Friday, July 24, 2015

Rahman Dahlan's Not Very Strategic Strategies Against Me

It is laughable how Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan has to continuously shift goal posts in his attacks against me, each time after getting eggs on his face.

First Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan did his chicken dance to insinuate that I had met Xavier Justo without the courage to accuse me directly of meeting Justo in Fullerton Hotel in Singapore to alleged fabricate documents against 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Suddenly this line of attack goes quiet after I showed my passport which had only one stamp to Singapore over the past year on 19 March 2015, well after the documents were leaked by Sarawak Report at the end of February. (I was no where near Fullerton Hotel either, by the way.)

Then there was the cock-sure press conference where the BN Strategic Communications Director “dropped a bombshell”, as reported by The Star, when he claimed to have seen a video confession by an individual allegedly involved in falsifying information contained in media reports on 1MDB.

Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan said the complainant, Lester Melanyi claimed to have substantive evidence of malicious intent on the parties involved in executing a mission dubbed "Mission to Criminalise Datuk Seri Najib and 1MDB".

But that too ended up with more eggs on the Minister’s face as not only was Lester paid for his “confession”, Lester was a bankrupt and the information was fabricated to include a “master forger” who was really a transport company employee in Norwich.

After days of bravado over the video, the Strategic Communications Director finally accepted his strategic errors and ditched his video attacks on the critics.

Yesterday, Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan shifted the goal post again, this time, calling me “a prophet of doom”. I must say, I was somewhat stunned when he raised the matter that I had warned of the economic impact of Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary’s market dominance and cumulative debt in his companies.

He took issue what what I argued “that the Syed Mokhtar business empire's debt of RM34.3 billion could "genuinely cause fears of bailouts with taxpayer money". I said this fear was "especially real in the light of a global economic slowdown and a fallout from the Eurozone financial crisis". I had warned the government that "in the event of default, the rakyat's monies would not be made to pay for the follies of BN cronies".

I’m responding to him now asking, what’s wrong with my statement? The debts are huge and some of his companies such as Proton, are desperately seeking support, directly or indirectly from the Government. If an economic crisis hits Malaysia, the there is no doubt that a massive bailout will be required, just like what happened to UMNO-controlled Renong Bhd in the 1990s which had RM28 billion of debt.

But even without a crisis, the people are suffering from high prices due to monopoly of the rice and sugar trade. In fact, the rakyat has to foot increased taxes in the form of GST because the Government has awarded many directly-negotiated sweetheart deals to Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar’s companies, for example, the ultra-lucrative RM7.55 billion contract to supply of armoured personnel carriers.

Hence I absolutely standby everything which I’ve criticized on the Syed Mokhtar deals which are still published on my blog today.

At the same time, I’ve been questioning the highly dubious 1MDB transactions since March 2010 as well. Is the Minister serious suggesting that the RM42 billion indebted company isn’t doomed without a monster bailout from the Federal Government?

Was I not right to argue that the mounting debt was unsustainable? Isn’t it true to say that had the Government listened to the 1MDB critics way back in 2011 and 2012, the scandal-ridden company may not have needed such a massive bailout today?

So, Dato’ Seri Rahman Dahlan, what’s your point? Or you had none? Or that you merely want to distract attention from the Prime Minister who has yet to admit or deny that he had received nearly US$700 million in his personal bank account?

Tony Pua

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