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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Reopen banknote scandal case, anti-graft pressure group tells MACC

Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism director Cynthia Gabriel said the Malaysian government and Bank Negara must make public the deal between the RBA and Malaysian companies involved in the the multi-million-dollar corruption case related to the printing of bank notes. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 31, 2014.Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism director Cynthia Gabriel said the Malaysian government and Bank Negara must make public the deal between the RBA and Malaysian companies involved in the the multi-million-dollar corruption case related to the printing of bank notes. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 31, 2014.
An anti-graft pressure group has urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to reopen the multi-million-dollar corruption case related to the printing of bank notes following the latest information by Wikileaks that several local politicians were allegedly involved.
The case involves the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) subsidiary companies Securency and Note Printing Australia as reported by Wikileaks.
Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) director Cynthia Gabriel said although Aksavest Sdn Bhd director Abdul Kayum Ahmad was charged for having given a bribe of RM50,000 to former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Muhammad Daud Dol Moin to win bank note printing contracts, it has become evident that higher hands were involved.
"An independent body must be set up to initiate fresh investigations into the roles of the three premiers mentioned in the gag order.
"This must be thoroughly scrutinised and commitments made that information is not muzzled, and Malaysians are not kept blindfolded over the possible wrongdoings of our leaders," she said in a statement.
Gabriel said the Malaysian government and Bank Negara must make public the deal between the RBA and Malaysian companies involved.
She said the names of companies and persons involved in dealing with Securency, which won the bank note contracts in Malaysia between 1998 and 2004, must also be revealed.
Wikileaks revealed that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his two predecessors Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and several former ministers have been named in a gag order obtained by the Australian government that censors the media there from reporting a multi-million dollar corruption case involving Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
Employees from both companies are alleged to have bribed foreign officials in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam from 1999 to 2004 to win banknote printing contracts.
Others implicated were former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former international trade and industry minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and former foreign affairs minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar.
It also included a sister–in-law of Abdullah, who is identified only as Noni in the injunction.
WikiLeaks had managed to obtain a copy of the super injunction order, which had been granted to prevent damage to Australia's international relations.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said the orders had been made on the grounds that it was necessary to prevent prejudice to the interests of the Commonwealth in relation to national security.
Gabriel said the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC) must be invoked to pressure international investigations and cooperation in this case.
She said Australia and Malaysia who are both signatories to the convention must lead by example and ensure that this scandal be  given the public scrutiny it deserves via provisions in the UNCAC.
"UNCAC very specifically says that state parties are obliged to assist each other in cross-border criminal matters. This includes gathering and transferring evidence of corruption for use in court," she added.
The bribery allegations first surfaced in 2009, which at the time prompted Australian Federal Police and the MACC to begin separate probes.
In 2010, the MACC detained three individuals linked to the supply of RM5 polymer notes following a report that Securency had offered bribes to officials in Malaysia.
All three, including a businessman, were charged with taking RM11.3 million to secure the contract from Bank Negara Malaysia and to ensure that the government of Malaysia opted for the polymer notes.
Abdullah, who is popularly known as Pak Lah, had in 2011, denied allegations that the two Australian firms attempted to bribe him for an RM100 million Malaysian currency contract during his tenure as prime minister.
The attempt is believed to be related to the deal to supply the RM5 polymer notes that began circulating in 2004.
- TMI

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