KUALA LUMPUR: Umno minister Salleh Said Keruak must be “out of his mind” to suggest that the opposition had anything to do with the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) latest actions over the use of funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
Seputeh MP Teresa Kok said Salleh, by making a “stupid” statement linking Malaysian opposition parties to the DoJ, also showed his incompetence as a member of the federal cabinet.
“Salleh is mad for suggesting that the opposition here can control the DoJ, as if there is a connection between the two.
“How can a federal minister make this kind of statement? He must think the public are fools to believe such stupid allegations.
“He just showed that he couldn’t rebut the accusations by the DoJ, and so he can only link it to the opposition here, which doesn’t make sense at all,” she told FMT today.
Yesterday Salleh, who is communications and multimedia minister, was reported to have strongly condemned the opposition and their supporters, saying they were prepared to ignore national sovereignty and use foreign powers to interfere in the country’s political affairs.
“It is unnecessary for us to seek the help of foreign powers to topple the national leadership. I think that is wrong and I regard it as a betrayal of Malaysia’s independence,” he had said.
His statement came just a day after the DoJ filed its second action in California, seeking to seize US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) in assets including art works, jewellery and film rights purchased with funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.
“Rather than lying, Salleh should come forward and show proof that can counter all the accusations made by the DoJ.
“But so far, from the DoJ’s first findings (in July last year) to the latest one, we haven’t seen anything from them that can convince us (that the DoJ was wrong),” said Kok, who is DAP national vice-chairman.
The assets named in the DoJ applications included the film rights to two comedies, “Dumb and Dumber To” starring Jim Carrey and “Daddy’s Home” with Will Ferrell. Both productions were allegedly financed with millions of dollars from the state-owned investment fund.
Last July’s civil forfeiture suit sought to recover all the assets including but not limited to the Park Lane hotel in New York, a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills, condominiums in New York, a private jet, expensive works of art, as well as the financing of Martin Scorsese’s movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”, which starred Leonardo DiCaprio.
With yesterday’s court filings, the total value of the assets sought by the DoJ had increased to US$1.8 billion (RM7.7 billion).
The DoJ charged that from 2009 through 2015, more than US$4.5 billion (RM19 billion) belonging to 1MDB had been diverted by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.