Malaysia’s non-cooperation in Oz currency scandal risks Sirul extradition, opposition MPs say

Sirul Azhar’s lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin (pic) speaks to the media at the Federal court, January 13, 2015. ― Reuters pic
Sirul Azhar’s lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin (pic) speaks to the media at the Federal court, January 13, 2015. ― Reuters pic

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KUALA LUMPUR, July 15 — The government’s purported refusal to provide information on the Australian currency-note corruption case that purportedly implicates two Malaysian prime ministers may jeopardise its attempt to extradite ex-police commando Sirul Azhar Umar from Australia, opposition lawmakers said today.

 

Batu MP Chua Tian Chang from PKR also pointed out Malaysia’s lack of cooperation with other countries in other cases, such as the case of the Malaysian diplomat accused of sexual assault in New Zealand and the case of the alleged pyramid scheme mastermind, Manuel Amalilio, whom Malaysia has refused to extradite to the Philippines.

“How do we expect collaboration when we ourselves do not take the crime seriously? It looks so hypocritical,” Chua told Malay Mail Online.

“It looks like Malaysia is not a team player in international affairs,” the PKR vice-president added.

Sirul Azhar Umar, who faces the death sentence for killing Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, is currently in Sydney, Australia, after he went there when the Court of Appeal acquitted him and ex-policeman Azilah Hadri in 2013 of the murder charge. The Federal Court reversed the decision last January.

Australian paper The Age reported yesterday that the Malaysian government is stymying requests for information by Australian investigators probing the corruption case where two Australian firms are suspected of bribing Malaysians to secure currency-note printing jobs.

According to information obtained by Fairfax Media, the parent of The Age, the Malaysians suspected of receiving kickbacks from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) subsidiaries, Securency and Note Printing Australia, are allegedly linked to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Prime Minister’s Office said in response today that Najib will sue The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, also owned by Fairfax Media, for defamation, stressing that there is “not one shred of evidence” that Najib is involved in the case.

Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar from PKR said she would assume that Malaysia’s purported lack of cooperation in the polymer note corruption case would jeopardise the Sirul case.

“But only the IGP (Inspector-General of Police), home minister, would know for sure the necessary details,” Nurul Izzah told Malay Mail Online.

She also pointed out that Malaysia is Australia’s ninth largest trading partner, with two-way trade worth A$18.2 billion in the 2013 calendar year, while cooperation between both countries increased last year in joint search efforts for the missing Flight MH370 and the downing of Flight MH17, both jets from Malaysia Airlines.

“With such background context, Malaysia’s refusal to cooperate borders on the illogical and irresponsible. Our credibility is at stake, especially with a multitude of other MARA-linked scandals directly on the Australian side, as well as the WSJ (Wall Street Journal)-linked allegations,” said the PKR vice president.

The Age published an expose last month about alleged corruption in Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) Inc’s purchase of a Melbourne apartment that was said to be inflated by A$4.75 million.

Kluang MP Liew Chin Tong from the DAP pointed out that the polymer note case was a long overdue case.

“No reason for Malaysia to refuse to cooperate unless it has something to hide,” Liew told Malay Mail Online.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) told Malay Mail Online that the case was closed since two people were charged with corruption in 2011, including former Bank Negara assistant governor Datuk Mohamad Daud Dol Moin.

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