PETALING JAYA – PKR’s Wong Chen has questioned if the finance ministry (MoF) will step in to help 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) make a US$603 million (RM2.5 billion) debt settlement payment.
Speaking to FMT, the Kelana Jaya MP weighed in on reports that Abu Dhabi-based International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) had given 1MDB until Aug 31 to settle the repayment.
Wong said he was “surprised” that IPIC granted 1MDB such a lengthy extension, adding that although he expected an extension to be granted, he believed it would be an extension of only three to five days.
“What interest will they charge for this one-month extension?” he asked, adding 1MDB’s failure to make its repayments on time showed how “fiscally challenged” Putrajaya is.
Wong also said, as a guarantor of 1MDB, the MoF’s hands were tied and it could only step in after 1MDB defaults on the repayment.
“Since 1MDB has no more real assets, will MoF inject a loan? If it injects a loan, will it be legal?”
Earlier today, treasury secretary-general Irwan Serigar Abdullah said 1MDB was in talks to get the deadline extended.
Subsequently, according to sources, 1MDB succeeded in getting an extension.
Under an agreement struck in April, as part of arbitration proceedings, the scandal-hit 1MDB fund agreed to pay US$1.2 billion in two instalments to IPIC, with the first payment of about US$600 million to be paid by July 31.
But 1MDB failed to honour its commitment, forcing Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund to give 1MDB a grace period of five days to make the payment. That deadline was to expire on Tuesday.
A regulatory disclosure from IPIC about the latest deadline extension is due later today, a source said, declining to be named as the matter is not yet public.
Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala, into which IPIC was merged earlier this year, declined to comment.