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Sarawak Report contradicts Tony Pua’s 1MDB kickbacks claim

Tony Pua (left); Clare Rewcastle-Brown (right).

Zaidi Azmi
Written by Zaidi Azmi

KUALA LUMPUR – June 24, 2020: In a contradictory update to its latest article, Sarawak Report has cast doubt over the legitimacy of Tony Pua’s claim concerning the flow of kickbacks linked to the 1MDB controversy and the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).

The update, which was written at the bottom of the article, stated that Pua’s information – which he was privy of during his stint as the political secretary to the previous finance minister – was unconfirmed.

“Updated. The route from Ministry of Finance (MoF) to CCCC (China Communications Construction Company) Beijing is not confirmed,” read the update referring to the supposed MoF-CCCC money trail of RM2.7 billion that was wired through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

Pua, who is the DAP’s Damansara member of parliament first made the allegation at a webinar last night, claiming that Malaysian authorities, under the previous Pakatan Harapan government, had established the money was immediately transferred to an ICBC account belonging to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).

The webinar organised by the Kuwait Association for Protecting Public Funds also featured Sarawak Report founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown and 1MDB whistle-blower Xavier Andre Justo as guest speakers, among others.

It was alleged that the money wired by MoF to IPIC was a 2017 kickback from CCCC to the then-Malaysian government for agreeing to the “over-inflated price tag” of the ECRL in which the money was transferred to an MoF subsidiary, Sentuhan Budiman Sdn Bhd.

During the webinar, Pua and Rewcastle-Brown also added that fugitive businessman, Jho Low – the person who is in the centre of the 1MDB controversy – is bunkering in China, under the protection of those with good relations with the country’s top officials.

The duo’s remark, contradicted a June 10 report by The Wall Street Journal, stating that Low had managed to elude the US and Malaysia authorities, and fled to Kuwait. Low is currently on Interpol’s wanted list.

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Zaidi Azmi

Zaidi Azmi

If Zaidi Azmi isn’t busy finding his way in the city, this 26-year-old northern kampung boy can be found struggling to make sense of the Malaysian political scene. Zaidi can be reached at zaidiazmi91@gmail.com.