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Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Why the silence on bankers’ links to 1MDB, says Anwar

 

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has questioned the silence about former Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz and former CIMB chairman Nazir Razak.

PETALING JAYA: Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has expressed concern over the lack of effort by the government to boost public confidence in national financial institutions following the involvement of several high-ranking bankers in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal investigations.

He said investors and domestic and international banking institutions alike were doubting Malaysia’s reputation and capabilities as a result of these recent reports.

“This will bring negative effects to our economy that is already being crippled by the actions of the Perikatan Nasional government,” he said in a statement today.

Anwar said Bank Negara Malaysia has yet to give an explanation over the alleged involvement of former governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz in the 1MDB scandal.

Her husband, Tawfiq Ayman, was recently in the news as being investigated for money laundering by allegedly transferring funds from accounts linked to fugitive Jho Low into a Singapore bank account.

Anwar also noted recent reports of a settlement involving AMMB Holdings Bhd which has agreed to a RM2.83 billion global settlement on all outstanding claims and actions in relation to the AmBank Group’s involvement in 1MDB.

“Until today, the rakyat is still in the dark about AmBank’s offences in the 1MDB case,” Anwar said.

He also said a high-ranking banker who was involved in 1MDB, Nazir Razak, had been appointed as chairman of Bank Pembangunan, which comes under the finance ministry.

Nazir, a brother of former prime minister Najib Razak, was formerly chairman of CIMB group. Last year he was among 80 people and entities served compound notices by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to recover RM420 million of 1MDB funds.

Anwar said Nazir was also seeking to acquire shares in AmBank’s fundraising exercise through a private equity firm in Singapore, after the bank announced through its bourse filing that it was aiming to raise about RM810 million through a private placement.

Anwar said, following this, the public wanted to know whether or not Bank Negara had carried out due diligence to ensure that the transaction was made according to strict and ethical guidelines. - FMT

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