Media Statement by Tony Pua, DAP National Publicity Secretary and Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, 3 August 2017:
No Malaysian or international is willing to help 1MDB launder funds via the sale of fraudulent investment ‘units’ to cover up 1MDB’s debt to IPIC
1MDB has failed to meet its own self-imposed deadline to repay its debts to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC). The first instalment of US$602,725,000 was due on 31 July as part of the settlement arrived at the London Arbitration Court between IPIC, 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance in April 2017.
Then, 1MDB had disclosed that “these obligations will be met by 1MDB, primarily via monetization of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.
Now with the payment in default, 1MDB said that it “is awaiting funds that were due to be received in July. Due to the need for additional regulatory approvals, the receipt of those funds has been delayed to August.”
The Prime Minister, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak repeated the same when questioned in Parliament by the Opposition Leader, Dato’ Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, claiming that the delay in payment is merely a “technical issue” without elaborating any further.
All of the above responses are cryptic and opaque as no one after reading or listening to the above responses have any clue as to why exactly is there apparent difficulty in processing the above transactions, or what regulatory approvals are involved, in making the above payment to IPIC.
The reason for the opacity and secrecy is simple. There is no Bank in the world today who is willing to process the ‘sale’ of the 1MDB-owned investment fund ‘units’. This is because the United States Department of Justice have stated that these ‘units’ were fraudulent. They were created to cover-up the more than US$1 billion which were misappropriated by 1MDB to Good Star Limited when the intent was to have invested with Petrosaudi International Limited.
In fact, the Singapore Courts also confirmed that the financial analyst from NRA Capital in Singapore was bribed to produce the false valuation report on these investment ‘units’.
Any Bank, Malaysian or international which facilitates the transaction involving the sale of these fraudulent investment ‘units’ by 1MDB to whoever or whichever party would hence be guilty of facilitating money laundering.
BSI Bank, the Singapore branch of the 132-year-old Swiss private bank which was the ‘custodian bank’ for the above 1MDB investment had already been punished. It’s merchant banking licence was terminated by Singapore and subsequently, the Switzerland’s financial regulator, FINMA has demanded that the Bank be dissolved.
No bank worth its salt would want to experience and endure the same fate as BSI Bank or many other Banks which have been fined and punished as a result of their entanglement with 1MDB.
The only way for 1MDB to repay IPIC would be a direct payment by the Government of Malaysia to IPIC. However, if that were to happen, it would be a direct admission by the Government that 1MDB is carrying the fraudulent investment and billions of dollars have been lost and stolen from the company, which requires a further mega-bailout from the country’s coffers.
Therefore, the decision by the Speaker to deny the Member of Parliament for Segambut’s motion to debate the default by 1MDB is a clear decision to save Dato’ Seri Najib Razak the embarrassment of having the truth revealed in Parliament or worse, incriminating the Prime Minister in the largest ever financial scandal to be inflicted on Malaysia.
We call upon Dato’ Seri Najib Razak to explain himself and tell the full truth to the millions of Malaysians who are gravely concerned with the RM50 billion 1MDB scandal. If there is ‘noting to hide’ and what we have stated above is in anyway without basis as the BN leaders often claim, then come to Parliament, answer questions and debate openly.
The views expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of theedgemarkets.com/The Edge group.