KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 – The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) revealed today that it rejected Bank Negara Malaysia’s (BNM) recommendations for action against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) twice after finding no wrongdoing committed by any of the state-owned firm’s officials.
In a statement, the AGC said BNM first submitted its investigation papers on August 21 and that upon studying the bank’s findings, it found that no further action was necessary.
The papers were subsequently returned to BNM on September 11, and the decision communicated to the bank the same day, it said.
On October 1, however, the AGC said BNM issued a letter of request, seeking a review of the decision.
“Having considered the request and the fact that there was no new evidence made available, the Attorney General decided to maintain the decision made earlier,” the AGC said.
It added that news reports between September 12 and today claiming BNM’s investigation papers are still in the AGC’s hands are “inaccurate and not true”.
In early June, Bank Negara announced that it had launched a formal inquiry on 1MDB’s activities to establish if there were any contraventions to the country’s financial rules and regulations.
According to the AGC today, the bank’s probe on 1MDB was for an offence under paragraph (4)(b) of Part 1 of the Fifth Schedule to the Exchange Control Act 1953 namely, “knowingly or recklessly making a statement which is false in a material particular”.
The AGC also responded today to the Conference of Malay Rulers’ call to expedite 1MDB investigations and for the culprits to be brought to book, saying that all ongoing probes into the firm’s troubled financials have never at any time been halted or hindered, despite claims otherwise in the media.
“The Attorney General has been constantly monitoring and giving instructions to the relevant agencies whenever the investigations were referred to the AGC, including instructions to expedite investigations.
“As of today the Royal Malaysia Police (RMP) and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) have not completed their investigations as some key witnesses’ statements have yet to be recorded,” the AGC said.
In its statement Tuesday, the Conference of Malay Rulers directed Putrajaya to ensure that 1MDB is comprehensively investigated and for those found guilty of wrongdoing to be punished.
In the statement issued by the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad, the rulers also said that investigations must be made public in order to show that nothing was being hidden in the probe on the state-owned investment firm.
Improper handling of the 1MDB controversy and related investigations could also affect the economy and even threaten national security, the rulers added.