Mahathir: We appreciate Singapore's help in reclaiming 1MDB monies
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he appreciates Singapore's role in helping his country reclaim monies laundered from troubled state fund 1MDB.
"Some people brought money belonging to 1MDB to Singapore and many people were paid out of money that was stolen.
"Singapore took action to arrest them, to charge them and all that, and also to return to us the money that has been stolen. That is cooperation that we appreciate," he told The Straits Times in an interview yesterday.
The Monetary Authority of Singapore shut down two private banks in 2016, fined eight banks nearly $30 million over 1MDB-related offences, and charged six persons.
In September, the State Courts ordered the return of $15million in 1MDB-linked funds to Malaysia.
Dr Mahathir alluded to this help after meeting PM Lee Hsien Loong on Monday, and said bilateral talks were largely about cooperation.
They also discussed water pricing. Singapore's Foreign Ministry said both sides expressed their differing views on the right to review the price of water under the 1962 Water Agreement, and their willingness for officials to have further discussions to better understand each other's positions.
Dr Mahathir echoed this yesterday, saying: "There is still a need for us to discuss the matter. We have differences about interpretations and I think we will continue to have discussions at official levels and at the political level, and we hope that we can reach some agreement."
He also told The Straits Times there was a need for an additional bridge between the two countries, noting that traffic between Johor and Singapore was far heavier than between Penang and the mainland.
"Yet Penang has got two bridges, and they are constructing a tunnel," he said.
"We need more bridges between the two countries. We hope we can have a direct bridge - one half being Singapore, one half being Malaysia. But if that is not possible, of course Malaysia will go ahead with its own plans."
He was revisiting a position he held during his first stint as PM from 1981 to 2003.
Asked about these plans, he said Malaysia "had this so-called crooked bridge which does not encroach on Singapore land or Singapore territory at all".