So, who is this Eric Tan also being investigated in the Jho Low/ 1MDB affair in Singapore?....
TMI: In your opinion, are Putrajaya and the prime minister facing an unprecedented onslaught?
Ignatius [former Malaysian Ambassador]: I think that’s clear enough. And about time too. For too long the international community has been largely silent in the face of so much abuse of power – the jailing of Anwar, the use of draconian laws to stifle dissent, the harassment of the opposition, and the slow death of our once proud democracy. While human rights NGOs rightfully took the government to task, Western democracies stayed largely silent or just confined themselves to issuing pro forma protests so as not to jeopardise lucrative business deals or stay on side with a so-called “moderate” Islamic nation. US President Barack Obama, for example, shamefully coddled one of the most undemocratic leaders we’ve ever had instead of upholding the great democratic traditions of his own country. It simply encouraged the government into thinking that they could get away with anything, that they were too important to be criticised.
Malaysians, frustrated at not being able to find justice at home, subsequently went global with their concerns – the globalisation of our discontent as I called in a recent article. People like Khairuddin Abu Hassan appealed to foreign jurisdictions to take action and it has forced the international community to sit up and take notice, particularly when these scandals also violate the laws of a number of foreign jurisdictions.
With foreign authorities investigating high level corruption and money-laundering in Malaysia, we may at last see some justice done.
The Ambassador is correct. Democratic countries have a lot to answer for over their tacit acceptance of illegalities and injustices in Malaysia.
Obama visited Najib, as if he were a respectable foreign leader, just as Obama’s own fundraiser had been exposed for receiving millions from a lobbying contract from 1MDB and paying chunks of the money to the various election campaigns of Democrat senators and governors. The expose cut short a planned half billion dollar fund that had been launched by the same Frank White, apparently also to launder money from Khadem Al Qubaisi’s Aabar fund and 1MDB.
Meanwhile, Cameron also visited KL as part of his ‘anti-corruption drive’!
Both countries are trying to sell fighter jets and helicopters and all the rest to Malaysia, which just needed a few decent patrol boats to sort out island pirates in the only skirmish of the last 50 years over in Sabah.
Western banks, lawyers, PR pedlars, accountancy firms, manufacturers of destructive dams and the rest have all turned a blind eye to gobsmacking corruption for years, on the basis that if they didn’t cream the profits their rivals would.
They should now understand that corruption is a cancer that affects the lives of all of us and that through such deals all these other democratic countries have also been contaminated, as the humungous scandal of 1MDB has so effectively shown.
It is time the outside world help Malaysia set to right what they must also share the blame for.
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