Kadir: Wrongdoers at 1MDB must be made to pay

kadir-1MDBKUALA LUMPUR: It’s apparent from a Bernama report, and what has been revealed by investigators in the country and abroad, read together with the weaknesses referred to by the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Report on 1MDB, that there has been, in all probability, negligence, criminal breach of trust and corporate malfeasance (wrongdoing) at the company, said a veteran newsman in his latest blog posting.

Given the recommendations by the PAC, added former New Straits Group Editor-in-Chief Kadir Jasin, there’s no longer any excuse for the enforcement agencies – the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the police and Bank Negara in particular – not to continue with their investigations on 1MDB unless they want to risk being in contempt of Parliament. “The investigations have in fact been carried out before and discontinued in the middle of last year.”

“The PAC is clear that the 1MDB management and Board of Directors must take responsibility for what has needlessly gone wrong with the company.”

Kadir recalled that Bank Negara recommended twice that 1MDB be dragged to Court for wrongdoing on transfers of money but Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali overruled the central bank. “He claimed that there was no case against 1MDB.”

In short, said the veteran newsman, there’s in fact a case against 1MDB. “That much is clear from the PAC Report on 1MDB submitted to Parliament.”

“The fact that PAC recommended that former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi and associates and the Board of Directors be held responsible for the debacle at 1MDB is significant.”

Equally significant, noted Kadir, was the PAC recommendation that Article 117 in 1MDB’s Memorandum and Articles of Association (M&A) be removed and the Board of Advisors headed by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak be disbanded. “The Committee urged that all references to the Prime Minister at 1MDB be changed to the Finance Minister since the company was owned by the Ministry.”

“However, the fact remains that Najib besides being the Prime Minister is also the Finance Minister.”

Revisiting Article 117, Kadir pointed out that Najib was ultimately responsible for 1MDB since nothing can be done at the company on so many matters without his written approval. “The PAC also found that the company’s management acted without authorization by the Board of Directors, and even acted contrary to what the Board expected.”

“The manner in which loans were incurred by the company and the management of these loans left a lot to be desired.”

On a brighter note, Kadir quoted from the PAC Report on efforts by the government to put right the company’s cash flow situation and the reshuffle of the top management to embark on a rationalization plan. “The accumulation of debts paid little heed to the company’s capital structure and ultimately resulted in a cash flow crisis.”