KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 — Lim Kit Siang scoffed today at Putrajaya’s reported plan to hold a roadshow to explain the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy and other issues, saying the government should first confirm or deny allegations that the firm has been filling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) election coffers.
The DAP leader said the roadshow which, according to Umno deputy minister Datuk Ahmad Maslan yesterday, was to explain the 1MDB scandal and the Goods and Services Tax (GST), will likely fail like the recently cancelled “Nothing to Hide” forum.
The forum that was to feature Datuk Seri Najib Razak was called off at the last minute over security concerns after it was reported that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the prime minister’s harshest critic, planned to turn up for the event as well.
“Najib should issue an immediate and convincing rebuttal of the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) or announce that he will personally appear before the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) and answer all queries about the WSJ claim that 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bankroll his 13th General Election campaign,” Lim said in a statement here.
In a WSJ report on Friday, it was alleged that the acquisition payments made by 1MDB on several of its deals have been channelled back to special charities for BN’s election campaigns.
The international business newspaper had cited the example of Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia which it said received RM35 million in donations from Genting Plantation soon after 1MDB’s acquisition of Genting Sanyen.
Lim said Najib’s silence so far since the report earned attention in the local media does not bode well for the prime minister.
A 1MDB roadshow, he added, would not likely help the leader regain credibility.
“Najib should be forewarned that even without Dr Mahathir’s daily battering of his credibility and fitness to continue as prime minister, every day of silence on his part to serious allegations about the 1MDB scandal like the WSJ expose will suffice to condemn him in national and international court of opinion,” Lim said.
Dr Mahathir has been at the forefront of attacks against the Najib administration and has been actively campaigning for the prime minister’s resignation, believing the latter will lead BN to doom in the next federal polls.
Among others, Dr Mahathir has attacked Najib over his handling of the controversy surrounding 1MDB, the troubled state-owned firm that has racked up a debt of RM42 billion since its inception in 2009.
Yesterday, deputy finance minister Ahmad was quoted in Bernama as saying that state-level Premier Information Dissemination Roadshows (MPPs) will be held from the second week of Syawal to explain current issues such as 1MDB, the GST and the 11th Malaysia Plan.
“The roadshows will not be held in state capitals but in strategic and suitable locations within the 14 states,” he was quoted saying.