Kit Siang wants Low to explain DoJ civil action

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KUALA LUMPUR: DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang has urged Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Senator Paul Low to enlighten Parliament on integrity and good governance issues when it reconvenes on Oct 17 for the Budget meeting.

As the minister responsible for integrity and good governance, added Lim, he wondered whether Low was prepared to answer all questions relating to the 1MDB-related civil action in a California court by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

The Gelang Patah MP also wanted Low to narrate to Parliament the connection between the prime minister and Penang billionaire Jho Low.

He said despite investigations by various national enforcement and investigative agencies, Malaysians were no nearer to a satisfactory answer.

The probes were carried out by the Special Task Force on 1MDB, the police, Bank Negara, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Auditor-General and the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC).

Lim was commenting on the Cabinet continuing to maintain silence on the DoJ lawsuits after its fourth meeting on Wednesday since the filings in the US on July 20.

The civil action sought forfeiture of USD1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland from USD3.5 billion allegedly stolen, misappropriated, embezzled or laundered from 1MDB.

Lim took his cue from Low’s keynote address at the symposium on governance, jointly organised by the Malaysian Institute of Accountants (MIA) and Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) in Kuala Lumpur today.

“The DoJ action is the single largest US and global kleptocracy action.

“It also shows the shocking inability and impotence of the Malaysian Government to rebut the grave allegations of kleptocracy against it, especially the litany of ‘criminal conduct’ as well as the embezzlement and money-laundering of billions of dollars from 1MDB.”

The DAP veteran wanted to know whether Low agreed with Malaysian Bar President Steven Thiru that it was irresistible to conclude that Prime Minister Najib Razak was the “Malaysian Official 1” cited by DoJ.

The DoJ document contained many other “troubling disclosures” as well, recalled Lim. “This includes the allegation that in March 2013, USD681 million was transferred to a bank account belonging to ‘Malaysian Official 1′ and that this sum came from a 1MDB bond sale.”

The Opposition veteran said this contradicted statements by the authorities that the funds were a “personal donation” to the prime minister from the Saudi royal family, given to him without any consideration.

In addition, said Lim, the court document also alleged that USD20 million and a further USD30 million traceable to 1MDB, were transferred to the same personal bank account owned by “Malaysian Official 1” in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

Lim noted that both transfers had not been previously disclosed by Malaysian enforcement agencies, he said.