The latest report that Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) had informed the London Stock Exchange that neither itself nor its unit Aabar Investments PJS have any links to British Virgin Islands-incorporated firm named in a report into the troubles of the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal should have blown to smithereens the mirage that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on the 1MDB scandal is the be-all and end-all of the RM50 billion 1MDB global scandal.
The London development today is the latest proof that the PAC Report on the 1MDB scandal is only the “tip of an iceberg” and that the PAC Report on the 1MDB scandal is the first important step to open up the intricacies, complexities and enormities of the 1MDB scandal and not the final and definitive word to bring closure to the 1MDB scandal.
I had said earlier that I fully agree with the statement by human rights group Proham that allegations of criminal breach of trust surrounding state-owned fund 1MDB is not the sole responsibility of its former chief executive officer.
The PAC, in its 1MDB Governance Management Control Report said that former IMDB CEO Shahrol Azral must take responsibility for the government-owned strategic investment company’s weaknesses and shortcomings.
It is impossible that Shahrol was solely responsible for the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal although Shahrol was 1MDB director for the past seven year since the inception of 1MDB and even when it was Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA), apart from being the Chief Executive Officer of 1MDB for four years from 2009 to 2013.
On the Internet, Shahrol’s c.v. refers to him as “an expert in value creation in multiple sectors”, and although Shahrol has proved to be a great disaster in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, I am strongly convinced that he is unfairly blamed by the PAC Report as the worst culprit in the 1MDB scandal.
The only redeeming feature of the sordid and seedy RM50 billion 1MDB scandal in the past seven years was the honest and honourable protest and resignation of Tan Sri Bakke Mohd Salleh from the 1MDB Board of Directors on Oct. 19, 2009 when he found a lot of hanky-panky in the 1MDB affairs.
I have invited the PAC Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin to a public forum on Shah Alam to convince the public that the PAC Report on 1MDB exonerated Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from wrongdoings or abuse of power in the RM50 billion 1MDB global scandal.
Regardless of whether Hasan Arifin; Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi who is being made a scapegoat for the 1MDB global scandal; or even Jho Low, the mysterious Penang-born billionaire who is alleged to be the mastermind of the 1MDB “adventure”, are implicated in the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal, the fact remains that the PAC 1MDB report has stirred an even greater hornet’s nest about the 1MDB scandal.
Who must bear final and full responsibility for the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal – the IMDB top management, the 1MDB Board of Governors, the 1MDB Board of Advisers or the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, by virtue of Section 117 of the 1MDB Memorandum and Articles of Association (M & A) which made Najib the sole person responsible for the 1MDB scandal?
Regardless of whether the PAC Chairman, Hasan Arifin, would come or not, the public forum in Shah Alam on “PAC 1MDB Report: Najib Complicit or Innocent?” will be held at the IDCC Shah Alam on Thursday, 14th April 2016 at 8.30 pm and among the speakers will be Tun Dr. Mahathir, Lim Kit Siang, Tony Pua, Rafizi Ramli, Khalid Samad and Cynthia Gabriel.
If Hasan Arifin, Shahrol Azral or even Jho Low are prepared to appear at the Shah Alam forum on Thursday, they are most welcome.
(Speech at a Federal Territory DAP meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, April 11, 2016 at 8 pm)