KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today continued his defence of 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), saying it was impossible for RM42 billion to be siphoned off unnoticed.
He also insisted that investigations by the Auditor-General and the Public Accounts Committee will reveal that the state-owned investment firm has not lost all its funds.
“I am sure there is no matter that cannot be resolved including 1MDB. There is a solution for it, the money has not disappeared,” he said during his speech while meeting the Umno Veterans at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today.
“The audit for the 1MDB accounts was done by Deloitte; where can RM42 billion go missing?” he asked.
Najib also said the auditors would not have closed 1MDB’s accounts if any money is unaccounted for, much less if RM42 billion had disappeared as alleged.
“Auditors will not sign if even RM1 million is missing,” Najib added
The PM also clarified the recent controversy over the land deal of Lembaga Tabung Haji (LTH) with 1MDB, insisting that it was not a bailout and that the Muslim pilgrims fund was assured of profiting from the deal.
“I can 100 per cent guarantee the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project will be a success in four to five years’ time,” he said.
“It is a worthy investment with the MRT and all coming up there. This is not a bailout but a business transaction.”
LTH is selling the plot of land in the TRX it bought from 1MDB just a month ago after the RM188.5 million deal became perceived as a bailout of the firm.
Critics such as former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad are demanding that Najib resign as the head of the government over an alleged failure to dispel allegations surrounding his administration, including 1MDB’s debts, among others.
Yesterday, Najib took to his blog to address 13 key issues involving his administration.
Earlier today, Dr Mahathir dismissed those responses and said the prime minister answered “nothing”.
The AG said its preliminary report on its audit of 1MDB will be ready next month, while the PAC will start its investigation into the firm tomorrow.