KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 15 ― DAP’s Tony Pua today criticised Singapore’s Straits Times (ST) over what he claimed has been a “persistent misreporting” on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

This follows after ST published stories quoting senior government officials, alleging that the Pakatan Harapan government is facing difficulties in paying a US$50.3million (RM209 million) interest payment incurred by the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to the International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).

The payment is reportedly due today.

Pua, who is the political secretary of the Minister of Finance Lim Guan Eng explained that the supposed interest charges is not the first that the Ministry of Finance (MoF)  has had to pay for as the ministry had already paid an interest payment of RM143.75 million the on May 30 for a 1MDB bond “guaranteed” by International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC).

“ST got it so wrong because MoF had already authorised and made the October coupon payments without fuss. Surely, ST can get better sources for its stories.

“And what ‘dangerous precedent” is ST referring to?’,” he asked.

Pua also said a full settlement of the milestone payment to IPIC before the October 15 deadline would amount to the “explicit “recognition of the PH government on the liabilities and commitments it inherited from the previous government on all 1MDB-related matters.

“That in turn, would set a dangerous precedent, which other creditors of the scandal-plagued sovereign fund are likely to seize upon when demanding the settlement of debts,” he said.

Pua also explained that the Malaysian government did not owe a whopping US$6.89 billion (RM28.65billion) before interest charges to IPIC’s parent company, Mubadala Development Co PJSC.

“The Abu Dhabi company stated that the guarantee for IPIC debts amounting to approximately US$6.89 billion (RM 28.65billion) will be assumed by its parent company Mudabala Development Company PJSC.

“The announcement at the same time discloses that the ‘Guaranteed Obligations’ provided by IPIC for the two 1MDB bonds amounting to US$3.5 bill (RM14.55 bill), will also be assumed by Mudabala.  It doesn’t say that 1MDB owed US$6.89 billion in debts to IPIC or Mudabala,” Pua said.