SYDNEY: The US Department of Justice’s probe into 1MDB was partly to divert attention from Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.
This, according to a report in The Australian, is contained in a glossy 20-page booklet given out following private lectures by 1MDB President Arul Kanda in Australia last week.
The booklet claims the DoJ investigation is “questionable, strange and bizarre” and threatens the stability of Malaysia.
The unsigned pamphlet, released ahead of the US presidential election, claims US Attorney-General Loretta Lynch is pursuing 1MDB because she is “eager to obtain a position under the leadership of the incoming president”.
“Loretta (Lynch) intends to align the media’s and citizen’s views away from the allegations that she was ‘choosing sides’ as she did not take any further action following the Hillary Clinton email scandal,” the document, which was written in Malay and translated by The Australian, reads.
The pamphlet also attempts to cast doubt that Prime Minister Najib Razak is the person referred to in DoJ court filings as “Malaysian Official 1”.
The pamphlet claims 1MDB will make a surplus of RM2.96 billion when it is finally shuttered in 2039 as part of a “rationalisation plan”.
This forecast relies on cash flows including RM12.29 billion from 1MDB’s key urban renewal project in Kuala Lumpur, Tun Razak Exchange, part of which is to be developed by Australian developer Lend Lease.
It also relies on recovering USD1 billion from Abu Dhabi sovereign fund the International Petroleum Investment Company under a disputed bond guarantee, the pamphlet says, according to the report.
The Australian report says 1MDB and the Malaysian Special Affairs Department (Jasa) have been secretly shoring up support among backers of the country’s ruling party in a series of closed-door lectures at Australian universities.
It says Arul Kanda, accompanied by Jasa officials, last week went to three Australian campuses — in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane — where the pamphlet, entitled “DoJ’s summons is questionable”, was distributed.
It says the contents of Arul Kanda’s presentation on Australian campuses is unknown, with The Australian’s reporters ejected from the lecture shortly after it began.
The report says the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia, of which Jasa is a part, did not respond to questions from The Australian about the presentation or the pamphlet. -FMT