FROM high-flying banker to jailbird. That is the tale of Roger Ng Chong Hwa – the Goldman Sachs banker who went on trial in the US for his part in the 1MDB (1Malaysia Development Bhd) scandal. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail for his troubles.
It has since been reported that Ng has been flown to Malaysia to assist in investigations with Bernama having confirmed that he had arrived last night (Oct 8). However, Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Razarudin Husain refused to divulge his whereabouts or where he will be confined for security reasons.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has also said that the government’s focus was to recover assets linked to the 1MDB case.
It may be cynical to suggest that many Malaysians may be asking “so what?”
Given that the 1MDB case is of significant public interest, shouldn’t there be greater transparency? Surely, the police force can keep such a high profile criminal safe and keep Malaysians in the loop even if it is to say he is being kept in a safe house.
When silence is deafening
The same scenario is painted in the case of Jasmine Loo Ai Swan, the former general counsel for 1MDB who surrendered herself to the authorities a few months ago.
Nothing has been revealed about how she is helping with the recovery of the stolen assets or even as to the whereabouts of fugitive mastermind allegedly behind the 1MDB scandal – Low Taek Jho or better known as Jho Low.
Only statements from her lawyers that she will fully co-operate with the authorities and that she has full faith in the Malaysian judiciary.
This was in July this year. Since then no leads have been revealed. Are Malaysians to expect the same slow process with Ng?
Even as the duo is put in custody, the authorities are ironically nowhere closer to locating the Jho Low whose playboy lifestyle first drew attention to the case.
In the dock with Ng in New York was his Godman Sachs associate Tim Leissner who is said to have bought a multi-million-dollar mansion in London for his Malaysian lover and former Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd head honcho Datuk Rohana Rozhan with ill-gotten 1MDB gains.
It was alleged that Rohana had blackmailed Leissner into buying her the property to avoid her spilling the beans. Again, what has been done to recover the mansion and what was the outcome of the investigations by local police? Why is Rohana still a free woman?
It has been years since the 1MDB scandal became public knowledge. Thus far, it would appear that only one person is paying for this crime – former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak. – Oct 9, 2023
Main pic credit: Reuters