Parliament: Singapore took 1MDB-related enforcement actions to protect its reputation, says Vivian Balakrishnan

File photo showing a man walking past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Feb 27, 2015.
File photo showing a man walking past a 1 Malaysia Development Berhad billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on Feb 27, 2015.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore has been thoroughly investigating 1MDB-related offences committed here since 2015, said Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan on Monday (July 9).

"We took these enforcement and regulatory actions not because of political calculations, but because it is in our national interest to reaffirm and protect Singapore's reputation as a clean, transparent and trusted international financial centre," he said in Parliament.

"We do not tolerate the misuse of our financial system as a refuge or conduit for illicit funds."

Dr Balakrishnan was speaking on the 1MDB scandal in response to a question on the state of relations between Singapore and Malaysia.

Malaysia has intensified its investigation into how millions went missing from the 1MDB state fund and related entities, after voting in a new government during its May 9 election.

Singaporean and Malaysian agencies also met several times over the past few months on 1MDB matters.

Dr Balakrishnan said Singapore had taken firm action since 2015 against those who have broken laws here in relation to the scandal - two banks have been shut down, some others fined for regulatory breaches, and individuals jailed and fined.

 
 
 

"So far, we are the only jurisdiction to have done so," he said.

He added that Singapore has also cooperated fully with Malaysia's official requests for information on 1MDB-related transactions, providing this information in thirty exchanges between March 2015 and August 2016.

This included proactively providing Malaysia with additional information on 1MDB-related fund flows on multiple occasions, he added.

"We will continue to assist the Malaysian government in its own investigations," said Dr Balakrishnan.

He added that Singapore has also informed the Malaysian government that it can go through Singapore's courts to establish ownership of any assets seized here that can be traced to 1MDB, and recover them.