KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 ― 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy accused whistleblower site Sarawak Report today of publishing lies, saying he has never provided false bank statements on the firm's assets in Singapore to Bank Negara.
In a brief statement here, the CEO noted that in one recent report, the news portal had written, “Arul Kandasamy had provided a false bank statement to Bank Negara to imply that [1MDB] had [cash in a BSI account in Singapore].”
“This is a lie. I have never provided any such statement to Bank Negara.
“To state otherwise is blatantly false and incorrect, as are any allegations that are based on this premise,” Arul Kanda said.
Last week, the Finance Ministry had come to Arul Kanda's defence over the alleged false bank statements, saying in a parliamentary reply that the claim was not true.
Following his denial today, Arul Kanda urged all parties to await the outcome of the ongoing inquiries into 1MDB's deals by the Auditor General and the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and reiterated his intention to fully cooperate with both probes.
He added that he is also looking forward to appearing before the PAC. He was summoned for a hearing earlier this week but was unable to attend due to overseas commitments.
“These enquiries, which are transparent and bipartisan, should answer the many questions that have been asked of the company.
“As such, we request all parties to await the outcome of these independent enquiries, and refrain from making irresponsible and unfounded allegations in the meantime,” he said.
In Sarawak Report's latest expose last month, it was alleged that Arul Kanda had distributed falsified financial statements to various parties on 1MDB's assets held in Singapore's BSI.
The assets, according to the expose, were purportedly held under 1MDB's wholly-owned subsidiary Brazen Sky Limited.
The whistleblower site also claimed that the Swiss bank branch in Singapore told the island state's authorities that the documents did not originate from them and do not represent the true picture of 1MDB's assets.
The information was subsequently relayed to the Malaysian authorities in March.
In January, the Finance Ministry said 1MDB had deposited the US$1.103 billion (RM3.91 billion) it redeemed from its offshore account in the Cayman Islands into a Singapore-based branch of Swiss bank BSI Bank, with the amount held in US dollars.
Explaining why the funds were not repatriated back to Malaysia, Arul Kanda told a Business Times interview in February that this was because the funds were to be used to service 1MDB's US dollar debt interest payments.
Arul Kanda, in clearing the air over the movement of the recently redeemed funds, said it was only “sensible” that the money stays in US dollars.
But in the latest twist to the story last week, DAP MP Tony Pua revealed yet another Finance Ministry reply to him claiming that the redeemed investment was not held in BSI Bank in cash but in assets.
The US$1.103 billion is the second tranche of funds in 1MDB’s Cayman Islands foray, which totalled US$2.32 billion.
1MDB, a brainchild of Najib's, is currently the subject of an investigation by the Auditor General’s Department and in line for further scrutiny by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.