By Tony Pua
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) must not abscond from its constitutional duty to investigate the ample hard evidence of corruption, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust in 1MDB as confirmed by its own former senior officer.
Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported on Nov 10 that ex-senior Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) officer, Ramli Manan said there is ample evidence for the anti-graft agency to investigate the financial fiasco involving state investor 1MDB.
Ramli said investigators had only to look into 1MDB-related court proceedings in Singapore and the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ) reports to assist them in their probes.
Singapore’s investigation into the fund has resulted in the termination of BSI Bank’s licence and the arrest of its bankers for assisting in laundering of 1MDB funds.
Even as we speak, the Singaporean investigations still continue, with police now examining the role of Wall Street bank Goldman Sachs’ in setting up fraudulent bond offerings for the fund.
The DoJ investigations more explicitly state their investigations are aimed at recovering assets bought using funds allegedly laundered from Malaysia’s 1MDB.
“The evidence there is glaring and it could be of great assistance to MACC officers,” said Ramli, who retired as director of the Sabah ACA.
He further confirmed my criticism of the MACC last week that the MACC and the police have different responsibilities and jurisdiction.
Ramli told FMT that “it is only the MACC that has the expertise and experience to carry out investigations into graft and abuse of power. Police only can probe Penal Code offences.”
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Paul Low had on Nov 1 responded to me in Parliament that “investigations weren’t carried out because of existing investigations being done by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Bank Negara and the police.”
The statement by the former Sabah ACA chief only goes to prove that there could not be a more shameless and irresponsible reply from the minister and the government.
The MACC is clearly and willfully choosing to ignore readily-available evidence in order to protect those implicated in the multi-billion dollar scandal.
We’d like to remind the MACC again of their role as an independent commission.
Its actions should never be dictated or influenced by the actions of other authorities or agencies.
To prove that the MACC is indeed independent and not cowardly, it should immediately kick off its investigations into the massive shenanigans in the company and ensure the culprits who have caused billions of ringgit in losses pay for their heinous crimes.
Tony Pua is Petaling Jaya Utara MP and DAP national publicity secretary.
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.