Najib: Part of 1MDB principal debt paid by selling off its assets, not using taxpayers’ money

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Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has again claimed that not a single sen from taxpayers was used by the government to repay the principal amount of 1MDB debt, despite being disputed by the current and former finance ministers.

In a Facebook post today, Najib said that part of the loan had instead been paid by selling 1MDB’s own assets, which included independent power producer (IPP) companies worth RM10 billion and a plot of land in Penang worth RM2.6 billion.

“That too wasn’t the people’s money. And it was not you who paid it when you were minister of acting,” he said, referring to former finance minister Lim Guan Eng.

He had also labelled Lim using the Malay phrase “menteri kewayangan”, a play on the Malay translation of “finance minister” and being theatrical.

This was in response to the DAP lawmaker who said earlier today that Najib’s earlier claims were untrue and that the government had already paid RM13.3 billion from the total RM52 billion of 1MDB’s principal debt and interest.

“Guan Eng have you forgotten? 1MDB’s principal debt once rose to RM42 billion, which included funds to be provided to the IPPs, as well as [the buying of] a large plot of land in Penang,” Najib added.

Bernama

“We went into debt to buy those assets, and we settled the debt with the proceeds from the sale of the same assets. Part of 1MDB’s principal debt was settled and dropped to RM32 billion before the 14th general election (GE14).

“But after that, not one sen of 1MDB’s principal debt has been paid by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Perikatan Nasional (PN) governments since GE14 until now — as informed by the finance minister today because it will only mature later,” he added.

Najib then said that the government since GE14, has “according to its own liking digging out” billions of ringgit from sources, including from those that were never touched during the BN era such as the National Trust Fund and the Retirement Fund Incorporated.

Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz yesterday called Najib’s claims “baseless” saying that the federal government will begin servicing the principal debt once the bonds issued by the sovereign fund and its subsidiaries mature, at least two of them by May this year. The debt servicing will continue to be paid until 2039.

He said the first tranche of payments will start May 11, 2022, for bonds issued under 1MDB Energy Limited and the 1MDB Energy (Langat) worth RM7.3 billion.

Lim has also previously said the government has already repaid RM13.3 billion of 1MDB’s debt so far.

Yesterday, Najib argued in Parliament that not a single sen of public funds has been used by the government to repay the principal amount of 1MDB debts.

He said this is because various entities, including Goldman Sachs, audit firms KPMG and Deloitte, AmBank and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had returned 1MDB funds totalling RM23 billion to Malaysia. – MMO