1MDB – Can’t ignore the elephant in the room anymore



1MDB – Can’t ignore the elephant in the room anymore
By Zan Azlee

I have been asking myself if it is at all possible to go through the day without ever having to mention, come across or to just think about the 1MDB issue.

In the recent months, it was probably difficult not to but still possible. But in the past three days alone, I would say it is just impossible, and many would agree.

The Wall Street Journal report regarding the movement of money surrounding 1MDB and the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak seems to have brought it to a whole new level.

Then the raid of the 1MDB office on Jalan Sultan Ismail in Kuala Lumpur happened on Wednesday and that became the talk of the town (nation, actually!).

Even if you want to act oblivious, you just can’t. You can stop reading the alternative media that seems to be covering it to high heavens and just read the more ‘friendly’ traditional media.

But then again, it is such a hot issue that even the ‘friendly’ media can’t escape from having to report it. Am I right or am I right about this?

Sure, you can choose to just stop reading or viewing all of the media totally. But again, you can’t escape from listening to people on the streets, ordinary Malaysians, talking about it.

I go home and my wife would talk about it. I visit my parents and they would talk about it. I have buka puasa with my friend and his wife and they are talking about it.

And if you don’t meet these people around you physically, you are still going to hear what they say because it’s all over social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The economic and financial effects of all this talk are also very obvious and real. One sign of it is the drastic devaluation of the Ringgit and the drop in the KLSE.

Any economist can tell you without having to explain in much depth that speculation of political instability brings immediate short term effects on the financial market first.

It is that big a deal. And if you can’t acknowledge it at all, then there must be something really wrong with how you interact with the environment around you.

It doesn’t matter if you are a supporter of the prime minister or if you are a naysayer of his. The fact of the matter is that things are happening, have happened, and is continuing to happen.

I agree that we cannot make presumptions and false accusations. It is definitely important to allow official investigations to run its course before anything can be concluded.

But with how information goes around these days, perception is the name of the game and it isn’t enough to just call for the public to ‘ignore unsubstantiated claims’.

The situation needs to be handled a certain way so that it will be perceived a certain way. And sometimes all that is required is to give convincing assurance right from the beginning.

What was that famous media liaison statement that began with “We can neither confirm nor deny… “? Or something to that effect.

But back to the point that I was trying to make in the beginning. The issue has already taken a life of it’s own and has engulfed the entire country.

Nobody can pretend to ignore it anymore.

[This article originally appeared at English.AstroAwani.Com]

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