Johari ‘kidding no one’ on DoJ lawsuit, says Pua

Johari Abdul Ghani

KUALA LUMPUR: Despite substantiated allegations made by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) in a civil action suit related to 1MDB, there have been no concrete actions taken by authorities in Malaysia, pointed out Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement.

For starters, he added, there have been no developments from the police who have purportedly been investigating the scandal for nearly two years. “We certainly didn’t hear of an arrest warrant for Low Taek Jho or Riza Aziz despite their being named as the parties who laundered 1MDB’s funds in the United States.”

In addition, he said, the new Bank Negara Governor Mohammad Ibrahim has publicly washed his hands off the 1MDB scandal by declaring the case closed.

Former MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner, Zakaria Jaffar has even declared the scandal isn’t MACC’s jurisdiction, reminded Pua who is also DAP National Publicity Secretary.

Hence, he asked, who is Second Finance Minister Johari Abdul Ghani kidding when he told reporters that action will be taken? “He didn’t even have the courage as Finance Minister II to direct Bank Negara to open a money laundering case against the implicated officials, including ‘Malaysian Official 1 (MO1)’.”

In fact, continued Pua, why should the Malaysian Government be waiting for the DOJ suit to conclude in the US before following up with the necessary action?

Given that it’s Malaysian money which was stolen, shouldn’t Johari be jumping up and down demanding immediate action by the Malaysian authorities, instead of being shamed by a foreign country, asked the MP.

He noted that Johari has said the government will take legal action against the individuals named in the DoJ civil suit related to 1MDB, if they were found guilty of wrongdoing.

He even stressed that “there will be no two ways in dealing with this matter”, said Pua. “He must have been joking because the statement lacked any iota of credibility.”

He said that Johari cannot expect Malaysians and the international community to believe him when there has been a complete absence of outrage from the Najib administration on the DoJ suit when the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) alleged “the Malaysian people were defrauded on an enormous scale”.

The DoJ also alleged that 1MDB officials and their associates stole more than USD3.5 billion from the fund between 2009 and 2015 and laundered at least USD1 billion through the US, reminded Pua. “The fund’s officials tried to conceal the fund’s origins through complex transactions that involved shell companies and bank accounts located in various countries.”

Despite the enormity of the scam and scandal, the Malaysian Government has shown shocking indifference to the expose, reiterated Pua. “The Prime Minister only took pains to emphasize that it was only a civil suit and it didn’t involve him.”

This was despite the fact that the DoJ suit has highlighted that a “Malaysian Official 1” had received USD731 million from the embezzled funds, pointed out Pua. “The ‘MO1’ undeniably referred to Najib.”

In fact, he said, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan even said that “only an idiot doesn’t know who MO1 is”.