Report: 1MDB Probe Widens to BN Parties, Politicians, Law Firms

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Authorities are probing BN politicians, component parties and law firms that handled transactions for such personalities and entities which allegedly received 1MDB-linked funds, according to a report by Singapore’s Straits Times (ST).

The report also said investigations are being carried out under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Citing senior government officers and financial executives, the ST said 1MDB case investigators are scrutinising the flow of funds from 1MDB-linked firms and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s bank accounts to BN politicians.

The officials would not identify the politicians or law firms as the ongoing investigations were now at a “sensitive” point, the paper reported.

The ST noted allegations that 1MDB changed from its initial nature as an investment fund into a “private political slush fund” for BN, adding that there were claims of BN politicians being funded by 1MDB money.

There is speculation that the flow of funds through 1MDB was used to fill BN’s war chest ahead of the May 9 polls.

The report also claimed that investigations could trigger “serious political aftershocks” because the parties or proxies in possession of the funds could find their accounts frozen pending the completion of the probe or trial.

“Elected representatives would not only have their bank accounts frozen but could also face being disqualified as MPs or state assemblyperson if found guilty,” read the report.

ST pointed out that the 1MDB probe could affect BN’s mainstay party Umno and component party MCA’s efforts in the wake of its GE14 defeat. It could also put the parties’ investment holdings at risk.

Umno’s private firm Temasek Padu Sdn Bhd is valued at around RM800 million.

MCA’s Huaren Holdings Sdn Bhd is estimated to own business assets of over RM3 billion, with its investments including extensive property developments and control of Star Publications.

It said the potential disqualification of BN lawmakers over 1MDB funds could reduce the coalition’s voice in Parliament, where it currently has 57 seats with the bulk or 54 held by Umno, and one by MCA and two by MIC.

BN had won 79 seats during the poll, but its east Malaysian components have abandoned the coalition since to form a Borneo-based bloc, withdrawing their elected representatives in the process.