Finance Minister II Johari Abdul Ghani has disclosed the existence of a letter confirming that Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI) is a subsidiary of International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) even though the Abu Dhabi firm denies this.
"As far as I am concerned, based on records provided by 1MDB to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) prior to the settlement agreement, Aabar Investments PJS Ltd (BVI) is a subsidiary of IPIC.
"A fact which was confirmed by the Registrar of Corporate Affairs of the British Virgin Islands by its letter dated Aug 11, 2016," he told Malaysiakini.
Johari, who is overseeing the 1MDB rationalisation plan, said it was on this basis that the Finance Ministry had decided to go ahead with the arbitration proceedings.
The minister's disclosure led a source familiar with the issue to question why the Malaysian team chose to opt for a settlement, when it had such strong evidence.
This, claimed the source, suggested that IPIC might have its own leverage.
Going for arbitration and dragging the issue, the source added, might prompt IPIC to look into the final destination of the funds after being transferred to Aabar BVI.
This could implicate key personalities including on the Malaysian side.