Election watchdog threatens protests over 1MDB probe

Election watchdog threatens protests over 1MDB probe
PHOTO: Reuters

Going silent over the ongoing investigations into the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue will only see the people taking to the streets to demand answers, election watchdog Bersih 2.0 said.

Chairman Maria Chin Abdullah (pic) said the investigative bodies must keep the public informed of their probe to quell suspicion and distrust.

"We will want to see a response first and how they are going to present their investigations related to 1MDB.

"Bersih 4.0 will not be discounted if the investigations are not impartial," she said at a press conference here on Monday.

She added that the civil society movement was giving the authorities until the end of August to show that some progress was being made on the probe.

She said although the movement has some misgivings over the impartiality of the investigations, it had no choice but to rely on the investigative bodies to do their job.

"We hope the investigations are made public to allow scrutiny," she added.

She also said the Prime Minister should take leave from office to allow the probe to go unhindered.

"We are also demanding that the Prime Minister relinquish his posts including that of Finance Minister," she said.

Steering committee member New Sin Yew said there must be updates on the investigations.

"It cannot be like before, like the other 'scandals', where everything is 'swept under the carpet'.

"If there are no updates, then we may have to consider what other steps to be taken and this includes Bersih 4.0," he said.

Also present at the press conference was Suara Rakyat Malaysia executive director Sevan Doraismay, who said authorities should not resort to oppressive laws to clampdown on civil society or individuals who were merely seeking answers on the 1MDB issue.

In a statement on Saturday, Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail said a special multi-agency taskforce was probing 1MDB's money trail, which allegedly ended in the Prime Minister's per­­sonal bank accounts.

The taskforce, comprising officers from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the police and Bank Negara, was going through documents taken from the premises of SRC International Sdn Bhd, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd.

The Wall Street Journal had named the three companies in its report on July 2, claiming that US$700mil (RM2.6bil) was funnel­led into what it believed to be Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's bank ac­­counts.

Also probing 1MDB's dealings, which resulted in the company running into RM42bil in debts, is Parliament's bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee.

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