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Prime Minister Najib and his gatekeepers have betrayed Malaysians on 1MDB Rm42 billion debt
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way–in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.--Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
There is a Malay saying that describes most aptly what is happening in Malaysia today under the Najib administration. It goes like this: Harapkan Pagar, Pagar Makan Padi ( literally it means in English, depend on the gatekeeper, the gatekeeper steals the rice). Yes, Najib and his Cabinet as gatekeepers and their officials have betrayed us on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)'s RM 42billion debt, which is in danger of default.
Crisis of Confidence in Najib's Leadership
Malaysians have spent countless hours discussing the need to protect this intangible capital called TRUST that underpins personal and social relationships, business and public administration. We recognise the need for our government to be open, transparent and accountable; we emphasized the importance of sound management of our economy and fiscal responsibility; we comment on corruption, fiduciary duty of company directors and public officials.
We raised concerns about our ballooning national debt now close to RM600 billion (and that does not include private sector and household debt), and the Malay economy. We have warned the recalcitrant Prime Minister cum Finance Minister that Malaysia is in a financial crisis. This crazy debt financed spending which is justified as being good for sustained economic economic growth must stop if we are to avoid joining Greece which has difficulties in paying its creditors including the IMF. But Prime Minister Najib chooses not to listen and account for the borrowed funds. In stead his gatekeepers continue to divert our attention away from the problems of 1MDB.
The 1MDB financial scandal involving debt to the tune of RM42 billion by a single entity is already having a negative impact on public and investor confidence in the way the Najib administration manages our country’s finances and makes and executives public policy. The ringgit has already taking its toll against the US dollar on foreign exchange markets. This is because the Najib administration has consistently refused to explain what happened to the proceeds of the RM 42 billion and tell the truth. Even our Auditor-General is taking his time to come out with his report. The top managers of 1MDB too have acted irresponsibly by not turning up for a meeting with the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee to answer questions on 1MDB activities and financial accounts. The time is now to come clean on 1MDB and other matters, if you have nothing to hide. Don’t treat us Malaysians as dumb and stupid people.
The world knows about what has been happening in Malaysia since 2009 when Najib Razak took over the reins of power as Prime Minister from an equally inept predecessor. Don’t be taken in by the highly paid consultants and propagandists.If possible come and visit to the country and talk to civil society leaders and those outside officialdom. Yes, we have impressive skyscrapers and modern shopping centers but underneath all that is a nation without a soul and compassion for the struggling middle class and the poor.
It is a sad reflection of the quality of Malay leadership right down the line. Added to the image of the Lazy Malay native is that of corrupt, unscrupulous and greedy plutocrats. May you learn from the Malaysian experience and know that rampant corruption, abuse of power and professional incompetence will destroy a nation and its moral and ethical foundations. Malaysia is not “a City Upon a Hill” but a nation deep down in a coal pit.