PUTRAJAYA: The US Department of Justice (DOJ) should have sought 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) side of the story over claims of misappropriation of funds instead of using allegations from a report to file forfeiture claims, says Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
The Barisan Nasional strategic communications director said the DOJ should have taken a “fair approach” by asking 1MDB to testify or have its statement recorded.
He said the 136-page document by the DOJ was mostly based on allegations made by Sarawak Report portal which he said “everyone has a political agenda against the government, the Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional.”
“Our question is that why is DOJ telling the whole world its story when its one sided. The DOJ should at least have the courtesy to call 1MDB. Then you have a balanced view and can objectively determine whether Sarawak Report is correct or 1MDB is credible.
“For the US Attorney-General to go out in public demonising a sovereign state and the use of such strong language is unbecoming,” he told reporters at the Economic Planning Unit Hari Raya gathering.
On speculation that “Malaysian Official 1” mentioned in the civil claims was Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Abdul Rahman said the DOJ would have named the Prime Minister if it had the proof.
“The Prime Minister had repeatedly said that he is not involved and that no public funds were involved,” he pointed out.
The DOJ had filed civil claims to seize more than US$1bil (RM4.07bil) in assets allegedly siphoned out of 1MDB.
It also plans to seize assets in Singapore, the UK and Switzerland.
On another matter, Abdul Rahman said the cost of the East Coast Rail Line had not been determined, dismissing a report which claimed that the project cost would be inflated to “bail out” debts incurred by 1MDB.
“This is a baseless allegation, meant to cause the project to fail,” he said.
He said the Government had not firmed up the value of the project as there were other matters that needed to be looked into, adding that the ECRL would take up to 20 years to complete.
Sarawak Report claimed that the ECRL would receive a 100% hike from RM30bil to RM60bil in a secret deal between the Finance Ministry and China state-owned company China Communications Construction Company.
The ECRL, a 620km project under the 11th Malaysian Plan, would link Kuala Lumpur with Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.