MAS files police report over States Times Review article that 'impugned its integrity'

SINGAPORE: The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has filed a report with the Singapore Police Force over an online article that it said made “false and malicious” statements and impugned its integrity.

The central bank said in a statement on Friday (Nov 9) that it filed the report against the author of the article published on the States Times Review, an alternative news website.

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“The Monetary Authority of Singapore has filed a report with the Singapore Police Force against the author of an article published on www.statestimesreview.com on Nov 5, 2018, which made statements that were false and malicious and impugned the integrity of MAS as a financial regulator.”

The article, titled “Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target”, alleged that Malaysia had signed several unfair agreements with Singapore in exchange for Singapore banks’ assistance in laundering the funds of Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said MAS, calling the article “baseless and defamatory”.

“The article ignores the unprecedented and robust actions taken by MAS over the last two years against Singapore-based banks and bankers in relation to their roles in 1MDB related transactions, in most instances ahead of enforcement actions by foreign jurisdictions,” it said.

“It also makes false allegations that Singapore was forced to reopen its investigations into 1MDB only after the change in political leadership in Malaysia.”

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Investigations into the state fund had never been closed, said the central bank.

“At its Annual Report Press Conferences in 2016 and 2017, MAS had made clear that it would not hesitate to investigate any new leads or evidence relating to 1MDB-related fund flows,” it said. “This was reiterated in the public statement jointly issued by MAS, the Attorney General’s Chambers, and the Singapore Police Force on Jun 8, 2018.”

In addition, Singapore’s law enforcement and regulatory agencies had also been cooperating actively with their counterparts in Malaysia, Switzerland, Luxembourg and the United States of America during the tenure of the previous Malaysian government, added MAS.

“MAS has placed utmost importance on safeguarding its integrity as a financial regulator, and takes seriously any false allegations to the contrary,” it said.


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