Najib Razak’s ‘brilliant sleight of hand’ with the RM741 million return of the Bandar Malaysia deposit yesterday was woefully transparent, as critics are lining up to point out.
This is what it really has amounted to: 1MDB ‘sold’ the Bandar Malaysia plot to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Consortium back at the start of last year and received that fat deposit as a very handy injection of cash to plug some of its gaping financial holes and debt repayments.
The Ministery of Finance had practically given the plot to 1MDB in the first place. But then, lo and behold, the Ministry of Finance took back the ownership of the project just at the end of March and then five weeks later closed down the project PAYING BACK that deposit to the booted consortium.
As DAP’s Tony Pua has pointed out the close timing leaves zero to speculation. Simply put, this was a neat way of getting the Ministry of Finance to directly bail out 1MDB to the tune of RM741 million.
“The more important question now is whether the entire takeover of TRX City and Bandar Malaysia by the MoF was a pre-meditated exercise designed to relieve 1MDB of any financial obligations with respect to the then impending termination. (Tony Pua)
Yes, you have got it. Of course it was deliberate. 1MDB spent the money long ago to plug its mysterious holes (not on the Bandar Malaysia project naturally of which it remained a 40% shareholder). So, this was the MoF effectivly refunding the cash grab.
For that read the taxpayer.
Najib is, of course, just softening up Malaysians for the real big one, which comes at the end of July, when half of US1.2 billion has to be ponied up to IPIC, following the finalisation of their settlement, also yesterday, by the London arbitration court.
The PM/FM and his spinners have had the world in stitches with their ludicrous assertion that this money is going to be obtained by cashing in the non-existent units from 1MDB’s long since frozen Brazen Sky account. This involves maintaining the fiction that there is a billion dollars still stuffed in that account ‘left over’ from the PetroSaudi joint venture back in 2009 and then ‘invested’ in a Cayman Island portfolio.
That money has been stolen – ask the DOJ, ask the Singapore Monetry Authority, ask the Swiss, ask BSI Bank, ask 1MDB’s own auditors Deloittes, who had only agreed to value the ‘units’ at that rate if Aabar was willing to put up a guarantee, which it didn’t. When Deloittes realised the guarantee was bogus they resigned, withdrew the accounts and said they were not to be regarded safe.
So, let’s be clear, when Malaysia pays up that first $602,725,000 to IPIC on July 31st, the money will come not from 1MDB, but from the Ministry of Finance, which is the final guarantor of all these loans, even though Najib has tried to disguise this bare fact for years.
And for Ministry of Finance, read yourselves the taxpayers. The Minister of Finance (Prime Minister Najib) will have to raise the money from the public to pay out the dues on all this missing money – $3.51 billion was stolen so the public will have to find $7 billion altogether, just to pay back the $3.5 billion power purchase loans raised by 1MDB.
There is nothing to show for all that missing money, except the outrageous lifestyles of people like Rosmah Mansor, Khadem al Qubaisi and Jho Low… and that election win in 2013, which was so expensively financed by these manoeuvres.