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10 APRIL 2024

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Foreign interference in 1MDB and Malaysia? Nonsense

Going by Asean standards of foreign intervention, since when did the opposition receive a single dollar from any of the foreign investigations into 1MDB?
Rais-Hussin-1mdb-1By Rais Hussin
Not everyone in Umno or PAS is a bad apple. Only the top layer of leaders who have sold their souls to money politics, where cash is king, can be defined as the rotten elements.
Of course, those who maintain that the fish hasn’t rotted at the head are living in their warped reality. RTM1, RTM2 and TV3 are, of course, there to help. Their discourses and narratives try to maintain the innocence of the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
This leads us to the argument peddled by Umno and PAS bloggers in the pay of the government that the opposition is inviting foreign intervention over 1MDB, and by extension, Malaysia. This is sheer nonsense. Absolute nonsense.
Foreign intervention, as defined by member states of Asean since its founding on August 8, 1967, implies that no member state can support the opposition of another member state in cash or in kind. In other words, the Thai government, for example, cannot support the opposition of Cambodia. And Malaysia cannot support the opposition in Indonesia. Other than this proviso, Malaysia is free to criticise other member states, just as other member states can criticise Malaysia.
When there is a forest fire in Indonesia, Malaysia does not intervene in the haze coming from Sumatra. But, together with Singapore, Malaysia can exert peer pressure to prevent the fire from spreading. In the case of 1MDB, the proverbial fire has refused to stop since 2009. This is because foreign countries have kept discovering evidence about MO1, spouse of MO1, stepson of MO1, and Jho Low and gang.
Going by Asean standards of foreign intervention, since when did the opposition receive a single dollar from any one of the foreign investigations into 1MDB? There are currently six on-going investigations with various indictments and fines.
All six plan to return the stolen funds back to the treasury of Malaysia — not the coffers of the opposition.
Thus, the argument that the Malaysian opposition is in cahoots with foreign powers is loose, lame and lax. The opposition is spending money to expose this mega corruption, not receiving any money.
If anything, it is Umno that has confessed to getting various forms of financial support from 1MDB.
When the left hand does not know what the right is doing, on more than one occasion, you have the key members of their leaderships being at cross purposes, too.
While PAS president Hadi Awang is against Pakatan Harapan, its deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man is quietly supporting it. The latter knows Pakatan Harapan is right.
Corruption that stinks to the high heavens has taken place under the watch of the Malaysian prime minister since 2009.
While Najib feigns ignorance, he has been generally silent on the whereabouts and sources of the 1MDB funds, which were spent and splurged in New York, leading to a trail of investigative reports by the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times.
Since the prime minister cum finance minister has been silent, those who want to ingratiate themselves to him have taken to speaking on his behalf.
Invariably, minions such as Mohd Puad Zakarshi, Rahman Dahlan, Salleh Keruak, backed by bloggers such as Raja Petra and Tunku Aziz, have jumped to defend the prime minister.
Little do they realise that the prime minister is actually throwing all of them under the bus. Well, if the opposition wins the next general election, all these liars and purveyors of untruths will be stripped bare.
Not only will they lose their positions in or out of the party, they will be asked to explain the very sources of the wealth that have maintained their operations of spin.
Nazri Aziz, the minister of tourism, has affirmed that each branch in Umno was entitled to RM50,000 each from Umno. If an Umno division has 200 branches, each division would be entitled to RM10 million. In the case of Nazri Aziz, he confessed that since his division only had 60 branches, he received RM3 million.
All this is fodder for investigations by various jurisdictions and countries. They are not foreign interventions. These are domestic prima facie evidence of serious misdoings, starting from the very top of Umno.
To be sure, key members of Umno and PAS are arguing that the opposition is treasonous. But isn’t PAS still in the opposition, too? By accusing the opposition of treason, isn’t it inflicting a gun shot on itself?
Besides, the popular vote of the people from 2008 and 2013 belong to the opposition. At more than 51%, the opposition would be in arrears if it did not pursue the 1MDB issue more vigorously.
The irony is, the foreign powers are investigating 1MDB with even more gusto, as 1MDB-related transactions corrupted the banking systems and financial laws.
Under the policy of “know thy customer,” the best private banking system does not allow anyone to waltz in with dollars of cash without questions being raised.
Thus the “Low” standards do not apply, period. Jho Low cannot, under any pretense, park billions of dollars in another banking system, either in the form of cash or assets or even paintings – for that matter, super expensive gems – with the aim of laundering them.
He has to explain the sources. The Malaysian government has to do the same and more since these are Malaysian funds.
Rais Hussin is a Supreme Council Member of Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM). He also heads the Policy and Strategy Bureau of PPBM. -FMT

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