1MDB Group Executive Editor and President Arul Kanda Kandasamy agreed unconditionally to stand up and face against DAP Strategist and Petaling Jaya MP Tony Puaka in a public debate as is, anywhere, anytime and the latter need not to relinquish his exalted membership as a Piblic Accounts Committee (PAC) member. story:
Channel News Asia story:
1MDB President agrees to have open debate with PAC’s Tony Pua
In a rare media conference on Saturday (Oct 31), Mr Kanda accepted a challenge to debate Opposition MP and the bipartisan PAC member Tony Pua – a staunch critic – on live television.
By Sumisha Naidu
POSTED: 31 Oct 2015 12:02 UPDATED: 31 Oct 2015 13:08
1MDB President and Group Executive Director Arul Kanda. (Photo: Sumisha Naidu)
KUALA LUMPUR: The President and Group Executive Director of controversial state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) held a rare media conference on Saturday (Oct 31), defending the company’s track record and accepting a challenge to debate an Opposition MP on live TV.
Mr Arul Kanda spent more than an hour explaining the company’s road to RM42 billion debt, blaming it on a cashflow mismatch brought on by failed plans for an IPO.
He acknowledged that the criticisms and controversy had been “tough”, and that it even impacted a previous attempt for an IPO, but he said he is confident that ongoing independent investigations into the fund will clear its name.
Mr Kanda also accepted a challenge to debate Opposition MP and the bipartisan Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua – a staunch critic – on live television.
Initially Mr Kanda had said he would only do so if Mr Pua stepped down from the PAC, as the PAC is currently conducting its own investigations into 1MDB.
“TIME, DATE, FORMAT TO BE SORTED OUT SOON”: PUA
In a statement later on Saturday, Mr Pua acknowledged Mr Kanda’s acceptance of the challenge, and said that “the biggest winners from the live discussion will be Malaysians out there who have been frustrated, perplexed and perhaps confused by the shenanigans which appear to have taken place in 1MDB.”.
He also thanked Mr Kanda for accepting to do the debate without attaching any conditions, as well as Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak, for offering RTM to host the live talk show.
“I am certain that over the next week, our respective teams will meet and thrash out the date, time and format of the talk show,” said Mr Pua. “I certainly look forward to meeting Arul for the very first time and asking the questions which Malaysians have been dying to ask for the longest time.”
Arul is very consistent to face his accuser, who at the moment is the playing the role judge and jury as a PAC member.
Initially, Arul summarily accepted Pua’s challenge for a public or live tv debate, provided that Pua step down as PAC member first. This is because as a PAC member, he is privy to very classified and confidential information and the debate is widely known nothing but a political stunt by the DAP leader to demonise 1MDB, in an attempt to have a trickle effect against the erosion of confidence towards Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak’s leadership and administration.
Many MPs, UMNO/BN and Opposition alike felt that is it inappropriate for Pua to remain as a PAC member and use privileged information to score.
Now that Arul wants to have a to go Pua come what ever it may be, is very much the demonstration of the confidence level and consistency that the 1MDB CEO has to offer and dispel any wrong perception and deceits about the Federal Government strategic investment corporation.
The debate also meant that Arul could have a no-holds-barred go after Pua. Especially in the attempt to demonise 1MDB and Prime Minister Najib, Pua is associated with leaders who obtained stolen information from former Petro Saudi Executive Xavier A. Justo. It is now a game of facts over perception or more precisely, deception.
The “Thirteen Million Plus Ringgit” question is Pua ready to face Arul. Probably it is interesting to note what ever lame excuse he would come up with to wiggle his way out of this, there on.
Arul’s confidence and determination to sort out what ever Pua had been and wanted to be thrown at and against 1MDB, with or without information obtained in PAC, is a point to note and carefully observe on how sincere Pua is with his challenge.
It is the real test against the accuser, with the obvious sinister political agenda.