Guan Eng: 1MDB-linked funds from S'pore mere 'tip of iceberg'

  • Sep 10, 2018
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Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng (above) said that the 1MDB-linked funds to be repatriated from Singapore were merely the "tip of the iceberg".

"We welcome the move where the Singapore state courts have granted the return of 1MDB monies with a total value of some S$15.3mil (RM46 million) to the country and I hope this is the beginning of more to come.

"After all, the sum of these monies is only a tip of the iceberg to be returned relating to 1MDB," he said in a statement today.

Lim also thanked attorney-general Tommy Thomas and noted that his efforts were bearing fruit.

In recent years, Singapore has taken punitive action against several 1MDB-linked bankers for money laundering and cheating.

Most notably, former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei was handed a four-and-a-half year jail sentence in July last year.

Prosecutors had described Yeo as a central figure in the cross-border pilfering of 1MDB funds which were financed mostly by government-backed guarantees.

Massive debt

District judge Ng Peng Hong in his written judgment had described Yeo as the "rain-maker" in the 1MDB affair.

The court also heard that Yeo enjoyed close ties with Jho Low, a Penang-born associate of former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. Low is wanted by both Singaporean and Malaysian authorities.

The new Pakatan Harapan administration has vowed to recover 1MDB-linked assets abroad and began this quest by seizing the Equanimity, a 91-metre superyacht which the US authorities claim cost US$250 million and was bought with 1MDB money.

Putrajaya has promised to liquidate these assets in order to pay off 1MDB's massive debt which at its peak stood at RM42 billion.

1MDB was formed by Najib in 2009 shortly after becoming prime minister.