The government has to pay RM6.5 billion in interest payments alone for 1Malaysia Development Berhad’s (1MDB) existing debts, says Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Abdul Aziz.
The Finance Minister said till the end of this month, their total remaining commitment for 1MDB amounts to RM38.8 billion.
“The principal is RM32.3 billion with an interest of RM6.5 billion. Claims that we have not started paying the principal debts of 1MDB is unfounded considering that the principal debts will only mature later,” he said when replying to a question raised by Lim Guan Eng (PH – Bagan) in Dewan Rakyat on Thursday (March 3).
Lim had asked Tengku Zafrul to clarify Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s (BN-Pekan) claims that the government had not paid a sen on the debts of 1MDB.
Najib had in the Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (March 2) said that the government had not used a single sen of public funds to repay the principal amount of 1MDB debts.
Tengku Zafrul said the maturity of the 1MDB bonds was between 2022 to 2039.
As such, he said that was why the principals have not been paid.
In making the claim, Najib said public funds were not used because various entities, including Goldman Sachs, audit firms KPMG and Deloitte, Ambank, and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had returned 1MDB funds amounting to RM23 billion to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, Lim said Najib must apologise and retract his claims in Parliament.
He said that Najib’s claim that the 1MDB debt had not damaged the country’s finances is untrue as he missed out on the part that the monies returned to Malaysia by firms involved in the scandal were in the form of penalties.
“Najib did not admit that these funds were returned to Malaysia in the form of penalties for defrauding 1MDB monies, with Goldman Sachs paying back US$3.9 billion for their nefarious role and wrongdoing in their issuance of a US$6.5 billion bond for 1MDB, which was misappropriated.
“Clearly all these payments are insufficient to pay back the total amount of principal and interest for 1MDB debts amounting RM52 billion, of which the principal amount is RM32 billion,” he said in a statement.
Lim added that the government has already repaid RM13.3 billion of 1MDB’s debt so far.