By Raggie Jessy
The Prime Minister is spot on (see news item below).
Nobody could have said it better than Najib. If I were Azmin, I’d keep a low profile over the next couple of days lest I get stares from people for being so stupid. Imagine, you have families in Selangor who are suffering without water, and all he can think about is 1MDB and Putrajaya’s debt management.
Why, is our country going to go kaput?
If it is, then it’s a wonder how our economy weathered the eighties under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad. According to Lim Sian See, the nation’s debt-to-GDP ratio in 1986 was almost double the current 50.8 percent, meaning, the country should have been bankrupt over three decades ago if we were to go by Mahathir’s and Lim Kit Siang’s logic.
And what is so worrisome about 1MDB that is keeping Amin from doing his job?
The last I checked, the wealth fund was put under the highest powered microscopes by five mutually exclusive investigative bodies that did not find elements of criminal wrongdoing. However, we have yet to discover if Azmin had solicited kickbacks from developers through the questionable sale of land that once belonged to settlers.
To recap, a group of Ijok settlers undertook in the nineties to consign some land to the Selangor government by means of legal authority. The state government, in turn, undertook to grant a Joint-Venture (JV) concern involving both LBCN Development Sdn Bhd and Mujur Zaman Sdn Bhd the right to develop that land (hereinafter referred to as the “disputed land”).
As part of an agreement, the settlers were promised a house each and some cash in hand by the aforementioned developers in return for their right to develop the said land. However, the JV company hit a snag not long after and was forced to abandon the development project. When Abdul Khalid Ibrahim took over as Menteri Besar of Selangor, he invoked his power as head of government to confiscate the disputed land, thereby forestalling plans by the banks to auction that land in the nick of time.
Then, when Azmin wrested the state from Khalid through democratic thievery, he allowed the companies to sell the disputed land to a third party for RM1.18 billion. But the settlers were only awarded RM421 million in compensation while the developers raked in a handsome RM757 million profit without telling a soul about it.
Tell me, where is the justice in that, and why has the state government refused to make public its settlement with the developers? Why worry about 1MDB Azmin, when your own backyard stinks of untold corruption and kitchen door deals that may have cost the people of Selangor hundreds of millions atop their pride and dignity? – The Third Force
* The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Malaysia Outlook.
KUALA LUMPUR: Selangor’s water woes are “more critical” than Putrajaya’s debt management, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Najib, who is also finance minister, was responding to Gombak MP Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s question on the correlation between the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debt and the country’s commitment to its interest payments.
“The water crisis in Selangor is more critical,” Najib said during Question Time at the Dewan Rakyat. Azmin then stood to protest and was met with jeers from BN MPs, which temporarily disrupted the proceeding.
“I gave the chance to Gombak to ask a question, so give me the opportunity to answer. I also made a comparison, as there are examples when answering questions. So why is the Gombak MP sensitive on the water issue? Strange, strange,” he added after a semblance of order returned.
Azmin, who is also Selangor mentri besar, had referred to a Feb 16 report by Singaporean daily The Straits Times on Malaysia’s allegedly high interest payments on debt and whether the 1MDB debt had an impact on the increased interest payment or if there were other reasons for Putrajaya to spend 12.5 per cent of its income on interest payments in 2016.
Najib said Malaysia’s debt is at a manageable level, before pointing out the overall amount had dropped to 50.8 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“If the Selangor mentri besar said that Singapore services its debt far less than we do, their debt is more than us, but what is important is the ability to pay off the debt, which cannot be questioned as this has also been acknowledged by international bodies.
“The country’s income is managed well, and we hope that the Selangor water issue would be solved effectively as well,” Najib said.
Simpang Renggam MP Datuk Liang Teck Meng then stood up and asked if the Opposition leaders’ negative remarks when abroad could be seen as an attempt to sabotage Malaysia’s economy.
“We know what is being said by them when they are overseas, and it has not basis at all. It has to be based on fact.
“What I have revealed in the Dewan Rakyat are confirmed facts by international bodies. If there are any parties who says Malaysia is bankrupt or a failed state, then that is clearly a false lie,” Najib said of the Opposition in reply to the Gerakan MP.
Source: The Malay Mail Online