Police have completed 1MDB investigation, Malaysia's home ministry says

Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur in this March 1, 2015 file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 
Men walk past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur in this March 1, 2015 file photo. -- PHOTO: REUTERS 

KUALA LUMPUR - The police have last month completed its investigation of the debt-ridden state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, and are awaiting further instruction from the Attorney-General Chambers (AGC), the Home Ministry revealed in Parliament.

In a written parliamentary reply to the opposition Democratic Action Party's (DAP) Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the investigation papers were submitted to the AGC on March 9 for further action.

Tthe case "has been classified under Section 409 of the Penal Code for criminal breach of trust by an agent" after a police report was lodged against the firm.

Dr Zahid added that the National Audit Department has been instructed by the Government to give priority on its probe on 1MDB.

"The department should be able to do their job in obtaining relevant documents freely without any obstruction so they could determine whether there are any fraud or misconduct elements in 1MDB management," it said, according to The Star.

A police report had been lodged against the firm by the former Umno Batu Kawan division vice-chairman Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan in December when he pressed for a "detailed and comprehensive" investigation amid reports over the firm's troubles in both the international and local media.

The Malaysian Insider website reported that a preliminary report was expected to be submitted to the Parliament sometime this month. The parliament's Public Accounts Committee began its own investigation into the firm last month, the website reported.

In his question to the Home Ministry, Mr Pua had asked the Ministry to disclose the status of police investigation on 1MDB, which has accumulated debts of RM42 billion (S$15 billion).

However, his question on whether business tycoon Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) has been investigated for his alleged links to the firm, was not answered by the ministry.

1MDB, which owns property and energy assets and whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has been dogged by controversy over its debts and alleged financial mismanagement.

The mounting concern over the firm has led to a standoff between Mr Najib and former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad after the latter publicly called on him to step down over the issue.

Writing on his blog on Thursday, Dr Mahathir sarcastically agreed with Mr Najib that he was behind the "crisis" in Malaysia.

"I will admit that I am behind the 'crisis'. I am behind it because there is a climate of fear in this country," said the former prime minister in a cynical post on his blog, chedet.cc, Thursday.

Dr Mahathir said the crisis was caused by him speaking up on behalf of people who had approached him to do something about the losses incurred by 1MDB.

"So they come to tell me. And they ask me to 'do something'. For a long time I desisted because I know if I reveal the wrongdoings of 1MDB, it will lead to the Prime Minister being questioned," he said.

"I had tried to do it privately. But there was no result. I told the Prime Minister I no longer supported him. No result. So I had to go public."

He added that he had no choice but to go public on the matter so that the Barisan Nasional would remain as the ruling coalition in the next general election.

"The whole country will see turmoil as no party will have the majority to run the country," he said.

Mr Najib had on Wednesday said in a blog post that it was "not proper" for him to have an open political confrontation with Dr Mahathir over the issue as it would bring no benefit to the BN and its anchor party Umno.

His remarks on Wednesday were the first since he decided not to attend a 1MDB dialogue last Friday, drawing criticism from some members of the public and officials from the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance.