25
Jul
15

WSJ claim calls for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from Najib

The PM is yet to tell whether 1MDB funds did flow into his personal accounts.

COMMENT

Prime Minister Najib Razak probably thought he was in the clear, finally, after postponing the Umno party elections till 2018. It was time to breathe deep and deal with the already formidable mountain of scandals demanding his attention and to work on making his administration look competent after years and years of being lambasted from all quarters. Sadly, fate is a capricious thing, and Najib now has to deal with what may be the biggest scandal ever to hit a sitting Malaysian prime minister.

By now, most of us must have read the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report which claims that some RM2.6 billion was transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts just before GE13. It has been all that anyone is talking about in the past week, and the general feeling that Najib is on his way out has never been stronger. After all, presidents and prime ministers all over the world have resigned or been made to resign for much less.

Perhaps the most preposterous aspect of the controversy is the way Najib tries to defend himself. The sounds coming out of his camp are incredibly coarse, to say the least. In an information war, it is important to discredit your opponent by making it seem that your side of the story is more plausible. But Najib and his cohorts’ tendency to belittle WSJ – whether by questioning its credibility, or implying that it is unprofessional in depending solely on Mahathir Mohamad’s word for its report, or claiming that the expose was part of a Jewish master plan to bring down Islamic countries – is laughable at best. The allegation of a Jewish conspiracy comes to us courtesy of FT Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii. No wonder we have a leadership crisis in this country.

The Wall Street Journal is nothing like a mosquito newspaper. It is published by a global behemoth, with offices throughout the world, a highly reputable media organisation that prides itself on excellence in reporting. Of course, it has occasionally made mistakes in its long history. Which media organisation hasn’t?

In the current case, however, it has firmly stood its ground against the accusations of Najib’s supporters, claiming that the evidence it has shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that funds from 1MDB were indeed transferred into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts. To accuse the leader of a country of corruption, and to the magnitude of RM2.6 billion at that, is no small matter. It is a huge risk that no reputable media organisation would take unless it had a high level of confidence that it could defend itself.

The accusation is extremely serious, and Najib must be able to give a clear yes-or-no answer when questioned whether funds were indeed transferred to his accounts. Anything else just weakens his position both as a leader and as a person. His argument that he has “never taken funds for personal gain” sounds deceptive under the circumstances. He was never accused of taking the funds for personal use. Most observers have deduced that the funds were channelled into BN’s war chest.

This is not something Najib can just shrug off his shoulders like so much dust, as he has with most of the accusations thrown at him so far. In many other countries, the people would have started a revolt. But Najib must not take the peaceful reaction to the expose to mean that Malaysians are not paying close attention.

…more
WSJ claim calls for ‘yes’ or ‘no’ from Najib
Scott Ng
July 7, 2015 – FMT

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
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fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
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