The announcement by the Bank Negara governor Datuk Muhammad Ibrahim that Bank Negara has closed its case against 1MDB, at a time when global monetary watch-dogs as in Singapore and Switzerland have just started to take action against money-laundering and other corruption offences related to 1MDB, is the first black mark for the new Bank Negara chief.
Where is Bank Negara’s much touted transparency and accountability when it refuses to reveal what was the compound fine which had been paid in full by 1MDB for failing to comply with Bank Negara directives issued under the Financial Services Act 2013 which, among others, include a requirement for 1MDB to repatriate US$1.8 billion (about RM7.76 billion) of its funds remitted abroad following the revocation of the three permissions granted by Bank Negara to 1MDB in 2009, 2010 and 2011.
Why is Bank Negara keeping its compound fines on 1MDB secret, when everybody knows that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) had imposed a fine of S$13.3 million on the Singapore branch of BSI for 41 breaches of its requirements while the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) had ordered the “disgorgement” of “illegally generated profits” of US$95.6 million from BSI, apart from the separate orders of the Singapore and Swiss financial authorities for the closure of the Singapore branch of BSI and the 143-year-old mother bank in Switzerland?
Was the compound fine imposed by Bank Negara on 1MDB RM10,000, RM100,000, RM1 million, RM10 million, RM100 million or more?
Surely, the Malaysian people are entitled to know from Bank Negara what is this compound fine?
Furthermore, as a fully-owned government company, Malaysians are also entitled to know from 1MDB, the Finance Ministry and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak what is the compound fine 1MDB had to pay Bank Negara, as this payment had to be borne by the Malaysian taxpayers – whether it is RM10,000, RM100,000, RM1 million, RM10 million, RM100 million or more?
Furthermore, Malaysian taxpayers are entitled to know why this Bank Negara fine should not be surcharged to those responsible for the shocking mismanagement and criminal breaches of trust in 1MDB, whether the Finance Minister, or the Prime Minister by virtue of Article 117 of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of 1MDB, the 1MDB Board of Directors or the principal officers of 1MDB management?
In fact, a conscientious and responsible Public Accounts Committee (PAC) after its far-from-satisfactory report on the 1MDB scandal, which only touched on the “tip of the iceberg” of the 1MDB global scandal, should meet in urgent session to consider the question of imposition of a surcharge of the Bank Negara compound fine – whether RM10,000, RM100,000, RM1 million, RM10 million, RM100 million or more – on the individuals who must bear full personal responsibilities for the 1MDB breaches of Bank Negara requirements.
Instead, we have a “cari makan” PAC Chairman who is avoiding not only PAC but even Parliament after being involved in a conspiracy to tamper unilaterally and arbitrarily with the PAC Report on the 1MDB, which was presented to Parliament on April 7.
Despite promises by Datuk Hasan Arifin, the PAC Chairman, to explain his unilateral and arbitrary tampering with the PAC Report during the two-week meeting of Dewan Rakyat, he seems to have disappeared into thin air.
Hasan has yet to show the mysterious Bank Negara letter of April 6 on the equally mysterious company, Good Star Limited, to other members of the PAC.
Has Bank Negara given a new deadline for 1MDB to repatriate RM7.76 billion of its funds remitted abroad or does the payment of the compound fine by 1MDB means that 1MDB need not bring back RM7.76 billion of its funds remitted illegally abroad?
I expect an immediate and prompt response from the new Bank Negara governor.