Anti Money Laundering (AML) in Malaysia
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Money laundering in Malaysia is not a significant issue, however its financial sectors are susceptible to crimes related to narcotics traffickers, financiers of terrorism, and other criminal elements.
Since 2000, Malaysia has made significant progress in constructing a comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regime. Malaysia’s National Coordination Committee to Counter Money Laundering (NCC), comprised of members from 13 government agencies, oversaw the drafting of Malaysia’s Anti Money Laundering Act of 2001 (AMLA) and coordinates government-wide AML efforts.
The AMLA, enacted in January 2002, criminalized money laundering and lifted bank secrecy provisions for criminal investigations involving more than 150 predicate offenses. The law also created a Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) located within the Central Bank, called Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM). The FIU is tasked with receiving and analyzing information and sharing financial intelligence with the appropriate enforcement agencies for further investigations. The Malaysian FIU works with more than twelve other agencies to identify and investigate suspicious transactions.
AML Training in Malaysia
Malaysia's Anti Money Laundering Act of 2001 requires all reporting institutions to create ongoing employee training programs to guard against and recognize suspicious transactions. Institutions must also require training for subsidiaries outside of Malaysia.
The Economy of Malaysia
Malaysia, a middle-income country, has transformed itself since the 1970s from a producer of raw materials into an emerging multi-sector economy. The Government of Malaysia is continuing efforts to boost domestic demand to wean the economy off of its dependence on exports. Nevertheless, exports (particularly electronics) remain a significant driver of the economy. As an oil and gas exporter, Malaysia has profited from higher world energy prices, although the rising cost of domestic gasoline and diesel fuel forced Kuala Lumpur to reduce government subsidies.
Banking In Malaysia
Bank Negara Malaysia is the Central Bank of Malaysia. The Central Bank serves as the banking regulator in the country, including the Islamic financial sector as well. The Central Bank is also the only issuer of currency in Malaysia.
Malaysia’s currency is the Ringgit (RM). It is available in 1, 5, 10, 50, and 100 denominations. Coins are available in 1, 5, 10, 20, and 50 sen and 1 ringgit.
Other Key Statistics of Malaysia
Time Zone: UTC+8 (13 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time).
Location: Southeastern Asia, peninsula bordering Thailand and northern one-third of the island of Borneo, bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam.
Population: 29.72 million (2013 est.).
Labor Force: Approximately 18% work in agriculture, 24% in industry and 58% in services industries. The unemployment rate is 3.7%.
Languages Spoken: Bahasa Malaysia (official), English, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hokkien, Hakka, Hainan, Foochow), Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Panjabi and Thai.
Trade Organizations: Malaysia is a member of the United Nations (UN) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).