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Saturday, March 18, 2017

'How to press charges over 1MDB when gov't refuses to get full picture?'

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has taken aim at Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani for claiming that Malaysia cannot press charges over 1MDB without a full picture, pointing out that there were no efforts by the government to do so.
"Of course, we need the complete story in order to charge any person for a crime. However, the question is there must be a concerted effort to investigate the crime.
"From what we can see happening in Malaysia at this point of time, there is no attempt at all to investigate the crimes everyone can see which have taken place in Malaysia," he said in a statement.
Yesterday, Johari was quoted by The Edge Financial Daily as saying that even the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and auditor-general were unable to specifically tell what was wrong.
"The transfer of the money to the accounts and so on, it’s not that. That’s only half the story. If you want to charge people, you need the complete story," he had said.
However, Pua, who is a member of the PAC, rebutted Johari's claim.
"Please don’t tell half-truths to the Malaysian public... The auditor-general has discovered many wrongs which were cited in the Auditor-General's Report on 1MDB which the cabinet has decided to classify under the Official Secrets Act (OSA). 
"This was despite the fact that 1MDB had refused full cooperation with the auditor-general by denying the AG access to crucial banking documents of its overseas subsidiaries.
"But even what little revealed in the PAC report was sufficient for the PAC to conclude massive wrongdoing on the part of the management. 
"The PAC has specifically demanded that (former 1MBD chief executive officer) Shahrol Halmi be investigated for his role in causing the billions of ringgit of losses to 1MDB and the Malaysian government," he said.
‘Minister, don’t take us for fools’
Pua also slammed Johari for claiming that those being charged in Singapore over the 1MDB scandal were Singaporean citizens and not linked to Malaysia.
"The minister is obviously pretending very hard to be ignorant and stupid because the Singapore cases clearly named the parties who laundered the funds included Jho Low, his father Larry Low and other associates who were Malaysians.
"Evidence including banking transactions were presented to the court demonstrating how these funds stolen from 1MDB were misappropriated, including the amounts ending up in the prime minister’s bank account," he said.
Furthermore, Pua said the US Department of Justice had also clearly presented documentary evidence of how funds amounting to more than US$5.6 billion were siphoned from 1MDB and laundered overseas.

Pua said the reality was that not only has the government made no effort to investigate the scandal but it had also blocked all attempts to probe the crime.
"Johari may not have been involved in the attempts to stall or stop the investigations, as he was only appointed a minister in July last year. 
"However, he should not try to belittle the intelligence of ordinary Malaysians or take us for fools by claiming that the government can’t press charges because it doesn’t have a 'full picture'," he said.- Mkini

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