Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak may have opened a can of worms when he said his cabinet will fully investigate the Bumiputera Bumiputera Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF) and Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) scandals.
Malaysians are now calling on the government to open a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI), saying under former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, the BMF scandal was fully investigated and debated in Parliament.
“Differences are – no money from BMF ended in then PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s private account, but billions from 1MDB allegedly ended in MO1’s private accounts.
“Secondly, no land or prized assets were sold to China, but 1MDB sold land and prized assets to China. Lastly, the auditor general’s report in BMF was made public but not that of 1MDB.
“Incidentally, Mahathir was willing to testify in RCI for BMF,” is the gist of comments by locals on social media, and news portals.
They all seem to be in unison in asking why MOI is not ordering an RCI on the 1MDB case and whether the Prime Minister would testify like Mahathir did under the BMF?
However, at least two political coalitions are now asking for RCIs. The Pakatan Harapan want one on the 1MDB scandal, but Barisan Nasional (BN) headed by Najib want an RCI on the BMF.
But netizens are saying the government has to dig in the Hansard of the Parliament to find the records of the inquiry done by the Mahathir regime on BMF, but in the future, there will be no records on the 1MDB’s massive money syphoning.
The BMF and 1MDB are said to be the worst financial scandals in recent Malaysian history.
Malaysian civil society says both these calls should be taken up by the the government if the latter was to regain the trust of the public.
“Until these three multi-billion financial losses have been accounted for and the negligent and corrupt leaders have been brought to account, the people will not trust the government,” said a note from civil society members.
A recent investigation by the US Department of Justice is said to have uncovered the fact that insiders allegedly syphoned off billions of dollars and treated themselves to penthouse apartments in New York, a luxury hotel in Beverly Hills and paintings by Monet and Van Gogh, with regards to the 1MDB scandal.
With elections round the corner in Malaysia, the BN regime is bound to use everything it has within its grasp to beef up its electoral chances.
One of the ways it operates is to launch sudden attacks against its opponents in the Pakatan Harapan coalition of hopefuls.
If it does not attack them on the personal fronts, it will use an issue of importance to the racial configuration of the country, to stir a debate and tarnish the opposition’s image.
“But if it fails to answer the numerous questions on 1MDB and ignores the people’s need for answers, its efforts to undermine its opponents might end doing no good to the BN,” theindependent.sg heard on the streets in Kuala Lumpur.