1MDB is an investment vehicle formed in 2009, using Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) as the shell. 1MDB borrow heavily in the beginning to buy asset such as power plant and land, and was planned to list on Bursa Malaysia to unleash it value when it matures.
However, thing doesn’t bode well. The first major issues happened when 1MDB announced they need to delay the release of their annual report on 2013 and changed the 3 auditors. It raised suspicious of the politician. As there might be trouble in their book (or else why should they changed the 3 auditors in charge), rating agency have downgraded 1MDB bond rating to junk bond rating. Since 2013 onward, 1MDB never publish their financial report online.
The 42 billion debt, financial scandal made 1MDB unable to get listed as planned. In 2015, Sarawak Report, Wall Street Journal and other media come out with more financial scandals related with 1MDB.
Looking at the chronology, the whole outbreak happened during 2015, including the splintering and the constant attack of Mahathir. Recall back to 2013 during the UMNO general election, Muhyiddin was the one who second Najib to be the Prime Minister. Certainly, there must be something that drive Muhyiddin in making such daring move to dethrone the prime minister.
There is no information regarding the outbreak of 1MDB news, who is the one who provide information to Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal, but we do can find some connections from another newspaper that come out with 1MDB news which resulted a 3 months suspension, The Edge.
The Edge boss is Tong Kooi Ong and the chief Editor is Kay Tat Ho. During the time when The Edge come out with the news related with 1MDB, they claim they have bought the evidence from Jho Low, whom Low didn’t even have a chance to deny it. Theoretically, Low is highly unlikely to give out the evidence for just 2 million USD, compare to the size of fund he can siphon out from the company. Besides, Low also has a great stake to the case.
Let’s do a little background check. The Edge owner, Tong Kooi Ong is a tycoon who owns Sunrise that was eventually acquired by UEM. While, the chief Editor Kay Tat Ho was also the Chief Editor of Berjaya Media, the company owned by Berjaya Group and the crony of Mahathir, Vincent Tan.
Muhyiddin was loyal to Mahathir, when Mahathir dissatisfied with Badawi’s performance, Muhyiddin was among one of the UMNO leader who attacked Badawi. Kay Tat Ho is the mouthpiece of Vincent Tan, which indirectly makes him the mouthpiece of Mahathir. We never know how Sarawak Report and Wall Street Journal got those news, but if someone in the high position in UMNO was orchestrating the whole problem, all information outbreak would be much easier.
Muhyiddin and Mahathir was planned to dethrone the prime minister in the first place, however, that did not go as planned. Muhyiddin was sacked in 2016 from UMNO and Najib have postpone UMNO election to 2018, after GE14 to make sure he remained in power.