KUALA LUMPUR: Between the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the New York Times (NYT), said a veteran newsman, he would give greater credence to the latter. “Its series of expose on 1MDB-related shenanigans have been largely accurate.”
Former New Straits Times Group Editor-in-Chief Kadir Jasin was commenting on the NYT quoting the Saudi Foreign Minister as saying the USD681 million (RM2.6b in Najib’s account) went to an “investment in Malaysia”.
“It’s a private Saudi citizen, I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia,” Kadir quoted the Saudi Minister as saying in an interview with the American newspaper.
The veteran newsman recalled “Najib and his storytellers” claiming that the money was for use during the 2013 General Election and for fighting terrorism. “What now brown cow?”
Kadir wants to know whether the hypothetical brown cow would advise the Prime Minister and his number one lawyer, Mohd Hafarizam Harun, to issue another legal threat against the paper. “I expect Najib’s handpicked Deputy Prime Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, to complain vigorously to the Saudi Government for making such a statement to the Press and not directly to him.”
He must, said Kadir. “Otherwise, he will be accused of lying too because he had repeatedly sworn that he knew the Arab donors and had met them in Saudi Arabia.”
Again, between Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir and Zahid, the veteran newsman gives greater credence to the former. “I don’t know him (Adel) but he has not said anything before that raised my suspicions”
The NYT also quoted a member of the Saudi royal family and a close associate of the family, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the money had come from a Saudi prince, but that it was not a donation. “The associate also reportedly questioned the sum, but said the funds were part of a business deal,” noted Kadir. “What would Attorney-General Mohd Apandi Ali do now?”
Kadir wants to know whether the AG would stick to his guns or whether he would make discreet checks to see if people have been lying to him. “Who knows?”
“Those tonnes of papers submitted to him by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Bank Negara may not all be works of fiction.”
Just to refresh Apandi Ali’s memory, continued Kadir, the AG told the Press on January 26 that the USD681 million deposited in Najib’s personal accounts was a donation from the Saudi royal family given without any consideration.
“Many of us have ceased to believe in the Prime Minister a long time ago.”
Kadir reminded that Najib has said that the USD681 million in his private accounts was a donation from the Saudi royal family or “something like that”.
“His handpicked Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali concurred and unilaterally absolved him of all wrongdoings, in relation to that donation and another ‘donation’ from SRC International Sdn Bhd.”
The BBC, lamented the veteran newsman, corroborated the story saying the amount was donated by the Saudi royal family.
“But now the Saudi Foreign Minister does not think that the USD681 million was from the Saudi Government or that it was a political donation.”
Source from FMT NEWS