On Najib's Swift and Hard Fall from Grace / by Muhammad Amir Ayub

I've stopped being invested in Malaysian politics (we all know the convoluted history, and thus why I still view the new government with much skepticism), but I couldn't care less if all places related to Najib were raided until 4 am in the morning or even longer every night (I've had worse, literally sleepless ICU calls; nobody says that our lives should be more humane and we deserve mandatory sleep during the night; or try telling that to the military forces). Especially not when it's our nation's wealth that has been stolen brazenly. I mean, look at what the (suddenly free to investigate) police has already found (via the Star):

“Our seizures included 284 boxes containing designer handbags. Our personnel checked these bags and discovered various currencies including Malaysian Ringgit, US Dollars, watches and jewellery in 72 bags” he told reporters at the scene in the early hours of Friday (May 18) morning.

Comm Amar said the designer handbags were of various brands including Hermes, Birkin and Louis Vuitton.

He added that it was impossible for police to estimate the value of the items seized because there were just too many items and cash seized.


”Our motive is not to harass or disturb anyone but this is a high-profile case and we are conducting a thorough investigation. If our search has to take a certain amount of time, it will take that amount of time. We are doing it as meticulously as we can,” he said.

For me, such searches ought to be swift and cunning, before any and all evidence is lost.

From the New York Times:

Prosecutors say that hundreds of millions of dollars from the fund appeared in Mr. Najib’s personal account and was spent on luxury items, including a 22-carat pink diamond necklace, worth $27.3 million, for his wife. In all some $7.5 billion was stolen from the fund, prosecutors say, and spent on paintings by Monet, Van Gogh and Warhol and others worth over $200 million; on luxury real estate in the United States; and even on a megayacht for a family friend, Jho Low, who reveled in his Hollywood connections.


In 2016, the United States Justice Department dropped a bombshell: A person it referred to as Malaysian Official 1 had siphoned $731 million from 1MDB. Officials privately confirmed that Mr. Najib was Malaysian Official 1.

The Justice Department’s accusations continued: In total, over $4.5 billion in 1MDB funds was laundered through American banks, enriching Mr. Najib, his family and friends, prosecutors said.

It said $250 million went for a megayacht, complete with a helicopter pad and movie theater, built for Jho Low, a financier friend of Mr. Najib’s stepson, Riza Aziz. Mr. Low is accused of being central to the plot, and federal prosecutors said he used 1MDB funds to buy the actor Leonardo DiCaprio a $3.2 million Picasso painting for his birthday. The Australian model Miranda Kerr received $8 million in jewelry. (Both have since returned the gifts.)

Mr. Najib explained that $681 million deposited in his personal bank account was a gift from a Saudi patron. In 2015, after Malaysia’s attorney general gathered evidence of Mr. Najib’s involvement in 1MDB and seemed poised to press charges, Mr. Najib fired him. Subsequent Malaysian government investigations cleared Mr. Najib of any wrongdoing.

As a person that's destroying his financial future doing professional medical exams with no government aid and a pitiful (by comparative world standards) pay, I have 0 empathy for Najib, nor his Imelda Marcos-surpassing wife:

Her habit of taking chartered shopping expeditions to Europe and Australia, presumably at the expense of Malaysian taxpayers, became social-media fodder. Her Hermès Birkin handbag collection, one broker said, was worth at least $10 million.

“Rightly or wrongly, Rosmah was vilified as the major partner in the corruption and scandals associated with the prime minister,” said Lim Teck Ghee, a public policy analyst in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital.

In 2015, when Mr. Najib’s and Ms. Rosmah’s daughter married the nephew of President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, guests were astonished by their lavish wedding celebrations. Mr. Mahathir, who attended one party, recalled seeing soldiers lugging at least 17 trunks loaded with luxury gifts for the guests. “I had never seen that, even at royal weddings,” he said in an interview with The New York Times in 2016.

Let them fall from grace:

On Sunday, Mr. Najib and Ms. Rosmah were still secluded in their mansion in Kuala Lumpur. A bodyguard at their home, who asked not to be identified in the press out of fear of reprisals, said that the stream of confidants who once knocked at their door had stopped. Even their housekeeper, he said, had deserted them.

And can some kind lawyer "help" represent 1MDB?

The law firm representing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has discharged itself from acting for the company in a suit filed by former Umno leader Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

He filed the suit to seek the return of jewellery worth US$27.3mil (RM115mil) to 1MDB.

1MDB’s lawyer Datuk Tan Hock Chuan told reporters this issue after meeting High Court judge Justice Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim in chambers Thursday.

Tan said the legal firm Tan Hock Chuan & Co has applied to withdraw itself from representing 1MDB as they could not get instructions, and the court later granted their application during proceedings.

We deserve our present and future back. 

And with that, back to the usual "minimal political talk" me.