Is 1MDB’s Arul playing politics?


There could be a political purpose behind the CEO’s interview with an Umno paper, says Kadir Jasin.

(Free Malaysia Today) – A constant critic of 1MDB has speculated that the company’s CEO, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, “could be playing a bit of politics” with the recent interview he had with Mingguan Malaysia, the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia, an Umno mouthpiece.

“I congratulate Arul Kanda Kandasamy for his gallant attempt to assure the Malay reading public via this week’s Mingguan Malaysia (MM) newspaper that everything is okay with 1MDB,” veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin writes in his latest blog entry.

“He must have been aware that much of the debate on 1MDB, especially by the experts, has been taking place not in the Malay press but in the English and the business media.

“Whether he made the decision to speak to the MM on his own or at the behest of a higher power, the move has its merit. It is easier to convince the audience of the Malay language media who generally are not deeply knowledgeable in economic and business matters.

“Politically, it is beneficial to influence the Malays that everything is just fine with 1MDB because they form the bulk of the Barisan Nasional voters. So Arul Kanda could be playing a bit of politics here.”

However, Kadir says, Arul has apparently failed to be convincing to the more analytical audiences of the English and business media.

“While denying as mere speculation media reports that billionaire T Ananda Krishnan has advanced a loan of RM2 billion to help 1MDB pay its debts to several local banks, he did not specifically state where the money came from.

“The readers of MM and Utusan Malaysia may not be aware or may have forgotten, but many people still recall that among the first statements he made as the head honcho of 1MDB was that 1MDB would not bring back all the money it invested in Cayman Islands.”

Here, Kadir points that Arul had told Mingguan Malaysia that 1MDB had not invested money in the Cayman Islands but had merely used the tax haven status of the territory to register its funds there. He told the paper the funds were in fact invested around the world.