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Thursday, May 30, 2013
WE BEAT CHINA: Malaysia WORLD CHAMPION in illicit outflows, corruption, money-laundering
Thursday, 30 May 2013 14:44 Written by Lim Guan Eng
Malaysia’s ill-earned reputation as the world champion of illicit fund outflow per capita testifies to BN’s and Bank Negara’s failure to wipe out corruption and prevent money laundering in Malaysia. When I was in London, I was sad to read in the New York Times that unlicensed money remitting services in Malaysia are alleged to have been a part of a US$6 billion (RM18.3 billion) online money laundering operation in US.
The New York Times said the money laundering scheme operating under Liberty Reserve had millions of customers worldwide, which were “overwhelmingly criminal in nature”, conducted 55 million transactions over the past seven years. In the largest online money-laundering case in history, Liberty Reserve relied solely on “third-party exchangers” to accept or make payments for them, which are usually “unlicensed money-transmitting businesses without significant government oversight or regulation, concentrated in Malaysia, Russia, Nigeria and Vietnam”.
World champion, bookies-culture
Washington-based Global Financial Integrity Report had listed China as the leader in illicit funds outflow, mainly corruption in nature, with USD 2.8 trillion, with Malaysia at No. 5 in the world at USD 291 billion. However in per capita basis China lost out to world champion Malaysia at RM 6,400 per person per year as compared to RM32,000 for Malaysia.
In England, Malaysians have an unfortunate infamous past for being bookies in setting up Premier League football games. Such negative feedback have been slightly reversed following the favourable impact of positive involvement by Malaysians in owning Premiership clubs like newly-relegated Queen Park Rangers and newly-promoted Cardiff City.
Unfortunately, the Malaysian government’s culture of corruption and lack of financial transparency and accountability has now resulted in Malaysia to be part of being a focus of world-wide money-laundering operation. On money-laundering, Malaysia’s international reputation is now worse than Thailand or Indonesia and on par with countries like Nigeria and Russia.
Stop denial mode
The time has come for the BN Federal government to stop being in denial by adopting genuine financial reform to clean up and stop such criminal activities of illicit outflow of “black money”and money-laundering. Otherwise, there is no point in winning accolades for Bank Negara or for our purported good running of the economy when the real issues of transparency and accountability are not addressed.
Or are we to continue to depend on foreign countries in Hong Kong to do our work for us by investigating and detaining those involved in trying to smuggle in tens of million of ringgit?
LIM GUAN ENG IS DAP SEC-GEN & PENANG CHIEF MINISTER