KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak has ordered an internal inquiry on a senior executive of its Islamic banking unit who yesterday accused US-based Wall Street Journal (WSJ) of being duped by doctored documents in its explosive money trail exposé on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Nazir disclosed the action in a late night post on his Instagram account, after news portal Malaysiakini reported CIMB Islamic Bank chief executive officer Badlisyah Abdul Ghani for his erroneous analysis on WSJ in his closed-circuit Facebook page.
“Our apologies, we will conduct an internal inquiry,” Nazir said in a caption to the photo-sharing service tagging CIMB Group CEO Tengku Datuk Zafrul Aziz and CIMB Islamic chairman Datuk Dr Syed Muhamad Syed Abdul Kadir.
In his caption, Nazir had described his two colleagues as showing a “surprised” Tan Sri Md Nor Yusof — a former CIMB chairman now on the bank’s international advisory panel — the Facebook posting by Badlisyah on WSJ’s article.
“Posts have been been removed as it is a technical matter on which he should not be commenting,” Nazir commented.
The top banker’s Instagram post drew over 280 likes at the time of writing.
Badlisyah has admitted to making an error in his analysis of the WSJ documents, which the daily purports were based on an ongoing government investigation on 1MDB, adding that he has also corrected his initial Facebook post.
1MDB is under investigation for alleged financial improprieties.
The younger brother to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been an outspoken figure on the topic of corporate governance, and in recent months even regularly criticised 1MDB over what he considers shortcomings in the manner they conduct their affairs.
In the latest controversy surrounding 1MDB, WSJ reported nearly US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of the state-owned investment firm’s funds were deposited into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts in several transactions starting from the months before the tumultuous May 5, 2013 general elections to as recent as February this year.
A special investigative task force comprising four federal agencies raided 1MDB’s office at Menara IMC here yesterday and was spotted carrying out several sealed boxes believed to hold documents, in addition to computer hardware.
Najib has denied the report and sent a lawyer’s letter to WSJ’s publisher Dow Jones demanding an explanation within a two-week time frame.