BERSIH 2.0 congratulates the US Office of the Attorney General brave statement on “United States Seeks to Recover More Than $1 Billion Obtained from Corruption Involving Malaysian Sovereign Wealth Fund”. The conclusion of their findings are extremely damning and they have stated exactly what civil society and many Malaysians have been saying about the grand scale kleptocracy that is happening in our country.
The actions of the US Department of Justice (US DOJ) are not alone as there are six other international investigations made on money laundering and corruption that are related to the 1MDB scandal. This law suit confirms the intricate web of money laundering and corruption linked to 1MDB.
The US DOJ findings show money that was intended to help the Malaysian people was instead used for personal enrichment of Prime Minister Najib Razak, his stepson Riza Aziz, Jho Low and other cronies around the world. The rakyat’s money, intended for development projects, was spent on satisfying the greed of a few, including paying off gambling debts, purchasing a private jet, and funding a Hollywood film. Bear in mind that the government-linked 1MDB came under the Ministry of Finance when Najib was the Minister of Finance and the Chair of Board of Advisers of the debt-ridden company.
To cover up these crimes, Malaysia’s institutions have been twisted and perverted to suit the whims of Najib and those benefiting from the misuse of the rakyat’s money. The investigations in Malaysia by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the Royal Malaysian Police Force (PDRM) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have been shrouded in secrecy and their detailed findings hidden behind the cloak of the Official Secrets Act.
The Attorney General Apandi Ali and the Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar must now answer for their failure to act against the largest corruption scandal in Malaysia’s history.
Not only have our institutions been compromised, in his desparation to avoid justice, Najib, along with the IGP and the Attorney General, have harassed hundreds of critics through a slew of draconian laws, including the Sedition Act, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Peaceful Assembly Act. The recent National Security Council Act has now given wide powers to Najib, under the guise of safeguarding national security. This has all been done to boost Najib’s personal impunity from criminal prosecution and crackdown on those who speak up against his crimes.
Najib’s attempts to cover up and suppress the truth are over. It is time for this nation to end the plague of kleptocracy with impunity, the silencing of critics and the subversion of clean and fair elections. Such deplorable actions have totally destroyed people’s confidence and undermined the reputation of the country.
The nation has to move forward to restore the public’s confidence and reclaim the fabric of democracy and fair elections. Without comprehensive institutional reforms as demanded by hundreds of thousands of Malaysians in BERSIH 4, the flickering light of democracy in Malaysia will be extinguished.
In view of the severity of the situation, BERSIH 2.0 urgently calls for the following actions:
a) Najib to immediately resign as the Prime Minister and allow for independent investigations to be held so as to ensure no executive interference and violators are brought to justice.
b) The Attorney General to immediately resign for his role in attempting to clear Najib’s name in relation to the 1MDB corruption scandal.
c) An interim government to be set up to implement the institutional reforms demanded at the BERSIH 4 rally, as well as to ensure free and fair elections at the next General Election.
d) Given the overwhelming public interest in this case, all information relating to the investigations into 1MDB must be declassified and released to the public.
The BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee