Guan Eng slams Arul Kanda as 'utterly dishonest and untrustworthy'

PETALING JAYA: State investment arm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) in a meeting with Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng admitted it was "insolvent" with Lim describing its president Arul Kanda Kandasamy as "utterly dishonest and untrustworthy".

Stating this, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said it is completely unbelievable that such a highly paid and experienced investment banker can claim that he is in the dark about the financial matters in 1MDB.

Lim has ordered that his position as president be reviewed and an independent audit to determine 1MDB's actual financial status.

Lim made the decisions after meetings with 1MDB Board of Directors members Datuk Norazman Ayob and Datuk Kamal Mohd Ali and with Arul Kanda respectively.

"The directors of 1MDB confirmed that 1MDB was insolvent and was unable to repay its debts.

"The former Chief Financial Officer Azmi Tahir had also written to the Finance Ministry in March 2018 to state that 1MDB will not be able to service its interest due in April and May 2018," he said in a statement after the meetings.

Lim said all three of them were questioned on 1MDB's financial status and supposed overseas investments but was not satisfied with Arul Kanda's responses.

"I have found Arul Kanda to be utterly dishonest and untrustworthy, and instructed the legal advisers to the Ministry of Finance to review his position as the president of 1MDB," he said.

He said the purpose of the meetings was to determine the financial status of 1MDB, especially with regards to its ability to repay and service its debt obligations.

"I have instructed that the ministry take steps to appoint PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to conduct a special position audit and review of 1MDB so that Malaysians would know the true financial state of affairs of the company.

"We would then be able to determine the cost of the shenanigans to the tax-payers. We will submit the PwC Report to the 1MDB Special Committee set up by the Prime Minister once it is completed," Lim said.