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Tengku Zafrul seeks lawyers’ advice on Pandora Papers issue

There were also documents with regards to offshore dealings involving high net worth individuals in Malaysia from Hong Kong

by ASILA JALIL / pic by TMR FILE

FINANCE Minister Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz (picture) has sought his lawyers for further advice and action on the recent article published by an online news portal on the Pandora Papers expose.

In a statement yesterday, the minister said he had relinquished all posts in Kenanga Group in 2010 after he assumed the role of CEO at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd (Maybank IB).

He clarified that he was the group director and a member of the executive management committee of Kenanga Holdings Bhd from January 2009 to June 2010.

“I also held directorships in several subsidiaries or associated companies of the Kenanga Group, which included Capital Investment Bank (Labuan) Ltd.

“By June 2010, I had assumed the role of CEO at Maybank Investment Bank Bhd and had, therefore, taken steps to relinquish my executive and directorship roles in the Kenanga Group,” he said.

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) had obtained more than 11.9 million confidential files shared by an anonymous source, which ICIJ then shared with its partners.

It includes data from 14 offshore service firms that set up shell companies and trusts in tax havens globally.

The data include providers in Singapore which has become among one of the preferred gateways for wealthy Malaysians to transfer their assets to tax havens.

There were also documents with regards to offshore dealings involving high net worth individuals in Malaysia from providers in Hong Kong or in the Caribbean and among the individuals named include Tengku Zafrul, Deputy Finance Minister II Yamani Hafez Musa and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, among others.

“Notwithstanding the fact that they had contacted my aide who informed that I had relinquished my directorships when I left Kenanga Group in June 2010, it appears that the publisher of the online portal chose to proceed with the article by highlighting my name in a manner which suggests that Capital Investment Bank is still associated with me instead of being part of the Kenanga Group.

“I have referred the matter to my lawyers for further advice and appropriate action,” said Tengku Zafrul.

Zukri

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