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Tun M: I Don’t Believe Arul Kanda’s Explanation On RM42bil Debt

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PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) is doubting 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) explanation on the utilisation of its RM42bil debt because its president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy has been caught “lying a number of times”.

“Arul had lied before. It is not inconceivable that on the RM42bil, Arul may be lying again. Where a chunk of the RM42bil went is still questionable,” said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on his blog chedet.cc.

Last Wednesday, 1MDB gave a detailed explanation on how the RM42bil had been utilised by the Government investment arm.

Dr Mahathir also said he did not think the issue of the debt could be resolved by having a “four-eyed” meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin suggested on Sunday.

He said that Najib could only resolve it if he could prove that no money had “disappeared” from the RM42bil.

“The intention of 1MDB is to make money for the Government. Show how much profit the Government has made since 2009. Why do you have to borrow money to pay interest on the debts?

“Why does 1MDB pay only RM60-RM90 for Government land which it now wants to sell at RM2,000-RM4,000 per square foot? Now the land bought by Tabung Haji has been sold to some Indonesians at a loss. The loss will be borne by the pilgrims,” said Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir said the Najib should not answer to him, but to the public instead.

“The money belongs to the people. It is the duty of the police, the anti-corruption agency to investigate the complaints and the reports that has been made – including by Bank Negara. But the agencies have not investigated,” he said.

Dr Mahathir, who showed up at a dialogue organised by a non-governmental organisation on Friday, said Najib had lost his chance to clear his name by not showing up.

“It is a pity. Najib could have explained everything and people like me would be silenced,” said Dr Mahathir.

On Monday, amidst raging questions about its operations and financial health, 1MDB said they had settled a US$975mil (RM3.6bil) loan to a consortium of international banks.

In a statement, the Government investment arm – which had racked up RM42bil in debts as of March 31, 2014 – asserted that the repayment showed its commitment to reduce its liabilities.

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