The Opposition incessantly is manipulating issues for the purpose of demonisation, which had been their strategy to get the rakyat to oust the ruling Barisan National (BN) Government, like throwing questions without the intention of getting the answers or acquiring proper facts.
Minister of Finance II Dato’ Sri Johari Abdul Ghani explained to DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo in the Dewan Rakyat that there are several investigations are being carried out simultaneously on several controversial 1MDB issues. The Opposition are in cohort with some foreign media, have been spinning the commercial problems in 1MDB as ‘scandalous’,
Infact MOF II claimed that the issues of the strategic investment corporation “It is the most investigated case”. Gobind manipulated Johari’s letter to DAP Chief Strategist Tony Pua, in relation to call of the latter to declassify all documents and reports pertaining to the 1MDB issues and cases.
MOF II answer to Petaling Jaya Utara MP Pua:
1. Tony Pua has of late accused me of many things, being a liar, for one thing and now in his FB page, he accused me of covering up for the prime minister and also that I was trying to pull a fast one over the rakyat on the 1MDB issue.
2. As we know, 1MDB began as a very noble idea – to go into a massive scale enterprise which no private sector entity would dare to venture into so that we could have an enormous push for our economy. But alas, things did not go as planned and we are now saddled with this issue.
I believe that no problem should just be left to resolve itself; positive and proactive steps must be taken to address it and though 1MDB is not an enviable problem to resolve, but as they say, it came with the job. I could always just leave the job if I don’t like it – after all, no one forced me to do it but I knew then that it would be wholly irresponsible for me to shirk off this responsibility and opportunity to serve the nation, the very nation that I owe much of my success so far due to the many opportunities given by it.
With the experience that I have in the corporate world for the last 25 years, l intend to help to resolve this issue the best way that I can whilst bearing in mind at all times that the support letters/guarantees issued by the government to 1MDB still remain enforceable. To a certain extent, resolving the 1MDB issue is also crucial to uphold our credibility as a nation in the eyes of the world.
3. The 1MDB issue has been extensively deliberated by all parties and I must say that I have never seen or experienced anything of the sort where almost all the agencies, ranging from the police, MACC, Bank Negara Malaysia, the auditor-general, the public accounts committee and the attorney-general, scrutinised the 1MDB issue in extensive depth and all at the same time.
Never before have I seen or experienced anything resembling the effort or the interest put into dissecting and scrutinising 1MDB, not only by us Malaysians but also by the United States, Switzerland, Singapore and other financial centres of the world.
Despite all these, we still do not have a “complete picture” of what happened to 1MDB and why, until today, none of these jurisdictions have taken specific charge against 1MDB or its employees on the criminal aspect of the case. Even the actions taken by the Singapore government were only in respect of the non-compliance of their banking laws.
4. Even the United States’ Department of Justice (DOJ) couldn’t come up with any solid proof to prosecute any individual on criminal charges in relation to 1MDB. What the DOJ did was to freeze assets allegedly belonging to certain individuals connected to 1MDB in the hope that by freezing the assets, the owners will come forward and disclose to the DOJ how the massive assets could be accumulated without going through the US’ stringent protective laws.
5. As far as the government is concerned, there is nothing to hide and nothing to cover up. The fact is that, and I know Pua being a PAC member knows it himself. There is no clear-cut evidence to bring any criminal action against anybody for the 1MDB case at the moment.
Otherwise, I am sure that the police, MACC, Bank Negara Malaysia, the auditor-general, the public accounts committee and the attorney-general would have taken action against the responsible individuals. The only conclusions that I can make from the PAC report are that 1MDB suffered from poor corporate governance, wrong business model and weak management. I have much faith in our judicial system and I believe that if there be any proof that may be uncovered later, justice will prevail and those responsible will be taken to task. Meanwhile, let us allow these agencies to continue with their investigations, without fear or favour.
6. I want to ask Pua – so, what do you expect us to do in the meantime? Do we hold off all our development programmes and initiatives until someone is finally charged in the criminal courts for 1MDB?
Do we wait for the country to collapse?
Do we wait for the country to collapse and lose all of its credibility in the eyes of the world through incessant condemnations and criticisms from within and without? Will we wait for the opposition to be satisfied when they take over the country before we move forward? Do we stop everything just to live up to the opposition’s seeming wish that we become a “pariah nation” and then only pick up the pieces to rebuild the country and shape it into the mould that the opposition wants at the expense of the rakyat? Is that what the opposition or Pua wants?
7. We have in the past lost more than RM30 billion in our Forex (foreign exchange market) misadventure. In fact, we were not really aware of the extent of the Forex scandal until recently, when it surfaced. We also lived through the Perwaja Steel scandal, where we reportedly lost billions of ringgit and finally the operation was closed. The 1MDB issue cannot and must not be turned into a witch-hunt just so that we can appease certain pockets of the society. We need to be thorough and we need to be fair. We need to be patient and time will reveal the truth.
8. Pua, yes, I was very critical of 1MDB when I was a backbencher but at that time I was not privy to detailed information on 1MDB. When I became acquainted with the facts, I realised that it would take more than just sentiments and perception to address the 1MDB issue. You were a member of the PAC and even you know that the PAC could not recommend the charging of any particular individual for criminal conduct in the 1MDB case due to lack of evidence.
What the Ministry of Finance (MoF) is currently doing now is exactly as what was recommended by the PAC. The MoF Inc has taken over the assets of 1MDB and this could not be done without taking over the liabilities connected to the assets. We need to do justice to the two pieces of land, i.e. the TRX land and the Bandar Malaysia land, by continuing to develop them and maximise the returns in order to pay the loans which will be settled in due time.
9. As for the dispute regarding the US$3.5 billion, which was paid to the IPIC group of companies by 1MDB, IPIC cannot continually deny that they have received the monies when 1MDB has already paid the same to them. I don’t think Malaysians in their right mind will want to just give up on that issue of the payment. This is why we are seeking arbitration to resolve the matter. This process too will take time.
10. As for the criminal actions that you have been clamouring for, in time, should any further solid proof surface, I can assure you that our justice system will take care of it. After all, in criminal cases, as you are well aware, there is no deadline for prosecution and there is no time bar. That is why the Forex losses scandal comes under the spotlight now.
11. Pua, you need to realise by now that you are foremost, a lawmaker, a Member of Parliament. You cannot continue to be a judge, jury or executioner or all of them in one. Though I am a junior in comparison to your tenure as MP, your behaviour in respect of the entire affair does not fit that of a lawmaker. The spectacle of name-calling, not only towards me but towards other members of the administration as well, is nothing less than embarrassing and demeaning to your standing as a Member of Parliament. Give it a rest. I am sure that the folks of Petaling Jaya Utara elected you as their MP to do better things than just being obsessed with 1MDB.
12. Pua, whatever you may call it, bailout, rescue or whatever; the primary concern is to resolve the 1MDB issue, mitigate the losses, limit the liability of the government and reduce the impact of 1MDB to our economy and future generations.
MOF II explained that he now has more information on 1MDB. It was known that chartered accountant turned corporate man Johari has been arguing about 1MDB as a “commercial problem” when he yet to join the Cabinet.
DAP Legal Bureau Chief Gobind demanded MOF II Johari whether Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak is a suspect to the 1MDB investigations.
Sparks fly over ‘is Najib a suspect in 1MDB probes’ poser
PARLIAMENT| A query on whether Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was a suspect in the probes related to 1MDB led to an heated argument between a minister and lawmaker.
It started when Gobind Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) posed the question to Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani.
At first, Johari said he did not have an answer to that question, but when pressed, told Gobind to meet him outside.
This angered the DAP legal bureau chief, who said that he wanted an answer in the House.
“You want to tell me the answer outside the House, that means you have an answer,” Gobind said.
The Opposition have been harping on the statement made by US Attorney General Loretta Lynch on 21 July 2016 on the complaints made insinuating that funds belonging to 1MDB have been embezzled and the Americans are committed to instigate this crime of “International conspiracy to launder funds stolen from 1MDB for personal gains”.
This include introduction of someone as “Malaysian Official 1” the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has yet to identify. The Opposition have been harping on this and throwing it against Prime Minister Najib as being the ‘MO 1’.
It has been eight months since AG Lynch’s statement on the ‘Kleptocracy initiative’ and yet till present day DoJ named the individual they identified as “MO 1”, nor explain the development of the investigations and workings of “More than USD3 billion of assets stolen from 1MDB, associated to international conspiracy to launder through American financial institutions”.
Gobind’s charge against MOF II Johari in Dewan Rakyat this afternoon is about committing the latter, to corroborate the Opposition’s incessant demonisation against Prime Minister Najib.
The Opposition have used AG Lynch’s announcement to pronounce that the Barisan National Government is practicing ‘Kleptocracy’.
Prime Minister Najib explained that the recent RM6 billion deal inked between Petronas and Saudi Aramco during the visit of King Salman, almost did not follow through because of the demonisation strategy by the Opposition. They have been painting the falsehood of the nation is going bankrupt.
Prime Minister Najib meant the Opposition including Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who has turned the obsessed personal agenda of over throwing the former even at the expense of the nation, into a nationwide political demonisation.
Earlier Prime Minister Najib made the call for Malaysians, especially the Opposition, to stop all the manipulation and lies for their demonisation political strategy, with actually turned into economic sabotage and hurting the nation.
NST online story:
Stop efforts to sabotage economy, Najib tells “certain quarters”
By MELISSA DARLYNE CHOW – March 20, 2017 @ 2:37pm
KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today called on “certain quarters” to stop their efforts at economic sabotage, in the interest of the nation.
Najib (BN-Pekan) said national interests should not be gambled with, in spite of differences in opinion among political parties.
“There are elements at play who use inaccurate and baseless facts to paint a bad picture of the country’s economic situation.
“This cannot go on. Even though there are differences in opinion, national interests cannot be gambled with in politics.
“This is very important. National interests must override everything else. There should not be such elements. Economic sabotage must be stopped,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Najib was responding to a supplementary question from Datuk Irmohizam Ibrahim (BN-Kuala Selangor), who had asked about measures being taken to stop economic sabotage by certain elements who want to tarnish the country’s image, and jeopardise the country’s economic stability.
Najib further stated that because of such elements, the country nearly lost RM31 billion in Saudi Aramco investments due to inaccurate facts being spread.
“Thankfully, we managed to convince (the Saudis) that the country’s economic situation is being addressed accordingly,” he added.
The Opposition have not been regarding any information to dispel their demonisation against Prime Minister Najib despite the developments against their notion have not been favourable with regards to their allegations.
January last year Attorney General Tan Sri Apandi Mohamed Ali declared that there would be more further action on the monies believed to be deposited into Prime Minister Najib account, based on MACC’s investigation which was submitted to the former on 31 December 2015.
AG Apandi also later in the year that there was no evidence of misappropriation in 1MDB.
The fact that the Opposition continues to demonise Prime Minister Najib despite the recent visit by King Salman Al Saud, which directly demonstrated the tightness relationship of the two leaders.
The Opposition have been incessantly lambasting Prime Minister Najib despite Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubair statement, “We are aware of the donation and nothing expected in return. We are fully aware that the Attorney General of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated and found no wrong to it. As far as we are concerned, the matter is closed” .
Indirectly, the donation which looms the basis of the demonisation against Prime Minister Najib is no longer valid.