Guan Eng: Goldman apology not enough, what matters is the US$7.5b money

Lim repeated his assertion that the government is willing to negotiate dropping the charges filed in the US against Goldman if the bank would pay the money asked. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Lim repeated his assertion that the government is willing to negotiate dropping the charges filed in the US against Goldman if the bank would pay the money asked. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Jan 18 ― The apology by Goldman Sachs was necessary, but insufficient considering its role in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) financial scandal, Malaysia’s finance minister said today.

Lim Guan Eng said the US investment bank must still pay Malaysia the US$7.5 billion (RM30.87 billion) claimed for losses suffered by the sovereign investment fund.

“An apology is not enough. With US$7.5 billion at stake, that is what matters,” he told a press conference here.

He said the government will continue to push for repayment until Goldman coughs up the money.

“They claim they were cheated by one of their own, along with the connivance from government officials of the highest level in the previous administration.

“This involves a breach of fiduciary duties. Goldman Sachs should understand the agony and trauma suffered by the rakyat as a result of the 1MDB issue,” Lim said.

He added that if Pakatan Harapan had not won the 14th general election in May 9 last year, the investment bank would be unlikely to tender its apology.

Lim also repeated his assertion that the government is willing to negotiate dropping the charges filed in the US against Goldman if the bank would pay the money asked.

The Attorney General filed charges against Goldman in the US courts last year, seeking compensation for the abuse of the sovereign fund and US$600 million (RM2.46 billion) in fees Goldman obtained from the deals in arranging the bonds.

Goldman CEO David Solomon apologised to Malaysians two days ago for the scandal, but at the same time attempted to divert its accountability by pinning full blame on its rogue former employee Tim Leissner who had already pleaded guilty in the US court to bribery charges over 1MDB.