Politics

WSJ under fire over authenticity of documents

KUALA LUMPUR – July 9, 2015: The authenticity of leaked documents claimed by Wall Street Journal (WSJ) as directly implicating Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the transfer of billions of ringgit to his personal account have been disputed.

Several prominent socio-political bloggers had raised their doubt over the matter eversince WSJ made the documents public on Monday.

Lim Sian See who blogs at LSS,  expressed his scepticism of the documents by posting several questions to his readers.

“Are you sure those WSJ documents are verified as authentic by the relevant authorities?

“No one has issued any statements to confirm the documents are genuine and validated yet.

“They are after all, still paper documents given by unidentified sources,” Lim wrote in his blog.

He was also of the opinion that “mere allegations have never removed a sitting PM (prime minister) in Malaysia before” because the fail safes put into place in the system by former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad are too effective.

“With GE14 (14th General Election) many years away and the Umno party elections postponed to after GE14, the only three ways that can remove Najib as PM now are:

“1) Two-thirds of UMNO’s Supreme Council calling for an EGM to remove the President.

“2) Vote of no confidence in Parliament or impeachment.

“3) Having the DPM (Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin consulting YDP Agong together with Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail to recommend suspending or sacking Najib,” he wrote.

Similar doubts against WSJ’s leaked documents were also shared by prominent journalist blogger Datuk Ahiruddin Attan, also known as Rocky.

In his blog, Rocky’s Bru, Ahiruddin shared a thorough analysis done by an anonymous “legally-trained Malaysian currently leading a banking/finance institution.”

The anonymous bank leader appears to have only “three simple and straightforward questions” for WSJ.

“Firstly, where is the substantive documentary evidence that confirms the account numbers depicted in the documents actually belongs to the Prime Minister?

“Secondly, why is the address of Wells Fargo Bank N.A. (New York International Branch) stated in the SWIFT message very different from its actual address?

“Thirdly, why is the SWIFT Code used in the SWJ shared document is different?,” the bank leader wrote as quoted by Rocky.

Blogger Jailani Harun who blogged at Just Read, noted in his blog that the documentary evidences published by WSJ was “a bunch of lies“.

He claimed that the bank transactions were doctored.

Via his blog, Jailani shared a picture depicting several technical irregularities present in one of the confidential documents that was leaked by WSJ.

Such irregularities range from altered date, different font types and even missing time stamp.

“WSJ is not a good liar after all…they are just stupid!” he wrote.

Wall Street Journal published a report last week, claiming that RM2.6 billion originating from government-own strategic investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) were channelled into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak private bank account.

The international business daily had even shared some downloadable leaked confidential documents that were used as a source for their report published last week.

The shared documents consist of bank transactions, monetary flowcharts between several international and local banks and even a remittance application form.

Previously, 1MDB was put under the limelight when a socio-political blog, Sarawak Report, accuses the government-owned strategic invest firm of accumulating a total of RM42 billion debt.

Yesterday, Najib had initiated a legal strike-back at WSJ as his lawyers had sent a letter of demand to WSJ seeking clarification.

On his behalf, Messrs Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak sent a letter today to Dow Jones, the publisher of WSJ, seeking confirmation of its position on the allegations in the articles which appeared on July 2 and 6.

They said the articles contained “a plethora of convoluted, scumlous and vague allegations against our client”.

It was also reported yesterday that, a team from the special task force assigned to probe 1MDB has raided its headquarters in Jalan Sultan Ismail here.

In its official statement, 1MDB had confirmed that the arrival of several officials from the task force and that they were provided with a number of documents and materials to aid with the ongoing investigations.

The special task force is jointly led by Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Attorney-general Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail and Malaysia Anti-Corruption chief commisioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed.

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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.