Najib's brother explains views on controversy over 1MDB issue

Najib's brother explains views on controversy over 1MDB issue

KUALA LUMPUR - Disagreements between family members are a common thing, said CIMB Group Holdings Bhd chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, the younger brother of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"We are brothers. There are agreements and disagreements. It is healthy," he replied when queried on his relations with his brother following the CIMB Group's shareholders meeting here yesterday.

"Do you agree with everything your brother does? I rest my case. It's normal," Nazir said.

1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), a fund wholly-owned by the Finance Ministry, which is also under Najib's watch, has come under attack for its debts of RM42billion (S$15.7 billion) and assets that do not produce corres­ponding cash flow.

Nazir chided 1MDB last week when it declined an invite to present its case at Invest Malaysia, a major event which funds and key decision-makers such as the Bank Negara governor and ministers attended to outline their views.

"Probably we should disclose what needs to be disclosed in order for people to have a full picture and allay concerns. When issues are not cleared up, people tend to expect the worst," said Nazir to reporters.

While Nazir was disappointed when 1MDB did not show up at Invest Malaysia, he was in agreement with Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz that 1MDB would not pose a systemic risk to the country's banking and financial system.

A career merchant banker, Nazir, also said he had no inkling of how to resolve the 1MDB issue.

"I have no idea, and it is not my job either," he said.

Earlier this month, the Finance Ministry appointed CIMB to look for buyers interested to acquire 1MDB's power assets, but the appointment was withdrawn a few days later.

On that, Nazir said he was in the dark as to why the decision was reversed.

"Clients do change their minds," he said, while maintaining he had never uttered anything inflammatory against 1MDB.

"Nothing controversial. I just said due to negative investor sentiment, it is good to put the issue (1MDB) behind us."

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