2 September 2015

The 3 day conference organised by Transparency International and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission started today at Putra Jaya.

Datuk Paul Low, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said that he advised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to pull out from speaking at the International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Putrajaya today.  Low is the minister in charge of governance and integrity. He said that as the current circumstances some of which implicate him there is a possibility of negative reactions at the conference. He was expecting fierce activists. But after the conference started he noted that crowd was quite civil.

Datuk Paul Low represented the Prime Minister’s Office at the conference.

Prime Minister Najib Razak decided to skip the three day 15th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), starting today at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre.

Jose Ugaz, global chair of Transparency International, a Peruvian lawyer with a history of taking on grand corruptions, minced no words. His message was loud and clear.

Jose Ugaz told delegates in his opening speech, “There are two questions that need to be answered: Who paid the money and why? Where did it go? One man could answer those questions,”

“We want to see more progress (from Malaysia) but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the US$700 million that made its way into the prime minister’s personal bank account.”

“No one can be in Malaysia and not be aware of the corruption allegations of recent months and how damaging they are to the country. “There is a corruption crisis here.”

He said in recent weeks, the attorney-general “who was critical of the government” was replaced, the task force probing into 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was suspended, investigators were‎ arrested, and newspapers suspended.

“These are not the actions of a government that is fighting corruption. We may well hear promises of reform. That is not what is needed at this time. And promises alone will not restore confidence and trust.”

This is a severe attach on Mr. Najib’s integrity. He cannot keep silent. What kind of impression the 1000 delegates from 130 countries will take with them on their return home. Malaysia has been shamed. Mr. Najib keeps saying that he has the mandate. The mandate was given long ago. Many things have happened since then. The mandate is no longer valid. He should now seek a new mandate.