1 September 2015
The Berlin-based Transparency International (TI) chose Malaysia as host of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) to be held in September 2015.
The conference is held once in two years. This conference brings together government, private sector, and civil society representatives from over 130 countries to swap expertise and experience.
The conference theme is “Ending Impunity: People, Integrity and Action”. Key note address is to be delivered by the embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is involved in a RM42 billion (US$700 million) scandal involving 1MDB – mother of all scandals in Malaysia. He sacked those questioned him – his former deputy, who was his chief rival for the power, and four other cabinet ministers. These positions were given to his loyalists.
A special task force was set up to investigate the 1MDB scandal. The task force consisted of , Attorney-General, Bank Negara Governor, Inspector-General of Police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s chief commissioner.
When the task force was about to submit its report to the Parliamentary Accounts Committee, Mr. Najib sacked the Attorney-General and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s chief commissioner and dissolved the task force to set up a new task force, which excluded the Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission.
He also blocked websites and suspended newspapers that reported on the fund and were critical of his actions.
1MDB was Najib’s brainchild, and he heads its advisory board as Malaysia’s finance minister. It was set up in 2009 to be the sovereign wealth fund. But currently reels with a debt of S11billion.
Bersih rally was organised by civil society activists as a protest against corruption and demanding the resignation of Mr. Najib. Their objectives are: clean elections, clean government, save the economy and allow right to dissent.
They organised a two-day rally during the last week-end. This was their fourth rally; therefore it was called Bersih 4. The meaning of Bersih in Malay language is clean. Thousands of Malaysians turned out in yellow T-shits in support. The rally was also held in 50 other cities in other parts of the world where Malaysian émigrés live. The rally was banned in Singapore and Thailand.
One of the unexpected guests on the first day of the rally was former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. He appeared very briefly and left as quickly as he came. Najib’s damage control team went into overdrive and accused Mahathir of being a hypocrite and traitor.
Now Mahathir wanted his intension known. He came to the rally on the second day, with his wife and former law minister Zaid Ibrahim. This time he delivered a speech from the steps of Central Market.
In his speech, Dr. Mahathir said:
1. He was at the rally for the people.
2. All UMNO MPs had been bribed by Najib, along with all of Umno’s division chiefs.
3. Najib’s RM2.6 billion did not come from the Arabs, but from 1MDB.
4. Keep demonstrating, it was the last resort to be rid of Najib.
What Dr. Mahathir said is not guess work but facts. He has his own sources. Furthermore, he is still a party member and influential in the political circles.
Mr Najib should think seriously and act to avoid walking away in disgrace.
Mr Najib’s inaction could couse a serious division in the party and will reult in weakening of it.
In the international conference, what is the message that Najib is going to give to the Southeast Asian nations? What experience will he share with them? Will he explain why the Anti-Corruption Commissions chief was sacked and why the Commission is not qualified to investigate the mother of all scandals?