by Special Writer
The USD3.5 billion in assets the US was seeking to forfeit were siphoned from the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which Najib Abdul Razak controls as Prime Minister and Finance Minister.
GENEVA: A Moscow and Geneva-based Investment Banker, who used to call Malaysia home, expressed surprise that Federal Government circles in his old country don’t see any reason for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to step down, although it has been officially acknowledged that he has been “caught with his pants down” on mega global financial scandals.
Swiss-born Investment Banker Pascal Najadi was commenting on Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, telling BBC that Najib is the “Malaysian Official 1” mentioned in a US Department of Justice (DoJ) civil action filing in a court recently in California.
At the same time, said an extremely shocked Najadi, Rahman Dahlan sees no need for Najib to step down. “He said the civil action pursued by the DoJ was about others mentioned by name in the court filing and not Najib.”
The USD3.5 billion in assets the US was seeking to forfeit, he reminded, were siphoned from the state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) which Najib controls as Prime Minister and Finance Minister. “The assets being seized and forfeited are being held by the others, named in the civil action suit, on behalf of Najib.”
Even if there’s no civil action case against Najib in the US, argued the Investment Banker, there’s no reason why he can’t be charged in Malaysia for criminal activities on which the DoJ action was based. “The very fact that he has been implicated in the civil action calls for Najib to step down immediately.”
He expressed confidence that Najib would be forced out of office sooner rather than later. “The knives have been drawn in his party itself, Umno, the main party in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.”
“He will be out office either by or after Christmas.”
If that doesn’t happen, warned Najadi, the world should take notice that “something was seriously wrong in Malaysia. The issue of sovereignty and legitimacy arises. The loss of sovereignty was the basis for the Iraq War.”
Najib has no legitimacy and can no longer hang on to the Prime Minister’s post, he stressed. “If he hangs on, it means that the Rule of Law no longer prevails, the Federal Constitution has been violated, and the people have lost their sovereignty to a handful of crooks in power”.
Najadi does not believe that Najib would be brought to justice in Malaysia. In fact, he said, this appears to be the sticking point. “He wants immunity from prosecution before he steps down. He also wants his people in government to be left alone.”
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, a key power broker, would have none of it however. “Mahathir not only wants Najib out of office but brought to justice along with his people in government,” learnt Najadi from sources back in Malaysia.
In the tug of war, said the Investment Banker, there’s talk that there would be an early General Election in Malaysia, possibly in the first quarter next year. He does not see that as solving anything even if the ruling coalition obtains the mandate to govern for another five years.
The fact is that Najib stole public funds, summed up Najadi, and he must step down and be brought to justice. “All those involved with him, as Mahathir has demanded, must be brought to justice as well.”
“There are no two ways about that.”
Pascal Najadi is seeking justice for his late father Hussain Ahmad Najadi, assassinated in late July 2013, outside a temple in Kuala Lumpur. He has charged the Malaysian police has virtually done nothing on the killing. “They never probed the motive behind the killing. They refuse to investigate the motive that is central to any criminal investigation the world over,” he lamented.
His father, who founded ArabMalaysian which has since emerged as the country’s 5th largest bank, apparently learnt that unusually large sums of money originating from 1MDB were entering AmBank Islamic Private Banking Services.
“They were being deposited in the Prime Minister’s personal account according to a witness that gave us his statement,” said Pascal.
His father reportedly briefed Bank Negara, the central bank in Malaysia.