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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

PAS leader speculates on Arul's removal, cites possible fallout with PM Najib

A PAS leader is wondering if ties between 1MDB president Arul Kanda Kandasamy and Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had soured, resulting in the former being removed from key positions in Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd and TRX City Sdn Bhd.
In a media statement, PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim noted that Arul Kanda had told BN backbenchers in the aftermath of the collapse of the Bandar Malaysia deal that an important announcement would be made soon on 1MDB.
This announcement, he had said, would reveal the success in handling all the issues related to the firm.
"The question is - what was Arul Kanda supposed to announce? Is it possible this announcement did not receive the blessings of the prime minister?" asked Tuan Ibrahim.
"Is it possible that Arul Kanda had attempted to resolve the IWH-CREC problem behind the scene in his own way that it led to a conflict of interest?
"Is it possible that the conflict of interest is related to Arul's desire to resolve the 'dirt' in 1MDB in order for him to withdraw (from the firm) as soon as possible?" he added.
Tuan Ibrahim claimed that Arul Kanda should reveal all the details before he is made a scapegoat.
Architect of 'rationalisation' plan
Yesterday, Arul Kanda confirmed that he was removed without formal notification.
However, he said that his removal was the prerogative of Minister of Finance Inc (MOF Inc), which formally took over Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd and TRX City Sdn Bhd from 1MDB on March 31.
Arul Kanda explained that his positions in the two companies was due to 1MDB's ownership of the two companies at the time. Arul Kanda remains president of 1MDB.
It is understood that Arul Kanda was a proponent of the sale of Bandar Malaysia land to the Iskandar Waterfront Holdings-China Railway Engineering Corporation (IWH-CREC) consortium.

According to a source with intimate knowledge of the deal, Arul Kanda was against the "termination" of the deal with IWH-CREC. When contacted, Arul Kanda refused comment.
Arul Kanda was brought in as 1MDB head in January 2015 and was tasked with resolving the troubled firm's cash flow and debt repayment woes.
Following this, the 1MDB management began stripping assets, including Bandar Malaysia land, as part of the "rationalisation" exercise.- Mkini

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