Yesterday, I asked for 1MDB President Arul Kanda to be investigated for his attempts to cover up the entire 1MDB scandal, particular over the payment of US$3.51 billion to the British Virgin Islands incorporated “Aabar Investment PJS Limited” (Aabar (BVI)).
I had cited the Public Accounts Committee proceedings as evidence that Arul Kanda was extremely coy and economical with his answers, when answering the straightforward questions of whether 1MDB paid billions to Aabar (BVI) and whether Aabar (BVI) was related to the Aabar Investment PJS of Abu Dhabi. His shocking reply then was, “as far as he was aware, it is”.
Suddenly, Arul Kanda is now trying to play the victim, protesting his innocence, “categorically and unequivocally deny any prior knowledge that Aabar BVI has been liquidated, apart from what I have read in recent press reports. I challenge YB Tony to provide proof of this malicious accusation.”
Well, Mr 1MDB President, you were publicly notified way back in September 2015 by The Wall Street Journal and other critics like myself, that International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) did not have record of any of the US$3.51 billion purportedly paid by 1MDB in its financial statements for 2014 and 2015 which were audited by Ernst & Young and published on the London Stock Exchange.
As a result, I had warned Arul Kanda and 1MDB in my many statements since September 2015 about the need for 1MDB to confirm the whereabouts of these payments to Aabar (Abu Dhabi) or its parent, IPIC. I had repeatedly asked 1MDB to issue a joint statement with IPIC to provide a consistent and clear clarification on where the US$1.4 billion “refundable deposit” collateral parked with IPIC as well as the US$993 million payment to buy back the above options from IPIC have gone to.
Instead, Arul Kanda chose to repeatedly insist that “1MDB cannot speak on behalf of Aabar or IPIC nor can we comment on the accounting arrangements of third parties”.And of course, he waxed lyrical about how there was a malicious globally coordinated campaign against 1MDB and Malaysia. Arul Kanda repeated challenged The Wall Street Journal and myself to “provide proof of this malicious accusation”.
He obviously didn’t care at all if the US$1.4 billion or the US$993 million is possibly missing then.
Worse, Arul Kanda was in constant and direct communications with IPIC since his appointment as the President of the company, including the on-going debt-asset swap arrangement which was signed with IPIC in May 2015 which is due to be completed in June 2016.
Now that it has indeed been proven that the money has gone missing, Arul Kanda turns around and says “Ooops! Honest to God, I wasn’t aware that Aabar Investment PJS Limited wasn’t related to IPIC and didn’t know that it has already been dissolved nearly a year ago
in June 2015.” (my paraphrase). True to form, he challenged me “to provide proof of this malicious accusation”.
Further to that, he is now hinting that 1MDB might be a victim of a scam.
Sorry Arul, your cry wolf days are over. Nobody believes you any more. Not even BN MP Bung Mokhtar who has called for the police to conduct a criminal investigation against 1MDB to trace the missing funds.
And if indeed, you are really innocent, that you didn’t know that 1MDB parked billions of dollars to a company which has ceased to exist, that Aabar (BVI) was not related to IPIC, that a massive fraud might have taken place throughout your entire 14 months in 1MDB, then you should be sacked anyway for being utterly stupid, negligent and incompetent.
Perhaps 1MDB should even consider charging you for misrepresentation on your resume as a “top investment banker” and “debt-restructuring expert”.