KUALA LUMPUR: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy (pic) has refuted claims by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, calling the former premier’s allegations “perplexing”.
“As a professional, I am fully accountable for my actions and am answerable to the 1MDB Board, and our shareholder the Finance Ministry. In the current context, this also includes the Auditor-General, Bank Negara Malaysia and the Public Accounts Committee,” he said in a statement Wednesday.
As they have access to all information, Arul said these parties are the “lawful authorities” to verify whether or not he had ever lied, as was claimed.
“I shall continue to conduct my duties in a professional manner, and furnish all information to assist the lawful authorities to verify the truth about 1MDB,” he added.
Arul referred to a Tuesday blog post on chedet.cc and stated his wish to make clear that his role at the government investment arm “has been and will continue to be” as a professional.
“I was initially appointed to conduct a strategic review of the company, and am now leading the implementation of a rationalisation plan for the business, as presented to Cabinet on May 29, 2015,” he said.
Dr Mahathir had also stated in his blog post that a Parliamentary response submitted by the Finance Ministry was subsequently amended.
Arul said this was acknowledged by the Finance Ministry, and that it happened due to confusion around some information provided by 1MDB.
As 1MDB president, he said he took full responsibility for this misunderstanding and will ensure better communication with all stakeholders, with appropriate steps already implemented to prevent a repeat.
He also called out Dr Mahathir for his “continuous shift” in claims, stating the former prime minister had previously claimed RM42bil is missing.
“Now, after 1MDB provided a summary of how the RM42bil was spent – based on past audited financial statements, he has stated in his blog post ‘where a chunk of the 42 billion ringgit went is questionable’,” said Arul.
As for the other questions by Dr Mahathir and various commentators, Arul quoted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who said “a full accounting of the facts by lawful authorities are needed so that there can be no misinterpretation or spin”.
“In this context, the Prime Minister has affirmed that ‘if any wrongdoing is proven, the law should be enforced without exception’. This is a position I fully support, both in relation to my own conduct to date, and that of 1MDB more generally,” he added.
Arul also reiterated the 1MDB team’s full commitment in its efforts to implement the rationalisation plan presented to Cabinet.
“This plan will substantially reduce the company’s debt levels, and is well underway, as proven by the repayment of an RM3.6bil loan as announced on Monday June 8,” he said.