Press Statement By Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng In Komtar, George Town On 18.11.2014.
The Penang State Government Will Be Seeking A Meeting With 1MDB For Full Accountability Of Its Plans For 234 Acres Land In Air Itam Purchased For RM1.38 Billion As Well As The RM 41.9 Billion Loans Incurred That Increased Its Financing Costs To RM 2.4 Billion From RM 1.6 Billion That Caused Losses Of RM 665.3 Million For The Financial Year 31 March 2014.
The Penang state government will be seeking a meeting with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) for full accountability of its plans for 234 acres land in Air Itam purchased for RM 1.38 billion as well as the RM 41.9 billion loans incurred that increased its financing costs to RM 2.4 billion from RM 1.6 billion that caused losses of RM 665.3 million for the financial year 31 March 2014. Even though 1MDB chairman Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin had a media briefing session yesterday, he left questions unanswered on the extent of Federal government liability, including the letter of support given by the Federal government for a US$ 3 billion loan issue, and also for other loans taken by 1MDB.
1MDB’s asset base increased to RM 51.4 billion, compared with RM 44.6 billion in FY2013, with borrowings rose from RM 36.2 billion to RM 41.9 billion. Its total revenue increased by 50%, from RM 2.6 billion last year to RM 4.3 billion this year. This caused 1MDB to suffer a loss of RM 665.3 million in the financial year ending March 31, 2014, mainly due to finance costs of RM 2.4 billion, compared with RM 1.6 billion for the previous financial year.
Whether 1 MDB possesses the funds to repay its loans and interest and remain solvent when its assets include public assets of the highest priority given in trust for national economic development and public interest, is the critical question of national importance. One of the investments by 1MDB is its purchase for RM 1.38 billion of 234 acres of land in Air Itam, that include thousands of squatters that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak promised to build 9,999 of public housing and affordable housing during the 2013 general elections.
During the last Penang State Assembly meeting, I had offered to form a delegation comprising of the Penang Opposition Leader Jahara Hamid to meet 1MDB, on this Penang issue after Jahara had also expressed unhappiness at 1MDB investing in Air Itam. With losses from this Air Itam project estimated at RM1.3 billion, 1MDB had indicated that it intended to recoup its losses by developing other profit-making projects on the land. This is contrary to the earlier assurances that the land is solely utilised for building public and affordable housing.
LIM GUAN ENG
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