1MDB chief 'confident' about its future

1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the "right decisions were made" when running 1MDB.
1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy said the "right decisions were made" when running 1MDB.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

The chief of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) has expressed confidence that "the future looks clear" for the troubled state investor, even as a major graft investigation surrounding it continues to unfold.

In a television interview late on Wednesday night, 1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy maintained that the "right decisions were made" when running the firm, despite the controversies it has faced.

He believed that 1MDB, which has been criticised for alleged financial mismanagement, will also be able to reduce its large debts in four to six months' time.

"I am confident that the period is appropriate in the company's situation and also market condition."

Mr Arul was speaking in his first lengthy interview since Malaysia's anti-graft agency dismissed allegations that the US$700 million (S$983 million) deposited into Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal bank account was from 1MDB.

The 1MDB saga has put intense pressure on Datuk Seri Najib, with opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat having filed a suit against him, 1MDB, ruling coalition Barisan Nasional's secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor and the Election Commission.

The suit charges that the US$700 million Mr Najib received - which the Prime Minister said was "political funds" and was deposited before the 2013 General Election - was more than 26 times over the cumulative spending cap for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state assembly seats contested during the polls.

But Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan told reporters yesterday that he would seek to get the suit dismissed.

"They cannot sue us that way, just on a whim," he was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail Online. "We will look into it, and we will try to get it (struck) out."

In a separate development, Mr Najib's fiercest critic, former premier Mahathir Mohamad, is now the subject of a new book chronicling alleged failures of his 22-year rule which ended in 2003.

Veteran Malay author Syed Hussein Al-Attas yesterday launched a book titled Dosa-dosa Mahathir (Sins Of Mahathir), which he insisted was not written in support of Mr Najib, but to document Tun Dr Mahathir's career. "Mahathir was prime minister for 22 years and he failed. Suddenly now, he appears to be talking in his sleep. Perhaps he has gone senile," he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 14, 2015, with the headline '1MDB chief 'confident' about its future'. Subscribe