Guan Eng laments MACC’s inaction on initiating independent Pandora Papers probe

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that the Pandora Papers might be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows into offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit.=. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said that the Pandora Papers might be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows into offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit.=. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today labelled the absence of an independent probe by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) on the recent Pandora Papers leak as “disappointing”.

To back up his argument, he listed 14 other power abuse cases involving “pro-government leaders or the MACC” which had similar “glaring lapses”.

In a statement today, the Bagan MP said that the Pandora Papers might be the tip of the iceberg of illicit financial outflows into offshore accounts involving billions of ringgit.

He added that the agency should perform its statutory duty by acting impartially, independently and professionally in a transparent manner, instead of only cooperating with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) and other agencies to probe the issue.

“Instead of acting to rein in the offshore funding practices, the government and MACC appear frozen into inaction when pro-government personalities are involved. This is the 15th case involving pro-government leaders or on itself that MACC has failed to act without fear or favour,” Lim said.

The MACC had, in a statement yesterday, asked Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to provide information on the Pandora Papers exposé, national news agency Bernama reported.

The anti-graft agency was reported as saying that it would work with BNM and other necessary agencies to investigate the revelations.

The Pandora Papers was released by the Consortium of Investigative Journalists on October 3, is a hoard of data reportedly involving some 11.9 million documents and 2.9 terabytes of data — used to expose supposedly corrupt dealings of the global elite.

It is the largest trove of leaked offshore data in history with documents coming from offshore service providers operating in Anguilla, Belize, Singapore, Switzerland, Panama, Barbados, Cyprus, Dubai, the Bahamas, the British Virgin Islands, Seychelles and Vietnam.

Malaysians mentioned in the documents include former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, PKR’s Selayang MP William Leong, and current Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz.

Lim also questioned, among others, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun’s ability to settle a bankruptcy suit over debts of RM1.3 million, when she had declared assets of RM72,000 as of November 20, 2019 with a monthly income of RM34,000.

“She has refused to explain her source of wealth.

“The spate of defections of Sabah state assemblymen last year, generated by Tan Sri Musa Aman. This attempt at a backdoor government in Sabah ultimately led to the dissolution of the Sabah State Assembly and state general election, which caused the second wave of escalating Covid-19 infections nationwide. Musa was subsequently appointed as a Sabah state minister,” he added, highlighting another instance which did not see an MACC investigation.

Lim then pointed to the case of Kuala Langat MP Dr Xavier Jayakumar’s investigation by the MACC, which he alleged had turned cold after Dr Xavier defected and supported Muhyiddin.

“Five PKR MPs rejected inducements or were subjected to intimidation to defect and support Muhyiddin namely Putatan MP Awang Husaini Sahari, M. Karupaiya (Padang Serai), S. Kesavan (Sg Siput), Michael Teo Yu Leong (Miri) and Sekijang MP Natrah Ismail. No action against those trying to trigger the defections of the five PKR MPs.

“MACC chief Datuk Seri Azam Baki refusing to go on leave to ensure that there is no interference in the hush-hush MACC’s investigations following the arrest of three senior MACC officers for abuse of power and malpractice over the loss of US$6 million (RM25 million) belonging to former Malaysian External Intelligence Organisation director-general Hasanah Abdul Hamid,” he added.

On Saturday, Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department (CID) director Datuk Seri Abd Jalil Hassan said that the police had received four police reports on the Pandora Papers exposé.

Abd Jalil said that out of the four reports, two were classified as no further action (NFA) as they were related to a memorandum urging authorities to initiate an investigation into the leaked documents.

“One investigation paper was handed over to Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) on October 14, while another will be handed over to BNM on October 18,” he said.

Earlier that same day, Prime Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob said that the government would not interfere with any investigations by enforcement agencies in relation to the Pandora Papers.

He said that the government will leave it to enforcement agencies to read the report and carry out investigations into the Malaysians mentioned in the leaked documents, adding that action can be taken against anyone based on their findings.

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