MP slams Mas Ermieyati for ‘senseless excuse’ on 1MDB probe
By Samuel Chua, Free Malaysia Today (2 March 2022) PETALING JAYA: Subang MP Wong Chen has ticked off deputy law minister Mas Ermieyati Samsudin for what he says is a display of ignorance in her explanation of a delay in a probe related to the 1MDB scandal. Wong said Mas Ermieyati gave a “totally unacceptable excuse” when she said that the closure of the Malaysia-Singapore border prevented authorities from completing their investigation on Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of former Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, over links to the scandal. “Travel between Malaysia and Singapore has become so much easier under the Vaccinated Travel Lane programme,” he told FMT.
Mas Ermieyati said in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday the police were supposed to continue with the investigation in Singapore but were unable to do so because the border was closed. Wong said there was nothing to prevent Malaysian authorities from going to Singapore to examine original documents or from acquiring copies authenticated by Singapore notaries.
“In this day and age, authenticated and secure digital copies of documents should suffice for investigative purposes,” he said. “The excuse made to explain the lack of action by the authorities makes little sense.”
Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel, noting that many government-to-government initiatives had taken place between Malaysia and Singapore, said Mas Ermieyati had made a “pathetic excuse”.
“Malaysia must pick up the slack and invoke measures in the United Nations Convention against Corruption and strengthen international cooperation as provided for in the convention to resolve the questions of money flows related to Tawfiq,” she told FMT.
In March last year, it was reported that police had begun investigations into 1MDB-related funds allegedly transferred to a bank account that Tawfiq owned in Singapore.
Singapore police were reported to have informed Bank Negara Malaysia of suspicious transactions in 2015 and 2016 involving a company owned by Zeti’s husband and one of her sons.
They were quoted as saying funds went to the company from accounts linked to Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low, the alleged mastermind behind the 1MDB financial scandal.
Zeti was the Bank Negara governor at the time.