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Pacific News Minute: Switzerland Opens Investigation into Corruption in Malaysia

Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr
Rosmarie Voegtli / Flickr

Last week, Malaysia's attorney general cleared the country's prime minister of all charges in a long running corruption investigation of a state development fund. Then, just a couple of days later, authorities in Switzerland said they have evidence of bribery, money laundering and other crimes involving the same Malaysian fund. We have more, from Neal Conan in the Pacific News Minute.

Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber sent a letter to his Malaysian counterpart about four billion dollars that may have been “misappropriated”. According to the letter, a Malaysian state owned fund called 1MDB participated in several suspect deals with state owned enterprises in the United Arab Emirates, and some of the allegedly misappropriated money ended up in the Swiss bank accounts of former Malaysian officials, and current and former officials of the UAE.

The Swiss statement cited possible violations of Swiss laws related to bribery of foreign officials, misconduct in public office, money laundering and criminal mismanagement of funds intended for economic and social development in Malaysia. Malaysia's Attorney General, Mohamed Apandi Ali, issued a statement promising full co-operation, and noted that the Swiss investigation is entirely separate from the corruption allegations his office dismissed last week.

That case involved nearly 700-million dollars that showed up in the Prime Minster's personal bank accounts, explained away by the Malaysian Attorney General as a personal gift from the Saudi Royal Family. Malaysian investigations into the scandal have all been quashed, but, along with the Swiss, authorities in the United States and Hong Kong are also reported to be probing 1MDB, and while Prime Minister Najib was not named as a target, he created the fund and serves as chairman of the board.

Nick Yee’s passion for music developed at an early age, as he collected jazz and rock records pulled from dusty locations while growing up in both Southern California and Honolulu. In college he started DJing around Honolulu, playing Jazz and Bossa Nova sets at various lounges and clubs under the name dj mr.nick. He started to incorporate Downtempo, House and Breaks into his sets as his popularity grew, eventually getting DJ residences at different Chinatown locations. To this day, he is a fixture in the Honolulu underground club scene, where his live sets are famous for being able to link musical and cultural boundaries, starting mellow and building the audience into a frenzy while steering free of mainstream clichés.
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