Time to act against those 1MDB money launderers led by “Malaysian Official 1”

July 25, 2016

Time to act against those 1MDB money launderers led by “Malaysian Official 1”

by Dr. Chandra Muzaffar


The response of Malaysian government authorities to the civil suits filed by the US Department of Justice to seize more than US$ 1 billion (RM 4.02 billion) in assets allegedly linked to 1MDB has been a huge disappointment.

Faced with suits that allege massive embezzlement of funds and one of the worst money laundering scams in history, Cabinet Ministers and the Attorney-General are determined to absolve “ Malaysian Official 1” of any wrongdoing. They are obsessed with preserving, protecting and perpetuating the Prime Minister’s position whatever the costs and consequences.

It is not just the US Attorney-General that has gone public on this shameful attempt to launder perhaps US 3.5 billion (RM 14.07 billion) from a state investment company established ostensibly for the people’s benefit.

Singapore authorities have also seized assets worth S$240 million (RM 717.45 million) in an investigation of 1MDB related fund flows for possible money-laundering. Switzerland is another international financial hub that has begun to take action. 1MDB’s activities between 2009 and 2013 have now been exposed as utterly fraudulent on a global scale.

God cannot help you for betraying the Malaysian People–Thank You DOJ

Create an Independent Tribunal on 1MDB

The government should face up to this reality. As has been proposed by a number of groups and individuals in the last few days, it should set up an independent tribunal comprising men and women of integrity and credibility which will once and for all establish the whole truth about 1MDB and its activities and recommend appropriate action against the wrongdoers.

Apart from individuals with legal expertise, the tribunal should also have members with in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of money-laundering and money flows in today’s world. It should consist of both Malaysians and non-Malaysians. Cooperation with relevant agencies in the US, Switzerland, Singapore and other countries would be crucial.

The tribunal should also have unhindered access to all those linked directly or indirectly to 1MDB and its affiliates. All the information gathered and analysis undertaken by the Auditor-General, Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Central Bank (Bank Negara Malaysia), the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the Police in the last few years should be made available to the tribunal.

Prime Minister Najib should not have anything to do with the appointment of the proposed tribunal. Since 1MDB is wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance and he is the Minister of Finance and was also the Chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisers, he should keep his distance from the tribunal. Isn’t it also true that right from the outset he was involved in the creation of the company and was, to all intents and purposes, its principal decision-maker? Besides, in the US Department of Justice’s civil suits he is alluded to as ‘Malaysian Official 1’ 36 times.

Prime Minister Najib should relinquish his post temporarily

To give moral ballast to the formation of the tribunal and its work, Najib should in fact relinquish his position as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance until the tribunal presents its findings to the nation. If the tribunal exonerates him, he can always return to his job. I had suggested on  July 10, 2015 that to facilitate investigations into 1MDB he should step aside temporarily. The situation has now become a lot worse.

What if the government does not want to initiate a tribunal and Najib is determined to cling on to power? The people could through their members of Parliament try to persuade the Speaker to hold an emergency session of Parliament. Both the proposal on a tribunal and the position of Najib could be resolved through a parliamentary vote. But for the vote to reflect the feelings of the people, the whip should be lifted and members on both sides of the House should be encouraged to vote according to their conscience.

If Parliament fails to act, one hopes the Conference of Rulers which had already expressed its profound concern over 1MDB in October 2015, will assume its moral responsibility to the nation and advice the Cabinet to do what is right on both the tribunal and the Prime Minister. The Rulers’ advice will carry much weight.

The Agong (King) and Malay Rulers must act

The Rulers one hopes will also impress upon everyone that resolving the 1MDB debacle is the nation’s top priority at this point in time. It is a moral issue of tremendous significance and should not be marginalised through inter-party, inter-personal politics and the desire to retain or to attain power. The 1MDB issue is not about ousting or hoisting anyone.

Similarly, legitimate concerns about Daesh terrorism and security should not be manipulated to divert attention from 1MDB. The people should not allow “a security situation” to be created which is then used to suppress the truth about 1MDB.

There are many instances in history when the elite’s fear of being exposed for corruption or abuse of power has led to the victimisation of justice and the curtailment of freedom. In this regard, those who are dedicated to espousing integrity through demonstrations and the like must always be cognisant of the danger of their protest being hijacked by others with their own mischievous agenda.

Instead of demonstrating, it is much more important at this stage for more and more groups to speak up. If the voices of concern reach a crescendo, the powers-that-be will not be able to ignore their plea for truth and justice. The alternative media today offer unfettered channels of communication which have not been utilised to the fullest.

A sector of society that has yet to add its moral strength (there have been some isolated voices here and there) to the struggle for accountability and transparency on 1MDB are established religious personalities from the different faiths. They don’t have to be told that at its root 1MDB is about values that lie at the core of religion, values such as honesty, truthfulness and trustworthiness. This is why Muslim, Buddhist, Confucianist, Hindu and Christian theologians should take a stand now for what is at stake is the moral character of the nation itself and its future. Is it so difficult to uphold what is right and denounce what is wrong?

22 thoughts on “Time to act against those 1MDB money launderers led by “Malaysian Official 1”

  1. From Inception, one prominent ‘official’ of the Government holding three posts at one and the same time , is not only a Conflict of Interests, but insidious as well ….

    That is to say, whatever subsequent wrong-doings or Misdeeds , they were actually premeditated or planned and schemed for wrongful objectives. Hence, true to that objective , 1 MDB was operated clandestinely in some foreign shores to try and evade ‘local ‘ or domestic laws….

    SO THE SUBSEQUENT SIPHONING OFF OF SUCH COLLOSAL SUM MUST HAVE BEEN ‘ PRESCIENT’ FROM THE VERY BEGINNING…. – the presumption arises because of the Conflict of Interest situation from the start ( as if the Government had no legal experts of their own to realize the Abuses of Conflicts ? )

    Preposterous ! !

  2. UMNO Youth, the next generation of UMNO leaders basically said fixing corruption is not their responsibility meaning it’s up to the People. It cannot be clearer it can only end with People Power. UMNO Baru not only must be kicked out of office, IT MUST DIE.

  3. Sooner or later — remember Generals Chun Doo Hwan and Roh Tae Woo in
    South Korea. Christina Fernandez de Kirchner in Argentina at present.

  4. 1MDB and the mega corruption unmasked by the DOJ is merely an evolution of the Malaysian political economy. I have been pessimistic about Malaysia for a long-time, and I am afraid to say that I don’t see any reason to be more cheerful now.

    The rot in Malaysia has been ongoing and worsening for decades. Malaysian democracy is on life support, along with secularism, rule of law and long-term growth potential. The minorities have no voice whatsoever in national debates. If fact, most of the time they are told to shut up.

    I fear that when the rural Malays finally wake up to UMNO’s misrule, it is not to democracy they turn, but to extreme Islamism, like what we have seen in several Arab countries.

  5. Quote:- “…Najib should in fact relinquish his position as Prime Minister and Minister of Finance until the tribunal presents its findings to the nation. If the tribunal exonerates him, he can always return to his job”


    Advising a man to commit political suicide, and most likely end up in jail as well?

    So long as at least 1 million of the Malay population do not spontaneously but peacefully flood the streets demanding that the PM steps down, whether temporarily or not, no amount of talk about “moral ballast” is going to make an iota of difference.

    How many criminals, Dr. Chandra, have you met who voluntarily surrender themselves to the police out of pure civic consciousness?

    Your native naivety is truly staggering.

  6. John Malott (former US ambassador to Malaysia) writes in Reddit today on what’s coming next — criminal charges against Najib is certain. They’ve done the investigations and modt likely preliminarily taken over the asets already to stall dissipation.

    I suspect Najib will be charged before the US’s November elections, ie 3 months away.

    I’m not for Chandra Muzaffar’s recommendation — we simply do not have the cajones to do a decent job. As yet. It’ll more likely be turned into a polished showpiece finer than the ones so far given our internecine rot.

    Let’s then discuss would Najib have the option that that the Sudanese head of state took? I sense not. Will his charges be dropped if he quietly plea bargains and offers to resign for immunity?

  7. Well and good. Hopeless ya?
    Nothing’s gonna happen, and an RCI is like listening to those ancient ‘His Master’s Voice’ records. Or haven’t you chaps heard.

    MO1 and spouse will hang on with the skin of their teeth, come Hell or High Water. To do otherwise would be suicidal and most un-UMNObish..

    Now.., for the lighter side of this Mother of All Treason, the first documented use of this strange American ‘authentic frontier gibberish’ idiom:
    “Since dat time de best ob my friends hab become enemies, an’ strangers hab become friends. De debil had brook loose in many parts ob de country, an’ keepin’ up wid de ole sayin’, we’ve had unrevised hell and high water – an’a mighty heap ob high-water I tell yer.” (Little Rock Gazette)

    Safe haven? Mauritius. Volcanic hot-spot.

  8. From this day onwards we shall use the Malaysian Official 1 title in keeping with 1 Malaysia, 1MDB, BR1M and all the other 1This and 1that so favored by Malaysian Official 1. Anyway the Mrs Malaysian Official 1 has always been addressed as First Lady of Malaysia.

  9. Whats your thoughts dato’ din..i have recommended a many front battle a tribunal will only come after too much has passed under the brigde as in sabah illegal immigration commission in which many lied blatantly. To help tip it why not a public intrest litigation. Win or lose it does bring things out locally and clearly. People have won before even though the court is rigged.
    Look back in time. How many RCIs? What happened? Zilt. So a tribunal will not help because it will not work when there is no humility to learn from our blunders. Why waste time and resources. Only an economic collapse will wake the Malays up. Otherwise, they will be beggars and rent seekers. No shame. And Najib will control the Malays with money and a perverted version of Islam. Unless the Malays and UMNO act, Najib will continue to be a curse to this great country. I hope I have answered your question. –Din Merican

  10. The entire population of 28 million is effectively on slow boil. The temperature has indeed gone a notch higher after the DOJ expose!

    • The ‘temperature’ may not be allowed to reach boiling point with the regular handouts to the vote banks and those who serve. So so do not hold your breath at least for some years to come.
      The present senior generation may feel that as it is on the way out it is not worth their while to do anything while the current GEN-Y may have been the major beneficiaries of the many handouts and write-off of loans and other financial obligations they may not want to change the system which may adversely effect their financial status they may also chose not to do anything to improve the country.
      By the current GEN-Y becomes Senior they may leave for their next generation a country which may have been economically-ecologically-morally destroyed. All one needs to do is to see some of the countries in Africa-Central-South- Central Americas-Middle East-East Asia-EU which may have been living without any peace or stability for decades as the resources have been plundered to satisfy the insatiable greed of the leadership and the country’s infrastructure destroyed and the people living in fear and uncertainty.. The saddest part is that in some countries it is the religions which have been used for enslavement/torture of the very beings the religions prohibit and yet

  11. To act against the laundromat owner, one must first identify who “Malaysian Official 1” is. I have short-listed the usual list of suspects:
    1) Prime Minister of Malaysia
    2) Finance Minister of Malaysia
    3) 1MDB Advisory Chairman
    4) Rosmah’s husband
    5) Riza Aziz’s step-father

    These are tough choices and all are equally likely to be MO1.

  12. /// Gursharan Singh July 25, 2016 at 6:27 pm
    Time to act but who will act and act against whom? ///

    They have already started to act long ago and plenty of action too.
    1) They reshuffled the MACC top honchos
    2) They replaced the AG
    3) They blocked all the critical websites
    4) They attempted to put out Interpol red alerts against the whistle blowers.
    5) They removed ministers who dared to voice dissent.

  13. Another question dato din. What about this Chandra Chap? I admired him in aliran, after that with many chopping and changing positions as people do sometimes in life i became confused, He was a intellectual of sorts.

  14. “.. Only an economic collapse will wake the Malays … Najib will control the Malays with money and a perverted version of Islam. Unless the Malays and UMNO act, Najib will continue to be a curse to this great country.” – Din Merican

    Din, I can feel the pain/anguish/desperation in your comment. Although many Nons would concur with you, we dare not express it least we sound racist. The fact of the matter is until the majority of thr rural Malays are in extreme poverty, they may not wake up – this is the saddest part of it. I just hope they do not dismiss their poverty as God ordained. It is up to those who have left the kampongs, ‘seen the lights’ and return to wake up their kith and kin.

  15. This Chandra guy is king rat. He and family have benefited big time from kissing UMNO and Malay ass. Remember he tried to get Najib to crack down on Bersih! Now jumping on the bandwagon after so many others have spoken out. Look at his track record. Anti opposition; turncoat; sychopant; No honour opportunist. Nothing new in article at all. No need to give this naga pambu any space, please.

  16. Looks like the golf session with Obama didn’t have the desirable outcome. Well, now that Obama will be leaving a few months’ time and Malaysian Official No 1 may finally be hanged to dry.

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