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KUALA LUMPUR, May 23 ― As much as RM9.8 billion worth of investment units parked abroad by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has been revealed to be nothing more than a “scam”, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said 1MDB director Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali had told his ministry as much during a closed-door briefing earlier while relating a dispute between the board and the sovereign investment fund’s management regarding some US$940 million (RM3.743 billion) worth of investment units with Singapore's BSI Bank and another US$1.56 billion (RM6.21 billion) in overseas investment funds with 1MDB Global Investments Limited.
“These investments are worth purportedly some RM9.8 billion, which if redeemed, would be more than sufficient to meet 1MDB's financial obligations for the next few years.
“The board of directors claimed they have repeatedly disputed the value and the existence of these investments during monthly board meetings. This is because the 1MDB management had repeatedly failed to supply the board with evidence of the existence of these investments over the past two years.
“Datuk Kamal called these investments a scam. That's the director himself saying it,” Lim was quoted telling reporters in Putrajaya.
He also said he has ordered the Finance Ministry’s legal advisers to review 1MDB chief executive officer and president Arul Kanda Kandasamy role in the company after the latter purported to be clueless when asked the value of the investments or if they existed at all.
“We want Malaysians to know the true financial state of affairs in 1MDB. We will then be able to determine the cost to the taxpayers,” Lim was quoted saying further.
Lim had issued a statement earlier after the 1MDB briefing in which he disclosed the brainchild of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not be able to repay its debts.