07
Sep
15

No, the RM2.6 billion was not a donation

The donation was a ‘donation’, okay?

Najib Abdul Razak has, er, verified receipt of the humongous sum of money indicated in the exposé published by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ). That being the case, we are officially permitted to discuss it.

The exact total sum transferred by foreign financial institutions in two tranches (US$619,999,988 and US$60,999,998) into Najib’s personal bank accounts was US$680,999,986. The exchange rate at the material time was ±RM3·77 to the US dollar. That makes the total sum equal to ±RM2,567,369,947.

In addition to this, there was RM42 million transferred by Ihsan Perdana, a company said to carry out corporate social responsibility work for 1MDB.

That means the total sum transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts was RM2,609,369,947. Hereafter, we shall simply say RM2·6 billion.

That figure looks big, doesn’t it? But it is more than just big. It is astronomical. Just imagine that if you earn RM10,000 a month and your salary is static, it will take you 21,745 very, very, very long years to get it.

A matter of donation

The vast sum of money has been described as a donation at various times, and as a political donation at other times.

But was it a donation?

No.

A donation is a gift given freely – and that is to say, free of any obligation – to a party (a person or a non-living entity such as charity) in need. It is not made to express one’s appreciation of a favour previously received nor to induce the recipient to grant a favour to one. Neither is it made in anticipation of anything in return. Nor is it made to pay for something whether tangible or intangible.

Najib can hardly be described as a person in need. He is immensely wealthy as suggested by his and his family’s lifestyles. And their ability to wallow in splendour and opulence and to spend extravagantly are due to, as explained by his very own office, he being a beneficiary of ‘legacy family inheritance’.

The money has been described as a political donation obviously to give us the idea that it was not subject to tax and that it was used to fund Umno’s campaign for the last general election (GE13).

So, was it a political donation, then?

So highly unlikely that we can also say no.

We are told that just before GE13, the Genting Group had ‘donated’ RM190 million to Umno using charities as fronts. Please note that I have enclosed the word ‘donated’ in open and close inverted commas; you must know the significance of it. We are further told that various analysts had speculated that the so-called donation could be election-related.

Oh, we need not be reminded that 1MDB has had previous to that bought Genting’s power company at five times its market value, do we?

Based on the cap on expenditures allowed for parliamentary and state legislative assembly seats, Umno needed only RM94·7 million maximum in total. Say, RM95 million.

If we assume that the money from the Genting Group was indeed meant for the campaign, then there was more than enough.

If we assume that the RM2·6 billion was from Middle Eastern Arabs to finance Umno’s campaign as implied by Najib’s supporters, then those Arabs really need to have their heads examined.

If we assume that the number of parliamentary seats, of the state legislative assembly seats, and of the cap stay constant, and that Umno remains in existence for a very, very long time, that sum is sufficient for it (Umno) to use for 27 elections. Since an election is held every five years, we are talking about 135 years.

Those Arabs might be generous as implied, but they cannot be stupid.

Also, very wealthy people are seldom known to be generous. The late American billionaire Paul Getty, for instance, even had payphones installed in his mansion for his guests to use.

Furthermore, we are told by Marina Mahathir that the donations towards all UK political parties in the first quarter of 2015 (just before they had a general election) came to just over the equivalent of RM182 million; that the Conservative Party alone only got the equivalent of RM92 million.

And so, no. The money was neither an ordinary donation nor a political donation.

It was a payment, okay? Okay?

On the documents pertaining to the first two transfers already mentioned, the word ‘donation’ does not exist. Not even the word ‘gift’ does. The word used to describe the monies moved is ‘payment’.

Merriam-Webster defines ‘payment’ as ‘the act of giving money for something; the act of paying something that is given to someone in exchange for something else; an amount of money that is paid for something’.

One more thing. The bank charges for the transfers were shared between the payor and the payee. If you were generous enough to give a gift of RM2·6 billion to me, why would you ask me to pay 50 percent of the transfer fees? which is, relatively speaking, pittance?

And, finally, the fact that proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the monies were not, shall we say, an obligation-free gift or a political donation to Umno is this: they were paid into Najib’s accounts in the second half of March 2013, but no one – not even his former deputy – knew about it till the exposé by WSJ. The exposé was published no less than two years and four months later.

No, the RM2·6 billion was not a donation. So cut the camel dung, will ya? We folk ain’t stupid as ya think we are. It was a – ahem! – ‘donation’. The word is – ahem! – enclosed in open and close inverted commas.

…more
The donation was a ‘donation’, okay?
By Odin Tajué
Malaysiakini

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