PETALING JAYA: Tony Pua has joined in the chorus of criticism against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s politically-charged speech at the InvestMalaysia 2017 conference yesterday.
The DAP national publicity secretary said it must have been a surreal experience for the investment community present, both local and foreign, but believes the message would not just be accepted wholesale.
“The investment community are not gullible fools who would believe the naked emperor.
“Their confidence in the country will only be returned when a new clean and competent government gets elected by 2018,” Pua said in a statement, on Najib’s keynote speech at InvestMalaysia 2017, which was attended by some 900 local and foreign business leaders.
Yesterday, while acknowledging in his speech that there “were lapses in 1MDB’s governance”, Najib took a swipe at the opposition for fanning the flames of the 1MDB issue.
“Let’s not forget that while there were issues in 1MDB, certain politicians blew them out of proportion, and tried to sabotage the company, in an attempt to topple the government in between election cycles,” Najib had said.
Pua said it was ironic that Najib’s speech came on the same day that the Dewan Rakyat Speaker had given a “record” number of rejections in a single day to questions by opposition MPs on 1MDB.
“Even I had a total of 5 questions relating to 1MDB which were rejected.
“It included my question on whether the Attorney-General had investigated the claims made in the latest United States Department of Justice (US DoJ) suit to seize up to US$1.7 billion worth of assets purchased from funds allegedly embezzled from 1MDB,” Pua said.
Pua, who is Petaling Jaya Utara MP, called for the prime minister to use the Dewan Rakyat to respond to the opposition and the people.
“Malaysians would like to know why Najib only has the courage to deliver his ‘defence’ of 1MDB with a straight face to an audience who don’t have the opportunity to raise questions.
“I am sure the investors on the floor would have loved an opportunity to ask the prime minister, if he had indeed done no wrong, why would he not just give simple answers to the questions asked in parliament,” Pua said.
“In fact, he would have had the best opportunity to make the opposition look like complete idiots if it were true that the latter was blowing the issue ‘out of proportion’.”
Pua was also critical of Najib for mentioning in his speech that he had initiated investigations into 1MDB, but failed to highlight the fact that he “replaced the Public Accounts Committee chairman with Hassan Ariffin”.
“Nor did he mention that he ‘retired’ an attorney-general who allegedly was about to prosecute him and had also refused to instruct 1MDB to comply fully with the Auditor-General after the company failed to provide any of its overseas bank records and statements for audit,” Pua said.
“Let us make it clear, the opposition did not sabotage 1MDB.”