JOHOR BARU: The revelation by Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah that he resigned as second finance minister because of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal should galvanise Malaysians to do something about it, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang says.
This, the MP for Gelang Patah said at the Gelang Patah DAP Pesta Tanglung last night, was the time for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, or party politics, to take a common patriotic stand to defend the reputation of Malaysia.
“The question is whether there are enough Malaysians to save Malaysia from the first international scandal to hit Malaysia and purge and cleanse Malaysia of the infamy of being an overnight global kleptocracy,” he said.
He asked if Husni was prepared to lead a campaign to save Malaysia from this bad reputation.
If he did so, Lim said, Husni, the nation and 30 million Malaysians “would be healed.”
He said Ahmad Husni had admitted, according to a report in Sinar Harian, that he quit the Cabinet because the 1MDB scandal had made him sick and he did not want to be associated with it.
Husni, Lim noted, had been appointed the Cabinet spokesman on 1MDB in June last year but gave up on this role after his efforts to “defend the indefensible” proved futile and even infantile in a matter of months.
“He was under heavy stress for several months as he was tasked with resolving the growing 1MDB scandal although he was never part of the debt-ridden sovereign fund when it was first set up.
“The stress over the 1MDB scandal caused Husni to suffer prolonged high blood pressure.”
In his interview, Husni had spoken about “hypocrites” in government who dealt with corruption issues.
Lim said until 18 months ago, 1MDB was a national scandal, the subject of constant parliamentary questions and badgering by DAP MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua and the PKR MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli, over the previous five years.
But 18 months ago, the DAP Parliamentary Leader said, the 1MDB scandal graduated from a national into an international scandal.
For the past 18 months, he said, the honour and integrity of the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, the Malaysian Government and the Malaysian nation had been “haunted and hounded by the 1MDB international scandal, dragged through the coals, becoming ever bigger and more monstrous with the passage of time instead of being minimised or resolved.”
“The greatest disservice that the Najib administration has done to Malaysia is to take such an international indictment as a ‘global kleptocracy’ in stride, as if it is the commonest thing for a government or nation to be named and identified not only as a ‘kleptocracy’ but a ‘global kleptocracy’!”
Lim lamented that neither the government nor the various national enforcement and investigative institutions in the country had sought the co-operation of the US authorities for information about the serious allegations of theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering of tens of billions of ringgit of 1MDB funds.
This was the case, he added, even though a Cabinet minister had admitted that Najib was the “Malaysian Official 1” named in the US Department of Justice civil suits to seize assets allegedly bought with funds stolen from 1MDB.
He lamented, too, that Parliament had not been convened in a special session to clear Malaysia of this ignominy.