PETALING JAYA: The Prime Minister represents the Government, which is why his written approval is needed for any financial deals undertaken by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
“1MDB is government owned. So, in this context, it means that the Prime Minister represents the government. That’s the concept,” Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah (pic) said in a Wednesday 9pm interview on Radio Televisyen Malaysia’s (RTM) Dialog programme.
In responding to a follow-up question posed during the interview, Ahmad Husni said that there was no conflict of interest by having the Prime Minister also holding the Finance Minister portfolio.
“No, there is none,” he answered.
“We have talked about the way forward. Among the steps taken is that we will streamline governance. We are in the process of doing it,” he said.
Ahmad Husni explained that investments such as those in the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia will take time before profits are seen, with income generated from the first phase of projects expected to come in within two to three years.
Ahmad Husni dismissed reports by certain online media that Cabinet ministers had been “bullied” by the Prime Minister over 1MDB.
“1MDB is under the purview of the Finance Ministry. So the ministry must be responsible. That responsibility is then brought to the Cabinet to get their endorsement to what 1MDB is doing. The issue of bullying does not arise,” he said, adding that the Cabinet acts as one regarding 1MDB.
1MDB’s president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy said earlier on Wednesday that all RM42bil in alleged debts are accounted for.
He said that the information was fully disclosed in 1MDB’s audited and publicly available accounts from March 31, 2010 to March 31, 2014.
On Wednesday, Bank Negara opened a formal enquiry to examine if there are any contraventions of financial rules and regulations with respect to issues surrounding 1MDB.
The investigation will also entail taking statements from individuals involved in the governance process and obtaining information from other relevant domestic and foreign parties.
Tony Pua's statement on alleged payment incorrect, says Ahmad Husni
Change of auditors common practice among large companies
1MDB’s first loss only suffered last year, says Ahmad Husni