What Arul Kanda Was Saying About 1MDB Before GE14 And How His Tune Has Changed Now
Prior to the 14th General Election (GE14), the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 1MDB, Arul Kanda Kandasamy, had in an interview with CNBC claimed that 1MDB "has no financial issues", adding that it has met all its "debt obligations in full and on time"
However, after the new Finance Minister revealed on Wednesday, 23 May, that 1MDB is unable to pay debts owed, Arul has changed his tune, claiming he doesn't know financial details of the company
Arul Kanda, who in April 2018 claimed that the 1MDB's debt of USD7.75 billion is backed by USD11 billion in assets, is now feigning complete ignorance claiming he is on "garden leave" therefore doesn't know what's happening in the company.
According to him, all financial matters were handled strictly by the company CFO, and he is absolutely uncertain as to what the value of these 'investments' are or if they even exist in the first place
The 'investments' here refer to the USD940 million investments "units" that were previously held with BSI Bank, Singapore, along with the USD1.56 billion worth of overseas investment funds belonging to 1MDB Global Investments Limited.
According to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, these 'investments' are worth purportedly some RM9.8 billion, which if redeemed, "would be more than sufficient to meet 1MDB's financial obligations for the next few years."
In fact, one of the 1MDB directors Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali called these 1MDB investments "a scam," according to the statement issued by the Finance Ministry.
The cluelessness shown by Arul Kanda was not lost on LGE
The newly sworn-in Finance Ministry lambasted the 1MDB President and CEO.
"It is completely unbelievable that a highly paid and 'experienced' investment banker can be so irresponsibly clueless as to not know whether RM9.8 billion worth of investments are even real.
"Arul Kanda's response was utterly shocking and preposterous because prior to the change of government, he (Arul Kanda) toured the country preaching the financial viability of 1MDB and the soundness of its investments.
"In fact, Arul is today singing a completely different tune from the songs he sang to the Public Accounts Committee as recorded in the Hansard," the Finance Minister said, adding that he found Arul Kanda "to be utterly dishonest and untrustworthy".