Singapore central bank says it made timely, relevant, adequate disclosures on 1MDB

A 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard is seen in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa
A 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard is seen in Kuala Lumpur, March 30, 2015. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

SINGAPORE, May 13 — The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) says it made timely, relevant and adequate disclosures of its regulatory findings and actions relating to the 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s (1MDB) investigations.

Its director for corporate communications, Jerome Lee said the central bank had kept the public updated through media statements at key milestones of the investigations.

“We set out the wrongdoings, poor risk management and anti-money laundering control lapses that were serious breaches of MAS’ regulations.

“In an unprecedented move, MAS publicly named individuals whom we had referred to the public prosecutor,” he said in a posting on the central bank’s website today.

MAS was responding to a commentary by Tan Chong Huat and Chan Yuet Ann titled “1MDB saga: What the public needs to know” and a letter from Arjuna Mahendran titled “European approach is not in Singapore’s wider interests” published by The Business Times on April 18 and April 23, 2019, respectively.

Tan and Chan made the suggestion that MAS should disclose more on regulatory matters while investigations were ongoing but Mahendran, on the other hand, had reservations with this approach.

Lee said court documents filed against individuals charged for 1MDB-related offences contained extensive details of their wrongdoings and the court proceedings were widely covered by local and international media.

“Through our regular industry engagements, as well as the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership, MAS also shared with financial institutions the various schemes employed in the 1MDB case to assist them in detecting similar illicit transactions.

“The level of disclosure to date on 1MDB-related wrong-doing has been extensive and unprecedented,” he said. 

However, Lee said in considering what to disclose and when, care was needed to ensure that law enforcement investigations, both in Singapore and in other jurisdictions, were not compromised.

He added that MAS would continue to make timely and appropriate disclosures, taking into account ongoing investigations and the confidentiality safeguards underlying the cooperation and information-sharing arrangements with its foreign counterparts. — Bernama