The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that 1MDB had contributed to the people in many ways which they are unaware of, like the Prime Minister’s special haj programme which had spent RM57 million since 2011 to finance 5,700 people to perform the haj in Mecca.
I did an immediate calculation and found that the RM117 million (US$27.3 million) 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace stolen from 1MDB funds by Jho Low and given to the “wife of MO1” would be able to immediately sponsor over 11,000 haj pilgrims from Malaysia.
May be this is what the “wife of MO1” should do with regard to the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace to immediately finance over 11,000 haj pilgrims from Malaysia. Will the “wife of MO1” agree to this suggestion?
We are only talking about the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace gifted to the “wife of MO1” from the stolen 1MDB funds, which is not the only item of jewellery involved in the 1MDB international money-laundering scandal which landed up with “wife of MO1”.
The third filing by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the California court to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets from the US$4.5 billion 1MDB funds stolen and laundered through American banks, referred to 28 jewellery items purportedly purchased for “MO1’s wife”.
But the one piece of the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace costing RM117 million is itself beyond the capability of over 99% of Malaysians, even from their multiple life-time incomes or earnings.
If a person earns RM5,000 a month, he would make RM60,000 a year, RM600,000 in a decade, and given 50 years of lifetime earnings or incomes, we are talking about a total of RM3 million – which is just 2.5% of the cost of the pink diamond necklace of “wife of MO1”.
To afford to buy the 22-carat pink diamond necklace gifted to the “wife of MO1” by Jho Low would need incomes from such a person earning RM5,000 a month for 50 years for 40 life-times!
Furthermore, how many people in Malaysia earn RM5,000 a month for 50 years?
In his speech yesterday, Najib enlisted imams and village heads to be his propagandists to defend the 1MDB so that the 1MDB haj sponsorship programme could continue.
Najib should for a start give a full accountintg of the 1MDB scandal.
Nobody knows what are the total debts which had been piled up by 1MDB, which eventually would have to be paid by future generations of Malaysians.
This is because the last accounts of 1MDB to be audited and published was up to the end of March 2014, with three years of outstanding 1MDB accounts from 2014 to 2017 a mystery even to Cabinet Ministers!
The total debts of 1MDB could be in the region of RM50 – RM55 billion, which would put the RM56 million allocated by 1MDB to sponsor pilgrims to Mecca in the past six years since 2011 a mere drop in the ocean as it represents only a paltry 0.1 per cent of the total 1MDB debts.
If 1MDB had allocated 1% of its total debts to sponsor pilgrims to perform haj in Mecca, then 57,100 Muslims and not just 5,711 persons would have benefitted, with the total allocation in the region of RM560 million and not just RM56 million.
If 1MDB could reveal that it had spent RM56 million in the last six years to sponsor 5,711 pilgrims to perform haj in Mecca, why can’t 1MDB fully disclose its financial statements in the past three years?
I am reminded of the lament by political analyst, Professor Ahmad Atory Hussain that 1MDB has been prioritising young imams and village chiefs in its haj sponsorship programme, rather than the old folk.
A former Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) political science lecturer, Atory said:
“Many young applicants have been getting the 1MDB-sponsored spots. I feel shocked, if those who went on haj were as old as me, I wouldn’t mind.”
Atory said that according to the Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH) name list, his turn will only come when he is 110 years old.
“I have applied four times to perform the haj, but it seems that it will take 44 years before I get it.
“I am now 66 years old and I probably won’t be around when I am 100.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir announced last year that the waiting period for the haj pilgrimage had been extended from 72 years to 82 years, due to a large number of applicants with Tabung Haji.
Now we know the reasons for Atory’s complaints.
Since 2011, 1MDB has spent more than RM56 million to sponsor 5,711 pilgrims, including imams, village development and security committee (JKKK) chairpersons, tahfiz (religious) teachers and tokbatin (village chiefs) to perform the haj under the Prime Minister-1MDB Foundation special programme.
It is obvious that the 1MDB Haj programme has a political purpose.