5 March 2015

Kuala Lumpur


1MDB: Time to Revisit Government Discretion to Set Up GLCs

5 March 2015, Kuala Lumpur – IDEAS is pleased to note that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has instructed the Auditor-General’s office to investigate 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)’s accounts, but hope the investigation will be free from any political interference.

This is a sign that the Prime Minister considers the issue serious enough to warrant an investigation. This is, however, ironic given that the Prime Minister himself is the Chairman of 1MDB’s Board of Advisors.

We hope this conflict of interest will not impair the results of the investigation. We hope that a fair, independent and thorough investigation will take place and look forward to receiving its report.

It is also time for the government and public to scrutinise the way government is able to set up government-linked companies (GLCs) that have extremely weak checks and balances, and no examination whatsoever from Parliament. 1MDB is wholly owned by the government and has received funds of more than RM3 billion to date from the Ministry of Finance. Greater accountability needs to be embedded into the structure of government especially when taxpayers’ money is involved.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan

Chief Executive



IDEAS is Malaysia’s first think-tank dedicated to promoting market-based solutions to public policy challenges. We are an independent not-for-profit organisation. As a cross-partisan think tank, we work across the political spectrum. Our purpose is to advance market-based principles, and we are not bound by party politics, race or religion. Our mission is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policies based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and free individuals. For more information, please visit


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