MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Saturday, January 30, 2016

Do nothing about 1MDB and risk M’sia being pariah state, warns Zaid

Go ahead and do nothing about the 1MDB scandal if Malaysia wants to be seen by the world as a pariah state, former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim said today.
“If the Malaysian government wants to be seen by the world as a pariah state, as a state that condones criminal acts, then they will do nothing.
“(But) if they want to be part of a civilised world community which respects the rule of law, then they must comply and oblige and give all the information to the Swiss authorities, there’s just no two ways about it,” Zaid told reporters this morning when met at the launch of ZI Publication's latest book, ‘Liberating the Malay Mind’ by US-based surgeon Dr M Bakri Musa.
The veteran politician was asked to comment on an official request from Switzerland authorities for help with his probe into possible violations of Swiss law by the state-owned fund 1MDB.
Reuters quoted the office of Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber who said the request pertained to possible violations of Swiss laws related to bribery of foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money-laundering, and criminal mismanagement at 1MDB.
The suspected misappropriations reportedly amounted to about US$4 billion (RM16.6 billion).
Earlier this week, attorney-general Apandi Ali had cleared Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of any criminal offences or corruption linked to 1MDB, declaring that US$681 million deposited into his personal bank account was a gift from Saudi Arabia’s royal family.
'Onus not just on AG'
Commenting further, Zaid said the onus now not only lies with Apandi, but also the entire cabinet.
"This is about the whole country... The cabinet can direct the AG (to offer assistance to Swiss investigators)," he noted.
“The Malaysian cabinet must decide: do they want to be a pariah state, or do they want to be part of the international community?
"If they don't, Malaysians would be ashamed," he said.
Zaid, meanwhile, also took a swipe at Apandi - who insisted that he has the final say on deciding whether to press charges against Najib, despite recommendations from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).
"People always think the AG has a lot of power, (which) he doesn't have. He flexes his muscles (but) he does not have the power.
"He does not have the power to close the first task force, he does not have the power to instruct the MACC, he doesn't have any of these powers," said Zaid, in reference to the initial joint task force set up under Apandi's predecessor Abdul Gani Patail to investigate the allegations.
Apandi was appointed to succeed Abdul Gani in July last year, and the MACC on Aug 5 claimed he had said the special task force was "no longer needed".
Last October, Apandi, however, contradicted the MACC and said the special task force was never dissolved or disbanded.
In insisting that Apandi could have reviewed his decision following public outcry, Zaid said: "We know why he does not want to review it."
It was recently confirmed that Apandi has been appointed as a board member of pilgrimage fund Lembaga Tabung Haji, and veteran newsman A Kadir Jasin - among others - had questioned the timing in light of his decision. -Mkini

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