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Roger Ng’s conviction for his role in 1MDB scandal a victory for justice

Wipe out corruption in Malaysia - BENEDICT LOPEZ/ALIRAN

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The Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4 Center) lauds the conviction of Roger Ng, the former head of Goldman Sachs in Malaysia, for his role in the 1MDB scandal, where over $4bn (RM16bn) was stolen from the Malaysian people.

Ng was convicted of two counts of conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and one count of conspiring to commit money laundering. His former boss at Goldman Sachs, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty in 2018 for his role in the scandal and is scheduled to be sentenced on 6 July.

Ng’s trial reiterated how 1MDB was defrauded:

  • Goldman Sachs assisted 1MDB to raise $6.5bn through bond sales
  • Over $4bn of this money was secretly diverted to co-conspirators, including former Prime Minster Najib Razak and his stepson Riza Aziz, who combined, received almost $1bn
  • Ng himself received $35m for his role in the scheme. The FBI revealed that from this kickback, his wife Lim Hwee Bin spent $300,000 (RM1.2m) on diamond jewellery and $20,000 (RM80,000) on a gold hourglass

Testimonies from Leissner also revealed shocking allegations as follows:

  • $1bn was wired overnight from 1MDB to PetroSaudi International after Tawfiq Ayman, the husband of then Bank Negara governor Zeti Aziz, had [allegedly] received a bribe to make it happen
  • Former CEO of Astro Malaysia Holdings Bhd, Rohana Rozhan, had blackmailed Leissner into buying her a $10m home in London
  • Najib Razak met ex-Goldman chief Lloyd Blankfein in 2009 to discuss getting jobs for his three children
  • Leissner and Ng concocted a scheme involving their wives to conceal kickbacks they received for helping to loot Malaysia’s 1MDB sovereign wealth fund
  • Jho Low informed him and Ng in 2012 that individuals in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, including Najib and Sheikh Mansour, could be bought, although the latter “wouldn’t get out of bed for anything less than $100m”
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Ng’s conviction serves as a powerful reminder that no one is above the law, and that the individuals involved in the wicked theft of billions from the Malaysian people will be brought to justice.

C4 Center echoes the words of Sally Yates, a former deputy US attorney general, in that “a corporation only acts through individuals, [and] investigating the conduct of individuals is the most efficient and effective way to determine the facts and extent of any corporate misconduct”.

As Najib Razak’s trial culminates in his Federal Court appeal this year, it is imperative that justice continues to be served for the Malaysian people.

C4 Center calls for the following:

  • For the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission and the police to launch an investigation into all claims made by Leissner, including those relating to Najib Razak, Tawfiq Ayman and Zeti Aziz
  • An immediate investigation into Lim Hwee Bin and Judy Chan, the wives of Roger Ng and Tim Leissner at the time of the 1MDB fraud, for their [alleged] involvement in the 1MDB embezzlement scheme
  • An immediate asset declaration of all Malaysian actors named by Leissner and involved in 1MDB. Malaysians have a right to know how much money ended up in the pockets of those who stole from the national coffers
  • An immediate update on the police investigation into the whereabouts of Jho Low, the key player in the 1MDB scandal who has continued to elude arrest. The former inspector general of police had given a deadline for the search but failed to meet it. The new inspector general has been silent on the matter
  • An immediate update from the MACC and the Attorney General’s Chambers on whether or not Rohana Rozhan will be charged for her involvement in the 1MDB scandal, and if the asset recovery process has been launched
  • A swift completion of Malaysian court cases involving SRC and 1MDB which have suffered too many delays – C4 Center
The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.

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