#Frankly Speaking* Malaysians have a right to know

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1MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT BHD (1MDB) last week submitted its much-delayed accounts for FY2013 ended March 31 to the Companies Commission of Malaysia. The summary of financial information made available to the public shows that the government's strategic investment unit's net profit surged more than 17-fold to RM778.24 million while total debts soared by five times to RM42.28 billion.

The filing obtained from CCM was the bare minimum. A more complete set of financials is expected to be made available to the public at a later date.

1MDB should take a leaf from other government-linked investment entities' books, notably Khazanah Nasional Bhd, which is so much more transparent with its activities. Its annual reports are publicly available and can be downloaded from its website. It holds regular press conferences, providing updates on its investments.

1MDB, like Khazanah, is accountable to the people, given that it is investing public money.  Since its inception in 2009, it has yet to issue an official annual report to disclose, explain and articulate its activities.

As it is, 1MDB had been drawing flak, with much speculation over the delay in submitting its accounts.

In explaining the delay, 1MDB said earlier that it has had a new business direction since 2012, and had charted exponential growth, which in turn required the consolidation of accounts of several new subsidiaries with large asset bases located in various parts of the world.

Still, its "exponential growth" should not be an excuse for it not being able to file its financial statements in a timely manner in future.

If one were to take Khazanah or the Employees Provident Fund as a yardstick, there is no reason 1MDB cannot do the same.

This article first appeared in The Edge Malaysia Weekly, on April 21, 2014.