Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday, 9 August 2017:
Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani should not bluff Malaysians by stating that the Government “has never given public funds to 1MDB to settle its debts”
According to Bernama yesterday, Second Finance Minister, Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said that “the Finance Ministry (MoF) has never given any public funds to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to help settle its debt”.
The Minister must think that Malaysians are complete and utter idiots to be served what is one of biggest piece of cow dung amongst all the attempts to cover up the 1MDB scandal.
The Ministry of Finance has on so many occasions come to the rescue of 1MDB over the past 2 years involving billions of ringgit of tax-payers’ monies, and yet Dato’ Seri Johari has the cheek to tell us that the MoF “has never given any public funds to 1MDB”.
Among the most clear-cut examples are the RM800 million loan from SOCSO and another RM2.4 billion Bandar Malaysia sukuk bond which the MoF have assumed as a result of taking over TRX City Sdn Bhd and Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
The Auditor-General has reported that nearly all of the above proceeds of the 1MDB borrowings were never used for the development of the 2 property projects above. Hence when MoF agreed to take over the property projects and assumed the liabilities, MoF has effectively “settled” 1MDB’s RM3.2 billion debt problem.
What’s more, when 1MDB had originally sold a 60% stake in Bandar Malaysia to an Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) Sdn Bhd-led consortium, they had collected, and presumably spent the RM741 million deposit which has been paid upon the signing of the sale and purchase agreement in December 2015.
However, when MoF terminated the sale due to IWH payment defaults, it was MoF who coughed up the RM741 million to refund the deposit paid by the consortium. If the deposit, should have been refunded at all, it should have been by 1MDB, and not by the Malaysian tax-payers.
The above doesn’t yet include MoF subsidiary or subsidiaries which actually acquired properties from 1MDB in TRX at inflated prices. The irony is, it was MoF who sold the land to 1MDB in the first place at dirt cheap prices.
We understand the conundrum Dato’ Seri Johari Abdul Ghani is facing as the 2nd Finance Minister who has fallen out of favour and having to defend the indefensible regain the Prime Minister’s favour. It is now clear that he has been dropped by Dato’ Seri Najib Razak from handling the 1MDB imbroglio, particularly in the company’s multi-billion dollar dispute with Abu Dhabi’s IPIC.
However, the Second Finance Minister should not go to the extent to telling outright lies to pull the wool over the people’s eyes. Dato’ Seri Johari should not forget his role and responsibility to the people of Malaysia by sacrificing his own integrity and honour.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of theedgemarkets.com/The Edge group.