Are 1MDB’s woes revealing a fractured Najib government?


The Malaysian Insider

The Cabinet might have tried to put up a united front over debt-heavy 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) financial woes but it took Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin just 48 hours to crack that façade.

His seven-paragraph statement tonight made three points not found in the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement on Wednesday which said, “Cabinet expressed confidence that no wrong-doing has been committed within 1MDB, and their desire for the company to be allowed to implement the proposed outcomes of its strategic review.”

Muhyiddin’s points were simple for a company that reportedly sits on a RM51 billion asset base that can cover its RM42 billion debts.

For him, there should not be any bailout of 1MDB if it involves public funds, the Auditor-General must verify 1MDB’s accounts from 2009, and that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) should carry out an independent probe.

In the PMO statement, Prime Miinister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had informed the Cabinet that he has instructed the Auditor General to independently verify 1MDB’s accounts.

“The Auditor General’s report will be passed for transparent inspection to the Public Accounts Committee, which is fully bipartisan and reflects Parliament’s composition,” said the statement.

“If any wrongdoing is proven, the law will be enforced without exception,” it quoted the prime minister as saying.

But Muhyiddin has taken matters further in asking for experts to assist the Auditor-General in conducting the audit in the shortest time possible for a complete and comprehensive report about 1MDB’s finances, adding that a forensic audit must be done to ensure there was no financial irregularities in 1MDB’s transactions.

In one did not know better, it would appear that Muhyiddin was channelling the requests of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) political opponents, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in asking for a thorough investigation.

Just a year ago, no one bothered to answer PR’s complaints about 1MDB until former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad brought up the issue.

The country’s longest-serving prime minister even granted an interview to whistleblower website Sarawak Report on the matter.

That was when it became a serious issue which the Cabinet then discussed when Najib was away from the country last December.