PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed that he was unaware that Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family was linked to the 1MDB scandal when he appointed her to the Council of Eminent Persons.
He said the former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor was chosen to be part of the government advisory panel under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration based on merit and experience.
“As a central banker, she is well-known worldwide. I appointed a very well-known person.
“I did not know anything about her sons and all that. That is her matter,” he told Malaysiakini.
The Langkawi MP also said he had been in contact with Zeti since Najib Razak was prime minister, adding that she had known of “irregularities” in Najib’s accounts and wanted to take action against him.
“She was the one who told me that Najib had a lot of money in the bank and that she wanted to take action. She tried.
“But after that, (I’m) not sure what Najib did, (but) she did not dare.”
In February, it was reported that Singapore police had informed BNM of suspicious transactions into the account of Iron Rhapsody Ltd, which was owned by Zeti’s husband, Dr Tawfiq Ayman, and a son, who was not named.
The funds were said to have come from accounts linked to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low.
The Singapore police’s Commercial Affairs Department had shared this information with BNM in 2015 and 2016, when Zeti was governor.
Yesterday, Tawfiq had reportedly spent about three hours giving his statement to Bukit Aman’s Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) to facilitate investigations into the allegation. He may be summoned again next week.
A month ago, Bukit Aman CCID director Zainuddin Yaacob said police were investigating the case under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing, and Proceeds for Unlawful Activity Act 2001.