Guan Eng says govt to continue 1MDB lawsuit against Goldman Sachs, no talks yet on cash repatriation

Azril Annuar
Lim Guan Eng speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Finance Ministry in Putrajaya October 4, 2019. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 4 — Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng today said the federal government will continue its legal action against US banking giant Goldman Sachs Group Inc in order to recover funds lost in the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) global financial scandal.

Lim was responding to a question regarding the firm’s recent statement that it is trying to assist Malaysia to recover the stolen money.

“There are no discussions with Goldman Sachs but we will continue with the legal process conducted by the attorney-general,” Lim told a press conference here this morning after the Finance Ministry’s monthly assembly.

Last year, the minister demanded that Goldman Sachs return US$588 million (RM2.4 billion) it received in commissions from 1MDB for raising the US$6.5 billion bonds in 2012 and 2013.

Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer John Waldron had told Bloomberg Television last month that the investment bank is trying to assist the Malaysian government recover the money that was stolen.

Malaysia had filed criminal charges against many current and former directors at the firm for their role in the 1MDB scandal, including Goldman Sachs International chief executive officer Richard Gnodde and Michael Evans, who is a former director at Goldman Sachs (Asia) LLC and is now the president of Ali Baba Group Holding ltd.

On a separate matter concerning the offer by Hong Kong-based RRJ Capital to buy the North-South Highway (Plus) from Khazanah Nasional Bhd, Lim said the Finance Ministry has not received any proposal for it.

“In fact I have not received the offer, maybe Khazanah received it but I’m not involved in Khazanah but of course MOF received other proposals from Khazanah and other proposals that are much more attractive and much more beneficial to the public.

He said the reported proposal from RRJ Capital seems to carry a “profit element”.

“But a proposal from Khazanah is better for the public. There’s nothing wrong with business proposals but it will have a profit element to it,” he said.

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