A merger exercise in Malaysia – not of good taste said analysts who reviewed the reasoning behind the merger – could be one of the actions that could lead to more questions on the 1MDB scandal.
The RHB Bank and the infamous AmBank where 1MDB money was channeled to Prime Minister Najib Razak’s account announced on Thursday they had been given the green light for this merger.
But the CIMB – the bank of Najib’s brother Nazir Razak – was of a different opinion on the merger exercise, saying it was not a marriage made in heaven.
CIMB raised more questions about this merger exercise.
And it is the what lies beneath the need for two banks that neutralises themselves in terms of business and scope of expansion in Malaysia to merge into a new entity, that raises more questions.
AmBank remains the iconic bank – in a sarcastic way – where the whole shebang about the 1MDB scandal exploded since it is the bank where Najib’s account was found to have a whopping RM2.6 billion (2014 exchange rates) deposited in it.
Sarawak Report broke the story with the money trail exposing how the money came from the 1MDB, via many sub-accounts and via many other jurisdictions, and landed right into Najib’s account.
Najib denied that he did nothing wrong, but by any international standards, no Prime Minister should receive billions of money into his private accounts.
There is nothing that could justify this because such monies could have been sent to a party account or an account that has nothing to do with the PM.
And with the AmBank being bought over – basically speaking – by RHB, there will be no trace in the near future that such a bank existed.
The AmBank Group was slapped with a RM53.7mil fine by Bank Negara in November 2015.
BNM did not specify the exact reasons for the fine.
Once AmBank is swallowed by RHB, it will be history.
AmBank’s name was also mired in a murder, that of its founder, Hussain Najadi who was an international banker born in Bahrain to parents of Persian origin.
In the end, the merger will probably or most definitely erase a suspicious money trail, but will it kill the 1MDB scandal off this time?