The Australian newspaper, Sydney Morning Herald, recently carried a report about two individuals whom Malaysians should be familiar – Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr and the Penang billionaire Jho Low who is the mastermind behind Malaysia and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s world-class financial scandal – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal.
The Sydney Morning Herald article entitled “Miranda Kerr holidayed on Malaysian billionaire’s yacht after split from Orlando Bloom” was published after world publicity on Kerr’s handing over of tens of millions of ringgit worth of jewellery from her Los Angeles safe deposit box to US government agents after the third US Department of Justice (DOJ) suits to forfeit US$1.7 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland purchased from funds stolen from 1MDB and money-laundered through American banks.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported about Jho Low’s courtship of the Australian supermodel in 2014 on the US$250 million super-yacht Equanimity off the idyllic coastline of Corfu, a Greek island in the Ionian Sea.
Jho Low’s ‘”romance” with the Australian supermodel should be private matters except that the jewelleries presented by Jho Low to Kerr, which included a 11.72 carat heart-shaped diamond pendant, a Valentine’s Day gift from Jho Low in 2014, and even the US$250 million super-yacht Equanimity, with its gold-plated interiors, were stolen, misappropriated and money-laundered from 1MDB funds, which the US DOJ wanted to forfeit to return to the people of Malaysia.
Pakatan Harapan has launched a nation-wide campaign, “Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptokrasi” (Love Malaysia, Destroy Kleptocracy) 1MDB ceramah which started in Penaga, Penang on Thursday night to explain in simple easy-to-understand terms the DOJ lawsuits about how billions of ringgit of Malaysian people’s monies in 1MDB ended as expensive jewelleries, art pieces, luxury properties of a handful of people close to Najib and Jho Low, and why these assets or proceeds from the sale of these assets should be returned to the people of Malaysia.
These assets include of course the now-infamous US$27.3 million (RM117 million) 22-carat rare pink diamond set in a necklace, which the US DoJ alleged was purchased with stolen 1MDB money for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1” (MO1).
There is however a nagging question as a result of the recent statements by PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang – an Open Letter to All Political Parties on Hari Raya Aidilfitri challenging the US DOJ kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit 1MDB-linked assets as “foreign interference” and his latest statement defending the 1MDB scandal claiming that it was a consequence of the Barisan Nasional’s motto of “leadership by example” over the years, as if two wrongs can make a right.
The nagging question is whether Hadi and his PAS leadership will support the return to the people of Malaysia the billions of ringgit worth of jewelleries, art pieces and luxury properties misappropriated by Jho Low from 1MDB and gifted to Leonardo DiCaprio, Miranda Kerr, “wife of MO1” and others?
American actor Leonardo DiCaprio and Australian supermodel Miranda Kerr have handed over their multi-million US dollar gifts from Jho Low which were misappropriated from 1MDB funds to the US DOJ investigators.
But an UMNO government propaganda operative had said that there was no need for Miranda Kerr to return any jewellery to the US DOJ investigators, as Kerr should have returned the jewellery to Jho Low instead.
Does Hadi agree with this UMNO government operative and what is his stand on the swathes of luxury properties including a mega yacht, high-end real estates including hotels and condominiums, expensive jewelleries and art pieces bought from stolen 1MDB funds?
Hadi‘s novel defence of Najib and the 1MDB scandal, claiming that the 1MDB scandal is a consequence of Barisan Nasional’s motto of “leadership by example” over the years, is most shocking as the same reasoning could be
used to defend other abuses power and even outright illegal and unconstitutional actions, like the unconstitutional appointment of Tan Sri Raus Sharif as “additional judge” and extension of his tenure as Chief Justice for another three years.
Is Hadi prepared to join in the nation-wide protest against the assault of the Constitution and the important principles of independence of the judiciary and the rule of law as well as the doctrine of separation of power by protesting against the extension of Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin respective tenures as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President?
This does not seem likely.
From these incidents, it is clear that there could not be a sweeping political change in the next 14th General Election unless the Najib-Hadi alliance defending Malaysia as a global kleptocracy and the assaults on the Malaysian Constitution and the Rukunegara could be defeated, so that Malaysia could be saved with a new federal government in Putrajaya.