PETALING JAYA: Former newspaper editor A. Kadir Jasin has hailed Matthias Chang and Husam Musa as patriots and champions of the people for filing a class action suit in New York to recover money said to have been stolen from 1MDB.
Kadir, writing in his blog today, congratulated Chang, a former political secretary to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and Husam, a former vice-president of PAS.
He thanked them for their sacrifice and the risks they faced in filing the suit, which named as defendants Riza Aziz, stepson of Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Razak, Penang-born businessman Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low), Riza’s film company Red Granite Pictures, and several other people.
Kadir, a former chief editor of New Straits Times Press, is also regarded as an ally of Mahathir, and is a supporter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, a new party formed by the former prime minister, with the aim of defeating the Barisan Nasional government led by Najib.
In his article, Kadir also pointed out that although two suits have now been filed in the United States regarding 1MDB, Najib himself had yet to follow through on his threat to sue the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for its reporting on 1MDB and on a deposit of US$600 million into his personal bank accounts.
“More than a year had passed but Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has yet to fulfill his threat to sue the WSJ for supposedly defaming him,” Kadir said.
The prime minister’s office has said that the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family and that most of it had been returned. Lawyers for Najib have also said defamation action in the US would be hampered by legal protections afforded to the press.
The DoJ had filed suits on July 20 saying that over US$3.5 billion was misappropriated from 1MDB.
In its suits, filed in Los Angeles, DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The US civil suits are seeking to seize US$1 billion of the allegedly embezzled assets that were transferred into the United States using shell companies.
The DoJ also alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.
It specifically named Riza, Jho Low, and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.