Thursday, June 25, 2015

1MDB's Innocence Can be Resolved Through the Simplest of Measures

The way to prove “tampered data” is not to allege “tampered data” based on a wishy-washy statement but by making the untampered versions public.

The Barisan Nasional Government machinery is working overtime to intimidate and suppress public information, discourse and criticism over 1Malaysia Development Bhd monster scandal which is threatening to unhinge the Najib administration.

The Home Minister, Dato’ Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is now threatening news organisations which publish stories based on information exposed by The Sarawak Report. In particular, leaked email conversations between the various protagonists in 1MDB, Jho Low and his associates as well as PetroSaudi as well as documents such as the 1MDB Petrosaudi joint venture agreement has shaken the Najib reign to the very core.

However, the Home Minister based his claim entirely on a statement from an anonymous source from UK-based cyber security firm Protection Group International (PGI), which was hired by PSI to investigate the leaks. The source said “Simply put, it is incomplete data, creatively selected and edited to fit a desired narrative.”

Even if, and that’s a big “if”, the above allegation is technically true – nothing in it actually debunks the information exposed by The Sarawak Report, provided by the whistleblower as untrue!

It may indeed be “incomplete data” because some key transaction documents were not available in these leaked emails. To Petrosaudi and 1MDB, the emails may be “creatively selected”, but to the Malaysian taxpayers, they may be intelligently filtered. PGI alleged that the information was “edited to fit a desired narrative” – to which I would say, of course they were!

I would even say that the very allegation by the unnamed source from PGI is guilty of all of the above. The allegations provides “incomplete data”, is “creatively selected and edited to fit [1MDB’s] desired narrative”!

There was not even any mention, whether by Petrosaudi, 1MDB or PGI on what exactly has been edited, or worse, tampered by any party. Was the joint venture agreements wickedly doctored? Were key words in the emails replaced other malicious words? Or where all of the above complete works of fiction?

Therefore Dato’ Seri Zahid Hamidi has no right to abuse his powers to threaten any media agency in Malaysia to stop the criticism of 1MDB, especially in the light of all the subsequent corroborating evidence which has been discovered – such as the fact that there was no “cash” in the BSI Bank of Singapore, the fact that 1MDB was unable to repay even a RM2 billion loan which was due in November 2014, or the fact that 1MDB overpaid for its energy assets.

Instead, the best way for Petrosaudi or 1MDB to debunk, once and for all, all the various allegations published and exposed by The Sarawak Report or any other media organisations, is to provide the proof to the contrary.

1MDB unfortunately, has made absolutely no attempt to do so. Since January 2015 when the first incriminating documents first surfaced on The Sarawak Report, 1MDB has made no attempt to produce evidence and documents to prove the allegations in The Sarawak Report as false.

They have not even verbally denied the specifics of the exposes like the fact that 1MDB top management signed a US$1 billion investment in the 1MDB Petrosaudi joint venture within 5 days of meeting Petrosaudi. There was no denial that US$700 million and subsequently another US$550 million was transferred to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by Jho Low. 1MDB to date, has been unable to provide anyone with information on what exactly did they invest US$2.318 billion in the Cayman Islands, since redeemed and substantially spent, with the balance kept as mysterious “units” in BSI Bank Singapore.

In fact, the publisher of The Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle, even taunted all the relevant parties to sue her in the Court of Law if she has misrepresented any emails or documents in her website. There was no attempt by Petrosaudi, 1MDB or Jho Low to do so. All we get is meek and general denials, merely brushing aside the very serious allegations as “tampered information”.

Come on, 1MDB. Man up, or own up. Stop hiding underneath the Government skirt pleading secrecy while threatening to abuse its powers.

Tony Pua

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