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Friday, June 30, 2017

NAJIB’S MALICIOUS MOVE ON DR M BACKFIRES: MORE MALAYSIANS BELIEVE 1MDB, NOT FOREX SCANDAL NEEDS ROYAL INQUIRY

MORE Malaysians want a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), rather than the Bank Negara foreign exchange losses incurred in the early 90s during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s administration.
A week ago, the Cabinet decided that a RCI would be formed to investigate the Bank Negara foreign exchange losses prompting opposition and civil society leaders to slam the decision as a witch hunt targetting Dr Mahathir.
Interest into 1MDB was reignited recently after the US Department of Justice (DoJ) filed a civil action to begin seizing assets worth US$540 million (RM2.3 billion), believed to have been purchased using money siphoned from 1MDB.
The DoJ is pursuing three forfeiture suits to seize property, artwork and financial assets allegedly bought with stolen 1MDB money.
Kuala Lumpur resident Mizan Kamaruddin, 22, said that 1MDB should be investigated first.
“1MDB is more recent, right? Wouldn’t it be more efficient if the investigations were to be focused on 1MDB first?” he told The Malaysian Insight at Times Square, Kuala Lumpur.
Mizan said that many people do not know about the BNM forex scandal as it happened so long ago and it is better for the authorities to focus on what they know first, rather than raking up the past.
“Just look at the effects of 1MDB now. Our (Malaysian) currency has plummeted. The more it drops, the more people will suffer,” said Mizan.
Hotel management student Azwan Ismail, 21, agreed with Mizan.
“In the last five years, there have been a lot of issues and reports on 1MDB, so I think it’s only right that a RCI investigate that first. Who knows what will happen in the next 20 years,” he said when met at Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Hari Raya open house in Putrajaya.
Azwan believed it was not necessary to set up 1MDB, as the country had enough wealth management institutions to help develop the country.
“We also want to know, exactly what the function of 1MDB is? There must be some explanation. Is there a cover up on the matter?” he said.
Figo Chin Wen Hui, 24 said his generation did not know much about the BNM forex scandal until recently.
“It is not for us to choose which scandal deserves a RCI but since I’ve read more about the 1MDB issue, I think it deserves an investigation ahead of the other one,” said Chin when met at MidValley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur.
He added that the forex scandal does not have a direct impact now as it happened so long ago, but the recent 1MDB affair has affected the quality of life by making things more expensive.
Penang-based blogger Zainulfaqar Yaacob said it is more important to probe 1MDB now than a forex scandal from over 30 years ago.
“The forex scandal was an investment mistake. 1MDB has to do with allegations that public funds were stolen from Malaysia. Both are different scandals.
“The federal government should have been quicker in forming a RCI to invest stolen public funds than the forex losses from 30 years ago,” said the 34-year-old.
For Hadi Khalid, 1MDB is more pertinent as the other issue had been tabled in Parliament before.
Hadi, 34, a translator from Gombak, said BNM’s forex losses can be re-investigated, but if was to choose between the two, he would prefer that the 1MDB scandal be investigated.
“The forex issue had been tabled in parliament previously. As for 1MDB, we can’t even ask about it in Parliament, even though the issue is being investigated in at least nine countries.
“Malaysia is the only country that has closed all its investigation papers, and no one has been charged. We still do not know the extent of the scandal.”
He said guilty parties involved in the BNM forex scandal, which he terms as a result of incompetency, should not be let off the hook, but said that the 1MDB controversy involved accusations of “robbery”.
“The forex issue was about the government’s mistakes in speculating on international currency, it’s about incompetency that caused the losses, not robbery.”
S. Mageswaran, 58 from Rawang, said not only should both scandals be investigated, but other controversies like the MaMinco scandal in the 1980s should also be probed.
“Setting up RCIs for 1MDB and BNM is not enough. We are not short on Malaysian money scandals. Just look at Maminco, people are already sick and tired of all these scandals.
“There’s no point saying the prime minister is right or wrong. I want to know where all the money has gone to and how the government is going to prevent things like 1MDB from happening again.
“If not, the many RCIs we set up or lawsuits filed, will never bring an end to the money scandals,” he told The Malaysian Insight.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com

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