Recover every sen of embezzled money

31 Oct 2019 / 18:39 H.

    THE settlement of US$1 billion by Jho Low with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) refers. DoJ Assistant Attorney-General Brian A. Benczkowski said “a staggering amount of money embezzled from 1MDB was laundered through the purchase of big-ticket assets in the US and other nations”.

    This staggering amount has bewildered the nation and the world at how we could have allowed such misappropriation.

    The court cases in Malaysia coupled with action taken by Singapore, Switzerland and the United States, among others, have helped to recover at least a part of what was siphoned off and should serve as a lesson of the importance of checks and balances.

    We do not know exactly how much was embezzled from 1MDB but we hope to know the truth soon. I am shocked by what had happened at the government before the last general election.

    To ordinary wage earners, who pay income tax, it is sad our money was siphoned out without anyone coming out at the highest level to question the irregularities.

    Despite Jho Low saying there was no admission or plea of guilt the settlement means there exist criminal acts and intentions which denote mens rea (intention).

    “No admission of guilt, liability or any form of wrongdoing” simply denotes “you were let off the hook because you returned the ill-gotten gains.” In fact, actus reus (action) was proven beyond reasonable doubt when an offer for settlement with DoJ was mooted.

    There was a notion that Jho Low would want to settle with Malaysian authorities once he had come to a settlement with DoJ. I hope the authorities here will do whatever it takes to recover every sen lost and to bring the culprit(s) to justice even if there is an offer to return the embezzled money. Allow the law to take its course as it would serve to deter others from criminal acts.

    I hope more countries that have our money hidden in connection the 1MDB scandal or embedded somewhere in their financial system will help us to recover the money and return it to us. It is the people’s money.

    We thank the US DoJ and its legal team for standing with Malaysia to recover the money. We will remember your strong stand against misappropriation of ill-gotten money or criminal acts by individuals and corporations.

    The manner in which the DoJ has executed its responsibilities is commendable as the department ensured no stone was left unturned to recover the money.

    Dr Tan Eng Bee



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