Najib sees a snap election as his best option, because the news can only get worse.
Over the next few weeks and months it is going to get harder and harder to keep up his denials that he stole from the public through 1MDB. No one in the rest of the world believes him as it is, although his denials are parroted by UMNO controlled media to the Malaysians themselves.
So, what are the upcoming problems he will have to weather?
It is already known in financial circles that his slush fund 1MDB has lost its case over the arbitration with Abu Dhabi, which Najib and his side-kick Arul Kanda had been ludicrously boasting they could win. Abu Dhabi was demanding $6.5 billion in settlement arising out of their agreement in June 2015 to pay 1MDB’s debts: it is expected that $3 billion has been awarded with the remainder pushed over to criminal prosecutors, so serious are the shenanigans involving Najib.
The result will have to be confirmed shortly, in accordance with London Stock Exchange rules. However, today the Financial Times let the cat squarely out of the bag by reporting that sources have revealed that Najib is already negotiating for yet another bail-out from China over this debt. So much for his promise that Malaysian taxpayers would not have to shoulder the burden of the billion dollar thefts from 1MDB:
Malaysia’s troubled state investment fund 1MDB is preparing to make a repayment, with Chinese assistance, to Abu Dhabi’s state-owned International Petroleum Investment Company, as it seeks to settle a dispute in which the Emirati fund is claiming about $6.5bn.
The relationship between the two funds — once hailed as a “strategic partnership” between Abu Dhabi and Malaysia — has gone sour amid allegations that Emirati officials were involved in a plot to siphon more than $1bn from 1MDB.
China has been approached as a source of funds for 1MDB, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, one of whom said Malaysia would swap assets for financing…
Relations between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing have grown increasingly cordialas US investigations into the 1MDB affair have complicated Malaysia’s relationship with Washington. …
Arul Kanda, the former investment banker who is president of 1MDB, said in an email: “1MDB does not have anything further to add to previous statements in relation to the ongoing dispute with Ipic.”
Mr Qubaisi’s lawyer declined to comment…
Today Kanda was continuing to refuse to comment and Second Finance Minister Johari claimed he knew nothing of the China deal. This is because he is not really the Second Finance Minister, as Jho Low holds that de facto role.
Souring of relations with US/ putting Malaysia in China’s debt
This is what Najib is prepared to do to keep in control of the forces of law and order in Malaysia, which would otherwise arrest him. His UMNO bubble top management are proving willing to support him, as long as they continue to get their share of the 1MDB and other loot.
Relations with Washington will indeed get worse as the inevitable path of the 1MDB investigation follows its course, because as the prime mover behind the 1MDB scam and a major beneficiary with billions of dollars entering his accounts, Najib will be eventually indicted in the criminal stage of the DOJ’s investigation.
Malaysians have deliberately not been informed about how these investigations proceed and led to think that somehow Najib has escaped indictment. However, there are standard stages in major money laundering cases like this, which is that first the proceeds of the crime are seized, in order to prevent the perpetrators being able to move their stolen wealth in advance of being found guilty.
Najib will be charged
The next stage is then proceeded with at leisure and thoroughly, as the criminal indictments are carefully prepared. Senior insiders have confirmed to Sarawak Report that in any money laundering offence it is a matter of principle that all the known perpetrators are charged, whether they are themselves in the United States, whether they are US citizens or whoever they are in terms of rank.
Najib was not named in the sequestration, because it was not through his name that the assets seized were held. However, his lawyers will have warned him that the order in July plainly confirmed his key role in the conspiracy to steal money from Malaysia and then to commit the further offence of laundering it through the United States.
Put simply, the evidence against Najib is overwhelming and legions of bankers and collaborators are now cooperating with the FBI investigation to firm up that evidence. He will therefore be named and a warrant of arrest will be issued and Malaysia will be requested to extradite him to the USA to face those charges.
Najib knows this, but is trading off the ignorance of Malaysians, who are being told by BN’s controlled media that since he has not been named in the asset seizure order he will not be named in the subsequent criminal charges.
Najib is also trying to gull ignorant Malaysians into believing that somehow ‘Trump will pull the dogs off’. This is not how the system works in the United States, which is a country where justice operates independently of politicians and follows the due process of the law. There is also a free media, which would fall upon the scandal of Trump intervening in such a case…. and why should Trump bother anyway?
The US DOJ has issued several warrants for politically powerful people around the world, solely on the basis of the crimes they have committed. Indeed, to fail to charge the ringleader, who personally received a billion dollars from the crime, would be deemed unacceptable if other charges were to be laid against lower players (unlike the ‘whipping boy’ system which operates in Malaysia and which has so far protected Najib from numerous local criminal matters).
Rushed Early Election
So, since the 1MDB investigation is still proceeding with full force over in the United States, Najib knows what’s coming.
What Najib has plainly therefore decided is to rush through another phoney election ‘win’ (with all the opposition leaders in jail) so that he and his puppet AG and IGP can refuse that extradition order when it eventually comes through.
He plans to haughtily claim that it is an outrage and an imposition that forces of law and order in the United States should issue a warrant against a man ‘democratically elected” and beloved of his people.
“Malaysians don’t mind being ripped off, so piss off!” is how he plans to put it to the Americans.
Meanwhile, he has shown willing to hand his country over to China lock, stock and barrel, in order to keep afloat with the billions of debts incurred through theft and to keep the backing of a protective power – so much for defending the interests of Malays.
However, UMNO leaders will be happy, if well paid – they all plan to leave for Australia soon anyway or maybe the US or UK.
There is furthermore the small matter of Malaysia’s economy in all this, where the news is also set to get far worse not better, as Najib knows. The longer he waits on the election, the worse the impact of the plunging ringgit will weigh on voters.
At the moment Malaysia’s currency is being kept artificially aloft (despite its record low), since Najib is desperately wasting all the Central Bank’s dwindling reserves on keeping it higher than the markets dictate. The reason is the overwhelming loss of confidence thanks to Najib’s corrupt governance and 1MDB.
Eventually, that Central Bank money is going to run out and the ringgit will be impossible to prop forever. Analysts forecast that it is set to shoot through the 4.5 to the dollar, where it is presently hovering just short of and hit 5 to the dollar, bringing disaster to Malaysia’s economy.
Najib would rather have the election out of the way before he has to argue that one too.
Najib’s key strategy for ‘winning’ his snap election has been to throw himself at PAS, a party he once touted as ‘extremist’ to Western allies.
For years Najib criticised the PR alliance forged by the now imprisoned Anwar as being a dangerous threat to stability because of the ‘extremists’ within PAS. However, now that he sees it as being to his political advantage he has not hesitated to split PAS and to himself ally with the ultra-conservative, ‘extremist’ wing of that party, leaving the moderate Muslims to reform as Amanah and rejoin the opposition.
To court the key leadership of this extremist remaining rump of PAS, Najib has dragged UMNO into its Sharia law agenda and has now even adopted what were till only recently considered divisive, backward and extremist ideas by UMNO, into the party’s own agenda.
This is not because Najib believes it is a good idea to start whipping women in the streets, but because he wants to break up the opposition vote and if whipping women in the streets is what its takes, then whip them he will.
The UMNO bubble around the leadership will support Najib in this, if he continues to pay them with the money stolen from the people via 1MDB. And Najib is now using his control over the weekly sermons produced for each and every mosque by Jakim and his control of media to try and convince bewildered members of PAS that it is OK to support a sinner (Najib) in return for this ‘prize’ of introducing Sharia law.
This cynicism reached a crescendo at the weekend as Najib headed a street march to protest at the treatment of Rohingyas – having rounded up other pro-democracy protesters just the week before and labelling them terrorists. Najib wanted to show he was a good Muslim for supporting this persecuted minority from Burma…. and yet it was he who commanded that their boat people be driven back out to sea last year, where they died beneath the waves.
Burma has formally protested that his behaviour has made their problems worse not better. He should live with those many lives on his conscience and not seek to fake Brownie points by pretending to champion and care for these refugees he in practice turned away – purely to pave the ground for an election.
Stop the opposition organising and exploit Hadi’s role in PAS
Najib’s final reason for trying to rush through this election is to act before the realigned opposition can organise themselves and while he still has control of the ailing Hadi, who presently heads up a very troubled following at PAS.
He made a typical intervention at the coronation of the new Agong today, by forcing through the removal of his predecessor Mahathir from the ceremony. Thus protocol has been swept aside and criticism has been outlawed: Najib is on the wrong side of the law, so he relies on such shows of force.
If Malaysians do elect Najib therefore, they should know what they will get: a rogue leader, at odds with neighbours like Burma and Singapore; who is wanted for crimes in the USA; who has had his political opponents jailed; who has placed the economy in tatters; who has lined up China, now waiting to move in and who is all the while reliant on Sharia extremists, who will be next campaigning to beef up further on ‘moral punishments’ (Najib excluded) and force conversions on all and sundry.
It’s not the Malaysia of yesteryear, but it is the future under Najib.