Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The new AG must explain why the newly renamed taskforce will not be investigating 1MDB or its related companies

The new Attorney-General (AG), Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali announced yesterday that the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team (NRRET) is basically the new name for the previous special task force which was thought to be disbanded after the former Attorney General, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail was sacked.

"NRRET is not a new task force but is a rebranding of the previous special task force that has been in existence since 2011," the AG Chambers said in a statement.

However, what was shocking in the statement was the announcement that the "NRRET is not in any way involved with any investigations involving 1MDB and its related companies."

This is despite the AGC saying that the "aims of NRRET remain the same, which is to assist the government in dealing with evasion of custom duties and tax by individuals and corporate bodies, smuggling activities, misuse of subsidised goods, illegal outflow of funds, and acts of corruption".

Malaysians deserves the right to know why the investigations on 1MDB and its related companies which were carried out by the task force is stopped.

The Federal Minister responsible for Governance and Integrity, Datuk Paul Low had as late as 31 July 2015 denied that there were any attempts to “hamper the efforts of the Task Force to carry out its investigation”.

Datuk Paul Low had assured Malaysians that “uncovering the truth with regard to the various allegations directed at 1MDB is of utmost importance both in the interest of the government and the nation as a whole.”

Earlier on 16 July 2015, the Special Task Force had reiterated that it “will conduct the investigations in relation to the 1MDB case in a transparent, independent and professional manner”. The Special Task Force had asked “all parties will place its trust and confidence on them in conducting the investigations”.

The latest announcement by the AGC has made it clear to all Malaysians that the Executive is blatantly trying to stop all investigations into the RM42 billion scandal involving the Government’s wholly-owned subsidiary, 1MDB.

Despite all the outrightly false assurances given by Datuk Paul Low, who is a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, the Najib administration clearly believes that the shenanigans in 1MDB cannot see the light of day.

As a result, those who were involved in the direct transfer of US$1.2 billion from 1MDB to Good Star Limited, a company controlled by Low Taek Jho will never be charged.  The culprits behind the money laundering scam to mask US$260 million of 1MDB funds as foreign investment into Malaysia to acquire former Sarawak Chief Minister, Tun Taib Mahmud’s UBG Bhd will never be held accountable.

1MDB executives who falsified documents and accounts to Bank Negara, banks, and other authorities will never be punished for their crimes.  Those who overpaid for 1MDB’s power plant acquisitions in exchange for monetary contributions into the Prime Minister’s private company masked as corporate social responsibility will never be brought to book.

The 1MDB bailout which started this year amounting to billions of ringgit of tax-payers’ money and commitment, caused by billions of ringgit of losses will hence be able to continue unabated and unchallenged.

The failure to explain its inexplicable decision to stop all investigations into 1MDB will render the new AG a complete puppet of the Prime Minister, who is also the Finance Minister and the Chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisors.  His complicity in covering the single largest financial scandal in the country will also make him the worst and most irresponsible AG in the history of Malaysia less than 2 months into his term.

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