I note that YB Tony Pua has gone on another rampage of recycled allegations – this time on a personal and potentially defamatory attack on Arul Kanda, saying that Arul is covering up for billions in losses. On the other hand, YB Rafizi Ramli has added his voice to the chorus, again repeating stale news and information. This song and dance show is a desperate attempt by the Opposition to keep the 1MDB issue alive, when in reality, it is no longer a critical issue.
It seems that YB Tony Pua has already made up his mind that billions have been stolen from 1MDB despite the fact that PAC inquiry into 1MDB, which he is a member of, and the Auditor-General (AG) special audit on 1MDB are drawing to a close and will soon be tabled. These inquiries have yet to come to this conclusion.
Both the PAC inquiry and the AG Audit report are based on evidence and proof and should be respected as the true source to determine whether billions have been stolen.
And yet, Tony Pua continues to rely on media reports and speculation from blogs instead of documents and proof. To me, this deliberate and continued breach of PAC decorum and discipline is a sad attempt to get himself sacked from the PAC enquiry. In fact, if Tony Pua has any evidence of such theft, then by all means, present it to the PAC or to the Auditor General.
I also note that Tony Pua continues to mislead the public that 1MDB only paid “dirt cheap prices” of RM1.6 billion and RM192 million for Bandar Malaysia and TRX land respectively.
Ignoring the fact the 1MDB is 100% government owned, Tony Pua appears to have left out the part that on top of the cash purchase price for Bandar Malaysia, 1MDB is also contractually obligated to build and deliver 8 military bases in 5 states, for a contract value of RM 2.7 billion and can only take vacant delivery of the land only upon completion of these bases.
He has also forgotten to mention that as part of the TRX land, 1MDB is contractually obligated to spend RM3 billion on resettlement and infrastructure costs, both inside and outside of TRX.
And worse is when Tony Pua tried to imply that Tabung Haji and Affin Bank had overpaid for the land when other companies such as the publicly listed WCT Construction, Australia’s Lend Lease and Indonesia’s Mulia group had paid similar if not higher prices for their plots of TRX land.
In fact, among those listed, Tabung Haji had paid the lowest price by far.
I have always held the suspicion that the opposition had never wanted 1MDB’s rationalization to succeed and have taken pains to throw allegations continuously over the last year. Perhaps the opposition wanted to go against the nation’s interest and wanted 1MDB’s rationalization to fail so that they can continue to use this as their political capital?
My suspicion was reinforced yesterday when the Penang Chief Minister suddenly announced that he has instructed the Penang local authorities to block any sale of 1MDB’s RM1.3 billion land there giving the excuse that 1MDB is public money and that 1MDB does not have 100% ownership of the land.
But strangely, the Penang government had no problem approving 1MDB to purchase the very same land in 2013 and collected the various fees from the land transfer but when 1MDB wants to sell the land as part of their rationalization efforts, Penang have blocked it.
To me, this is a clear case of sabotage of 1MDB’s rationalization efforts and without any legal or rational basis.
And what is sad is that, instead of using PAC, Tony Pua continues to throw wild allegations at 1MDB and defame Arul outside the PAC proceedings.
Maybe Tony Pua dislikes PAC proceedings because in PAC, he would be subjected to stricter accountability since the proceedings are properly recorded and minuted and can be easily referred to later, and witnesses could be called in to give statements to ascertain if his wild allegations are indeed true or not.
So I urge DAP to stop playing this political game and accept the fact that 1MDB under Arul Kanda has been successful in its rationalization efforts.
Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan
BN Strategic Communications Director