7th September 2017
Global Bersih Condemns Najib’s Visit to the White House
Global Bersih urges the Trump Administration to rescind the invitation to the Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak to meet at the White House next week. Meeting Malaysia’s prime minister at this time sends the wrong signal and disavows the good governance and anti-corruption ideals shared by both nations, as allegations have been made of Najib Razak’s involvement in the 1MDB case, which represents the largest action brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative to date.
Despite the White House hope that the prime minister’s visit will “strengthen and broaden our bilateral relationship and expand regional cooperation with one of America’s closest partners in Southeast Asia,” Malaysians are deeply concerned about how this visit will be used by a troubled Najib government as an endorsement to skew Malaysia’s forthcoming general elections.
“We do not want Prime Minister Najib’s visit in any way, method or form to affect the DOJ’s civil lawsuit against 1MDB,” said Global Bersih president Bala Chelliah. “The Malaysian people deserve to know the truth, and as avenues to investigate and discuss the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia have been shut down, we are deeply concerned of what the outcomes of this meeting might have of the 1MDB case and for civil and political rights in Malaysia”.
Over the past year, Malaysia’s Attorney-General has refused to reopen the 1MDB case despite pertinent revelations of alleged criminal behaviour in the on-going DOJ civil suit. The FBI has also revealed that its investigations into the 1MDB scandal have been hampered by potential witnesses intimidated from cooperating with American authorities because “the safety and security of both themselves and their families at serious risk” in Malaysia. The FBI cited Malaysian news reports of local officials who had been arrested because of their purported role in investigating embezzlement in the 1MDB fund.
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