KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has confirmed that it will start investigations into reports of a purported lifting of a freeze on a business tycoon’s accounts by two top officials of the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
The Star Online reported a source from the MACC as confirming the contents of a news report detailing how former finance minister Lim Guan Eng had asked the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) to lift restrictions on the unnamed tycoon’s four bank accounts which were frozen to facilitate a money-laundering investigation.
“We believe there was a breach of confidentiality here, and we want to investigate this,” said the source as reported by the news portal.
Yesterday, Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported that Lim had asked the AGC to lift the restrictions on the bank accounts of the prominent property tycoon, frozen over some RM4 million worth of transactions in 1MDB-linked funds, despite failing to recover the bulk of the money.
This revelation came less than a month after Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz was given a conditional discharge provided that he returns part of the money he allegedly received from the state fund.
Details of Lim’s request last year, sighted in an investigation by FMT, showed the exchanges between him and then attorney general (AG) Tan Sri Tommy Thomas.
Thomas allegedly responded two weeks later, informing Lim of case details and instructing the MACC to lift the freeze.
This was despite the MACC informing Thomas that the bulk of the money — some RM3.9 million — could not be recovered as it was no longer in one of the bank accounts said to have received the funds.
Lim, however, denied any conflict of interest with Thomas, saying yesterday that during his time in the federal government, he always passed on issues that were outside his scope of responsibility to the relevant authorities.
“Cases which are not within my jurisdiction are referred to the relevant authorities.
“It is the relevant authorities who have the power to act,” he said as reported by Malaysiakini.