Anti-graft group hopes MACC chief’s ‘final gift’ will unravel 1MDB probe
An anti-graft activist has urged the outgoing chief of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission will come clean on its investigation into the 1MDB saga, following the joint probe it carried out with US agencies.
The Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4) director Cynthia Gabriel welcomed the report that the commission had extended its full cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) in its probe into the fund, resulting in the US Department of Justice’s move to forefeit some US$1 billion worth of assets linked to the state company.
MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim had then said the cooperation was based on the United Nations Anti Corruption Convention (UNCAC).
“In his last week in office as MACC chief, tell Malaysians all that is permissible and within his powers on recommendations to the Malaysian attorney-general on details of their investigations.
“That will be his best gift to Malaysians, a swan song, and a fitting tribute to the positive changes MACC has experienced with him at the helm,” said Cynthia.
Last Wednesday, US prosecutors in submitting its application to seize 1MDB assets, said over US$3.5 billion was diverted illegally from the company.
They also named Riza Aziz, stepson of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, of using some RM256 million from illegally obtained 1MDB funds to finance the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street”.
The document accusing Malaysian officials of illegal money transfers and high-level corruption however did not mention Najib by namem who set up 1MDB in 2009. Instead, it merely referred to a mysterious person using the phrase “Malaysian Official One”.
In announcing the move, FBIs International Corruption Unit chief Darryl Wegner had said MACC “showed tremendous courage in pursuing the investigation, which was led by the FBI’s international public corruption squad in New York”.
Cynthia said the US move was a prelude to more actions by Washington to show it was serious in thwarting cross border corruption, money laundering and financial crimes.
As such, she urged MACC and the police, two agencies involved in the Malaysian investigation of 1MDB before it was called off by the attorney-general (AG) Tan Sri Apandi Ali, to reopen the probe into allegations that Najib had received some RM2.6 billion from 1MDB-linked entities.
“We urge the MACC to open fresh investigations into this matter,” she said.
“It is truly disturbing that the Malaysian police and AG here are clearly failing Malaysians by trying to put a lid on the 1MDB investigations and leaving it to the US to recover our assets, and hunt down the kleptocratic corruptors involved in the 1MDB.”