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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 18 — Malaysia won’t be defaulted for payments owed on debt-riddled sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said today.
He said the government has coughed up US$50.3 million (RM208.8 million) in interest for the 1MDB Energy Langat Limited bond due today.
He added that the total interest owed this year is RM1.69 billion and they will be divided into two separate payments of US$52.413 million (RM217.51 million) and RM143.75 million each.
“These are the interest payments and we will continue to make these payments.
“Malaysia will not be in default. So we will make the payments especially the discharge of 1MDB Energy Langat Limited payments, interest payments of US$50.3 million or equivalent to RM208.8 million,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.
Lim said the government will continue to honour the interest payments in order to safeguard Malaysia’s international reputation and position in global ratings agencies.
“If we look into this, the entire scandal has cost as much as RM50 billion. What did the people benefit from this apart from being known by the world as the champion of global kleptocracy?
“This is a scandal that has hurt Malaysia not just financially but also our international image.
“The present government will continue to take fiscal steps to handle the matter... and we will fulfill the commitment to clear the 1MDB debt so that Malaysia will not be defaulted,” he said.
When asked where the government will source funds, given the current state of the debts and liabilities, Lim answered, “We have to find it.”
“That is why it is not much fun being the finance minister when you got to find the money to pay for these scandals because people have robbed the country blind,” he said.