RM200b outflow Najib’s best achievement as Finance minister, says PAS Youth chief

(Harakah) – The high ranking recently given to Malaysia among developing countries suffering illicit funds outflow means the country’s Finance minister Najib Razak has broken a records of sorts, according to PAS Youth leader Nasrudin Hassan.

“It is something which has surprised many. What is not surprising is the fact that mainstream media do not report it,” he said, adding that the public would eventually come to know details of the damning report issued by Washington-based Global Financial Integrity.

Nasrudin (pic) reminded that Najib himself had admitted during UMNO’s recent congress that young Malaysians were now more equipped with information due to information technology.

In its latest report on illicit funds outflow released on Tuesday, GFI ranked Malaysia second only to China among other Asian economies in terms illicit funds outflow, while it is placed third globally.

Noting that some 80 percent of illicit financial flows were due to trade mispricing and 20 per cent due to corruption, GFI said that between 2001 and 2010, a total of US$285 billion was transferred out of Malaysia illegally.

Nasrudin compared the figure for illicit funds outflow provided by Najib last year – RM135.4 billion between 2000 to 2009 – with GFI’s figure of RM662.6 billion for the same period.

He added that one should not be surprised if the government denies the figure by GFI.

He also said the revelation reflected badly on giant government-linked companies such as Khazanah Nasional and Petronas.

“It proves the existence of illegal acts to avoid taxes and siphoning out the country’s revenue through property investment, foreign bank accounts and others to shore up personal wealth,” said Nasrudin, who cited the recent revelation of unusual wealth owned by the family of Sarawak chief minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, when some RM100 million was demanded for a divorce settlement involving the latter’s son.

Nasrudin also reiterated the urgency for public office bearers to declare their assets.

Earlier today, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said he would write to Bank Negara Malaysia governor Zeti Akhtar to participate in a discussion on how to weed out illicit funds outflow.

“Urgent steps must be taken to finalise an action plan, not by avoiding the issue as the case has been so far with Najib Razak,” said Anwar.