PAKATAN Harapan (PH) will invite retired top civil servants, as well as former judges, to join the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) Action Committee which aims to reclaim all the money allegedly misappropriated by those managing the sovereign state fund.
“We will involve senior civil servants such as former top officials from Bank Negara, former diplomats and former Suhakam commissioners, and those in academia, economists and civil society leaders, as well as former judges,” political secretary to the opposition leader Yusmadi Yusoff told The Malaysian Insight.
Yusmadi, however, did not name those whom PH sought to recruit for its action committee.
“We will use the same approach as ‘Operation Big Bird’ in the Philippines to get back all the 1MDB money that has been hidden.”
Operation Big Bird was the attempt of the Philippine government in 1986 during the presidency of Corazon Aquino to recover US$7.5 billion in hidden accounts and assets of ousted president Ferdinand Marcos and his family.
Yusmadi said the retired top civil servants had all been invited to be a part of the committee because of their credibility and expertise in their respective fields, which would help solve the mystery behind the 1MDB scandal.
He said opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail would announce the ex-civil servants who had been recruited.
Dr Wan Azizah announced on Wednesday that PH would establish a committee, as well as a people’s protest in September, following the latest civil suit by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to seize assets worth US$540 million (RM2.3 billion) believed to have been siphoned from 1MDB.
She urged all opposition parties, including PAS, to put aside their differences and work together to bring those responsible for the 1MDB scandal to justice.
PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man told The Malaysian Insight that the Islamist party would discuss the invitation and announce its decision in the near future.
According to Yusmadi, the 1MDB Action Committee will also produce a detailed report about the scandal aimed at assisting investigations.
“With legitimacy derived from 52% of the popular vote in GE13, the opposition leader will take the responsibility of forming this committee seeing as the special committee in Putrajaya which is meant to investigate 1MDB appears to be defunct,” said the former Balik Pulau MP.
Joint effort to expose 1MDB scandal
Yusmadi said the committee will involve the public in a bid to expose the truth via crowd investigation.
“The concept is the same as crowd-funding. We urge the public, those who have proof regarding the 1MDB scandal to share their information with this committee,” he said.
PKR director of strategy Sim Tze Tzin said the committee had many other approaches to try and reveal the details of the 1MDB scandal.
“Apart from making road trips around the country and organising public gatherings, we will also urge Prime Minister Najib Razak to present a white paper on the 1MDB scandal in Parliament.
“If the evidence exposed by the DoJ is not true, and they (the US) are trying to challenge our country’s sovereignty, Najib needs to have an emergency parliamentary session and present the white paper,” said the Bayan Baru MP.
He said even though opposition parties started this initiative, civil society leaders will be invited to join the effort because the 1MDB scandal was a matter of public interest.
DAP publicity secretary Tony Pua said the 1MDB action committee’s nationwide roadshow will begin at Dewan JKKK Penaga in Kepala Batas, Penang. Villages and out-of-town areas will included because the committee wants to ensure people living in rural areas are not left out.
“We want the rural folk, especially the Malays, to be given the latest information regarding the 1MDB scandal,” said the Petaling Jaya Utara MP.