For many months, Malaysians going overseas have been faced with the embarrassing situation when asked which country they come from.
Once Malaysians had no problem in proudly identifying themselves as coming from Malaysia, but now they hesitate whether to answer the question as they would be confronted with embarrassing questions about Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy, the infamous international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal involving the Prime Minister which have caused the closure of banks and imprisonment of bankers for money-laundering in other countries, MO1 and many other difficult questions.
Do we have a national strategy, involving the full support of the government, to counter Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy?
The silence and indifference of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, leaders of other Barisan Nasional parties, as well as the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang to the invitation to this Save Malaysia Roundtable is loudest answer to this question.
Clearly, we have not even taken the first step to Save Malaysia from global kleptocracy, which is to end the “global pretence” that the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal had been resolved and ceased to be an issue.
This was what the Prime Minister had promised more than a year ago.
In his meeting with some 1,000 UMNO divisional leaders and selected representatives of NGOs on 14th June 2015, Najib gave an assurance that the controversy surrounding the state investment arm 1MDB will be resolved by year-end.
In his 2016 New Year message on 31st December 2015, Najib told Malaysians that his RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion donation twin mega scandals had been resolved and were no more issues.
Najib could not be more wrong, as illustrated by the first five weeks of 2017, when the 1MDB kleptocratic scandal continue to haunt and hound Malaysians, for example:
• the decision of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) ordering Coutts & Co., which is owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland, to surrender 6.5 million francs (RM29.1 million) in illegal profits from transactions linked to 1MDB;
• the jailing of the fourth former banker in Singapore, Jens Fred Sturzenegger, former branch manager of Falcon Private Bank in Singapore for crimes related to 1MDB money-laundering;
• the revelation in the Sturzenegger court case substantiating the US Department of Justice (DOJ) case that the RM2.6 billion donation in Najib’s personal banking accounts before the 13thGeneral Election in March 2013 came from 1MDB and not from any Arab prince as claimed by Najib and UMNO leaders;
• the stinging criticism by former US stockbroker, Jordan Belfort, the man whose biography the film “Wolf of Wall Street” is based, calling the movie’s producer Riza Aziz – Najib’s stepson – and financier billionaire Jho Low as “criminals”;
• for the first time in Malaysian history, the 1MDB scandal has been cited by Transparency International (TI) as the reason for Malaysia’s continued fall in both ranking and score in the TI Corruption Perception Index 2016, released two weeks ago; and today,
• whether Jho Low’s Bombadier Global 5000 jet has been impounded at a hangar at Singapore’s Seletar airport.
If the Najib government and Hadi’s PAS leadership are not prepared to Save Malaysia from global kleptocracy and a failed and rogue state, then ordinary Malaysians, including UMNO and PAS members, must come forward to Save Malaysia.
This is why this Save Malaysia Roundtable has been convened.
We are holding this Save Malaysia Roundtable in commemoration of the 114th birthday anniversary of Tunku Abdul Rahman, Bapa Malaysia and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
I have no doubt that Tunku would be horrified that Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy and heading towards a failed and rogue state.
In fact, the second and third Prime Ministers, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein, would have been horrified by the trajectory of the nation under the sixth Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
I can speak from personal knowledge, as I had worked with Tunku during the last decade of his life and with Hussein during the last five years of his life.
We have with us today Tun Dr. Mahathir, the fourth Prime Minister and one of the two surviving former Prime Ministers, who has already made his horror loud and clear about Malaysia becoming a global kleptocracy and hurtling towards a failed and rogue state.
It is a strange experience to find that what I said about the Bumiputera Finance Scandal and the Bank Negara foreign exchange scandal, in particular my speech in Parliament on 11th March 1986 on the 6,000-page 13-volume Ahmad Nordin Report on the BMF scandal and my speech in Parliament on the Bank Negara forex scandal on April 11, 1994 have become “cherished” material by UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers – but not to demand a corruption-free Malaysia but to undermine and destroy attempts to Save Malaysia from a global kleptocracy.
I feel sad that it should take UMNO/BN leaders and propagandists 30 years – one and a half generation – to realise that what I said in Parliament in March 1986 deserve serious national attention. And in the case of the Bank Negara forex scandal, UMNO/BN leaders need 22 years to realise that I said in Parliament was worthy of national attention.
I had called for Royal Commissions of Inquiry into the BMF scandal and the Bank Negara forex scandal, and I stand by every word what I had said in Parlaiment on both these issues.
But we are now faced with an even bigger scandal, the 1MDB scandal which had made Malaysia infamous worldwide as a global kleptocracy.
Yes, lets have RCIs on BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals, but even more pressing and urgent, let us have a RCI on the 1MDB global kleptocracy.
Let us have a “mother” of RCIs – which investigate not only the BMF and Bank Negara forex scandals, but even more important, the 1MDB scandal.
This “mother” of all RCIs should give priority to the 1MDB scandal as we need to cleanse and purge Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy, so Malaysians can feel proud again as citizens of this country and break the trajectory towards a failed and rogue state.
The “mother” of RCIs should come out with a Report on 1MDB before it proceeds with inquiry into the BMF, Bank Negara forex and other scandals.
If Najib is agreeable with the suggestion to establish a “mother”of RCIs, to investigate and report first on the 1MDB scandal, and then to investigate into the BMF, Bank Negara forex and other scandals, I am prepared to meet with Najib to discuss the details of this “mother” of all RCIs – the terms of reference, composition, etc.
(Speech at the Save Malaysia Roundtable at Damansara on Tuesday, 7th February 2017 at 3 pm)