MACC must not abscond from constitutional duty to investigate corruption in 1MDB, says DAP’s Pua

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Media Statement by Tony Pua, Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP National Publicity Secretary in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 15 November 2017:

The MACC must not abscond from its constitutional duty to investigate the ample hard evidence of corruption, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in 1MDB as confirmed by its own former senior officer

The Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported on 10 November that ex-senior Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officer, Ramli Manan said there is ample evidence for the anti-graft agency to investigate the financial fiasco involving state investor 1MDB.

Ramli Manan said investigators had only to look into 1MDB-related court proceedings in Singapore and the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ) reports to assist them in their probes.

Singapore’s investigation into the fund has resulted in the termination of BSI Bank’s license and the arrest of its bankers for assisting in laundering of 1MDB funds. Even as we speak, the Singaporean investigations still continue, with police now examining the role of Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs’ in setting up fraudulent bond offerings for the fund. The US Department of Justice investigations more explicitly state their investigations are aimed at recovering assets bought using funds laundered from Malaysia’s 1MDB.

“The evidence there is glaring and it could be of great assistance to MACC officers,” said Ramli, who retired as director of the Sabah ACA.

He further confirmed my criticism of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) last week that the MACC and the Royal Malaysian Police have different responsibilities and jurisdiction.  Ramli told FMT that “it is only the MACC that has the expertise and experience to carry out investigation on graft and abuse of power. Police only can probe Penal Code offences.”

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in-charge of Integrity, Datuk Paul Low had on 1 November responded to me in Parliament that “investigations weren’t carried out because of existing investigations being done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Bank Negara and the Police.”

The statement by the former Sabah ACA Chief only goes to prove that there could not be a more shameless and irresponsible reply from the Minister and the Government.

The MACC is clearly and willfully choosing to ignore readily-available evidence in order to protect those implicated in the multi-billion dollar scandal, including the Prime Minister and his family members.

We’d like to remind the MACC again of their role as an independent commission. Its actions should never be dictated or influenced by the actions of other authorities or agencies.  To prove that the MACC is indeed independent and not cowardly, it should immediately kick off its investigations into the massive shenanigans in the company and ensure the culprits who have caused billions of ringgit in losses pay for their heinous crimes.

The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of theedgemarkets.com/The Edge group.