PETALING JAYA: The government should be ashamed by the actions taken by various foreign countries against national investment fund 1MDB which has been accused of massive misappropriations, says PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.
If no legal action is taken by Malaysia, the dignity of the country and its leaders will continue to be tarnished, he said in a statement today.
“The Malaysian government will lose out if it refuses to act on the issue of misappropriations in 1MDB. So much money could have been recovered and returned,” he added.
His statement came in response to news of the seizure of the US$250mil (RM979 million) luxury yacht “Equanimity” that Malaysian businessman Jho Low allegedly bought with funds from 1MDB.
The seizure was made off the island of Bali by Indonesian authorities yesterday.
The Indonesian officials were assisted by agents of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
1MDB is at the centre of money-laundering probes in at least six countries, including the US, Switzerland and Singapore.
In August 2017, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) put on hold its civil lawsuits seeking to seize more than US$1.7 billion (RM6.6 billion) in assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB funds because it was conducting a related criminal probe.
Meanwhile, in a related development, the Swiss government was recently reported to be looking to absorb CHF95 million (RM400 million) from 1MDB-linked funds seized from several banks as there was no claimant.
Questioned by the media yesterday on the yacht, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali said the government would not make any claim on it as it “does not belong” to the government, according to Malaysiakini.
Tuan Ibrahim said the seizure of the yacht, which was listed by DoJ among the assets allegedly bought with money siphoned from 1MDB, was in line with international law and deserved praise.
“This news will certainly gladden Malaysians who are disappointed by the abuse of national funds.
“However, regrettably, all the assets seized would be surrendered to the US government.
“Similarly with the Swiss government which will be making profit from nothing by absorbing the money linked to 1MDB that it seized from banks since there is no claimant.”
Tuan Ibrahim said Islam forbade slander and baseless accusations, but actions that could invite slander were also included in Islamic legal prohibitions.
In this context, he urged the government to reveal the outcome of investigations on Jho Low that had been going on for years but without any follow-up action.
“Surely it is not because Malaysians are not capable in carrying out the investigation?” he said.