Malaysia is duty-bound to investigate and recover any asset unaccounted for in the 1MDB Public Accounts Committee investigation, because it is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC).
This means cooperating with the international agencies investigating the flow of funds linked to 1MDB.
“Malaysia is duty-bound to assist and cooperate with other nation states to investigate and recover the misappropriate funds, and not hinder it in any way,” anti-corruption NGO C4 executive director Cynthia Gabrial said in a statement today.
Asset recovery amounting to US$7 billion must be a responsibility that Najib Abdul Razak must bear, failing which he must resign, as any responsible leader should, she said.
Article 51 of the UNCAC says the return of assets is a fundamental principle of the convention and that states must give “the widest measure of cooperation and assistance in this regard”.
PAC members have said that US$7 billion of 1MDB’s assets and investments cannot be verified.
These include payments made to offshore firm Good Star Ltd and to a British Virgin Island firm Aabar PJS Ltd, which Abu Dhabi state firm International Petroleum Investment Corporation said it does not own.
Cynthia said the PAC report recommending investigation against former 1MDB CEO Shahrol Azral Halmi “glossed over the real culprits, where the naming and shaming should and must go deeper”.
While it does not directly pin the blame on Najib, the PAC report also does not absolve the PM and raises many unanswered questions, Cynthia said.
“The PAC findings, shockingly reveal that crucial decision making had bypassed the board of directors, went through without their knowledge and approval, and was dictated by the prime minister and finance minister.
“This directly challenges Najib’s previous statements where he denied any involvement in 1MDB.”
Najib today said that 1MDB’s legacy will be the Tun Razak Exchange and Malaysians will remember it as a victim of political attacks.
Police say they are still going through the PAC’s 107-page report, before deciding on its next course of action.