KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had signed off a RM5 million payment for former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) chief Arul Kanda Kandasamy in January, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng confirmed today.
Lim, however, said that his ministry now intends to recoup half of the payment that has already been given to Arul Kanda, and will not make the remainder of the payment that was due to the latter in June.
“In January this year, he was paid RM5 million. RM2.5 million was a down payment, and the balance after June 30.
“This was signed off by the former prime minister,” Lim told Dewan Rakyat today during his winding up speech for the motion of thanks to Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
“I can say that we have taken action to take back the RM2.5 million, and won’t pay the remainder RM2.5 million,” he added.
Lim's office later clarified to Malay Mail that the payment was signed off by former Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Irwan Siregar, and not Najib.
Najib had instead approved the payment, it said.
Previously, Malaysiakini, quoting anonymous sources, reported that Arul Kanda was given an ex-gratia payment for six months’ work prior to the 14th general election.
Arul Kanda was sacked from 1MDB on June 29, for “breaching contract” and his “fiduciary duty” as the state investment firm’s head.