PKR strategic director Rafizi Ramli dropped another bombshell on Wednesday, the latest in a series of expose’s revealing the extent and amount of corruption Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife have been allegedly involved in.
Waving a sheaf of invoices obtained from a “third-party source”, Rafizi showed how controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan, through his company Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd bought 19 pieces of exclusive custom-made jewellery, mostly diamond rings, from top Hong Kong jewellers allegedly for Najib’s wife Rosmah Mansor.
“Deepak has to come forward with more details and Rosmah has to come forward to clear the air because the word ‘cincin’ (ring) is a sensitive matter in Malaysia. The invoices so far show that Deepak’s carpet firm paid for the jewellery but Rosmah’s name is not there. Even so, these are very serius allegations made by Deepak and must be investigated,” Rafizi told a press conference on Wednesday.
19 pieces worth RM13mil in just 3 months
Showing invoices from firms including Firestone Co. Ltd and Dehres Ltd, Rafizi – a UK trained auditor – confirmed he had called up the companies to verify the invoices were genuine. He also furnished bank-in and payment slips, pointing out that the spate of purchases spanned a suspiciously short period of just 3 months.
Although, Rosmah’s name is not shown on the documents, her love for fine jewellery and diamonds is legendary. Deepak’s list of jewellery purchased from Hong Kong is stunning and, if his allegations are true, would certainly befit her taste.
The 19 pieces of jewellery consist of:
> 7 diamond rings,
> 4 diamond earrings
> 2 diamond bracelets
> 3 diamond necklaces
> 1 emerald ring
> 1 emerald bracelet and
> 1 ruby bracelet.
“RM13 million in 3 months…That’s a lot of jewellery to buy,” Rafizi said, reiterating that the documents and Deepak’s claims justified a probe by authorities at the very least.
Diamonds ‘bribe’ for land deal?
Rafizi added that the allegations took on a serious note given that Deepak has already accused the first couple for accepting millions for corruptly sanctioning a Ministry of Defence land deal.
Indeed, Deepak – a former close friend of Rosmah’s – had previously complained he had paid Najib’s family “millions” for giving the go-ahead for the land deal which also involves Selangor Umno Women’s chief Raja Ropiaah. However, the news was blacked out by the government-controlled mainstream media.
“In past, we weren’t sure. It was just Deepak’s accusations against Rosmah. But now we have with us solid documents that diamonds were purchased as Deepak had alleged for Rosmah and in connection with the Ministry of Defense deal. On this basis, we have to challenge the MACC to respond,” Rafizi told Malaysia Chronicle at the sidelines of the conference.
According to Rafizi, the documents came from “third-party” sources and not directly from Deepak.
“It may be that Deepak is not happy with Najib and Rosmah or the RM30million he received was too little. This maybe why he says he will continue to reveal more scandals. But that does not make the corruption go away, it doesn’t mean that Najib and Rosmah are less guilty or more guilty. What it means is that there is obviously something very wrong with this land deal and it must be fully investigated.”
Not frivolous allegations
The scandal came to a boil following last week’s disclosure by public-listed Boustead Holdings Bhd, which is 61%-owned by the Armed Forces pension fund, that it would pay RM30million to Deepak and RM130million to Raja Ropiaah to buy over the land.
Instead of being placated, Deepak went on the offensive, vowing he would continue with his ‘revelations’ against Rosmah and to push on with the publication of his tell-all book – The Black Rose.
“The LTAT RM160million deal may be to silence Deepak as we believe but the MACC has refused to act so far. Why is the MACC not acting,” PKR MP for Selayang William Leong, also at the press conference, told reporters.
“And now, there are these documents showing the diamond purchases for Rosmah [as alleged by Deepak]. There is sufficient evidence for the MACC to initiate a probe on veracity of the invoices and then begin a corruption probe against Rosmah, Najib, Raja Ropiaah and Deepak. But why hasn’t it done so? The diamond purchases are not frivolous allegations. The Boustead deal is also not an excuse for the MACC not to investigate. Now is the test for the MACC to use its powers to probe. I call on the MACC chief and the police chief to act without fear of favour.”
William, who is a lawyer by training, said the powers accorded to the MACC under Section 30(1) (a) of the MACC Act were wide and strong. The MACC could order anyone to attend before it to be examined orally; the MACC may order any person to produce any boo, document, record or accounts; the MACC may order any person to furnish a statement in writing on oath or affirmation setting out all such information required by it.
Additionally, a person ordered by the MACC to attend examination is required to disclose all information which is within his or her knowldege or which is available to him or her; he or she must answer any question put forth truthfully and to the best of his or her knowledge and shall not refuse to answer on the grounds it tends to incriminate him or her. Failure to do so would be an offence, said William.
“The Chief Commissioner’s (Abu Kassim Mohamed) continued silence in the light of Deepak’s disclosures and the MACC’s failure to investigate will lead to the MACC’s image being further tarnished,” said William.
“In faling to use its vast array of powers of investigation and prosecution against those who have committed corru[tion without fear of favor shows that the MACC is nothing more than a paper tiger, only taking action against those without political clout or who have fallen out of favor.