Many may still be left confused by disgruntled oppositions when the Finance Ministry is engaged in 1MDB-IPIC out of court arbitration settlement that it will inevitably involve public money as it is described as the federal debts. Before going further, we should review if the Malaysian government and the people will have to bear these debts.
1MDB has never denied that it is a wholly government-owned company. In their rationalisation plan to restructure its debts, as early as January 2016, through three successful transactions, the debt was formally at RM42 billion but now reduced by about RM40.4 billion. In fact, short-term debts, including the loans to the government for RM950 million has also been settled.
1MDB is now taken over by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MOF Inc) on the recommendations of the PAC after their investigation is concluded. And the opposition to the notion of trying to mislead the public that the balance debts of 1MDB particularly with IPIC will be borne by the government and this is definitely involving the people’s pockets.
We need to know that 1MDB’s debts and projects associated with them are not classified as the Federal Government’s debt and they did not contribute to total debts of the Federal Government. This has been clarified by Finance Minister 2 Dato’ Johari Abdul Ghani in the Parliament in last March.
The PAC report also stated clearly that the debts remained on 1MDB balance sheet are RM5 billion of securities, US$3.0 billion bonds and International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC) bonds of US$3.5 billion that all the repayments will be made through its cash flows which contradict to what Tony Pua used to accuse that Putrajaya “save” 1MDB to take over debt worth more than RM3.2 billion.
Once again for his numerous lies, Tony Pua repeats the same deception when the arbitrary case between 1MDB and IPIC is settled out of court a few days ago, the government uses public funds to pay the outstanding amount of US$3.5 billion which is equivalent to RM25.18 billions (RM5.28 billions IPIC bonds + RM15.4 interests + RM4.5 billions bonds).
At the outset, IPIC has denied receiving any payment from 1MDB, hence this is the beginning of the main dispute for an arbitration that leads to a court case. However, after a thorough investigation by 1MDB, convinced that the strength of this case would be in their favour that ultimately IPIC acknowledged payments have been received as there are undoubted authentic documents.
To Tony Pua, 1MDB still owes and will have to pay the bond worth US$3.5 billion (RM15 billion) but he deliberately did not mention that the amount denied earlier by IPIC has been certified acceptance through its subsidiary Aabar BVI. Hence, Tony Pua assumed that US$3.5 billion of bonds has disappeared into thin air.
Despite being clarified in the parliament that all 1MDB debts are not government’s but Tony Pua and the disgruntled opposition bloc willfully refused to accept any explanations even documents are provided. Simultaneously, Tony Pua deliberately obscured his followers that the 1MDB assets which are now owned by MoF Inc. exceed their debts.
Essentially, the solution for 1MDB-IPIC dispute done by MoF Inc has proven the allegations by Dr Mahathir and fellow dissidents as a big time lie in which all of their wild accusations are desperately meant to accuse PM Najib of swindling money from 1MDB to third parties which involved Jho Low and his stepson Reza.
An effort led by Dr Mahathir to convict PM Najib into ‘money laundering’ that foreign authorities from US, Switzerland, Singapore and other countries are swayed into investigating him but eventually, beginning with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) only penalising UBS for their senior management mistakes and followed by Switzerland AG’s decision to withdraw investigations for realising it is no more relevant.
As such, we will soon witness the civil suit by US Department of Justice (DOJ) and the claim that the 1MDB money was stolen will fall apart as the IPIC disputes are settled and Switzerland AG’s withdrawal that 1MDB’s critical phase is coming to an end.
We will not expect Dr Mahathir, Tony Pua and his cohorts to accept the reality that Datuk Seri Najib was never involved in any misappropriation of 1MDB funds but more importantly, the rakyat now have begun to doubt all their accusations that whatever claims and statements from them will be considered as ill-intended that is without any evidence but mere assumptions for their desperate political interests.