You can no longer shout ‘conspiracy’
As assets purchased using funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB are seized by order of the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Putrajaya’s claims of conspiracy no longer apply. The complaints of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s most strident critics seem to have been validated by the US action, for now at least.
Indeed, the DoJ says that the alleged misappropriation from 1MDB amounts to US$4 billion. That translates to nearly RM20 billion, considerably more than previously reported by any news outlet.
This is a tremendous coup for former PM Mahathir Mohamad and his anti-Najib coalition. With the General Election due in 2018, there is plenty of time for more unsavoury revelations to be made as the seizure of assets usually precludes criminal proceedings. After all, the money has to be locked down or it would be flown off to some tax haven or other.
All of this makes rumours of a possible snap election extremely tantalising.
However, calling for a snap election would be a move that rests between folly and necessity for Najib, who now must try to calm jittery nerves and remind his coalition that he is still in charge.
Meanwhile, news outlets like the South China Morning Post are carrying stories of possible defections from Umno, perhaps to the party that Mahathir is forming.
This sudden turn of luck must be frustrating for the PM, who seemed so strong until the DoJ came up with its revelations. With Barisan Nasional having achieved convincing victories in recent by-elections, it was heavily speculated that GE14 could be held as early as next year to capitalise on Najib’s growing strength and the weakness of the opposition. Indeed, had the DoJ never taken action, it was highly likely that Najib would go into GE14 as a strong Prime Minister and then emerge stronger than ever.
However, times have changed and a dark cloud hangs over the international image Najib has crafted for himself. It was that image – of a progressive leader of a moderate Muslim country that is a model for multi-cultural societies – that made leaders like US President Barack Obama willing to be photographed with the PM.
We face uncertain times. All around the world, governments and politicians find themselves stuck in unfortunate situations of their own making, and what is happening here is no different.
One thing is for sure: we as Malaysians must stand united come what may. Not too long ago, Nazir Razak, brother of our PM, likened the political scenario here to popular TV series Game of Thrones. Well, to further the reference to recent events in the series, war is upon Westeros and the winds of winter have come.
1MDB no longer a ‘conspiracy’ but the truth! With assets seized and the paper trail 'a mile long' what conspiracy is there??? The US DoJ should directly name the M'sian officials by name and get it ove with. President Obama should not get involved but should direct the US AG to speedily expose and bring to book all involved even if they cannot bring these perpetrators to court, because we in Malaysia can. Let us see the M'sian AG and IGP quickly order the arrests and detention of ALL involved - That will be theDAY!!! we M'sians feel JUSTICE IS SERVED!