Lim Guan Eng could have held back the punches.
It was beneath the office to call Arul Kanda “utterly dishonest and untrustworthy”.
1MDB is under major scrutiny from multiple government agencies, mainly law enforcement, and therefore the minister of finance, could have oozed class.
[Still, better than the kiss-up statements from MOF before this general election]
Look, the man has served jail time, harassed by the government and perpetually prosecuted in court and life, so I am going to say, it’s a lot of restraint not to have gone ballistic when offered the opportunity.
I believe, Guan Eng of 2008 would have been far, far more direct in his open assessment of Arul Kanda. The years as chief minister may have softened him to the role of managing the situation and not just responding to it.
I would be surprised if the next Guan Eng statement on 1MDB remains vituperative.
The power of minister is that everyone is reading between the lines, and as minister he’ll grasp this soon enough.
Boot polish before drills
As for Arul, there is nothing to add.
He has lived and staved off challenges by living on the margins of truth, opinion, timeline and authority. Often a reductionist of his role in the organisation to show is innocence, but at the same time travelling the nation to uphold the integrity of 1MDB as a whole, his comeuppance, will have many onlookers.
Governments lose money all the time, that’s what happens even under the best controls. Perhaps not in this scale, granted. But rarely when caught with their pants down, the perpetrators turn it on the public and scold it for being ignorant about what the issue is really about. Obviously, white collar crimes are insidious because they operate in the depths of stacks of documents.
It’s all so clever.
This is why, the public will enjoy Arul’s pound of flesh a little more than usual.
Probably the sense of “gotcha” was overpowering as Guan Eng rubbed his hands in glee yesterday.
But with the eye on the game, the former chief minister is set to sort this parasitic episode out.