A RM1.5 billion scandal involving loans from Bank Pembangunan led to PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli and former prime minister Najib Razak crossing swords today.
Rafizi questioned why the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) has not called up Najib over the missing funds, and claimed that Najib, as the then finance minister, had approved the RM1.5 billion loans.
He said there was enough evidence in a suit filed by Bank Pembangunan last month for MACC to act against those involved.
The bank suit, filed on June 29, is against 27 people and entities, including its former president and managing director Zafer Hashim, over a RM400 million loan granted to Aries Telecoms a decade ago.
In a response on Facebook today, Najib said Rafizi was either “desperate or stupid” because the prime minister and finance minister did not approve bank loans. “Banks have their own credit committees and loan policies,” he said.
“Do I need to be probed for every fraud and losses incurred by the banks during my time as prime minister? And why didn’t Pakatan Harapan probe it then when they were in government?” he said.
According to court filings, as reported by The Edge, Bank Pembangunan is accusing the 27 defendants of conspiring and using unlawful means to defraud the bank and concealing such fraud and its proceeds.
The bank alleged that the money, which was meant to be used for an optical fibre project, was misused and “siphoned off or unjustifiably transferred” to others.
Rafizi also made reference to other loans provided by the bank. These were:
RM337 million to offshore supply vessel operator Borcos Shipping which he said became insolvent in 2017;
RM450 million to Asian Broadcasting Network for a digital cable TV network; and
RM305 million to Nautical Resort Sdn Bhd and Garuda Suci Sdn Bhd which were involved in a Langakawi hotel and convention centre project.
Bank Pembangunan is wholly owned by the government, through the Minister of Finance Incorporated.