Finance Ministry: Returned 1MDB funds will be used to service debts

Lim said the amount recovered includes a portion of the US$4.5 billion, which was revealed by the US DoJ to have been wrongly diverted from 1MDB. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Lim said the amount recovered includes a portion of the US$4.5 billion, which was revealed by the US DoJ to have been wrongly diverted from 1MDB. ― Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — The US$322 million (RM1.3 billion) received through the repatriation of 1MDB assets will be used to service the sovereign wealth fund’s total debts of RM51 billion.

The Finance Ministry said the debt amount includes the interest borne and loans taken from the ministry of RM8.6 billion, which were used to repay 1MDB’s debts to date.

“The funds will also be used to pay legal and litigation costs arising from efforts to repatriate and dispose of 1MDB assets around the world.

“The Ministry of Finance (MOF) warmly welcomes the Attorney General’s Chambers’ announcement that US$322 million (RM1.3 billion) from 1MDB assets is to be returned to Malaysia following the United States Department of Justice’s (DoJ) Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative,” said its minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement today.

Lim said the amount recovered includes a portion of the US$4.5 billion (RM18.5 billion), which was revealed by the DoJ to have been wrongly diverted from 1MDB.

The assets of the repatriated funds include the Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan, US film production company Red Granite and the luxury yacht Equanimity.

Lim said the DoJ’s decision came after a Singaporean court had instructed S$50 million (RM150 billion) of 1MDB-related funds to be returned to be Malaysia, of which RM45 million has been returned.

“The repatriation of these assets is a first step towards resolving the issues that surround 1MDB and the recovery of Malaysia’s reputation so that the country will no longer be known as a kleptocratic nation.

“The repatriation of these assets through legal processes also proves that 1MDB-related wrongdoings have occurred,” Lim said.

He added that the federal government will continue its efforts to recover other 1MDB assets, while strengthening internal controls and anti-corruption initiatives to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.