Free Malaysia Today’s columnist Scott Ng has today published an article (refer below) criticizing the Prime Minister with respect to the allegations by Wall Street Journal that 1MDB funds were transferred to the Prime Minister account. However, I would like to correct some facts provided by Scott Ng which is not only inaccurate, but bordering on blatant lies to tarnish the leadership of the Prime Minister. My responds are marked in “red”.
Prime Minister Najib Razak probably thought he was in the clear, finally, after postponing the Umno party elections till 2018. It was time to breathe deep and deal with the already formidable mountain of scandals demanding his attention and to work on making his administration look competent after years and years of being lambasted from all quarters. Sadly, fate is a capricious thing, and Najib now has to deal with what may be the biggest scandal ever to hit a sitting Malaysian prime minister.
Scott Ng starts of his article by saying that the Barisan Nasional government is full of scandals. However, he has conveniently neglected to name any of these so called “scandals”. In addition, he accuse the leadership of the Prime Minster as “incompetent” but he purposely ignores the steady economic growth figures that the country has seen since 2008. Since the Prime Minister took over the leadership of the country, the World Bank stated that even though Malaysia was hit by the Global Financial Crisis in 2009 it recovered rapidly, posting growth rates averaging 5.7 percent since 2010.
By now, most of us must have read the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report which claims that some RM2.6 billion was transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts just before GE13. It has been all that anyone is talking about in the past week, and the general feeling that Najib is on his way out has never been stronger. After all, presidents and prime ministers all over the world have resigned or been made to resign for much less.
Scott Ng has now accused the Prime Minster of misappropriating RM 2.6 billion. This accusation from Scott Ng merely comes from a newspaper which has lost numerous libel suits in the past decade and has proved to be unreliable in its news coverage. Since Scott Ng is adamant of accusing the Prime Minister of such crime, he shall also bear in mind that One of the most sacred principles in the American criminal justice system, holding that a defendant is innocent until proven guilty. In other words, the prosecution must prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged.
It is up to the prosecution, in this case WSJ to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, each essential element of the crime charged against the Prime Minister.
Perhaps the most preposterous aspect of the controversy is the way Najib tries to defend himself. The sounds coming out of his camp are incredibly coarse, to say the least. In an information war, it is important to discredit your opponent by making it seem that your side of the story is more plausible. But Najib and his cohorts’ tendency to belittle WSJ – whether by questioning its credibility, or implying that it is unprofessional in depending solely on Mahathir Mohamad’s word for its report, or claiming that the expose was part of a Jewish master plan to bring down Islamic countries – is laughable at best. The allegation of a Jewish conspiracy comes to us courtesy of FT Umno Youth chief Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii. No wonder we have a leadership crisis in this country.
Scott Ng does not address the response by the Prime Minister but merely laugh of the response. This shows that Scott Ng itself is prejudice and is not independent in his decision making. He has clearly assume the Prime Minister is guilty without an iota of credible evidence has been put on the table, not only by WSJ but also by the special taskforce led by Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail. The threat of a conspiracy by international players with help of local traitors clearly hold water. What has WSJ got to benefit from bringing down a democratically elected Prime Minister of the country?
The Wall Street Journal is nothing like a mosquito newspaper. It is published by a global behemoth, with offices throughout the world, a highly reputable media organisation that prides itself on excellence in reporting. Of course, it has occasionally made mistakes in its long history. Which media organisation hasn’t?
Thank you for admitting that WSJ has made mistakes.
In the current case, however, it has firmly stood its ground against the accusations of Najib’s supporters, claiming that the evidence it has shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that funds from 1MDB were indeed transferred into the Prime Minister’s personal accounts. To accuse the leader of a country of corruption, and to the magnitude of RM2.6 billion at that, is no small matter. It is a huge risk that no reputable media organisation would take unless it had a high level of confidence that it could defend itself.
|WSJ has a reputation for tarnishing the image of democratically elected governments in South East Asia|
Again Scott Ng clearly seem oblivious the fact that WSJ had been sued by the Singapore government a couple of times due to their irresponsible and defamatory commentary on the PAP government. Some of the facts can be found here:
In fact, in 2008, WSJ had refrained from publishing The Wall Street Journal Asia, which circulates in Singapore for legal reasons due to their irresponsible reporting.
The accusation is extremely serious, and Najib must be able to give a clear yes-or-no answer when questioned whether funds were indeed transferred to his accounts. Anything else just weakens his position both as a leader and as a person. His argument that he has “never taken funds for personal gain” sounds deceptive under the circumstances. He was never accused of taking the funds for personal use. Most observers have deduced that the funds were channelled into BN’s war chest.
There is no requirement for the PM to give a Yes or No answer. By demanding the PM to give a yes or no answer, it shows that even Scott Ng is not confident with the so called “expose” by WSJ. He is purposely trying to “fish” the PM by admitting his guilt or deny the allegations outright. My question is, why you need the PM to give a clear yes – or – no answer unless of course the so called evidence by WSJ is fabricated and not reliable.
This is not something Najib can just shrug off his shoulders like so much dust, as he has with most of the accusations thrown at him so far. In many other countries, the people would have started a revolt. But Najib must not take the peaceful reaction to the expose to mean that Malaysians are not paying close attention.
Exactly. That is why there is no revolt in the streets. The people themselves are not confident and just do not trust the so-called expose by WSJ. If they did, they would have started a revolt days ago asking the Prime Minister to step down. Period.
Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii
Federal Territories UMNO Youth Chief