For Singapore’s role in money laundering of Malaysia’s 1MDB state funds, 9 high-ranking Singapore officials were called up for questioning in Putrajaya yesterday morning (May 31). Representatives of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Singapore Attorney-General Chambers and Commercial Affairs Department were told to provide assistance by Malaysia’s newly-elected government under direct orders of PM Mahathir Mohamad.
When questioned by media reporters what “assistance” Singapore is providing, the Singapore police spokesperson declined to comment further.
The Singapore meeting yesterday came a week after Malaysia’s meeting with the US’s FBI and Department of Justice, which had earlier singled out Singapore as one of the chief culprits in stealing Malaysia’s billions.
According to the US Department of Justice and independent news media Sarawak Report, 8 banks in Singapore were involved processing hundreds of millions believed to be the siphoned US$3.5 billion funds from 1MDB. Among the 8 banks include 3 state-owned banks: DBS, Standard Chartered and UOB. As the state-owned companies are accountable to Temasek Holdings, whose CEO is Ho Ching, and the Ministry of Finance, the Singapore government is highly suspected to have had assisted Najib Razak steal Malaysia’s state funds.
Singapore was similarly involved in a corruption in Brazil, where state-owned company Keppel bribed local officials to secure engineering projects. Keppel was eventually fined S$619 million in a judgement by the United States and Brazil.
Former Prime Minister Najib Razak is also suspected to have signed the unfair deal extending the Malaysia’s High Speed Rail to Singapore, in exchange for hiding his stolen 1MDB funds in Singapore. Newly-elected Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad scrapped the HSR deal within the first week of his appointment, throwing a spanner into Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s plan to create a second Central Business District in the western region of Singapore.
The Jurong Lake District, Tuas Mega Port and other developments originally arranged for Singapore’s western suburb is now put on hold, while the Singapore government is trying it’s best to dissuade Mahathir from shelving the HSR.