KUALA LUMPUR – Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) project does not have to be bailed out, adding that Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng himself today remarked that the project will show a profit.
In a posting on his Facebook account, he said the take-over of TRX’s master developer TRX City Sdn Bhd (TRXC) by Ministry of Finance Inc (MOF Inc) for a nominal sum of RM1 effective March 31, 2017, was a key step in the broader 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) rationalisation plan.
“After taking over the two prime assets, MOF Inc then assumed payment of certain 1MDB liabilities from April 1, 2017, in return for the asset transfer.
“YB Lim himself admits that even with a further ‘up to’ RM2.8 billion injection by MOF Inc, the TRX project will be worth at least RM7.8 billion and show a profit. Surely it cannot be called a bail-out if the money is to be used to generate a profit?” Najib said.
At a press conference today, Lim said the Cabinet decided to complete the TRX project and that up to RM2.8 billion would be injected to ensure its completion.
The minister also said the project could turn a small profit on completion and recoup the RM3.7 billion that was paid out earlier.
Najib said Lim “conveniently” lumped together Federal Government commitments of RM3.7 billion for both the TRX and Bandar Malaysia projects, but failed to highlight the significant land asset value contained in both projects, in particular the Bandar Malaysia project.
“If properly planned, marketed and developed, the Bandar Malaysia land alone could be worth RM30 billion,” he opined.
More importantly, Najib said, no monies from TRXC were misappropriated by 1MDB.
“As practiced by many companies, approximately RM3 billion of inter-company loans were made, over time, by TRXC to 1MDB.
“All these inter-company (loans) were repaid by 1MDB effective March 31, 2017, through a combination of cash repayments and a set-off against dividends paid by TRXC to 1MDB.
“These repayments were carried out with the approval of MOF Inc and were properly reviewed and signed off by the auditors of TRXC in the March 31, 2017 financial statements.
“Since TRXC was owned 100 per cent by 1MDB which was, in turn, owned 100 per cent by MOF, surely 1MDB cannot be stealing RM3 billion from itself to service its own loan?” he remarked.
Najib said he was happy that the government had decided to continue with the TRX project “which will bring tens of thousands of new jobs and establish a world-class financial centre right here in Kuala Lumpur.”
However, he chided Lim for “spreading half truths and outright lies in his statement today about TRXC”, which owned the 28.3-hectare TRX and 196.7-hectare Bandar Malaysia land and projects.
He cautioned Lim against making factually incorrect statements as part of “the PH’s (Pakatan Harapan) political vengeance against me and the previous BN (Barisan Nasional) government.”
“Not only is it unprofessional, it spooks investors in the currency, bond and stock markets. Surely the well being of our economy is much more important than the issuance of politically motivated statements?” he concluded. – BERNAMA