The former Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has become Malaysia’s most prolific FaceBook user.
In the last seven days, he had 35 FaceBook postings, averaging five a day – ranging from three to seven postings a day.
But he condemned himself on the 1MDB kleptocracy by his thunderous silence on Edge Media Group chairperson Datuk Tong Kooi Ong’s revelations five days ago rubbishing Najib’s claims of ignorance over the 1MDB scandal.
Tong claimed that in 2015, he had personally informed Najib of evidence that fugitive financier Low Taek Jho was running a scam with 1MDB, only to be kicked out of the then-premier’s home.
Tong said the meeting with Najib on the night of March 6, 2015, was arranged by an Umno MP.
“I met Najib in the living room. It was just us.
“He started by telling me The Edge was wrong, and that the problems of 1MDB were its business model of carrying too much debt. There was no theft of money.
“I told him otherwise. I shared with him information that I believed was proof that it was all a scam, with Low at the centre of it. I explained how the accounts were made up to report a profit, and why I believed the cash was all gone.
“After about half an hour, he relented and told me he would shut down 1MDB. He didn’t say what he was going to do about the debts.
“I then proceeded to tell Najib that Jho Low must be held accountable and be prosecuted. This upset him. He immediately stood up, walked to the door and asked me to leave.
“I was taken aback that he was so sensitive about Low.”
Tong had spoken out in response to Najib’s claim that Low may have cheated 1MDB, but maintained that he was ignorant of any wrongdoings that may have transpired at the time.
In his silence, Najib had indirectly confirmed Tong’s revelations. In fact, Najib now claims that he never said he was cheated by Jho Low.
Najib has still to come clean to a question I had posed about his various meetings with Jho Low, especially the number of secret rendezvous he had with Jho Low outside Malaysia after the 13th General Election in 2013.
During my visit to New Zealand in September, I had also posed the question whether out of the two, Najib and Jho Low, who will be the first to betray the other in the 1MDB “worst case of kleptocracy”!
Najib silence to Tong’s revelations cannot be more revealing about Najib’s legacy as the global kleptocrat instead of being Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Let us give Najib a final chance to defend himself to Tong’s charges. Tong said that the Edge’s front-page allegation in 2015 that Jho Low stole US$1.83 billion, supported by a money trail showing cash transfers into bank accounts, spooked Najib into suspending the Edge. Tong and The Edge publisher Datuk Ho Kay Tat were investigated by the police for economic sabotage and Tong was barred from leaving the country.
As Tong said: “Najib knew what Jho Low did. We provided the evidence and he shut us down to shut us up.”
Let us hear from Najib.