Withdraw agreement with Goldman Sachs, Dr M tells govt

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has suggested that Putrajaya withdraw its agreement to accept the US$2.5 billion offered by Goldman Sachs following a settlement over the 1MDB scandal, reached between the government and the international investment bank.

The former prime minister said the money to be paid to the government was “nothing compared to what is due to Malaysia”.

“That is very much less than what it should pay,” he said in a blog post, adding that the total amount due was actually US$9.6 billion.

This comes after Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz said on Sunday that Goldman Sachs would pay US$2.5 billion in cash and guarantee at least US$1.4 billion from proceeds of assets bought with misappropriated 1MDB funds.

This would see a total of US$3.9 billion (RM16.63 billion) returned to Malaysia.

Former finance minister Lim Guan Eng previously said the Pakatan Harapan-led government had claimed US$7.5 billion from the investment bank including US$1 billion to cover interest.

Mahathir said the initial offer of US$1.75 billion was “ridiculous”, adding that the money had been borrowed by 1MDB.

Now, he said, the finance minister would have to pay the lenders. Once the payments are received by the government, it would have to pay US$4.85 billion, he added.

He said this would essentially be a charge to the taxpayers.

“I suggest that the government withdraw its agreement to accept the US$2.5 billion offered by Goldman Sachs.”