Kit Siang: Najib finally admits to 1MDB scandal but blames it on systematic failure

G. Prakash
Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks to the press upon his arrival at the Masjid Kampung Raja in Cameron Highlands January 17, 2019. — Picture by Farhan Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 — DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang today said that it was Datuk Seri Najib Razak who approved the “exorbitant fee” for Goldman Sachs after the former prime minister said the investment bank should take responsibility as it failed to take care of the interests of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB),

“Wasn’t it Najib who approved the ‘exorbitant fee’ for Goldman Sachs to hide from the world the ‘systemic failure’ which enabled the commission of the monstrous 1MDB corruption and money-laundering scandal which landed Malaysia with the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy?

“Until today, Najib has maintained a very consistent stand that there is nothing wrong with 1MDB, but with the apology to the people of Malaysia by Goldman Sachs chief executive officer David Solomon who said Malaysia was defrauded by numerous individuals, including the highest members of the prior government, Najib has changed his tune,” Kit Siang said in a statement today.

He said Najib has indirectly admitted that the 1MDB scandal, which caused Malaysia to be condemned by the world as a global kleptocracy, was a national catastrophe but maintained that the blame for the 1MDB scandal cannot be pinned on a single individual but was caused by systemic failure.

“Most ironically, in Cameron Highlands, where he (Najib) was on a Barisan Nasional by-election campaign trail, Najib said: ‘It just cannot be one man, it is a systemic failure’.

“Najib blamed Goldman Sachs for failing in its task despite the exorbitant fee paid for the bank’s service,” he said.

Lim also asked if Najib will make a confession about the 1MDB scandal during the Cameron Highlands by-election, by sharing with Malaysians the deepest and darkest secrets of the financial scandal.

On Wednesday, Solomon apologised to Malaysians for former banker Tim Leissner’s role in the 1MDB scandal, but said the bank had conducted due diligence before every transaction.

Goldman is being investigated by Malaysian authorities and the US Department of Justice for its role as underwriter and arranger of three bond sales that raised US$6.5 billion for the sovereign wealth fund.

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