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C4 wants to meet Bank Negara on WSJ claims

Published:  |  Modified:

The Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) has written to Bank Negara to seek a meeting to discuss the "suspicious" movement of US$700 million involving 1MDB funds.

"We are encouraged, upon learning that Bank Negara has begun a formal inquiry on June 3 into the debt-ridden 1MDB.

"The company's myriad problems have since snowballed into extremely worrying claims and alleged wrongdoing, requiring urgent intervention by key public institutions in this country," said the NGO.

C4 said Bank Negara's responsibilities include promoting stability in the financial sector, thus it looks upon the central bank as an independent voice that can shed light on the 1MDB fiasco.

Citing Bank Negara's website which states that public engagement is a top priority for the central bank, the group hoped its request for a meeting would be facilitated.

The letter was signed by C4 chairperson Simon Sipaun ( photo ) and directors Cynthia Gabriel, Ahmad Farouk Musa and Richard Yeoh. The letter was addressed to Bank Negara governor and chairperson Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

Transactions would have breached laws

Last Friday, Wall Street Journal in a report said nearly US$700 million was transferred into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts.

This information was uncovered by Malaysian investigators, WSJ reported, adding that it has sighted documents detailing the money trail, which involved 1MDB-linked companies.

Given the magnitude of the transaction, C4 said, if the allegations were true, then those named by WSJ could have breached Section 214 of the Financial Services Act 2013 and the Exchange Control Act 1953.

"As stated in Bank Negara's statements previously, all investments that exceed RM50 million per calendar year and any offshore borrowings that exceed RM100 million by resident entities require the central bank's approval.

"We would like to know if Bank Negara had adequately informed the relevant agencies, such as the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police, of suspicious transactions, and if investigations were already under way before the matter came to the public domain," C4 said in its letter.

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