1MDB CEO Arul Kanda Barred from Leaving Country

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1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy has been slapped with a travel ban.

Malaysiakini, which obtained Arul Kanda’s information from the court registry, ran his identification card number with the Immigration Department’s database.

The Department’s Travel Status Enquiry System (SSPI) returned the results “Sila rujuk ke pejabat imigresen terdekat” (Please refer to the nearest immigration office) in red letters.

This was the same result several Pakatan Harapan MPs and activists received in the past when they were barred from travelling to East Malaysia or overseas.

The system would show “Tiada halangan” (No obstacle) in green if an individual does not face any travel restriction.

Arul Kanda took over as 1MDB chief executive officer in January 2015.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

Unlike past CEOs, Arul Kanda became the public face of 1MDB as he proactively defended the state fund from mounting allegations of wrongdoing.

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, who was the 1MDB advisory board chairperson, has been accused of utilising the state fund to misappropriate billions of ringgit.

This includes a US$681 million deposit into Najib’s personal bank account, which international investigations claimed originated from 1MDB.

However, Najib claimed the money was a donation from a member of the Saudi royal family and denied wrongdoing or taking public funds for personal gain.

Amid mounting claims of corruption and rising cost of living, Najib led the BN to its first electoral defeat after 61 years in power.

Newly-minted Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has vowed to get the bottom of the 1MDB scandal and bring charges against Najib.

Mahathir’s new Pakatan Harapan government has also imposed a travel ban on several personalities whom he had accused of inaction or covering up on the 1MDB scandal.

They include attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali, who has been instructed to go on leave, 1MDB chairperson Irwan Serigar Abdullah, former inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar and former MACC chief Dzulkifli Ahmad.

Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor have also been barred from leaving the country.barred. – Malaysiakini