C4 Center: Probe Zeti-1MDB link, Bank Negara integrity in jeopardy!

AN independent team must be set up to investigate claims that former Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s family had received money linked to the controversial 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

“Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should also answer this. Was he aware of this matter?

“This affects Zeti’s appointment as a member of the Council of Eminent Persons in the past, as it clouds the committee’s efforts in pursuing the truth behind the 1MDB scandal.

“If this matter was within Mahathir’s knowledge, then this is nothing but a gross abuse of public office,” Center to Combat Corruption & Cronyism (C4 Center) executive director Cynthia Gabriel told FocusM.

Cynthia Gabriel

Last week, financial daily The Edge reported that the Singaporean police had alerted BNM on suspicious transactions from fugitive businessman, Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low to a company owned by Zeti’s husband and son while she was still serving as the central bank’s governor.

It was said that the Singaporean Police Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) had alerted BNM in 2015 and 2016, involving a company called Iron Rhapsody, and began investigating transactions linked to 1MDB.

The company was said to have received US$16.22 mil in total.

Inaction widens public-Gov’t trust deficit

Following the bombshell, Kepong MP Lim Lip Eng had urged Zeti to come clean over the matter instead of keeping mum as it involves BNM’s reputation.

Echoing Lim’s sentiments, Gabriel said that if the allegations made were true, it would bring BNM’s integrity to disrepute.

“Our central bank will be seen as fully compromised, and would smell foul of complicity and corruption.

“And was BNM, an independent institution guarding against financial fraud, was in the know but failed to act, falling prey to corruption and abuse of power?” she asked.

Gabriel then reminded the authorities that accountability must be the cornerstone of every administration, and such discoveries would only increase the already wide trust deficit between the public and the Government.

“Remember that 1MDB involves siphoning taxpayers’ funds. Silence will only lead to more questions and speculations about the matter, further weakening any trust the people have left in our institutions and authorities,” she opined. – March 2, 2021.

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