Saturday, February 28, 2015

1MDB - Whom to Believe?

On the official 1MDB website – I personally checked it today: @ 09:36 PM – the Chairperson of the Board of Directors, Lodin Wok Kamaruddin (left) had put out a statement dated December 23, 2014 that plainly explained that “…1MDB raises and invest its own capital. In fact, in terms of actual funding, the company has only ever received RM1 million in equity, which was provided by the Ministry of Finance at the time of its inception. Given that 1MDB does not receive any funding from the Government, it is therefore simply not true to claim that the company is investing or worse, wasting, the state’s – or the people’s – money.” (Webpage http://www.1mdb.com.my/press-release/for-the-record).

Prime Minister Najib Razak – who is also the chairperson of the 1MDB Board of Advisers – said on Facebook that 1MDB is a strategic investment fund owned by the government and he will not allow any misappropriation of public funds. Note that Najib specifically mentioned “dana awam” meaning “public funds”.

[Note: Najib’s actual words in Malay, taken from his Facebook page today: “Ingin saya tegaskan di sini, 1MDB adalah sebuah syarikat pembangunan strategik, dimiliki oleh Kerajaan Malaysia dan saya tidak akan sesekali membenarkan sesiapa menggunakan atau menyeleweng dana awam untuk kepentingan dan keuntungan peribadi” (Webpage https://www.facebook.com/najibrazak).

Now if the chairperson of the Board of Directors and the chairperson of the Board of Directors cannot see eye-to-eye – whom do we believe? Who is right and who is wrong? Never mind whether it is a sovereign wealth fund or a strategic investment fund, the bottom line is whether the people’s money is being used or not?

I really wonder why Najib emphasized on the issue of misappropriation of funds at 1MDB? Why did he bring this matter up all of a sudden? If he wants to counter the criticisms directed at his pet project, just use facts and figures to show that all is well at 1MDB. 

Come clean and I am sure the explanations given will put the Malaysian public’s mind at rest. Stop being opaque. Stop being evasive. Stop telling lies.

Now if Lodin is right about the government investing only RM1 million in the form of equity – why did Najib mention "public funds"? 

Anyway, Malaysians know that RM1 million is nothing to get excited about because the well-connected are awarded mega contracts by the government at inflated prices that will let them make millions. Many, many millions. And not counting, squandering many millions more to corruption. Therefore to lose RM1 million is like letting a crumb drop to the floor.

Methinks, there’s more to this than meets the eye. It is time Malaysians know the truth about 1MDB.

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