PETALING JAYA: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang has characterised the inclusion of the alleged 1MDB scandal in a list of investigations by the Swiss Attorney-General’s office in its annual report for 2016 as a “national shame” for Malaysia.
“What a national shame that Malaysia should be berated by another foreign country and included in the ranks of international corruption scandals,” he said in a statement today.
“When major national institutions go ‘rogue’ and refuse to perform their key fundamental functions, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region must stand up to unite as patriotic Malaysians to Save Malaysia from becoming a ‘rogue state’,” he added.
The Gelang Patah MP was reacting to a statement by Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber that a money laundering investigation into sovereign wealth fund 1MDB was making progress despite Malaysian authorities’ refusal to cooperate.
Reuters reported Lauber as saying that his office’s initiative in combing through money laundering reports and bank documents with help from Singapore, Luxembourg and the United States was bearing fruit.
“It’s not hopeless, in fact it’s the opposite,” Lauber was quoted as saying when presenting the report in Bern.
“We’re still confident we can successfully conclude the process… in particular the open cases against the two banks,” Lauber had said, referring to Swiss private banks BSI and Falcon.
He however, stressed that it would have been “very desirable from our perspective” if Malaysia had cooperated.
Lauber also outlined other investigations that his office was undertaking, including the ones on Brazil’s oil firm Petrobras, on personnel attached to world football body FIFA and on tracking of terrorist financing.
Lim asked if Malaysian Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali would resign if the Swiss investigations “bear fruit”, despite his “rebuffing” of Switzerland’s request for legal assistance.
He said this was not an isolated case of key national institutions and principal officials in Malaysia abdicating from their key fundamental responsibilities.
Lim cited this as a reason behind former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is now chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), telling a forum last night that the country would see better progress without Apandi as attorney-general.
Lim said the upcoming 60th National Day celebrations on Aug 31 should be an occasion for patriotic Malaysians to unite to “re-set nation-building directions and policies” to ensure that the promises and dreams of Merdeka in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963 are brought back in national policies and programmes. – FMT