Kit Siang: Is 15GE about freeing Najib or Malaysians from inequalities, injustices?

File photo of Malaysians. For illustration purpose only.
Lim Kit Siang

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 – Will the 15th General Election (15GE) free Malaysians from poverty, exploitation, inequalities and injustices and position Malaysia to become a world-class plural nation or will it be about freeing former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak currently serving a jail sentence for committing corruption?

This was the question posed by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang in a statement issued today.

“Yesterday, one of the Barisan Nasional parties was said to have put forward a resolution to free Najib Razak from imprisonment.

“Although the party president concerned has issued a denial, there is no doubt that this is one explicit or  implicit objectives of UMNO and Barisan Nasional  in the 15GE,” Kit Siang said.

In Singapore, the authorities have taken action against the former deputy chief executive officer (CEO) of BSI Bank Ltd, Singapore Branch (BSIS) for his contribution to the bank’s failure to file suspicious transaction reports (STR) regarding 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-related transactions.

Comparing the actions taken by other countries on matters related to the 1MDB scandal, Kit Siang said Raj Sriram, the former head of Private Banking of BSIS, had been issued a 24-month conditional warning from the Singapore Police’s commercial affairs department (CAD) and a 10-year prohibition order (PO) by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

He cited MAS’ deputy managing director (financial supervision), Ho Hern Shin, saying “BSIS, of which Sriram was deputy CEO and head of private banking, was a key conduit for tainted funds in the 1MDB debacle,” and that MAS had withdrawn BSIS’ licence in May 2016 due to serious and repeated breaches of anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) requirements.

“At least 10 countries in the world have taken action on the 1MDB scandal but it is significant that neither the leaders of UMNO nor the other Barisan Nasional parties have ever condemned the 1MDB scandal whether now or in the past decade, while one of the explicit or implicit objectives of UMNO and Barisan Nasional in the 15 GE  is to free Najib Razak and the other protagonists of the 1MDB scandal from criminal liability,” Kit Siang said.

“Neither UMNO nor the other Barisan Nasional parties are concerned that Malaysia is known worldwide as a kleptocracy because of the 1MDB scandal.

“The 15GE will elect the 10th Prime Minister of Malaysia. The Pakatan Harapan Chairman and the Pakatan Harapan candidate to be Prime Minster, Anwar Ibrahim, has made the  clarion call to Malaysian voters to fix the “mess”  after 65 years of Malaysian nationhood, reclaim the country from two “backdoor” governments and fight for a future that is sustainable and prosperous which shows care and compassion to all people.”

Kit Siang also disputed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri’s statement that Malaysia was recognised as the best in South-East Asia in dealing with Covid-19 pandemic.

“How can we make this claim when we have the highest death per million of population in ASEAN,” he asked.

He said that Malaysia recorded almost double that of the second ASEAN nation in Covid-19 death per million of population with a figure of 1,097 compared with 567 recorded by Indonesia. Philippines recorded 563 deaths per million population, Brunei 505, Thailand 468, Vietnam 436, Myanmar 352, Singapore 275, Cambodia 178 and Laos 101.

The prime minister yesterday announced the dissolution of the Parliament on Monday, only a week into the 3rd meeting of the 5th session of the 14th Parliament this year, following the Budget announcement on Oct 7.

The Parliament was to have ended its sitting on Nov 29.