THE US Department of Justice’s suits to seize asset bought with money allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Bhd could be an attempt to signal Washington’s displeasure over Putrajaya’s warming ties with China.
In an article published on Utusan Online today, columnist Zulkifli Jalil quoted geostrategy expert Dr Azmi Hassan as saying that the United States often tried to strongarm other countries by using other issues as a cover.
But Azmi was quoted as saying that his assertion would be hard to prove.
“For example, the US often uses human rights issues on China, while Japan has been labelled a trade cheat.
“That is the US’s sly way of achieving its aims, by using other issues as cover. We (Malaysia) are friendly with China despite the South China Sea issue. This is a critical issue. Our voice is more influential when compared with the three other countries: the Philippines, Vietnam and Brunei,” Azmi said.
Zulkifli went on to say that if it was true that trust in Malaysia had eroded globally, world leaders would not be lining up to visit the country.
He also rubbished Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s earlier claims that Prime Minister Najib Razak was afraid of travelling overseas for fear of being arrested by international authorities over the 1MDB scandal.
“Malaysians can count the number of countries the prime minester had visited, each time bringing back billions in investments.
“Earlier this year didn’t he visit China, Saudi Arabia, India and other countries? Why do these global economic powers still believe in Najib and invest in Malaysia?”
The Utusan columnist also said the massive crowd at the prime minister’s Hari Raya open house was proof that he still enjoyed the trust of Malaysians and its leaders.
“Because of the massive crowd, those with VIP passes got excited with the moment and decided to join the ordinary queue and greet the prime minister and his wife.
“People in the kampung observed this on television.”
He also decried the DoJ suit as not following due process of an investigation, as the victim of the alleged crime (1MDB) was not interviewed to get its side of the story.
He also linked the DoJ suit, which he claimed was based on allegations published in whistleblower site Sarawak Report, with former prime minister Dr Mahahtir Mohamad’s opposition to Najib, claiming that the US legal action was conspiracy to topple the government.
“We should not be hasty over the DoJ action. Instead, we must unite to reject any attempt by a foreign power to undermine the political stability we have enjoyed since independence.”