1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy has said it was his duty and responsibility as a patriotic Malaysian to take up a job nobody wanted and to fix the problems in the firm.
He was responding to Malaysiakini columnist P Gunasegaram, who in his article titled “Arul Kanda and the lies of 1MDB”, said the latter should have continued with his lucrative career as an investment banker overseas.
“It is clear from his writing that Gunasegaram has not even bothered to attend the over 30 public information sessions I have held around the country. Had he done so, I am sure he would sing a different tune and not shoot from the hip
“Since I took over, the past 36 months have been sheer hard work, to repair and restore the company to a stable footing. Remember, the problems had built up over five years and there were humongous issues to resolve.
“For him to question my hard work in such malicious terms is not only hurtful but beyond the pale, with him making personal attacks, unsubstantiated allegations, false accusations and wrong assertions,” he added in a statement this afternoon.
Arul Kanda said the personal sacrifices he had to make were worth it because 1MDB is now stable.
Furthermore, he pointed out that the firm's debts have been reduced from RM50 billion to RM31 billion while Malaysians can see the success of the TRX project.
Arul Kanda claimed that international investors such as HSBC and Prudential were rushing to set up their headquarters in the premises.
“As a patriotic and responsible Malaysian, I am proud of this,” he added.
The 1MDB CEO said as a public figure, he was always open to constructive criticism and appreciates the fact there is always room for improvement.
“However, there is no need to make personal attacks and potentially defamatory statements to get your point across.
“A cursory reading of his article will show that Gunasegaram operates in shades of grey, but to me, the facts are the facts, and he cannot run away from that,” he added.
Although Arul Kanda said he does not wish to go down this path, he, however, admitted that his lawyers are looking into the article.
“I will await their legal advice on how best to clear my name and to let the facts stand on its own.
“Please note, in the event, there is further action on this matter, it will be in my personal capacity and does not involve 1MDB or the government,” he added.
Contacted later, Gunasegaram said he has no more comments on this issue.
“I have already said all that I wanted to say on this matter,” he added.