The UK Guardian has labelled the 1MDB imbroglio as the “world’s largest financial scandal”. This was after the US Attorney-General filed a suit to seize US$1 billion of assets laundered from 1MDB, the single largest action under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) laid out the charges in full, which showed more than US$3.5 billion have been misappropriated from Malaysia’s sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.
Most importantly, the US DOJ detailed the exact transactions showing how US$731 million of the misappropriated funds ended up in the personal bank account of a “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1). As the Minister in Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Rahman Dahlan rightly pointed out, only an idiot would not know that MO1 refers specifically to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.
I have at the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting yesterday demanded that the PAC re-open investigations into 1MDB. I said that the Malaysian Parliament will be failing to fulfil the grave responsibilities the people have entrusted us with if we fail to react and follow up with the single biggest scandal which has possibly irreparably damaged the nation’s reputation.
Datuk Hasan Arifin refused to allow the PAC to allow the investigations to be re-opened and confirmed his decision with a statement after the meeting. The Chairman insisted that the PAC has already completed its report tabled to the Parliament in April 2016 and there was no necessity to re-visit the scandal. He was supported by the Gerakan Member of Parliament for Simpang Renggam, Liang Teck Meng who dismissed the DOJ suit as mere “speculation”.
Datuk Hasan Arifin’s excuse is completely unacceptable.
Previously, the PAC never had the opportunity to call upon the Prime Minister to testify before the Committee because evidence relating to the embezzlement by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak was withheld by 1MDB. Despite repeated requests by the Auditor-General for nearly a year, 1MDB had refused to supply documents, particularly bank statements of its overseas subsidiaries and accounts.
Datuk Hasan Arifin and the Najib administration had even twisted the PAC Report as “clearing Najib” despite the fact that Najib was never investigated as a result of the withheld evidence.
Hence with the DOJ suit, I told the PAC meeting that there is now concrete evidence to demand that the Prime Minister testify before the PAC. It is the perfect opportunity for Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to confirm or deny the allegations. I even said that if Najib was able to demonstrate concrete evidence which showed that he has been maligned by the DOJ, and that the monies obtained were indeed from Arab “donors”, I will be the first to stand up to defend and redeem his honour.
Datuk Hasan Arifin has also refused, without even providing any reason for my additional request to initiate investigations against another related Ministry of Finance subsidiary, SRC International Sdn Bhd. This is despite the fact that the Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali himself has provided evidence of RM27 million being transferred from the company to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s accounts via intermediaries in 2014, as well as the fact that SRC International has failed to table its financial audit since March 2014.
The PAC Chairman's obstinate refusal to accede to the all-important requests led me to believe that he sole purpose is to be a “macai” to obstruct and cover up all allegations on Dato’ Seri Najib Razak. He has confirmed that he is indeed a “cari makan” Chairman and disgraced the honour and integrity of Malaysia’s supreme legislative body.
I had walked out of the meeting yesterday and will not be attending the meetings scheduled for this week as a mark of protest against the total farce the PAC has become.