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Arul Kanda least qualified to head Khazanah, says Pua

 | August 13, 2017

DAP parliamentarian says Arul’s record in helming 1MDB should cause him to be automatically disqualified from being considered to assume the post of Khazanah managing director.

arul-kanda-khazanah-nasional-bhd-tony-pua-1PETALING JAYA: Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has opposed a reported move for Arul Kanda Kandasamy to be considered as a candidate for Khazanah Nasional Bhd managing director, claiming that he had a “disastrous and disgraceful” record in helming 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The DAP legislator said Arul should be automatically disqualified from even consideration at the country’s sovereign wealth fund where he is president.

“Malaysians can only shiver in trepidation at the thought that a RM145 billion-Khazanah Nasional, which is relatively healthy today, would be helmed by the same person who hammered the final nail in 1MDB’s coffin,” he said in a statement today.

He said 1MDB had failed to fulfil its settlement obligations with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) by the end of last month.

“Despite claiming since April 24 this year that its repayment to IPIC would be fulfilled via the ‘monetisation’ of 1MDB’s investment ‘units’ last known to be held in Singapore, IPIC had to twice extend the deadline for the first instalment payment scheduled on 31 July 2017,” Pua said.

On Aug 11, 1MDB said it had paid IPIC US$350 million (RM1.5 billion), three days after the Abu Dhabi state fund gave it until Aug 31 to make a US$603 million (RM2.6 billion) debt settlement payment.

Under an agreement struck in April with IPIC, 1MDB agreed to pay US$1.2 billion (RM5.16 billion) in two instalments, with the first US$603 million to be paid by July 31.

Pua said the partial payment made was “shrouded in mystery”, and that it was clear that the 1MDB ‘units’ had not been monetised while the source of the 1MDB funds were also unclear.

Pua also cited 1MDB’s “botched” attempt to sell 60% of Bandar Malaysia to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings (IWH) Sdn Bhd-led consortium.

“Despite 1MDB having collected 10% of the sale amounting to RM741 million as ‘deposit’, the Ministry of Finance (MoF) had to terminate the contract due to IWH’s repeated failure to fulfil its obligations, (and) it was MoF which had to refund the RM741 million ‘deposit’ to the purchaser,” he said.

Pua also claimed that 1MDB’s investment “units” previously held at the now defunct BSI Bank, Singapore, were at best worth a fraction of their purported US$2.318 billion (RM9.97 billion) in valuation, citing the US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) additional civil suit filed in June.

It was reported by The Malaysian Insight that Arul Kanda was one of the candidates being considered to take over in Khazanah after Azman Mokhtar retires as managing director in 2019.

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