28
Jul
15

Hold independent probe into 1MDB disclosures

COMMENT The Malaysian Bar is extremely concerned over recent disclosures made by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Sarawak Report (SR) of information contained in government investigation documents allegedly revealing that funds of about US$700 million (approximately RM2.7 billion) were transferred between government agencies, banks and companies linked to 1MDB, and then deposited into the personal accounts of the prime minister in AmIslamic Bank Berhad in March 2013.

It has also been reported that the original source of the funds is unclear and the subsequent use of the funds is unknown.

The prime minister said yesterday, “… saya ingin menegaskan sekali lagi bahawa saya tidak pernah mengambil dana 1MDB untuk kepentingan diri sendiri” (“I would like to stress again that I had never taken 1MDB’s funds for my personal interest”). However, it appears that the prime minister has not expressly denied that funds were deposited into his personal bank accounts.

The disclosures made by WSJ and SR are exceptionally grave, and must be probed exhaustively, and without delay. The basic questions that arise, and remain unanswered, are whether the funds were transferred to the prime minister’s bank accounts, and whether these bank accounts were his personal bank accounts.

If so, further questions arise, including the source of the funds; the prime minister’s relationship with the depositors of the funds; the reason they chose to deposit the funds into his personal bank accounts; and the purpose for which the funds were utilised, or the identity of the ultimate beneficiaries of the funds. There must be clear, convincing and irrefutable answers to all these critical questions in order to determine the nature and extent of any criminal culpability.

Further, if the transmission of the funds occurred as reported by WSJ and SR, questions would need to be asked as to the application of exchange control regulations and anti-money laundering legislation. In this regard, it would be pertinent and vital to know whether Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had been notified of the remittance of these funds by the paying and receiving banks, and what actions, if any, were taken by BNM in response.

…more
Jul 9, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Steven Thiru
Hold independent probe into 1MDB disclosures

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