PETALING JAYA – National Patriots Association (Patriots) president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji has called for a special committee to be formed to deal with the issue of debts pertaining to 1MDB.
The retired army man said that the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Council of Rulers should step in to appoint such a committee.
Arshad cited a Singapore’s Straits Times report on Tuesday, headlined “Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing”, as the rationale for his suggestion, as he said the issue “could not be left to the government alone”.
“ST had reported that the US$602.7 million (RM2.4 billion) the state-owned company paid to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), were from funds made available by divesting its stake in two companies to buyers linked to China state-owned enterprises,” he said.
The amount was the second installment of a US$1.2 billion debt which was due by the end of this year.
“The decision to settle this outstanding debt cannot be left to our government alone, as it has proven itself with a trust deficit.
“We propose that a special committee be formed, headed by the Bank Negara governor, with membership from responsible politicians from both ruling and opposition parties, and prominent economists in our country,” he said in a statement.
“This special committee is responsible to come out with solutions to advise the government, and the prime minister and finance minister is obliged to follow the recommendations.”
Arshad also called for the government to address the claims made in the ST report, saying that whether it was true or false, an explanation must be given, as the “people are the stakeholders of the future of our country”.
“The ST report claimed that the funds to pay IPIC was raised from the sale of investments in financial instruments held by the Malaysian investment company and stakes held in two 1MDB-related entities that own tracts of land in the northern Penang state and another 128ha real estate parcel around Port Klang.
“If this is true, then the news is rather shocking. Patriots urges those responsible to confirm or deny what was reported,” he said, adding it was their responsibility as the people are the stakeholders of the future of our country.
Arshad said that clear communication was absolutely necessary on such an important issue.
“Our government cannot remain habitually puzzling, especially when it involves selling prime land and national assets.
“If confirmed, it has also to be clarified if the land parcels or national assets are sold through local proxies, and who they are,” he said, urging state governments involved, particularly Selangor and Penang, to also be vigilant in such land ownership transfer.