The Malaysian government needs to improve transparency in the wake of the long-running 1MDB scandal, CIMB Chairman Nazir Razak, the prime minister's brother, told CNBC.
"It's been a very painful number of months in the international media," Nazir told CNBC's "Street Signs" on Thursday on the sidelines of the WEF Asean conference in Cambodia. "I think they are trying to complete the financial restructuring of 1MDB, but I think the government still needs to improve in terms of overall transparency and understanding of what exactly transpired."
In April of 2016, Nazir voluntarily took a leave of absence from his bank during CIMB's investigation into his role in distributing around $7 million in political funds for his brother in the lead up to the 2013 elections.
Nazir was cleared by CIMB's independent investigation and returned to work about a month later.
Questions about movement of funds from 1MDB came to widespread attention when the Wall Street Journal reported that in 2013 nearly $700 million had flowed from the debt-ridden fund to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank account.
Najib, who also chaired 1MDB's advisory board and launched 1MDB as a pet project to promote economic development, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and, under pressure from the outcry caused by the report, said the funds were a private donation from a Middle Eastern country he declined to name at the time, but was later identified as Saudi Arabia. He has denied benefiting personally from the funds.
Last year, the U.S. Department of Justice moved to seize more than $1 billion of assets it said was tied to an international conspiracy to launder funds funnelled away from 1MDB.
That complaint said officials at 1MDB, their relatives and other associates diverted more than $3.5 billion from the state fund and laundered it through complex transactions and shell companies.