The strange case of 1MDB…

By Wong Jae Senn

It may not have occurred to some but the 1MDB is a very strange case. Pitched as the epitome of kleptocracy or king of thievery, whichever you would prefer, the facts of the case still remain unusual who prefer facts over fiction.

Low Taek Jho, alleged mastermind behind the 1MDB bond issuance and siphoning off money in cohorts with his contacts in IPIC, defrauding 1MDB through a “fake” company – FLED.

Nik Faisal, manager of the account under Najib’s name, and a suspect who purportedly forged signatures on cheques and documents – FLED.

Terence Geh, executive director of 1MDB, i.e. where the buck should stop – FLED.

Tan Sri Zeti Aktar Aziz, ex-BNM governor who was aware of the transactions and even green-lighted the foreign fund transfers – NEVER HAULED FOR QUESTIONING.

The MACC investigating officer Rosli Hussain, testified that MACC initiated a probe-based solely on Clare Rewcastle Brown’s Sarawak Report post titled: ‘Sensational Findings – Prime Minister Najib Razak Personal Accounts Linked To 1MDB Money Trail’ – on July 2, 2015. Clare too was NEVER HAULED FOR QUESTIONING, despite claiming to hold tonnes of smoking evidence to substantiate her allegations.

Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, ex-Finance Minister and ex-director of 1MDB’s advisory board, who had a bank account that was managed by someone else for corporate and charity uses – ESSENTIALLY IS THE SOLE ACCUSED AT THIS POINT.

So, the main players who were handling the money and 1MDB’s dealings have fled. The central bank governor who approved the transactions was not questioned about it. The bank officer handling the account admitted that there were irregularities in how the account was managed, which could even breach banking regulations, and that the account holder was kept in the dark about what’s going on with his accounts.

Ignore for a moment that DS Najib was the accused. Does this look like how a proper investigation and trial should be conducted? Does it look like it’s being thorough and that it won’t set any unwanted precedents, e.g. director of an advisory board being held accountable but the director of the executive board doesn’t need to be responsible?

Regardless of whether we support DS Najib or not, we must ensure that our courts and judicial system guarantee everyone a fair trial, instead of being yet another state apparatus that conducts kangaroo trials to silence opponents.

Wong Jae Sen is a BENAR political analyst
The views expressed here are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of New Malaysia Herald.

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