Archive for April 27th, 2017

Chequebook diplomacy

By Una Galani
27 April 2017

Malaysia will bear most of the burden of 1MDB. Abu Dhabi helped the Southeast Asian nation finance the upstart sovereign fund back in 2012. It subsequently looked like the Gulf emirate would share a large part of the multi-billion dollar fallout relating to the fund, now the focus of money-laundering probes around the world. But Malaysia is throwing its chequebook at the problem, paying up to try to repair relations between the two states before Prime Minister Najib Razak seeks re-election.

A debt settlement agreement announced on Monday addresses most of the lingering financial mess. 1MDB will repay a $1.2 billion loan to IPIC by the end of this year. It will also re-assume responsibility for two bonds, which will cost another $4.8 billion including interest.

The Malaysian investor had initially played hardball with Abu Dhabi. It stopped paying coupons on the notes last year after the pair fell out over a separate $3.5 billion payment that went missing. 1MDB paid that amount to an entity with a similar name to a unit of IPIC, which the latter has claimed it never received. Read the rest of this entry »


The “overkill” campaign to convince Malaysians that 1MDB scandal has finally been resolved with the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” boomeranged as many basic questions remain unanswered

After the “arbitration settlement” between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), the UMNO/BN Government propaganda machinery went into an overdrive to convince Malaysians that the 1MDB international kleptocratic money-laundering scandal had been resolved and settled once and for all.

But the propaganda campaign committed the fatal sin of doing an “overkill”, like the claims by the Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, causing a boomerang as many basic questions about the 1MDB scandal, which had hounded and haunted Malaysians with the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, remain unanswered.

Examples of such propaganda overkill, which aroused more doubts and questions, are Abdul Rahman’s claims that the “arbitration settlement” shows that 1MDB funds did not end up in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s pockets or that the 1MDB funds held in “units” in Singapore exist and will be monetized to pay IPIC – as they do not have such results.

Thanks to Abdul Rahman, these questions have returned to the centre-stage of public concern, together with other questions like “Why Malaysians have now to pay IPIC more than double what was actually borrowed by 1MDB” (asked by DAP MP for PJ Utara), “Where did the money paid by 1MDB go” (asked not only by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed but also by UMNO MP for Kulim Bandar Baru and Public Accounts Committee member, Datuk Aziz Sheikh Fadzir), “Will taxpayers foot 1MDB’s US$1.2b settlement with IPIC” (by PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli), “Who is buying the 1MDB ‘units’?” (by former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), my question yesterday “Is Malaysia fast becoming a rogue state in today’s international society?” among many others.

Is Najib prepared to convene a special session of Parliament to clear Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” to give full and detailed answers to all the charges about 1MDB international money-laundering scandal, in particular the nearly year-old United States Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland? Read the rest of this entry »