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RM2.6bn donation: The truth is still out there

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir - Photograph: Wikipedia

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Fearful hopes that, unlike in the X-Files, the truth will be revealed to us before GE14.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in confirming that the contentious RM2.6bn was a donation, went on to declare “as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed”.

Our prime minister’s aides and colleagues like Khairy and Apandi were quick off the mark, insisting the case is closed and all is rosy and bright and we, the rakyat should just get on with our lives.

But hold on a minute. Critical analysts like Kee Thuan Chye and Zaid Ibrahim have again laid bare the contention that the Al-Jubier statement has given Najib a clean slate.

Of course, it matters not to the Umnoputras – from day one, they have been trying to peddle every possible version of this donation to try and fit it into a model that can bear the light of critical and independent analysis.

Therein lies their difficulty: they have been trying to come out with a version that is widely seen as a fairy tale. Each version has loopholes that are obvious to those with eyes to see.

No, we are not being difficult. We just want the truth.

I do not think the Umnoputras do not understand that. The problem for them is, in this case, the truth is unlikely to set them free. Instead the opposite may be true!

The Umnoputras are only too aware that the truth behind the 1MDB scandal could unravel many myths they have tried to cultivate over the years of their misrule. With the billions missing from the nation’s coffers, how do they defend their oft-stated claim of “untuk bangsa, agama dan negara”?

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This is part of the reason why Najib has this veil of invincibility around him; his warlords are all partakers of the patronage. Many of them are beneficiaries of the handouts he gave in the ‘buy elections’ of GE13.

No matter how absurd the different versions may sound, they still have to tell the naked emperor he is bedecked in the most wondrous robe. To tell Najib the truth that his donation story stinks is to admit that they themselves have soiled hands.

The hope for the truth (at least part of it) behind the 1MDB scandal seems to lie beyond our shores – in those independent (I really hope they are so) investigations being undertaken by regulatory bodies in Switzerland, in particular.

I am no idealist – I can understand that for national interest considerations, investigations in the other countries may suddenly meet dead ends.

The fact that the regulator in Switzerland has alluded to corrupt practices in the funds transfers involving 1MDB there gives me hope that the rule of law may have an upper hand there.

And so, the truth of the 1MDB scandal is still out there.

I can only hope that, unlike in the X-Files, the truth will be revealed to us before GE14. Perhaps then, we may have a real chance to evict the Umnoputras from Putrajaya.

Fearful is the pseudonym of a concerned Malaysian reader of Aliran.

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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