JOHOR BARU, March 7 — DAP leader Lim Guan Eng should focus on defending himself in his ongoing corruption trial instead of making an issue out of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s campaign in support of MCA’s electoral candidates in Johor, Umno’s Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said today.
The Johor Umno deputy chief accused Lim of deflecting public attention from himself by spotlighting Najib’s corruption charges involving 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“The truth is, Lim was simply attempting to divert attention from his own problems by confusing people with Najib and the 1MDB issue.
“Pay attention to your own problems first. Najib being greeted warmly in Johor despite his appeal on conviction should be the least of your worries,” Nur Jazlan told Malay Mail when contacted for comment on Lim’s criticism about the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition’s campaign in the state election.
Lim has been charged with corruption over his RM2.8 million bungalow purchase and the RM6.3 billion Penang undersea tunnel project that was green-lit during his tenure as the island state’s chief minister.
Najib has been convicted in another separate corruption case involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB unit but is out on bail pending the disposal of his appeal to the Federal Court.
Nur Jazlan said Lim, who was finance minister when the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition held Putrajaya, should get his facts right as Najib’s conviction was related to seven counts of abuse of power, money laundering and criminal breach of trust in relation to the SRC International.
“At the same time, I have also not forgotten my previous role as the Public Accounts Committee chairman where I personally oversaw part of the 1MDB probe in 2015.
“I did my job as expected within the scope and powers of Parliament, but the prosecution and judiciary are beyond the PAC.
“The 1MDB issue was also turned into a trial by media circus by PH and DAP until it became difficult to probe in an objective way,” Nur Jazlan added.
The former Pulai MP pointed out that the political gain was enjoyed by DAP with PH defeating BN in the 14th general election in 2018.
“However, after being in power for 22 months, the PH government failed to deliver on much of their promises and squandered the efforts of the previous BN government to develop the country,” he said.
Nur Jazlan also questioned former Attorney-General Tommy Thomas’ integrity as he acted for the then PH government over the 1MDB-related criminal charges leveled unfairly against Najib.
He said recent revelations into the 1MDB scandal showed that there were other parties responsible for the scandal after it was revealed that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had approved an “overnight” foreign exchange transfer of US$1 billion from the fund to PetroSaudi International (PSI).
“The latest revelations by former Goldman Sachs executive Tim Leissner as a key witness at a federal court in New York shows that Najib did not have any knowledge of any wrongdoing in 1MDB and it was mastermind by other parties,” he said in relation to Leissner’s testimony last month about bribes involving the former BNM governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s husband in relation to a joint project between PetroSaudi and 1MDB.
Nur Jazlan said that Lim’s previous acquittals in 2018 were due to the withdrawal of charges when Thomas was the public prosecutor, noting that the DAP has nominated the private lawyer for the post.
“Lim seems to have conveniently forgot his past. He seriously needs to look into his own flaws before criticising others,” Nur Jazlan said.
BN’s political foes have made much noise about Najib’s recent forays on the Johor election circuit amid his ongoing 1MDB-linked court cases.
Speculation has also been rampant that if BN wins Johor on March 12, Najib who appears to still hold considerable clout may persuade Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to call for a snap general election this year.
Early voting for the upcoming Johor state election is on Tuesday, while polling day is on Saturday.
Johor has 56 state constituencies, with more than 2.59 million voters who are eligible to cast their ballots this time. The Election Commission is targeting a 70 per cent voter turnout.