KUALA LUMPUR: Former Finance Minster II Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has urged the government to launch a probe against those involved in the settlement with Goldman Sachs over the investment bank’s role in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal.
Johari, who is Titiwangsa member of parliament, questioned why the government administration at the time had settled for only US$2.5 billion (RM10.7 billion) from Goldman Sachs when the latter had managed to raise bonds amounting to US$6.5 billion (RM27.6 billion) in 2012 and 2013.
“They earned US$606 million in fees in the process, which was almost 10 per cent of the value of the bonds issued.
“It is strange that despite knowing that they (Goldman Sachs) were guilty, we still settled for so low at US$2.5 billion,” he told the Dewan Rakyat today.
Johari also questioned the role of the lawyers who represented 1MDB and why they had settled for less.
“By right, they should act in the best interest of 1MDB and not Goldman Sachs, which is a clear cut case of cheating us.”
Johari said he found it odd that only one person from Goldman Sachs was brought to justice.
“What happened to the senior management who were earning millions?
“This is something that YB Tambun (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) must look at.”
“This is wrong and has to be investigated. I feel that it is unfair. If there were any wrongdoings, action must be taken,” he said.
He also raised the question of why the Malaysian government then did not file a suit against the firm in the United States.
“What is the use of filing a suit here? It should be done in the US, so that there is pressure. Only then will they talk,” he said.
In 2020, the government led by former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, reached a settlement with Goldman Sachs which involved the investment bank paying the government US$2.5 billion in cash and guaranteeing the return of US$1.4 billion in 1MDB assets seized by authorities around the world.
Johari had previously accused Goldman Sachs of taking advantage of inadequate negotiations by Muhyiddin’s administration to delay the repayment of US$1.4 billion to Putrajaya.
He had also urged the government to publish the terms of the settlement agreement, which have so far been withheld from public scrutiny due to a confidentiality provision prohibiting its release.
Source : NST