Politics

1MDB critics unperturbed by Justo arrest

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 25, 2015: Opponents of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have cautioned the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak not to become over-confident following the arrest of a former PetroSaudi International Ltd. executive in Thailand.

Although they did not dismiss that Xavier Andre Justo may be the culprit responsible for disseminating tampered confidential information used by many to criticise 1MDB, they pointed out that he has yet to be found guilt.

Senior journalist and blogger Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin insisted that Justo is innocent until proven guilty.

“It is too early for the government and the prime minister to assume that they have recovered the people’s trust just because Justo has been arrested.

“He is yet to be officially sentenced in court. So until he is proven guilty of his alleged crimes, I will reserve the recovery of my confidence for those involved in the scandal,” said Zainuddin who blogs at Zamkata.

Another critic, Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz who is also the DAP member of parliament for Raub, observed that Justo’s arrest “does not exonerate 1MDB.”

Via his blog, Sakmongkol AK47, he writes that “1MDB and Petrosaudi can crow any how they want, the arrest of that individual, on whatever grounds yet to be established does not destroy the heart of the matter.”

“PetroSaudi defrauded Malaysians through 1MDB and plunged the nation into a debt of RM46 billion or more.

“It is pathetic to see the 1MDB people rushing to use the arrest of an individual to clear itself from the 1MDB scandal. Nothing is cleared yet.

“The arrest of an individual who is of Swiss national has done nothing to exonerate anyone.”

Another critic, Syed Akbar Ali who blogs at OutSyed The Box, told The MOLE that he was sceptical of the news due to several contradicting information in several news reports.

“For instance we have one report describing him as a low-level executive and another one reporting that he is a company director.

“But the weirdest thing is that, according to the Bangkok Post, Justo was paid RM15 million to leave PetroSaudi. This is very strange.

“It is a huge sum of money and why would they give it to a problematic employee in order to make him leave the company? It doesn’t make any sense.”

Justo was arrested on Koh Samui island two days ago, following the issuance of an arrest warrant by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court.

He was reported to have allegedly tried to extort money from PetroSaudi by threatening to disclose confidential business information belonging to the company.

It is believed that Justo had tempered information he allegedly stole from PetroSaudi which was then used by a blog, Sarawak Report, to spark waves of accusations against 1MDB, Najib and his administrations since two months ago.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.