INFLUENTIAL Muslim figures have been roped in to defend Prime Minister Najib Razak after he was tied to the alleged wrongdoing in troubled state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said a senior opposition leader.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said these figures include the muftis of Kelantan and Pahang, as well as a major personality from PAS.
These personalities are giving Najib moral cover as the prime minister faces increased scrutiny and criticism following recent revelations by American authorities in their probe into 1MDB.
The religious leaders said the latest suit by US Department of Justice (DoJ) to seize US$540 million in assets bought with stolen 1MDB money was foreign intervention, said Saifuddin.
The use of these individuals comes at a time when many senior Umno leaders have not defended Najib, said Saifuddin.
“Umno is forced to drag in the mufti to defend the theft of the century that is being done by Najib and (his wife) Rosmah Mansor,” Saifuddin said at a ceramah “Save Malaysia, end kleptocracy” in Penaga, Penang, yesterday.
“This is clear, they are shielding Najib,” Saifuddin said on a stage with a picture of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in the background.
In its third and latest forfeiture suit, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed that US$540 million was used to purchase among other things, a yacht, paintings and a US$27 million pink diamond necklace.
The necklace was bought for the wife Malaysian Official No. 1, who has since been identified as Najib.
Hadi said Malaysia should deal with the 1MDB scandal internally and not work with foreigners.
Pahang Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman, meanwhile, defended 1MDB’s sponsorship of trips for haj pilgrims to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
Umno leaders, such as its Wanita chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil and Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, have not said anything in defence of Najib.
“The only people who have spoken up are (Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department) Abdul Rahman Dahlam and (Multimedia and Communications Minister) Salleh Said Keruak.
“Islam teaches us to oppose vice. When public money is stolen and splurged overseas to buy jewellery, that is a vice.”
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT