Was #TangkapMO1 spokesperson, Anis Syafiqah Md Yusof’s cry “Whole world knows we’ve been robbed, why are we still relaxed” the subject of the Cabinet meeting today – the fifth Cabinet meeting since the US Department of Justice (DOJ) filings on July 20 for US$1 billion forfeiture of assets as a result of theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of US$3.5 billion 1MDB funds?
Anis had asked the police why they were not doing anything when it was clear that money was stolen from Malaysians – including students and the police – and why the police were not focusing on the robber instead of on Malaysians who want to see justice was done?
This cry that must be answered not only by the Inspector-General of Police as head of the police, but by all heads of national enforcement and investigative agencies responsible for upholding the rule of law, whether the Attorney-General, the Chief Commissioner of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Bank Negara Governor, the Auditor-General but also by the Cabinet and the Prime Minister.
Malaysians and the world are shocked that 35 days after the unprecedented DOJ filing of the world’s single biggest lawsuit on multi-billion ringgit theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering involving the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund, which turned Malaysia overnight into a global kleptocracy, the Malaysian government had continued to adopt an indifferent and nonchalant stance as if the integrity and reputation of the Malaysian government and nation are of no consequence at all.
Hence, Anis’ cry, which is the cry of all patriotic Malaysians: ““Whole world knows we’ve been robbed, why are we still relaxed”!
Anyone who reads the 136-page DOJ lawsuit on its “civil action in rem to forfeit assets involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB” will know that 1MDB was not the passive victim of the international conspiracy but an active participant of the conspiracy to “fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB through various means, including by defrauding foreign banks and by sending foreign wire communications in furtherance of the scheme, and thereafter, to launder the proceeds of that criminal conduct, including in and through U.S. financial institutions” by “multiple individuals, including public officials and their associates” over a four-year period between 2009 and 2013.
As Paragraph 6 of the DOJ filing stated: “The funds diverted from 1MDB were used for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators and their relatives and associates, including to purchase luxury real estate in the United States, pay gambling expenses at Las Vegas casinos, acquire more than $200 million in artwork, invest in a major New York real estate development project, and fund the production of major Hollywood films. 1MDB maintained no interest in these assets and saw no returns on these investments.”
As the “public officials” responsible for the management of 1MDB were directly implicated as “co-conspirators” in the multi-billion ringgit theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of the funds from the national sovereign wealth fund, how can the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, and the principal officers of all the national enforcement and investigative institutions adopt a hands-off, indifferent and nonchalant attitude to the DOJ action in the past 35 days?
The DOJ filing described three phases of 1MDB embezzlement and kleptocracy – 1) the Good Star Phase; 2) the Aabar/BVI Phase and 3) the Tanore Phase, alleging that “MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1” embezzled US$731 million via 1MDB.
In the first “Good Star” phase, over US$1 billion from September 2009 to 2011 were siphoned off from 1MDB to Good Star which belonged to Jho Low.
Paragraph 8 of the DOJ filing states:
“Between 2009 and 2011, under the pretence of investing in a joint venture between 1MDB and PetroSaudi International, a private Saudi oil extraction company, officials of 1MDB and others arranged for the fraudulent transfer of more than $1 billion from 1MDB to a Swiss bank account held in the name of Good Star Limited. Officials at 1MDB caused this diversion of funds by, among other things, providing false information to banks about the ownership of the Good Star Account. Contrary to representations made by 1MDB officials, the Good Star Account was beneficially owned not by PetroSaudi or the joint venture, but by LOW Taek Jho, a Malaysian national who had no formal position with 1MDB but was involved in its creation.”
Isn’t this “Good Star” Phase 1 of the theft, embezzlement and money-laundering of the multi-billion ringgit 1MDF funds in the DOJ filing basically tally with the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB?
On the “Aabar/BVI” second phase on the misappropriation and money-laundering of US$1.367 billion 1MDB funds, the Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said Putrajaya was “very confident” that 1MDB would win the arbitration case filed by Abu-Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
Regardless of the outcome of the London arbitration case where IPIC is seeking US$6.5 billion from 1MDB, the DOJ filing on the embezzlement of 1MDB funds of over US$1 billion in the Good Star phase one and US$1.26 billion in the “Tanore” Third Phase remain intact.
As the DOJ filings describe 1MDB public officials as active “co-conspirators” in the multi-billion ringgit theft, embezzlement and money-laundering of 1MDB funds, the Malaysian Government, whether through the Prime Minister, the Cabinet or the national investigatory and enforcement institutions cannot be “relaxed” while the “whole world knows we’ve been robbed”.