Goldman Sachs’ offer not reasonable – Tun M

The government has been offered a compensation by multinational investment bank, Goldman Sachs, over the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, but according to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the sum is not reasonable. 

In a Bloomberg interview today at the ASEAN Business Summit – The Future of Malaysia and ASEAN in Bangkok, Thailand, he said the amount that was stolen was about US$6.9 billion (US$1=RM4.15) in total including fees for Goldman Sachs.

“Goldman offered RM1 billion (but) they made 10 per cent from it,” he said. 

When asked by moderator Haslinda Amin, what would be a reasonable sum, Dr Mahathir said that it would have to be at least 10 per cent of the total US$6.9 billion. 

“In this case (1MDB), from 90 per cent from the money raised but, we (the country) will be facing an interest for 100 per cent,” he said. 

When asked if the government is mulling a civil suit on top of the criminal suit, he said that it depends on the Attorney General (AG). 

“We would have to examine the case, before taking any actions. It is up to the AG to take action,” he said. 

On December 17, the government of Malaysia has filed criminal charges against three subsidiaries of Goldman Sachs Inc over their handling of bonds totalling US$6.5 billion issued by 1MDB.

This was the first time a country has filed criminal charges against the US investment banking giant itself.

It was reported that Goldman Sachs made US$600 million in fees for handling the bonds related to 1MDB.

In terms of recovering the lost money, the Prime Minister said that it was difficult to get all of it back because the money was stolen and the government does not know where it is. 

“If the money is invested in something, we can go to the company and ask for the money back, but the money is stolen and we don’t know where it is.

“They are not telling us (where the money is) and a number of people had handled the money. Unless we can squeeze them, we would not know where it is,” he said. 

According to AG Tommy Thomas, Malaysia has thus far recovered US$322 million; equivalent to about RM1.3 billion worth of assets belonging to 1MDB.