Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak should take leave following the shocking disclosure made by the United States Department of Justice last night, said opposition leader Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
She reasoned that Najib's position as Prime Minister allowed him to take control and influence over key government agencies, including the office of the attorney-general, the police, and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.
“Since this issue is closely linked to his tenure as prime minister, I believe the Malaysian people want Najib to go on leave. This is so as not to create the perception of abuse of power or process to halt or hinder a full and transparent investigation on this very serious issue,” she said in a statement today.
Wan Azizah said the entire world was shocked by the US Department of Justice press conference last night, which stated its government was initiating a seizure of assets worth over RM4 billion (USD1 billion) linked with an international conspiracy to launder funds misappropriated from 1MDB.
She added the Justice Department press conference clearly stated that this RM4 billion is part of over RM14 billion (US$3.5 billion) that had been identified as being embezzled from 1MDB, between 2009 and 2015.
The department, also mentioned several individuals as being involved. Court documents filed in California named Najib's step-son, Riza Aziz, Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, and two United Arab Emirates official Khadem Abdulla Al-Qubaisi and Mohammed Ahmed Badawy Al-Husseiny.
The US deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Andrew McCabe, said at the press conference, that the Malaysian people were defrauded on an enormous scale in a scheme which reached around the world.
The lawsuits, filed in Los Angeles yesterday, are for the US government to seize a total 17 assets including luxury properties, artworks and a jet from the producers of the blockbuster film 'The Wolf of Wall Street'.
The court documents relate how properties were allegedly purchased in the US, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, from funds diverted from 1MDB.
Calls for emergency parliament session and RCI
This timeline of 2009 and 2015, Wan Azizah said coincides and overlaps exactly with the tenure of Najib as prime minister, finance minister and chairperson of the 1MDB board of advisors.
“Since Article 117 of 1MDB's Memorandum and Articles of Association during the time the RM14 billion was alleged to have been embezzled stated categorically that all "financial commitments (including investments), restructuring or matters involving government guarantees" must obtain the written approval of the PM, I hereby call upon Najib to swiftly give an explanation and a full account of this matter in an emergency Parliamentary sitting, called as soon as possible,” she added.
“Seeing that Najib as the PM had sacked prominent individuals who voiced out their concerns on the 1MDB issue, including his former deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, I call upon the cabinet to advise the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong to proclaim the formation of a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate the serious claims that RM14 billion had been embezzled from 1MDB between 2009 and 2015,” she said.
Wan Azizah, who is also Permatang Pauh MP, also wants those involved in the misappropriation of funds from 1MDB to be prosecuted.