Dr Wee to Pua: Pakatan should follow your advice not to use 1MDB as an excuse


  • Letters
  • Tuesday, 23 Apr 2019

Tony Pua asked if "kleptocracy" is okay if the country can repay our debts.

READ ALSO > Pua to Dr Wee: Is 1MDB is the scandal which made Malaysia the kleptocratic capital of the world?

It seems Tony has a problem reading as he does not understand my original statement.

My original statement called for Pakatan Harapan to no longer use 1MDB as an excuse not to fulfil their manifesto promises or to continue their propaganda that 1MDB will make Malaysia bankrupt and burden future generations.

I am glad that Tony Pua finally agrees that Malaysia can afford to pay back the 1MDB debt.

Therefore, Pakatan should follow Tony Pua's advice not to use 1MDB as an excuse.

For the record, I have never said theft or any kind – including 1MDB – is okay and have always supported a full investigation. I was one of the MPs who voted yes for the PAC to reopen the investigations into 1MDB.

However, the Pakatan government has now suspended this PAC investigation even though a majority of MPs agreed to reopen the case back in August last year.

The Pakatan government has also not released the special audit by PWC into 1MDB that was completed in August 2018 even after the Finance Minister's pledge to do so.

On top of that, the Pakatan government had also cancelled the settlement agreement with International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic) that purportedly had a clause where Ipic had until December 2020 to repay whatever money was allegedly missing from 1MDB.

When the Pakatan government first announced the cancellation of this settlement agreement and said they would not pay any outstanding amount owed to Ipic, Ipic responded immediately saying that 1MDB does not owe Ipic any money.

However, the Pakatan government has since refused to respond to Ipic's answer. Furthermore, since the cancellation in October 2018, there has also been no news of what happened to the negotiations with Ipic.

Those who follow the 1MDB case would be aware that most of the money allegedly missing was after it had been transferred to or guaranteed by Ipic's top management.

Therefore, for the Pakatan government to recover 1MDB's missing money, engagement with Ipic is important.

However, nearly a year later after Pakatan took power, we have yet to hear of any news of our government pursuing Ipic, including our authorities questioning the former top management of Ipic whom we are told had directly deposited 1MDB money into their accounts and had used them.

Why is there no action by Pakatan on Ipic and their former management?

Now we go back to Tony's answers one by one.

[1.] Tony alleged that the Barisan Nasional government had in 2017 and early 2018, secretly paid RM6.77bil of 1MDB's debt while the Pakatan government had to further pay RM1.16bil of 1MDB's debt in 2018.

How can this be a secret? As Tony and Guan Eng confirmed, the assets of 1MDB had been transferred over to the Finance Ministry (MoF). As any student of accounting knows, you cannot simply transfer assets out without taking into account the loans associated with those assets.

Since MoF took the assets, MoF should then pay for loans.

This is basic accounting and logic.

Tony Pua said the loans remain at RM39bil because 1MDB now owes RM7bil to MoF.

Conversely, Tony Pua should also answer the question of the amount MoF owes 1MDB for taking over the valuable Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia assets?

[Question 2, 3 and 4] are answered together:

Thank you for confirming that the national debt had increased RM95.1bil (including RM7.3bil samurai bonds) since the end of 2017 as well as the RM82bil that the Pakatan Harapan government is taking from Petronas.

Added together, that is a total of RM177.1bil taken by the Pakatan government through increased national debt and raided the RM170bil cash reserves of Petronas left behind by Barisan.

By saying that the Pakatan government is running a bigger budget deficit than that of the Barisan government, Tony Pua has also confirmed that the national debt has increased significantly and at a faster rate.

Basically, Tony Pua has proven that the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance was wrong in saying the national debt has reduced when it has increased substantially instead.

To paraphrase Tony Pua.

How much of this RM171bil had been taken by the Pakatan government?

RM177.1bil is enough to pretty much wipe out the entire PTPTN borrowings of around RM40bil AND Prasarana Malaysia Berhad's debt of RM31bil as at end-2018 AND 1MDB's debt of RM39bil AND still have RM60bil remaining.

However, not a single sen of those debts has been reduced under the Pakatan government besides taking so much money.

[Question 5.]

Tony Pua said he is eager to school me on how GDV can be used to pay debts.

No problem. Firstly, 1MDB still owns 40% of the RM180bil Bandar Malaysia project and the majority of the RM40bil TRX project including 40% of the Lifestyle quarter development in TRX.

1MDB is also owed roughly RM7.4bil by the purchaser of the Bandar Malaysia project.

As both projects develop, economy activity takes place. The government will collect its taxes and duties from these activities from the companies, workers, suppliers and buyers of properties in the project.

The government will collect sales tax, corporate tax, personal income stamp duties and also the profits from 1MDB's 40% share in Bandar Malaysia and its majority stake in the TRX project.

These revenues can of course be used to pay off debts.

Do you understand now?

[Question 6]

Tony Pua says he is not the Almighty nor the All-Knowing and cannot answer what is the total value of the two projects' economic impact to our country.

That is fantastic news as it seems the Pakatan government does not do any economic impact or feasibility studies whenever they approve projects worth tens of billions!

Unbelievable.

[Question 7 and 8] answered together.

Then Tony Pua and I are in agreement that both of these 1MDB projects are immensely beneficial to the country and our economy.

Tony Pua finally agrees that 1MDB is not all doom and gloom but has its benefits as well.

Therefore, my original statement stands.

Pakatan must no longer use 1MDB as an excuse not to fulfil their manifesto promises or to continue their propaganda that 1MDB will make Malaysia bankrupt and will be a burden on future generations.

Related stories:

Pua to Dr Wee: Is 1MDB is the scandal which made Malaysia the kleptocratic capital of the world?


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