Finance Minister wants the former premier to give details and explain several large 1MDB transactions made during his tenure.
PETALING JAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng is demanding an accounting from Najib Razak of several transactions made by state-owned 1MDB during Najib’s tenure as the prime minister.
These include an investment of US$1.83 billion with the energy group Petrosaudi International Limited between 2009 and 2011, and US$3.5 billion raised in 2013 to invest in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) financial district property development in Kuala Lumpur.
Lim asked: “Where has the US$3.5 billion, raised in 2012 for the purposes of acquiring power plants in Malaysia, gone to?”
1MDB bought and sold several power-generating companies between 2010 and 2015. Among them were Powertek, from tycoon Ananda Krishnan’s Tanjong group; Genting Group’s power assets; a majority stake in Jimah Energy Ventures; and two power generation concessions. Last year, 1MDB sold its power assets to a Chinese company.
Its investment in a joint venture with PSI began as an equity investment which was later converted into an Islamic loan that came up to US$2.22 billion. However, problems with the PSI investment led to the unravelling of financial and management problems at the company, which is wholly owned by the Ministry of Finance.
This later led to a civil suit in the United States by the Justice Department, which alleged that up to US$4 billion might have been embezzled from the company. The Justice Department also sought to seize property and luxury assets which it said had been acquired with 1MDB-linked funds.
Lim said it would be more “productive” for Najib, who is also the former finance minister, to account for these transactions instead of arguing if 1MDB was bailed out by the government.
Yesterday, Najib had denied that the Treasury, Bank Negara Malaysia and Khazanah Nasional Bhd had to “bail out” 1MDB’s debts as Lim had claimed.
In response, Lim said today that the Treasury would work with a 1MDB Special Committee set up by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad “to uncover the complete truth behind 1MDB in order to recover as much of the lost and stolen funds as possible to plug the debts and deficits created by the Najib administration.”
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