Singapore Central Bank files police report against Alex Tan of States Times Review

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The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) has filed a report with the Singapore Police Force against the author of an article published on www.statestimesreview.com on 5 November 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 1MDB’s funds. The article is baseless and defamatory.

MAS, Singapore’s central bank and financial regulatory authority, said 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.

MAS 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. Investigations into the 1MDB case had never been closed. 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.”

Adding: “This was reiterated in the public statement jointly issued by MAS, the Attorney General’s Chambers, and the Singapore Police Force on 8 June 2018. 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.”

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

MAS’s action against Tan was initiated after the Singapore’s High Commission in Malaysia flagged an article titled “Breaking News: Singapore Lee Hsien Loong becomes 1MDB’s key investigation target – Najib signed several unfair agreements with Hsien Loong in exchange for money laundering”, which appeared in The Coverage.

The Coverage, which describes itself as a “social news network based in Malaysia”, listed the source for its article as “Straights Review”, and included a link to a similar article on the States Times Review website.

The statement by Singapore’s High Commission in Malaysia said: “The High Commission of the Republic of Singapore in Malaysia would like to categorically state that this article is fake news and clearly libellous.”

Najib Razak, the former prime minister of Malaysia, is facing corruption charges over the misuse of funds from 1MDB, the state investment vehicle founded in 2009.