A shiny day in Malaysia on January 29, 2016 started peacefully until it was rudely interrupted by the shocking news from the Attorney General of Switzerland (Swiss AG) that USD4 billion might have been misappropriated from Malaysian state companies. It was discovered during the Swiss AG's investigation into the dealings of Malaysian state owned, 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Berhad). 1MDB is the brainchild of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. He personally oversees its activities. It is a case involving bribery, public office misconduct and criminal mismanagement. The media release of the Swiss AG is disclosed below:
You can also read about the news on the Financial Times webpage.
Do you wonder how much USD4 billion is? It is enough to fund all the kids in the USA to learn computer science in schools. Yes, you hear me right. It is enough to fund the computer science education in the schools of the USA with over 300 million population. Malaysia, on the other hand, is a country with less than 30 million people.
President of the USA, Obama has to seek approval from, opposition party, Republican-led Congress for the budget. That means Obama has to provide in great details the basis of this USD4 billion budget to boost learning of computer science in the schools.
Malaysians will certainly wish that they can have the equivalent 'checks and balances' to prevent abuse, corruption and leakages in their country.
On the same day, adding insult into injury, the authority in France officially indicted a French company and its former president, Bernard Baiocco, for bribing Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. You can find screenshots of the news below:
You can visit http://www.asiasentinel.com/politics/french-charge-scorpines-boss-malaysia-scandal/ for the full news, but it has since been blocked in Malaysia. If you are in Malaysia, you will have to read the news in this alternative webpage.
While the news from Switzerland and France caused a stir among Malaysians over the credibility of their prime minister, the 3rd terrible news came right after the weekend on February 1, 2016. Singaporean authorities have seized a large number of bank accounts as part of their investigations into alleged money laundering and other offences related to the same Malaysian state investment fund, 1MDB. Singapore has made it clear that it does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds. The news was reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and Wall Street Journal webpages. You can also refer to the screenshots below:
Malaysians know that USA is also investigating the illegitimate affairs of 1MDB. They wonder if the prosecutors in the USA would be as impartial as those in Switzerland, France and Singapore. Najib Razak tried to appease President of the USA, Barrack Obama by agreeing to TPPA (Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement) on behalf of Malaysia. TPPA is championed by Obama to promote the economic benefits of American companies and to check the power of China in Asia. We shall see if the prosecutors will be influenced by the decision of Najib to sign up TPPA. United States of America... We are waiting!