With the present crackdown on corruption in China by president Xi Jinping, the Great Wall is losing its shine as the most corrupt country in the world. Soon, a new nation will emerge to take over from the Chinese. For decades Malaysia has been trailing behind China, without much success, for the trophy. Malaysians have their prime minister – Najib Razak – to thank for leapfrogging the country as the new world champion.
Actually, Malaysians only know the “real meaning” of corruption after Mahathir Mohamad took over as the country’s fourth prime minister in 1981, and held it for a record 22-years until 2003. By the time he left office, corruption or bribery has become part and parcel of Malaysians’ life, so much so that not many can live without it. But when Mahathir’s protégé – Najib Razak – took over as the sixth prime minister, corruption enters a new era.
It’s no secret that Mahathir is a multi-billionaire. How could the supremo is not even a millionaire when his sons are all billionaires? Naturally, his successors – Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak – wanted to become billionaires too. However, the last straw that broke the camel’s back was the establishment of 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad), a pet project for the Najib-Rosmah family.
Many ignorant and clueless supporters have absolutely no idea what is this animal called 1MDB. They thought it’s a sophisticated development vehicle to drive the country’s economy. The fact that 1MDB hides itself behind Cayman Islands is enough proof that something is very wrong. Basically there’re two major reasons why you do business in Cayman Islands – to evade tax or to launder dirty money.
Imagine 1MDB as a secret company owned by a serial gambler. This gambler transfers his family fortune to his private company in Cayman Islands. The money is used on casino tables, buy stocks, purchase properties, make movies and the list goes on. New purchases and profits become his own “private fortune”. He borrows from loan sharks, using his family assets as collateral and guarantor, to raise capital and pay whatever debt accumulated.
In short, the gambler brilliantly uses other people money to make money for himself. His profit is guaranteed because he doesn’t use a single penny of his own money for the so-called “investments”. But how could his family members keep quiet while he plunders? Simple – because this gambler is also the same person authorised for all financial transactions. This genius is the Finance Minister (*grin*).
Are there any proofs? When even the Father of Corruption, Mahathir, couldn’t stomach the level 1MDB was siphoning money to Cayman Islands, what more proofs do you need? So far, 1MDB has debts of more than RM42 billion (US$11.6 billion, £7.5 billion) and an annual debt servicing of RM2.31 billion, not to mention negative cash flow of RM2.25 billion in its financial year ended March 31, 2014.
1MDB’s debts are so massive that the infamous CowGate scandal by warlord Shahrizat looks like a child play. 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt is almost 170 times of CowGate’s RM250 million scandal. Now, do you understand why Shahrizat still couldn’t understand the brouhaha about her pathetic quarter of a million scandal? The latest has it that Najib’s own Cabinet has rejected a RM3 billion cash injection into 1MDB.
Ananda Krishnan, the country’s second richest person with net worth of US$9.7 billion (Forbes, Feb 2015), has already extended RM2 billion loan to 1MDB to pay its debt on February 13. If that is not enough to convince you that 1MDB is in deep trouble, perhaps the company’s bonds which has just been “upgraded to junk” will. Suddenly, it seems Najib-Rosmah-Jhow Low tag-team is not that clever after all.
PM Najib knows he’s a dead meat with the 1MDB scandal. Auntie Rosy should keep her mouth shut instead of boasting about her RM1,200 beehive hair maintenance. Mahathir and bloggers have been building a case to kick Najib out of Putrajaya. And 1MDB would be the main dish for the prime minister to bid farewell to his throne. The question of who will take over has also been resolved.
Depending on Mahathir’s assessments on two candidates, deputy PM Muhyiddin Yassin may get to become the country’s “half-term” new prime minister, just enough time to warm the seat before calling for a snap election and handover the premiership to Minister of Defence, Hishammuddin Hussein. That’s the reason why both Muhyiddin and Hishammuddin have been freaking cautious about their public statements.
But Muhyiddin’s status quo as deputy prime minister could also remain, just like Ghabar Baba during Mahathir’s premiership, while Hishammuddin gets Mahathir blessing to become the new prime minister. Of course, that would mean Mahathir’s son is set to become Hishammuddin’s deputy once Muhyiddin retires for good. PM Najib can blames nobody except his greediness, and his lovely shopaholic and boastful wife.
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