KUALA LUMPUR:The Center for Independent Journalism (CIJ) has expressed concern over the transparency and responsibility of the government not to disclose the details of the settlement agreement between Goldman Sachs Group Inc (Goldman Sachs) and 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) amounting to US$1.4 billion due to the "confidentiality clause".

In addition, its Executive Director, Wathshlah G Naidu said the CIJ also questioned the government's decision to enter into the agreement by including a confidentiality clause which the CIJ considered could prevent disclosure.

"Of course the government and the players are aware that such an agreement will damage public interest, accountability and transparency as it means the content of the agreement may not be accessible to the public.

"This is very much related to the element of malpractice that is taking place within 1MDB, which has become public interest.

"Furthermore, the terms of confidentiality will usually include non-disclosure of important information (non-disclosure of information) for negotiations regarding the terms of the agreement, and it is limited during the negotiation period," he said in a statement, on Sunday.

Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Law and Parliament), Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan informed the Dewan Rakyat that the government could not disclose the details of the settlement agreement between 1MDB and Goldman Sachs to MPs as it was constrained by confidentiality terms.

The Kota Bharu Member of Parliament explained that it was in line with the application submitted by Goldman Sachs in the settlement process.
Last July, Goldman Sachs was required to pay US$ 2.5 billion (RM10.5 billion) in addition to guaranteeing the return of US$1.4 billion (RM5.9 billion) worth of 1MDB assets seized by authorities worldwide, in exchange for Malaysia dropping charges against the bank concerned.