After bailout denial, MoF asks Najib for whereabouts of 1MDB’s RM33b funds

Zurairi Ar
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng arrives for a press conference at the Ministry of Finance in Putrajaya May 24, 2018. — Picture by Mukhriz Hazim

KUALA LUMPUR, May 27 — The Ministry of Finance (MoF) chided today Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s denial that the RM6.9 billion payment to service 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debts last year was a “bailout”.

Minister Lim Guan Eng said instead of debating the status of the payments, the former prime minister should instead explain the result of several transactions from 2009 involving over US$8.35 billion (RM33 billion).

“There could be no other description for the RM6.98 billion worth of payments by MoF on behalf of 1MDB to date, other than to describe it as the single largest bailout in history carried out by the Government of Malaysia,” Lim said in a statement.

“Instead of debating whether the above payments were a bailout by the MoF, it would be more productive for Datuk Seri Najib Razak to account for the following transactions,” he added.

Lim listed the US$1.83 billion (RM7.3 billion) invested with Petrosaudi International Limited between 2009 and 2011; the US$3.5 billion (RM13.9 billion) raised in 2012 for acquiring power plants in Malaysia; and the US$3 billion (RM11.9 billion) raised in 2013 for investing in TRX.

The Bagan MP also said that the RM6.98 billion paid by MoF on behalf of 1MDB were in relation to borrowings, completely unrelated to the real estate projects sold by 1MDB to government-linked entities.

“The MoF will work hand-in-glove with the 1MDB Special Committee set up by the YAB Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir, to uncover the complete truth behind the 1MDB,” he said, insisting that those responsible will be punished.

On Tuesday, Lim had said that MoF has paid RM6.98 billion on behalf of 1MDB since 2017, not including another RM954 million payment due by end of this year.