LGE: We'll verify WSJ claims about China's 1MDB bailout


PUTRAJAYA: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng says he will have to check the records to determine whether claims that senior Chinese leaders offered to help bail out Malaysia's state-owned 1MDB investment fund in 2016 is true.

"I don't want to say yes or no for now, I have to check records.

"If there is anything that explicitly state this in black and white, we will pursue the case," he said.

Lim was commenting on a Wall Street Journal report, citing minutes from meetings it reviewed.

Chinese officials allegedly told visiting Malaysians that China would use its influence to try and get the US and other countries to drop probes of allegations that allies of then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and others plundered the fund, according to the newspaper.

In return, Malaysia offered stakes in railway and pipeline projects as part of China's Belt and Road Initiative.

"I am interested to have a copy of those minutes," he said to reporters on Tuesday (Jan 8).

In July, the government suspended all contracts related to the China-linked Multi-Product Pipeline (MPP), the Trans-Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) projects.

These projects were awarded to China Petroleum Pipeline Bureau.

Lim acknowledged that the costs of these projects were inflated, pointing out that the TSGP had been paid RM8.3bil, representing 88% of the entire project cost, even though the work done was only 10%.

Related story:

China offered to bail out 1MDB fund, says WSJ

Lim Guan Eng , Malaysia , China , 1MDB