AYER HITAM: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for an investigation into claims that former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz and her family were involved in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
He said an investigation into the allegation would be important to determine the truth whether Zeti was ever involved in the global-scale controversy.
“When I was the prime minister (the first time around) there was no problem (involving BNM).
“This only happened after I resigned and (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) was the prime minister.
“This was when all these allegations involving Zeti and his family happened, that they had taken 1MDB money.
“This matter must be investigated so that we can find out the truth whether Zeti was involved in this ‘perbuatan curang (transgression)’,” he said during a Press conference here today.
Zeti’s husband, Datuk Tawfiq Ayman was alleged to have received bribes as part of a deal so that Malaysia’s central bank would approve an “overnight” foreign exchange transfer of US$1 billion (RM4.9 billion) from 1MDB to PetroSaudi International (PSI) that Zeti was said to have greenlit.
He has denied accepting bribes from former employees of Goldman Sachs as reported in the ongoing US corruption trial of the investment bank’s former Malaysian head Roger Ng who has been linked to the misappropriation of funds from 1MDB.
MACC announced in November last year that Singapore had repatriated to Malaysia US$15.4 million in 1MDB-linked funds that involved a company co-owned by Tawfiq.
The MACC also cited a news report from local business paper The Edge saying that the transfers totalling US$16.22 million took place in 2008 and 2009 and were flagged to BNM in 2015 and 2016 when Singapore began investigating 1MDB linked transfers.
Responding to the testimony given by Tim Leissner in Ng’s trial, BNM said that all investments abroad by resident entities were subject to the requirements under the Exchange Control Act 1953 that was in force prior to 2013, which had since been replaced by the Financial Services Act 2013.