THE THIRD FORCE
Stop your lies, Gobind.
1. As I pointed out to Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz yesterday, the seizure of the yacht allegedly belonging to Jho Low was made possible due to a partnership that exists between the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and the World Bank Group.
2. Known as the Stolen Assets Recovery (StAR) initiative, the partnership is a gateway that transcends cross-border differences in jurisdictions to support, among others, efforts by global partners to prevent and recover corruption proceeds.
3. It is through this partnership that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were able to alias – and thereafter, conduct joint operations – with Indonesian authorities leading to the yacht’s seizure.
4. It should be noted, however, that the DoJ would have had to provide both the UNODC and the Indonesian authorities with valid reasons for the seizure.
5. The reasons would undoubtedly have been grounded in a controversial legal process that applies only in the US, not Malaysia.
5. It is based on this controversial process that the DoJ sought the seizure of the said yacht in Indonesian waters.
5. Known as Civil Forfeiture, the process allows the DoJ to file forfeiture proceedings against companies or individuals suspected – not convicted – of involvement in crime or illegal activity hinged solely on complaints that are, at times, conjectural.
6. In the case of 1MDB, the complaints were filed by two Malaysian individuals who merely ‘suggested’ that the US financial system was being used as a conduit for corruption by 1MDB officials.
7. From the time of filing to this day, neither the FBI nor the DoJ had the decency to get in touch with the Malaysian authorities or 1MDB, which is odd, considering that the so-called investigations by the FBI and the DoJ seemed centred on a Malaysian wealth fund.
8. That could only mean that the DoJ has not commenced investigations to this day.
9. Either that, or the DoJ is in cahoots with the FBI to subvert the Malaysian electoral process ahead of the upcoming general election (GE14).
10. According to a group of Californian attorneys linked to the Trump administration, the FBI had not commenced investigations even when the DoJ first announced the filing of forfeiture proceedings against a movie production company the department alleged was linked to 1MDB.
11. These attorneys have further contended that the manner in which the DoJ made public the filing reeked of prejudice and was highly irregular considering that the department implied the involvement of Malaysian officials it refused to name.
10. Given all the above, there is no valid reason for the GoM to be unduly concerned about the seizure of the yacht or give a hoot about the forfeiture proceedings.
11. As a member of the legal fraternity and person professing jurisprudence, Gobind of all people should know that the yacht seizure is none of our business as a sovereign nation.
12. Yet, he is repeatedly seeking answers to stupid questions that can serve only to incite hatred against the GoM and the Malaysian authorities.
13. Considering his status as a public figure, he should exercise better restraint when issuing statements and refrain from engaging in cheap propaganda stunts just to turn voters against Barisan Nasional ahead of the general election.
According to the Attorney General, the 1MDB probe is still ongoing. Be that the case, we should take an interest in the discovery of the yacht. We should make efforts to communicate with the Indonesian or any other authorities concerned to get access to any information or evidence recovered from the yacht which could assist in our investigations if any. The IGP must speak up and advise the Attorney General to do so given the fact that it is the police which is probing 1MDB here in Malaysia or will the IGP keep quiet and let this opportunity slip away?
GOBIND SINGH DEO