Kit Siang: Do all Malaysians feel ashamed ex-PM Najib listed as kleptocrat?

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 1, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is pictured at the Kuala Lumpur High Court October 1, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — DAP leader Lim Kit Siang today asked if Malaysians shared his shame in seeing the country’s name tarnished by having former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak listed and compared online to top corrupt leaders globally of the past 30 years.

Lim said today was the day he felt most ashamed as a Malaysian to see Najib listed among the world’s top kleptocrats on online encyclopaedia Wikipedia’s “kleptocracy” entry, suggesting that Najib may even turn out to be the world’s number one kleptocrat or corrupt leader “when all the facts and truth about the 1MDB scandal and all the other scandals in his regime are revealed.”

“According to Wikipedia, which is used by netizens worldwide, Najb is in the company of the 10 leading kleptocrats of the last three decades compiled by Transparency International in 2004, viz: former Indonesian President Suharto, former Philippines President Ferdinand Marcos, Former Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko, Former Nigerian head of state Sani Abacha, former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, Former Haitian President, Jean-Claude Duvalier, former Ukranian Prime Minister Paylo Lazarenko, former Nicaraguan President Arnold Aleman and former Philippines President Joseph Estrada,” Lim said in a statement today.

“The pertinent question is apart from my feeling most ashamed today as a Malaysian to find that a Malaysian is among the world’s top kleptocrats in the past three decades, and may even by the No. 1 kleptocrat when all the facts about the 1MDB scandal and other scandals are fully known, is this feeling of enormous shame similarly felt by all patriotic Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region?” he asked.

He further asked if all Malaysians would unite on a common platform to redeem Malaysia’s dignity and reputation, after having its name sullied worldwide for being an alleged global kleptocracy for close to a decade.

“Or should Malaysians take the stand that a kleptocrat should be supported so long as he belongs to the same religion with the defiance of Malu Apa Bossku?” Lim asked, in a reference to the Bossku persona that Najib had taken on since his fall from power.

A check of anti-corruption watchdog Transparency International’s Global Corruption Report 2004: Political Corruption showed a list of the top 10 most notorious leaders in 20 years then along with the estimates of funds they allegedly embezzled, with estimates for Suharto given as between US$15 to 35 billion, Marcos as US$5 to US$10 billion, while Estrada’s name rounded off the list with an estimate of US$78 to US$80 million allegedly embezzled.

A check of the Wikipedia entry showed a reproduction of the list of 10 leaders, along with Najib’s name inserted at the seventh spot with an alleged US$700 million embezzled. With Najib’s inclusion, the list shows 11 names.

Najib is currently facing a corruption trial involving over RM2 billion of 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) funds that were allegedly misappropriated during his rule, with the trial to resume on Monday at the High Court here.

Najib was prime minister of Malaysia from May 2009 to May 2018.

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