1MDB: Youth group want steps to recover US$3.5 billion revealed

haniff-khatri-1mdbPETALNG JAYA: A youth movement today delivered a notice to Prime Minister Najib Razak and the current 1MDB board of directors demanding to know what action has been taken to recover US$3.5 billion admittedly paid to Aabar BVI.

The Gerakan Anakmuda Tolak Najib (Ganti) also demanded to know what legal procedures – criminal or civil – had been initiated against the previous 1MDB management, board of directors and advisors.

Najib also chairs the fund’s advisory board.

Their lawyer, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said in the event no explanation was forthcoming, Ganti would pursue legal action which included seeking an injunction to restrain 1MDB, the current board of directors and the Finance Ministry (MOF) from making a settlement payment.

“We will give them 14 days to comply with the demand, failing which, legal action will be started,” Haniff said.

Lawyers for Ganti today served the notice to representatives of Najib, the finance ministry, 1MDB and its board of directors and Mohd Irwan Serigar Abdullah.

Haniff said the other two 1MDB directors, Kamal Mohd Ali and Norazman Ayob would be served with the notice soon.

He also said his client had initially mooted for such action to be taken in the middle of last year, following the announcement that the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) had made a claim in the London Court of International Arbitration.

IPIC is seeking US$6.5 billion from 1MDB and its sole shareholder, the finance ministry which had failed to perform their obligation to IPIC.

He said Second Finance Minister Johari Ghani was quoted in Malaysiakini on Aug 1 as stating that 1MDB will contest the claim by IPIC and Aabar Investments PJS.

However, Haniff said Free Malaysia today reported on April 24 (2017) that it had entered into a settlement of the claim, with 1MDB and the finance ministry.

According to filings with the London Stock Exchange, IPIC said it will receive US$1.2 billion in two equal payments on July 31 and Dec 31.

The agreement is conditional on the Arbitration Tribunal in London making a “consent award” by May 31.

The filing indicates that the settlement involved only part of the total US$6.5 billion sought by IPIC, the remainder of which is believed to be subject to further negotiations.

Haniff said Ganti as the rightful and extended beneficiaries of 1MDB – due to the fact that the state investment arm is funded by public funds – had a duty to make a public announcement in light of Johari’s revelation in August.

On May 4, Amanah deputy youth chief Muhammad Faiz Fadzil submitted a memorandum to Najib in his capacity as finance minister, questioning the delay in action taken against those responsible for the 1MDB money trail.

Faiz said that seven years after 1MDB began operations, its debts had now mounted to RM50 billion and the money trail was being investigated globally in the United States, Singapore, Switzerland and Hong Kong.

Following the expiry of the 10-day deadline, the new group, Ganti took shape on Monday to take the matter to the people and to the court.

Ganti comprises youth members from DAP, PKR, PPBM and Deklarasi Rakyat.

Haniff, who previously represented PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was also appointed as the lawyer to conduct legal proceedings on behalf of Ganti and Deklarasi Rakyat.

1MDB previously claimed it had paid IPIC’s subsidiary, British Virgin Island-registered Aabar Investment PJS Limited (“Aabar BVI”), a total of RM3.51 billion between 2012 and 2014, something that IPIC disputed last year, claiming it never received the money.