Malaysia: Politician Likens U.S. Corruption Probe to Iraq Invasion

Malaysia: Politician Likens U.S. Corruption Probe to Iraq Invasion
Photo Credit: Reuters / 達志影像

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A politician in Malaysia has drawn parallels between the United States Department of Justice’s investigation into the 1MDB scandal to the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Malacca Chief Minister Idris Haron claimed the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) court filings related to the 1MDB scandal is part of a political ploy to unseat the Malays.

He claimed the U.S. authorities had not approached 1MDB, but out of the blue came its explosive allegations.

Idris questioned the DOJ's credibility in doing so, citing the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent U.S. occupation of the state on grounds that then Iraqi president Saddam Hussein allegedly possessed weapons of mass destruction.

“We want to tell the Americans that this is Southeast Asia, this is Malaysia.

"Our country is our responsibility. What credibility does the Department of Justice have?

“What did they [the U.S.] say on the unilateral attack on Iraq? [They claimed] there are chemical weapons of mass destruction.

"Even after Saddam Hussein’s death, to this day not a single chemical weapon was found.

“You cheated the Iraqis, you killed the Iraqis, and now you want to kill the Malays in Malaysia.

“Ladies and gentlemen, we must rise!

"This is nothing less and nothing more than a political ploy to topple Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, because they know that Najib’s policies can uplift the Malays to be respected and reckoned with,” he said.

Idris was officiating the Ampang Umno divisional meetings for its Youth, Women, and Puteri wings today.

The DOJ's forfeiture suits last month allege that about US$3 billion had been misappropriated from 1MDB.

It seeks the forfeiture of over US$1.5 billion in assets, which it claims are part of the proceeds of the alleged crime that had been laundered through the US financial system.

In response, attorney-general Mohd Apandi Ali had claimed there is no evidence of misappropriation from any investigation, but that a police investigation is still ongoing.

Najib is widely speculated to be the figure named "Malaysian Official 1" in the court documents, who supposedly is among those who had benefited from the misappropriation.

Najib however has consistently denied wrongdoing, while Apandi had previously exonerated him.

The News Lens has been authorized to repost this article. The piece was first published on Malaysiakini.

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First Editor: Edward White
Second Editor: J. Michael Cole