The image of 1MDB president and chief operating officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy clad in Umno’s red Baju Melayu recently went viral on social media, inviting the perception that he has joined the country’s biggest ruling party.
However, a source close to Arul Kanda denied that he was there as an Umno delegate.
“He attended Umno’s annual general assembly (AGM) yesterday as a government-linked company’s (GLC) invitee, together with other GLCs bosses,” said the unnamed source.
Also invited to the launching of Umno’s AGM were Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director Azman Mokhtar, Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB) group chairperson Abdul Wahid Omar, CEO Abdul Rahman Ahmad and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) CEO Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
“Umno’s AGM is open to BN components parties, NGOs, GLCs and foreign guests,” he said, adding that Arul Kanda had also attended Umno’s AGM back in 2015.
Questioned on the reason Arul Kanda’s red attire, the source said he wanted to blend in and bought the chili red costume from a boutique.
“Arul Kanda is (a) supporter of the government of the day, but he is not a party guy and has no plans to join any party,” he explained.
Arul Kanda himself, however, could not be contacted for comment.