Response to BT commentary and letter on "Disclosures on 1MDB probes" - The Business Times, 18 and 23 April 2019
We refer to the commentary by Mr Tan Chong Huat and Ms Chan Yuet Ann, “1MDB saga: What the public needs to know” (The Business Times, 18 April 2019) as well as Mr Arjuna Mahendran’s letter, “European approach is not in Singapore’s wider interests” (The Business Times, 23 April 2019).
Mr Tan and Ms Chan suggested that the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) should disclose more on regulatory matters while investigations are ongoing. Mr Mahendran, however, had reservations with this approach.
MAS has made timely, relevant, and adequate disclosures of its regulatory findings and actions relating to the 1MDB investigations.
MAS kept the public updated through media statements at key milestones of the investigations. We set out the wrongdoings, poor risk management and anti-money laundering control lapses that were serious breaches of MAS’ regulations. In an unprecedented move, MAS publicly named individuals whom we had referred to the Public Prosecutor.
Court documents filed against individuals charged for 1MDB-related offences contained extensive details of their wrongdoings, and the court proceedings were widely covered by local and international media.
Through our regular industry engagements as well as the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Industry Partnership, MAS also shared with financial institutions the various schemes employed in the 1MDB case so as to assist them in detecting similar illicit transactions.
The level of disclosure to-date on 1MDB-related wrong-doing has been extensive and unprecedented. However, in considering what to disclose and when, care needs to be taken to ensure that law enforcement investigations, both in Singapore and in other jurisdictions, are not compromised.
MAS will continue to make timely and appropriate disclosures, taking into account ongoing investigations and the confidentiality safeguards underlying the cooperation and information sharing arrangements with our foreign counterparts.
Jerome Lee (Mr)
Director (Corporate Communications)
Monetary Authority of Singapore
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