Arul Kanda says investment fund became ‘extremely controvesial’ after former premier’s criticisms
(Free Malaysia Today) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his remarks about RM42 billion going missing was what made government investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd “extremely controversial” and hot news, according to the company’s president, Arul Kanda Kandasamy.
He said some of the issues surrounding the company’s investments and financial affairs had been raised by the DAP’s Tony Pua and reported by The Edge business daily, but public interest was only aroused when Dr Mahathir said that RM42 billion had gone missing from the company.
“The biggest issue was when Tun Mahathir started his allegations… When Tun Mahathir and those who were previously aligned to the government started their criticism, that’s when the matter became extremely controversial,” Arul said at a press conference today, where he announced he would face Tony Pua live on television.
Arul said 1MDB’s problems with public perception had begun in December when 1MDB posted losses amounting to RM665 million, despite having raised “hundreds of millions” in profit in previous years, and its difficulty in repaying a RM2 billion loan to local banks.
Further controversy came from Sarawak Report’s articles, which he said were based on “inaccurate and selective” information, and later picked up by The Edge.
He said the government’s investigations into 1MDB would eventually absolve the company. “Despite the answers we have given, people don’t believe us. Because bad news sells better than good news – that is the reality.”