SHAH ALAM: 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda Kandasamy today held a closed door function regarding issues surrounding the controversy-filled state investment arm.
Titled “Fitnah dan Realiti 1MDB” (“1MDB: Reality and Slander”) held at Bangunan Selangor in Shah Alam, the function was only open to Umno members. No media personnel were allowed in.
This is the first time Arul Kanda has shed any light on 1MDB since it became the centre of attention after the United States Department of Justice (DoJ) filed claims to seize assets worth USD1 billion (RM4 billion) related to 1MDB.
The assets are part of the USD3.5 billion alleged to have been misappropriated from the state investment fund.
It consists of properties, art pieces, personal jets and the earnings from Hollywood film “The Wolf of Wall Street”, produced by Prime Minister Najib Razak’s stepson, Riza Aziz’s company Red Granite.
Following the DoJ action, 1MDB issued a statement stating: “1MDB highlights that it is not a party to the civil suit, does not have any assets in the United States of America, nor has it benefited from the various transactions described in the civil suit.
“Furthermore, 1MDB has not been contacted by the US Department of Justice or any other foreign agency in relation to their investigations.”
Previously, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed announced that only Arul Kanda and Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani were authorised to speak on 1MDB.
“The issue involves legal, financial and business matters. They are the ones with accurate information.
“Those who are not involved may not understand. Arul is ready to go around the country to give talks,” Mustapa was quoted as saying.
The last time Arul Kanda spoke about 1MDB was during the Sungai Besar by-election in June, where he was invited to an event organised by the Prime Minister’s Department.
According to civil servants who attended the event, Arul Kanda denied that the goods and services tax (GST) as well as the RM2.6 billion donation into Najib’s personal accounts were linked to 1MDB.
During the event, Arul Kanda also warned the audience against being “fooled by the Opposition”, who were constantly attacking the government on 1MDB.