Mahathir (2nd left) and Najib are both named in the injunction obtained by the Australian government which bars Australian media from reporting on a case involving the payment of bribes to secure currency printing contracts in Malaysia. – The Malaysian Insider pic, July 30, 2014.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his two predecessors and several former ministers have been named in the gag order obtained by the Australian government that censors the media there from reporting about a multi-million dollar corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam, whistleblower website WikiLeaks revealed today.
The case involves the Reserve Bank of Australia’s subsidiary companies Securency and Note Printing Australia.
Employees from both companies are alleged to have bribed foreign officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam from 1999 to 2004 to win banknote printing contracts.
Besides Najib, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin were among prominent Malaysian politicians named in the injunction.
Also named were former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and former foreign affairs minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
It also included a sister–in-law of Abdullah, who is identified only as Noni in the injunction.
WikiLeaks had managed to obtain a copy of the super injunction order, which had been granted to prevent damage to Australia’s international relations.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the orders had been made on the grounds that it was necessary to prevent prejudice to the interests of the Commonwealth in relation to national security.
“The orders were deemed necessary to prevent a real and substantial risk of prejudice to the proper administration of justice that cannot be prevented by other reasonably available means.”
Assange had criticised the Australian government for obtaining the super injunction, accusing them of gagging and blindfolding the Australian public.
“This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due,” Assange said.
“Foreign Minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the government.”
The bribery allegations first surfaced in 2009, which at the time prompted Australian Federal Police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to begin separate probes.
In 2010, the MACC detained three individuals linked to the supply of RM5 polymer notes following a report that Securency had offered bribes to officials in Malaysia.
All three, including a businessman, were charged with taking RM11.3 million to secure the contract from Bank Negara Malaysia and to ensure that the government of Malaysia opted for the polymer notes.
Abdullah, who is popularly known as Pak Lah, had in 2011, denied allegations that the two Australian firms attempted to bribe him for a RM100 million Malaysian currency contract during his tenure as prime minister.
The attempt is believed to be related to the deal to supply the RM5 polymer notes that began circulating in 2004. – July 30, 2014.