Dear Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad,
You’re spot on!
The fact remains, that it is immaterial what the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia says, i.e., whether or not the RM2.6 billion that ended in Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s personal bank account was from the Royal family of the Western Asian Kingdom. One must remember, that the minister helms from a nation whose de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, stands accused of having conspired to cover up the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Under the circumstances, it is entirely possible that the Saudi government is desperately seeking to gauge if indeed the murder jeopardised its bilateral and trade relations with the rest of the world, particularly those having to do with allies of the United States (US). Assuming this to be true, there will be no limit to the “kind and favourable words” the Saudis will offer people like you as long as those words can preserve your commitment to their cause.
That having been said, I have a couple of bones to pick with you:
1. You spent almost two years prior to the 14th general election (GE14) accusing Najib of conspiring with 1MDB officials to siphon RM2.6 billion from the wealth fund.
2. Yet, you refused to acknowledge that the money could never possibly have flowed into the former premier’s personal bank account without the knowledge of the then Governor of Bank Negara, Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.
3. You repeatedly alleged that “Najib stole RM2.6 billion from 1MDB” prior to the general election as if you had proof that traced the sum to the wealth fund.
4. Yet, when met by reporters, you admitted that you did not have the proof and confessed that your claims were hinged on what “someone told you.”
5. You deliberately ignored findings made in a 2015 investigation paper that was prepared by the MACC’s (hereinafter referred to as “the paper”) then deputy chief, Dato’ Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull.
6. The paper bore detailed accounts of Zeti’s involvement in the scheme of things and showed clearly that she knew the identities of companies and persons who facilitated the RM2.6 billion transfer.
7. The paper also alleged that Zeti knew the money was a gift from the Saudi Royal family and suggested that the sum be channeled into Najib’s personal Ambank account.
8. Yet, you went ahead and appointed Shukri as head of MACC despite knowing that his findings ran contrary to claims you made prior to GE14.
9. The fact that you did implies that you lied about the RM2.6 billion being from 1MDB and knew all along that the money was from the Saudi Royals as claimed by Najib.
10. The only other explanation is that you were still convinced that the money was from 1MDB and needed Shukri to do your bidding, i.e., to dig into the RM2.6 billion affair until the cows came home.
11. But that contradicts your claim that everything you do is pursuant to the rule of law, given that Shukri, whose paper runs contrary to your claim, should have been investigated on suspicion of having fabricated the paper.
12. Perhaps you’re convinced that Shukri prepared the paper under duress as he himself claimed, in which case, he broke the law by not lodging a report on the matter with the police.
13. Perhaps that explains why you need him to be the head of the MACC, given your track record of working with heavily tainted ministers and government officials who can easily be manipulated to do your bidding.
14. It is also entirely possible that Shukri did not fabricate the 2015 paper but was given a false testimony by Zeti, who, quite recently, denied having knowledge about the RM2.6 billion transfer.
15. Under the circumstances, it is your duty to call for a thorough investigation into Shukri’s and Zeti’s affairs given that it was you who called for multiple probes into Najib’s affairs.
16. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that something is terribly amiss, considering that Zeti’s denial runs contrary to findings made by Shukri in the paper.
17. Your continued silence on these matters is deafening and terribly disturbing.
Notwithstanding, and whichever way you choose to look at it, it is imperative that Shukri resigns as MACC Chief to facilitate renewed investigations into the RM2.6 billion affair. The fact that you refuse to seek his resignation but allowed him to lead “renewed investigations into 1MDB” reeks of mala fide intent and more or less confirms a complicity on your part to throw Najib under the bus.
It follows, that unless you have proof Najib siphoned RM2.6 billion from 1MDB, you had better stop talking about it and focus instead on running government. Thus far, none of the charges brought against the former premier have anything to do with “RM2.6 billion being siphoned from 1MDB.” If indeed you had proof that the money was stolen, you’d never have hesitated to show that proof to convince voters that you spoke the truth.