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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Rafizi pokes holes in Rahman Dahlan's 1MDB defence, challenges debate



PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli today challenged Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan to a debate on the merits of partaking in former 1MDB firm Edra Energy's initial public offering.
The debate will also be on whether 1MDB's involvement in the energy sector has been beneficial to the people, he said.
This comes after Abdul Rahman accused Rafizi of sabotaging the Malaysian economy by urging funds like the Employee Provident Fund to not take up Edra shares.
Poking holes in the minister's 1MDB defence, Rafizi said Abdul Rahman's swift response shows that the establishment is anxious over public outcry if it does take up shares from the firm, which is now China-owned.
"The fact is, the real economic saboteurs are not people like me who are fulfilling their duties as opposition MPs to ensure public funds are not used for high-risk investments.
"The rakyat knows that the real economic saboteurs are (1MDB-linked individuals) Jho Low, 1MDB and "MO1", who have saddled Malaysians with a debt of RM50 billion," he said in a statement.
MO1 refers to "Malaysian Official 1", the term used by the United States of Justice in its lawsuit to recover more than US$1 billion assets it said was bought in the US using funds stolen from 1MDB.
Abdul Rahman last year said MO1 is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, but stressed Najib is not a defendant in the lawsuit.
Rafizi said the minister's arguments in his press statement condemning the MP yesterday was "easily rebutted" so the duo should fight it out in a live televised debate instead.
He said the debate should also be streamed via the Facebook Live feature for smartphone users.
"Abdul Rahman should not be afraid to face me in a debate if he is truly confident that 1MDB's involvement in the energy sector has contributed to the people, and that there is potential in investing in Edra," he said.
The minister yesterday, among others, said 1MDB's involvement in the power generation sector led to a fairer independent power production agreement, reduction in Petronas' gas subsidy bill.
However, Rafizi said the allegedly fairer IPP agreements have not led to cheaper electricity for the masses while the gas subsidy bill is lower, thanks to the slide in global oil prices, and not 1MDB.
"This made me laugh because Abdul Rahman clearly thinks the people can be easily fooled," he said.

He said it has been established that 1MDB had paid an inflated price for independent power production assets sold by "a crony company", and let go of these assets to China General Nuclear Power Corporation (CGNPC) to reduce 1MDB's debts.
This despite Tenaga Nasional Bhd also bidding for the same assets, he said.
"Now CGNPC wants to list Edra to recover RM5 billion of the RM9.83 billion it paid 1MDB.
"Malaysians would practically then be taking on 1MDB's debt if public funds like the EPF, the Retirement Fund Incorporated (KWAP), Tabung Haji, Permodalan Nasional Bhd, Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) and Khazanah Nasional take up those shares," he said.- Mkini

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