PUTRAJAYA must reveal the cost of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s White House trip, said civil society leaders, who question the intention behind the visit that takes place tomorrow.
A joint statement issued by five organisations said Malaysians had the right to know how much in public funds was spent by Najib on insider consultants to secure the visit.
“We are mystified by the timing of the trip, and how it was so craftily sorted out, so quickly after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Kuala Lumpur last month.
“In light of this, we demand that, for any credibility that’s left to salvage at the eleventh hour, Najib answer Malaysians’ questions on 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s allegedly stolen funds, and declassify the 1MDB report before he goes to the US.
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The statement was jointly issued by Cynthia Gabriel (Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism); Ivy Josiah (Proham); Faribel Fernandez (Pusat Komas); Sevan Doraisamy (Suaram); and, Lawyers for Liberty.
Despite questioning why Najib was given the big treat, the statement said the invitation came as no surprise.
“US President Donald Trump has shown a penchant for strongman, authoritarian-type leaders.
“In addition, he and Najib are both the subjects of Department of Justice investigations, with Trump being probed for his alleged involvement with Russia in relation to last year’s presidential election.
“They have both sacked top law enforcers investigating them, just to stay on top.”
The DoJ has launched a criminal investigation into funds allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB and has sought to delay civil suits filed in the past two years to forfeit more than US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) in real estate and other assets.
In the civil cases, the department alleged that between 2009 and 2015, more than US$4.5 billion belonging to 1MDB had been diverted by high-level officials of the state investor and their associates.
In June, the DoJ filed another suit to seize US$540 million in assets, including the US$165 million yacht Equanimity owned by businessman Jho Low, and the rights to Dumb and Dumber To.
The US investigation is part of a global effort to track how much of the US$6 billion that 1MDB had raised for development projects was embezzled or involved in money laundering.
“If Najib and his entourage hope to dismiss the ongoing 1MDB criminal probe as frivolous, they might want to think again,” said the statement.
“It is evident that the DoJ operates without the influence or opinion of the White House, as even Trump himself can’t shake off the case against him.”
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