Governor: BNM exhausted all investigations on 1MDB

According to the central bank, it will only reopen the case if there is new information

By NG MIN SHEN / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL

Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) said it has “exhausted all investigations” on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and will only reopen the case if there is new information.

“We have taken action against the parties involved. For those reaches that are not under our law, we have given all the information and data to the relevant government agencies for them to take further action because we don’t have the jurisdiction.

“If there is any new information or data that we did not know of before, we will look at it again as we receive more data and cooperation from the relevant entities,” BNM governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim (picture) said.

He was speaking at a press briefing on Malaysia’s economic results for the first quarter of 2018 in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

“Under the new administration, we are quite confident that when we deal with 1MDB entities, we will get more information, more transparent data.

“Once we have that, we will be able to assess how much money can be brought back,” Muhammad said, referring to the repatriation of 1MDB-linked funds from abroad.

At the moment, he said the data is in the possession of the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

The central bank will also be working with the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), which Muhammad said is in charge of communicating with foreign authorities to recover the funds.

“The contact point is the AGC because they are the lead agency to look at all matters concerning correspondence. So, we will work with them. This is the protocol,” he said.

On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the government would work to recover funds allegedly misappropriated by 1MDB that are now located in Switzerland, Singapore, the US and likely in Luxembourg.

Meanwhile, the central bank also pledges to work with the Council of Eminent Persons for the good of the nation.

The governor said although policy changes will always entail a trade-off, the current positive growth momentum and financial condition provide the country with a “valuable window of opportunity to pursue structural reform and address underlying weaknesses in the economy”.

“We will work with the relevant agencies like the MoF and the Council of Eminent Persons.

“We will continue to further assist them and remain steadfast in our collective focus to build a highly progressive, competitive and inclusive Malaysia,” Muhammad said.

Separately, he said five foreign insurers operating in Malaysia have made progress in their dealings with local parties.

“Five out of six foreign insurers are at a significant stage of discussion with domestic investors. One is not at a significant stage.

“So, we are quite confident and we want to give them time. As we reach the deadline, we will make announcements,” he said.

Foreign insurers with wholly owned local subsidiaries have until June 2018 to reduce their stakes in the local units to 70% or less, as required by BNM.