Monday, February 09, 2015
1MDB: Anonymously sourced allegations
The FMT report, 'Pin-drop' silence on 1MDB's over-due RM2b loan few days ago led us to browse the portal for recent allegations against 1MDB.
Something was immediately noticeable. From the day Arul Kanda joined, all allegations hurled at 1MDB are not confirmed by 1MDB. More glaring is that all recent allegations made against 1MDB can be traced to reports from other media which are based on anonymous sources.
Though useful in investigative reporting [read here], there is no credibility to any allegations made based on anonymous sources. All the doomsday predictions made of 1MDB but yet none are confirmed by any parties with a name.
According to the said FMT report, Tony Pua claimed 1MDB had defaulted on a loan repayment scheduled for November 2014. The loan purportedly a rescheduled loan due for repayment for November 2013. He went on to exaggerate the implication of failing to repay the loan.
It wasn't too long ago that Tony started this accusation in an earlier 28th January report, 1MDB may seek ‘shocking’ 3rd postponement of RM2b loan. Using a Bloomberg report, he claimed Maybank and RHB were not paid.
The Bloomberg report may have used "anonymous sources". Till today, no confirmation have been coming from the two banks.
A subsequent January 30th report by FMT claimed Ananda Krishnan comes to the rescue. The source this time was the Edge Financial Daily claiming T Ananda Krishnan "has been said" and "a source said." The January 11th FMT report, RM2bn question mark on 1MDB power deal with AK was merely based on "Edge Review sources."
Tony Pua went on to embellish further in February 6th FMT report that Bank Negara queried 1MDB's lenders. Still no confirmed source was mentioned.
According to the pin-drop silence report, Tony Pua tried to implicate to the recently clarified status of 1MDB's investment in a Cayman Island fund.
Many accusations was made on the fund. One blogger had once accused Cayman Island to be a cover-up and Datin Rosmah Mansor had absconded the money presumably to make movies in Hollywood. Questions was raised as to why a sovereign fund place money in a tax haven like Cayman Island.
After repeated denials and dodging the bullets, 1MDB finally announced and on January 13th, FMT reported Malaysia’s 1MDB fully redeems $2.3b Caymans investment.
Another FMT report can be found here.
That got Tony Pua and Rafizi desperately trying to cover-up for their wrongful accusations. On January 13th, Tony Pua asked Where is 1MDB’s other ‘mysterious’ US$1.56b stashed? On January 28th, Bank Negara urged to act on 1MDB funds in Cayman Islands by Rafizi.
Upon clarification from 1MDB that the Cayman Island redeemed fund will be used to repay US dollar loan, he was still asking had repeated the question Where is 1MDB’s Caymans RM3bn now?
Tony has not desist too as he asked yesterday: Why not pay off RM2bn debt first, Pua asks 1MDB. Someone whose company, Cyber Village failed and bankrupt have no credential to teach credible corporate man how to run their company's financial affair.
In all these allegations, 1MDB only denied without giving them much bullet to work on. Thus far it is only speculations.
Goofy Rafizi tried to raise a new issue.
A January 31st reported him asking How will 1MDB pay off new US$1bn loan? The bond to raise money in October is due to mature in September 2015. He should have asked Deutche Bank as to why they still dare give loan to 1MDB.
It could be the Cayman Island money la ... lembu!
After continuous crafting allegations against 1MDB, there was an attempt to create the impression that the listing plan was detoured and more troubles coming.
FMT dated February alleged that No bonds, no power plant job for 1MDB?
They quoted from Reuters that a proposed RM8.4 billion bond sale by 1MDB had been called off and 1MDB will pull out of a power plant project in Negeri Sembilan. That is quite a head turner!
Reuters used be internationally reknowned for their journalism and was a trusted source of information to financial market traders back in the 80s and 90s. By the look of it, they have now stooped so low as to quote anonymous banking sources.
That is not still enough. On February 6th, FMT reported Malaysia’s sovereign ratings poised to move south. The content had nothing definitive on the matter. In fact, our past posting here reported Moody giving a positive view on 1MDB and Malaysia.
The new CEO Arul Kanda came in with the eagerness to engage the likes of Tony Pua.
But, Tony Pua turned around on his words as he tried to turn the engagement into a political circus. Now Arul realised it is pointless to engage them. Yesterday, February 8th, he was reported by FMT to have said Serangan ke atas 1MDB bermotif politik.
For some sensationalising, the critics had taken cue from a blogger's posting to draw the attention to Jho Loh.
The man leading the attack on 1MDB through his business media, The Edge, Dato Tong Kooi Ong planned to sue Jho Loh. He was claimed to be the person behind the anonymous blogs that accused Tong as instrumental in weakening the ringgit.
Even if Tong could trace the IP, they will have to prove a writer wrote it and not someone else. There-on, Tong must establish the link to Jho Loh and prove many other legal issues. One can expect an interesting wayang (acting) to come to town.
Now we have third thought on the owner of The Edge and TMI.
The anonymous blogs also accused Dato Nazir Razak for sabotaging 1MDB. And, Nazir was reported to have given statement of his intention to sue Jho Loh too. It is interesting that Najib's brother collaborating with Anwar's man to sue Jho Loh.
But, Nazir's reaction will endorse the perception that Nazir sabotaged.
Without hearing the explanations from 1MDB top management itself, all these are merely a case of a mysterious elephant and the blind men. Despite accusations after accusations hurled at 1MDB, no substantive response have come from 1MDB.
Those following the 1MDB issue would presume there is a cover-up. The longer 1MDB maintain their silence these critics would continue to conjure up new accusations and pose more accusative questions. Eventually, the public will not believe any official statements and announcements.
The only plausible reason 1MDB is ignoring critics is that they are damn sure with what they are doing and confident everything will nicely fall into place. So let "the proof of the pudding is in the eating."
The eating is the successful listing of 1MDB Energy. It should par down their liabilities and see further appreciation in asset value. Help resolve the legacy issues linked to IPP. Instead of tycoons benefiting from IPPs, the public can reap the benefits too.
Dato Najib will come out looking like a hero. A calculated risk that handsomely pay-off. Till that fairy tale ending happens, we will just have to wait then.