IPIC absolves Najib by saying 1MDB does not owe them any money

(FMT) – Former prime minister Najib Razak today said he was puzzled by a statement by Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) that 1MDB did not owe it any money, despite a debt repayment agreement reached between the two last year.

This followed the Malaysian government’s move yesterday to challenge the April 2017 settlement agreement between IPIC and 1MDB, so that it would not have to pay the US$5.78 billion owed by 1MDB to IPIC.

In its response to the legal challenge filed in London, IPIC said 1MDB did not owe it any money.

“So who is right and who is wrong?” Najib asked.

“Logically speaking, it does not make sense for a party which is owed billions of ringgit by 1MDB to suddenly say that there is nothing owed by 1MDB to them,” the former prime minister wrote on Facebook.

He said IPIC was the one owing 1MDB, adding that it needed to pay 1MDB back by Dec 30, 2020.

“The settlement agreement was to unravel the issue concerning 1MDB, so that every sen belonging to 1MDB could be recouped.

“This was why I asked at least five times for the government to reveal the 2015 and 2017 settlement agreements between IPIC and 1MDB to prove that I always prioritised the interest of the country.

“However, the government ignored my repeated calls to ensure the rakyat know the facts,” he said.

The former finance minister said there were also those who asked why he had not revealed or commented on the settlement in the past.

“This is because it is not easy to make claims when you are the prime minister, more so when it involves a foreign government.

“My stance is that the government should not easily start a fight with other countries. I chose to find a good solution without any unrest.”

Yesterday, Malaysia filed an application in the London High Court to challenge the outcome of an arbitration between 1MDB and IPIC, in an effort to relieve the government of paying the remaining US$4.3 billion as part of a settlement agreement reached at the London Court of International Arbitration last year.

“The basis of Malaysia’s legal challenge in the High Court in London is that the consent award was procured by fraud or in a manner contrary to public policy,” Attorney-General Tommy Thomas said.

Under the consent award, Malaysia agreed to pay US$5.78 billion to the Abu Dhabi state company over a five-year period.

It has so far paid US$1.46 billion, with the next interest payment of US$50 million due on Nov 11.