KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The combined RM180 billion in gross development value (GDV) for the Bandar Malaysia and Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) projects does not mean that they will reap profits of that amount, Tony Pua said today.
The Damansara MP also told MCA president Wee Ka Siong that the government did not “own” the GDV, after the latter claimed that the GDV of both projects was “more than enough” to settle state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) debt.
“I am completely floored by how Wee, a professional engineer with a doctorate to his name, could mistake GDV as profits which could be used to repay 1MDB’s RM31 billion of debt,” Pua said in a statement.
“At best, if the government of Malaysia does succeed in selling all of its land bank in Bandar Malaysia and TRX, we will receive proceeds, valued between RM12 billion to RM15 billion.
“Even then, the sales proceed would have to deduct RM3.2 billion of borrowings inherited separately from 1MDB for these properties, as well as the multi-billion ringgit cost of developing the infrastructure for these projects,” Pua added.
Pua also claimed that the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) administration sold the Bandar Malaysia and TRX land to 1MDB “for a song”.
“During 1MDB’s control over them, hardly anything was developed. Instead 1MDB used these land assets to secure RM3.2 billion of borrowings which were immediately channelled towards the repayment and cover up of other 1MDB liabilities unrelated to the property development projects.
“Hence how in the world could Dr Wee and Najib claim credit for 1MDB being ‘beneficial and played an important role in the development of the country’?” said the DAP lawmaker, referring to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“Finally, even if both the Bandar Malaysia and TRX projects were able to repay all of 1MDB’s debts, which they can’t, does it in any way justify the massive embezzlement which has taken place in 1MDB? Is Dr Wee arguing that it is perfectly alright to be the world capital of kleptocracy, as long as Malaysia owns sufficient assets to repay what was stolen by its leaders?”
Najib is currently undergoing a corruption trial where he is accused of swindling RM42 million from former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.