KUALA LUMPUR, March 24 — State investment firm 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) will execute a separation exercise involving an undisclosed number of employees, Singapore’s Business Times reported today.
The business daily said that the firm is expected to inform those of its 33-strong workforce who are affected soon, but did not disclose the source of this information.
The paper added that the retrenchment could indicate that 1MDB is moving towards winding down its operations and liquidating its remaining assets for the rationalisation plan approved by the Cabinet to pare down its RM42 billion in debt.
1MDB president Arul Kanda declined to confirm the retrenchment exercise, telling Business Times only that the firm was “constantly evaluating” its workforce and operational needs.
“We will of course make an official announcement as and when there are relevant updates to be made,” Arul said in response to the paper’s queries.
The state-owned firm in December completed its three-step rationalisation plan that included an asset-for-debt swap with an Abu Dhabi sovereign fund, the sale of its Edra Global Energy unit, and the disposal of a 60-per cent stake in Bandar Malaysia to a Chinese-Johor consortium.
1MDB said yesterday that it has finalised the sale of Edra assets to a China General Nuclear Power Corporation subsidiary.
In May, national news agency Bernama reported that 1MDB would be wound down this year and its operations moved to three different companies.
This was later denied by Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.
1MDB had been investigated by a multi-agency taskforce as well as the Public Accounts Committee.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak told Parliament that the police are still investigating the firm.