Thursday, October 29, 2015

Can I do a talkshow with Arul Kanda, where I ask the questions?

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) President, Arul Kanda took part in another live interview with Bernama TV in a special programme entitled “Bernama TV with Arul Kanda”.

During the show, Arul Kanda boasted that there is “absolutely no cover up in relation to 1MDB”. Other than that, he essentially recycled answers which have been previously discredited.

For example, when he was asked what exactly are “fund units” which were parked in the Swiss branch of BSI Bank in Singapore, he basically explained that they were “fund units” like “unit trusts” worth US$940 million.  He didn’t explain why these “fund units” which were redeemed from the Cayman Island fund were still in the form of “fund units” and not in cash or, raw assets like property and shares.  If they were in “fund units”, then it can only mean that the Caymans fund was never redeemed in the first place.

The 1MDB President also continued to reiterate the fact that the disposal of its subsidiary, Edra Energy will allow it to remove RM16-RM18 billion of 1MDB’s debt.  However, Arul Kanda failed to enlighten the audience that the debts associated to 1MDB’s energy arm amounts to approximately RM36 billion, comprising of US$3.5 billion of bonds, RM5.7 billion of direct loans and more than RM8.1 billion of inherited loans.

Hence reducing up to RM18 billion of debt via the disposal of Edra Energy will still leave 1MDB with more that RM18 billion of outstanding debt associated with its energy acquisitions!

Arul Kanda also bragged about the “debt for asset-swap” deal with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) where the latter assumes some RM16 billion of 1MDB’s debts in exchange for 1MDB’s assets.  The problem with this “debt for asset-swap” deal is that while IPIC has already advanced more than US$1 billion to 1MDB, 1MDB’s is to transfer assets worth RM16 billion to IPIC by 30 June 2016.

Arul Kanda intentionally forgets to highlight the fact that there is no assurance at all that 1MDB will be able to transfer these assets, especially since no assets of such value exists in the company as at this point of time! Instead, if 1MDB fails to transfers the assets of the said value, the Malaysian government has undertaken to indemnify IPIC with a compensation of the same sum!

Hence while Arul Kanda continued his public relations campaign with recycled answers, Malaysians are no nearer to the truth on the monstrous 1MDB scandal. Despite his claim of “no cover up”, the 1MDB chief executive has to date steered totally clear of responding to my allegations that 1MDB performed a fraudulent round-tripping exercise over the payment of US$1 billion to terminate its options granted to IPIC.

However, I am, as ever, willing to be proven wrong. Since Arul Kanda proudly proclaimed that there is absolutely no cover up to 1MDB, may I humbly propose that the 1MDB President attends a “live” talkshow which I will host and ask the questions. He will be given every opportunity and as much time as he likes to answer these questions.

In fact, I will bear no grudges if he succeeds in embarrassing me by showing evidence from any 1MDB financial documents which disprove my allegations.  The question is, will he have to courage to accept the challenge or will he stick to the safe comfort of the pliant mainstream media?
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