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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

UMNO OFFICIALLY TURNS INTO ROGUE PARTY: FEAR OF JAIL & 1MDB CULPABILITY AS NAJIB HAS GIVEN MAJORITY OF THEM STOLEN MONEY, WARLORDS DECIDE TO STAND BY HIM

SINGAPORE’s  tough action against individuals in several 1MDB-related court cases are of little consequence to the state investor, Umno leaders said.
They noted that all the actions taken so far in the republic were against Singaporeans or when Singaporean laws were broken. They said Singapore authorities were well within their rights to take action if they felt that their money-laundering laws had been flouted.
In Malaysia, however, authorities have concluded that no local laws were broken in transactions involving 1MDB. Therefore, it is only logical that no one has been charged with a crime here.
Leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin party even applauded Singapore’s prosecution of individuals involved in money-laundering linked to 1MDB, as long as it did not interfere with Malaysia’s laws.
Umno information chief Annuar Musa said Malaysians were confused as to why other countries were busy prosecuting crimes linked to 1MDB.
“When the Attorney-General (Mohamed Apandi Ali) said there was no case against 1MDB, it started a controversy and people started asking why the United States was taking action and Malaysia was not.
“This is about kleptocracy as it was not 1MDB that bought all those properties but the people who were accused. So let the US legal process take its course,” said Annuar, who is Ketereh MP.
He said the cases in Singapore were about the money flow while the US civil suits were about assets believed to have been bought with money from kleptocracy.
To illustrate this point, Annuar drew an analogy of a father giving his son money.
“If I give my son RM10, it is a normal transaction between father and son. But if my son buys drugs with the money and he is caught, then you cannot blame the father.”
Singapore is the first country to punish those guilty of wrongdoing in relation to 1MDB money. Last week, banker Yeo Jiawei, a wealth planner with BSI Singapore, was sentenced to four and half years in prison after he pleaded guilty to money-laundering and cheating.
Before Yeo, four bankers received jail sentences and fines for similar offences in Singaporean courts.
Singapore has also closed down the branches of two foreign banks for moving 1MDB-tainted money.
Singaporean prosecutors have also claimed that about US$1 billion (RM4.3 billion) of 1MDB funds meant for a joint-venture with Arab firm Petro Saudi International Ltd made its way into the bank accounts of Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.
Singapore’s latest conviction follows the third forfeiture suit filed by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), which is seeking to recover an additional US$540 million that had been allegedly stolen from 1MDB and used to buy prime real estate, art, a yacht, jewellery and more.
Singapore, the US, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Switzerland and Luxemburg have all started probes into how money allegedly misappropriated from 1MDB had flowed through their banks and used to buy properties, artwork and other assets.
‘No evidence’
Although Singaporean authorities have named Low as the person who allegedly siphoned money from 1MDB, Faisal Ismail Aziz of the Special Affairs Department (Jasa) in Malaysian said this had little bearing here.
This is because Malaysian authorities have found no evidence of money-laundering, said Faisal.
“In Malaysia, Bank Negara itself approved the money transfers, three times. And it was clear the money was for investment purposes.”
He, however, applauded the Singapore courts for their swift action while insisting that no Malaysian laws were broken in the 1MDB scandal.
This was because the cases in Singapore were about breaches to its banking and anti-money laundering laws, he said, adding that if 1MDB had been implicated, its officers would have been called to testify but this had yet to occur.
“The trials (in Singapore) involved Singaporeans, banks in Singapore and accounts in Singapore. It is not 1MDB’s responsibility.
“1MDB has no power. But these people should be punished as they should have managed money meant for investments properly. They should have invested properly instead of making investments that breached Singapore’s financial laws.”
The DoJ lawsuits implicate several Malaysians, including “Malaysia Official No. 1” (MO1), whom Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan has identified as Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Umno minister Nazri Aziz recently accused the DoJ of linking Najib to embezzlement of 1MDB funds despite a lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
He pointed out that if the DoJ had evidence, it would have instituted   legal action against Najib, as that was the way things were done in the US.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com/

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