MEDIA STATEMENT (5 DECEMBER 2017): Malaysia – “Kleptocracy at its Worst”

BERSIH 2.0 congratulates the United States Attorney General (US AG) on his remarks at the Global Forum on Asset Recovery (GFAR) on Monday 4th Dec 2017.
GFAR is the first worldwide conference that focusses on returning stolen and
laundered money to their countries of origin. It is being held in Washington, DC, December and is hosted by the United Kingdom and the United States with support from the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR). Its inaugural meeting will focus on assistance to four priority countries: Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Tunisia and Ukraine in their assets recovery.
Despite the heavy criticism by the US AG, Malaysia’s 1MDB corruption scandal is excluded from the GFAR’s list of priority countries. In her speech, the US AG has highlighted that “In total, 1MDB officials allegedly laundered more than US$4.5 billion in funds through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Singapore to Luxembourg and the United States”.
Malaysians are extremely disturbed that money belonging to the people has been illicitly spent overseas on real estates, artwork, expensive yacht and other lavish spending. Ironically, while it is case closed for 1 MDB in Malaysia, this grand corruption has crossed international borders and is being held accountable by seven countries. Surprisingly, there is a pin drop silence by the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and the Ministry of Finance Inc. on the pointed allegations made by the US Attorney-General. The Malaysian authorities should demand an explanation.
The assertion by the US AG has given C4, BERSIH 2.0 and 112 Malaysian NGOs much hope to push on with our asset recovery effort to claim the 104m CHF (Swiss Franc), which was stolen from 1MDB and has since been confiscated by the government of Switzerland.
We reiterate our call to all international communities to continue to support our effort on assets recovery of the stolen 1MDB funds and for it to be returned to what is rightfully the money of every Malaysian.
Issued by:
BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee