Thursday, March 19, 2015

Dato' Seri Najib And Jho Low's Identical Responses To Questions: Mere Coincidence?

Why are Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Jho Low giving the same standard reply which doesn’t answer the question of the latter’s role in 1Malaysia Development Bhd?

When Member of Parliament for Wangsa Maju, Dr Tan Kee Kwong asked the question on 12 March 2015 on whether there was any business transactions or dealings between 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and Jho Low, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak provided a short and curt answer.He said “Mr Low Taek Jho never worked in 1MDB and all 1MDB decisions and transactions are made by the management and the Board of Director of 1MDB”.Why are the responses from the Finance Minister and Jho Low so strikingly similar in not directly answering the questions posed?

In Jho Low’s press interview with South China Morning Post on the same day, he protested his innocence over his involvement with scandal tainted 1MDB pleading that “business decisions by 1MDB are ultimately decided and approved in accordance to their corporate governance framework, which is the management, board and shareholder. So why politicise and try to blame it all on me when I have no decision-making authority?”

Jho Low then repeated almost the exact same thing via a phone interview with CNBC on the same day.  “I’m not hired by 1MDB and I’m not paid any fees.  Business decisions…. are ultimately decided by the management, board and shareholders,” he said.

Was it just a mere coincidence that the response given by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak is practically identical to the ones provided by Jho Low on the exact same day?

The likelihood of coincidence may have been higher had Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and Jho Low both answered the question specifically, instead of sidestepping actual questions.

Dr Tan Kee Kwong didn’t asked if 1MDB paid Jho Low a salary or a fee.  Dr Tan Kee Kwong asked if there were any business transactions or dealings between 1MDB and Jho Low.

Similarly, despite being repeatedly asked to clarify on his “involvement and connection with 1MDB”, Jho Low continued sidestepping the issue by claiming that his “views are always sought by numerous parties”.

Neither Dato’ Seri Najib Razak or Jho Low addressed directly the fact that the Sarawak Report exposed email correspondences between PetroSaudi International executives, 1MDB management, Jho Low and his associates, clearly demonstrated Jho’s direct and masterful involvement in the entire joint venture exercise.  Jho Low was even offered the direct opportunity to describe these specific emails as fabrications but he didn’t.

Both of them also avoided the fact that 1MDB had authorised a US$700 million transfer to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by Jho Low and his associates which could certainly be described as “dealings with 1MDB”.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak cannot continue to avoid telling the whole truth about Jho Low’s involvement and potential embezzlement of billions of ringgit from 1MDB coffers.  His continued sidestepping of the issue will only raise greater speculation and suspicion that the Prime Minister himself is covering up for Jho Low.

Worse, by failing to come clean, he may be implicated, inadvertently or otherwise, in the same multi-billion ringgit crimes Malaysians are now suspecting Jho Low of having expertly executed.  After all, there are now email evidences of Jho Low implicating the connivance of the Finance Minister in the various multi-billion ringgit transfer of funds from 1MDB to PetroSaudi.

No comments: