Arul: There’s nothing for me to cover up


After being called a liar, 1MDB’s chief says he’ll answer at parliamentary hearings

(Free Malaysia Today) – The head of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, after being called a liar by the Sarawak Report, said today he had no need to lie or to cover up what had happened in the past at the government’s investment arm.

Standing by his professional record, he said he looked forward to being questioned by the Public Accounts Committee, parliament’s watchdog on government spending, when it resumes hearings into the company’s affairs, and for his answers to be made part of the public record.

The Sarawak Report blog, which has reported extensively on the affairs of 1MDB, relying on leaked documents, said in its latest article that it had obtained minutes of a 1MDB board meeting which its editor said had shown that Arul Kanda had made “a barefaced and extended lie”.

Arul Kanda, in a statement this afternoon, confirmed that the minutes obtained by Sarawak Report were authentic, but also contrasted them to previous leaked documents which, he said, “we now know to be stolen and possibly doctored goods, sourced from a convicted criminal”.

The minutes were of a board meeting on Jan 12, “the first 1MDB Board meeting I attended, i.e. a week after I joined the company,” he said.

He had told the board that “based on my understanding of events that occurred before my time” an investment by 1MDB had been redeemed for US$940 million in cash but had found that this was a misunderstanding, upon further investigation and verification.

He said he had clarified the misunderstanding to the board and the Ministry of Finance, which owns 1MDB, and the clarification was recorded in subsequent board minutes.

He said he had confirmed in a press statement the next day that US$1.11 billion had been redeemed in full.

“What was unfortunately not made clear was that the redemptions happened partly in cash and partly through the sale of fund units, with cash payment being deferred,” he said. This had caused his statement to be misinterpreted in an interview with Business Times in February and by the Ministry of Finance in parliamentary in March.