A separate committee established by The Council of Eminent Persons will look into matters relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR: The Council of Eminent Persons has established a separate committee to look into matters relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

It said former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman will head the committee.

“Until and unless the issue of 1MDB is resolved, there will be questions that undermine public confidence in the government and its institutions,” the council said in a statement, adding that it recognised the importance of having a separate committee on 1MDB.

Other members of the committee comprise PwC Risk Assurance Services Partner Nik Shahrizal Sulaiman, Naqiz & Partners Senior Partner Syed Naqiz Shahabuddin Syed Abdul Jabbar, Indonesian Financial Services Authority Senior Advisor Faris Rabidin and Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism Founder Cynthia Gabriel.


Former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib Othman will head The Council of Eminent Persons committee to look into matters relating to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB). Pic by MOHAMAD SHAHRIL BADRI SAALI

Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia Governor Tan Sri Muhammad Ibrahim says central bank officials have met with the Council of Eminent Persons to share data regarding 1MDB.

He said a meeting was held recently with former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, ex-BNM Governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, former Petroliam Nasional Bhd president and chief executive officer Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican, economist Prof Jomo Kwame Sundaram and tycoon Tan Sri Robert Kuok.

“We have met with the council and we have already shared with them data, information and sources that we have,” he said.

“We have also seconded some of our officers at the disposal of the council. I cannot comment beyond that as it is now up to the council.”

However, he said BNM had exhausted all investigations related to 1MDB and would only reopen cases if it receives new evidence.

In response to questions posed during 2018 first quarter’s media briefing on Thursday, Muhammad said the central bank had previously taken all actions that it could under the law and recommended actions outside its jurisdiction to the respective agencies.

"If there is new information or data that we have not seen before, we will certainly look at it," he said, when asked if BNM would reopen investigations into 1MDB.

When asked whether BNM money supposedly laundered through 1MDB would be returned to the country, Muhammad said that he could not comment as yet as there was no new data into the investigation.

However, he said he was confident of greater transparency in the 1MDB case under the new Pakatan Harapan government.

“Under the new administration, we are quite confident that when we deal with 1MDB entities, we will get more information and more transparent data and such, we will be able to make a new assessment.”

When asked whether or not the central bank was pressured under former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's administration, Muhammad said: “You have seen in the past that we have taken action against parties involved (in 1MDB)... this showed that we have been following the law.”

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