In a demonstration of utter contempt for the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), the prime minister had the cheek to ask Malaysians to “look ahead” after a damning report was tabled in Parliament, says Tony Pua.
Despite a relatively short list of recommendations, which included urging the 1MDB board of advisers to be disbanded and Article 117 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A), which grants the prime minister autocratic control over the company, to be abolished, there were dozens of critical findings outlined throughout the 106-page report.
On 8 April, I had already stated that the PAC has established that at least US$5.5bn of 1MDB’s cash and assets could not be verified by the attorney general after a year of investigations.
- The sums of US$700m and US$330m which was misappropriated to Good Star Limited, a company unrelated to the purported 1MDB-Petrosaudi joint venture in 2009 and 2011.
- US$3.51bn which was paid to a British Virgin Islands (BVI) incorporated Aabar Investment PJS Limited ‘Aabar (BVI)’ in the form of collaterals, options termination compensation and further unexplained ‘top-up security’ payments despite obvious doubts over who owns Aabar (BVI).
- US$940m worth of ‘units’ which were parked at the Swiss Bank branch of BSI Bank in Singapore.
In fact, I made a mistake on 8 April by leaving out another US$1.56bn of investments by 1MDB’s wholly-owned foreign subsidiary, 1MDB Global Investments Limited, which also could not be verified by the auditor general.
That brings a total of US$7.0bn (RM28bn) of unverified cash or assets which have been parked overseas by 1MDB. 1MDB has refused to cooperate with the auditor general or the PAC by handing over the bank statements of their foreign accounts and subsidiaries. 1MDB was also unable to provide documentary proof of who the owners of Good Star Limited and Aabar Investment PJS Limited are.
So how is the prime minister expecting Malaysians who have been stunned by the staggering amount of abuse and gross mismanagement by 1MDB of taxpayers’ funds to “look forward”?
For a start, Najib Abdul Razak has not even agreed to the minimal recommendations by the PAC to disband the board of advisers and abolish Article 117 in the M&A.
Worst, Najib has refused to instruct 1MDB to hand over all the crucial missing bank statements and documents to the auditor general and the PAC. This will only suggest that the prime minister, who is also the finance minister, is complicit in the entire scandal.
‘Najib’s signatures littered all over 1MDB’
This is especially since Najib’s signature is littered all over 1MDB as he was the ultimate decision-maker who signed off resolutions to sack 1MDB’s auditors Ernst & Young and KPMG, invest US$1.83bn in the failed Petrosaudi joint venture, borrow US$6.5bn of bonds via Goldman Sachs, and overpay for the RM12.1bn of power assets.
Hence, the prime minister’s direct complicity in all of the above, and the fact that 1MDB refused to give us their foreign bank statements and documents, makes it impossible for the PAC to ‘clear’ the prime minister of wrongdoings.
Najib must stop attempting to sweep the entire 1MDB scandal under the carpet by asking Malaysians to “look forward” or “move on”, when he has refused to even act decisively on the findings of the PAC report.
Tony Pua is DAP national publicity secretary and member of parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara.