Trump, the Mueller investigation and 1MDB

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US President-Donald Trump

The US special counsel’s probe into Trump’s election campaign stands in sharp contrast to Malaysia’s own investigation into 1MDB, observes Mt Elvira.

A CNN legal analyst has described the indictment on criminal charges of three high-profile Trump associates in the Trump 2016 presidential campaign as just the end of the beginning in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Seeing the process unfold in real time, I can appreciate the democratic ideals and the fairness and justice in the American system.

This is in sharp contrast to our nation’s 1MDB scandal, where all the institutions of state have been used to allegedly suppress relevant facts and details to be released to the rakyat. Despite the convictions of individuals and the penalties imposed on financial institutions linked to the money laundering of 1MDB funds in Singapore, our top legal officer can declare without blinking an eye, that no laws have been broken by 1MDB.

Trump can rage that Mueller investigation, which is probing into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign, is a witch hunt and a fishing expedition. Yet, the most powerful man on the planet cannot thwart the path of justice. Trump had drawn red lines for the Mueller investigation, but for a special counsel not beholden to the President, those are only imaginary lines reflecting Trump’s delusion.

No such investigation into the 1MDB scandal here. We have to depend on Sarawak Report to blow the whistle and on the US Department of Justice filings to see how the billions siphoned from our country were used to buy properties in the US, expensive artworks, a superyacht and jewellery, and to finance foreign movie productions.

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Yet, despite all this information in the public domain, the political leadership in our country can claim that not a single sen has been defrauded from 1MDB.

Make no mistake, Trump has been trying to fire Mueller. Yet, because of the system of checks and balances in the US system of governance, Trump is treading with caution.

Thanks to Dr Mahathir’s 22-year authoritarian rule, the independence of our judiciary was dismantled. Almost all key institutions of state fell under the control of the executive. So now, MO1 has few inhibitions. We’ve just heard that the police have been directed to investigate further the 1MDB scandal. Really? What have the police been doing since the 1MDB scandal broke?

No, the full truth behind 1MDB, the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock and the murder of Altantuya will probably only come to light if the Umnoputras are evicted from Putrajaya in the coming general election. The reason is obvious – the lid to those files appears to be clamped shut by those currently holding the keys to Putrajaya.

Mt Elvira is the pseudonym of a regular reader of Aliran.

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