Media Statement by Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Damansara and Political Secretary to Minister of Finance in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 9 January 2019:
The Wall Street Journal exposed yesterday that the former Prime Minister has compromised Malaysia’s national interest by, among other measures, offering lucrative infrastructure contracts to China-owned companies in exchange for an agreement by the China parties to help pay off 1MDB debts. The story was explosive as it was the first time the report cited confidential minutes of meetings between Dato’ Seri Najib Razak and top-ranking China officials in 2016.
Certain former Cabinet Ministers were very quick to distance themselves from the misdeeds of Dato’ Seri Najib. Khairy Jamaluddin tweeted that “as a former cabinet member, I can categorically state the that cabinet was never informed that the China deals were linked to bailing out 1MDB. If there is evidence of that happening, it was without cabinet approval.”
The attempts to protest their innocence can only be described as utterly lame.
While the minutes of the meetings were newly cited evidence, the allegations that China was offered mega-infrastructure contracts as part of deals to pay off 1MDB debts were widely cited way back in 2016.
The Sarawak Report had an exclusive expose on a term-sheet between the Government of Malaysia and China Communications and Construction Company (CCCC) over the terms of the East Coast Rail Link project where how the excess funds were to be distributed was outlined in great detail. (See attached documents below)
In the leaked documents, the ECRL project was to cost RM60 billion but the actual cost of construction by CCCC was only RM27 billion. After the deduction of other fees and expenses, the balance of RM29.8 billion was to be redistributed back to interested parties, including the repayment of 1MDB debts, acquisition of Jho Low-related entities – Loh & Loh Construction Bhd (US$243.6mil) and Putra Perdana Bhd (US$71.4mil) as well as ‘Strategic Consultancy Services’ (US$65mil).
The payments will be disguised as payments by a “CCCC nominated ‘credit worthy’ company A (unrelated to CCCC)” to acquire 1MDB assets, including the controversial Ayer Itam land in Penang, the fraudulent Brazen Sky and 1MDB Global Investment Limited investment units.
While the authenticity of the documents published by Sarawak Report could not be established, they were incredibly credible given the degree of detail and the context of when it was published. Sarawak Report was the first to correctly allege the then soon-to-be awarded contract to CCCC for a massively inflated RM60 billion. The construction contract was eventually signed with CCCC for RM55 billion in May 2017, before subsequently increased to RM66 billion for additional works and phases.
Of course, none of these would have been discussed or presented by the former Prime Minister in Cabinet. He may be a crook but he’s not that stupid.
The question to ask these Ministers who are pleading innocent and feigning ignorance is, given the flood of extremely credible allegations against Najib and 1MDB during that period of time, including the explosive first charge by the US Department of Justice which confirmed that billions of dollars were stolen and billions of ringgit were funnelled into the Prime Minister’s personal bank account in Malaysia, did you even raise the question in the Cabinet and request that the Prime Minister explain these extremely dodgy deals?
Or did you meekly pretended everything is A-OK, or that these unsavoury details are best left safely hidden under the lid and that the less you know, the better?
Instead of probing to discover the truth, did you instead galivanted around the country to preach to ordinary Malaysians what a great Prime Minister Najib is, in carefully stage-managed townhalls to promote “Transformasi Nasional 2050” or TN50?
No, every Minister and BN component party were directly culpable for making Malaysia the global kleptocracy, and for allowing Najib to rob the country and people of billions of dollars.
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