Ever wonder why the exercise to save 1MDB is called a ‘Rationalisation Plan‘?
Because 1MDB had an irrational business model from the beginning..
Step 1: Acquire massive loans
Step 2: Buy assets. Can’t pay loans.
Step 3: Sell assets to pay the loans
But now they are congratulating themselves by saying that 1MDB had made a success in that rationalisation plan.
Not sure which success they are talking about. Is it their success in getting IPIC to help pay the loans they unable pay by themselves?
Is it the staggering loss of RM665 million in their 2014 financial year?
Is it the
begging request of loan repayment extensions they made so many times in 2014?
Is it the delays in listing of their power assets due to their own shortcomings? (the government’s propaganda team had the cheek to say this was caused by Tun Mahathir when the fact is, the delays occurred way before Tun’s first article on 1MDB).
Is it the success in getting taxpayers to fork out RM950,000,000 as a standby credit to help 1MDB pay their financial obligation?
Lastly, probably the success is due to the fact that the had needlessly amassed debts to the tune of billions and now need to ‘rationalise’ this by selling off their assets. Some to TNB, some to foreign interests, etc., so that they can pay their debts.
Fun fact – when 1MDB bought the prized land in Sungai Besi and TRX at really low prices, the government and the taxpayers were shortchanged. Some nonsensical people said that that is just left pocket entering the right pocket. This could be true if 1MDB is acting as part of the government. But then again, even the cabinet was not privy to its dealings and operations (at least not until recently).
So when 1MDB could not pay their humongous loan debts and interests, they had to sell these crown jewels of Kuala Lumpur. They are selling them at market price. This would be partially good if all the monies from the sale is returned to the government. It is only partially good because the lands would now be in private hands, not the government (ie., the people).
But the reality is worse. The monies from the sale will almost definitely be used by 1MDB to
settle ‘rationalise’ their debts. Which means, the only people who are laughing at the end will be the bankers (for getting their money back), and the new owners of the land once gazetted for bumiputra development.
Double loss for the people and the government. We lose when the land was sold at below market value, and we lose again when the land was sold just to pay off debts.
Now would there be anyone accountable for the irrational behaviour of 1MDB all these while? Shouldn’t there be anyone responsible for this mess? Besides the Deputy Prime Minister, was there anybody in 1MDB that was sacked for this debacle?
It is always funny the way 1MDB responded to questions about their business operations. The usual recycled excuse they give would be – “we have answered the questions”.
But all sundry knows they have not even tried to clear the air over anything.
For instance, when questions were asked as to why they pumped in USD1.83 billion worth of cash into PetroSaudi and yet this obscure middle east company did not pump in a single cent, they went on to give the process on how it happened, instead of why. In the end, it was indeed true that PetroSaudi did not pump in a single cent for the joint venture.
Why did 1MDB terminate the joint venture just after 6 months?
Why did they continue to pump in cash to a JV they had terminated, amounting to USD1.83 billion by 2011?
Why was the joint venture sealed and signed in lightning-quick time? Why was the decision taken in a private meeting in a yacht between the Prime Minister and PetroSaudi without any government officials and 1MDB top management present?
These are just some questions left unanswered by 1MDB. There are a lot more, but we are told not to raise any noise against 1MDB.
“Malaysians are not stupid” – this is what the former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said prior to his sacking two weeks ago.
We had written before that the donation story concocted by the propaganda team was just an afterthought. The reason why this was an afterthought because nobody knew about the money (not even the propaganda team) when the WSJ article appeared.
The Deputy President of Umno did not know about it. The head of Barisan Nasional backbenchers did not know about it. Even the whole Supreme Council did not know about it.
The principle matter is this – why did the money deposited in a personal bank account of a public servant?
That is the main issue. Doesn’t matter if the spin is that the donor wanted it that way, or the money comes from a ‘brotherly nation’, or the money is used for elections, or that RM2.6 billion is used to repair houses and roads in rural areas. Why wasn’t it credited into Umno’s own party accounts? This in turn had raised a lot of questions and dented the credibility of a prime minister.
Some delusional sycophants had the audacity to say it was a trust account when they also do not have the proof it was indeed a trust account. Be it as it may, a trust account would then be transparent and known to all parties in Umno, but it wasn’t transparent therefore it couldn’t be a trust account.
Some even said it is better for the Prime Minister to put that donation money meant for Umno in his personal bank account rather than with proxies. This will surely create a bigger mess if the Prime Minister, god forbid, dies and the billions of money is stuck in that account and legally it will then belonged to his family as inheritance.
Ultimately, if there is an aspiration to say that all the money ‘donated’ have been used for Umno to face the general elections of 2013, then the public, especially Umno members would want to know how the money was spent. Where is the detailed expenditure list for all the RM2.6 billion spent on Umno? How else can the public be assured that the money was not used for personal gain?
But of course, the reply to the public is, we shall do it if the opposition parties show their party accounts too. There is no urgency to show accountability at all.
Firstly, just like Barisan Nasional’s own MCA had said – “party funds never put in private accounts”.
Secondly, if Umno cares about leadership by example and setting the bar high, the people involved in that RM2.6 billion must take the lead in exposing how it was spent, to who and to where and what are they for.
Thirdly, and this is why the afterthought wasn’t thoroughly vetted, a donation is deemed breaking the MACC law if it is deposited in a personal bank account of a public official.
This is succinctly put by a legal practitioner (truncated for clarity):
It doesn’t matter whether the 2.6 billion in the prime minister’s personal bank account was a donation or whether it was held on trust for UMNO. It does not matter, because the law on corruption is very clear.
Let me spell it out for you the provisions of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 (Act 694) (for brevity, “MACC Act”), despite (the) ignorance and arrogance in insisting that it is okay for Najib to receive funds from ‘donor(s)’.
Section 16 of the MACC Act provides that it is an offence for any person to accept gratification.
Now, what is gratification?
Section 3 of the MACC Act defines gratification as to include “money, DONATION, gift, loan, fee, reward, valuable security, property or interest in property being property of any description whether movable or immovable, financial benefit, or any other similar advantage.”
So, clearly, DONATION equals GRATIFICATION.
And then there is section 50 of the MACC Act, which provides for the LEGAL PRESUMPTION that “gratification shall be presumed to have been CORRUPTLY received … unless the contrary is proved.”
What this mean in simple layman term is that the very fact there was an amount donated into the prime minister’s personal bank account (and Najib was aware of it) is more than enough evidence of corruption in the eyes of the law. If the prime minister so insists that he is not corrupt, then it is his duty to adduce cogent evidence to rebut the LEGAL PRESUMPTION that he is guilty (and in so rebutting it is not sufficient to merely provide unsubstantiated denial).
Bear in mind, the MACC Act is an Act of Parliament, which simply means that the provisions of the Act bind the whole nation — i.e. the government as well as all citizens — unlike the UMNO constitution which is not even a law and as such inferior in nature, and applicable only to UMNO members. As such whether or not UMNO Constitution allows its funds to be held on trust by its president, is immaterial and wholly irrelevant, when it comes to the presumption of corruption against Najib.
Be that as it may, if Najib so insists that the alleged donation was received on trust, then the burden lies on him to provide the trust documentations. Even so, it is important to note — in the unlikely scenario that he could adduce such documentations — that does not ipso facto clear him of the offences under the MACC Act. Instead, the very fact that he held the money on trust would actually by extension, make UMNO possibly liable to be charged for corruption as well, because the legal definition of ‘persons’ that could be guilty under the MACC Act, as per spelled out in the Interpretation Acts 1948 and 1967 (Act 388) “includes a body of persons, corporate or unincorporate”.
Even the Prime Minister himself had said in 2012 that putting political fund in personal bank account is a form of corruption. Is this a case of not walking the talk?
As the result, today the opposition is suing the Prime Minister for breaking the election law. They may or may not have a case, unless of course the propaganda team creates another new story to defend this ‘donation’ story.
We shall wait for more ‘facts’ to be thrown at us by the minions desperately trying to disseminate their version of the truth.
You might also want to read:
- Good governance means walking the talk
- Quotable quotes on 1MDB and ‘donations’ to Umno
- Malaysia’s Prime Minister: A Dead Man Walking? – Forbes