Arrest of former PetroSaudi official could be 1MDB turnaround

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 24, 2015: The arrest of a former official of PetroSaudi International Ltd has been perceived by many as a game-changer for issues relating to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) crisis.

Some of them were of the opinion that due to the arrests, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally gain the upperhand in handling the peristent attacks against his administration over the 1MDB issue since two months ago.

According to the New Straits Times, Thai police chief Gen Somyot Pumpunmuang had confirmed the arrest of Xavier Andre Justo, a Swiss national, yesterday following the issuance of an arrest warrant by the Southern Bangkok Criminal Court.

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

It is believed that Justo had tempered the business information he allegedly stole from PetroSaudi which were then used by a blog, Sarawak Report to spark waves of accusations against 1MDB.

Facebook user Hafiz Hafifi wrote: “Finally, the tables have turned. I suppose it’s high time 1MDB begins their counter attack against their slanders. Najib, Arul don’t hold back, give them everything you got.”

 Aznil Hisam, “thanked Allah, for exposing the lies that were slandered at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak”.

“After this, no one should ever trust any words that come out of ‘Txx X’ because his integrity has been crushed. He is now one with the many liars,” Aznil wrote in his Facebook page.”

Arthene Parthenos wrote: “Hopefully the ‘Spider or Spiders’ which created this ‘Web of Lies’ will be revealed, caught and killed….soon.”

Iby Yahaya wrote: “Now more people are getting their buntut (butt) burned…going to be hot hot days ahead and what skeptics and morons are going to say after this…wait and see.”

Jamalulkhair Khairedin wrote: “May the truth prevails!”

Also noted was that some even criticised Sarawak Report for misleading the public with their erroneous accusations.

Dai Suk wrote: “It would be fun when Interpol visit the office of Sarawak Report and carts away all the HDD (hard drive disc) and computers, plus ask them to justify all the information published in their web sites.

“Also the investigations prove that they are not a party to blackmails, scams and attempts to bring down a democratically elected government.”

Siao Kent Sing wrote: “Now comes the next question…Is the people behind Sarawak Report a party of this extortion scheme? I believe they have to come clean on this. Ahahah!!”

Halim Mohd wrote: “Those who read n believed sarawak report….dont they feel cheated????”

Jesse Sofia wrote: “I remind myself and everyone I know, not to trust Sarawak Report many times already. I really hate it when they are using my state’s name as their portal front name.

“So Claire (Clare Rewcastle Brown), please exposed your country’s shit only and I hope you will be brought to justice soon…even Tun M (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) believes her.”

Several prominent socio-political bloggers also blogged about the news.

Anonymous blogger Dr MiM had highlighted the biasness of two opposition-friendly news portals, where he deemed that the portals had only reported half-truths regarding the arrestment of Justo.

“Why is that these pro-opposition portals did not present the complete report like other media had done? Did they really forgot or was it intentional?” the blogger wrote.

Another anonymous blogger, A Voice, who blogs at Another Brick In The Wall, in his latest posting queried that “with this revelation, will The Edge still standby their allegations and dare to defend their case in court?”

“This means that Sarawak Report had used false data to undermine a state-owned company and put the Malaysian economy in disrepute.

“This was a woman from our colonial past that attacked an institution of the state but many Malaysians defended her action.

“Be it Sarawak Report or The Edge or even Tun Dr Mahathir (former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad), it would not look good to answer in court that the proof-in-hand to their allegations are documents provided by a blackmailer and extortionist,” he wrote.

Prominent blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan, who blogged at Rocky’s Bru, was of the opinion that arrest of Justo had tattered Sarawak Report’s reputation.

Ahirudin , also known as Rocky deemed that “Mr Justo’s arrest could not have come at a more divine time.”

“I have always been suspicious of the Sarawak Report and I’ve made it public (even before its self-claimed exclusives” on 1MDB, when it was trying in vain to bring down former Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud; hence, the portal’s name),” Rocky wrote.

However, anonymous blogger Jebat Must Die, has differing views on the news.

Known for his hostile stance towards 1MDB, he wrote that at the moment 1MDB is “strategically deflecting and spinning their replies to give the impression that they had answered all questions.”

“The public now has received more information which finally shed light into the murky business deals which 1MDB was involved in,” he wrote.

Following Justo’s arrest, a PetroSaudi spokesperson said they were relieved that Justo will be brought to the courts.

“We have been the victims of a regrettable crime that has unfortunately been politicised in Malaysia.

“We are happy to finally set the record straight and we apologise to the Malaysian people for the harm that one of our unscrupulous ex-employees has caused to them,” said the spokesperson.

Over months, the government-owned strategic investment arm has been flanked by many, including Dr Mahathir who has been exceptionally vocal of it.



About the author

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.