‘BAFIA prohibits AmBank, BNM to reveal owner of account’ – Khalid


(Astro Awani) – AmBank or Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) cannot confirm the personal bank account, as alleged by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), belongs to Datuk Seri Najib Razak much less reveal the account number.

Former Selangor Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said, these banking institutions are required to maintain the confidentiality of its customers’ information and adhere to the secrecy provision under section 97 (1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989 (BAFIA).

“Not Najib or any Cabinet minister can order AmBank or BNM to reveal an individual’s bank record. BAFIA prohibits AmBank and BNM to reveal the owner of the controversial bank account.

“There is nothing that can force both these banking institutions to reveal whatever is stated under BAFIA. If this information is revealed, it will definitely undermine the trust of Malaysians and the world towards the country’s banking system,” he said when met today.

Abdul Khalid was commenting on the statement made by PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli recently, urging both AmBank and BNM to confirm or deny whether the bank account alleged by WSJ to belong to Najib, really does exist.

He said, this would provide a clearer picture to the people on whether or not Najib was involved in the channelling of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds amounting to US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) as claimed by WSJ andSarawak Report.

Before becoming Menteri Besar, Abdul Khalid was previously a corporate figure and was once the CEO of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), a financial institution regulated by the government.

In 1981, he became famous for leading the “dawn raid” on the London Stock Exchange, which resulted in PNB gaining a 51 percent share in British plantation Guthrie concern in less than two hours.

He later became the CEO of the Malaysianised Guthrie, now known as Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd, from 1995 to 2003.

At the same time, Khalid said, Rafizi’s stamement is seen as a deliberate attempt to create confusion among the people.

However, he said, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) can initiate investigations on the owner of the bank account which was revealed byWSJ and Sarawak Report.

“The power the MACC however supercedes the BAFIA, therefore they have the power to initiate investigations on the media report.

The result from the investigation should be announced thus ending the controversy involving Najib,” he said.

On Sunday, Najib reiterated that as an elected prime minister, he would never betray the people and the country’s assets.

He said, he would also never allow foreign elements to threaten and topple the leadership of UMNO and Barisan Nasional (BN) which have been chosen by the people to administer the country, to suit their own agendas.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in a statement recently said, authorities are currently investigating three companies linked to the alleged transfer of funds as claimed by WSJ and Sarawak Report.