KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan today said that the Malaysian government's settlement with US investment bank Goldman Sachs over the issuance of 1MDB bonds was timely as the country needs the money to weather the current economic downturn.
Mohamad, who is also Umno deputy president, said the attorney general's decision in opting for an out of court settlement will enable reduced cost and workload of those involved in the process.
It was reported on Friday that the US investment bank has reached a settlement with the Malaysian government over the multibillion-dollar 1MDB scandal.
The two sides reportedly said the deal includes a US$2.5 billion cash payout by Goldman and a guarantee by the bank to return at least US$1.4 billion in assets linked to the bonds.
"The announcement is much anticipated and proves that the nation's interest in resolving the 1MDB scandal continues to be a priority for the Perikatan Nasional government.
"We would like to congratulate the finance minister and the attorney general, including all civil servants involved in the effort to return funds siphoned out of the country," he said in a statement here.
Mohamad also said efforts to recover the funds must be further intensified, and hoped that the government's effort to do so will obtain the full cooperation of its international partners.
Goldman Sachs had previously confirmed the US$3.9 billion settlement and said it had reached an agreement in principle with Malaysia to resolve all criminal and regulatory proceedings in the country involving the firm.
In December 2018, the Attorney General’s Chambers filed criminal charges against subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs, their former employees Tim Leissner and Roger Ng Chong Hwa, former 1MDB employee Jasmine Loo, and Jho Low in connection with 1MDB bond offerings arranged and underwritten by Goldman Sachs in 2012 and 2013.
US and Malaysian authorities say about US$4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB in an elaborate scheme that spanned the globe and implicated former Malaysian prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Goldman Sachs, among others.