“Here’s why by receiving the US$300 million from the US, Muhyiddin has reiterated, albeit in a roundabout way, that Najib ran a kleptocracy. Can Muhyiddin deny this?”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
كراجأن اميريك شريكت دڠن تق سڠاج ممرڠكڤ محي الدين
On the 7thof May 2019, the United States government made the first instalment of funds from asset seizures related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), retrieved under the Department of Justice’s (DoJ’s) Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
The then attorney-general of Malaysia said the first tranche of payments, valued at US$57,036,688.68 (about RM236,56 million), was credited straight into the 1MDB asset recovery account, a segregated trust account opened specifically for the purpose.
The sum was forfeited from Red Granite Pictures – the movie production company behind “The Wolf of Wall Street” and Daddy’s Home” – and arose from a US$60 million settlement recorded before the Court of California.
For the record, Red Granite is linked to Riza Aziz, stepson of former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Under terms of settlement, the company did not admit wrongdoing but promised to pay the sum in three instalments over the course of nearly a year, monies that the US DoJ eventually returned to the Government of Malaysia.
This effectively means the money did not belong to the production company but 1MDB, a fact Red Granite graciously admitted by default pursuant to terms of the settlement agreement.
Anyway, long story short, the funds were retrieved via the DoJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative with the long-held understanding, by the DoJ, that the previous Najib-run GoM was a kelptocracy.
Therefore, in accepting the funds, the (then) Pakatan Harapan run administration agreed that the money was embezzled by (or from) a kleptocracy, a fact that comes as no surprise since Pakatan consistently maintained that Najib was a kleptocrat.
Fast forward 11 months, and on Wednesday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin thanked the DoJ for returning another US$300 million, retrieved also through asset seizures related to 1MDB.
In a statement, Muhyiddin said Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, had reached a settlement with the DoJ pertaining to numerous forfeiture claims filed by the US against assets he purchased using 1MDB monies.
And yet again, the funds were retrieved via the DoJ’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative, with the same, long-held understanding by the same DoJ that Najib ran a kelptocracy.
Therefore, the same logic applies – in accepting the funds, Muhyiddin agreed that the money was embezzled by (or from) a kleptocracy.
Ironically, the administration the DoJ directly and indirectly accused of kleptocracy was run by none other than Barisan Nasional, a coalition currently in alliance with Muhyiddin, the man who once accused the leader of that coalition of mishandling 1MDB.
Can Muhyiddin come forward to explain this?