1MDB: A challenge to two Cabinet ministers

Matthias Chang

Justify your ‘twisted’ logic in an open debate

Matthias Chang, Free Malaysia Today

Soon after the New Straits Times (NST) reported that one Xavier Justo had been arrested in Thailand for allegedly “blackmailing PetroSaudi International Ltd” (the parent company of a host of other “PetroSaudi” companies incorporated in the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and elsewhere), Malaysians were bombarded with the twisted logic that in the circumstances, each and every allegation against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the Jho Low-1MDB ‘consortium’ had no basis whatsoever, because the allegations by Dr Mahathir Mohamad, The Edge newspaper and other critics were based on “fabrications” and “tampered evidence” downloaded from the computers of the PetroSaudi group of companies.

The twisted logic was propagated stridently by a few Cabinet ministers and the Umno Supreme Council.

Take for example:

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who was quoted as saying that some quarters had used information gathered from the Sarawak Report portal and made excessive speculation on 1MDB issues without knowing the basic truth.

“I believe there are many evidence which show that Sarawak Report has falsified the information and has used unethical approach to defame our leadership (sic).”

His accusation is based on his “belief” and not hard evidence. Notably, he has failed to disclose which part of the information referred to by Sarawak Report and/or 1MDB’s other critics has been falsified.

And he is a minister.

Since when has the “belief” of a person been deemed irrefutable evidence? If this minister says that he “believes” that a cow can jump over the moon, must it be so? Must we accept his belief as correct?

What else do we need to say about this minister?

Then, we have another questionable statement by another minister.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Chik said that people should verify news which they read on the Internet before jumping to conclusions.

Why should people only verify news from the Internet and not the mainstream media? Is this minister implying that the mainstream media tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and never publishes falsehoods and lies?

This Minister then went on to say, “We are in the midst of gathering information about individuals who spread false information about 1MDB on social media to facilitate investigations.”

By saying that he is in the “midst of gathering information”, this minister has confessed that he does not have any hard evidence as yet.

Like his colleague he has not identified which accusations were false and/or based on tampered evidence.

I have in several articles challenged the entire Cabinet as well as the Umno Supreme Council to answer more than 100 questions regarding the financial fiasco arising from the unprecedented RM42 billion debt incurred by 1MDB.

The two ministers have not identified the individuals they accuse of having spread false information about 1MDB. Since I am one of the critics of 1MDB, the Cabinet and the Umno Supreme Council, I must, and have the right to, assume that, by innuendo, I am one of those individuals.

So, let’s settle the baseless accusations of these two ministers once and for all in a public forum.

Since they have made accusations against all the critics, we should, therefore, be allowed to question the two ministers, and the basis of their accusations.

Let this public forum be telecast “live” on television – TV1, TV2, TV3 and Astro – and let the entire country determine who has been giving false information and why they have been doing so.

When these two ministers accuse others of giving false information, it implies that they have given truthful and accurate information regarding 1MDB’s RM42 billion debt and that all the transactions giving rise to the said debt have been legally and legitimately entered into by 1MDB and had the prior approval of the prime minister cum finance minister and Bank Negara.

If these two ministers do not have the courage to participate in a public forum, then at the very minimum, they must do the following: