Guan Eng denies asking AGC for favour in unfreezing accounts of tycoon

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has reportedly denied that he has ever interfered in matters outside of his jurisdiction during his tenure as finance minister. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has reportedly denied that he has ever interfered in matters outside of his jurisdiction during his tenure as finance minister. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng has reportedly denied that he has ever interfered in matters outside of his jurisdiction during his tenure as finance minister.

He told Malaysiakini he had always referred such matters to the relevant authorities, following a Free Malaysia Today (FMT) report quoting anonymous sources alleging Lim had asked the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to unfreeze the bank account of a prominent tycoon.

“Cases which are not within my jurisdiction are referred to the relevant authorities,” he told Malaysiakini.

“It is the relevant authorities who have the power to act.”

The report written by one anonymous “A Special Correspondent” claimed Lim had then received a favourable response from then attorney general Tommy Thomas who allegedly responded favourably to the request.

It claimed to have sighted documents between Lim and Thomas to unfreeze over some RM4 million worth of transactions in 1MDB-linked funds. The report remains unverified.

This issue came a month after former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s stepson Riza Aziz was given a conditional discharge provided he return part of the money he received from the sovereign wealth fund 1MDB.

Riza, the producer of The Wolf of Wall Street — a movie about sex, drugs and white collar crime — pleaded not guilty to receiving a total of US$248 million (RM1.07 billion) on five occasions between 2011 and 2012.

His discharge not amounting to an acquittal is conditional on him returning assets linked to the alleged crime. Otherwise, charges may be reinstated against him.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed they are probing the leak of confidential details and the possible influence of politicians.

Lim however agreed that it would be wrong for him not to refer such cases to the relevant authorities and felt Tommy had acted in good faith when the case was referred to the AGC.

“I do not have any access to such information or documents unlike FMT which seems to have full access to the matter,” Lim said.

“As the MACC has speedily acted on the report by FMT, the anti-corruption watchdog should be allowed to carry out their investigations.”

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