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Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cabinet must emulate Hussein Onn’s integrity, says Kit Siang

The DAP leader says Hussein’s son, defence minister Hishammuddin, was wrong in asserting that the latest DoJ filing would divert attention from the government’s larger agenda.
lim-kit-siang-doj-1PETALING JAYA: DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang wants the federal cabinet to make the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) latest court filings related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) a priority agenda in its next meeting.

The Gelang Patah MP said the 36 ministers need to live up to the integrity of the late former prime minister Hussein Onn who led the country from 1976 to 1981 and whose son Hishammuddin Hussein is today a part of the cabinet lineup.
Calling the 251-page document in the legal suit “a shocker of shockers”, he said the ministers need to decide how to cleanse and purge Malaysia in light of the allegations made.
He claimed that it revealed not only a “complex web of deceit and treachery in stealing billions of ringgit of 1MDB funds for personal and private use and aggrandisement, but (also) the depths of depravity some Malaysians had been prepared to descend to steal and lavish on themselves billions of ringgit of public funds from the 1MDB scam.”
“I call for a nation-wide people’s campaign for the collective resignation of the cabinet if the 36 ministers cannot do anything at its meeting,” he said, adding that Malaysia needed to be cleared of the “ignominy and infamy” of being regarded as a global kleptocracy.
“Ministers who have not read the updated DoJ’s 251-page kleptocratic action against 1MDB by Wednesday’s cabinet meeting should identify themselves, for clearly they are not fit to be in the cabinet,” he said in a statement today.
The DAP parliamentary leader also asked if there are any “modern-day Hussein Onns” in the current cabinet, referring to the third prime minister who he said had an impeccable personal integrity and abhorrence of corruption.
He added that Hishammuddin, who is the defence minister, was wrong in asserting on Friday that the DoJ filing would divert attention from the government’s larger agenda.
“Hishammuddin could not be more wrong, for there can be no bigger agenda in Malaysia than to ensure that democracy in Malaysia does not mutate into a kleptocracy, and the national imperative to uphold integrity in public life,” he said.
Lim claimed that Hussein would have agreed with him.
“I have no doubt that if Malaysia had been accused of being a ‘global kleptocracy’ when Hussein was prime minister, he would have made it his top agenda to resolve the matter,” he said.
Hussein would also have had no hesitation in tendering his resignation as prime minister if he was unable to clear the nation of such “infamy and ignominy”, Lim added.
“Does Hishammuddin agree with me, or am I wrong in attributing such qualities of uncompromising commitment to public integrity to his father, the third prime minister of Malaysia?”
He said Malaysians will know soon whether there are any patriotic ministers who are prepared to make a principled stand to quit if the cabinet is unable or unprepared to respond honourably in the matter.
He said no loyal and patriotic Malaysian can read the legal document without “intense shame, consternation and horror.”
He claimed that it represented the nation’s greatest shame in its 60-year history since independence.
In its court filing in California on June 5, the DoJ is seeking to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets, including art works, jewellery, a luxury yacht and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
The assets named in the applications included the film rights to the two comedies “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey and “Daddy’s Home” featuring Will Ferrell.
The action follows last July’s civil forfeiture suit by the DoJ which sought to recover all the assets including but not limited to the Park Lane Hotel in New York, a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, condominiums in New York, a private jet and expensive works of art, as well as finances related to Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street” starring Leonardo DiCaprio. -FMT

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