Finance minister: 1MDB siphoned off more than RM3b from TRX

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference on the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project in Putrajaya June 21, 2018. ― Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference on the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project in Putrajaya June 21, 2018. ― Picture by Azinuddin Ghazali

PUTRAJAYA, June 21 — More than RM3 billion was taken from the Tun Razak Exchange project to pay off debts accrued by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.

Lim said the previous federal government, then under Barisan Nasional (BN), had guaranteed borrowings, extended advances and provided transfers to, as well as purchased land from master developer Tun Razak Exchange City Sdn Bhd (TRXC) since 2012.

In total, the BN administration led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak had issued a payment up to RM3.688 billion where RM3.067 billion was misappropriated by 1MDB to pay its loan repayments, he added.

“Of this, RM3,688 million of transfers, a total of RM3,067 million, were misappropriated by 1MDB, mainly for 1MDB loan repayments. As a result of the misappropriation of funds, TRXC does not have enough money to fulfil its obligations as the Master Developer for TRX,” Lim told a news conference here.

He said the new Cabinet now under Pakatan Harapan has decided to inject another RM2.8 billion into the project to avoid paying compensation of up to RM3.5 billion and to boost investor confidence.

In total, the government will be forking out RM6.5 billion for the project.

Lim added that one of the reasons TRXC had to request for government aid, instead of raising its own funds via other financial institutions, was due to its links to the scandal-ridden 1MDB.

He has also instructed TRXC’s chief executive officer Datuk Azmar Talib and its management to lodge a police report and the investigative panel on 1MDB over the RM3 billion being siphoned off.

TRXC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Finance Ministry and was formerly known as 1MDB Real Estate Sdn Bhd. Back then, it was a 1MDB subsidiary.

It was transferred to the Finance Ministry in 2017 as advised by the Public Accounts Committee in Parliament.