Malaysia rises in illegal money chart, RM150b lost in 2009

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 15, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 15 — Malaysia lost RM150 billion in illicit outflows in 2009, the fourth highest in the developing world, says US-based watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI).

According to its report on illicit financial flows from developing countries released today, Malaysia lost a total of US$338 billion (RM1.08 trillion) over the first decade of the century.

“This report should be a wake-up call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflows,” GFI director Raymond Baker said in a press release.

GFI had reported in January that RM930 billion flowed out of Malaysia from 2000 to 2008, growing to RM218 billion per year from an initial RM71 billion in that period.

It said the increase was “at a scale seen in few Asian countries.”

“The volume of illegal capital flight from Malaysia has come to dwarf legitimate capital inflows into the country in recent years,” it said earlier this year.

Today’s report titled “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries Over the Decade Ending 2009” sees Malaysia maintaining its fifth place in the world in terms of total illicit outflows since the turn of the century.

In March, Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz said the Money Business Services Act would be tabled this year to enable the central bank to address the outflow of funds from the country.

The Act came into force on December 1.

The new law supports the development of a more dynamic, competitive and professional money services business industry, while strengthening safeguards against money laundering, terrorist financing and illegal activities, according to Bank Negara.

It said the new law introduces strengthened prudential requirements, focusing particularly on ensuring the effective oversight and control of the conduct and operations of licensed entities to safeguard the integrity of, and confidence in the money services business industry.

The GFI report, penned by economists Sarah Freitas and Dev Kar, a former senior economist at the International Monetary Fund, saw China maintain its position at the top with US$2.5 trillion in illegal outflows.

Malaysia’s closest-ranked regional neighbour was the Philippines, in 13th spot at US$121 billion.

Others like Zimbabwe (79th) and Myanmar (83rd) recorded US$3.9 billion and US$3.05 billion respectively in the list of 116 countries that GFI had full data on.

The Finance Ministry had said early this year that Bank Negara was probing the matter.

But the central bank has yet to make any statement on the progress of its investigations despite GFI offering its assistance.

  1. #1 by Godfather on Thursday, 15 December 2011 - 8:07 pm

    Just take a look at the accumulated wealth of the Taib Mahmud family, and you will understand the magnitude of the outflows. Cintanegara is still smoking his joint under his rambutan tree, totally oblivious to the truckloads of cash disappearing into the horizon.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Thursday, 15 December 2011 - 8:09 pm

    The news isn’t all bad. I have always said that this country needs to go bankrupt first before the people will rise up against the plunderers. Malaysian Spring at Dataran Merdeka may occur earlier than I thought it would.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Thursday, 15 December 2011 - 11:47 pm

    Former French President, Jacques Chirac, convicted of corruption/graft.

    NJ governor convicted of graft.

    Malaysia – billions lost, siphoned, slushed… convictions. How can?

    Time to convict some ex-PMs, MBs, present and ex- too and lots of ministers, lots and lots of ministers. Would Ling Liong Sik be convicted or not? Hmmmmmm……..?

  4. #4 by Cinapek on Thursday, 15 December 2011 - 11:47 pm

    “This report should be a wake-up call to world leaders that more must be done to address these harmful outflows,” GFI director Raymond Baker said in a press release.

    Mr Baker must either be very naive or he is being too diplomatic. The “leaders” are the biggest culprits of siphoning their ill gotten gains out of the country – at least that is what is happening in Malaysia. Look at the latest NFC scandal. Look at Taib’s massive wealth parked in UK, Australia, US and Canada.

  5. #5 by yhsiew on Friday, 16 December 2011 - 7:50 am

    Insiders job or loop holes in the law which allow illicit money to be transferred overseas are to be suspected.

  6. #6 by undertaker888 on Friday, 16 December 2011 - 7:58 am

    Bank negara is also run by umno. Do you think zeti does not know about this? Do they need GFI to tell them this? This is one of the most corrupted govt in the world. And like most corrupted countries, they will fall like Marcos, saddam and gadafi.

  7. #7 by dagen on Friday, 16 December 2011 - 9:26 am

    Insider’s job? Loopholes in the law? Nah. None of that yhsiew. Umnoputras do not need any of these. They can and are in fact quite open about their conducts. After all it is their ketuanan right to take our money to buy luxury properties anywhere in the world. Look at the mamak woman and look at how ferociously umno backed her up. No problemo man. In need of a billion for an private jet and a luxury yatch? If you are umnoputras then OK. Can do. Just dig around for a multibillion ringgit umno project. Get the letter of award issued to you and then pronounce the project a major success during launch. After that when the money gets into your account it becomes yours to spend, according to umno. You see the umno logic is this: Once it gets into your account it becomes your personal money. It is like yours and that in umno’s logic, is as good as your own money. Easy mate so no wucking forries. In this beautiful country umnoputras are actually able to pluck money from the sky – almost literally.

  8. #8 by dagen on Friday, 16 December 2011 - 9:42 am

    Probe by BNM? All probes will lead to umno.

  9. #9 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Friday, 16 December 2011 - 10:59 pm

    Hello Pak Lah, what happened to your Islam Hadhari?

    How can so much corruption slip thru your ustaz-like administration?

    Can you please speak up and defend or forever bear the shame of your mismanangement?

  10. #10 by PoliticoKat on Sunday, 18 December 2011 - 12:04 am

    We are only number 5?

    How can? UMNO has to work harder so that Malaysia can dominate this chart too!

    Malaysia BOLEH!!!!

    Come on, UMNOputra work harder!! I am sure if you put your mind to it we can beat China.

    Just add an extra zero to every number you can think off. And don’t be worried about trying to hide, Malaysian are really stupid and quite forgiving.

    Just laugh a little and say ‘My bad.’ and continue on your way.

    If moving the money is too much hard work, remember the world is electronic now. Only one click of the button.

    And once you have taken your hundreds of billions, you can challenge Bill Gate to be the riches person on the planet! Great isn’t it? Riches person on the planet is Malaysian and it was all done by donations from hard working Malaysians.

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