Press Statement: Be Transparent Over Recovered 1MDB Assets Worth RM1.3 Billion



Press Statement

Be Transparent Over Recovered 1MDB Assets Worth RM1.3 Billion

15 April 2020

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) refers to the news articles reporting that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) has returned another RM1.3 billion of recovered 1MDB assets to Malaysia.

Given the gravity of the 1MDB cross border corruption scandal, this move must be lauded, given the diligence of the previous Pakatan Harapan government  and definitely a boost in global asset recovery efforts.

We would like to reiterate that recovery of stolen assets is a major focus of the UN Anti Corruption Convention to which Malaysia is party since 2008. The Convention provides that stolen and laundered money ought to be returned to countries of origin to benefit their rightful people.

The return of assets has been framed globally as among the most important international cooperation required in combating corruption and must among others demonstrate transparency and accountability at the heart of its operations from both receiving and origin countries. It is a critical remedy for many countries whose economy and livelihoods have been ravaged because of institutionalise corruption.

And for this we thank the laborious work of the Department of Justice of the United States, and the the Pakatan Harapan government in showing the way towards combating corruption through important negotiations.

C4 Center however marks its grave concern with the political changes that have developed the past few weeks. That the funds are currently in the hands of the unelected Perikatan Nasional Coalition government - a government that ruthlessly seized power from the people - the very people who were voted out for their dirty hands in the 1MDB scandal.

Given this disturbing reality we Malaysian are forced to live with, a serious trust deficit must NOT set in. Thus it is   imperative for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cabinet to show a maximum level of transparency is obligatory.

Questions arise over where it should be deposited like as trust account as stated by the previous regime, and of course most of all how the monies will be utilised, to benefit the people.

Malaysians have that fundamental right to know and to participate in the return of stolen assets.

The people of Malaysia are the rightful owners of the returned funds.

Released by:

Cynthia Gabriel, Founding Director, C4 Center

Fadiah Nadwa Fikri, Legal Advise/ Operations Manager, C4 Center