SEPANG: What wrong has been committed by Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak, asks the party’s youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar about civil suits filed by the US Department of Justice.
Expressing dissatisfaction with the DoJ civil suits, involving funds said to have been embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, he said that although the department had only come up with investigative findings, its remarks made it seem as though Malaysia was already guilty and was being punished.
The words used make it appear that Malaysia and the government are guilty, he said at Sepang Umno’s Puteri and Youth annual assembly here last night.
Last month the DoJ unveiled that it was seeking to seize more than US$1 billion in assets obtained with allegedly misappropriated 1MDB funds.
Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, millionaire Jho Low, and two other Abu Dhabi businessmen were named as being involved in siphoning off US$3.5 billion from 1MDB, some of which had passed through the accounts of an unnamed public official dubbed “Malaysian Official 1”.
During the press conference, Andrew McCabe, deputy director of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation, had said that “Malaysians have been defrauded on a massive scale”.
However Khairy reiterated that the forfeiture suits had nothing to do with the Malaysian government nor did it directly implicate Najib or 1MDB.
Those individuals named still had a chance to fight for their case in court, he stressed.
“The claims made in this investigative findings have yet to be proven, but suddenly there are calls (for Najib) to step down and many more. “I can’t accept this, because this government and the prime minister had received the people’s mandate.”
He said Najib’s critics should wait until the next general election to take down the democratically elected government instead of calling for foreign intervention or taking to the streets to protest.
Khairy urged all Umno Youth and Puteri members to stand behind their president as long as Najib has done nothing wrong. “Make sure the president is not alone. Whatever he says, we must spread it to the ground.”
Earlier this week, Maria Chin Abdullah of the Bersih electoral reform group announced a fifth Bersih street rally and a nationwide roadshow to raise awareness about the DoJ suit. The group also alleges that the “Malaysian Official 1” is Najib.