By Azmi Arshad
Zombies and pentaksub are having a field day with Husni’s press statement. This time I can’t blame them for being misled. Rather I would have to attribute it to the stupidity and incompetence of the Second Finance Minister.
Husni’s statement is incomplete and misleading but it’s an official statement so it’s him shooting himself and the government – and me — in the foot.
I didn’t defend him before and not only will I not defend him now but would be happy to see him removed. Unfortunately it seems cabinet has appointed him the spokseperson for 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). In my opinion this is a mistake because his track record with the media has not been impressive. This reminds me of when the DCA chief was initially the spokesman for MH370.
Husni mentioned payment coming in from International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). He mentioned that the money will be used to settle the US$975m Deutsche loan ahead of schedule. No doubt that the US$1 billion is an initial payment as part of a bigger deal but what he has failed to mention is that the infamous BSI investment is part of the exchange (and will be released as collateral) and so will no longer belong to 1MDB.
By omitting this, zombies, pentaksub and even rational people will think that there is no link to the BSI account and that the BSI asset is and had always been worthless. Zilch.
Which is of course not true but I can’t blame anyone for believing so, no thanks to the minister. For whatever insane reason, this “little” detail will only be made officially known later. Husni has not taken fitnah management seriously.
Ironically, zombies and pentaksub are happy to believe and take literally Husni’s official statement when in the past they did not believe other official statements – e.g. 1MDB’s press statements, auditors report, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s statements, Goldman Sachs, PetroSaudi etc – especially ones that expressed or implied that no billions were missing, including the US$1.103 billion that had beed redeemed in Cayman (which is why PM called for AG and PAC to investigate).
That is, they only believe what they want to believe. This time, however, I don’t blame them because even those with average and above average intelligence would be misled by Ahmad Husni’s statement. Do note, however, that the minister also did not say that the BSI asset was worthless; he simply said absolutely nothing (which has always been the problem).
I hope police reports will be lodged on the basis of Husni’s statement. That may then compel him to officially release details earlier rather than later, including proof of the US$1.103 billion BSI assets.
Let’s recall specifically the allegations of fraud:
1. The disappearance of RM42 billion: This was easily debunked just by being able to see TRX, Bandar Malaysia and IPPs with our own eyes coupled with the fact that RM8 billion were legacies (i.e. already in the books of the IPPs when acquired). This forced Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad to retract his allegation and change ‘disappearance’ to ‘debt’. Evidently the alleged number would have to be much smaller.
2. The disappearance of RM27 billion or RM7 billion or any other billion dollar figure: This can only be proven false after the financial assets change ownership because IPIC would not be stupid enough to pay for worthless financial assets, though valued in the books at about US$6 billion (unless people also don’t trust the valuers and auditors on the market value of 1MDB’s properties).
3. US$700 million had been siphoned out: This can only be proven false after it is officially confirmed that the US$1.1 billion BSI asset did exist (which is what Husni should have mentioned in the statement). In this respect, note that five international banks (led by Deutsche) would not have been stupid enough to lend 1MDB US$975 million with worthless assets as collateral.
Zombies, pentaksub and skeptics still believe that the BSI investment is worthless, and Ahmad Husni’s misleading press statement merely reaffirmed their belief, but let’s see what they say after further details are officially released, they may:
(i) accept the clarification
(ii) refuse to accept the clarification with details
(iii) accuse the Second Finance Minister of lying, or
(iii) accuse the government of doing another flip flop.
The government has to accept the reality that fitnah management is a necessary discipline. It is not good enough that you do not lie or tell untruths but you have a responsibility of assessing the adverse consequences of both your speech and your silence in this akhir zaman di mana penyebaran fitnah tidak terputus.
* This is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily represent the views of My Nation News.