Archive for April 29th, 2017

1MDB settlement a high price for Malaysia

IFR Asia 989
April 29, 2017

The 1MDB saga reached a predictable and sickening milestone last Monday when the Malaysian investment fund said it had reached an out-of-court settlement with the Middle Eastern guarantor of two US dollar bonds totalling US$3.5bn.

1MDB’s agreement with Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company was predictable, inasmuch as the Malaysian taxpayer will ultimately be on the hook for the fund’s debts, and sickening inasmuch as it left billions of dollars still unaccounted for.

1MDB maintains that it paid US$3.5bn to an IPIC unit, Aabar Investments PJS Limited, in return for IPIC acting as guarantor on the US dollar bonds. IPIC claims that money went to an unconnected company registered in the British Virgin Islands with an uncannily similar name.

IPIC denied last week that Aabar (BVI) was its subsidiary. But Malaysia’s second finance minister Johari Abdul Ghani last week in somewhat desperate fashion, proffered a letter from the Registrar of Corporate Affairs of the British Virgin Islands confirming that it is (or was).

Can the world of international high finance be reduced to something as utterly farcical and absurd? And when it comes to playing the “Whose Baby?” game, I think I would trust the parent to know, rather than a third-party “verifier” from a faraway land of which the main players in this farce probably know very little. Read the rest of this entry »


As “MO1”, Prime Minister Najib should recuse himself from being the final authority in approval of the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”, and a special Parliament convened to decide on the issue

Although Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani was appointed with the specific task to complete the rationalization and resolution of the 1MDB scandal, he is on public record that he was not involved in the arbitration settlement negotiations and had not been briefed before the “settlement” was concluded.

He said that although he was involved in the decision to take the case to London arbitration as he was confident that 1MDB would win the case because of its strong legal position, the Prime Minister made the decision for the country looking at the “bigger picture”, in terms of relationship between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi.

This is not only completely unacceptable but downright unethical and most unfair to Abu Dhabi, suggesting that the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund, International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) is so dishonest and unIslamic as to demand double payments for its US$3.5 billion bond guarantee!

It is most improper for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as the “M01” cited in the US Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation (as admitted by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan) to be in a conflict-of-interest position to be involved in the 1MDB-IPIC settlement, especially as it involved the Ministry of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia (MoF Inc) as a party of the IMDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” guaranteeing that 1MDB would make the payments under the “arbitration settlement” – which is as good as undertaking that the Malaysian taxpayers will finally foot the bill for the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement”. Read the rest of this entry »