KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — Perkasa urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and its purported RM42 billion debt.
The Malay rights lobby group noted that the state investment arm’s debt burden has raised questions among the public on whether financial mismanagement was involved.
“We are confident and we believe that an independent and transparent investigation with a mandate is the best way to clear Datuk Seri’s name, as well as to correct the negative perception among some people, especially Barisan Nasional (BN) voters so that their support in the coming 14th general election will not waver,” Perkasa’s monitoring and integrity bureau secretary, Azrul Akmal Saharudin, said in the letter that was sent to the media.
“We appreciate Datuk Seri’s courage and attentiveness in instructing the Auditor-General (A-G) and outside auditors, as well as the police, to investigate 1MDB. However, without this Royal Commission of Inquiry, it seems that all these efforts will still be doubted by certain people,” he added.
Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) reportedly said today that it may launch its own audit on 1MDB if the A-G takes too long to probe the state investment firm.
Najib told the A-G on March 4 to audit 1MDB's accounts and to forward its findings to the PAC, amid growing demands for explanations over the firm's allegedly opaque investment decisions and for amassing a reported RM42 billion debt pile.
The move did not convince former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is critical of 1MDB and its debts, and now pushing for Najib’s resignation.
Perkasa’s Azrul proposed that the RCI on 1MDB comprise former Chief Justices such as Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad or Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim, as well as former Attorneys-General like Tan Sri Abdul Talib Othman.
“The fact is, this matter needs to be expedited because the people want to know the truth about 1MDB. If concerns such as those expressed by Tun Dr Mahathir that the RM42 billion borrowed by 1MDB for investment has ‘disappeared’ are true, then this is something that really cost the country,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said yesterday that he is speaking out against Najib because of the many “unanswered questions” on a number of issues plaguing the administration such as the 1MDB controversy and the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.