As has been widely reported, the UMNO coup regime has just received a handy $111 million (RM 333 million) from the Malaysian branch of the international accounting giant KPMG as a fine over the role it played in massaging the accounts of their own government’s scandal torn 1MDB.
Who was it who revealed and challenged this now acknowledged disgraceful and criminal behaviour way back in 2015 as the UMNO prime minister Najib Razak was using 1MDB to fleece the nation? It was this news site.
Whilst UMNO leaders responded with deafening silence to the revelations back in 2015 it was Sarawak Report who risked all to continue to challenge a powerful government and also the mighty wealth and influence of one of the top four international accounting firms over the matter.
The irony is surely lost on no one and indeed protests ought to be being made to those international organisations who have been paying such fines over 1MDB back to Malaysia even after UMNO has returned to office i.e. straight back to the same bunch of crooked politicians who enabled the plunder in the first place.
These payments ought to have been stopped the moment the coup took place to overthrow the elected PH government which had at last taken action over prosecuting 1MDB offences in Malaysia. There is a strict principle that asset seizures owing to criminal behaviour must not be returned to the self same entities that stole or facilitated the thefts in the first place. This has been the situation the moment PN took office backed by UMNO.
Who in the present UMNO government openly stood up to Najib to condemn the blatant thefts even after they had been internationally exposed? The answer is none of them. Instead the present coup coalition leadership were complicit in standing by their party leader and enabling him to continue with his thefts and cover-ups and brutal crackdowns against anyone who tried to stand up to the lies.
Indeed, back in 2015 Sarawak Report was thanked with a Red Notice issued to INTERPOL by Malaysia for what the UMNO government chose to describe as ‘False Reports’ over 1MDB – reports now upheld yet again by the Court of Appeal and numerous other judicial bodies. If it were not for Sarawak Report Malaysia would not be receiving this $111 million quite clearly, as the information would not have been allowed to be published in Malaysia – few anyway would have dared to point a finger at KPMG.
So, why has KPMG buckled to the demand to return the money to a government of people who have demonstrated they cannot be trusted to ensure it is honestly handled for the public good? Is it because, as with Goldman Sachs, the settlement has come cheaper than it might have had PH continued to sue for far higher compensation?
Or is it so that the loosely franchised KL branch of this ‘Swiss Cooperative’ of international companies, which all take the branding of KPMG but turn out not to be subject to centralised quality controls at all, has found itself under pressure from the local Malaysian government and has chosen to close a chapter and cut a deal to carry on?
Such deals ought to at least involve transparency, so Sarawak Report will be asking KPMG and indeed the Malaysian Government to provide full transparency on exactly what the commitments are as to how this money ought to be used and where it is being paid. The money ought to be used to pay off 1MDB debts that remain a burden on the tax payer, of course.
Furthermore, all associated expenditures, fees, legal commissions and costs should be made fully public by KPMG so that everyone can see how much of this RM333 million has actually gone back to the public purse, given it is being handled by a government run by a political party that is internationally synonymous with graft, not least thanks to its behaviour over 1MDB.
As for Sarawak Report meanwhile? If nothing else, the treatment by this present returned UMNO government of this site ought to have raised a major Red Flag for the international accountancy firm as it sought to cut its deal over 1MDB.
Just as KPMG was putting the final touches on its deal the returned unelected UMNO party bosses were putting pressure back onto the forces of law and order in Malaysia to restore the Red Notice request to INTERPOL against this site.
Once again Malaysia has revived the very same complaint of ‘False News’ made in 2015 in relation to our reporting on 1MDB! This at the very same time they are enjoying a hefty haul of cash based on that reporting.
Malaysia has a shameful record in this respect and it has done little to restore the name of KPMG by entering into such a disgraceful arrangement to get UMNO off its back.