While I was explaining to my wife about the latest spin to the 1MDB scandal, I overheard a conversation which touched on Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.
I turned around, and interrupted their conversation briefly. Suddenly, one of them snapped: “He thinks Malaysians are all stupid.” I could only nod in agreement. Since the 1MDB scandal was highlighted by Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his men have been spinning out one story after another.
All along, they have been saying that there was such a huge donation made by a royal family in Saudi Arabia. No further details were provided; then, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that he met with the donor on Aug 23 last year.
Still, no identity of the donor was revealed until attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali disclosed that it was the late King Abdullah – who had in fact passed away on Jan 23. Where then, did Zahid meet the late monarch?
I can imagine that Zahid’s face had turned red when Apandi named the monarch. Because it was ridiculed so much in both the social media and a number of news reports, now we are hearing from Apandi again that it was the late King Abdullah’s son who was the donor.
No motive needed?
All well, and good, but I still find it amusing that – despite this being a case which has attracted public interest – Apandi, as the AG, did not want to know the motive behind the ‘donation’ since it could be within the definition of corruption.
As spelt out under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009, donations can be a form of corruption. For this reason, civil servants themselves are forbidden to accept any form of donation or gifts.
More so, with such a huge sum of money – it certainly warrants further investigation. Why is Apandi so anxious to close the MACC file on Najib even before all the answers are given? It just does not make sense at all!
Could this even be a case of money laundering involving a political party? Or maybe the son of King Abdullah himself? Was the money transferred into Najib’s account to help him launder the money, as if there had been some form of business transaction?
One other speculation that I’ve heard from the grapevine, is that the money could have been dividends from a bigger amount of money “invested” in the Middle East, with certain individuals.
Unless the truth is disclosed by the AG himself, people will continue to speculate and ask questions that are related to the huge donation which went into Najib’s personal accounts.
We want to know which son of King Abdullah had been the generous donor, because Apandi was the one who first told us that the donor was none other than King Abdullah; otherwise, we may have to ask, “Who’s next, who will be the likely donor? The late King Abdullah’s Siamese cat?”
The leaking of official secrets – if it involves military strategies – is understandably a very serious matter; but the leaking of business transactions involving public servants is a necessity to ensure that there is always a good check-and-balance.
If information does not leak out, how would we ever know about the troubled 1MDB? Do we wait till the eleventh hour before being told that the country is going bust? Or that 1MDB has already lost more than RM100 million, due to some poor management?
We certainly cannot afford not to know. The public has the right to information.
The state of Selangor has led the way by implementing its Freedom of Information Act. There is no reason why the federal government cannot emulate Selangor, unless its politicians do not want their deeds carried out in darkness to be exposed. – Malaysiakini
STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008.