Arul Kanda: Lack of issues reason why Opposition focused on 1MDB

By Loghun Kumaran
1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy explaining the fund's assets and loans during a forum in Ipoh March 18, 2018. — Picture by Pheong Kar Yu

IPOH, Mar 18 — The Opposition is harping on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue because it has nothing else to criticise the government for, says 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Arul Kanda, who is also 1MDB executive director, said this at a forum on the sovereign fund which was organised by Tambun non-governmental organisations here earlier today.

During a question and answer session, Arul Kanda was asked why the 1MDB issue was still being linked with the government and why certain parties still did not understand that the company's business was separate from the government.

“It's not that they don't understand, but they don't want to understand. The government has taken the right steps to run the country, improve our economy, and create job opportunities,”Arul Kanda replied.

“They cannot oppose the government policies, so what is left? They have to flare up 1MDB because there is nothing else.”

Arul Kanda said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been linked to the company's issues for a number of reasons, including his former position as chairman of its' advisory board.

However, he stressed that the advisory board did not have any executive powers.

Arul Kanda also pointed out that the United States Department of Justice(DOJ)'s civil suit against the sovereign fund had not gone to trial yet, despite being filed nearly two years ago in July 2016.

“Recently, the DOJ requested the courts to postpone the case for another six months. It has been nearly two years, so why is it taking so long?” Arul Kanda said.

“Why should we speculate about the case when it has not even started yet? We should wait for the courts to decide whether the DOJ's allegations are true or not.”

During the forum, Arul Kanda explained the background of 1MDB, the challenges it had faced, and what the company was doing to solve the challenges.

Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, who was present to officiate the event, said it was good for the people to get a clear explanation on the issue.

He also voiced his dissatisfaction with London-based weekly The Economist, which recently ran articles on the coming Malaysian elections that disparaged the prime minister.

“Issues like this are used to play with emotions as the election draws closer. I hope talks like this can share the right information and knowledge with the people of Perak,” Zambry said.

“I am confident that when the issue is explained thoroughly, the people will get a much clearer picture.”