There is a new special task force that will look into the controversial state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)
According to a statement from the Prime Minister's Office yesterday, 21 May, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has agreed to form a special investigation team to thoroughly probe into 1MDB, which was first set up by former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak in 2009.
The task force will be responsible for carrying out detailed investigations, identifying and seizing assets acquired using funds allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, as well as prosecution against individuals who've committed any criminal offence in the management of 1MDB, among others.
"The government hopes the formation of the special task force involving various enforcement agencies will be able to restore the dignity of the country which has been tainted, and return the Malaysian people’s money and assets following the kleptocracy scandal resulting from mismanagement and misappropriation of 1MDB funds," the statement added, as reported by theSun.
The special task force is co-headed by four individuals who had played significant roles in investigations related to 1MDB before they were either transferred or resigned.
Here's a look on how they've been involved with the 1MDB investigations in the past:
1. Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, former Attorney-General (A-G)
Abdul Gani served as the A-G for 13 years from January 2002 until his tenure as the Attorney-General was abruptly terminated in July 2015 due to health reasons although there were allegations that his services were terminated due to other reasons.
Abdul Gani, who was heading the now-disbanded special task force investigating 1MDB, was replaced by former Federal Court judge Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali. Apandi subsequently cleared Najib of any wrongdoings in receiving huge funds into his accounts in January 2016.
Following the termination as A-G, Abdul Gani, who began his career as a deputy public prosecutor in Kota Kinabalu in 1980, continued to serve as Judicial and Legal Service Officer until his retirement in October 2015.
2. Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed, former Malaysian-Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) Chief Commissioner
Like Abdul Gani, Abu Kassim was one of the members of the previous task force that conducted investigations into 1MDB.
He had worked with the MACC (also known as Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) previously) since 1984 and held various positions in the MACC before he was eventually appointed MACC commissioner in January 2010.
Abu Kassim assumed the post until he was replaced in August 2016 by Tan Sri Dzulkifli Ahmad, who recently vacated the post after he tendered his resignation.
Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa announced then that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had consented to the application by Abu Kassim, who had for served MACC for about 32 years at that time, to end his service and be transferred to Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) to contribute as a researcher and consultant.
3. Datuk Seri Mohd Shukri Abdull, newly appointed MACC Chief Commissioner
Following Dzulkifli's resignation, Mohd Shukri was named as the new MACC chief by Mahathir on 17 May.
Mohd Shukri first joined ACA in 1984 as investigations officer and held various positions until he was appointed as MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) in 2010.
Mohd Shukri held the position until he went into retirement in 2016. He was with the anti-graft body for 32 years.
When Shukri was the deputy chief of the MACC, he spearheaded the investigation into SRC International, a former subsidiary of the 1MDB fund that had been placed under the Ministry of Finance in 2012.
4. Datuk Abdul Hamid Bador, former Bukit Aman Special Branch deputy director
Abdul Hamid had served with the police force for 37 years before he was transferred out in August 2015.
He was transferred to the Prime Minister’s Department and was appointed as the deputy director on Security Issues and Transnational Crime one month after Abdul Gani's service as A-G was terminated.
He previously alleged that his unexpected transfer might have something to do with his insistence that the 1MDB issue should be fully investigated.
The then Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar reportedly said that Abdul Hamid was informed of the transfer after the latter withdrew his application for early retirement.