PETALING JAYA: The government will use the repatriated US$322mil (RM1.34bil) in 1MDB assets from the United States and SG$50mil (RM152.4mil) from Singapore to repay 1MDB debts of RM51bil, says Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng.
"The Finance Ministry (MoF) warmly welcomes the Attorney General's Chambers' announcement that US$322mil from 1MDB assets is to be returned to Malaysia, following the United States Department of Justice's (DoJ) Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative.
"This amount constitutes a portion of the US$4.5bil (RM18.67bil) that the DoJ found to have been wrongly diverted from 1MDB. The DoJ's decision is the latest after a Singaporean court instructed S$50mil in 1MDB related funds to be returned to Malaysia," said Lim.
Among the assets repatriated from DoJ include a Park Lane Hotel in Manhattan, film production Company Red Granite and the luxury yacht Tranquility.
"The funds received through the repatriation of 1MDB assets will be used to service 1MDB's debts amounting to RM51bil. This amount includes the amount of interest borne and loans from MoF of RM8.6bil that were used to repay 1MDB's debts to date.
"The funds will also be used to pay legal and litigation costs arising from efforts to repatriate and dispose off 1MDB assets around the world," said Lim in a statement issued by the MoF on Wednesday (May 8).
Lim further said that the repatriation of 1MDB assets is a first step to "the recovery of Malaysia's reputation so that the country will no longer be known as a kleptocratic nation".
"The repatriation of these assets through legal processes also proves that 1MDB-related wrongdoings have occurred.
"The government will continue in its efforts to recover other 1MDB assets, and at the same time strengthen internal controls and anti-corruption initiatives to prevent such incidents from recurring in the future.
"MoF would also like to extend its appreciation over the efforts and cooperation of international authorities involved in the investigation, litigation and settlement of this case," said Lim.
On Tuesday (May 7), Attorney General Tommy Thomas stated that Malaysia had recovered US$322mil worth of 1MDB assets since investigations into 1MDB effectively began after the 14th General Election in May 2018.
Thomas said that a separate sum of SG$50mil of funds traceable to 1MDB has been ordered by the Singapore Courts to be repatriated, and that SG$15mil (RM45.72mil) was credited into 1MDB asset recovery account between September last year to March this year, with the balance of SG$35mil (RM106.68mil) to be credited shortly.