COMMENT It took six weeks for Putrajaya to finally admit that Malaysian Official 1 (MO1), mentioned 36 times in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil suit, is the Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Abdul Razak.
To be fair, BN strategic communications director Abdul Rahman Dahlan has said, on record on Aug 7, that “there is no mystery about Malaysia Official 1, only an idiot doesn’t know who that person is”.
However, Rahman has, to date, insisted that the reason DOJ didn't name PM Najib is because he is not involved in, nor part of the investigation and is not subject to any investigation.
Rahman’s assertion that the prime minister should not take responsibility for the state investment fund’s problems is absolutely mind-boggling and extremely atrocious.
Who is Rahman trying to fool, and for how much longer is he frantically defending the indefensible?
Yes, Najib is not named as a defendant in this lawsuit as it is about ‘Verified Complaint For Forfeiture In Rem’.
Anybody who understands the US jurisdiction would testify that ‘In Rem’ is about ‘a proceeding that takes no notice of the owner of the property (here meaning 1MDB) but determines rights in the property that are conclusive against all the world’.
‘In rem’ only notifies those parties that have an interest in the property or assets forfeited, as to present their claims to the court, therefore, the named Red Granite Pictures, Inc and the other defendants.
Najib is not named because he is ostensibly not the owner of any of the assets to be forfeited. Surely Rahman is not intending to suggest otherwise.
Similarly, after the term ‘Verified Complaint For Forfeiture In Rem’, the complaint spelt out the ‘18 USC’.
And what is 18 USC? Title 18 of the USC, or United States Code, relates to the criminal and penal case of the federal government of the United States. It deals with federal crimes and criminal procedure. Rahman doesn’t need a reminder that if there is no wrongdoing, there would be no grounds to seize assets in the first place.
The only issue left for Rahman to intelligently reconsider is whether he should make a correction to his earlier statement that “the PM should not take responsibility for the state investment fund’s problems”.
Rahman should know that after the Patriot Act and further revision of the Frank-Dodd Act in the US, no US dollar transaction above US$50,000 (except through money-changers) can escape the US government and by presumption, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Clearing banks, eg Mellon Banks, Standard Chartered, etc, are obliged to keep records of any correspondences (email and fax included). With a disclosure regime, dealing with dollar transactions doesn’t help. The international conspirators are checkmated.
The greatest folly of an Umno minister
Rahman’s desperate attempt at exonerating Najib is the greatest folly of an Umno minister.
Read again the various paragraphs. The DOJ depicted clearly when, where from and how much funds were wired into the personal bank accounts of the Prime Minister aka MO1 from the three Phases of 1. Good Star, 2. Aabar-BVl and 3. Tanore Finance Corporation, (totalling US$731million or RM2.9b), not including money transferred through SRC lnternational or money returned. In 1MDB, the buck stops at MO1. The time for reckoning has perhaps finally arrived.
Forget about the grandmother story of the Saudi donor of the RM2.6b. It is an illusion. By subjecting 1MDB to these orgy of horrific plundering and global laundering for the last five years (2009-2014), while Najib was helming it, has indeed plunged the nation into great disrepute.
It has not only annihilated the remnants of our integrity and goodwill with friendly Arab Gulf states, much as we also subverted the global financial system spanning across many regions. Never has the world witnessed such a disgraceful act of kleptocracy in the current world history. Undoubtedly, it is the greatest tragedy of this ailing nation, a hallmark of legacy of lost opportunity.
The Hollywood actor, Leonardo DiCaprio, like MO1, who has also not been mentioned the DOJ civil suit by name, has not only been urged to apologise but also asked to return all funds from the ill-gotten source, by the International NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF).
In the same vein, the entire nation, nay each and every citizen, urges that all money illegally obtained from the plundered 1MDB be immediately returned. They must not be given an option, except to return it first.
The rakyat insist that the attorney-general and all relevant enforcement agencies act promptly, once and for all, to safeguard the interest of the nation and its citizenry.
You delay it at our expense and peril, Sir. You will certainly live to regret for your inaction. God forbid.
DR DZULKEFLY AHMAD is strategy director, Parti Amanah Negara.