We have known more about 1MDB and the once notorious Cayman Islands in the last one week than in the last one year or so.
We know now that the notorious Cayman Islands also boasts big names and corporate giants, including the HSBC, in their list of clients and fund managers parking their money (in all kinds of currencies) in the offshore financial centre.
Thanks to the sudden realisation that effective communication and proactive media engagement is vital. The price to pay for such lackadaisical attitude must be high.
FYI, all those humungous funds to the tune of billions and trillions are not parked in Cayman Islands physically or in gold bullions. The figures may just appear on computer screens and the attraction to go 'Cayman Islands' could just be the tax structure and 'no questions asked' framework. Whether this is good or bad is another issue.
Ok, Cayman Island is an offshore financial centre and 1MDB decided to park some big funds there, but why not park the funds in our very own Labuan offshore financial centre? I asked an investment bankers and he shot back ' bro, we can't compare a Myvi to a Mercedes...could we? I rest my case.
Repeated calls (via previous postings) have been made to those who are supposed to be in-charge of the Prime Minister's communications and the PM himself to come out and explain all about 1MDB before the mud hardens. But all such calls not only fell on deaf ears but those who highlighted the matter were branded as anti-government, anti-Najib and even anti-Rosmah writers and bloggers.
It must be admitted that the 'dirty' image 1MDB is trying to vehemently shake off today is there due to the epic failure of the media team. The media team often repeated mantra was about what CANNOT be done and not about how best to explain the situation.
The media team's failure is blaming the man instead of trying to convince him on the need to be transparent.
I guess this happens when you have one too many yes-man and seat-warmers around you. The least they could have done was to point toCayman Islandson the map. Many a journalist wouldn't mind a familiarisation tour, I'm sure.
1MDB's CSR programmes like community projects in rural Sarawak or how many village heads and JKKK guys were sent to the Holy land was never an issue. Attempts to sidetrack main concerns, by repeatedly highlighting CSR, appeared more like sinister moves to camouflage. A big bulk of the suspicion was self generated, apart from the fact that the auditing job changed hands a couple of times.
Well, its good that finally more information is trickling out about 1MDB, especially often repeated endorsement, validation and explanation as to why Cayman Islands is not all that notorious.
I hope my ex-boss, who would most likely be the scapegoat in 1MDB's media failure, again, doesn't get offended coz I'm well aware of his predicament. (... and no, he didn't ask me to write this ;-) as Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor didn't ask me to promote her to be the next Prime Minister - as in my recent posting)
BTW, 1MDB chairman of the Board of Advisors decision to take DAP's Tony Pua to task is indeed a good move.
If Tony Pua is man enough, then this would be another golden opportunity for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and all his men in 1MDB to clear the air once and for all.
Try not to place the burden of 'communicating' squarely on the shoulder of the media team again for they may even consider taking the media for a Haj pilgrimage instead of explaining issues at hand.
Note: A gentle reminder to those on media overdrive to unmask Cayman Islands and all those scary stories about 1MDB. Stick to facts and try not to make general demeaning statements against critics. You may end up creating more troubles for the PM. Thank you.