In a joint press release today by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and Commercial Affairs Department, the Singapore authorities announced that they will comply with requests for investigation assistance by the Attorney-General of Switzerland and the Corruption Inquiry by the Justice Department of United States. Several Singapore bank accounts relating to Malaysia’s 1MDB have since been frozen.
“Singapore does not tolerate the use of its financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds. Since the middle of last year, the Commercial Affairs Department and the Monetary Authority of Singapore have been actively investigating possible money-laundering and other offences carried out in Singapore. In connection with these investigations, we have sought and are continuing to seek information from several financial institutions, are interviewing various individuals, and have seized a large number of bank accounts.
Singapore is also cooperating closely with relevant authorities, including those in Malaysia, Switzerland and the United States. We have responded to all foreign requests for information and have requested for information from relevant counterparts to aid in our investigations. As investigations are still on-going, we are not able to provide more details at this stage.”
The RM$2.6 billion corruption deed orchestrated by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was exposed by Wall Street Journal and Malaysia’s online website, Sarawak Report. The Prime Minister initially called for an inquiry committee, whom he later dismissed along with government leaders who did voice out against him. PM Najib has since used defamation suits and threats to silence his critics domestically, but dissidents and authorities overseas are determined to bring the corrupted Prime Minister to justice.
PM Najib’s corruptions damaged investors’ interest and he single-handedly created a crash in the Malaysian ringgit. However, like Singapore’s political system, nobody can do anything to the Prime Minister, who directly or indirectly controls the election commission, police and judiciary.