Usually, the Umno supreme council doesn’t reply to the statement of anyone, especially if it involves 1MDB. It is a law unto itself.
But something curious has happened: Mohd Puad Zakarshi, one of the lesser known members of the Umno supreme council, actually took the time to defend the indefensible: that MO1 and Mrs MO1 are still free of accusations from the incriminating evidence of the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
This is akin to the official car of the MO1 knocking the school children down, and arguing that the MO1 was merely a passenger. Thus the blame should be on the driver, and the driver only.
Really? Would a driver drive wildly if the MO1 and the wife of MO1 had not been egging him to drive with sheer abandon? The driver is, of course, Jho Low, and the whole crew, who had been alternating at the front seat to drive 1MDB into a ditch; not merely with the MO1 and the wife’s consent but the whole co-conspirators who are overwhelmingly loyal to MO1 and his wife.
The latest revelations of US DOJ shows three things: One, it doesn’t matter if the suits are civil or criminal. The fact of the matter is simply this – huge amount of money borrowed and leveraged on 1MDB debt, about which RM44 billion are missing, has become the grist of constant international investigations, the world over.
Be it Singapore, US, Switzerland, London, Luxembourg, or even Hong Kong, money borrowed in the good name of the Malaysian government has become the fodder of obscene and luxurious lifestyle.
Be they diamonds, junket trips to lascivious casinos in Las Vegas, or art pieces, the whole crew supported by the MO1 and his wife, has gone on a wild splurge.
Even Trump can’t control DOJ
Second, if Mohd Puad and the rest of the Umno supreme council are still supporting these actions, there can only be two explanation only: they have received the spoils of these funds in some shape and form, and they fear having to lose their coveted position and relevance and have to defend the MO1 and his whole office, without fail.
Thus Puad is not only associated by guilt but he and the rest of the members of the Umno supreme council have guilt written all over them.
Third, the DOJ is investigating President Donald Trump and his team for any potential collusion with the Russians. Trump is claiming that this is a witch hunt. But it is also a demonstration of DOJ’s independence too.
The Umno supreme council does not have a clue what judicial independence mean, and is merely living in the warped reality that only Umno is right and no one else is.
All these redound to the counter accusations that Parti Peribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) or Pakatan Harapan (PH), and everyone in Malaysia who do not believe in their version of the truth, as treasonous. Mohd Puad is also suggesting that the MO1 is beyond reproach.
The ‘alternative truth’
Now, who is this MO1? Abdul Rahman Dahlan, another member of Umno supreme council and the EPU Minister in the cabinet, declared MO1 as the Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in September 2016, which was widely reported even by the mainstream media, MCA-owned The Star. So I leave it as it is and let the readers’ imagination to conclude who is the wife of the MO1.
Also, wasn’t the lawyers representing PM who argued that he will sue anyone making the civil defamation against him and his wife? In fact, Mohd Puad should be encouraging the whole of the Malaysian government to contest the evidence with the DOJ. Yet he is not doing so.
Instead, he argues that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Muhyiddin Yassin, Mukhriz Mahathir, other opposition party leaders, civil society and the whole of Malaysia are traitorous, except, the Umno supreme council. Really?
If the Umno supreme council is freed of any warts and all, why hasn’t it allowed the government to function as it should? Instead, from Day 1 of the investigation on 1MDB, the PM has been busy dismissing and firing anyone who doesn’t subscribe to his version of the truth. The alternative truth. It is time for the real truth.
RAIS HUSSIN is the Bersatu supreme council member and head of the party’s policy and strategy bureau.