Friday, April 1, 2016

Finally the truth emerges

Salleh Said Keruak

“Investigators believe money flowed to Malaysian leader Najib’s accounts amid 1MDB probe,” screamed The Wall Street Journal’s headlines on 2nd July 2015. And after that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was subjected to a barrage of attacks by the local and foreign media, Bloggers included.

In short, it was a trial by media and Najib was being tried and convicted in the court of public opinion due to this media onslaught. And he was being treated as guilty until and unless he can prove his innocence, which was precisely what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 so-called revelation also triggered the setting up of a Special Task Force, the purpose of which, according to the announcement, was to investigate the allegation that Najib had stolen US$700 million or RM2.6 billion of 1MDB’s money and had transferred it to his personal bank accounts.

The Wall Street Journal said:

“Malaysian investigators scrutinising a controversial government investment fund have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into what they believe are the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, according to documents from a government probe.”

This would mean, according to what The Wall Street Journal said, the investigation had started before 2nd July 2015 and was not the result of The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 ‘expose’. And The Wall Street Journal confirmed it was in possession of documents related to that probe (which means the investigation had already been launched before 2nd July 2015 if there are already documents related to the probe).

This in itself sounds very suspicious because The Wall Street Journal said its 2nd July 2015 report is based on the investigation while the official statement from the Special Task Force is that it was set up to investigate the Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 ‘expose’.

So which came first? And if The Wall Street Journal’s 2nd July 2015 came first and the launch of the Special Task Force came after, as what we are being told, this would mean The Wall Street Journal was given documents that were not based on any investigation but were planted to slander the Prime Minister.

But then on 4th July 2015 the Attorney General said that he had just received the documents regarding the investigation and on 8th July 2015 it was announced that a Special Task Force had been set up to investigate the allegation. So where did The Wall Street Journal obtain its ‘evidence’ from and which ‘probe’ are they referring to?

At that time Malaysians should have already smelled a rat. In fact, The Wall Street Journal was actually quite vague about the whole issue but due to the manner the report was crafted it was made to appear like a crime had been committed. For example, The Wall Street Journal said:

Documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal include bank transfer forms and flow charts put together by government investigators that reflect their understanding of the path of the cash. The original source of the money is unclear and the government investigation doesn’t detail what happened to the money that went into Mr. Najib’s personal accounts.

In short, The Wall Street Journal said it does not really know what happened but then its stories thereafter, as well as the stories from others, give an impression that it knows precisely what happened.

Now The Wall Street Journal says the money was not from 1MDB after all but was a donation from Middle Eastern sources. And that appears to also be the basis of the recent ABC special report. Even Dr Mahathir no longer talks about stolen money but a donation and he is shifting the issue from where the money came from to how the money was spent.

Najib has been subjected to a gross injustice of trial through the media and he was ‘convicted’ in a court of public opinion based not on evidence but based on a mere allegation. Those who have slandered the Prime Minister owe him a huge apology, which, of course, we know will never happen. 

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