Plans by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in the Ramadan month for a rescue and re-make of his image in readiness for the 14th General Election were blown apart by Najib’s and the country’s two largest financial scandals – the RM50 billion 1MDB international money-laundering scandal and the RM13 billion Felda Group Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) scandal.
As a result, the possibility of general elections being held after the SEA Games from August 19 – 30 and the 60th National Day celebrations on August 31, 2017 have dimmed, while the chances of the 14th General Elections being held next year have increased although I would not completely rule out the possibility of polls at the end of this year.
The FGV and 1MDB twin scandals have spoiled Najib’s carefully choreographed strategy to present himself as a “statesman” Prime Minister, respected by the nation and the world, and who deserve to win the next general elections with a two-thirds parliamentary majority.
They are indeed the latest living examples of the saying, “Man Proposes, God Disposes”.
The updated and expanded 251-page United States Department of Justice (DOJ) kleptocratic suit to forfeit some US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets arising from some US$4.5 billion 1MDB money-laundering and embezzlement has done irreparable damage to the reputation of both the Prime Minister and the nation.
Two days ago, I asked the Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali whether he had read the ten “killer paragraghs” in US DOJ’s updated and expanded kleptocratic brief against 1MDB about Najib’s infamous RM2.6 billion donation in his personal Ambank accounts before he dismissed the updated DOJ suit as nothing new and expressed his regret about “insinuations” against the Prime Minister – as the DOJ suit clearly linked Najib to the 1MDB international laundering scandal.
In fact, the updated and expanded DOJ suit smashed into smithereens the lengthy Najib pretence that the RM2.6 billion donations into his personal Ambank accounts were from a Saudi Arabia royal family, for the entire trail of money of the RM2.6 billion donations were uncovered and traced, from:
(a) the misappropriation and fraudulent diversion of US$1.26 billion to TANORE account in Singapore in proceeds from the third US$3 billion bond offering arranged by Goldman Sachs on March 19, 2013;
(b) the transfer of US$681 million (or RM2.6 billion) to the Ambank account of MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1 on March 21, 2013 and March 25, 2013;
(c) The return of US$620 million from another Najib’s Ambank account to TANORE on August 26, 2013; and
(d) The use of the 1MDB funds in the TANORE account by Jho Low and co-conspirators to purchase artwork and properties for their personal benefit, including the purchase of a 22-carat pink diamond necklace for the “wife of Malaysian Official 1” for the price of US$27.4 million.
The DOJ kleptocratic suit not only smashed to smithereens the Najib pretence that the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) was from a Saudi Arabia royalty, it also established that Attorney-General Apandi himself was not telling the truth when he characterized in the press statement in January 2016 that the payment of US$681 million was a “personal donation to [MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL 1] from the Saudi royal family, which was given to him without any consideration”.
Would Apandi know retract his January 2016 statement characterizing the payment of US$681 million as a “personal donation from the Saudi royal family”, when it was stolen from the 1MDB funds according to the DOJ action?
In fact, Apandi should now be asked, before he dismissed the updated and expanded DOJ kleptocratic suit as nothing new, whether he had asked the “wife of MO1” whether the account in the updated DOJ kleptocratic suit (Para 847 – 863) about Jho Low’s gift of a US$27.3 million 22-carat pink diamond necklace to “the wife of MO1” was true version of what happened in 2013/14, and where is now the 22 carat pink diamond necklace?
The Malaysian public would like to know whether any Minister would be asking questions about the expanded and updated US DOJ kleptocratic suit against 1MDB-linked assets in the forthcoming Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.