With thanks to Finance Twitter
Najib Razak is in an awkward position. What this means is the Malaysian prime minister is like Chua Soi Lek, the former President of MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) who was forced to admit and subsequently resign after his sensational sex DVD scandal. Unlike Mr. Chua, however, Mr. Najib is a man who knew no shame.
Nope, Mr. Najib wasn’t caught with his pants down bonking another woman; although he was allegedly did so in a Port Dickson hotel room with singer and actress Ziana Zain when he was then Malaysian Defence Minister. But his 1MDB and RM2.6 billion scandals brought so much shame to the country that Chua Soi Lek looks like Hugh Hefner instead.
Mr. Najib is in an awkward position because whenever he meets foreign leaders, he can’t help but notice a smirk on their face. True, he knew no shame but that doesn’t mean he has no dignity. Unlike North Korean Kim Jong-un orZimbabwean Robert Mugabe, Najib takes very personal on how world leaders think of him. After all, Malaysia is still a democracy country.
When U.S. Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch announced on Wednesday (July 20, 2016) that the Justice Department filed lawsuits to seize assets that it said were the result of US$3.5 billion that was misappropriated from 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd), a fund set up by Najib Razak himself in 2009, the Malaysian prime minister almost fell off his chair.
The son of Razak had been given the impressions by his No.1 bootlicker – Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak – and his band of supposedly top-brain advisers that FBI would drag their feet in the 1MDB investigation. That explains why Mr. Salleh suddenly made a spectacular U-turnand dismissed his “usual” claims of an international conspiracy against Malaysia.
Prior to the unexpected announcement by the U.S. prosecutor, Mr. Salleh has been consistently rubbished allegations by the Wall Street Journal, Sarawak Report and every private-owned media about his boss Najib’s involvement in the embarrassing but damaging twin scandals – calling them international conspiracy against the country.
Salleh took it that because President Barack Obama had golfed with PM Najib Razak, diplomatic calls were exchanged between both leaders for the investigation to be dropped, or at least halted. After all, A.G. Lynch was handpicked by Obama and had, together with FBI, carried out the president’s errands such as the recent cover-up for Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
Unfortunately, Najib’s 1MDB was too explosive and massive to be covered up by Obama administration. Coincidently, Attorney General Lynch openly declared – “The Department of Justice will not allow the American financial system to be used as a conduit for corruption,” – just a day after Donald Trump officially became the Republican Party’s presidential nominees.
The fact is, Barack Obama is struggling to ensure Hillary Clinton successfully become the first woman president, and continue Democrats’ agenda. The last thing they want is for Trump to make bombastic allegations that Obama and Lynch deliberately cover-up Najib’s corruption, and Hillary would continue such practice if voted to the White House.
To cover-up Hillary Clinton’s email scandal is one thing. But to cover-up Najib Razak’s 1MDB scandal, involving a whopping US$3.5 billion allegedly diverted from 1MDB funds, is another “very damaging” thing. 1MDB’s scandal is so hugethat it creates a new record as the U.S. largest single action ever brought under the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
Make no mistake about the exciting announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice. President Obama and A.G. Lynch weren’t interested in shaming PM Najib Razak, let alone prosecute him. If one looks hard enough, Lynch was merely acting based on “complaints”, and the Justice Department was merely talking about “recovering” money.
The lawsuit doesn’t name Mr. Najib and no charges were brought against him, although there are 32 references in the complaint to “Malaysian Official 1″, a description that fits no one else but Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak himself. The 130-pages lawsuit, however, would be damaging to Riza Aziz (Najib’s stepson) and Jho Low (confidant of Najib).
The way this case is going to develop is pretty predictable. There’s no way Najib would allow his stepson to be charged, let alone spend some time in prison. That would break self-proclaimed First Lady Rosmah Mansor’s heart – badly. Mr. Jho Low and Khadem Al-Qubaisi would be the fall guys who would gladly admit they had willingly given US$238 million to Riza as “gift money”.
The drama requires Riza Aziz to be innocent, so that Najib Razak can be as clean as a whistle. One should take note that NO criminal charges were filed by the Justice Department. Therefore, nobody would go to jail. What the Obama administration can do to scratch Najib’s back is to put up a drama – a lawsuit to “recover” the illicit money, not sending people to prison.
As we had mentioned, if the United States wanted to put Najib on trial, there’s no escape for the son of Razak. It’s rare but the U.S. government simply needs to deny PM Najib Razak an A-1 (diplomatic) Visa as head of state. Without this visa, Najib doesn’t enjoy diplomatic immunity anymore. However, only President Obama can exercise his authority to deny the visa to Najib.
The simple fact that the U.S. Justice Department wasn’t interested in criminal charges despite overwhelming evidence that Najib and his gang have insulted and raped the American financial system proves that Obama and Lynch are willing to close one eye. Now, do you understand why Minister Salleh Said Keruak’s made a humiliating U-turn?
If Salleh had sung the same old song like a broken record that the latest U.S. Justice of Department’s move was an international conspiracy against Malaysia, essentially he would be starting a provocation against the Government of the United States. Being challenged, all pro-conservative American news media would pick up the news and Obama would be forced to retaliate “seriously”.
Even if Obama wanted to, of which he doesn’t, the U.S. cannot afford to start a confrontation with his so-called moderate Muslim Malaysia, who is supposed to help America in the fight against the terrorism. With former de-facto opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in jail and the opposition in disarray, the U.S. simply hasno candidate for a regime change.
For that reason alone, PM Najib Razak is safe because the United States dares not shame him, let alone arrest or prosecute him. To the U.S., Malaysian Najib Razak is no Panamanian Manuel Noriega or Iraqi Saddam Hussein. Najib is just a super corrupt leader, something which both U.S. Democrats and Republicanssubscribe, endorse and embrace.
But do you know what the funniest thing about this U.S. lawsuit is? Ultimately the billions of dollars of looted assets to be seized by the U.S. government will be returned to the country affected – Malaysia. Unless PM Najib resigns, which is highly unlikely, he’s actually getting back all the money he had allegedly laundered to his stepson Riza Aziz in the first place!