Pua: Cabinet cannot restrict 1MDB probe

KUALA LUMPUR: The failure of the IGP to conduct a no-stones-unturned investigation into the “world’s largest financial scandal” only serves to confirm the suspicions of ordinary Malaysians that Khalid Abu Bakar was colluding with the Prime Minister and Cabinet, said Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua in a statement.

“They are covering up the heinous scam which has defrauded the people of tens of billions of ringgit.”

The 1MDB scam, he pointed out, has brought shame to Malaysia.

“The people are shocked the police are limiting investigations, under Cabinet instructions, to justify the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) ‘recommendations’.”

Pua, also DAP National Publicity Secretary, was commenting on the IGP disclosing on Friday that police have completed phase one of their investigation into 1MDB, restricted as instructed by the Cabinet, to five recommendations by the PAC.

Firstly, cautioned Pua, the Cabinet cannot give specific instructions to the police on what crimes to investigate and what crimes not to investigate. Isn’t this tantamount to a clear cut case of obstruction of justice? he asked.

Secondly, the IGP cannot limit police investigations to merely the five “recommendations” by the PAC.

“The five recommendations from the PAC are our focus,” said Pua who is a PAC member. “I do not want the police to be distracted by that or else the focus of the investigation will deviate.”

In fact, he added, the police should consider that 1MDB has failed, despite repeated requests by the PAC and the Auditor-General, to hand over crucial overseas bank statements and verification documents. As a result, he lamented, the PAC was unable to investigate the existence of wrongdoings at 1MDB.

For example, he said, the PAC could not verify the ownership of Good Star Limited which received USD1.03 billion from 1MDB. “1MDB could not provide any conclusive ownership documentation to the PAC.”

Furthermore, said Pua, the PAC Chairman hid a Bank Negara letter which confirmed that Good Star Limited was owned by Jho Low.

Pua demanded the IGP explain to the people why he’s restricting himself to the limited findings of the PAC, purportedly under the instructions of the Cabinet.

The police are supposed to investigate without fear or favour, even if it were to involve the highest officials, warned Pua. “Khalid should realize there’s severe conflict of interest in the purported Cabinet instruction to restrict the police investigations.”

“Cabinet members might be involved in the laundered funds.”

He believes the expose by the US Department of Justice (DoJ) should prompt police to obtain all relevant documents to ensure an unhindered and thorough criminal probe on the matter.