Will UMNO General Assembly ignore three years in a row what the United States Attorney-General Sessions described yesterday as the world’s “kleptocracy at its worst” – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal?
Will the 71st UMNO General Assembly ignore three years in a row what the United States Attorney-General Jeff Sessions described yesterday as the world’s “kleptocracy at its worst” – the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal?
At the opening speech for the Global Forum on Asset Recovery in Washington DC yesterday, US Attorney-General Sessions described the 1MDB scandal as “kleptocracy at it worst” when referring to United States government efforts in combatting corruption on the global level.
No other kleptocracy rated the prominence given by Sessions to the 1MDB scandal.
Sessions said: “You may be familiar with some of these cases. For example, nearly half of the $3.5 billion in corruption proceeds we have restrained is related to just one enforcement action.
“That action was related to a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund known as 1MDB. 1MDB was created by the Malaysian government to promote long-term economic development for the benefit of the Malaysian people.
“But allegedly corrupt officials and their associates reportedly used the funds for a lavish spending spree: $200 million for real estate in Southern California and New York. $130 million in artwork. $100 million in an American music label. Not to mention a $265 million yacht.
“In total, 1MDB officials allegedly laundered more than $4.5 billion in funds through a complex web of opaque transactions and fraudulent shell companies with bank accounts in countries ranging from Switzerland and Singapore to Luxembourg and the United States. This is kleptocracy at its worst.
“Today, the U.S. Department of Justice is working to provide justice to the victims of this alleged scheme.”
What is obvious from Sessions’ speech is that although he expressed thanks to the co-operation of the law-enforcement agencies in various countries in fighting global corruption and money-laundering, he had specifically omitted reference to Malaysia after highlighting the 1MDB scandal – and for very obvious reasons, for the Malaysian law enforcement agencies, whether the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Police or the Attorney-General’s Chambers had refused to co-operate not only with the law-enforcement agencies of United States but other countries like Switzerland in the world’s worst and largest case of kleptocracy.
From Sessions’ speech, the 1MDB scandal alone represents nearly half of the US$3.5 billion in corruption proceeds the US Department of Justice (DOJ) had seized or restrained since 2004.
The United States has returned millions in corruption proceeds to compensate victims of kleptocarcy, including approximately US$119 million to the people of Italy, US$115 million to the people of Kazakhstan, more than US$20 million to the people of Peru, and millions more to the people of Nicaragua, South Korea, and Taiwan.
Will the 71st UMNO General Assembly discuss seriously and in depth the 1MDB scandal, the world’s worst kleptocracy, and demand the return of the 1MDB corruption proceeds restrained in the United States to the people of Malaysia?