A new task force, dubbed the National Revenue Recovery Enforcement Team (NRRET), has been set up by the Attorney-General's (AG) Chambers to probe 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
It raises the question if this is the new entity to replace the special task force on 1MDB, which was disbanded earlier this month.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has been excluded from the new task force, confirmed Mohd Shukri Abdull, its acting chief commissioner, as reported in Sin Chew Daily night edition.
1MDB is among the invetigations placed under the task force’s extensive scope, which is also entrusted to trace back national revenue and assets, Mohd Shukri told the Chinese language daily in a phone interview.
The three entities - the AG's Chambers, Bank Negara, and the police, which sat in the first task force, are among five agencies included in NRRET.
The other two are the Malaysian Customs Department and the Inland Revenue Board, as reported in Sin Chew Daily.
Mohd Shukri told the daily he is neither surprised nor disappointed with the development.
He did not rule out the possibility that NRRET was set up to replace the special task force, but assured that it would not affect the investigation carried out by the anti-graft body.
'MACC will continue investigating'
The MACC, he said, will continues to probe the RM2.6 billion ‘donation’ and RM42 million from SRC International Sdn Bhd, which went into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's bank accounts.
"It's not a problem if we were excluded from the new enforcement team; it will be business as usual as MACC is an independent entity that works according to the confines of the law.
"Even though the special task force is a gone case, we will still continue our job in transparent, free and professional way.
"We can now bring back the officers who were assigned to the special force and have them probe various cases.
"I would like to advise the new enforcement team, please transfer us the cases related to corruption and abuse of power, which fall under our purview.
"Perhaps the new team is more concerned about recovering government revenue, and they may think MACC has nothing much to do with it since we are not its member," he told Sin Chew Daily .
The people may not see MACC's role in relocating the revenue, he was quoted by the news report, but the commission has saved huge public funds from being lost through numerous operations.
On Aug 7, MACC special operations division director Bahri Mohamad Zin and MACC strategic communications director Rohaizad Yaakob were suddenly transferred to the Prime Minister's Department.
Bahri is a key investigator on allegations that RM2.6 billion were deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts, while Rohaizad had received an opposition delegation when they visited the MACC headquarters to show support to the graftbuster.
The transfer orders were subsequently aborted after a public uproar, which came from both sides of the political divide.