PUTRAJAYA: Malaysia will receive the first payment of money allegedly stolen from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) this year, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said on Wednesday (Jan 30).
Without disclosing the amount and source of the money, Lim said: "It is not billions but it is at least a good start.”
"This is good news. We hope this will be followed by subsequent payments to Malaysia, where we will get back the money stolen from 1MDB,” he said.
Lim was quoted as saying last year that Malaysia expected to recover up to RM14.4 billion of funds potentially lost through 1MDB.
Lim said he expected the first initial payment to come back soon, with the details to be announced when it was finalised.
In the wake of a news report on a study by Washington-based think tank Global Financial Integrity, which ranked Malaysia at number three after China and Mexico in illicit financial outflows in 2015, Lim said: "Behind the bad news, there is good news on receiving the first payment from 1MDB."
Lim also urged the political parties, which had voiced support for the National Anti-Corruption Plan launched by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Tuesday, to return any money received from 1MDB.
"I hope they can return the money to the government. Which political party, I think everyone knows," he said.
When asked about the outcome if the political parties did not return the money, Lim said necessary steps, including legal action, would be taken against them.