Following increasing demands from UMNO quarters that former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir should apologise to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak over his “lie” about Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal in the wake of the Saudi Foreign Minister’s controversial remark on the donation, former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Senator Ali Rustam has upped the ante and asked the Special Task Force on Najib’s RM50 billion and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals to also apologise.
Utusan Malaysia yesterday reported Ali demanding that the Special Task Force on 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation should also apologise, as the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir had “cleared the air” on the money transferred to the prime minister’s personal bank accounts.
Ali said the formation of the task force created a negative perception, as people had the perception that the Prime Minister had committed wrongdoings.
Ali claimed that the allegations by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ)” were just slander and had tarnished the good name of the Prime Minister and the nation.
Ali said: “This cannot recur. The task force must apologise.”
Ali is both wrong in claiming that the Saudi Foreign Minister had confirmed that the RM2.6 billion donation had come from Saudi Arabian government or that Wall Street Journal reports about the RM2.6 billion donation were just slander of Najib, or Najib would have filed defamation proceedings against WSJ to clear his name.
But he had re-opened a can of worms about the Special Task Force on Najib’s twin mega scandals in demanding an apology from the Special Task Force.
A few days after the WSJ report about the RM2.6 billion “donation” in his personal banking accounts, Najib blogged that the scope of the Special Task Force investigating WSJ’s claims against him was whether he used 1MDB funds for his personal interest.
Najib said in his blog: “The investigation by the special task force is to determine whether WSJ allegation that I took 1MDB funds for my personal interest has basis or not.
“The investigation must consider the veracity of the documents published by the newspaper to support their actions.”
Is Ali also suggesting that Najib should apologise for agreeing to the establishment of the Special Task Force, or is he suggesting that Najib never agreed to the formation of the Special Task?
The four Tan Sris involved in the Special Task Force concerned were Tan Sri Gani Patail, then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Bank Negara Malaysia governor, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Inspector-General of Police and Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner.
Were the four Tan Sris on the Special Task Force on 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega scandals involved in anti-national activities as seemed to be suggested by Ali?
Let the four Tan Sris who had comprised the Special Task Force on 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation scandals respond individually to Ali’s demand for an apology.
Malaysians would also want to know what has happened to this Special Task Force after the “major purges” at the end of July last year, which saw the sudden sacking of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the Attorney-General Gani Patail, the Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, leading to intimidation, immediate transfers and even arrest of key officials in major enforcement agencies like the MACC and the Police.
I remember that at the time, I had very little confidence in the Special Task Force of the four Tan Sris.
In a statement ten days after the WSJ report on Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation, I noted that Najib had not yet denied, categorically and unequivocally, that he had three personal bank accounts in AmBank and that some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of funds had been deposited into his accounts just before the 13th General Elections; nor had Najib explained where the donation came from and where and to whom these astronomical sums of money had gone to.
I asked whether the Special Task Force headed by Gani Patail, Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Khalid Abu Bakar and Abu Kassim Mohamad would be allowed to investigate where the RM2.6 billion came from and to whom, in detail, the RM2.6 billion had been paid out to?
I said nobody believed that the “special task force” of four Tan Sris would have such powers.
I suggested that the Special Task Force of four Tan Sris should be scrapped and be replaced by a Royal Commission of Inquiry of three Tuns, chaired by Tun Mahathir with Tun Abdullah and Tun Musa Hitam as the deputy chair-persons to conduct an in-depth and wide-ranging investigation into Najib’s twin mega scandals.
This proposal of a Royal Commission of Inquiry of three Tuns is even more relevant and pertinent today.
So far, only two persons have publicly admitted receiving monies from Najib’s RM2.6 billion donation – Pontian MP and UMNO Deputy Minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan who admitted he got RM2 million and the Chairman of the Barisan Nasional BackBenchers’ Club and Johor Baru MP, Tan Sri Shahrir Samad, who admitted he got RM1 million.
Will all the other UMNO/BN Ministers and MPs who had received monies from Najib’s RM2.6 billion (WSJ now says more than USD1 billion or RM4.2 billion had been deposited into Najib’s personal banking accounts) donation own up in public about how much they have received from Najib and how they had spent them?
(Speech in his 108th parliamentary constituency visit in his “Pantang Undur: Berani kerana Benar” nation-wide tour in Pasar Chowrasta, Tanjong on Thursday, 21st April 2016 at 9am)