Bersih 2.0 is appalled by the new revelations from the United States Department of Justice suit on the misappropriation of funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Justice Department now alleges, with comprehensive records of emails, bank transfers and phone calls, that US$4.5bn (about RM17bn) was misappropriated by high-level officials to finance their “lavish lifestyles…at the expense and detriment of the Malaysian people”.
The filings also show that the statement made by Attorney General Apandi Ali in January 2016, clearing Prime Minister Najib Razak of all charges, was false. It directly contradicts Apandi Ali by stating 1MDB was the only source of funds for the $681m transferred to Najib.
This is a damning indictment on Malaysia’s public institutions. The reaction from the Prime Minister’s Office, the attorney general and the inspector general of police have either accused the US Justice Department of “insinuations” against Najib, “domestic political manipulation and interference” or refused to cooperate with the suit.
However, no evidence has been provided to contradict the 250-page court filing. There is also no evidence to contradict the allegations and admissions that these funds were used to manipulate the results of the last general election through unparalleled bribery and money politics.
In light of these statements, Malaysians are once again reminded of how Najib fired the then attorney general, removed those in cabinet raising questions and gutted the Public Accounts Committee investigation when these revelations first broke in 2015.
Since then, the Malaysian people have been given no clear explanation by our own institutions into the location of the missing funds. It has been seven years since the issues with 1MDB were first raised in Parliament, but the truth is still being kept from the rakyat.
As an obvious indication of the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding this scandal, the auditor general’s report into 1MDB remains under the Official Secrets Act.
Bersih 2.0 once again demands the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Razak in order to make way for an independent investigation into 1MDB and the restoration of the independence of our institutions.
Malaysians must not stop demanding accountability and transparency from our public officials. With the next general election fast approaching, we must make our voices heard in calling for an end to corruption and fraud in all our public institutions.
Bersih 2.0 steering committee