‘Be fair’ as 1MDB does good things too, deputy minister tells critics

Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan says 1MDB has spent a total of RM382.3 million on social initiatives, making it the biggest contributor among state-owned companies. ― Picture by Siow Saw Feng
Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan says 1MDB has spent a total of RM382.3 million on social initiatives, making it the biggest contributor among state-owned companies. ― Picture by Siow Saw Feng

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KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 20 ― Deputy Finance Minister Ahmad Maslan revealed today that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) had spent a total of RM382.3 million on social initiatives, making it the biggest contributor among state-owned companies.

In an attempt to deflect the bad publicity the government investment firm has been getting in the past months, Ahmad appealed to the public to look at the fund's “positive” efforts.

“Be fair to 1MDB. Don't only be cynical. Look at it positively,” he said at a press conference in Parliament.

Topping the list in 1MDB’s corporate social responsibility drive is the annual haj pilgrimage, for which the sovereign wealth fund had spent RM28.2 million since 2011.

The programmes executed under the 1Malaysia Foundation include several mobile clinic initiatives, Bantuan Teksi 1Malaysia, and educational programmes.

“1MDB has sponsored close to 2,300 haj pilgrimages... this list includes people who also support the opposition parties,” said Ahmad.

“And where does 1MDB get these funds? It is from its profits... in 2010 1MDB made RM424 million, RM544 million in 2011, RM44 million in 2012, RM778 million in 2013 and only in 2014 we filed a loss of RM665 million,” he said.

“I hope 1MDB gets fair coverage... it has done a lot of good things too,” he added.

1MDB, which is wholly-owned by the government of Malaysia, booked a loss of RM665.36 million in its previous financial year.

1MDB’s filing showed a loss before tax of RM668.55 million against reported revenues of RM4.258 billion.

The filing was made after the sovereign wealth fund closed its books on November 5, some seven months after the end of its financial year in March 31, 2014.

The loss was smaller, however, than that registered in its previous financial year, when it suffered losses of RM778.243 million.

Meanwhile 1MDB claimed its non-current assets now stood at RM31.879 billion while current assets were at RM19.529 billion. It continues to hold a total of RM48.5 billion in both non-current and current liabilities.

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