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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Stealing money is a crime, Muhyiddin reminds AG over DOJ

Attorney-general (AG) Mohamed Apandi Ali has been slammed for his inaction over the 1DMB scandal following the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed another forfeiture suit with damning revelations related to the Finance Ministry sovereign fund.
“Perhaps the AG should review the various texts of the law, to see that stealing money is a criminal offence.
“I am astonished how the AG's Chambers as an institution that ought to protect the nation's interest is incapacitated to act from the legal point of view, when the DOJ has already filed suits to seize assets that were obtained from money (claimed) to be stolen from 1MDB?
“If money had been stolen, then surely there are people who have done the stealing,” said Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin in a statement today.
Yesterday Apandi responded to the DOJ's latest suit saying, "1MDB [...] has been the subject of multiple investigations within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), auditor-general and the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC).
"After review, we found that no crime was committed.”
Apandi also expressed concern over the DOJ's "insinuations" regarding Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
The DOJ on Thursday night announced its most significant milestone, since July 21 last year, when US investigators first went public on the 1MDB scandal and declared that Malaysians had been defrauded on an enormous scale.
At that time, US investigators said more than US$3 billion was allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB and sought to seize around US$1 billion in ill-gotten assets.
In the third and latest filing last night, the DOJ now puts the allegedly misappropriated figure at US$4.5 billion and is seeking to seize US$1.7 billion in assets, purportedly acquired using funds stolen from 1MDB.
Muhyiddin said the DOJ's actions shows its determination to fight the crime of money laundering and said he believed action would be taken against individuals involved in the acts would be taken following the suits.
“Unfortunately, the AG who has full powers to charge any individuals involved in committing a crime hasn't taken any action against those who have been clearly identified (by the DOJ) to have stolen 1MDB money, including 'Malaysian Official 1',” he said.
“Instead, the AG shameless continues to make statements that his department has not found any crime committed in relation to the 1MDB case.”
Money meant for rakyat
The former deputy prime minister, who was sacked at the height of a special task force probe into 1MDB allegations, said he could not imagine how Najib could stand tall as the country's prime minister after the DOJ's revelations.
“It is most shameful,” he said, to be led by such a character.
“I cannot picture how a prim e minister who has absolute power over 1MDB could allow billions of ringgit to be stolen from a government-owned company.
“Money that is supposed to be used for the benefit of the people have instead been diverted for personal use, for close friends and family members […].” he said.

He said the funds said to have been lost amounting to RM20 billion could have been used to build 500 schools or 800 clinics.
“However, because of untrustworthy leaders, the people cannot enjoy such benefits.
“In fact, the people are forced to bear the burden by paying taxes to cover government's expenditure.”

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