IPG Mediabrands clarifies events leading up to MACC civil forfeiture suit

IPG Mediabrands has clarified and offered context to the events leading up to the press statement recently issued by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). IPG Mediabrands and GroupM were among the 41 respondents named in the civil forfeiture suit which aims to recover RM270 million that was reportedly misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

In a statement to A+M, IPG Mediabrands’ spokesperson said that in 2013, the agency served as media consultants on a Chinese New Year campaign for the Prime Minister’s Nation Branding Division and worked with reputable media owners to execute it. The spokesperson said:

All related business proceedings have been verified.

The spokesperson added that upon being contacted by the MACC regarding the funds received for the Nation Branding campaign in 2013, it immediately cooperated and furnished MACC with all necessary documentation and evidence.
“IPG Mediabrands will continue to respond to any further proceedings transparently and cooperatively,” the spokesperson said. Meanwhile, GroupM declined to comment on A+M‘s queries.

According to Bernama, MACC chief commissioner Latheefa Koya said yesterday that the 41 respondents named in its civil forfeiture suit can file their affidavits against the legal move. By doing so, Latheefa said the respondents can deny their involvement in the 1MDB scandal by offering “solid evidence”, Bernama said. According to her, an affidavit is encouraged because providing evidence through the media or other platforms “will just sensationalise the issue”. Also, evidence in an affidavit can be used in court, Bernama quoted Latheefa.

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