Opposition MP arrested under Malaysia's Official Secrets Act for divulging 1MDB report

Mr Rafizi Ramli was taken away in front of the Parliament gate in Kuala Lumpur to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman on April 5, 2016.
Mr Rafizi Ramli was taken away in front of the Parliament gate in Kuala Lumpur to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman on April 5, 2016.PHOTO: THE STAR

A lawmaker with the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) who had divulged details from the Auditor-General’s classified report on embattled state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was arrested on Tuesday (April 5) for allegedly violating Malaysia's Official Secrets Act (OSA).

Mr Rafizi Ramli,  who is PKR vice-president, was taken away in front of the Parliament gate in Kuala Lumpur to the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman where he would be investigated under Section 8 of the OSA, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar tweeted.

Khalid confirmed to the Malay Mail Online that Rafizi was arrested under the Official Secrets Act 1972 for allegedly distributing a page from the Auditor-General’s 1MDB report.

Kuala Terengganu MP Raja Kamarul Bahrin, who witnessed the arrest, said he saw a large number of police officers in Parliament.

"There were about two or three police cars and about 15 officers who came to arrest him," he was quoted as saying by The Star.

"I was behind his (Rafizi's) car. I got down from my car to ask what was happening.

"Rafizi was not allowed to speak, and when I questioned the officers, they did not entertain me," he said.

Rafizi revealed details on March 28 from what he claimed was an excerpt of the Attorney-General's report on 1MDB showing that the Government investment arm was partly to blame for delays in gratuity payments to former military servicemen.

1MDB has racked up debts of US$11 billion (S$14.87 billion) since being set up by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in 2009.

The fund's transactions are under investigation in Switzerland, Singapore, Hong Kong and the US. Swiss authorities say 1MDB-related losses from misappropriation could reach US$4 billion.

The scandal has also triggered several ongoing investigations by Malaysia's central bank, a parliamentary committee, the country's auditor general, Malaysia's anti-graft agency and police.

The country's attorney-general cleared Mr Najib of wrongdoing in January, saying that the US$681 million that was reportedly transferred to Mr Najib's bank account in 2013 was a legal donation from Saudi's royal family, and that most of it was returned. 

Commercial Crime Investigation Department director Mortadza Nazarene said later on Tuesday that Rafizi would be held overnight at the federal police headquarters in Bukit Aman. Police would apply for a remand order on the Pandan MP on Wednesday, added Mortadza.