It was a matter of time and the body count is piling up now. Those directly and indirectly involved in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) saga are finding themselves out of a job as Malaysia moves to clear up the aftermath while protecting the Malaysian Official 1 from the gunsights of prosecutors worldwide.
First it was Ismee Ismail. He officially resigned as Tabung Haji chief executive officer end of June and was tipped to move to PNB’s plantation-to-property giant Sime Darby Bhd. The Sime Darby board was stuck at a 6-6 vote deadlock leaving chairman Abdul Ghani Ismail with no choice but side with the nay-sayers.
This week, Malaysian billionaire T. Ananda Krishnan’s companies will announce the resignation of his confidante and top aide Augustus Ralph Marshall from all posts. The man seen as Ananda Krishnan’s right-hand man will be left out of everything.
Some will say it is due to the twin investigations in India and Indonesia – the two countries that put out Interpol red notices but found no joy from Malaysia to hand over Ananda Krishnan and Marshall to them.
But there is another link.
The Switzerland Office of the Attorney-General had sought information about Ananda Krishnan’s company Tanjong PLC over its sale of a power plant to 1MDB. Money from the sale and the other power plant sale by Genting was allegedly found to have moved to private accounts of Malaysian officials.
The Swiss have requested for mutual legal assistance (MLA) from Malaysia. Nothing has been heard ever since.
Marshall’s departure from the Ananda Krishnan stable of companies is said to be less than amicable. Only time will tell if he shall be like Ismee, bereft of a top corporate job in the Malaysian scene.
Unlike Ismee, Marshall has other interests and will no doubt spend time in his boutique food-and-beverage empire of Italian restaurants, Sri Lankan restaurants and perhaps both the speakeasy and cricket bar in upscale Bukit Damansara.
Two men, who worked long and hard hours for their bosses to aid Prime Minister Najib Razak, but now seen as expendables to keep the ship of state afloat in the muck of 1MDB and protect the Malaysian Official 1 from being stained in the process.
We now have to see if there are more corporate casualties coming in, although rest assured none will face police arrests yet.