Current Affairs

Something is really “rotten in the state of Denmark” in Malaysia

By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah

lks-sufi_MG_7500-572-650x400On February 10, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad quoted Shakespeare’s Hamlet on “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”, and this sense of “rottenness” in Malaysia is increasingly exacerbated with passing weeks and days.

When the twitter-happy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar can chop and change on an important issue on police investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, something is really rotten in the “state of Denmark” in Malaysia.

On Monday, 9th March, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar caused quite a media sensation when he announced a high-powered three-agency special task force to investigate the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal comprising the police, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

But Khalid, who said the task force would even investigate the Prime Minister, was contradicted by the MACC Chief Commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed who said on the same day that the MACC would wait for the Auditor-General’s report on 1MDB before starting its own probe.

The MACC Chief Commissioner seemed to be unaware of the three-agency task force on 1MDB which Khalid said was formed the previous week.

The IGP and the MACC should clarify whether there is such a three-agency special task force on the 1MDB or whether it only existed in the imagination of the IGP.

But strangest of all, the very next day, Tuesday, 10th March, Khalid backtracked and announced that the special task force would only start their investigations into the 1MDB after the Auditor-General had completed his scrutiny and uncovered discrepancies and wrongdoings.

What happened to Khalid’s bravado the previous day about even investigating the Prime Minister, as he had declared: “Every report lodged, we will open investigation. When there is an offence committed, we will proceed with an investigation.”

Khalid must have established a world record for police chiefs with his “bravado” down the drain in less than 24 hours!

Surely Khalid knew on Monday that the Prime Minister had informed the Cabinet last Wednesday that he had instructed the Auditor-General to audit the 1MDB accounts.

Can Khalid enlighten the Malaysian public the reason for his back-tracking within 24 hours?

This is not the only sign of the worsening rottenness of governance in Malaysia.

Another illustration will be the “bail-out or no bail-out for 1MDB” drama, with Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin courageously declaring last Friday that there should be no bail-out of 1MDB, which is contradicted by Second Finance Minister Husni Hanadzlah who admitted in Parliament that the government has set aside RM950 million “standby credit” for 1MDB.

I agree with the PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan, Rafizi Ramli that the “standby credit” is just another name for bailout.

For this reason, I also agree with veteran newsman Kadir Jasin that Muhyiddin “must stick to his guns, or he would be seen as not being credible”.

The rottenness in Malaysia reached a new level when the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Abdul Zahid Hamidi could say that there was a stack of support letters which had been written by other Ministers to justify his infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) to vouch for the integrity of the international gambling kingpin :Paul Phua standing trial in Las Vegas.

What we have are not only a stack of infamous Ministerial support letters, but mansions full of Ministerial skeletons!

[DU1] In a written reply in Parliament, the DAP MP for Segambut, Lim Lip Eng was told by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Shahidan Kassim that information relating to Paul Phua is a “huge secret” classified under the Official Secrets Act and that the government has no plans to reveal it.

In the first place, how does Shahidan know that any information relating to the international gambling kingpin Paul Phua is a “huge secret” under the OSA?

If so, why was Zahid allowed to violate the “huge secret” in his infamous letter to the FBI, without authority, sanction or knowledge from the Police, the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister?

Furthermore what are the criteria for classifying a secret as a “huge secret” under the OSA?

Is the information on Paul Phua more of a “huge secret” than all the other information under the OSA, like the stack of Ministerial support letters which Zahid has promised to “tell all” in Parliament?

Silence by Shahidan or even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak on this issue of the Zahid-Phua “huge secret” under the OSA and the other “huge secrets” of other Ministers can only undermine public confidence in the credibility and integrity of the Federal Government.

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