UMNO leader flays 1MDB board for letting PM roast

An Umno supreme council member said it is unfair for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to be solely responsible in responding to problems plaguing 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He wanted the ailing firm’s board of directors to step up to the plate.

Reezal (photo) blamed the board for failing to clarify issues that cropped up and pointed out that this has affected the current administration.

“The issues have been left unanswered for too long and this has tainted the government’s image,” he told Malaysiakini.”The board bears the biggest responsibility in governing a company. But what the hell are they (1MDB’s board) doing?

“The attempt to completely centre everything on PM is absurd, it seems they merely want to punish him,” said the Kepala Batas lawmaker.

As controversies and allegations continue to pile up, 1MDB has maintained silence while detractors lashed out at Najib.

It is believed that the firm has refused to break its silence pending the outcome of an audit, which was instructed by the prime minister.

When its new president and executive director Arul Kanda (photo) took over the reins in January, it was touted that the firm would engage its critics and explain all the issues.However, 1MDB has now taken a political twist with the likes of Dr Mahathir Mohamad using it to pressure Najib to step down.

Yesterday, Reezal called on 1MDB directors to break their “elegant silence”.

He was responding to a Singapore’s Business Times report that banks are demanding that 1MDB pay up US$975 million (RM3.52 billion) of its debts.

The loan from the consortium of six banks led by Deutsche Bank is only due in September but it seems the financial institutions have become jittery over 1MDB’s financial status.

The report said the banks had initially granted the loan after 1MDB offered US$1.103 billion as collateral through its unit Brazen Sky Limited in BSI Singapore. The collateral was part of the 1MDB funds previously deposited in the Cayman Islands.

However, the creditor banks now believe that the securitisation documents of the loan to be incomplete and can therefore demand immediate payment.

1MDB’s total liabilities amount to RM42 billion.