PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) - The Malaysian government has appointed a Singapore law firm as its solicitors to institute legal action against 53 individuals and companies to claim monies belonging to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
According to a source, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas approved the appointment of the firm, Tan Rajah & Cheah, early this week.
The source said the Malaysian government would file an application at the High Court in Singapore against the 53 defendants for orders to recover monies belonging to 1MDB.
The source said Thomas met Singapore Attorney-General Lucien Wong recently to facilitate the return of the 1MDB monies that had been frozen by the Singapore authorities.
Among the 53 defendants is Malaysian businessman Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low.
Court orders are necessary to release the monies to 1MDB or the government of Malaysia, the source said.
Malaysia has to appoint solicitors from Singapore to file the action because Malaysian lawyers cannot appear in Singapore courts.
On May 31, the 1MDB Special Task Force, in a statement, said Singapore and Malaysia had agreed to collaborate to bring back monies believed to have been embezzled from 1MDB.
Several high-ranking officials from the Singapore and Malaysian task forces looking into the 1MDB scandal met in Putrajaya in late May. Both teams have agreed to work together to recover money believed to have been misappropriated from the state investment firm.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad reopened 1MDB investigations after defeating Najib Razak in the historic May 9 general election.
Mr Mahathir has vowed to investigate the 1MDB scandal and act against those who may have abetted, or benefited from, corruption at the state fund.