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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Too little, too late for Najib to produce 'weak evidence'


MP SPEAKS | How low the mighty have fallen in a matter of four months.
In his nine years as the sixth prime minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak has achieved what the previous five Malaysian prime ministers, as well as prime ministers in other countries, have never done – losing credibility to near zero level.
In fact, Najib’s credibility has now reached such a low level that Utusan Malaysia, which had depended on him to keep it alive for nine years, blacked out the story of his production of documentsin an attempt to prove his claim about the former King of Saudi Arabia’s RM2.6 billion donation into his personal bank account.
The front-page stories of the Malay daily today are “Serah wang 1MDB – Mahkamah Singapura arah pulangkan RM45 juta” and “Muktamar bakal cipta sejarah PAS-UMNO” while there is no report of Najib’s documentary self-defence at all within its pages.
Even The Star, the newspaper of MCA, a loyal component party of Barisan Nasional when Najib was the prime minister and whose top leadership whether in cabinet, Parliament or government had aided and abetted him in the 1MDB corruption scandal bringing infamy to Malaysia as a global kleptocracy today, blacked out Najib’s attempt at self-exoneration and self-exculpation.
Only New Straits Times still loyally published Najib’s statement with a half-page report under the heading: “Saudi records revealed”, although this is relegated to page 5 instead of making front-page news (which would have been the case before May 9, 2018). Instead, NST’s front-page headline today is “Singapore to return RM46m”.
As veteran journalist R. Nadeswaran rightly pointed out in his opinion piece today, “Najib and his 'evidence'”:
It’s better to be late than never. But sometimes, procrastination on issues and taking time to put matters right would convey the wrong message. After months of silence when one source after another insinuates on impropriety, the inability to rebut instantaneously can only be read that that subsequent and delayed responses become indefensible.
Najib must explain why he allowed himself to be called a “pencuriperompakpenyagak and penyamun” worldwide for the past three years, demeaning not only the country's Prime Minister’s office, but the good name and reputation of the Malaysia to the world.
The truth of Najib’s integrity - whether or not the documentary self-defence presented by him deserves belief and credibility - lies in his preparedness and alacrity to defend his reputation and character.
Najib should explain why he failed to sue the Wall Street Journal which published the report in July 2015 that the RM2.6 billion in his personal bank account belonged to 1MDB, which was followed by major newspapers in the world.
It is not too late for him to sue the daily as civil defamation suits have a six-year statutory limitation.
Will Najib now sue WSJ?
The US Department of Justice (DoJ) largest kleptocratic litigation suit to forfeit US$1.7 billion out of US$4.5 billion 1MDB-linked assets allegedly money-laundered through the American financial and banking system, contained 10 “killer” paragraphs i.e. paragraphs 339 – 348 under the section “$681 million was transferred from the Tanore account to an account belonging to Malaysian Official 1” which directly linked Najib’s RM2.6 billion “donation” to 1MDB.
If this was untrue and defamatory, why has Najib failed to take action to defend the country’s honour and integrity at least, if he does not think much of his own honour and integrity?
It is too late now for Najib to unveil documents of unknown authenticity to disprove claims that the 1MDB money-laundering was one of the world’s worst cases of kleptocracy, but for Malaysians to be cleansed of the infamy, ignominy, and iniquity of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy because of the 1MDB scandal and a kleptocratic prime minister.

LIM KIT SIANG is the Gelang Patah MP -Mkini

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