I’m a professional, not a politician, Arul Kanda tells Kit Siang

Arul, who has spoken on briefing sessions on 1MDB recently says issues related to the company were centred on business but had been “heavily politicised”. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy has shot back at Lim Kit Siang’s challenge to stand in the coming general election, after the DAP veteran criticised him for organising roadshows on the troubled state firm without being answerable in Parliament.

“I am a professional, not a politician,” Arul said when contacted by FMT.

Lim had today questioned Arul for taking part in a series of roadshows to explain issues related to 1MDB, saying it was more crucial to answer them in the Dewan Rakyat.

“I ask Arul Kanda to stand in the coming general election on a 1MDB ticket. Stand on the Barisan Nasional ticket on a 1MDB ticket and let’s see what happens,” said Lim.

In response, Arul, who has been tasked with 1MDB’s rationalisation plan following allegations of financial mismanagement, said he appreciated the invitation, and was “humbled to be considered for what is without doubt, one of the great callings of public life”.

“Unfortunately, I have to disappoint him and decline his invitation,” he said.

Arul, who had spoken at nine briefing sessions on 1MDB recently, said issues related to the company were centred on business but had been “heavily politicised”.

“The reality is I am only doing my job and carrying out my professional responsibility, to present information on 1MDB and related topics, based on company records and the facts,” he said, adding that anyone was free to attend the session.

He said there was nothing to hide, and contentious issues surrounding 1MDB including the probe by the US Department of Justice (DoJ), the role of businessman Low Taek Jho and Bandar Malaysia were openly discussed.

“In particular, each forum had lengthy and open Q&A sessions, where probing questions were asked and, I hope, satisfactorily answered,” said Arul.

Opposition MPs have criticised Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia for refusing to allow questions on the company.

The government had in the past admitted 1MDB’s failings, but critics have questioned the failure to prosecute any of its senior officials.