NEWS

KJ: We didn't know China deals were made to bail out 1MDB

Published
Modified 8 Jan 2019, 2:14 pm

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin said the previous cabinet under former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak did not know that project deals with China were meant to bail out troubled state fund 1MDB.

"As a former cabinet member, I can categorically state that the cabinet was never informed that the China deals were linked to bailing out 1MDB.

"If there is evidence of that happening, it was without cabinet approval," Khairy said on Twitter today.

The former youth and sports minister added that these were allegations which need to be investigated thoroughly.

Earlier today, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that minutes of meetings had been unearthed which revealed that China had offered to help bail out 1MDB back in 2016.

This was supposedly in return for securing lucrative infrastructure projects for its "One Belt, One Road" programme.

In particular were the multi-billion East Coast Rail Link (ECRL) and the Trans Sabah Gas Pipeline (TSGP) projects.

China had also offered to bug the homes and offices of WSJ reporters in Hong Kong who were on 1MDB's trail to learn from whom the journalists were getting their information, the business daily said.

"The minutes of the meetings show that Chinese officials told visiting Malaysians that China would also use its influence to try to get the US and other countries to drop their probes on allegations that allies of Najib and others had plundered the 1MDB fund.

Najib Abdul Razak launches the ECRL project, 2017

"In return, Malaysia offered lucrative stakes in railway and pipeline projects for China’s One Belt, One Road programme for building infrastructure abroad.

"Within months, Najib, who had denied any wrongdoing in the 1MDB matter, signed US$34 billion worth of rail and pipeline deals with Chinese state companies, to be funded by Chinese banks and built by Chinese workers," said the report written by Tom Wright and Bradley Hope.

Apart from awarding projects to China, WSJ also reported that Najib further engaged in secret talks to allow Chinese navy ships to enter two Malaysian ports.

Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng has said the government is looking into these claims made by the WSJ.

"It would be interesting to have a copy of those minutes from the WSJ," Lim said.


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