Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad believed that Goldman Sachs’ settlement amount with Putrajaya in 2020 was far too low.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Mahathir said the low settlement amount with the investment bank was due to then prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s “generosity”.
“We believe Goldman Sachs should have paid more than what Muhyiddin agreed to.
“Muhyiddin was so generous. (Goldman Sachs) paid a little bit and it was enough (for Muhyiddin).
“However, we believe that Goldman Sachs should pay at least US$8 billion (RM36 billion),” said Mahathir during a press conference with the Malay Proclamation Committee.
Mahathir said this when asked to comment on the settlement which saw Putrajaya agreeing to US$2.5 billion in cash and US$1.4 billion in assets.
The settlement was reached after Malaysian prosecutors filed 17 criminal charges against the bank in relation to its previous deals with 1MDB.
Goldman Sachs raised US$6.5 billion for 1MDB in 2012 and 2013. A former Goldman Sachs official, Tim Leissner, pleaded guilty at a US court in 2018 on bribery and money laundering charges over the deals.
In 2022, the US courts found Leissner’s former subordinate Roger Ng, a Malaysian, guilty of similar charges.
Earlier this year, government MPs pressed for a review of the settlement the Muhyiddin administration reached, on grounds that the amount was too low.
Reform movement Aliran has called on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim to order a forensic audit of the settlement.
The US$3.5 billion amount was significantly lower than the US$9.6 billion former attorney-general Tommy Thomas estimated. – Malaysiakini