Malaysia 1MDB scandal

‘These are traitors to the people, God and the country’: Former Malaysian official asks Hong Kong police to investigate 1MDB scandal

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 03 September, 2015, 1:54pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 03 September, 2015, 1:59pm

A former Malaysian official has filed a report with Hong Kong police to investigate the 1MDB scandal, after he said he lost faith that police in his homeland would uncover the truth.

Both local businessman Jho Low and Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak have been implicated in the ongoing investigation.

But a University of Hong Kong law expert said it would be very difficult for local authorities to enforce any punishment against those accused.

Khairuddin Abu Hassan, who was sacked from his post as vice-chairman at the government’s Umno Batu Kawan division, said any wrongdoing needed to be uncovered and punished.

“Ghostly hands, by remote control, have interfered with these investigations,” he told website Free Malaysia Today.

A spokeswoman for Hong Kong police confirmed they had received a report on August 30, where a man requested an investigation into a series of bank deposits.

The spokeswoman said investigations were underway.

It came as Swiss authorities said on Wednesday they had frozen funds in Swiss banks amid investigations into the Malaysian investment bank.

“The office of the attorney general of Switzerland has frozen assets amounting to several tens of millions of US dollars,” a spokeswoman said.

READ MORE: The US$700 million question: can Najib Razak ride out 1MDB storm?

Both Low and Najib have become embroiled in the growing scandal around the alleged misappropriation of more than US$2 billion of Malaysian taxpayer money following a suspicious venture between the Malaysian Development Bank and PetroSaudi.

According to Free Malaysia Today, the police reports filed by Khairuddin requested Hong Kong police investigate what transactions took place between the development bank and three companies owned by Low and his family members.

“These are traitors to the people, God and the country,” he said.

HKU associate law professor James Fry said under international law the ability to enforce legislation in a particular case or against a particular person usually depended on them being in the same jurisdiction.

“Enforcement will be difficult until the person actually arrives in Hong Kong, even assuming there exists the ability to prescribe certain behaviour in that case,” he said.

READ MORE: Hong Kong-based businessman, Jho Low, faces new fraud allegations

“This is to say nothing about any immunity issues that might exist if you are dealing with a leader from a foreign country.”

Ten days earlier Khairuddin had also sent evidence of the 1MDB scandal to Switzerland’s attorney-general and other Swiss authorities.

“I will let them conduct comprehensive investigations against all the alleged misappropriation of funds in 1MDB which involves Swiss banks and other international banks,” he wrote on his Facebook page at the time.