Mahathir warns BNM against 1MDB cover-up

Modified 28 May 2015, 12:55 pm

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned Bank Negara against covering up for debt-ridden 1MDB.

Mahathir said doing so would expose the central bank to criminal prosecution.

He was responding to Bank Negara governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz ( photo ) who on Tuesday confirmed receiving reports from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on 1MDB but refused to divulge details.

"On Bank Negara's refusal to give information about the report made by MAS in Singapore, if it is found to be shielding lies about 1MDB's cash which is said to be in Singapore, it is also a crime under the country's criminal law," Mahathir said in a blog posting today.

The report is over 1MDB's alleged deposit of US$1.103 billion in BSI Singapore, which is now the subject of confusion.

Malaysiakini has contacted Bank Negara on the matter and is awaiting its response.

Cash, assets or units?

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak in a Parliamentary written reply on March 10 said the amount had been fully redeemed in the form of cash from the Cayman Islands and is now kept at BSI Bank Limited Singapore.

However, on May 20, Najib, who is also Finance Minister, changed his answer stating there is no cash in BSI Singapore, but merely " assets in US dollars ".

This became even more baffling when Finance Minister II Husni Hanadzlah clarified the assets were in fact in the form of "units" but refused to explain what he meant by that.

Bank Negara has remained mum to date, insisting that it cannot comment on individual entities.

Mahathir said he is puzzled by the refusal of government authorities to act on what he said is the "disappearance" of 1MDB's funds.

"Instead, someone who made a police report (against 1MDB) is made a bankrupt," said Mahathir, in reference to sacked Batu Kawan Umno division vice chairperson, Khairuddin Abu Hassan.

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