Are we allowed to ask what happened to 1MDB?



Are we allowed to ask what happened to 1MDB?
By Zan Azlee

Malaysia is being plagued by one of its biggest scandals and it is even getting significant attention from the international community. You know it – the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

Sure, it’s a difficult issue for a lot of people to understand, me included. Complicated financial transactions and business negotiations can confuse a lot of people, even the experts.

But as the case develops and more media agencies cover the unfolding story, people understand it better and better. And when people start understanding it better, the more questions get asked.

It is a simple check and balance that is afforded to the people via a system called democracy. And that isn’t as complicated to understand as the 1MDB scandal.

Of course it is very clear to everyone that investigations are underway and that no accusations are being brandied around, as that would be defamatory and wrong.

But what can and should be accepted is the act that people have the right to question as to what has happened to cause such a stir in the first place.

And these people include the public as a whole, opposition politicians, the media and whatever authorities or investigating party that is given the responsibility to do so.

At the end of the day, it is the public’s money and hence, that makes the case of public and national interest, and as the government of the day, that means they need to answer.

One step is already correct – that investigations have been launched by the authorities to find out the truth as to what has happened. Of course, it has to be perceived as independent.

What shouldn’t be happening is for those who ask the question to be subjected to persecution and intimidation, as is what seems to be happening now.

It is surprising to see how those who have raised questions pertaining the 1MDB scandal have become subjects to investigations themselves.

How come the people who are the most vocal calling for the government to answer are the ones who are as if being put on trial and even being barred from traveling outside of the country?

How is it that news organisations are being threatened with legal action for asking for answers that the public has a right to know? Isn’t that the natural responsibility of their existence?

How is it that those who are supposed to be giving the answers to the questions are the ones who are accusing those who are questioning of having intentions to destabilise the country?

Of course it doesn’t help that the government is being perceived as not wanting to give straight and transparent answers to all the questions that is being asked.

Actually, the mechanics of it is very simple to understand. Those who are in government serve the people and when the people ask questions, they need to provide the answers.

Now, doubt exists in the action that has been taken by those in government and so the questions are asked. Isn’t that simple and valid?

So who is it in this whole chain of events that is really the cause of the de-stability of the country? Is it those who asked the questions or those who refuse to answer?

[This article originally appeared at The Malaysian Insider]

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