Pua calls for special select committee on 1MDB asset recovery

pic by TMR FILE

A SPECIAL select committee should be formed in Parliament to monitor the recovery of cash and assets related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and SRC International Sdn Bhd, Opposition MP Tony Pua (picture) said.

The Damansara MP proposed for the committee to be included as aresolution in Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan’s (Barisan Nasional-Pontian) motion of thanks for the royal address, which is currently in the winding-up stage in the Dewan Rakyat.

“This is to give notice that I intend to submit a motion to amend the motion of thanks to Yang di-Pertuan Agong brought forward by Ahmad Maslan,” he told reporters in Parliament yesterday.

Pua intends to add “and resolves that a special select committee will be set up immediately to monitor, evaluate and propose measures to the government for actions taken, and to be taken, to recover cash and assets related to 1MDB and SRC International, including the settlements with Goldman Sachs Group Inc, International Petroleum Investment Corp (IPIC) and Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz”.

“The motion will be tabled next Monday. We hope the Speaker will allow for this debate to take place and the lower house would agree for a special select committee to be formed,” he added.

He reiterated that the Perikatan Nasional government has taken action to reach a settlement with various parties, including Goldman Sachs and Riza Aziz, describing those settlements as alarming.

Pua also noted that the government is in talks with Abu Dhabi’s IPIC, and expressed concern that the legal action initiated by the previous Pakatan Harapan (PH) government against the company in London would be dropped.

“The attorney general (AG) has said the case will not be stopped, but we are still concerned about this.

“Hence, I hope the debate on the forming of the committee will be allowed,” he added.

On Tuesday, AG Tan Sri Idrus Harun denied reports that the government has halted the court proceedings, following a report by a media outlet that Putrajaya has put legal action against IPIC over a US$5.87 billion (RM24.65 billion) settlement dispute on hold in favour of a negotiated deal.

The PH administration in 2018 filed a suit in London against IPIC to challenge its settlement with 1MDB as it was allegedly part of a cover-up related to the 1MDB scandal.

The government then was seeking to recover US$3.5 billion in 1MDB funds paid out to IPIC subsidiaries.

On the amendment of the motion of thanks, Pua said it has been done in Malaysia before, but he was unsure if it was passed.

“However, this has been done many times in Commonwealth Parliaments,” he said.

Last month, US investment bank Goldman Sachs reached a US$3.9 billion settlement with the Malaysian government over the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal.

The deal includes a US$2.5 billion cash payout by Goldman Sachs and a guarantee by the bank to return at least US$1.4 billion in assets linked to 1MDB bonds.