KUALA LUMPUR: Government leaders have been urged to give up their “denial syndrome” about 1Malaysia Development Bhd and explain what was going on with the controversial federal investment arm.
Abdul Hamid Bador, former Special Branch deputy director, said police had “seen it cming” as early as two years ago and had advised the government that 1MDB could be a big issue.
“They thought that they could explain it, but unfortunately…,” Abdul Hamid said at a press conference today to explain matters relating to his sudden transfer to the Prime Minister’s Department as deputy head of a security and transnational crime unit, after 37 years with Special Branch. He has taken leave pending a decision whether to take up the appointment.
Abdul Hamid said the 1MDB issue was not a national security threat, he added, but temperatures were rising. “People want answers,” he said.
“The people are confused, stressed and angry over what has happened. 1MDB is confusing; come forward and explain. What is 1MDB? Where did the money go? Explain,” he was quoted as saying.
Instead, the people have been given contradictory statements and incomplete answers. It’s straightforward, but if you say it’s a tricky issue, then split it into several parts. Pick a right platform and explain,” he said, according to Malaysian Insider.
Special Branch is the police intelligence arm and deals with internal security and counter-espionage. Opposition politicians have criticised the unit for acting as a secret police and tracking the opposition and political dissidents for the benefit of ruling politicians in Umno and the Barisan Nasional.
Abdul Hamid said Special Branch had in its past 63 years “gathered intelligence, dissected the information and reported it to the prime minister. We advise the prime minister on what is happening on the ground. The information is delivered to the policymakers and the top leadership in the form of suggestions, advice and reports,” he said.
He urged the national leadership to “open their eyes and ears” and discard their “denial syndrome”.
Abdul Hamid had also spoken of his suspicion that he had been transferred because he had insisted on having 1MDB fully investigated and because of doubts about his loyalty to “a certain agenda”.
He questioned government actions that appeared to “move the goal posts”, referring to the recent dismissal of the Attorney-General and suspension of 1MDB hearings by parliament’s Public Accounts Committee after four members were elevated to the cabinet.
“Is it hard for the PAC, for the Auditor-General to explain? If it is taking a long time, explain the parts which have been completed first,” he said. “Don’t say wait until the task force finishes, then keep changing the goal posts and delaying.”
1MDB has come under months of intense public scrutiny and the subject of a year-long campaign by Dr Mahathir Mohamad to force the prime minister, Najib Razak, out of office.
Abdul Hamid said Special Branch had no power to decide on who would become prime minister and its only role was to protect the country.
Last week Abdul Hamid had openly expressed his loyalty to Dr Mahathir, saying he would never betray the former premier whom he described as a “loyal servant of Allah who has done so much for the country”.