KUALA LUMPUR, July 30 ― The country is “dangerously close” to becoming a failed state after a major shakeup in the federal administration amid multiple ongoing investigations on troubled 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) said today.
Its President, Datuk Akhbar Satar, claimed that continuity of the probes is definitely disrupted by the changes made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration ― which include the removal of ministers seen critical of Putrajaya's handling of 1MDB and the sudden termination of Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail as Attorney-General (AG).
Akhbar stressed that Najib himself had pledged in April to make public the findings of the Auditor-General's audit of 1MDB's dealings and that the federal government will not accept “any abuse of power in 1MDB”.
“What has happened to date is directly opposite to the PM’s declaration – will the people now know or it is only for certain persons’ own consumption and filed in the cupboard?” Akhbar said in a statement.
On Tuesday, Najib removed Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as deputy prime minister and education minister in what is seen as a culling of ministers who are said to have broken ranks in the ongoing 1MDB fiasco.
The reshuffle also brought in four members of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as new additions to the federal administration, potentially stalling a separate probe on 1MDB by the parliamentary committee.
Just hours before the Cabinet reshuffle was announced, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa issued a statement announcing the termination of Abdul Gani's tenure as AG for “health reasons”.
Up to the point of his removal as AG ― which took effect on July 27 ― Abdul Gani was heading a multi-agency taskforce probing allegations of misappropriation linked to Najib and 1MDB.
Akhbar today stressed that the public cannot be blamed for taking a negative view of the situation with so much change having happened in such a short span of time.
“Given the snail pace of the investigations and halting of PAC activities coupled with the sackings on 29 July, how will intelligent Malaysians view the whole episode?
“Surely they will think it is clearly a concerted effort to stop the probe into 1MDB in its tracks,” he said, adding that it is not helped by the three-month suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily over their coverage of 1MDB.