Pakatan: Bank Negara Imposed RM115M Fines on 1MDB, Related Entities

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Pakatan Harapan president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail revealed that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had imposed a total of RM115.8 million in compounds and administrative penalties on 1MDB and its entities in the past two years.

The RM115.8 million fine was disclosed in a brief response by the central bank’s legal adviser to a memorandum handed over by the opposition leaders early last month.

On Aug 3, Pakatan Harapan leaders and MPs made a public statement by dressing in formal attire and walking two kilometres from the Parliament building to BNM to request the central bank to re-open investigations into the alleged mismanagement of 1MDB.

The memorandum that was submitted to BNM contained information made public through the United States’ Department of Justice’s (DoJ) 1MDB-related civil suits, which alleged that billions of ringgit were embezzled from the state development fund.

“Unfortunately, the move to fine 1MDB is akin to imposing a fine on Malaysians, as all the debts and fines on 1MDB are now being borne by Malaysians. It is like a double whammy.

“Logically speaking, if BNM had already imposed RM115.8 million in fines on 1MDB, it means a lot of violations occurred in 1MDB’s affairs.

 “And these transactions and actions occurred under orders from someone, as 1MDB is not an entity that acts on its own,” Wan Azizah said in a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya yesterday, FMT reported.

In late 2015, the media had reported that AmBank was fined RM53.7 million for breaching the Financial Services Act 2013 (FSA) and the Islamic Financial Services 2013.

“I wish to get clarification on whether the remaining RM62.1 million fine imposed has already been paid, and if yes, who paid it.

“If 1MDB or other related entities paid the fine, then this means Malaysians not only have become victims of the public’s funds being swindled in 1MDB, but they are also now forced to bear the fines imposed on 1MDB,” Wan Azizah added.

She said that to date, BNM had only exercised its powers under Clause 234(3)(b) to impose the RM115.8 million fine and it had yet to exercise its full powers under the FSA.

Wan Azizah said since BNM had already imposed fines under Clause 234(3)(b) on 1MDB as a corporate body, action must now be taken under Clause 234(5) against the individual responsible for giving instructions and causing 1MDB to violate the rules under the Act.

Clause 234(5) empowers BNM to impose any fines or punishments provided under the Act against the director, senior management and any other individuals responsible for 1MDB’s management.

Wan Azizah further stated that she would file a police report next week to enable BNM to probe Prime Minister Najib Razak as the chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, present and past board of directors, and present and past 1MDB senior management.

DAP’s political education director Liew Chin Tong said they would also be seeking a meeting with BNM governor Muhammad Ibrahim to obtain facts that were not disclosed in the central bank’s letter.

“There is a need for him to meet us, and give a detailed explanation,” Liew said.

Related report: Aug 3, Opposition MPs Submit Memorandum to Bank Negara to Reopen 1MDB Case