May 28, 2015 by Suara Kebenaran
PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad today raised a suspicion that Bank Negara may be involved in a conspiracy to lie about 1MDB’s assets allegedly kept in Singapore.
In a blog posting today, he referred to Bank Negara’s refusal to reveal the contents of a report from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) about 1MDB’s account in BSI Bank.
He warned that the central bank would be committing a crime under Malaysian laws if it was “concealing lies about 1MDB money said to be kept in Singapore”.
On Tuesday, Bank Negara Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz cited confidentiality for refusing to divulge details of the MAS report. Malaysiakini quoted her as saying she feared losing the confidence of the international community if she released the information.
Mahathir, expressing scepticism about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s replies in Parliament about the 1MDB account, said he must bear the full burden of responsibility if they turned out to be false.
Referring to Najib’s statement that US$1 billion was kept in Singapore instead of Malaysia because of Bank Negara’s strict ruling on large withdrawals, he said:
“As far as I know, banks are required to query transactions exceeding RM50,000. If there’s no involvement in money laundering, there should be no problem.
“The question that arises is whether 1MDB, with the knowledge of its advisers, was forced to keep the funds it redeemed from the Cayman Islands in Singapore because it was involved in money laundering.
“Singapore also strictly monitors funds entering and leaving its shores to ensure that money laundering does not occur. Wasn’t 1MDB aware of MAS regulations?
“Or did 1MDB intend to lie about money being kept in Singapore?”
He asked whether 1MDB had intended to lie about keeping money in Singapore. He asked whether there was any such money or whether it had vanished.
“If there’s no proof that the money is in Singapore, then the officers who prepared the answers on the issue for Parliament and the Minister who delivered the answer were both lying,” he said.
He said it wasn’t right that those involved in wrongdoing were not investigated and instead those who lodged police reports on the matter had been made to suffer. He cited a case in which one whistleblower had bankruptcy action taken against him. “Ironically, this particular person was accused of money laundering and financing terrorist activities,” he said.
Mahathir also complained that when ministers live beyond their means, they are not investigated by the Inland Revenue Department (IRD). However, the same department is quick to act when it involves ordinary civil servants.
“Everyone is equal under the law,” he said. “There should be no favouritism under the law.”