Hornbill Unleashed

July 15, 2017

The Economist: Strange no one found responsible in Malaysia over 1MDB deals

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

1mdb_newIt seems odd, an article in The Economist says, that given the zeal of Malaysia’s watchdogs and corruption-busters, they have yet to find anyone responsible for the disappearance of billions of dollars from 1MDB.

It noted that government investigators in the US had applied to seize around US$1.5 billion worth of assets and items bought with money they say was siphoned from the firm.

It said a court in Singapore this week sentenced a banker to four-and-a-half years in jail in connection with the scandal, and Swiss investigators were also on the case.

“But Malaysia has convicted only one person: a whistle-blowing MP who leaked documents relating to the affair and who belongs – would you believe it? – to an opposition party.”

The article was referring to the 18-month jail term meted out to the PKR’s Rafizi Ramli by the Sessions Court in November last year over two charges of leaking a classified 1MDB audit report.

IMDB has consistently denied there has been any embezzlement.

The article said “Undemocratic”, “gerrymandered” and “fix-up” were good words to describe Malaysian politics, dominated since independence by Umno.

“So it was a bit rich for the prime minister’s spokesman to employ them when smearing a big opposition group this month. On July 7, the national registrar (of societies) confirmed that it had detected irregularities in a leadership ballot which the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conducted almost four years ago, and said it would be asking the party to re-run the poll.”

It said DAP’s supporters saw this as an effort to sow discord among the opposition, ahead of a general election due by next August.

The article said critics of Umno were used to run-ins with the authorities.

Anwar Ibrahim had been jailed for sodomy and lately, the article said, the police had “taken an interest” in DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. Lim is awaiting trial on two charges of corruption.

The Economist article noted that in late June the government announced it was opening a national inquiry into big losses incurred by Malaysia in the early 1990s, when the central bank indulged in risky currency trades.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, now with the opposition, was the prime minister at the time of the forex losses.

IMDB has consistently denied there has been any embezzlement.

Source : FMT Online


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