PETALING JAYA: The revelations by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in regard to the misappropriation of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds should be motivation enough for the government to initiate action under Malaysian law against “Malaysian Official 1”, Riza Aziz and Jho Low, as well as other names mentioned in the US Attorney-General’s report.
Former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who said this in a statement today, also challenged Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is also the finance minister, to take appropriate action.
He also called on the Conference of Rulers to assert itself in this matter.
Muhyiddin also took Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali to task for not carrying out his responsibilities.
“Who, in the understanding of the Attorney-General, is the ‘Malaysian Official 1’ mentioned in the US DoJ report?
“If he (Apandi) doesn’t know, can’t he just call his counterpart in the US and ask who he is?”
Muhyiddin said he had deliberately taken his time before issuing a statement because he wanted to observe the reactions of Najib and the AG, with regard to the suits filed by the DoJ.
“Even though it is a civil case aimed at seizing assets, it also shows those named had committed fraud by stealing money belonging to 1MDB. That is a crime,” the Pagoh Member of Parliament said.
The former DPM said Najib should have taken the US AG’s decision seriously and sent a high-level delegation to the United States.
He also suggested the formation of an independent tribunal to investigate and begin the prosecution process against those found to have been involved or had a hand in laundering billions of ringgit from 1MDB.
“Najib also should have sent Malaysia’s AG and the Inspector-General of Police to the US immediately to cooperate with the country so that suitable legal action under Malaysian laws can be taken against those involved.”
He urged the rakyat to demand that those who had “robbed the nation’s wealth” be punished.
However, he said the call for the rakyat to rise up should be done peacefully and within the provisions of the law, and must not be seen as provocative.
Apart from that, Muhyiddin also called upon the Malay rulers to not let the country’s image and dignity of the rakyat be tarnished.
“The Council of Rulers can act by becoming the last line of defence for the rakyat and the country’s rights.
“They will not be going against any provision in the Malaysian Constitution if they act in the spirit of the Malay Rulers to do something to protect the rakyat and country’s harmony.”
Muhyiddin said he would stand by his convictions and would not back down from what he believed in fighting for the rights of the people.
Muhyiddin’s comments come after the DoJ filed lawsuits, claiming that over USD3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
In its lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles, the DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB.”