Friday, September 4, 2015

Tunku Aziz admits Putrajaya meddling in 1MDB probe

Published: 4 September 2015 12:35 PM
Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, who has defended Putrajaya's handling of the graft probe involving the prime minister, admits there has been government meddling in the investigations. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 4, 2015.
Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, who has defended Putrajaya's handling of the graft probe involving the prime minister, admits there has been government meddling in the investigations. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 4, 2015. 


A staunch pro-government defender has reluctantly agreed that Putrajaya had meddled in the investigations on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, which saw the sacking of two ministers and job transfers for several investigators involved in the probe.
Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim, who heads the Anti-Corruption Advisory Board (Acab) for the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), told the BBC that the government appeared to be "ill-advised" when it made changes to parties involved in the special task force investigating the 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion money flow into the personal accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
"There is apparently some meddling going on," said Tunku Abdul Aziz, who once headed the Malaysian chapter of anti-graft watchdog, Transparency International and later joined and left opposition party DAP.
"Yes, apparently there has been interference and I think it's unfortunate.
"The timing is all wrong. It was ill-advised on the part of government to have made all these changes while investigations were in progress," he said.
Tunku Aziz also agreed with calls demanding the prime minister disclose what was the RM2.6 billion for.
"I don't think what they are asking to know is unreasonable, because when you are looking at this quantum, you want to know what is this money for," he said.
Earlier, Tunku Aziz defended Putrajaya following strong remarks made by Transparency International chairman Jose Ugaz at the ongoing International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) in Kuala Lumpur.
Ugaz had described the RM2.6 billion, which Najib claimed was a political donation for Umno from an undisclosed Middle Eastern donor, as having all the elements of "grand corruption".
But Tunku Aziz said Ugaz's comment was "unjust and unreasonable".
"I understand the case involves a huge amount but a proper and thorough investigation needs to be done before action can be taken.
"Why can’t they wait until the investigation is completed?” he said in a statement yesterday.
Last July, The Wall Street Journal cited investigation papers by the special task force on 1MDB, which revealed that some US$700 million of funds from the heavilty indebted state firm had been transferred to Najib's personal accounts ahead of the 2013 general election.
On July 28, Najib announced the dismissal of his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in a shock Cabinet reshuffle, seen as purging critics from his administration. Besides replacing the attorney-general, Najib also announced the promotion of members of the Public Accounts Committee to the Cabinet, effectively stalling the bipartisan committee's investigation into 1MDB.
Pressure on Najib over the scandal has been gathering momentum over the weeks, with tens of thousands converging in Kuala Lumpur last weekend to call for his resignation.
Najib also chose not to attend the IACC after a minister warned him of hostile receptions related to the RM2.6 billion funds controversy. – September 4, 2015.
- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/tunku-aziz-admits-putrajaya-meddling-in-1mdb-probe#sthash.Z7lvGl6K.vUQ75dYD.dpuf

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