PAS urges govt to join in US probe into 1MDB

Takiyuddin-HassanKUALA LUMPUR: PAS today called on the government to intervene in the US action to recover funds allegedly stolen from 1MDB after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) escalated its worldwide probe into a criminal investigation.

The party’s secretary-general, Takiyuddin Hassan, said the government should apply to be an intervener in the case as 1MDB was now a wholly owned entity under the Minister of Finance Incorporated.

The government must now get advice from the Attorney-General’s Chambers (on the next move), he told FMT.

He was asked to comment on an announcement by the DoJ that it had asked a judge in Los Angeles to put on hold civil forfeiture lawsuits to seize assets acquired by Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, because it had upgraded the case into a criminal investigation.

DoJ officials were reported as saying that pursuing the agency’s current civil forfeiture lawsuits against Jho Low might have “an adverse effect” on its ability to conduct the criminal investigation.

The DoJ has alleged money stolen from 1MDB was used to buy more than US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) in real estate and other assets.

Its investigations involved efforts to track how much of the money that was raised by 1MDB for development projects was used to pay for luxury real estate, art, film productions and more.

In total, the DoJ alleged that from 2009 through to 2015, more than US$4.5 billion belonging to 1MDB was diverted by high-level officials of the fund and their associates.

Takiyuddin said PAS wanted the government to take responsibility by launching its own investigation of the case, either as a civil or criminal matter.

He repeated the party’s call to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to probe 1MDB.