PETALING JAYA: Former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been accused of “still lying to the people” by not understanding the legal process behind the US Justice Department’s suits against assets linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
Umno Supreme Council member Mohd Puad Zarkashi said Muhyiddin had lied by accusing the prime minister, Najib Razak, of not taking the US action seriously, and in saying that the US action was proof that the parties named in the court action had stolen money from 1MDB.
Puad pointed out that the Prime Minister had stressed in a statement that the government views the allegations seriously and would fully cooperate.
Puad said Malaysia’s position was that the civil suit should go through the proper process with each party named being given the opportunity to defend themselves in a fair trial.
He said many lawyers had examined the US case and said that the US Justice Department had no concrete evidence to press criminal charges.
“This case is also a little strange because the actions made were based on complaints of theft made by the Sarawak Report and certain individuals.
However, the alleged victim of this theft, 1MDB, has denied that their money had been stolen and they have proved it through documents and audited financial statements. Muhyiddin claims that there has been a loss of billions of ringgit from 1MDB, while at the same time 1MDB repeatedly stated that there is no evidence that money had gone missing.”
Puad said that any discrepancies only involved money under the control of two Abu Dhabi companies, IPIC and Aabar PJS, which was now the subject of an arbitration dispute between IPIC and 1MDB.
He challenged Muhyiddin’s allegation that the Justice Department action was based on discoveries by a US investigation team. Instead, he said it was based merely on suspicions based on complaints filed with the Justice Department.
“For that reason, the US Justice Department had been unable to indict anyone using normal criminal proceedings and none of the parties named have been charged,” said Puad.
He pointed out that it was odd that Muhyiddin wanted the Malaysian government to take immediate legal actions against the unnamed “Malaysian Official 1”, Najib’s stepson Reza Aziz, Penang-born
businessman Jho Low and two Abu Dhabi businessmen based solely on the US Justice Department’s statement.
“What is the basis for the government to take action? The US Justice Department itself is not sure about their allegations because they do not have solid evidence.
“In this civil suit, none of those named were charged of any wrongdoing. How is it that Muhyiddin wants the Malaysian government to take swift action? Is what Muhyiddin wants reasonable and in
accordance with the law?” Puad said.
He noted that the Justice Department suit was different from the criminal case against Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng over his purchase of a bungalow for RM2.8 million, as there was hard evidence showing his involvement.
“Yet we have not heard Muhyiddin talking about this matter. The double standard and vengeance is apparent.”