DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang today wondered whether the 1MDB scandal showed Datuk Seri Najib Razak making use of billionaire businessman Jho Low or the other way round.
“Until a satisfactory answer is forthcoming, this will continue to be a question uppermost in minds of all concerned Malaysians,” said Kit Siang, referring to the Penangite – said to be close to the prime minister’s family – being named as one of the culprits behind the siphoning of funds from state company 1MDB.
The US Department of Justice last month revealed that some US$3 billion from 1MDB had been siphoned off, and was seeking to seize assets worth US$1 billion, in what is seen as the biggest kleptocracy case in the US.
US prosecutors in submitting its application to seize the assets also named Riza Aziz, stepson of Najib, accusing him of using some RM256 million from illegally obtained 1MDB funds to finance the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
It also alleged that a wire transfer of US$11 million was made to Jho Low to pay off his gambling debts with a casino in Las Vegas.
Lim said the question on everybody’s mind was Jho Low’s “real relationship” with Najib, something which he said had yet to be answered despite multi-agency investigations into 1MDB in Malaysia.
“Will Parliament when it meets in October be able to get an answer from Najib, at least in his 2017 Budget speech?
“Nobody however is optimistic that Najib would be prepared to furnish any answer and it would be easier to squeeze water from a stone,” said the Gelang Patah MP.
However, he said the 136-page US documents seemed to indicate that Jho Low was the “mastermind” of the 1MDB scandal.
He said this was because the businessman had a “better bargain from the 1MDB scandal than Najib”, adding that more than two-thirds of the “misappropriated” US$3.5 billion 1MDB funds appeared to be at Jho Low’s disposal.