The 136-page United States Department of Justice (DO)’s legal suit to recover more than US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative 2010 has fully vindicated my April comments that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB scandal dealt only the “tip of the iceberg”.
In my media statement on April 8, 2016, the day after the PAC Report was tabled in Parliament without the Auditor-General’s Report on 1MDB although it was an integral part of the PAC Report and proceedings, I said the PAC Report had not laid to rest or rebut in any manner international perceptions that Malaysia had become one of the world’s top nations in global corruption.
I said: “In fact, the PAC report will only confirm these international perceptions and doubts, which is why the 1MDB scandal is the subject of separate investigations by half a dozen countries, including the subject of the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ) under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative, and none of them will halt investigations because of the PAC Report.”
I said at the time that what was important was the “next step” – “how to probe further than just the ‘tip of of the iceberg’ – a job which other countries of the world will do if Malaysians themselves are not up to it to get to the bottom of the truth of the 1MDB scandal, which will be to the eternal shame of Malaysia!”
My brutal forecast has come to pass.
For over three months after the PAC report was tabled in Parliament, the national investigative and enforcement agencies, whether the Police, the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Bank Negara or the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, had been very perfunctory, lackadaisical or even indifferent to the meek, grossly inadequate and incommensurate recommendations of the PAC Report on the 1MDB scandal.
The DOJ’s 136-page 513-paragraph suit to recover more than US$1 billion assets stolen from 1MDB, the national sovereign wealth fund, has done Malaysia a great national service, for it allowed more parts of the 1MDB iceberg to surface – a task which should be performed by the various national investigative and enforcement agencies in the country, but which they failed miserably to do or been prevented from discharging their national duties and responsibilities.
The DOJ’s 136-page suit to recover more than US$1 billion of assets stolen or misappropriated from 1MDB should be compulsory reading not only for all Ministers, Members of Parliament, State Assembly representatives and all political leaders, but all concerned and patriotic Malaysians, for it is a “horror story” as to how tens of billions of ringgit of public funds and assets had been laundered, stolen and misappropriated in an international conspiracy against the 1MDB and the people of Malaysia.
As the US Attorney-General Loretta E. Lynch said two days ago, the DOJ action seeks to “forfeit and recover funds” that were intended to grow the Malaysian economy and support the Malaysian people. Instead, they were stolen, laundered through American financial institutions and used to enrich a few officials and their associates.
Such an action against the corruption, theft and misappropriation of billions of ringgit of funds and assets which belong to the people of Malaysia should have been instituted by the Malaysian government, and it must be cause of great and eternal shame and humiliation that instead of supporting such an action, the Malaysian Government is quite opposed to it.
The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali said that there is currently no evidence that money had been misappropriated from 1MDB.
Apandi should read the US DOJ’s 136-page legal suit as it is replete with such evidence.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said no assumptions should be made in regard to the US DOJ’s crackdown on siphoning of funds from 1MDB until the legal process is completed.
This is a most lame and unsatisfactory “cop-out”, when Malaysians are entitled to an official explanation for every item in the hosts of instances of theft and misappropriation of 1MDB funds and assets, exceeding the value of RM10 billion ringgit, which are catalogued in the US DOJ legal suit.
The DOJ civil suit under the US Kleptocracy Assets Recovery Initiative 2010 to seize over US$1 billion assets stolen and misappropriated from 1MDB list a whole catalogue of criminal activities leading to such money-laundering, embezzlement and corruption of 1MDB funds which would keep a high-powered police team busy for years to bring the criminals to book – provided the police are serious about upholding law and order and there is rule of law in Malaysia!
(Speech at the Skudai DAP Branch, Johor on Friday, July 22, 2016 at 9 pm)