Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak slammed a newspaper report that said close to US$700 million was wired to his personal account from banks, government agencies and companies linked to the debt-laden state fund 1MDB.
Najib’s office claimed the report was a “continuation of political sabotage”.
The Wall Street Journal’s report, if true, would be the first time the beleaguered prime minister has been directly linked to accusations of corruption surrounding the fund.
“There have been concerted efforts by certain individuals to undermine confidence in our economy, tarnish the government, and remove a democratically elected prime minister,” Najib’s office said in a statement on his Facebook page.
“These latest claims, attributed to unnamed investigators as a basis to attack the prime minister, are a continuation of this political sabotage,” it said.
The statement said documents cited in the report should not be accepted as genuine unless verified by appropriate authorities.
It pointed to reports about criminal leaking of documents, doctoring and extortion related to 1MDB that has been recently published in the media.
Nearly US$700 million from troubled Malaysian state fund 1MDB was wired into Najib’s personal account, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing documents from a government investigation.
Of the five deposits from the fund into Najib’s account, the two largest transactions, worth US$620 million and US$61 million, were made during an election campaign in March 2013, the newspaper said.
Reuters could not independently verify the report.
“In reference to media reports published earlier today, 1MDB wishes to make clear that the company has never provided any funds to the prime minister,” 1MDB said in a statement.
Najib, himself the son of a former primer minister, and his government have been weakened by attacks from the opposition and from within his own party by charges of graft and mismanagement.
Long-time leader Mahathir Mohamad, once Najib’s patron, has called for the prime minister to step down over the 1MDB furore.
The state fund has faced a storm of criticism over financial mismanagement that has resulted in a debt of nearly US$11.6 billion.
Najib chairs 1MDB’s advisory board.
The fund is facing separate investigations by the country’s central bank, auditor general, police and parliament’s Public Accounts Committee.
The auditor general’s office will present an interim report on its probe during a briefing with the Public Accounts Committee on July 9, The Edge Financial Daily said Friday.
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