Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bank Negara Want AG to Act Against 1MDB

Malaysia's Attorney General’s Chambers must be getting edgy.
On October 08, 2015, they decided to break their long silence. They issued a statement that the Bank Negara report of the investigation into 1MDB’s affairs was scrutinized and the troubled state fund had been given a clean bill of health. This was already communicated to Bank Negara in September.
The central bank were unhappy and they had sought another review of the said report – again, the AG Chambers were adamant that 1MDB had not committed any offence. Hence the latter's stand on Thursday.  

Yesterday, Bank Negara informed that 1MDB had secured permissions for investment aboard that were based on inaccurate and/or incomplete disclosure of information and therefore, they had breached domestic regulations. They then revoked three permits that were granted to them for investments abroad totaling $1.83 billion (RM7.53 billion). Additionally, they issued an instruction under the Financial Services Act 2013 to 1MDB to repatriate the full amount.
It is telling that 1MDB had confirmed the order last night and explained they had used the money to reduce their debts. This acknowledgment only served to affirm that Bank Negara was right. And it contradicted the AG Chamber’s position that 1MDB are innocent.
Bank Negara further revealed that they had recommended the attorney-general initiate criminal prosecution of 1MDB – but the latter had refused to file charges.
The appointment of the new AG was already a controversy and this latest non-action from the AG Chambers offer a very plausible explanation why PM Najib Razak had sacked Gani Patail who was investigating him, in favor of Mohamed Apandi Ali.

If you can recall, MACC had said on August 05 that there was no longer a need for the special 1MDB task force following the advice of the AG himself.
All this while, Malaysian authorities were reticent about 1MDB. 
Until August 13, 2015 when Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz (left) finally found her voice. She announced that the 1MDB investigation papers had been submitted to the AG that week itself. She also said the report had included recommendations of appropriate action.
But she wasn't exactly loquacious. Still, forty-one days later, Zeti asserted that the public has every right to get answers on the controversy surrounding 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion donation made to Najib’s private bank accounts in the interest of greater transparency in governance.
For how long more can 1MDB be churning out story after story to hide the truth? 
On Thursday, I was at KDU College to attend the D’Utama Advanced Toastmasters meeting. I was there merely as an observer – okay, I did take part in the Table Topics – and remembering Wednesday’s speeches, I wasn’t expecting much. Yet, I must admit the project speeches were generally good and I left the meeting feeling satiated. Yup, t’was a good meeting!  


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