KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 ― Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have continued to cover-up the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal if not for Barisan Nasional’s defeat in the 14th general election last year, said DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang.
He said in a statement today that Najib would also continue to be aided and abetted by the former prime minister’s Cabinet, Parliament, Judiciary, the national institutions of investigation and enforcement as well as the media in the cover-up.
“Did Najib launch any investigation into 1MDB scandal between the period of the US Department of Justice litigation and the 14th general elections if he was clearly in the dark over 1MDB?
“Not only did he not do so, he went into an offensive by unleashing his hounds of propagandists in the Cabinet and cyberspace to attack critics and whistleblowers of the 1MDB scandal, and up till today, not a single of these culprits ― including Najib’s Ministers in Umno, MCA and Barisan Nasional ― who betrayed the nation had shown any remorse or contrition for their treachery to the nation,” Lim said, reacting to the recent Al Jazeera programme Malaysia: The World’s Biggest Heist.
The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) first made revelations on the 1MDB scandal in July 2016 by providing detailed money trails when initiating litigation to forfeit US$1.7 billion (RM6.9 billion) out of US$4.5 billion (RM18.3 billion) 1MDB-linked assets in the US, United Kingdom and Switzerland.
Although Najib has always denied any wrong doing, Lim believed Najib is beginning to accept that his legacy includes the monstrous 1MDB scandal and the infamy of transforming Malaysia into a global kleptocracy.
“... but his claim to be completely in the dark about it is just hilarious and incredible. As if he did not know what the world knows that his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and step-son Riza Aziz had benefited to the tune of tens of millions of dollars from 1MDB,” said the Iskandar Puteri MP.
Lim believed that although 1MDB whistle blower Xavier Andre Justo had admitted on the Al Jazeera programme that he did not know whether he would have exposed the scandal if his former employer, PetroSaudi, had paid the money owed to him, the scandal would still have been eventually uncovered.
However, he said it would have taken a longer time without Justo’s more than 200,000 confidential PetroSaudi’s emails containing evidence of the genesis of the criminal embezzlement and money-laundering activities.
Lim also touched on the role of US investment bank Goldman Sachs in the sovereign fund scandal.
As the underwriter and arranger of three bonds that raised US$6.5 billion for 1MDB, he said it was not enough for Goldman Sachs to apologise to the people of Malaysia for the 1MDB scandal or for the former Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein to stand to lose up to US$14.245 million (RM58.3 million) in bonuses.
“Goldman Sachs must be prepared to pay for its sins and to make billions of dollars of reparation to Malaysia for the theft and fraud in the 1MDB scandal,” he said.
Najib has been charged with 42 counts of graft and power abuse.