SINGAPORE sentenced wealth planner Yeo Jiawei to 54 months’ jail today for money laundering and cheating in relation to a massive global probe involving billions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
He is one of a few convicted for offences related to 1MDB in Singapore, which is the only country to have done so out of at least 10 investigating the scandal that has made Malaysia and “Malaysian Official No. 1” global headline news.
The latest decision also piles more pressure on the Malaysian government to act, and makes nonsense of claims that nothing wrong happened at 1MDB and that the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) suits are without merit.
If that were true, why are so many countries looking into the matter and why has the DoJ had to file two suits for monies used for purposes other than specified by 1MDB?
If that were true, why did Malaysia settle and agree to pay the Abu Dhabi-owned International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) a London arbitration court?
Can Putrajaya now honestly say everything is fine with 1MDB, that it can give out RM690 million for corporate social responsibilitywork?
And that none of its officials had mismanaged the company until it had to sell of its land, power and water utilities assets, and change both management and auditors several times in its eight years of existence?
It is pathetic that to carry on the delusion that all is well with 1MDB by handing out charity and haj sponsorships. It is a lie to say that all the bad news about 1MDB is spun by the opposition.
The greatest lie is to believe 1MDB is doing well and all its monies are intact.
If that were true, then Yeo is a victim of perverted justice. His 54-month sentence is the longest meted out to date by a Singapore court on 1MDB-related charges.
Others convicted and jailed by Singapore, such as senior banker Yak Yew Chee and banker Yvonne Seah Yew Foong, must have also be victims of perverted justice if anyone is to believe the Malaysian story.
And was Singapore wrong to issue the highest fine of S$128,000 (RM398,000) to Falcon Bank’s ex-manager Jens Sturzenegger who was sentenced to 28 weeks’ jail, for his role in the 1MDB saga?
Putrajaya has to act against those involved in the 1MDB scandal here. A thorough investigation is a start, declassifying the auditor-general’s report is another. And beyond that, bringing people to justice.
If there is any scandal worth a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) now, it must be the 1MDB scandal. The rest of the world is taking action, but Putrajaya appears to fantasise an Arabian nights’ tale that all is well.