Guan Eng: I merely referred the matter to attorney-general

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has welcomed an MACC investigation into allegations about his actions regarding a tycoon’s bank account.

PETALING JAYA: Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng, responding to allegations that he had requested action to unfreeze a tycoon’s bank accounts, said today that he had merely referred the matter to the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).

Malaysiakini quoted him as saying: “Cases which are not within my jurisdiction are referred to the relevant authorities. It is the relevant authorities who have the power to act.”

He noted that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission had acted speedily on FMT’s report this morning about the matter and said MACC “should be allowed to carry out their investigations”.

FMT’s report this morning, based on documents sighted by FMT, said Lim had asked the AGC to lift restrictions on a property developer’s bank accounts, which were frozen to facilitate an investigation into money laundering.

The report said that Lim had received a positive response from the Attorney-General, then Tommy Thomas, who subsequently ordered MACC to lift the freeze on all four bank accounts.

Lim did not respond to FMT’s requests for comment. However, he told Malaysiakini that he believed Thomas had acted appropriately when the case was referred to the AGC.

He said that it would be wrong if he did not refer such cases to the relevant authorities.

“I do not have any access to such information or documents unlike FMT which seems to have full access to the matter,” Lim was quoted as saying.

Earlier today, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Ahmad Khusairi Yahaya confirmed that the agency had lifted the freeze on the tycoon’s accounts on the instructions of the AG at the time.

He also said the agency would investigate how confidential details of its investigations over the RM4 million received by the tycoon from 1Malaysia Development Berhad had been leaked to a politician.

This morning’s FMT report said there were exchanges between Lim and Thomas about four bank accounts that had been frozen because of RM4 million in transactions related to 1MDB-linked funds.

FMT’s source said there was a conflict of interest and that Lim had acted “despite failing to recover the bulk of the money”.

A total of 21 cheques amounting to RM4 million from then-prime minister Najib Razak were said to have been deposited into the tycoon’s CIMB bank account. However, only about RM76,000 was left when the freeze was lifted.

The report about the tycoon’s bank account comes weeks after Tommy Thomas came under criticism over the release of Najib’s step-son Riza Aziz on a conditional discharge from money laundering charges relating to 1MDB funds being used for the production of a Hollywood movie The Wolf of Wall Street.

Under an agreement with the prosecution, Riza is to return some US$100 million, or about 40% of the 1MDB funds he received.

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