Sarawak DAP chief says Chief Minister must act following US DoJ's civil suits and revelations pertaining to 1MDB scandal.
KUCHING: Sarawak DAP leader Chong Chieng Jen said Chief Minister Adenan Satem should withdraw his support for Prime Minister Najib Razak in light of the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) actions last week.
In a press conference yesterday, Chong said the time has come for Sarawak’s support to be withdrawn.
“It is clear that the whole world knows about the case of money laundering at the highest levels by Malaysian Official 1. It is not for Adenan to turn a blind eye in light of such strong and clear evidence,” Chong said.
Last December, Adenan told the state legislative assembly that he would consider withdrawing the state Barisan Nasional’s (BN) support for Najib under certain circumstances.
“If he (Najib) is found guilty in connection with IMDB, I will consider withdrawing our support for him. The man is innocent until he is proven guilty. Right now, he has not done anything wrong.
“I owe my loyalty to Najib. He is the prime minister of Malaysia and head of Barisan Nasional, so I continue to support him,” Adenan had reportedly said.
The DoJ had filed civil suits last Wednesday saying that over US$3.5 billion (RM14 billion) was misappropriated from 1MDB.
In its suits, filed in Los Angeles, DoJ said it sought to seize assets “involved in and traceable to an international conspiracy to launder money misappropriated from 1MDB”.
The DoJ also alleged offences were committed over a four-year period and involved multiple individuals, including Malaysian officials and their associates, who conspired to fraudulently divert billions of dollars from 1MDB.
It specifically named Najib’s stepson Riza Aziz, Low Taek Jho (better known as Jho Low), and Abu Dhabi government officials Khadem al-Qubaisi and Mohamed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
Chong also warned Adenan against any delay in withdrawing his support.
“I call upon Adenan not to wait for the whole country to be ruined before deciding to withdraw, or contemplate withdrawing, his support for Najib. Don’t wait until the country is ruined beyond repair.”
Asked if the withdrawal of Sarawakian support was premature considering Najib has yet to be found guilty of any crime, Chong said that the Attorney-General’s office, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police are under Najib’s control.
“As long as he (Najib) is in Malaysia, I don’t see any chance that he would be prosecuted. Only when he resigns or he is toppled. So long as he is Prime Minister, it looks like in Malaysia, the Prime Minister is above the law,” Chong said.
Chong added general elections should be called as soon as possible and that Sarawak DAP would support any decision by Penang’s central executive committee to hold a snap election.
“At the moment, people have a sense of helplessness and hopelessness in light of all the international scandals caused by Najib and his administration,” Chong said.
“I think this is the most appropriate time. Other than casting the vote, what else can you do?
“With all this dirt exposed in our country, what can you do? You write statements in the press? Is that very helpful? You go to the streets? Demonstrate in Bersih?
“Yes that helps to express your feelings. But does it have a real political impact in the administration of the country?
“It doesn’t save the country. The best way is to call for a general election, to let the people have a true say,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chong said Adenan must push to increase Sarawak’s oil revenues from the current 5 percent to 20 per cent as Sarawak’s oil wells are only financially feasible for extraction for another 25 years.
He added that Adenan must not make a “unilateral decision to postpone his demand for an increase in oil revenues, with low oil prices as an excuse”.
The Sarawak legislatively assembly unanimously passed a resolution in 2014 to negotiate for an increase in Sarawak’s oil royalties.
“I call on Adenan to walk the talk, and not merely make populist statements in Sarawak to Sarawakians about not compromising, about non-negotiation on Sarawak’s interest, but at the same time, when he faces the Federal Government, especially Najib, he is compromising our rights,” Chong said.
After a Federal Cabinet meeting in Kuching on May 4, Najib, in the presence of Adenan, said there was no discussion on oil royalties as “government revenue is at a critical level” due to low oil prices.
Sarawak held its state election on May 7, with BN winning 72 out of the 82 state seats.
-Freemalaysiatoday july 26,2016