PETALING JAYA, Mar 25 -- 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) will respect any sanction imposed by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) with regards to its failure to provide documentary evidence on its three investments abroad within the stipulated time frame.
1MDB president and group executive director Arul Kanda Kandasamy said they have explained in detail to the central bank the reasons behind why they were unable to comply, but said they respect the authority of BNM.
BNM governor Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz had, on Wednesday, said they would submit the recommendations to the Attorney-General for administrative enforcement to be taken against 1MDB for failing to repatriate US$1.83 billion (RM7.3 billion) in funds parked overseas.
"In fact, a large portion (of the US$1.83 billion) has already been spent on various requirements, and the balance has been designated for a debt for assets swap that we have in place with International Petroleum Investment Co (IPIC).
"We have explained this in detail to the Central Bank, they are aware of these facts, but of course we respect their right to impose whatever sanction that they may deem necessary under the law," Arul said in an interview with radio station BFM 89.9 earlier today.
In relation to the specific comments attributed to Zeti, Arul said they have not received anything official or in writing from the central bank.
"So I can't really add to what is already in the public domain. But I look forward to sharing that as and when we do," he added.
On the many international investigations against 1MDB, Arul maintained that, as per the hallmark of the country's judicial system, one is innocent until proven guilty.
"What 1MDB has always said publicly, is that we will cooperate with every investigative authority, and that if wrongdoing is found, then action must be taken under the purview of the law," he said.
Arul, however, said that people were not convinced with 1MDB's explanations because they prefer "sexy" allegations over boring facts and that the state investment arm's challenge now has become politicised, with politicians jumping onto the bandwagon.
"When they use sound bites without reference to facts, and when they make allegations without offering proof, that is sexy and the press laps it up and reports it as such.
"Our challenge is to ensure we can explain our position, but you know frankly facts are boring and people (get) turned off. But this is why I'm here with you, for example, to show and to explain our position," he added.