Najib urged to disclose dealings of 1MDB and Yurus PE Fund

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 12): Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to come clean on the dealings between state-owned investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the US private company DuSable Capital Management LLC following the latest disclosure on Yurus Private Equity Fund I LP (Yurus PE Fund).

PKR Kelana Jaya MP Wong Chen urged Najib to disclose information pertaining to Yurus PE Fund to the public.

"Who are the two investors behind the Yurus PE Fund? On Oct 17, 2013, DuSable reported to the US Securities and Exchange Commission that the Yurus PE Fund had raised US$505 million from two investors.

"This matter is even more curious now that 1MDB has admitted that on Oct 2, 2014, it had bought from Yurus PE Fund the 49% rights under the Master joint venture agreement (JVA) for US$69 million (RM300 million). Note that the Master JVA was only signed six months earlier," Wong said in a statement today.

Wong said: "I therefore urge the Prime Minister to again come clean on the matter and disclose more to the public about the owners of the Yurus PE Fund so that we all can assess whether Yurus PE Fund had handsomely profited RM300 million after a mere six months of paperwork."

In a joint statement yesterday, 1MDB-DuSable had said that 1MDB, via its wholly-owned unit 1MDB Synergy Sdn Bhd (1MDB Synergy) and Yurus PE Fund had signed a Master JVA to jointly develop the 500MW solar power plant in Malaysia on April 11, 2014.

DuSable Capital Management was appointed as the investment adviser to Yurus PE Fund. The Master JVA shareholding was 49% Yurus PE Fund and 51% 1MDB Synergy. However, on Oct 2, 2014, 1MDB acquired the entire interest from Yurus PE Fund for US$69 million (RM300 million).

1MDB-DuSable said the acquisition was to ensure that 1MDB and Edra Global Energy Sdn Bhd would own 100% of the rights to develop up to 500MW of solar power plants, prior to the launch of a proposed initial public offering of Edra.

Recall that Najib, who is also the chairman of the 1MDB advisory board, had on Oct 27 briefly replied to Wong in a written reply in Parliament that 1MDB and DuSable have not signed any joint venture agreement on the solar power plant project in Kedah.

Not satisfied with the answer, Wong said he had on two occasions asked the Prime Minister to come clean on the deal, in particular after revelations that US$506,000 was paid as fees and disbursements to DuSable.

"I appreciate the joint statement issued by 1MDB-DuSable but I was expecting a reply from the Prime Minister since the matter was for him to reply to Parliament. Therefore, I still call upon him to give the public a straightforward answer on the matter," Wong added.

As for 1MDB-DuSable's reply issued on Wednesday (Nov 11), Wong said it technically argues, on behalf of the Prime Minister, that the relationship is not a "project level joint venture agreement" after admitting that the relationship involved a "Master JVA" and "discussions for a partnership".

"Why is 1MDB-DuSable trying their level best to technically justify the Prime Minister's written reply to my Parliamentary question, which did not even mention any 'joint venture agreement' in the very first place?" Wong queried.

He added that the disclosure must be urgent and completed before US President Barack Obama arrives in Malaysia for the 27th Asean Summit. DuSable is owned by Frank White junior, a chief fundraiser for President Obama, he added.