The Straits Times of Singapore on 27 Dec 17 in its headline, "Malaysia's 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing", reported that US$602.7 million was settled by 1MDB to pay Abu Dhabi's International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC). This is the second installment of a US$1.2 billion due end of this year. According to The Straits Times, the debt was paid by divesting its stake in two companies to buyers linked to China state-owned enterprises.
The paper further mentioned that, "it was paid with funds raised from the sale of investments in financial instruments held by the Malaysian investment company and stakes held in two 1MDB-related entities that own tracts of land in the northern Penang state and another 128ha real estate parcel around Port Klang".
If the report in The Straits Times is true, then the news is rather shocking. Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriots) urge those responsible to confirm or deny what was reported. True or false, an explanation must be given. The people are the stakeholders of the future of our country. Our government cannot remain habitually puzzling, as clear communication is absolutely necessary in such an important issue involving our country, especially when it involves selling prime land and national assets. If confirmed, it has also to be clarified if the land parcels or national assets are sold through local proxies, and who they are. Patriots further urge the state governments involved, particularly Selangor and Penang, to be vigilant in such land ownership transfer.
The Straits Times also reported that Abu Dhabi would begin negotiations in January 2018 with 1MDB regarding the outstanding US$3.5 billion that remains in dispute. This is alarming. The decision to settle this outstanding debt cannot be left to our government alone, as it has proven itself with a trust deficit. Patriots with the fullest respect urge our DYMM SPB YDP Agong and the Council of Rulers to step in, to find the best course of action to solve the problem with the debts pertaining to 1MDB. We propose that a special committee be formed, headed by the Governor of Bank Negara, with membership from responsible politicians from both ruling and opposition parties, and prominent economists of our country. This special committee is responsible to come out with solutions to advise the government, and the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance is obliged to follow the recommendations.
The people of Malaysia have a stake in this important decision.