Despite the latest bombshell brought by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Corporation (MACC) on the involvement of former Malaysia’s Central Bank (BNM) Governor, Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family on receiving 1MDB funds, the prevalent silence is deafening.
On Friday (19 Nov), MACC in a statement confirmed that Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) had helped in the return of US$15.4mil (RM65.71mil) of 1MDB-linked funds recently from Cutting Edge Industries Ltd which belongs to Zeti’s husband, Tawfiq Ayman and Samuel Goh. The latter is former head of agency distribution at NTUC Income and a key prosecution witness in the trial of former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei, who said during the trial 07 Nov that he received more than US$4 million for his role as Yeo’s partner in kickback deals linked to 1MDB.
However, things will most likely heat up soon after the former Prime Minister, Najib Razak, lodged a police report on Saturday (27 Nov) following MACC’s statement confirming the involvement of Zeti’s husband.
In a media statement which he read outside the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters, he urged the police to investigate if there were deliberate attempts to conceal material evidence regarding money transactions related to his 1MDB and SRC International cases during Malaysia’s seventh premier Mahathir Mohamad-led Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.
He added that the investigation should focus on current and former key individuals in the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) and the MACC.
Malaysian Key Opposition Lawmakers Go Deaf And Dumb On Zeti
Previously, the only noise you could hear is those that came from Najib Razak and his supporters to probe Zeti.
Today, although the noise to probe the once-respected Central Bank governor and her family is getting increasingly louder from certain opposition lawmakers, the legal fraternity, the media as well as the international organisations, the core opposition leaders who once hailed Zeti as a star still remain quiet.
Mahathir, for instance, never failed to paint Najib as guilty even before his trials, yet remain silent when evidence on Zeti’s family emerged. Instead, he goes adding on how Najib plundered the nation even though despite this COVID-19 pandemic and the economic downturn, the people were given aid which were proven to be the wealth leftovers of Najib’s administration. Interestingly, Mahathir’s supporters are now turning their backs on him and even questioning if he has gone senile.
Not to mention the deafening silence from Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) father and son duo, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng. Guan Eng once said he believes Zeti is innocent and “trust” her more than anyone else. Kit Siang on the other hand is more concerned if Najib becomes the 10th prime minister of Malaysia. Not even a day passed that Kit Siang stops talking about Najib. Kit Siang’s supporters have started questioning him on his obsession with Najib instead of talking about other crucial issues which should be beneficial for the people.
The majority of Malaysians, in fact even from other parts of the world, have started questioning the silence from the very same people who were once vocal about the 1MDB saga even though more evidence is emerging which might be able to prove a conspiracy did exist to topple Najib’s administration.
According to documents and correspondences sighted by The Edge, the CAD had in 2015 and 2016 shared information with BNM about suspicious transactions involving Iron Rhapsody Ltd, which had a bank account at UBS in Singapore. Tawfiq and a son are beneficial owners of Iron Rhapsody, according to CAD.
Although the bank account by itself was not the issue here, the inflows of money which entered into the account that triggered the suspicious transaction report (STR) alerts was the concern.
These transactions took place in 2008 and 2009 and the STR alerts were flagged to BNM only in 2015 and 2016 by CAD, after investigators there, together with those in Malaysia, Switzerland and the US, launched probes into the theft and laundering of billions of dollars that belonged to 1MDB.
What shocks the most is, this STR was swept under the carpet by BNM while the 1MDB investigations were still ongoing. Zeti was still Bank Negara governor in 2015 and retired only in April 2016.
The million-dollar question here is, who was BNM trying to protect if not Zeti’s family?
This has raised eyebrows to many on how much Zeti knew about the bank account in Singapore that belonged to her husband Tawfiq and son.
Probably quite a bit.
The Edge has reported in detail the entire hidden transactions by BNM under Zeti, thus questioning her credibility. She also happens to be a prosecution witness in Najib’s 1MDB trial, but the prosecution have yet to call her to the stand.
Shocking Revelation of Former AG And De Facto Law Minister in Parliament
Mahathir appointed AG, Tommy Thomas, had said recently that he was aware of transactions involving Zeti’s family during his time in office.
But Tommy washed his hands saying the investigations were not completed during his tenure and he did not have “enough time” to look into that matter.
Media reports quoted Tommy as saying that when he was in office, he decided to prosecute only “winnable” cases.
The disclosure of the de facto law minister Wan Junaidi Wan Jaafar in the Malaysian Parliament was shocking too.
To a question raised by Umno lawmaker Azeez Rahim on Zeti’s case revealed by MACC, Wan Junaidi officially replied in parliament on Monday (22 Nov) that the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM) only knew about Zeti’s husband being paid close to RM700 million by fugitive businessman Jho Teik Low or Jho Low in the year 2019 and it is still under probe.
This disclosure by Wan Junaidi raised questions as to why the investigations are taking so long as Singapore’s CAD had given enough material evidence.
Three years for PDRM to investigate such a high-profile case has indeed questioned the organisation’s credibility.
Meanwhile, questions have risen whether Mahathir appointed the right people to assist his administration or just to fulfil his vengeance on Najib. Apparently, the appointment of individuals to helm enforcement agencies and prosecutors such as in PDRM, MACC and AG chambers by Mahathir raises a lot of doubts.
Hamid Bador, a known Mahathir loyalist was appointed as Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in May 2019. In Aug 2015, Abdul Hamid was removed from his post as deputy director (I) of the Special Branch and transferred to the Prime Ministers Department (PMD) after having served in the PDRM for 37 years. He was supposed to helm a newly created ‘Security and Transnational’ division at the PMD.
However, he created a controversy by refusing to clock in and suggesting that it was part of a cover-up into the investigations of the 1MDB, alleging that his transfer was the consequence of publicly showing support towards Mahathir. He insisted that he will not back down from criticising 1MDB.
It is not known until now if Hamid took a mandatory retirement or went on absence without official leave before he was roped into PDRM after Pakatan Harapan came into power.
Upon his appointment as the IGP, he promised to bring back Jho Low to Malaysia and prosecute him but later made mockery statements such as claiming Jho Low was nowhere to be found perhaps might have changed his looks to that of a bear.
Another controversial figure was the appointment of India-born Latheefa Bibi Koya from Kerala, who is a member of the People’s Justice Party (PKR) to helm MACC as the chief commissioner on a two-year contract effective June 2019 by Mahathir.
She subsequently quit her party after receiving criticism from Malaysians to avoid conflict of interest. Latheefa was another of Najib’s critics before the fall of his administration.
The former human rights activist created headlines when she announced that the MACC had filed civil forfeiture suits against 41 entities amounting to RM270 million allegedly related to the MDB.
The largest sum amounting to RM212 million was attributed to the aggregate sum received by the various state branches of Umno which was eventually struck out by the Malaysian courts due to lack of evidence produced by prosecutors.
But all three heads of vital departments did not do a thorough investigation on Zeti’s family on their involvement in the 1MDB saga.
Although it was reported that Tawfiq had previously been questioned by police in connection with 1MDB funds, there has been no update on the probe to date.
The height of hypocrisy in Mahathir’s administration from 2018 – 2020 is obvious.
Despite knowing Zeti’s family laundered money and was under investigation, she was still appointed as the Group Chairman of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), appointed the Chairman of Sime Darby Property and more disgraceful, she was made one of the members of the Council of Eminence Persons (CEP) to serves as advisors to the then PH government.
Let’s connect the dots now. Was the 1MDB scandal investigated fairly or did the investigators have only one person in mind to nail?
It looks like there’s more than meets the eye in this 1MDB saga, it looks more towards a conspiracy created to pin Najib Razak.
So, Najib’s verdict for his SRC’s conviction from the Court of Appeal is due on 08 Dec. Will it be fair if the Appeals Court upholds the High Court’s verdict?
It is also interesting to see what the sitting premier Ismail Sabri will act in the light of the latest evidence against Zeti and Co. The country and the world await. – New Malaysia Herald