02 MARCH 2021

The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) is deeply disturbed by recent revelations from the Edge Weekly, that more than US$16 million of the 1MDB money trail had found its way into the company accounts of the spouse of former central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

If the bizarre 1MDB money trail had not already provided overwhelming shock and awe at the gruesome level of thievery, this revelation, if true, will speak volumes of the corruption of our institutions.

The chilling fact of the matter in this expose is that, if there is any truth to the matter, the integrity of Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) as a whole would be seen as fully compromised, and would smell foully of complicity and corruption.  

The plot here moves a notch higher when it was reported that Singapore’s Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) reported to BNM that a company owned by then-central bank governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz’s husband and son, had received funds of up to US$16.22 mil from wanted businessperson Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) in 2008 and 2009.

This information must be confirmed urgently by the authorities. Silence will only lead to more questions and speculations about the matter, further weakening any trust the people have left in our institutions and authorities.

The Edge had also pointed to documents and correspondence from CAD showing that it had shared information about the Iron Rhapsody transactions with BNM in 2015 and 2016, after CAD had begun investigating 1MDB-linked transactions.

C4 urges answers on the following:

  1. Was former governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz in the know of the matter, as she was in office still until 2016?
  2. Was BNM, which is supposed to be an independent institution guarding against financial fraud, in the know, and had it failed to act, and fallen to corruption and abuse of power?
  3. Was Tun Dr Mahathir aware of this matter? Zeti’s appointment as a member of the Council of Eminent Persons clouds the efforts of the committee in pursuing the truth behind the 1MDB scandal. This is also affected by her appointment as PNB chairperson. If this matter was within his knowledge, then this is nothing but a gross abuse of office.

C4 Center calls for immediate answers and further investigation into the matter, and for the parties involved to come clean on the matter.

It bears reminding again and again that the funds of 1MDB were siphoned from the people.

Accountability must be the corner stone of every administration, and such discoveries make it difficult for the trust deficit of the people toward  the administration and its institutions to be overcome.

Released by:
Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center)

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