Malaysian premier cleared by anti-corruption agency

2015-08-04 11:45
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Mohd Rasfan, AFP)

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. (Mohd Rasfan, AFP)

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Kuala Lumpur - Hundreds of millions of dollars found in Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's bank accounts were from donations, not the state development fund as alleged, the government's anti-corruption agency said.

"The $673m claimed to be deposited into the account of the prime minister came from donors and not from 1MDB funds," the Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which is part of premier's office, announced late on Monday.

The Wall Street Journal reported on July 3 that the money came from the state development fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad, triggering widespread calls for the prime minister to resign.

Critics expressed skepticism about the commission's findings.

Lim Kit Siang, a leader of the predominantly Chinese opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), alleged there had been a cover up.

"Why was Najib unable to say a simple yes or no" when asked about the money, he asked in his blog post.

Khaled Nordin, chief minister of the southern state of Johor and a close ally of sacked former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, called for a stronger reaction from his fellow members of the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

"UMNO can not just be silent" over the in-fighting between vested interest groups, each claiming to defend the party, he posted on his Facebook page.

But Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin backed the MACC.

"I was made to understand the contribution came from supporters and donors," Khairy said, without identifying the donors.

"In Malaysia, there's no law to prohibit political parties from receiving contributions," he told news portal Malaysiakini.

The fund was established when Najib took office in 2009, "to drive sustainable economic development in Malaysia by forging strategic global partnerships and promoting foreign direct investment into the country," its website stated.

Read more on:    najib razak  |  malaysia
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