‘Too little, too late, too paltry’, Kit Siang says of new Goldman CEO’s remarks after 1MDB

Syed Jaymal Zahiid

Lim Kit Siang said Solomon’s message emerged only after the DoJ had clearly indicated complicity on the part of the bank, which was outlined in the civil suits filed in US courts. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — David Solomon’s widely reported voice message to Goldman Sachs employees is insufficient after the US investment bank was incriminated in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.

The Iskandar Puteri MP noted that Solomon’s message emerged only after the United States’ Department of Justice (DoJ) had clearly indicated complicity on the part of the bank, which was outlined in the civil suits filed in US courts.

“Goldman Sachs Group Inc CEO David Solomon’s voice mail to Goldman Sachs employees that ‘This isn’t us’ to distance the mega bank from the multi-billion 1MDB scandal is too late, too little and too paltry,” Lim said in a statement.

Solomon reportedly told his staff in a text message leaked to the press that what the investment bank had done “isn’t us”, a move Lim suggested was nothing more than an attempt to whitewash Goldman’s involvement in the reported fraud of hundreds of billions of dollars of a sovereign fund.

The leaked message came just after Solomon openly told a forum in Singapore last week that he felt “horrible” for the bank’s non-compliance and role in facilitating the bond raised for 1MDB.

The veteran lawmaker reiterated his assertion that Malaysians are not interested in consolation, but want Goldman to repay the US$600 million.

“Just repay US$600 million to 1MDB to show genuine contrition and take first step back to become a responsible global corporate citizen,” he said.

Goldman was said to have practised “material misrepresentations and omitted facts” of the three 1MDB bonds arranged in 2012 and 2013, the DOJ said in its suits.

It also indicated “almost-instant misappropriation and fraudulent diversion” of some 40 per cent each of the three bonds.

Goldman’s former South-east Asia chief Tim Leissner has since confessed to two counts of conspiracy to launder money and conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in relation to the 1MDB scandal.

In his guilty plea in a New York district court on August 28, which was unsealed on November 8, Leissner said others at the bank helped him conceal bribes used to retain business in Malaysia.

Lim alleged if not for Leissner’s confession, the US bank could have attempted to wash its hands of responsibility for the 1MDB scandal.

The DAP leader also stressed that the investigation has yet to expose the scandal’s other players.

“Leissner has admitted that he bribed officials in two countries — Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates — to get bond deals for Goldman Sachs. Who are these Malaysian officials?”

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