Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar admitted that the Ministry of Finance's strategic investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) is a burden, given its failure to generate cash flow against its huge debts.
The minister in the prime minister's department said that 1MDB had taken loans from banks and the capital market to purchase assets, but failed to raise cash flow, causing it to be unsustainable.
Wahid said 1MDB had expanded by taking loans from banks and the capital market which they had used to purchase assets, including IPPs, causing their debt to rise to RM42 billion as of March 2014.
"So you can imagine the quantum; it is very high and tough," he said at a forum in Petaling Jaya last night.
Responding to questions posed by the audience, Wahid said that as long as the assets were not able to generate cash flow, 1MDB will fail to be sustainable.
"Unless it can generate cash flow, it will not be sustainable," he said.
He added that the debt is expected to have an impact on 1MDB and that three strategic steps have been taken to address the problems.
"They have taken strategic steps to re-evaluate the business model and structure, and three decisions have been taken," he said.
According to Wahid, these included halting all forms of new loans, focussing on the two main projects, namely the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX) and Bandar Malaysia, and to ensure the initial public offering of IPP Edra Energy can take place soon.
"These are the strategic steps that have been identified," he added.
Criticism has been mounting over 1MDB, which was established in 2009 and has chalked up debts of up to RM42 billion.
This led to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak ordering the Auditor-General to "independently verify 1MDB's accounts", with the findings to be submitted to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC). – April 17, 2015.