citizens’ Declaration for Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s removal as Prime Minister and call for democratic and institutional reforms to Save Malaysia.
This was why Najib had summoned UMNO/Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament to his official residence last night – a pre-council meeting which in the past had been held either on the eve of the beginning of Parliament or on the morning of the first day of Parliament meeting, but never two days in advance!
And there are valid reasons for Najib to be concerned about the effect and impact of the 304 Citizens’ Declaration, signed not only by the longest-serving former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, former Ministers, but also by political and civil society leaders.
This is because the Citizens’ Declaration had crossed the great political divide and accords with the sentiments of overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, politics, age or gender that a national call must go out to reach the maximum number of Malaysians, even to the 3.3 million UMNO members and a million PAS members, for all to stand on a united common platform to save Malaysia from the slide down the slippery slope to a failed and a rogue state.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, from inside Sungai Buloh prison, has given unequivocal support to the bridging of the political divide not to be limited to “personal agendas or political vendettas” but to “chart a new way forward to save our beloved nation”.
Anwar rightly pointed out the call for change, with the pivotal demand for Najib to resign as Prime Minister, must also necessarily involve reform at key national institutions badly damaged by the Najib administration.
The Najib government’s panicky reaction is one reason for its “balderdash” statement it issued immediately after the signing and proclamation of the Citizens’ Declaration, lamely claiming that a general election is the only “existing mechanism” to change the Prime Minister.
Najib himself does not believe in his official statement, or he would not hurriedly summoned UMNO/BN MPs to an emergency meeting at his official residence last night.
Najib should know that even if he seemed to have locked up support of the overwhelmin gmajority of the UMNO/BN MPs to back his premiership, if he has lost all credibility not only among the Malaysian people and voters, but even to UMNO/BN MPs though they dare not yet show their true feelings and colours, it is not whether but when Najib has to step down as Prime Minister – regardless of the date for the next general election.
I do not believe, for instance, that all the UMNO/BN MPs are so unpatriotic as to be completely unconcerned about the damage Najib’s twin mega scandals are causing, not only to the ruling coalition but also to the country.
When even a fervid Najib supporter like Tan Sri Rais Yatim found it strange that the Auditor-General’s final audit report on 1MDB had been presented to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) under the Official Secrets Act (OSA), the Prime Minister’s credibility rating among his own UMNO/BN MPs and ground had sunk to an all-time low.
Can the PAC Chairman and Najib appointee, Datuk Hasan Arifin explain why there was no 100% attendance of PAC members at Friday’s meeting when this was the reason given for the postponement for the earlier-fixed Feb. 24/25 PAC meetings?
Do the UMNO/BN MPs, leaders and grassroots buy Najib’s explanation about the twin mega scandals?
I have no doubt that if they were allowed to vote in a secret ballot, the majority of the UMNO/BN MPs will vote in the negative.
For a start, Najib should convince UMNO/BN MPs about the issues about Najib’s twin mega scandals raised in the Citizen’s Declaration, viz:
“6. In 2009 he (Najib) decided to set up a Sovereign Wealth fund to earn income for the Government.
“7. He created the 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which became indebted with RM42 billion of loans which it is unable to repay. It is no longer a Sovereign Wealth fund. It is a Sovereign Debt Fund.
“8. 1MDB borrowed approximately RM20 billion to acquire 3 power plant companies for an over-priced RM12.1 billion. Despite being awarded new power plant contracts and extensions to the expiring power-producing concessions, the 1MDB power companies were sold for RM9.83 billion, or a loss of RM2.27 billion.
“9. 1MDB invested or lent a total of US$1.83 billion to Petrosaudi International (PSI) Limited between 2009 and 2011 under the pretext of bogus projects or non-existent assets. Bank Negara Malaysia had demanded 1MDB return of the above money to Malaysia as their approval was given based on misinformation submitted by 1MDB. Of these sum, a total of US$1.45 billion was directly and indirectly siphoned off to Good Star Limited and other companies controlled by Low Taek Jho.
“10. To hide the missing funds, 1MDB ‘disposed’ its investments and loans to PSI for US$2.318 billion, claiming to have made a profit of US$488 million. However, no money was returned to Malaysia. Instead, 1MDB claimed it invested the funds in Cayman Islands which was subsequently found to be an unlicensed investment manager. KPMG was sacked as 1MDB’s auditors for refusing to confirm the value of the investment in the mysterious Caymans fund.
“11. 1MDB claimed that the Cayman Island investment has been fully redeemed. US$1.22 billion was reportedly redeemed on 5 November 2014 but was substantially utilized on the very same day to compensate Aabar Investments PJS for the termination of options granted to Aabar to acquire 49% of 1MDB’s power companies. This is a lie because the parent of Aabar, International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) did not mention receipt of any such payments in its audited accounts published on the London Stock Exchange. Instead the accounts stated that 1MDB owes IPIC the sum of US$481 million for the termination.
“12. 1MDB also took another loan of US$975 million from a Deutsche Bank-led consortium in September 2014, for the very same purpose of compensating Aabar for the terminated options. The Wall Street Journal has exposed the fact that these money have been paid to a different British Virgin Islands entity with a similar name, “Aabar Investment PJS Limited”, whose beneficial owner is completely unrelated to IPIC. The simple scam has fooled even the 1MDB auditors, Deloitte Malaysia into believing that the payments were indeed received by IPIC’s Aabar.
“13. 1MDB announced that it made a 2nd and final RM1.1 billion redemption of the Cayman Islands investment in January 2015. Initially, the Prime Minister told the Parliament that the sum was held in cash in BSI Bank, Singapore. However, two months later in May 2015, he informed the Parliament that it was not cash but “assets”. Subsequently, it was explained that these assets were “units” which meant that they were never redeemed in the first place. This proved that 1MDB and the Prime Minister have been consistently lying to the Malaysian public. It also means that the money invested in Petrosaudi which was reinvested in Cayman Islands, are still missing and unaccounted for.”
Can Najib answer fully and satisfactorily the questions raised in these eight paragraphs in the Citizen’s Declaration on the twin mega scandals?
If the Prime Minister cannot do so, can the UMNO/BN Members of Parliament do so?
If the answers to both are in the negative, why is Najib continuing to be the Prime Minister of Malaysia?