First MACC Chief Abu Kassim, Ex-BNM Deputy Governor for 1MDB Task Force

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The Team of Eminent Persons advising the government has identified key individuals to help in a task force which will reopen investigations into the US$4.5 billion (RM17.7 billion) allegedly lost by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Straits Times (ST) quoted two-time finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin as saying those identified include former Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, and former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) deputy governor Datuk Shamsiah Yunus.

Both had a role in investigating the 1MDB financial scandal in 2015.

The investigations were however cut short, after the-then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak removed several top investigative body heads.

“In principle, they have agreed, but I cannot announce it until I see it in writing. As soon as it is done, if I can start this week, I will start this week,” Daim reportedly said of the task force he would be leading.

Mohd Yusni Ariffin/NST

The Council, which was announced by Dr Mahathir last Saturday, is made up four other members of the team, namely former Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petronas President and Chief Executive Officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Merican, economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram, and billionaire tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok, who is currently overseas.

Kuok will serve as the Council’s advisor from Hong Kong, where he is currently based.

During Najib’s regime, the MACC, the police department, BNM and the Attorney-General Chambers were involved in a special task force investigating the alleged fund misappropriation involving 1MDB.

The task force was disbanded after then Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail was unexpectedly removed from his position and replaced with Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali, who subsequently cleared Najib of all wrongdoings with regards to the state investment arm’s alleged dubious operations. – Malay Mail