KUALA LUMPUR: Bank Negara is prepared to reopen 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) case if new information surfaces.
Central bank governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim maintained that as of now, the institution has exhausted all investigations into 1MDB and taken the necessary actions against the scandal-plagued investment fund within its legal means.
“We have actually exhausted all investigations on this particular entity. As far as we are concerned, we have already taken the actions that we need to take against the entity,” Muhammad said.
“On whether we will reopen the case (against 1MDB) and look at a different angle, it will depend on (whether there is) new information or new data that we have not seen before,” he said.
Speaking to reporters at a briefing, Muhammad stressed that Bank Negara would “certainly look at the case against 1MDB again” if there is new information or evidence of wrongdoing by the fund. “If we get additional information – it doesn’t matter which party – we will take action,” he said.
He noted that Bank Negara had previously submitted all information and data on breaches by 1MDB that was not covered under the Central Bank’s laws to the relevant government agencies.
On whether Bank Negara faced any pressure from the previous regime under Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when investigating 1MDB, Muhammad said: “The fact that we have taken action against parties involved shows that, when looking at this matter, we were very objective.”
As for the amount of lost 1MDB funds that could be repatriated from overseas, Muhammad said the central bank had yet to obtain the necessary data to make the estimation.
“We are quite confident that under the new administration, when we deal with 1MDB and its entities, we will get more information and more transparent data.
“Once we get these data and information, we will be able to make an assessment on how much can be brought back,” Muhammad said.
Newly installed Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who led Pakatan Harapan to victory in the 14th general election last week, had said the new government would leave no stone unturned in bringing back funds illegally siphoned from 1MDB, a brainchild of Najib.
Bank Negara had previously said it had concluded its investigations on 1MDB in May 2016. 1MDB was slapped with a compound for failure to fully comply with directives issued under the Financial Services Act 2013.
These included requirements for the fund to repatriate monies remitted abroad following the revocations of the three permissions granted by Bank Negara to it in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and failure to provide evidence to justify its inability to fully comply with the repatriation order.
1MDB reportedly paid about RM16mil for this breach.
Separately, Bank Negara slapped AmBank with a fine of RM53.7mil in November 2015 for not following procedures when dealing with the remittance of funds overseas pertaining to a bond for 1MDB.
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