It is a real wonder that the premier can nonchalantly keep so aloof and calm in the face of mounting pressure due to rising scandals and mismanagement of the country’s resources.
The latest is the 1MDB fiasco. The stories on the largest investment company set up by the government that have been circulating on the Net are so many in number that it would be a wonder if nothing happens at the end of the day and business goes on as usual.
In a scandal-prone country like ours where the ruling party does not seem to have the verve or seriousness to tackle mismanagement, corruption and other forms of misdemeanour, nearly every mega ‘project’ meant to improve the economy turns out to be another conduit providing ‘opportunities’ for people to ‘make money’; these people normally associated to the political powers that be, or cronies and their sub cronies.
This trend has been there even before the administration of Najib; the likes of the BMF in the 1980s and the PKFZ in the 2000s to the now mega scandal of 1MDB. And these have cost the rakyat billions of ringgit.
So many questions have not been answered by Najib regarding 1MDB instead he seems to keep a distance from the issues raised by NGOs and Pakatan by creating a barrier between himself and the financial vehicle’s management. He plays innocent as if the goings-on in the vehicle are to be tackled by the management and his job is only to receive periodical reports. But after all the upheavals that have been reported extensively in social media and the international media (as in the New York Times, and the Sunday Times of the UK) can he continue to disregard the severity of the problem? Does he think that he can fool everyone in this country as he fools a section of his electorate by feeding them with propaganda? In this internet age there is no way he can keep on denying involvement and responsibility for all the mismanagement of governance of the country.
Several names crop up in this 1MDB saga – Aabar, Cayman Islands, Saudi Petroleum, Deutsche Bank (for a USD 975 million loan) Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) and Goldman Sachs. Some of these well known and some like Aabar practically unheard of.
So much of wheeling and dealing between 1MDB and these entities that a prime minister cannot simply make lame exhortations like the very recent call to the Auditor-General to ‘investigate’ 1MDB. Why is he not demanding that a full panel of investigators from all the agencies and relevant NGOs and political parties be involved and be monitored by the PAC? Why aren’t the MACC, Police, Transparency International and vocal Opposition leaders like Rafizi and Tony Pua be brought in to do a thorough ‘examination’ of the manner in which 1MDB has been conducting business? And not to forget to also expose the personalities involved like the now infamous Jho Low? What has he to hide?
And what is this with the Cabinet already giving 1MDB a ‘clean sheet’ despite the fact that no investigation by the Auditor General has been done as yet as the premier seems to want?
Pakatan must make it a point to push for a motion to debate 1MDB at the next sitting of Parliament. It must be demanded that a full and proper investigation be undertaken involving all the bodies mentioned above and the report made public that would not spare anyone from prosecution, even if it meant that person was related to the premier or was his crony.
Meanwhile social media must continue to expose all the wrongdoing involving this largest financial vehicle of the government to date.