Monday, October 19, 2015

House rejects seven questions on Najib-1MDB

Zikri Kamarulzaman

PARLIAMENT The parliament secretariat has rejected in chambers at least seven questions related to controversies surrounding Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and 1MDB.
Tian Chua (PKR-Batu) had his two questions rejected. The first was whether 1MDB accounts had been frozen in Switzerland and Hong Kong, and if the government would be cooperating with the probe there.
This was rejected on the grounds that it was prejudicial and could confuse the public.
His second question was regarding the US Justice Department's reported corruption probe on 1MDB. This was rejected on grounds that questions were based on statements made in the press are there not allowed in the House.
"If the government doesn't verify these allegations, then we are forced to assume that these foreign reports are real," Tian told Malaysiakini later.
Gooi Hsiao-Leung's (PKR-Alor Setar) asked a similar question about the US Justice Department probe which was rejected on the same grounds.
Two other questions he asked were also rejected.
One was a question asking the prime minister if he received RM42 million from a company linked to SRC international in his private accounts as reported by the Wall Street Journal.
"But these are not statements made in the press, this is investigative writing by the WSJ. [...] This is not hearsay, these are factual matters that have been shown to exist to an extent," Gooi (photo) said at a press conference at the parliament lobby.
'Blanket ban on 1MDB questions'
The other question that was spiked was to ask the prime minister whether his lawyers Hafarizam Wan and Aisha Mubarak were being paid by the government for representing him in his pending lawsuit against the WSJ.
This was rejected on grounds that it can be answered by other ministers.
A question by Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah (Amanah-Kuala Terengganu) on whether the federal government, through the Terengganu Investment Authority, had wanted to use Terengganu's oil as collateral was also rejected in chambers.
"The question was directed at the federal government, but they rejected it as a state government matter. There is a blanket ban on 1MDB-related questions," said Raja Kamarul Bahrin (photo).
Wong Chen's (PKR-Kelana Jaya) question to the finance ministry for a copy of Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia's (YR1M) accounts particularly with regard to what the RM190 million donation from the Genting Group was spent on, was also similarly thrown out.
There are many lingering questions linked to 1MDB and Najib.
Besides the RM42 million transfer, there's also the RM2.6 billion donation Najib received and the progress of various probes into the debt-ridden sovereign wealth fund.

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