Saturday, July 25, 2015

Do What Is Right For The Rakyat !

Are there no Ministers with any integrity and moral conscience left in the Cabinet?

As darkness descends over the country when the powers that be abuses the country’s laws to protect the despicable criminals, is there no integrity and moral conscience left in any of the 30-odd Cabinet Ministers?

The country’s most established and reputable financial newspaper group, The Edge had two of their publications suspended yesterday. The Ministry of Home Affairs stated that The Edge weekly and The Financial Daily were "prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest".

They were not informed of any specific instance where their reporting were allegedly prejudicial to “public order” or “national interest”. Malaysians can only guess, in all likelihood correctly, that it is due to their coverage and exposés over the RM42 billion 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.

Similarly earlier on Monday, the Government blocked the Sarawak Report website which was responsible for the exposé of the joint venture agreement between 1MDB and Petrosaudi International Limited as well as other incriminating emails and documents relating to the above transactions.

The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) even admitted that the website was blocked as a preventive measure despite not having any proof of wrongdoing by the website.

On Wednesday this week, I became possibly the first Member of Parliament in the history of Malaysia to be barred from leaving the country for unknown reasons. Again, I can only guess that it is due to my strident criticisms of the Najib administration over its management of 1MDB. In fact, if the Malaysiakini police source is to be believed, outrageous as it may be, I’m actually being investigated under Criminal Penal Code for carrying out “activities detrimental to Parliamentary democracy”.

All of the above draconian actions, perhaps with more to come, are carried out despite the clear facts which have been established against 1MDB. Despite previous assurances to the contrary, the Malaysian government was forced to grant 1MDB an emergency loan of RM950 million to service its mountain of debt in February this year. Subsequently in March, the Government gave 1MDB another “letter of support” which effectively guaranteed another RM540 million of loans from Bank Exim.

More recently in June, the Ministry of Finance had to be a party to an agreement with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) to indemnify the latter of its advances of at least US$1 billion to 1MDB. This desperate move was done to enable 1MDB to repay its US$975 million debt to a consortium of lenders led by Deutsche Bank.

All of the above proved beyond doubt that 1MDB has been disastrously managed. Documents which were leaked and published widely, only provided additional corroborating evidence of misappropriation, embezzlement and criminal breach of trust.

Hence, questions have been asked by many as to how the exposé of a multi-billion ringgit financial scandal of a wholly-owned Government subsidiary against national interest? The only way it could be against national interest if it were based on lies and fabricated information.

But if all these documents were indeed lies and fabricated information, why has 1MDB never disputed them and provided the undoctored versions? As the 1MDB imbroglio boiled over, there was never once 1MDB specifically refuted the allegations by The Edge, or the Sarawak Report or myself. The 1MDB executives have at best provided blanket or vague denials.

As a matter of fact, 1MDB President even lied to Malaysians that there was US$1.1 billion of cash sitting in a bank in Singapore, when in reality it was merely illiquid assets presented as “units” of indeterminate value.

Surely, we can expect some of the Ministers in the Cabinet, especially those who appear to be more intelligent like UMNO Youth Chief, Khairy Jamaluddin or Pemandu CEO, Datuk Idris Jala to see through the façade of lies and realise the sheer scale of shenanigans committed in 1MDB.

However, despite some presence of intelligence, there is clearly no moral conscience or integrity left in the souls of these Ministers. They may not be stupid, but they no longer care for what is right or wrong.

It appears to matter not that the country is being robbed, and the eye-witnesses and whistleblowers are being shackled and punished. They will not speak against corruption and injustice because they are only interested in preserving their own political status and power.

Tony Pua

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