PETALING JAYA: Titiwangsa MP Johari Ghani has been appointed by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to lead a task force meant to “resolve matters” involving the 1MDB scandal.
According to Bloomberg, Anwar said he agreed with Johari’s criticism of Putrajaya’s US$2.5 billion settlement with Goldman Sachs over the scandal. The settlement with the investment bank was reached in 2020, when Muhyiddin Yassin was the prime minister.
“I myself disagree with the past decisions, which were too light when the understanding was made. Goldman Sachs profited off our hardship and pain,” Anwar told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
In 2020, the Muhyiddin-led government reached a settlement with Goldman Sachs that involved the investment bank paying the government US$2.5 billion in cash and guaranteeing the return of US$1.4 billion in 1MDB assets seized by authorities around the world.
Last month, Johari urged Putrajaya to investigate the role of those involved in Putrajaya’s settlement with Goldman Sachs, saying Malaysia had been short-changed in the matter.
The former second finance minister said Goldman Sachs acted as the financial adviser and lead manager for three bonds issued by 1MDB worth US$6.5 billion, earning US$606 million in fees in the process.
Johari also said the criminal conviction of two former Goldman Sachs employees pointed conclusively to the “questionable” nature of the 1MDB settlement.
The Barisan Nasional MP pointed out that former Goldman Sachs bankers Tim Leissner and Roger Ng were part of the bank’s senior management, claiming they were essentially at the heart of the 1MDB fraud.
“Their wrongdoing can be attributed to Goldman Sachs to hold the bank fully accountable for all 1MDB losses,” he said.