Don’t let the slime balls get away with it!

There seems to be a new scandal every day. First, we had 1MDB. That was followed in rapid succession by Tabung Haji, Felda, and MARA. Then we had the SRC (part of 1MDB), and the pipelines. Now, Pharmaniaga wants to get in on the act.

What’s really worrying is that these are the scandals that the new government have either uncovered or are actively investigating. How about the stuff that is alleged, but has not been acted upon by the authorities…yet? I’m of course talking about the mismanagement of Sarawak during Taib’s leadership (i.e. the actual reason why the Sarawak Report was established in the first place), military land, and PFI. My friend told me that the latter was old news, circulating on WhatsApp back in 2014. But why should we get fussy?

While I wonder how rich Malaysia would be if the country had been better run, my immediate concern is how many of these perpetrators will get away with it. For example, as I predicted in my earlier article that Arul Kanda would plead guilty to being a lousy CEO, he also pointed out that that wassn’t against the law.

More worryingly, to a layman like me, Jho Low – the alleged architect of the 1MDB scandal – didn’t commit any crime. Here’s my thinking; see if it makes sense (remember, I don’t have any legal training, so if you don’t agree, please be gentle). To me, the whole 1MDB affair is like buying a second-hand car.

In this scenario, Jho Low is the used car salesman, and 1MDB is the sucker who has just walked onto the lot. Without being too disparaging towards used car salesmen, we all know that they tend to – let’s see, what term shall we use? – overestimate the quality of the cars that they’re selling. That’s why the guy who wants to buy has to at least take the car out for a test drive.

Likewise, Jho Low’s cars were the various investment opportunities that he presented to 1MDB. Just as a used car dealer would do, Jho Low told 1MDB that – in his professional opinion (remember, he’s a Wharton graduate) – these were good investments. Unlike the guy buying a used car, however, it looks like the people running 1MDB never even bothered to look at the opportunity (or maybe they rejected the opportunity but were overruled?). Much less take a test drive. So, once these “investments” went belly up, was Jho Low really at fault?

The corruption part seems to be on the 1MDB side. I mean, it really looks like once this “investment method” was discovered, Najib decided to raise easy money by transferring government assets to 1MDB at a pittance (e.g. Sg Besi land). Yeah, you might say that Jho Low is complicit by funneling that money back to Najib, but I suspect it’s going to be really difficult to prove this. I mean, nobody is STUPID enough to put that money directly into his own personal bank account, right? Oh… Well, Jho Low isn’t that stupid, right?

I really hope I’m wrong, but I have a bad feeling that – at most – they’re only going to get Jho Low on relatively trivial stuff. {t will just be a slap on the wrist – not what most Malaysians want (personally, I think hanging would be a good target for our new AG).

Arul’s a stinking liar – but he’s probably going to get away with it

In yesterday’s Malay Mail Online (23 May 2018), our Finance Minister, Lim Guan Eng, said that a 1MDB director, Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali, basically admitted that as much as RM 9.8 billion worth of investments parked abroad by 1MDB were a “scam”. To top it off, 1MDB CEO Arul Kanda said that he was clueless when asked the value of the investments – or if they even existed at all. The reason for his sudden amnesia? He’s been on gardening leave.

Contrast this to the video of him in Bangsar that circulated on May 8 – right before the election. In it, he pleads with the crowd to let him answer. Well, Arul, the Finance Minister gave you your chance, and all you could say was that you’ve been on gardening leave? In fact, there was another video of you right after the Bangsar event saying that you were disappointed with PH leaders for not turning up to challenge you. When Guan Eng challenged you this time, you sure came up with a good one, eh?

What happened yesterday at the Finance Ministry, Arul? Did you buckle under pressure?

All this while, you’ve been telling the country that 1MDB is solvent (i.e. able to meet its obligations). Yet, when the truth has finally come out, you’re suddenly clueless. Arul, YOU ARE A DISGRACE.

The sad part, however, is that his sudden cluelessness is probably a legal gambit. I mean, he didn’t start 1MDB; he merely became CEO once everything started falling apart. As for his public statements as to the solvency of 1MDB, he’ll probably say that – at most – he was mistaken. Sure, he’ll be guilty of being a really LOUSY executive and investment banker…but, unfortunately, that’s not a crime.

We all want him tried for treason, which carries a death penalty, but he’s just going to feign stupidity. Sure, his reputation is in tatters, but a smart boy like him would have squirrelled enough money away to last a lifetime. So, just lay low and take the condemnation for a while, and then get out of the country! Sure beats spending time in prison.

That’s the legal system, I’m afraid. And if you know how to manipulate it, you can escape, no matter how guilty you are. It’s just like some Malaysians who said that putting Najib (and Rosmah) on a travel ban right after the elections was wrong. Their reasoning was that if you want to take away (some of) his rights, then charge him with a crime. The problem with that is how can you charge anyone with a crime if there haven’t been any investigations? Yet, do you expect me to believe that these two thieving bastards would actually return from their brief “family holiday”?

Come on. When a house is on fire, you don’t expect the fireman to knock on the door and ask if he can come in to put out the fire, do you? Yet this is what some Malaysians actually said to me. You’re probably right theoretically, but when Arul thumbs his nose at us from wherever he’s escaped to, let me know what you think.