Arul Kanda: I’m just fulfilling my job as spokesperson

Arul Kanda has made it clear that he is not Barisan Nasional’s tool.

According to him, he was only fulfilling his job as a spokesman for the company, to defend the company from the numerous allegations made.

On why no legal action was taken against international media which reported the matter, he explained that the media was only writing based on information obtained from the United States’ Department of Justice. 

He also explained that the Public Accounts Committee, in which five opposition leaders sit on, had recommended that the company’s assets such as the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia projects, be transferred to the Finance Ministry.

BALIK PULAU: 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) president and chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy has made it clear that he is not Barisan Nasional’s tool.

He said this in response to a question during an open dialogue on 1MDB here today.

“I am here as a spokesman for the company, to defend the company from the numerous allegations made. This is a fully-owned government company and we have the responsibility to explain to the people.

“I have been doing so since 2015 and 2016 and it slowed down in 2017. However, since early this year, we became the target again after the opposition had no more issues to raise. We know they are doing this because of the general election,” he added.

He was asked whether he was a tool of BN for openly talking about the controversies surrounding 1MDB at a time the country was facing the 14th General Election.

On why no legal action was taken against international media which reported the matter, he said: “Generally speaking, they are only writing based on information obtained from the United States’ Department of Justice. As long as there is no conclusion on the DOJ report, we cannot speculate and make our own conclusions on whether it is true or not.”

He added that this was similar to Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s below market price bungalow purchase case which is currently being heard by the court.

“No one from BN has come forward to say that Lim is guilty. Why a different treatment for 1MDB? Why the double standard? The hypocrisy? I leave it to the people to make the judgment,” he said.

Meanwhile, Arul Kanda assured that the 1MDB rationalisation plan was on the right track and that it had managed to bring down its debts.

“However, our assets are more than able to match the debts,” he added.

He reiterated that 1MDB was a bad business model from the start and necessary measures had been taken to right the wrong.

Arul Kanda disagreed with the notion that there was a bail-out of 1MDB by the Finance Ministry.

He explained that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), in which five opposition leaders sit on, had recommended that the company’s assets such as the Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia projects, be transferred to the Finance Ministry.

“This is to enable these assets to be developed without any negative perception that has been created by the opposition and opposition-friendly media,” he said.

He urged all to read the full PAC report to get a clearer picture of the whole 1MDB set-up.

Meanwhile, opposition leaders, particularly from DAP, continue to shun open dialogues on 1MDB despite repeated invitations by Arul Kanda.

The public discourse to clear the misconception on 1MDB at the Balik Pulau Polytechnic here this afternoon was the latest no-show from the opposition leaders.

Speaking to the media after an hour-long session before more than 400 people, Arul Kanda said it was unfortunate that the opposition again had chosen not to attend the session but continued to shoot from the sidelines.

“That is the standard modus operandi by the opposition. Not only did they attack 1MDB, they also attacked me personally.

“But when I extended the open invitations for them to attend, none came. This is disappointing,” he said, adding that it was a “no-holds-barred” session where everyone was free to ask any question on 1MDB.

Besides Arul Kanda, the other panellist was Finance Ministry strategic communications director Datuk Lokman Noor Adam.

Spotted in the crowd were Barisan Nasional’s candidate for the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya and BN’s candidate for the Pulau Betong state seat Datuk Dr Muhammad Farid Saad.

Earlier, the crowd listened attentively to Arul Kanda as he explained the rumours surrounding 1MDB.

Despite the barrage of questions, he took it in his stride and answered each and every one of them confidently.

Source: NST Online

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