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Monday, December 9, 2019

1MDB untruths and unbelievable statements



As US and British soldiers moved into Iraq during the war in April 2003, Saddam Hussein’s faithful minister of information, Mohammad Said Sahhaf, kept the world entertained with his statements on the state of the war.
He earned the monikers Comical Ali and Baghdad Bob for his wild claims and colourful verses made while Iraq was being invaded and overrun.
Sahhaf’s infamous quotes included: “Now even the American command is under siege. We are hitting it from the north, east, south and west. We chase them here and they chase us there. But in the end, we are the people who are laying siege to them. And it is not them who are besieging us.
“I can say, and I am responsible for what I am saying, that they have started to commit suicide under the walls of Baghdad. We will encourage them to commit more suicides quickly.

“God will roast their stomachs in hell at the hands of Iraqis.”
Looking back, Malaysia too had its fair share of Comical Alis and Kuala Lumpur Bobs after the Asian Wall Street Journal reported in 2015 that 1MDB funds had ended up in Najib Razak’s bank account.
Almost all party leaders and some supporters reacted a’la Comical Ali.
Short of using colourful language, the untruths and unbelievable statements they made to deceive the nation are being revealed as evidence in court cases continue to appear in public domain.
With Najib (above) seeking re-election in 2018 and the BN wanting to extend its 61-year rule, no stone was left unturned as the party machinery and its propaganda arm rolled out its array of statements, declarations and, of course, testimonials of “truth and integrity”.
Doubters and critics were sent to the sin bin and demonised almost daily as Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other leaders encountered harsh criticism and unsubstantiated claims.
Some were statements of convenience, others were made as a sense of loyalty but most were utter lies.
We can take consolation that at least one was made out of compulsion.
We now look back at those tumultuous days when even printing or mentioning the word “1MDB” was taboo in the mainstream print and electronic media.
These “Comical Ali moments” were sourced from a variety of newspapers, news portals and blog sites.
The list is not exhaustive and this is merely a selection which will enable us to look back and laugh at the whoppers they told us.
Zahid Hamidi: I met the donors
Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (above) said he met the wealthy Arab family who had donated the US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) that was channelled into Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank account.
He said the “king and prince”, whom he did not name, had donated the money because of Malaysia’s commitment to fighting terrorism and being a moderate Muslim country with a plural society.
“Those were the answers given to me when I asked them the reason for their donation. They have also helped other Islamic countries.
“I saw the documents myself - the original documents, not photostated ones, and I also saw the money trail,” Zahid added.
Naina Merican: No cover-up by PAC
Former Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Reezal Merican Naina Merican gave an assurance that there would be no cover-up of any information in the investigation into 1MDB.
He said PAC was established based on openness and transparency as its members comprised not only BN parliamentary members but also those from the opposition parties.
The committee, Reezal Merican he said, comprised almost 30 members, taking into account representatives and officers from the Auditor-General’s Department and from the Finance Ministry.
“The information received by each and every member is the same. When a particular matter is tabled, all the members will know about it.
“How can there be a conspiracy, if there are 30 people, to cover-up or lie about a case, including the 1MDB issue? As such, I can assure that there will be no room for covering-up on sensitive issues like 1MDB.”
Rahman Dahlan: 1MDB made profits from PSI deal
BN’s strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan (above) said 1MDB had invested US$1.9 billion in Petro Saudi International (PSI) and the returns from the investment earned the national company profits of US$488 million.
The total investment in PSI, as well as profits acquired by 1MDB, according to him, were included in the national company’s audited statement of accounts.
“I do not understand why some still say the 1MDB funds in PSI were lost when the investment generated by 1MDB in PSI is very profitable,” Rahman said.
Salleh: Najib an 'honest and transparent' leader
Sabah Umno deputy chief Salleh Said Keruak defended Najib Razak in the row over the RM2.6 billion donation, saying his party president had proven himself to be “honest and transparent”.
“To me, it is important now to have continuous clarification to the party members, right down to the grassroots to prevent any confusion or misunderstanding,” he said.
Salleh said critics who have made baseless accusations that the RM2.6 billion had been fraudulently deposited into Najib’s accounts were merely voicing their personal opinions. 
Nazri: Najib 'a victim of double standards'
Umno Supreme Council member Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz (above) saw nothing wrong in party donations being transferred into Najib Razak’s personal account.
“It’s not fair to him. If (someone) gives donations, there is nothing wrong,” he said.
Nazri said the RM2.6 billion donation deposited into Najib’s personal account, was from a “brotherly nation”, adding that this would not make it susceptible to meddling from the Middle East.
Najib’s son defends daddy
Najib Razak’s son has implored Malaysians to stop attacking his father, saying that it will only hurt the country.
Describing the attacks as personal, Mohd Nazifuddin said the allegations levelled against his father would cause the people to suffer.
He said the personal attacks against Najib would only bring hardship to the people because it would not improve the country, and instead worsen the situation.
“The loss of confidence (in Najib) would cause people to become willing to ‘sacrifice’ the country simply to topple the prime minister.
“This is because foreign investors would be too afraid to invest because they don’t think the country is stable, and this, in turn, causes the value of our currency to drop and affect the whole economy,” Nazifuddin reportedly said.
Arul Kanda: Not a sen from 1MDB to Najib
Former 1MDB president and CEO Arul Kanda Kandasamy denied claims of money from the state firm being transferred to Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts.
“1MDB has never transferred even a single sen into the prime minister’s personal accounts,” he said.
Arul Kanda said the public’s understanding of the issue had improved due to explanations that were given during the town hall sessions. But, he said, since early this year, the opposition has been “recycling old news” about the company.
Tunku Aziz: 1MDB a ‘non-issue’
The scandal of 1MDB is a “non-issue” twisted by Dr Mahathir Mohamad in order to elevate his son Mukhriz Mahathir to prime ministership.
Former DAP leader Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim (above) made this claim and added: “In hindsight, 1MDB was a non-issue, stirred and twisted by Mahathir to serve his political agenda of bringing down a constitutionally-elected prime minister as part of a larger plan to put his unremarkable son Mukhriz as a candidate for the nation’s highest public office.
Khairy: Donation came from Umno supporters
The RM2.6 billion donation deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s private bank accounts came from Umno supporters, said party Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.
“I was made to understand the contribution came from supporters and donors. We hold on to MACC’s (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's) statement that the donation came from donors and supporters,” he said.
MACC: Money came from donations
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has found that the RM2.6 billion purportedly deposited into Najib Abdul Razak’s personal bank accounts came from donations.
“The investigation report related to the RM2.6 billion has been referred to the attorney-general.
“Investigations have found the RM2.6 billion which was allegedly deposited into the prime minister’s accounts is the contribution of donors and not from 1MDB funds,” the commission said in a statement.

R NADESWARAN says Malaysians have to look back at the dark days when non-truths were stuffed down our throats and when there was no room for dissent. Comments: citizen.nades22@gmail.com - Mkini

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