Kuala Lumpur, 22 July 2016 – Commenting on the actions taken by the US and Singapore authorities against those linked to 1MDB, IDEAS Chief Executive Officer Wan Saiful Wan Jan said, “We cannot take the actions in the US and Singapore lightly. These are damaging to Malaysia’s reputation and they raise serious questions about the credibility of the government’s claim that there is no wrongdoing in the 1MDB saga. More importantly it raises questions on whether or not we can trust what our government says.”
“However, I don’t think these actions will inflict long term damage to the bilateral relationships between Malaysia and the US or Malaysia and Singapore. The relationships between us and these countries go back many decades. They are certainly bigger than any one person, regardless of who he or she may be.”
“We may experience some strain and tension in the immediate future, but over time I believe we will get through the rough patches. Maintaining good relationships with these two allies are more important to Malaysia than protecting any individual,” emphasised Wan Saiful.
“Many people have asked me if I feel Dato’ Sri Najib’s political position will be threatened by these new developments. I remain consistent with my view that Najib’s political future can only be threatened by the members and leaders of UMNO, and not by any outside powers. So far there is no sign that UMNO is sensitive to the damage inflicted to our country by this saga.”
“Statements such as what we heard yesterday from Malaysia’s Minister of Information that “1MDB has been the subject of unprecedented politically-motivated attacks, the objectives of which were to unseat a democratically-elected head of government” are indicative of why Najib’s political future will remain secure despite this recent development.”
Wan Saiful concludes that “Najib’s position as Prime Minister is secure as long as his position as President of UMNO is safe. UMNO members generally decide based on local considerations, and just like any other political party they will prioritise their own political survival. That is the bottom line.”
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IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion. Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit http://ideas.org.my/