(NST) The government will have to step in should 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fail to service its debt payment, due next week.
Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said this was because of the government’s back-to-back guarantee over 1MDB.
“I have been informed by Deputy Treasury-General Datuk Siti Zauyah Mohd Desa that among the most urgent items to be resolved during my first days of office is the payment of interest for 1MDB borrowings.
“This is because the amount of RM143.75 million is due to be paid by 1MDB on May 30.
“I have also been informed that Arul Kanda (Kandasamy) remains 1MDB president and chief executive officer until June 30.
“Arul Kanda has to date insisted that 1MDB is fully able to service its debt obligations.
“Therefore, I have given instructions for Arul Kanda to brief and clarify if 1MDB is able to pay the above sum due next week,” he told reporters after meeting Finance Ministry officers on Tuesday.
Lim said he had also instructed 1MDB directors Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali and Datuk Norazman Ayob to brief the ministry on 1MDB’s state of affairs.
“We are extremely concerned with regards to this because I have been informed by the Finance Ministry officials that the ministry has been bailing out 1MDB’s debt service obligations since April 2017,” he said.
He said payments by the ministry on behalf of 1MDB had amounted to RM6.98 billion.
“The sum includes payments made to IPIC as part of a settlement agreement amounting to RM5.05 billion,” he said.
Lim said he was also informed that besides the RM143.75 million due at the end of this month, another RM810.21 million worth of interest is due between September and November this year.
“I have instructed the officers to study in detail the debt and liabilities of 1MDB and propose measures to resolve the crisis created by the scandal.
“We will also submit our findings to the 1MDB task force formed by the prime minister,” he said.