Will the sixth Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have to spend the rest of his life in jail if former El Salvadoran President Elias Antonia Saca gets 10-year prison term for RM1.2 billion graft as Najib’s 1MDB corruption scandal runs into tens fo billions of ringgit!
It was reported today that a court in El Salvador had sentenced former president Saca to ten years in prison for diverting US$301 million (RM1.2 billion) from state coffers during his term and being guilty of the crimes of embezzlement, money, and asset laundering.
Saca’s former private secretary Elmer Charlaix was also sentenced to 10 years in prison for the same crimes, while the Communications Secretary Julio Rank, and the president of the state water company, Cesar Funes, were sentenced to five years in prison.
Saca was tried along with six of his collaborators in the public funds theft case.
In a plea-bargaining deal, the former El Salvador president agreed to having committed crimes of embezzlement, money, and asset laundering, in exchange for the 10-year term. He faced a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Saca also was directed to return to the state personally his share of the loot – or US$260.7 million.
All over the world, there is a war against corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering.
Malaysia is no exception and is in fact in the thick of the war against corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering and the only question is whether can follow up on the historic milestone of May 9, 2018 in bringing about a peaceful and democratic transition of power with another world-class coup – the transformation of a global kleptocracy into a leading nation of integrity!
The test of the second historic milesone is how the the international 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal, which the US Attorney-General Jeff Sessions had told an international conference as “kleptocracy at its worst”, could be exposed, exorcised and those guilty for the heinous crimes of 1MDB corruption, embezzlement and money-laundering brought to justice.
I am reading the second 1MDB book to be published this month, Clare Rewcastle Brown’s “The Sarawak Report – the Inside Story of the 1MDB Expose”.
It is most shocking and a shame and infamy to all Malaysians that former British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, in a foreword to the book, described the 1MDB scandal as the “theft of the century”, where “billions of the Malaysian people’s money gone missing during a ten-year binge”.
Gordon Brown said the 1MDB “is not just a morality tale about corruption in high places” but “a morality tale about how what has become the economic jungle of modern globalisation costs ordinary citizens billions in lost income, lost services and lost savings when the transactions of a ruling clique are not subject to cross-border rules governing proper behaviour”.
He said that in the 1MDB scandal, “the wealth of the Malaysian people – accumulated in the fund 1MDB and personally under the control of Prime Minister Najib Razak – was sent out of Malaysia and round the world, flowing into shell companies in Curacao, the British Virgin Islands, the Seychelles, the Cayman Islands and many other tax shelters and havens, the sole purpose being to disguise what is alleged in indictments by US prosecutors to be the plundering of the nation’s wealth”.
Gordon Brown wrote: “In recent years there have been two notorious cases of wrongdoing at the highest level: Malaysia’s 1MDB and Brazil’s Petrobas. Both expose the loopholes in the way we manage globalisation. But the Malaysian 1MDB theft – with its global scope and scale, and its geopolitical fallout – has reached even deeper than the oil company scandal that has engulfed Brazil.
”What happened at 1MDB reflects the way modern globalisation can work to aid, rather than prevent, wrongdoing – not only enabling money to be sent at speed, at the flick of a switch, from place to place and to any and all corners of the world, but also enriching secretive tax havens operating questionable practices to hide assets and so disguise the real patterns of ownership and all too often to hide criminal acts.”
Clare launched her book in Malaysia five days ago. Why the thunderous silence from Najib to Clare’s book and Gordon Brown’s indictment, when Najib takes to his blog daily?