Malaysian Official 1, the biggest elephant in the room

Graphic of Najib Razak in clown face - From the Internet
Graphic of Najib Razak in clown face – From the Internet

Yesterday, Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua celebrated his birthday quizzed by the local internet regulator over Malaysian Official 1. The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) wanted to know how he knew who it was, because they received five complaints.

He told them to look it up in the US Department of Justice suit to recover US$1 billion in assets from the Wolf of Wall Street movie and its producers Red Granite Pictures. The 136-page DoJ suit can be found here.

In other news, a group of Malaysian youths and students want to hold a #TangkapMalaysianOfficial1 or #CatchMalaysianOfficial1 campaign in capital city Kuala Lumpur this August 27.

And Dr Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister and mentor-turned-critic of Najib Razak, has put on his boxing gloves to punch his favourite whipping boy Singapore, accusing the island republic of not targeting those accused of pilfering from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“Notice that the Government of Singapore is very reluctant to pinpoint the people involved in this corruption,” Dr Mahathir said in an interview with The Financial Times. “It affects Singapore’s reputation as a financial centre. It is not doing the right thing. The people who accepted the bribes are not the people who are laundering the money.”

The debt-heavy 1MDB is under investigations in six countries with the US DoJ the first to file a suit to recover assets allegedly bought with money siphoned from the firm by those close to Najib Razak, euphemistically called Malaysian Official 1 in the documents.
Just a day after July 20 when the DoJ unveiled its suit, Singaporean authorities disclosed that hey had seized bank accounts and properties worth S$240 million in a probe on possible money laundering linked to 1MDB.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) vowed to fix lapses in the financial sector with tougher controls and industry supervision, after taking the rare step of ordering the closure of a Swiss bank’s branch in Singapore earlier this year, according to news reports.
But that was not enough for Dr Mahathir.
“It is quite obvious that the party that is being led by Najib is being used by Najib to cover up,” Dr Mahathir told FT. “The FBI (US Federal Bureau of Investigation) and DoJ have exposed the wrongdoing.”


Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak recently saidd Dr Mahathir’s allies were behind the US’ lawsuit, an accusation Dr Mahathir denied yesterday. “I didn’t make any such report,” he wrote in his blog.

But he, Tony Pua and a number of people are convinced they know who Malaysian Official 1 is, as does The Malaysian Official 1.

However, those in power in Malaysia seem unable to comprehend or refuse to name the person referred to in the DoJ suit. Perhaps a case of an elephant too large in the room that no one can recognise it?

After all, it isn’t an offence to be stupid.

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