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Tony Pua calls Najib ‘financially illiterate’ for assuming govt can redeem 1MDB bonds early

Datuk Seri Najib Razak arrives at the Kuala Lumpur High Court January 6, 2022. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 — DAP National Publicity Secretary Tony Pua today described former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak as financially illiterate after the latter claimed that the government could redeem 1MDB bonds early to save on interest.

Pua pointed out that it is not practically possible as bonds are structured very differently from loans taken from banks.

“Yesterday, Najib claimed that 1MDB could have instead made RM9.7 billion in profit. This statement only confirms that our former finance minister is indeed financially illiterate.

“Najib wrongfully argued that, since there were only RM17 billion of debts to be repaid, if we were to sell Bandar Malaysia for RM12 billion, and enforce the Abu Dhabi guarantee of US$3.5 billion (~RM14.7bn), 1MDB would make a profit of RM9.7 billion,” he said in a statement.

The Damansara MP said that a first-year accountancy student will be able to educate Najib that he has completely confused a company’s ‘balance sheet’ with its ‘profit and loss’ statements.

“A ‘balance sheet’ typically records a company’s assets and debts, while the ‘profit and loss’ talks about 1MDB’s accumulated revenue (very little) and cost (including massive interest expenses) over the past 13 years.

“Najib has completely messed up the two,” he said.

Pua also enlightened Najib that the latter signed a back-to-back guarantee with Abu Dhabi, on behalf of the Malaysian government.

“This means that if 1MDB failed to repay the US$3.5 billion bond, and Abu Dhabi was required to fulfill the guarantee, then Abu Dhabi can make the claim against both 1MDB, so the rakyat would have to pay, regardless of the guarantee,” he explained.

He also pointed out that Bandar Malaysia land was owned by the government even before it was sold to 1MDB for a song (at RM72 per square feet).

“Hence if the Bandar Malaysia land can indeed be sold for RM12 billion, the entire proceeds should be kept by the government for other development projects and welfare benefits.

“Why should it be used to pay 1MDB debts when 1MDB had added zero value onto the land,” he asked.

He then asked Najib if he will ever respond to allegation that he had misappropriated the tens of billions of ringgit which the Pakatan Harapan and subsequent government has successfully recovered from those who were complicit in his crimes against the Malaysian people — Goldman Sachs, fugitive financier Low Taek Jho, or Jho Low and his friends, Ambank and even auditors, KPMG and Deloitte Malaysia.

“What about the fact that the United States FBI investigator testified in former Goldman Sachs employee, Roger Ng’s corruption trial yesterday that Najib has received US$756 million from the funds stolen from 1MDB?

“Or is Najib going to continue to give his hilarious excuse that it was “donations from the Arab royalty?

“Or better still, that he didn’t know where the money was from, or why it was deposited, but he spent some of it anyway, on expensive jewellery, birthday presents for his wife, or luxury holidays as well as buying political support in Umno and for elections,” he added.

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