PETALING JAYA: Lim Kit Siang holds PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman “responsible” for the recent pro-government rhetoric warning of foreign meddling in Malaysia’s internal affairs following legal action by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).
The DAP parliamentary leader today claimed that the assertion by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang yesterday, which was echoed immediately by several state muftis, was designed to ensure Malaysians do not focus on a US$27.3 million (RM117 billion) pink diamond necklace mentioned during the DoJ’s civil filing to seize assets allegedly linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
He said Syed Saddiq’s call to Malaysian youths to return to their kampungs during the Hari Raya festive period to share the “scandal” of the necklace and 27 other jewellery items listed in the DoJ report had intensified the “foreign interference” propaganda.
The Gelang Patah MP said the “fairy tale of foreign intervention” was designed to counter and neutralise Syed Saddiq’s call.
“PPBM Youth wing’s Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has frightened the Umno propaganda bigwigs with his call to Malaysians to keep alive the controversial issue of the US$ 27.3 million jewellery bought for the wife of Malaysian Official 1 (MO1) during the entire Hari Raya celebration,” Lim said in a statement today.
“Thus the escalation of the propaganda to spread the fairy tale that the DoJ kleptocratic suits were unacceptable violation of Malaysia’s sovereignty and foreign intervention with the country’s domestic affairs, when these were never the issues,” he said.
He added that the foreign ministry had not issued any protest against the US government over such interference since the DoJ’s civil suit on June 15 to seize assets worth US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) allegedly purchased with funds embezzled from 1MDB.
The DoJ’s first suit was filed in July last year when Washington sought to confiscate more than US$1 billion (RM4.28 billion) in connection with the sovereign wealth fund.
“Syed Saddiq is therefore responsible for the intensity of the UMNO propaganda campaign, even roping in the PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and several state muftis, from Pahang, Perak, Melaka and Federal Territory,” Lim said.
Hadi had yesterday issued an open letter to political parties for Hari Raya, in which he accused certain quarters of inviting outsiders to meddle in the country’s affairs leading to Malaysia’s sovereignty possibly falling to foreign hands.
The Marang MP had said Malaysia’s internal issues should be left to the nation’s own courts to decide on and not be entrusted to foreign courts.
Hadi claimed that there were parties in other countries wanting to seize the opportunity to prop up their own interests by compromising Malaysia’s.
This was followed by several muftis warning that such interference would cause disharmony and disrupt peace like what recently happened in Arab countries.
The muftis who were quoted by Bernama were Pahang’s Abdul Rahman Osman, Melaka’s Abdul Halim Tawil, Perak’s Harussani Zakaria and Federal Territory’s Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri.
On June 20, minister in the prime minister’s department Abdul Rahman Dahlan said the DoJ should not have mentioned the purchase of diamonds by the wife of MO1 if it had no plans to seize the items.
Referring to the 251-page document filed by DoJ on June 15, he said such “unnecessary” details were insinuating at Prime Minister Najib Razak’s wife, Rosmah Mansor.
“You (the DoJ) had mocked… you gave the impression that Rosmah and the diamond did something wrong,” Abdul Rahman said.
“But in the documents you submitted, you didn’t include the diamond as one of the items that you plan to seize,” he said.