PM washing his hands of 1MDB?

Hand-washing act of 1MDB?

The Minister of Finance’s compliance with the recommendations of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on matters relating to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has critics questioning the sincerity of its move.

Has it agreed with the PAC’s findings and investigations or is this decision based on other reasons?

With independent power assets sold entirely to Chinese companies, 1MDB’s subsidiaries and land assets in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd, TRX City Sdn Bhd, Air Itam and Pulau Indah transferred to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated, does this mean the government-owned investment arm will become an empty entity?

Political analyst Shahbudin Husin asks: “Who will pay the debts?”

“Is the asset transfer a first step that would be followed with the entire debt transfer to the Ministry of Finance Incorporated?

“If this happens, what about 1MDB after this? Will this case be closed and the debts to borne by us (Malaysians)?”

The Finance Ministry also agreed to comply with the PAC’s recommendation to remove Article 117 and change all references of “Prime Minister” to “Minister of Finance”, in the company’s articles.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak is not only the prime minister, but also the finance minister.

“At a glance, complying to change the Article does not make any difference. Both positions are held by Najib, therefore practicality wise, there is no effect to the ministry complying with this recommendation by the PAC,” says Shahbudin.

Although there is no effecting changes through changing of Article 117, is it a sign of Najib wanting to let go of his responsibilities as the finance minister?

Article 117 requires the prime minister’s written approval for all of 1MDB’s financial commitments, including investments, and matters such as the appointment of the board of directors.

“Is he (Najib) showing signs of wanting to wash his hands of all expenses done under 1MDB?” Shahbudin questions.

“Without the reference to the prime minister, it also means that the Advisory Board that is chaired by the prime minister no longer needs to exist.

“Once again, it indicates that Najib is on his way to wash his hands completely clean of 1MDB matters,” he says.

After all these, the new board of directors will be fully burdened to deal with matters concerning the 1MDB as if Najib is no longer involved with the government’s investment arm.

“Who will later be appointed to the 1MDB board of directors?

“If it fits a bigger picture, it is not impossible that the decisions announced by the Finance Ministry are steps towards freeing Najib from being linked to 1MDB matters by passing the buck to possible fall guys.

“But will Najib be able to free himself from being morally linked to these debts? Plus other countries that are investigating 1MDB’s relations to financial misdeeds and money laundering are increasingly heightening,” adds Shahbudin.

Hand-washing act of 1MDB?
May 05, 2016 – The Heat


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