1.​ On 24.7.2020, the Minister of Finance Tengku Zafrul announced the success in the Goldman Sachs negotiation settlement of 1MDB whereby Malaysia secured a USD3.9 billion settlement comprising USD2.5 billion cash payment and USD1.4 billion in asset value guarantee. This settlement represents a significant increase of 42% compared to the previous offer of USD1.5 billion made by Goldman Sachs to the previous administration in 2019.
2.​ Like sour grapes, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders criticised the settlement as another bad decision by PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government. Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir and former Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas made public statements that during PH’s time, they had demanded from Goldman Sachs USD9.6 billion. Singing in chorus were YB Lim Guan Eng and YB Tony Pua that Tan Sri Muhyiddin had sold the country cheap. The clear impression they created was that Malaysia should not have agreed to an out of court settlement but should pursue criminal proceedings in court.
3.​ On 3.8.2020, Tommy Thomas wrote a Letter to Editor of The Edge detailing how he had charged Goldman Sachs companies and its 17 directors and was confident to secure a conviction in a joint trial so that Malaysia can obtain high compensation. The impression clearly was that this could have gotten Malaysia USD9.6 billion if the current government pursued with his approach.
4.​ What follows was an orchestrated attack against Tengku Zafrul by veteran journalist P. Gunasegaram whose article in MalaysiaKini “Did Zafrul Wilfully Mislead Over ‘US$3.9b’ Goldman Deal” tried to paint Tengku Zafrul very negatively. Gunasegaram did that by quoting Tommy Thomas’ media statement of 17.12.2018 where Tommy Thomas declared that the charges he made were for fraud.
5.​ On 6.8.2020, I was in Parliament when Tengku Zafrul delivered his winding up speech. As a parliamentarian, I too wanted clarification on matters that were publicised by the PH leaders and Tommy Thomas. I was troubled if the PN government that I support was misleading the Malaysian public. I too wanted to pose questions to the Minister.
6.​ What unfolded from the Minister’s speech stupefied me. I could never believe that Dr Mahathir, Lim Guan Eng, Tony Pua and Tommy Thomas could mislead the Malaysian public in the manner that they did. For easier understanding of all my fellow Malaysians, let me itemise the lies that they perpetrated:
a)​ PH lied about their demanding USD9.6 billion from Goldman Sachs. The truth is that in December 2019, Tommy Thomas stated, clearly in his own words – “the settlement offer that Malaysia made to GS in December was in the region of US$4 billion, which was rejected by GS, which had counter-offered only US$1.5 billion”;
b) ​It is clear as daylight that Tommy was grovelling to Goldman Sachs by offering settlement at USD4 billion not the USD9.6 billion that he heralded. It is shameful that even at that “low” figure, Tommy could not persuade Goldman Sachs. Instead, they insulted him further by counter offering not even half of his settlement offer of USD4 billion;
c) ​Tommy spoke about a joint trial of the 17 directors. It is now revealed that other than registering the charges against the 17 directors, Tommy did not even take steps to have the charges served on them as they are overseas. Tommy either deliberately omitted mention of the technical difficulties of the extradition process or he was illiterate in this aspect of criminal law;
d)​ Tommy gloated about his confidence to secure convictions against all these directors. We all know that Tommy is a civil lawyer and at the beginning of his tenure as AG, an office that he was unfit to hold, Tommy admitted that he lack knowledge of criminal law. That was exactly the reason why he outsourced all the 1MDB prosecution to private criminal practitioners. How many criminal cases has he prosecuted that he can be so confident of securing convictions whereas he had abdicated the public prosecutor role of the AG?;
e)​ According to Gunasegaram, Tommy’s media statement in 2018 claimed that he made charges of a scheme to defraud against Goldman Sachs. That was a lie. It is now disclosed that Tommy charged the Goldman Sachs companies and its 17 directors under s. 179(c) Capital Markets and Services Act 2007 for making untrue statements. He never charged them for fraud;
f)​ Tommy decried that there was no objective reasons to have reached a settlement whereas as Tengku Zafrul pointed out, “it is disingenuous of him to say we should not have done exactly what he wanted to do in the first place”;
g)​ Tommy cited 2 bond default cases namely Aldwich and Pesaka to give the impression that these 2 cases would allow Malaysia to get the compensation of USD9.6 billion that he flaunted. That could not be further from the truth. In the Pesaka case which he lost at the Federal Court, the lead arranger was held not liable. In the Aldwich case, the Federal Court held that the liability of the investment bank was capped at 50%. Thus, even by reliance on these 2 cases, there was no possibility to hold Goldman Sachs liable for USD9.6 billion;
h) ​In Tommy’s latest hand-written media release dated 7.8.2020, Tommy said that he will cease commenting on the subject. The truth is he is caught for lying to the Malaysian public after making all the fantastic claims of his achievements;
i) ​Tommy tried to make a final point that he never agreed to accept USD1.75 billion from Goldman Sachs. Nobody accused him of that. The point was that he misled the Malaysian public into believing that he had all along demanded USD9.6 billion and that was why his negotiations failed. The truth is, he was the culprit who offered settlement to Goldman Sachs at USD4 billion. What more do you want to lie about, Tommy?
7.​ The fact is, Tengku Zafrul with his negotiating team led by Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun secured a settlement of USD3.9 billion whereas all that the PH government led by Tommy could only secure an offer for USD1.5 billion which was then increased to USD1.75 billion. This was a far cry from the achievements by the PN government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. PH and Tommy are simply green with envy and tried to erode the success achieved by the present government.