Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers have hit out at Putrajaya for its failure to rein in illicit money outflow, with one demanding that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak give up his Finance Minister’s post for his failure to stem the tide.
They also said the report by anti-graft watchdog Global Financial Integrity (GFI), which revealed that RM174 billion was siphoned out of the country in 2011, making Malaysia the fourth largest exporter of illicit capital that year after Russia, China and India, was justified given the country’s “exceptional performance as world champion of corruption”.
PKR strategic director and Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli (pic) said the GFI report confirmed their stand that there is close association between graft and illicit funds that flow out of the country.
He said the GFI report also validated the annual Auditor-General Report, which highlighted and proved that Malaysia has big incidences of graft.
“Najib’s stubborness in ignoring the findings of the reports will stagnate the country’s economy and will put further strain on the people.
“He should quit as Finance Minister because the large amount of illicit outflow is proof of his failure,” Rafizi charged.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said sarcastically that there was no doubt that on a per capita basis, Malaysia won hands down as the “world champion of corruption”, validating the new title awarded by Transparency International and Wall Street Journal over the last one year.
The Bagan MP also hit out at the central bank for being incompetent and criminally negligent in stopping the illicit outflow of funds despite setting up a task force in 2010 to implement measures to stop the outflow of dirty money.
“Perhaps Malaysia should follow the British model of creating the world’s first central public registry of corporate beneficial ownership information to stop dirty money from going out of the country,” he suggested.
His party colleague Tony Pua agreed, adding that despite Bank Negara’s meek attempt to impose stricter regulations on money changers, including prosecuting some of them, the real culprits behind these illicit flows have not been arrested, charged or jailed.
“The most obvious known case would be the RM10 million illegal transfer by Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Hassan to London, where Putrajaya has charged the money-changer but acquitted the MB,” said Pua, who is DAP national publicity chief.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP added that the Barisan Nasional government has continued to be dismissive of the GFI report, with Najib hardly making a whimper over the scandal.
“These massive outflows are detrimental not only because the money will not be consumed and invested to grow the local economy, but more importantly it highlights the extent of unchecked corruption and illicit activities in Malaysia.
“There is clearly no political will to contain and eliminate these illicit outflows, and more importantly, to resolve the underlying illicit and illegal activities,” he hit out.
As such, Lim called on the BN government to address “this shameful title” by punishing those responsible for huge financial scandals in the country.
He listed the scandals involving RM52 billion worth of Bumiputera shares, which he alleged that ordinary Malays missed out on as the shares disappeared presumably to BN leaders; the RM14 billion Port Klang Free Trade Zone controversy; and the annual exposes of financial malpractices highlighted in the annual Auditor-General Report, involving some RM6.5 billion in 2012. – December 12, 2013.