‘Cabinet limits on police 1MDB probe tantamount to obstruction’
The cabinet placing limits on what the police can investigate or should focus on in its 1MDB probe, is tantamount to interference and smacks of obstruction of justice, says DAP Petaling Jaya Utara parliamentarian Tony Pua.
“First, how can the cabinet give specific instructions to the Royal Malaysian Police on what crimes to investigate and what crimes not to investigate? Isn’t this tantamount to a clear-cut case of obstruction of justice?” asked Pua in a statement today.
He said that surely Malaysians would be shocked that the police are limiting their investigation to just the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) ‘recommendations’ under orders from the cabinet, something which seem to belie the much-touted independence of the police.
“Secondly, how can the inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar limit police investigations to merely the five recommendations by the PAC?” asked Pua, who also also serves on the committee.
He was responding to the IGP’s statement in the media yesterday that the police have completed the first phase of their investigation into 1MDB, which is restricted to the five recommendations by the PAC as ordered by the cabinet.
“I have said it before, the five recommendations from the PAC are our focus, so I do not want the police to be distracted from what was ordered for us to do, or else the focus of the investigation will deviate,” the IGP said.
Pua added that the IGP’s disclosure is problematic as members of the PAC, especially those from Barisan Nasional, often insist in meetings that it is not a criminal investigation body and such investigations should be left to the relevant authorities, including the police.
As such, PAC recommendations did not focus on possible criminal elements.
“Now, the police have apparently been instructed to limit their investigations to the ‘recommendations’ of the PAC, which were not based on a ‘criminal’ investigation in the first place,” he lamented.
Pua said that PAC’s investigation and resulting recommendations are not only not based on criminality but also hampered by the lack of disclosure and cooperation from 1MDB, which makes it less than reliable to truly expose the extent of possible wrongdoings.
‘IGP should conduct a thorough investigation’
He argued that as prompted by overseas criminal investigations into 1MDB-linked funds, police chief Khalid should conduct a thorough investigation of the financial activities of the sovereign fund using all avenues possible and not limited by the narrow scope of PAC findings.
“The IGP must explain to the rakyat as to why he has refused to investigate the multi-billion dollar 1MDB embezzlement scandal which has taken the world by storm, by restricting itself to the limited findings of the PAC, purportedly under the instructions of the cabinet?
“Aren’t the police supposed to investigate without fear or favour, even if they were to involve the highest officials of the land?” asked Pua, pointing out that there is severe conflict of interest in the cabinet restriction to the probe as its members might be involved in the alleged money-laundering.
He noted that a high ranking official dubbed "Malaysian Official 1" was mentioned in the United States authorities suits to seize 1MDB-linked assets, as complicit to the alleged embezzlement of monies from the sovereign fund.
The failure of the IGP to conduct a no-stones-unturned investigations into the “world’s largest financial scandal”, said Pua, can only serve to fuel suspicions he may be colluding with the cabinet to cover up the heinous scam which has defrauded the people of tens of billions of ringgit.