Salleh: Why does DoJ talk about what’s happening inside Malaysia?


KUALA LUMPUR: The latest announcement by the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ) on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is not confined to the subject matter which is about an alleged crime committed on US soil.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said a large part of the DoJ statement on July 20 last year as well as last Thursday, dwelt on what was happening internally in Malaysia, and an even larger part had no relevance to the subject of whether a crime had been committed on US soil as alleged.

“The main issue here is not the US or the DoJ but that they are quoting from the complaint that they received.

“So the issue here is who are the parties who lodged that complaint with the US DoJ?” questioned Salleh in his blog today.

He was referring to the DoJ’s latest filing of lawsuits to recover assets allegedly embezzled from 1MDB.

In arguing his point, Salleh cited as an example, US interference in Malaysian politics during the years of 1998 to 2003, and said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been very angry with the US over it.

Salleh noted that Mahathir was so upset about what he alleged was US interference in Malaysian politics that he called his then deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim an American agent. This resulted in Anwar suing the New Straits Times in 2003 for reporting it.

“Mahathir grumbled that when Anwar went to the US he received a 21-gun salute even though he was only the deputy prime minister while, as prime minister, Mahathir did not receive the same red carpet treatment.

“The US then called Anwar a ‘Prisoner of Conscience’ and this angered Mahathir even more,” he said.

Salleh mentioned that to Mahathir, Malaysia’s politics was Malaysia’s internal affairs and outsiders had no right to interfere in it.

He stressed in fact that this had been the international practice for a long time.

“Countries can, of course, comment about the internal affairs of other countries if it involves matters such as human rights, civil liberties, child labour, child sex, genocide, and so on.

“Other than that you respect the sovereignty of another country,” Salleh added.