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Kit Siang appeals Swiss MPs to repatriate RM430m 1MDB funds

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DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang appealed to Swiss MPs to support a motion in their parliament to repatriate CHF104 million (RM430 million) in 1MDB-linked funds ahead of a debate on Tuesday.

"I have emailed Swiss MPs asking them to support the motion in (the) Swiss Parliament to repatriate RM430 million 1MDB-related funds confiscated from Swiss banks because of money-laundering and other corrupt practices to Malaysia so as to benefit Malaysians harmed by the international mega 1MDB financial scandal," he said in a statement today.

The Swiss government had planned to pocket the seized funds, citing the absence of any claimants.

1MDB has not, to date, acknowledged that any of its funds had been misappropriated.

Following the Tuesday debate, Swiss lawmakers at the national council, which is the Swiss federal assembly's lower house, will vote on the matter on Thursday.

Lim said the repatriation of corruption money hidden or stashed away overseas from their country of origin is an internationally accepted principle.

This was based on the United Nations Convention Against Corruption 2003, which Malaysia signed in Mexico on Dec 8, 2003 and ratified on Sept 24, 2008.

"A highlight of the convention is the inclusion of a specific chapter on asset recovery, aimed at returning assets to their rightful owners, including countries from which they had been taken illicitly.

"Article 35 of the UN Convention Against Corruption upheld the principle that 'entities or persons who have suffered damage as a result of an act of corruption have the right to initiate legal proceedings against those responsible for that damage in order to obtain compensation'," he said.

However, Lim said it would be "most inappropriate" to return the allegedly stolen 1MDB funds directly to the Malaysian government as it is "directly involved" in the 1MDB scandal.

"The RM430 million 1MDB-linked funds confiscated from Swiss banks and financial companies should be held in trust for the benefit of the people of Malaysia.

"It would also be most improper and morally indefensible for the Swiss government to keep these monies for its own use as it would set a bad international precedent in an era to declare and combat corruption as an international crime," he said.

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