KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The delay in payment by 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Abu Dhabi's state investor is merely a technical issue, said Prime Minister Najib Razak.
He said this during a question-and-answer session in Parliament on Wednesday (Aug 2).
"It is not that we cannot pay. It is just a technical issue.
"This does not reflect the economy of the country and will in no way affect the confidence of investors,'' he said.
"The welfare of the people is of utmost priority and we will do what we can to make sure of that," he added.
Mr Najib was responding to opposition leader Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who asked about the settlement with the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
The payment was to be the first of two tranches of US$1.2 billion (S$1.6 billion) owed by the Malaysian state investor to IPIC.
1MDB had on Tuesday said it was seeking that the amount of US$602.73 million, due for payment last Monday, be pushed to this month.
In a three-paragraph statement, 1MDB said all payments due from 1MDB to IPIC would be made from the proceeds of the 1MDB rationalisation plan.
"1MDB itself is awaiting funds that were due to be received in July 2017. Due to the need for additional regulatory approvals, the receipt of those funds has been delayed to August 2017," it said.
"As these are the funds which will be used to pay IPIC, 1MDB has written to IPIC to inform them of our commitment to meet the obligations, originally due on July 31, 2017, in August 2017," it said.
The news on Tuesday followed a string of negative developments involving 1MDB, which was started by Mr Najib in 2009 soon after he became Malaysia's leader. He has been battling allegations that money from the fund had been stolen by him and his associates.
Last year, he was cleared of any wrongdoing in the 1MDB scandal by Malaysia's Attorney-General.