Finance Minister: Goldman Sachs must follow up on its apology with US$7.5bil compensation


PUTRAJAYA: Goldman Sachs Group Inc should follow up on its apology to Malaysia with a payment of US$7.5bil (RM30.86bil), says Lim Guan Eng.

The Finance Minister said a mere apology from the investment bank over the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is not enough, unless they pay reparations and compensation.

Lim said Goldman Sachs should understand the agony and trauma suffered by Malaysians as a result of the scandal.

“An apology is not enough.

“An apology with US$7.5bil is what matters.

“At least he (Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon) accepted that they have to bear and shoulder some responsibility but that is insufficient.

“They have made provisions of around US$561mil (RM2.3bil) but that is not adequate.

“We are seeking US$7.5bil,” he told a press conference here yesterday after announcing the names of the joint lead arrangers for the Samurai bond.

On Thursday, Solomon apologised to Malaysians for former banker Tim Leissner’s role in 1MDB.

Solomon also said it was very clear that Malaysians were defrau­ded by many individuals, including the highest members of the previous administration.

Asked if Malaysia would drop charges against Goldman Sachs with the US$7.5bil payment, Lim quipped: “US$7.5bil ... then we can discuss lah”.

Lim added that it was very clear who the top government official Solomon was referring to as there could only be one person.

“You worked hand in hand, and there has to be accountability. It also involved a breach in fiduciary duty, and I think the banking industry has this obligation to make good the losses that we suffered.

“I think this is at least an admission.

“If not for the change of government, do you think Goldman will apologise? We’re dealing with the largest investment bank in the world,” he said.

Lim added that he found it distressing that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak still refused to admit there was something wrong with 1MDB and the entire exercise.

He also lambasted the former premier for passing the buck to Goldman Sachs, and for being in a state of denial for refusing to admit that Malaysians suffered huge losses due to the scandal.