1MDB.. the big guns speak, Dr. Mahathir is not alone:
In the mean time where is 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy? he need to answer this question:
1MDB is about integrity and accountability. A strategic development company, wholly owned by the government and therefore answerable to the people, it has got into a huge mess reflected in massive debts, questionable investments, and dubious land transactions which in turn have fuelled speculations about money being siphoned off and loans approved without the consent of the authority concerned. The general public has been shocked into realization that something is terribly wrong with the company by the 1MDB –Tabung Haji deal largely because the latter is perceived as the trusted custodian of the savings of a lot of ordinary Muslims planning to fulfil a once-in-a-lifetime religious obligation.
It is because the issues of integrity and trust are so fundamental that many of us welcomed the Prime Minister’s announcement last March that the Auditor-General would conduct a thorough audit of 1MDB and submit his report to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Malaysian Parliament. While we recognize that an audit attempting to unravel the complex operations of 1MDB will take time, the people would want the exercise to be completed as expeditiously as possible. The report, it is hoped, will be honest and forthright and will not attempt to protect anyone, however highly placed.
In this regard, it is commendable that the PAC has already begun its probe. If need be, it should, with the help of an international auditing firm, conduct a forensic audit to ascertain if there are actions of a criminal nature in any of 1MDB’s operations. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has already expressed its readiness to participate in the investigation. The police, it is reported, have set up a task force.
All these institutions of state should realize that establishing the truth – the whole truth – about 1MDB is their sacred responsibility. It is a responsibility entrusted to them by the Malaysian people. They should never ever subordinate this responsibility to the interests of an individual or a group. They should always remember that they are trustees of the public good, not protectors of an individual.
If the well-being of society is sometimes compromised in Malaysia as in many other countries, it is mainly because the trustees of the public good have failed to uphold their trust. This is why those who have been given the task of revealing the truth about 1MDB should heed the wise words of the first of the righteous caliphs in Islam, Abu Bakr as-Siddiq, “Behold me, behold me, charged with the care of government. I am not the best among you. I need all your advice and all your help. If I do well, support me; if I make mistakes, counsel me. To tell the truth to a person commissioned to rule is faithful allegiance; to conceal it is treason.”
Dr Chandra Muzaffar chairs the Board of Trustees of Yayasan 1 Malaysia.