Yesterday’s news that the US Department of Justice (DoJ) has asked the courts to suspend the civil suits related to assets link to 1MDB because as they are now conducing a criminal investigation has generated a lot of speculation.
There is nothing new as more than a year ago, there were periodic news reports of civil and criminal investigations since 2015 and cases filed or to be filed.
I note that individuals from US Justice department had asked for a indefinite suspension of the proceedings of the civil suit, which is unusual as there is usually a time limit to such requests, and could pave the way for constructive discussions given the recent successful visit of the Trump Administration to Malaysia.
This also l means that individuals from the previous US Administration (most of which are gone but some still remain within the system) started an action without sufficient evidence to take the case forward which signals the political motivation of individuals from the previous US administration.
In effect, the civil suits related to this case which started a year ago which has essentially gone nowhere without sufficient evidence, are now frozen. The net effect is that this has essentially indefinitely frozen the much-talked about civil suits, and allowed opposition political spin.
It is important to note that 1MDB is not a party of the previous civil suits. As far as 1MDB is concerned, all its funds have been accounted for in addition to the Malaysia Attorney General’s statements after the DOJ filings that there has been no evidence of any misappropriation of funds.
They key is the successful completion of the IPIC-1MDB settlement, which will then prove once and for all that there is no money missing or misappropriation.
I am pleased to read 1MDB’s statement today that they had and is continuing to monetize the fund units, which many said were doubtful, which allowed 1MDB to pay US360 million to IPIC as part of the settlement.
This successful resolution will also mean that 1MDB has completed the final step in its rationalization exercise.
To me, this should be the top priority for 1MDB amidst the distraction of the DOJ suits and the speculative news reports.