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Monday, June 26, 2017

1MDB scandal - A case too long



It reflects very poorly on the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) if investigations into the 1MDB scandal have not yielded any arrests after one year.
Although the scandal is headlined in newspapers around the world, and several individuals and banks have been implicated in the alleged money laundering, the Malaysian authorities have yet to show their fangs.
Inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar claimed that the police had set up an investigation team as early as April last year, but after 14 months, the outcome is found wanting. Why?
Surely, a thorough investigation by the public accounts committee (PAC) on 1MDB would have revealed who were behind the scandal.
Till today, the auditor-general's report is still under the Official Secrets Act and the authorities are unable to unravel the truth in the 1MDB scandal, despite the call by the Conference of Malay Rulers to expedite the investigation two years ago.
What does this tell us? Khalid blamed it on the attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali for not giving any response to the police regarding its investigation papers, while Apandi is brushing aside the Malaysian Bar's suggestion to re-open the case after new evidence was produced by the US Department of Justice (DOJ).
Members of the public are impatient with burning questions to know the outcome of any investigation, and why it is taking so long, with no arrests but a lot of fluff in the air.
Heed rulers' call
Even the Conference of Rulers had raised concerns over this matter and wanted the case to be solved as soon as possible, but that was nearly two years ago. On 6 October 2015, the royal seal keeper Syed Daniel Syed Ahmad issued a statement on behalf of the Conference of Rulers urging the findings of the investigation to be reported so that public confidence in the government can be restored. There should be no cover up.
If within less than the span of one year, the DOJ had filed two civil suits to seize assets it claims had been bought using money allegedly originating from 1MDB, why are the Malaysian authorities still dragging their feet?
Why are all three parties - the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the AG's Chambers and the Royal Malaysian Police - not heeding the call by the Conference of Rulers?
Should the Conference of Rulers bring this matter up again at its next meeting? Would their call fall on deaf ears?
This is one thing I can never understand. All the documents are available from the DOJ, and since 1MDB belongs to the Ministry of Finance, both Apandi and Khalid should be able to access these documents for their investigations.
Why are they not doing what all Malaysians, young or old, rich or poor, have wanted them to do? Why is it that after the DOJ had revealed the purchase of the pink diamond necklace, did the authorities not carry out an investigation?
Why is the Malaysian flamboyant playboy, tycoon Jho Low not hauled up for a thorough investigation? This is a question I believe all Malaysians want to pose to Apandi, Khalid and MACC chief commissioner Dzulkifli Ahmad.

It will certainly not go well with the agencies that they are helming when the 1MDB scandal continues to haunt the country.

STEPHEN NG is an ordinary citizen with an avid interest in following political developments in the country since 2008. - Mkini

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