In 2016, Malaysia was battling for clarity from the 1MDB saga. There was plenty of accusations of wrongdoing, from the U.S. Department of Justice to the Wall Street Journal.

But the then-government of Malaysia put up a strong effort in combating these claims, saying that any hint of wrongdoing at 1MDB are mere fabrications devised by the opposition. One defender of the 1MDB business was the CEO himself, Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

The writer, Ibrahim Sani and former BFM Radio colleague Julian Ng sat down for an interview with Arul Kanda. Dr David Yoong has a thorough analysis on the interview and linguistic style of Arul Kanda.

“First, I have to stress that Arul Kanda is a formidable user of the English language,” says Dr. Yoong, Deputy Dean of Research and Development at the Faculty of Language and Linguistics at University Malaya.

“To have the opportunity to study Arul Kanda, through the interview he gave at BFM Radio provides an opportunity for linguists like me a rare chance to understand better how individuals like him think,” he adds.

The use of language and the mastery of this skill is highly associated to greater intellectual capabilities and capacities. When asked if this was the case with Arul Kanda, Dr. Yoong agreed.

“Arul is clearly an above-average thinking individual,” he stresses. “And it’s not just his mastery of the language per se. The fact that he was a trained debater, that he was a trained lawyer, a seasoned corporate figure, and has worked in international markets such as in Abu Dhabi, presents an opportunity for him to collate all these experience and pour this into the work he needed to do at 1MDB,” he adds.

“In my study, I have been able to strip down word by word, sentence by sentence, the interview he gave. What I found through my research was truly an astounding finding!” Dr. Yoong adds.

Watch the full interview here: