KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The Malaysian Association of Social Protection Contributors’ Advisory Services (SPCAAM) today called for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to make sweeping changes to the top echelon of the country’s central bank to prove its commitment to fighting systemic corruption.

The social protection advisory board claimed public trust in Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) had been eroded after news of an international scamming syndicate infiltrating five major local financial institutions with only investigations focused on certain employees suspected of involvement.

“Not placing the five banks under investigation is pure incompetence on the part of BNM, and a reflection of the systemic corruption and lack of proper governance in the country,” Callistus Antony D’Angelus, the international labour advisor to SPCAAM said in a statement today.

He was referring to news reports citing BNM Governor Tan Sri Nor Shamsiah Mohd Yunus saying that the five local banks were not being investigated.

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“BNM has been sleeping at the wheel for far too long. It’s about time that the prime minister appoints leaders and technocrats to helm BNM which would act in tandem with his reform agenda and not stand in its way,” D’Angelus said.

He added that limiting investigations to the individual employees suspected of involvement was only treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause.

He said the cause of an international scamming syndicate being able to penetrate the system shows “inefficient compliance, risk management and control mechanisms of the bank involved” and that BNM should play a direct role in investigating the banks and then make public its findings.

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“Accountability should reside at the highest levels of the banks involved, at the office of the Chief Executive Officers,” he said.

Several news outlets reported on March 16 the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission saying it was investigating officials from five major local banks said to be in cahoots with two citizens from the United Kingdom who are suspected of masterminding an international fraud network here that has seen sums of up to RM200 million a day illegally transferred abroad.

Between five and 20 bank officials were reported to be involved in this scam where insiders from the five local banks had helped the two UK nationals create “transit” accounts for the syndicate to transfer large sums of money abroad.

The syndicate’s modus operandi is to find victims through social media and phone calls.

Syndicate members will contact the victim after they click on the link to register in the investment company as well as enter personal details.

D’Angelus said not placing the five banks under investigation shows poor governance and corruption within the financial institutions’ ranks.

He said with the banking crisis in the United States where the Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were failing, the end loser was ultimately the public.

He urged for more action to be taken to avoid a similar monetary and economic crisis in Malaysia.