Tony Pua accuses Umno Youth chief of misleading 1MDB comments

Pua said that any sale of TRX assets would not resolve 1MDB’s debt of RM50 billion as a result of alleged fraud and abuse of power by Umno and BN. — Picture by Choo Choy May
Pua said that any sale of TRX assets would not resolve 1MDB’s debt of RM50 billion as a result of alleged fraud and abuse of power by Umno and BN. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 15 — Tony Pua has lambasted Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki for making misleading statements on the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and how it could have been used to settle 1MDB debts.

In a statement yesterday, the DAP national publicity secretary accused Asyraf of misusing data, figures and financial terms to mislead and deceive the public when the latter asked why Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has not sold all of 1MDB’s assets to recoup the losses.

“Asyraf had claimed that the TRX land which is a new financial district developed with 1MDB funds is worth RM40 billion. This is the quality of Umno’s leadership today, who does not understand mathematics and economics as well as financial terms.

“They abuse the numbers and the terms to lie and mislead the public. The RM40 billion tied to the TRX project is its Gross Development Value (GDV). GDV is a figure encompassing all costs required to develop a project.

“This is far different from the asset’s value or profit that can be obtained from the project. The latest survey from CH Williams Talhar and Wong on 29 July 2015 had valued the TRX property asset at RM2.8 billion only,” Pua explained.

Furthermore, the value did not factor in the RM800 million loan tied to the project as well as the RM2.8 billion advance given by the government to save the TRX project that was nearly abandoned under the previous Barisan Nasional administration.

Pua, who is also the finance minister’s political secretary, said that any sale of TRX assets would not resolve 1MDB’s debt of RM50 billion as a result of alleged fraud and abuse of power by Umno and BN.

He then pointed out that the TRX land was sold by the government to 1MDB at a low price of RM230 million or only RM75 per square foot. This means that the TRX asset was granted to 1MDB and is not a profit that 1MDB made on its own merits.

Therefore, even if the land and assets are sold as demanded by Asyraf, the government is only selling the property that it and the Malaysian public owns to pay off the 1MDB debt.

“Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki should attend a financial course so he will not make a fool of himself and his party when speaking of financial matters,” Pua said.

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