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Malaysia to probe Battersea property deal: Anwar
MALAYSIA will investigate the Battersea Power Station deal and other major "dubious" property investments in the UK, said Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto leader of ruling coalition Pakatan Harapan.
On a working visit to Britain, Mr Anwar told The Guardian that a series of deals paid for by Malaysian sovereign funds and pension funds and brokered by the previous Barisan Nasional administration had to be looked at again and renegotiated if there was any wrongdoing.
"All these deals which are considered dubious, including investments in housing in London, will have to be investigated. Yes, that includes Battersea. Because they were made using state funds.
"We have to be convinced that this was the right investment decision and that there was no political influence or direction (within Malaysia)," he was quoted as saying.
Due to be completed in 2028 with an estimated gross development value of £10 billion (S$18 billion), the Battersea Power Station project is owned by a consortium of Malaysian investors comprising Sime Darby Property Bhd, SP Setia Bhd and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF).
Malaysia's new government, which came into power after a surprise election victory last month, has been reviewing big-ticket investments entered into by the previous administration of Najib Razak.
The former premier was also linked to the scandal at state fund 1MDB, after RM2.6 billion (S$868 million) was found in his personal accounts. He was cleared of all wrongdoing by the Malaysian authorities in 2016, but the new government has reopened probes into the matter.
"It's clearly a political decision to invest. If there is something wrong then we will want to renegotiate. We are looking at umpteen deals extending to hundreds of billions of ringgit - that is tens of billions of dollars," Mr Anwar told The Guardian.
In his interview with the British daily published on Monday, Mr Anwar said the money trail in the 1MDB fraud case ran through London, with US1.83 billion being channelled through a British-Saudi company.