AS the saying goes, the truth will prevail. And what brought the truth of the 1MDB saga to light were the sworn testimonies in a courtroom in New York.
Startling confessions were heard in the trial of Roger Ng, former Goldman Sachs banker, who was accused and eventually found guilty of conspiracy and money laundering in connection with the theft of millions of dollars from the 1Malaysia Development Bhd.
It was not the confession of his boss having an affair and being blackmailed by his Malaysian lover that stood out, but the testimonies of the FBI about the money trail and the purchase of that infamous pink diamond ring from a New York jeweller paid with stolen money.
Yet with all these damning revelations and confirmations, there is a section of the rakyat who still continue to believe in a certain someone, even when there is substantial evidence that they are being lied to.
After all the US courtroom revelations, Malaysians can no longer hide from the painful truths.
A psychotherapist would attest that it is not unusual for people to believe someone, even when they have substantial proof that they are being lied to.
Is it because the liar is emotionally or psychologically important to the people, who want to believe them because it it too painful to them to find out that someone that they care about or trust is lying to them?
Keep repeating the lies and they will grow more plausible. Add in some distractions, such as other developments and events in the country, and the fact that people are getting tired of hearing the opposition harp on about the same thing.
Facts don’t matter. Some claims have been repeated so often that people believe in them. Researchers have found that familiarity can trump rationality.
A study by the University of California showed that most people lie at least two or three times in a 10-minute conversation and that it is always not easy to spot a lie. The study also revealed that even people who are trained in detecting deception – judges, customs agents, law enforcement officers are not much better at spotting lies.
There is a comfort in believing someone. Parents want to believe that their children are not taking drugs, even after finding a stash in the child’s sock drawer. Lovers insist that their partner is faithful despite unfamiliar underpants in the laundry. Business partners blame their financial losses on anything but their best friend, who is stealing from them.
The denial exhibited by some of the rakyat in the case of 1MDB, has negative consequences. If they don’t recognise the problem, the problem cannot be solved and the country will not be able to move forward. By continuously accepting lies, these people will cause untold harm to themselves and their country.
Is it too late for them to recognise the truth?
Charges have already been filed and there is an ongoing trial which has been repeatedly delayed. Yet the people seem unperturbed by it.
Does this means that in future, a bigger section of the rakyat will be nonchalant about similar wrongdoings? Future criminal undertakings will likely to be bigger in magnitude and possibly be final nail in the coffin for this country.
To those rakyat who does not believe in the lies, maybe it is time for them to acknowledge that all of us have a different perspective while clarifying to these groups of people that we are not judging them.
Let these groups of people know that we are ready and willing to talk about our perspective if they would find it useful. Although they might reject us now, they might turn to us for support in the future.
It will take time and work for them to develop the capacity to face the truth.
Getting angry with them will not solve the problem.
Yes, we have laws. And we have the choice of choosing justice over expediency and truth over a technicality.
And the truth is, a certain former leader is not innocent based on the testimonies from the recently concluded case in New York. In this case, the truth will not set him free.
Generations after generation of Malaysians will have to pay back the billions that were stolen.
But the justice system can fix it now. – April 16, 2022.
* FLK reads The Malaysian Insight.
* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.