In the age of ‘Fake News’ making its way in the minds of many, facts are often denied even amongst the educated and professional lot through the advancement of ICT technology.
One instance is the financial position of the strategic investment company 1MDB, which was turned from actual commercial problems into scandalous by very irresponsible Malaysians, especially the Opposition.
Malaysiankini story from Parliament this morning:
PM: 1MDB has cleared its bank debts, short-term debts
30 Mar 2017, AM 11:01 (Updated 30 Mar 2017, PM 12:01)
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has said 1MDB, which has incurred debts up to RM50 billion as of January 2016, has cleared all its bank debts and short-term debts.
“For now, 1MDB does not have any bank debt and short-term debt,” said Najib, in his capacity has finance ministry, said in a written parliamentary reply yesterday.
According to the ministry, 1MDB made the following repayments:
Paid off RM229.5 million revolving credit facility to Affin Bank in full by Nov 23, 2015.
Cleared RM950 million standby credit to the government in full by March 31, 2016.
Repaid RM2 billion term loan facility to Marstan Investment NV by April 8, 2016.
Cleared US$150 million term financing facility with EXIM Bank by April 15, 2016.
Najib was responding to Er Teck Hwa (DAP-Bakri) who requested the updated figures on 1MDB’s staff, cash flow, debts and assets.
“Due to the ongoing rationalisation plan of 1MDB, there are no new assets acquired (by the state-owned firm) in the country and overseas, in 2015 and 2016,” added the prime minister.
Under the 1MDB rationalisation plan, Najib noted that 1MDB has reduced its staff strenght from 35 as of Dec 31, 2015 to 17 staff as of Dec 31, 2016.
“By selling off the Edra Global Energy Bhd’s asset, Syarikat Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd’s equity and the land for the Tun Razak Exchange project, 1MDB acquired RM10.97 billion in 2015 and 2016,” he added.
According to Public Accounts Committee’s (PAC) report on 1MDB, the state-owned fund’s debt has increased ten time from RM5 billion in 2009 to RM50 billion in 2016.
1MDB was reportedly had paid RM3.3 billion in interest from April 2013 to March 2015.
1MDB, which had asset valued at RM53 billion as of January 2016, had since stripped various assets and equity stakes to clear off its debts.
And NST story:
1MDB now debt-free: Finance Ministry
By Nik Imran Abdullah – March 30, 2017 @ 12:17pm
KUALA LUMPUR: The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund is now debt-free, as it has repaid in full all its bank loans amounting to almost RM4 billion, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
The Finance Ministry said the debts, including a standby credit facility from the federal government, were paid in 2015 and 2016.
“As of now, 1MDB does not owe anything to banks, nor has short-term debts,” the ministry said in a written reply to Er Teck Hwa (DAP-Bakri).
The ministry said 1MDB made full settlement, amounting to RM229.5 million, for a revolving credit facility to Affin Bank, on Nov 23, 2015.
On March 31, 2015, 1MDB paid the full amount of RM950 million to the federal government for a standby credit facility.
On April 8, last year, RM2 billion was paid to Marstan Investments N.V. for a term loan facility.
On April 15, last year, 1MDB paid in full a term-financing facility amounting to US$150 million to EXIM Bank.
The ministry also said 1MDB had raised cash amounting to RM10.97 billion through sales of assets in Edra Global Energy Bhd, part of equities in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, and land for the Tun Razak Exchange project in 2015 and last year.
“As the rationalisation plan of 1MDB is ongoing, no new assets were acquired in 2015 and last year,” the ministry said.
In line with the plan, the ministry said the number of 1MDB employees is 17 as of Dec 31, last year, down from 35 staff on Dec 31, the previous year.
Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak acting as the Minister of Finance responded to a DAP MP’s querry, through a written reply in the Dewan Rakyat.
The Opposition since 2012 made the 1MDB the most controversial and later contentious issues ever thrown against a corporation owned by the Malaysian Government, which was supposed to implement strategic programs such as high end property and energy sectors.
Despite explanations made, even on formal platforms such as replies in the Parliament, the Opposition to continue to make the 1MDB issue continue to be contentious.
Second Finance Minister Dato’ Sri Johari Abdul Ghani did offer detailed explanation on 1MDB, as a response to DAP Strategic Director Tony Pua’s dramatised ‘Open Letter’.
COMMENT I refer to a press statement issued today by YB Tony Pua.
YB Tony Pua is well-versed in the facts concerning 1MDB, given he is a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). Thus, it is disappointing to note that he has chosen to misrepresents the facts and has accused me of lying, in his desperate attempts to mislead the rakyat.
The matter at hand is clear, simple and has been publicly explained, as evidenced in page 81 of the PAC Report on 1MDB.
The facts are as follows:
1. The TRX and Bandar Malaysia lands were originally owned directly by the government. The government made a decision to sell the lands in 2010 and 2013 respectively, to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a holding company 100 percent owned by MOF Inc. 1MDB in turn owned the lands via its 100 percent equity shareholding in two subsidiary companies, ie TRX City Sdn. Bhd. (TRXC) and Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (BMSB).
2. It is clear that from the above transactions, the government ownership of the lands shifted from direct to indirect ownership, via MOF Inc ultimate ownership of 1MDB and its subsidiary companies.
3. Although the Bandar Malaysia land was sold at a nominal sum to BMSB, there was a responsibility to construct/upgrade six bases for the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) and two bases for the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM), for a total development cost of RM 2.7 billion, of which 1MDB had to contribute RM1.6 billion.
4. Although the TRX land was sold at a nominal sum to TRXC, there was a responsibility to construct infrastructure not only in TRX but also in the surrounding areas, including a vehicular tunnel under Jalan Tun Razak, for a total sum of approximately RM 3 billion.
5. TRXC and BMSB undertook debts of RM 800 million and RM2.4 billion respectively, to undertake the construction of infrastructure and the six air force/two police bases referred to above. These debts were always attached to the said land when these two companies raised their financing and thus form part of the security for the said debts. In other words, it is an operating debt of these two companies.
6. With the infrastructure development and planning approvals obtained by TRXC and BMSB from 2010/2013 to the present day, the value of the TRX and Bandar Malaysia lands have increased in value significantly.
6. The PAC recommended in April 2016 that MOF Inc take over direct ownership of Bandar Malaysia and TRX lands from 1MDB. The most efficient and cost-effective way to achieve this is via a transfer of TRXC and BMSB shares to MOF Inc. So, instead of owning those companies via 1MDB, MOF Inc will directly own BMSB and TRXC, along with all the assets and the operating debts of the respective companies.
7. The TRXC and BMSB debts will be repaid by future cashflows of these companies as described in page 81 of the PAC Report. Further, whilst TRXC will continue to be 100 percent owned by MOF Inc, it is pertinent to note that a sale and purchase agreement has been executed with a consortium for the sale of 60 percent equity shareholding in BMSB.
8. More importantly, page 81 of the PAC Report also makes clear that the debts that will remain on the balance sheet of 1MDB are the RM 5 billion sukuk, the US$3.0 billion bond and the 2x US$1.75 billion bonds. These 1MDB debts will be serviced from matching cashflows, as described in the PAC Report.
Whilst MOF Inc will not be taking over these 1MDB debts, the substance of the letter of support and guarantee from the government, remains intact, as described in the PAC Report.
There is therefore a clear distinction between 1MDB debts, which will not be taken over by MOF Inc, and the BMSB/TRXC project company operating debt, which are part of the assets and liabilities of the company and which will be serviced from the project cash-flows.
JOHARI ABDUL GHANI is Second Finance Minister.
1MDB was made contentious when Fourth Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad openly attacked Prime Minister Najib exactly two year ago this month. His baseless accusations then “1MDB lost RM42 billion!”.
Tagged team with foreign media which include the Neo Con Jewish controlled Wall Street Journal, a serious of reporting made without verified evidence and named sources (supposedly, ‘authorities’ on the matter), which spurred the 1MDB matter to be scandalous.
It was then clear that the 1MDB issue was an excuse to demonise Prime Minister Najib and his administration, in the strategic play to oust him (then attempts to trigger a ‘revolution’ amongst the Cabinet, UMNO Supreme Council, UMNO General Assembly and eventually Parliament through a vote of no confidence).
However, it failed all the way.
Aides of Dr. Mahathir even went overseas to lodge reports to the authorities in Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Switzerland, United Kingdom and United States based on so called ‘evidence’, which many are not properly verified and speculative and some are even fabricated.
MOF II Johari also said in Parliament two weeks ago 1MDB is the most investigated corporation in the Malaysian history. So far except for being reprimanded for flogging bureaucratic regulations, no personalities from the strategic investment corporation have yet to be charged because lack of implicating evidence.
Despite all of these reports and complaints lodged all over the world the past two years, there is no progress on the investigations which implicated 1MDB in any criminal activities.
Yet, parties attempting hard to demonise Prime Minister Najib and his administration such as Dr. Mahathir, the Opposition and foreign media been using terms such as “Kleptocracy”.
The fact remains that 1MDB is a corporation which embarked on various diversified tracks faced commercial issues.