Don’t restructure 1MDB without punishing current board, Kit Siang tells Putrajaya

KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 ― Before restructuring debt-laden 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Putrajaya must make sure to punish all those to blame for the firm’s RM42 billion debt pile, Lim Kit Siang said.

The DAP adviser said this includes even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who currently sits on the state-owned investment firm’s advisory board.

“The Cabinet must insist that all those responsible for the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal must face the consequences, not just the 1MDB Board, but also Najib ― failing which the entire Cabinet should resign collectively on an important principle of good governance and accountability,” the federal lawmaker said in a statement here.

Lim, however, said it would come as no surprise if the government’s plan to restructure 1MDB involves the setting up of a new board.

“But this would be completely unsatisfactory,” he said.

Yesterday, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah said the ministry will be tabling a report on its restructuring plan for 1MDB in Parliament next week.

He added that he is confident that the restructuring exercise will work out.

Lim said today that Ahmad Husni’s comments appeared to be a “panic reaction” from the minister in response to the leaked video of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin suggesting in a speech at a closed-door Umno training session last weekend that the entire 1MDB board should be sacked and investigated by the police.

The DAP leader pointed out that Ahmad Husni made the remark shortly after Najib tabled the 11th Malaysia Plan, which was overshadowed by the video of his deputy.

“This (Ahmad Husni’s comments) appears to be an immediate reaction, not to Muhyiddin’s speech to Umno last Saturday for heads to roll in 1MDB, but the uploading of the recording of Muhyiddin’s speech,” he said.

Lim also noted that the recording of the speech by Muhyiddin, which was uploaded yesterday on a blog called APANAMA, came barely two weeks after Najib proclaimed in public that his relationship with his deputy is sound.

The embattled prime minister has also declared then that he had the full backing of his Umno supreme council.

“Has the war in Umno between the Najib and Muhyiddin factions broken out in the open?” Lim asked.

Najib has been under pressure of late over his handling of the 1MDB fiasco, with his predecessor Dr Mahathir openly demanding that he step down for allowing the fund to accumulate some RM42 billion in debt to date from the time it was incorporated in 2009.

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