MACC investigation into 1MDB to go on, says Azam Baki

PUTRAJAYA: The investigation into the Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal must go on until all the money is recovered and every perpetrator punished, says Tan Sri Azam Baki.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner said in 2020 and 2021, the anti-graft body had recovered about RM20bil worth of 1MDB assets by way of compounds and settlements.

“The work is not done yet and we will continue to repatriate those stolen assets. The people of Malaysia must demand that there is total accountability for every cent invested in 1MDB,” said Azam.

“It is hoped that people in this room will also join the call to demand that all perpetrators of this crime must pay for their evil actions,” he added in his keynote address at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Forum here on Tuesday (May 24).

Azam said Malaysia’s experience of handling and recovering huge sums of assets in the 1MDB case had received praise from many parties abroad.

“Since 2018, the Government has been actively pursuing 1MDB-related cases on all fronts. This has led to the prosecution of some high-ranking senior government officials and politicians,” he said.

Azam added that the MACC also constantly works with a number of international bodies and foreign law enforcement agencies to repatriate criminal proceeds from the 1MDB case to Malaysia.

He said that the asset recovery efforts could not have been successful without the assistance of the MACC’s various counterparts around the world.

“Over the years, because of mutual assistance and understanding built with our counterparts, these foreign agencies are also part of Malaysia’s success in bringing back those ill-gotten gains from abroad,” said Azam.

Azam also said the MACC was kept busy even during the Covid-19 pandemic, as there have been many reports of corrupt acts related to medical services.

“Many nations are dishing out economic assistance and making purchases of medical equipment and medicine through emergency funds. It is sad, even in this pandemic and state of emergency, some of these purchases are mired with corruption,” said Azam.

“This shows that there are some unscrupulous people who are still taking the opportunity to make illegal monies from people’s pain and misfortune,” he added.

Azam then added that the MACC was working around the clock to ensure that corruption is well in check in Malaysia.

He said investigations on corruption during the pandemic involved abuse of power in diverting relief aid, fraud related to falsified medical protective equipment and bribery of enforcement officers in the line of enforcing the movement control order.