PETALING JAYA – Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said that 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president Arul Kanda has been removed from Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, the company that owns 486 acres of prime land in the city.
Johari also said that that the Budiman Committee that was set up in 2015 to oversee the rationalisation exercise of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) had already completed the four assignments that it was tasked with and had not met for the past six months.
“Therefore, any reports which state that any members of the Budiman Committee have been relieved of their duties are simply erroneous and maliciously misleading,” he said in a statement in respond to a recent report on the Budiman Committee.
The report stated that the high-profile Budiman Committee, which included Johari and Arul, had been disbanded following the fall-out between the Ministry of Finance and a joint venture comprising Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd and China Railway Engineering Corporation (CREC) over the development of Bandar Malaysia.
Below is the full statement from Johari:
“I refer to the news article which appeared in the Singapore Straits Times entitled “Bandar Malaysia fallout: Two relieved of duties, say reports” on 10th May 2017.
2. I wish to clarify that the Budiman Committee was set up by the Cabinet sometime in 2015, to oversee the rationalisation exercise taken by 1MDB to resolve its issues. I became affiliated to the Budiman Committee only after I was appointed as the Deputy Finance Minister in July 2015.
3. The Budiman Committee continued with the rationalisation of 1MDB and was able to:-
(a) dispose of 1MDB’s power assets to the CGN Group from China,
(b) re-activate the development of the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) which is currently in various stages of development;
(c) conclude the international bidding exercise in respect of Bandar Malaysia; and
(d) pursue the arbitration between Abu Dhabi’s IPIC and 1MDB to resolve the dispute over the US$3.5 billion payment made by 1MDB to the IPIC Group.
All of these four assignments have been completed and the Budiman Committee no longer had any functions to execute since then. In fact, there has been no meeting of the Budiman Committee for the past 6 months.
Therefore, any reports which state that any members of the Budiman Committee have been relieved of their duties are simply erroneous and maliciously misleading.
4. The recent settlement arrangement entered into between 1MDB and IPIC and the current dispute between IWC-CREC and Bandar Malaysia were handled and are being handled directly by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the 1MDB’s Board.
5. Apart from the removal of Mr. Arul Kanda as the Chairman of Bandar Malaysia, the 1MDB’s Board and the PMO will continue to manage the issues in respect of Bandar Malaysia directly with the parties concerned.”