KUALA LUMPUR, June 26 ― Both energy giant PetroSaudi International and 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should publicly release the original version of documents of their aborted joint venture they claimed to have been illegally altered and leaked in order to clear their name, DAP’s Tony Pua said today.
The Petaling Jaya Utara MP noted that 1MDB had not attempted to debunk the allegations even half a year after the incriminating documents first surfaced on whistleblower website, The Sarawak Report.
The opposition lawmaker also hit out at Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi whom he accused of abusing his authority with his warning that the government will go after media organisations that report unverified information about the aborted 1MDB-PetroSaudi deal.
“Instead, the best way for Petrosaudi or 1MDB to debunk, once and for all, all the various allegations published and exposed by The Sarawak Report or any other media organisations, is to provide the proof to the contrary,” Pua said in a statement.
Pua said 1MDB nor PetroSaudi have not even verbally denied the specifics of previous exposes, and did not even attempt to sue the publisher of the Sarawak Report, Clare Rewcastle, who had challenged them to do so.
“There was no attempt by Petrosaudi, 1MDB or Jho Low to do so. All we get is meek and general denials, merely brushing aside the very serious allegations as ‘tampered information.
“Come on, 1MDB. Man up, or own up. Stop hiding underneath the Government skirt pleading secrecy while threatening to abuse its powers,” Pua challenged.
Yesterday, Zahid said the authorities will investigate business paper The Edge following the arrest of a former PetroSaudi executive believed to be the source of the leaked documents on an abortive US$1.2 billion (RM4.5 billion) 1MDB-PetroSaudi venture from which hundreds of millions were allegedly siphoned out.
The home minister said after receiving a report on the arrest from their Thai counterparts that included forensic analysis of the leaked data, the Malaysian authorities concluded that the documents had been tampered with in a bid to tarnish the joint venture.
Zahid also urged the Malaysian Communication Multimedia Commission to investigate and act against Sarawak Report, the whistleblower website that published the alleged leaked email correspondence between 1MDB and PetroSaudi.
Xavier Justo, a Swiss national, was arrested by the Thai police on Monday.
A report by the New Straits Times on Tuesday said that Justo had allegedly attempted to blackmail and extort 2.5 million Swiss francs (about RM10 million) from PetroSaudi over the release of these purportedly incriminating document.
The daily also reported that the documents were found to have been doctored.
Many of these leaked documents were published on Sarawak Report, but an anonymous blog on June 7 reproduced documents that supposedly show 1MDB’s US$1.2 billion deal with Petrosaudi was a legitimate arrangement.