Khairy’s regrets too little too late, says Kit Siang

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KUALA LUMPUR — For Lim Kit Siang, only a public apology by Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition leaders and lawmakers can alleviate the country’s global shame caused by the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

The DAP adviser said Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s expression of regret on Tuesday for failing to stand up to ex-prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who created 1MDB was “too little and too late”.

“Khairy’s regrets are too little and too late — will he make amends and ask the Umno Supreme Council, Barisan Nasional Supreme Council and all former Ministers and MPs to tender abject public apology for their betrayal of the nation’s trust in not speaking up against the 1MDB scandal and when Malaysia was stained with the epithet of ‘global kleptocracy’?” the Iskandar Puteri MP asked in a statement yesterday.

However, Lim indicated that the public apology may be a long time coming, claiming that Khairy “is studiously avoiding the issue of the 1MDB scandal and Malaysia being tarred with the epithet of a global kleptocracy” in his recent interview with Singapore broadcaster Channel News Asia.

In the interview, Khairy admitted that BN leaders were walloped in the polls because they had been “drunk” on hubris and became “delusional” as well as “detached from reality” despite seeing “clear signals” that voters were fed up of their government that had been in power uninterrupted for over 60 years.

He also admitted that no one in Umno nor BN were willing to “bell the cat” after seeing their then second-in-command Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dropped from Cabinet for questioning Najib over the source of 1MDB’s funds and where the RM2.6 billion had gone.

In reflection, Khairy said BN leaders must learn from their defeat and not repeat the same mistake that had got them systematically rejected by voters.