‘Budiman Committee has completed assignments’
KUALA LUMPUR: The Budiman Committee, set up in 2015 to oversee the rationalisation of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), has completed its assignments and has no more functions to execute, Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani said.
He said Arul Kanda Kandasamy was no longer chairman of Bandar Malaysia Sdn Bhd.
Refuting reports that the committee’s members had been relieved of their duties, Johari said there had been no meeting for the past six months.
“Any report stating that any member of the Budiman Committee had been relieved of his duty is erroneous and maliciously misleading,” he said yesterday.
Johari and Arul Kanda, the former 1MDB chief executive officer, were reportedly part of the committee.
They were reportedly no longer spearheading 1MDB-linked prime developments, namely the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia.
This followed the Finance Ministryowned TRX City Sdn Bhd’s decision to abort a RM7.41 billion deal to jointly develop Bandar Malaysia with Iskandar Waterfront Holdings Sdn Bhd (IWH) and China Railway Engineering Corp (CREC).
Johari said he was affiliated to the committee only after being appointed deputy finance minister in July 2015.
He said the committee had continued with the 1MDB rationalisation and was able to dispose of its power assets to China’s CGN Group, reactivate the TRX development and conclude an international bidding exercise in respect of Bandar Malaysia.
The committee also pursued the arbitration between Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) and 1MDB to resolve the dispute over the US$3.5 billion (RM15.2 billion) payment made by 1MDB to the IPIC Group.
Johari said the settlement arrangement between 1MDB and IPIC and the current dispute with IWH-CREC over Bandar Malaysia were being handled directly by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) and the 1MDB board.
“Apart from the removal of Arul Kanda as chairman of Bandar Malaysia, the 1MDB board and the PMO will continue to manage the issues, in respect of Bandar Malaysia, directly with the parties concerned,” he said.
Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani