Malaysian govrnment has ordered the suspension of ‘The Edge Financial Daily’ and ‘The Edge Weekly’ for a period of three months to rein in the enourmous criticism that has come from the public concering allegations of irregularities in the government owned investment company, iMDB. The Edge media has a staff strength of 350. Last Monday the government blocked the news website ‘Sarawak Report’ for the same reason.
Edge group, said that the Home Ministry in its letter stated that the publications were judged to be “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion, or is likely to be prejudicial to public and national interest”.
Many likened this clampdown to controversial Ops Lalang crackdown on dissent in 1987.Operation Lalang (Operasi Lalang, also referred to as Ops Lalang and taken to mean Weeding Operation) was a major crackdown started on 27 October 1987 by the then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad , to prevent the occurrence of racial riots in Malaysia. Under Ops Lalang publishing licenses of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan were revoked.
Insted of telling the people what happened, clamping down newspapers, arresting people and feezing bank accounts, is not going to help PM Najib. So far he has managed to hold the power. But his silence is going create some division in the ruling UMNO party. Even some of his senior associates in the party were critical of him. Now he has managed to silence them. But how long can he do this?
So far the Malaysian authorities have made 3 arrests and frozen 6 bank accounts in Malaysia. Singapore government has frozen two bank accounts. Thai authorites are holding Xavier Andre Justo, a former employee of Petro Saudi. At least three other governments have information on where te money went. But they are observing silence because of PM Najib.
Swiss national Xavier Andre Justo is now in jail in Thailand for blackmailing his former employer, PetroSaudi, which is involved in a huge scandal involving the Malaysian government.
Justo claimed that he was promised US$2 million in exchange for data he stole from his former employer. He met a group of people in Singapore to give the information he had stolen in exchange for the $2milliom. The people he met included -Edge owner Mr Tong Kooi Ong, Edge editor-in chief Mr Ho Kay Tat, Ms Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the Malaysian-born British-based editor of the Sarawak Report and her ‘IT guy’. The Edge owner and editor admitted that the misled Justo in to believing that he would get $2 milllion in order to get the evidence of irregularities amounting to US$ 1.83 billion in iMDB.
But no one is telling where the $700 million went. This is very disappointing.
This third of a series of postings on iMDB saga. The other two being: