Najib: I won’t condone abuse in financial management of 1MDB

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Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he would not condone any abuse in the financial management of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) or defend anyone.

Najib said he wanted the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and the Auditor-General to expedite investigations into any wrongdoing in the investment company.

“We do not give them any deadline to complete the task but they need to complete the task as fast as possible. Investigate as fast as possible because I want the rakyat to know.

“This is because I have given an assurance that in the management of 1MDB, if there is any mismanagement, we would not defend anyone,” he said.

Najib, who is also Finance Minister, said this in a special edition of the TV3’s ‘Soal Jawab’ programme last night moderated by Hamdan Ahmir.

He said even though 1MDB’s accounts were audited by Deloitte, he was still not satisfied.

“I have proposed to the Cabinet that the Auditor-General look into the accounts and after that the PAC do it again,” he said.

According to Najib, the PAC, which also had representatives from the opposition parties, could discuss the Auditor-General’s Report. Najib said 1MDB started off as an investment company with only RM1 million capital compared with Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Khazanah Nasional Bhd and other bodies, which had various capital injections.

He said 1MDB needs time to develop or liquidate its assets and pay off its debt “But I have to stress that the assets acquired by 1MDB exceed its liabilities.

“We need to give time to 1MDB to develop or liquidate its assets so that the company can settle its debts,” he said .

On 1MDB’s investment in Cayman Islands, Najib said the money was not transferred there as the account was only for registration.

He said the island was a “tax haven” where there were 200 Malaysian companies that had accounts and it was not something that was wrong “They keep money overseas as if they have loan overseas, they will reap profits in terms of foreign currency exchange,” he said.

Najib said that eventually, the money would be brought back into the country.

In a statement on Jan 13, president/group executive director, Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the company has redeemed fully the US$2.318 bilion invested in the company in a registered fund in Cayman Islands. – Bernama