KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 10 — Malaysians can be assured that the government will persist with legal action against Goldman Sachs for collusion to defraud 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the finance minister said today.
Lim Guan Eng said Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas has been tasked to handle the proceedings.
“We are definitely going to take action, no dispute about it,” the minister told reporters in Parliament.
Lim today reiterated the government’s stance after PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim previously said Goldman Sachs must repay Malaysia “significantly more” than the US$600 million (RM2.52 billion) it collected to raise bonds for 1MDB.
The Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has been reported to be preparing to file documents against Goldman Sachs in the US for US$4.5 billion in damages over the investment bank’s alleged collusion with fugitive financier Low Taek Jho in facilitating the financial fraud of 1MDB.
US prosecutors have been reported saying Goldman Sachs gained “above average” fees topping US$600 million for its work on 1MDB, which included three bond offerings in 2012 and 2013 that raised US$6.5 billion.
This has since been shown to involve corrupt payments to government officials in Malaysia and the UAE.
Despite the implications to Malaysia’s institutions and financial markets, Goldman Sachs has so far escaped direct consequences of its alleged role in the scandal, choosing to blame “rogue” employees such as former South-east Asia head Tim Leissner.
Leissner pleaded guilty to criminal charges in the US related to 1MDB scandal while another former Goldman banker, Malaysian Roger Ng, is awaiting extradition to face trial there.
Previous news reports suggest that the bank’s complicity could reach its very top, after sources within the US investigation into the matter disclosed that Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein had a direct hand in cementing the relationship that had caused misgivings even among the bank’s own regulators.