Saturday, May 28, 2016

1MDB and Bank Negara Malaysia

Bank Negara Malaysia’s hands are tied insofar as 1MDB are concerned.  

Their previous governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz (left), had requested criminal proceedings at least twice against 1MDB – but her petitions were dismissed by the Attorney General’s office.
 
In the end, the central bank could only impose administrative enforcement actions against the state fund. And so, on April 28, 2016, they issued a letter of administrative compound to 1MDB for failing to "fully comply with directions issued under the Financial Services Act 2013" – after receiving the green light from the Attorney General.
 
This covered the order to 1MDB to repatriate monies remitted abroad – said to be more than $1.8 billion – following the revocations of the three permissions granted by the central bank to the state fund in 2009, 2010 and 2011. In addition, 1MDB was accused of failing to submit evidence and documentation specified by the bank to justify their inability to fully comply with the repatriation order.
 
BNM did not specify the size of the fine or how much 1MDB was required to repatriate.
 
1MDB was given until May 30, 2016 to pay the fine.
 
In any case, 1MDB made full payment five days before the deadline.
 
And just one day after that, BNM said their investigation into 1MDB had ceased because the fine had been paid! This is in spite of Switzerland opening criminal proceedings against BSI Bank over links to the said state firm.
 
Only the Malaysian Police investigation into 1MDB is plodding along still.
 
The Wall Street Journal on Thursday said Malaysia’s probe into 1MDB was flawed. It had all along been stymied by political pressure and a lack of transparency, according to documents and interviews with people involved.  

Evidence possibly primary to the scrutiny was placed off limits or ignored, WSJ found. Potentially crucial clues weren’t eyeballed. And at least one key figure, Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) – as chairperson of 1MDB’s board of advisers and also the finance minister, giving him ultimate oversight over 1MDB – wasn’t interviewed by investigators.
 
We already know that the Auditor General’s report into 1MDB (completed in March 2016), had been classified under the Officials Secrets Act, shielding it from public view.
 
It’s all a sham! Right from the beginning.
 
The women’s PSA Dubai World Series Finals featured the world’s best eight qualified players – in two groups of four, with players playing a round-robin best-of-three series for a place in the knockout semi-finals and beyond.
 
On Friday, Nicol David lost 1-2 to Egypt’s Raneem El Welily (5-11, 11-8, 8-11) and the latter has now qualified for the title-decider with England’s Laura Massaro.

David will just have to be patient before she triumphs again. I believe in her. It is only a matter of time, believe me!

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