Islamic party PAS has lamented the silent treatment that Najib Abdul Razak, which the party sarcastically dubbed the “greatest” finance minister ever, is giving the nation over the recent bond interest default by state owned 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
“1MDB has been declared to be in default after failing to pay the US$50.3 million in interest on billions of US dollars in bonds guaranteed by the International Petroleum Company (IPIC) – but no comment from the finance minister who is also the prime minister,” PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said in a statement today.
Tuan Ibrahim noted that Najib kept his elegant silence even after 1MDB officials had informed Najib about the matter, which may have grave national consequences.
“A Singapore newspaper stated that 1MDB president and chief executive Arul Kanda Kandasamy had informed the government that it is exposed to debts amounting to US$6.481 billion to the Abu Dhabi firm, but the finance minister is still silent.
“What is the impact of the default on the nation, other national debts as well as the outlook of the ringgit in the short- and long-term? Silence from the finance minister,” sniped Tuan Ibrahim (photo).
The PAS deputy president also asked if the conflict between 1MDB and IPIC and the failure of the rescue plan would lead to the Malaysian sovereign fund sinking deeper into debt.
“Arul Kanda prior to this said that the 1MDB debt settlement agreement with IPIC will reduce the company’s debt by RM16 billion. Will the conflict with IPIC scuttle the rationalisation plan spearheaded by Arul Kanda?” he asked.
However, Tuan Ibrahim noted yet again that Najib was still mum over this serious matter.
“So what are the present debts owed by 1MDB after IPIC backed out of their rescue plan? What 1MDB assets (is it Bandar Malaysia and the Tun Razak Exchange?) or prime real estate will be liquidated to pay 1MDB’s debts? Who is responsible? The finance minister could not care less,” he said.
Tuan Ibrahim also said that while the apparent success of the National Transformation Programme, which Najib is very proud of, has been much trumpeted, its effects have not been felt by the people, except for the ever-increasing cost of living.
“This proves that Malaysia has the ‘greatest’ finance minister. It is time that the people asked if they should continue to pay the salary of this greatest of finance ministers,” he added.
Tuan Ibrahim also urged Arul Kanda to reveal all of 1MDB’s dirty laundry, adding that this would be the former banker’s greatest service to the rakyat. – Malaysiakini