22 July 2015

This is an update on the Article Malaysia: PM Najib denies claims of $700 million wired to his accounts.”

Singapore Police in a statement today said that it has frozen two bank accounts in connection with ongoing iMDB probe in Malaysia. It did not identify the bank or the account holder. On Tuesday, the Monetary Authority of Singapore said it is looking into whether banks followed rules on properly identifying customers and their sources of funds and on reporting suspicious transactions.

iMDB probe is in relation to financial mismanagement and graft at state owned investment organization, iMDB. This is the first time a bank account outside Malaysia has been frozen. It was reported earlier that 6 bank accounts were frozen in Malaysia.

Mismanagement in iMDB became a public knowledge when Wall Street Journal reported on July 3 that investigators looking into iMDB had traced close to US$700 million of deposits moving through Falcon Bank in Singapore into the personal account of Najib in Malaysia.

In Malaysia two people were arrested this week as a part of the iMDB probe. The identities of those arrested were not revealed by the authorities.

Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail clarified that none of the six bank accounts frozen by the Special Task Force probing the IMDB money trail belonged to the prime minister. This report was supported by Bank Negara Malaysia (central bank) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner, Abu Kassim Mohamed. The gentlemen mentioned here constitute the special task force set up to probe into iMDB dealings.

Malaysian Authorities have blocked Sarawak Report, a website run by a British woman based in London, for providing content “that is indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass any person”. This was stated by the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). “MCMC decided to block a website that could threaten the country’s stability, namely Sarawak Report, for publishing contents with unproven veracity and that are under investigation, after receiving complaints from the public,” the commission said in a statement on Sunday evening.

Clare Rewcastle-Brown, the website’s editor said it was “a blatant attempt to censor our exposures of major corruption”.

“This latest blow to media freedom only brings further discredit upon the present administration, who have proven unable to counter the evidence we have presented in any other way,” Rewcastle-Brown said in a statement.

Opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang, from the Democratic Action Party said that: “My advice to Najib is to allow common sense to prevail, that blocking access to Sarawak Report is not going to end his 1MDB woes but the opposite, plunging his credibility and legitimacy to even unimagined depths, which is not good for him as prime minister and for the nation as well.”