1MDB gets $355 million standby credit from government: Second finance minister

KUALA LUMPUR - The Malaysian government has injected RM950 million (S$355 million) in standby credit to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to help the debt-laden state investment agency, second finance minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah confirmed in Parliament on Thursday.

"The amount we gave is standby credit, means when needed, RM950 million," he was cited as saying by Malay Mail Online.

This is less than the earlier speculated figure of RM970 million, he said in response to queries by Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli. Rafizi had asked for clarification on rumours of new government funding into 1MDB, which is facing a probe into its accounts, reported Malaysian Digest.

Democratic Action Party (DAP) MP Tony Pua has called the move a "bailout" due to the alleged use of taxpayers' money, according to Malay Mail Online.

Owned by the Finance Ministry, 1MDB has racked up RM42 billion of debt in five years - one-third of which is guaranteed by taxpayers.

Auditor-General Ambrin Buang has been tasked with an independent audit review of the state investment agency, whose advisory board is chaired by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr Ambrin has said his audit will have a "very board manadate" and Mr Najib will be called up "if necessary".

Mr Najib had earlier assured the public that misconduct in 1MDB will not be condoned. The law "will be enforced without exception" if any wrongdoing is proven, he said.

But 1MDB boss Arul Kanda insisted the Finance Ministry, "as the 100 per cent shareholder", had provided the facility to "help ensure that it is able to realise maximum value from these plans".

 "The facility, of up to RM950 million, is being provided as a loan on commercial terms. Any funds drawn would be used for clearly defined purposes as agreed with the Ministry of Finance," he said in a statement.