Corruption Allegations Continue to Build Against Malaysia’s Prime Minister – Time

Corruption Allegations Continue to Build Against Malaysia’s Prime Minister

Najib Razak is accused of siphoning more than a billion dollars from a struggling state fund

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak continues to dismiss allegations that he embezzled funds from a struggling state development fund, even after new evidence reportedly links upwards of a billion dollars in deposits from the fund into his personal accounts.

Najib has been the subject of unprecedented controversy since last July, when the Wall Street Journal and investigative news website Sarawak Report published documents tracing nearly $700 million from the ledgers of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to Najib’s private bank accounts. On Monday, the Journal reported that antigraft investigators believed the sum in Najib’s accounts was in fact higher than initially stated — totaling more than $1 billion.

Najib’s office released a statement in response to the article, condemning the Journal as a “willing vehicle for certain political actors who are seeking to damage the Prime Minister and Malaysia for personal gain,” but not commenting directly on the matter of the finances.

The accusations of further impropriety come just over a month after Malaysia’s Attorney General announced that an internal investigation into 1MDB had cleared Najib of any wrongdoing, concluding that the hundreds of millions of dollars in the Prime Minister’s accounts were not from 1MDB — which Najib launched as a pet project in 2009, and which has consistently reported debts — but instead campaign donations from the Saudi royal family. Meanwhile, a series of overseas investigations into the Malaysian money trail, including one initiated by the F.B.I., are still pending.

The recent allegations have reignited popular hostility towards Najib in Malaysia, where in late August hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Kuala Lumpur to demand his resignation. On Wednesday, a faction of student activists from across the Southeast Asian nation released a statement condemning the Prime Minister, whose actions, they wrote, “have jeopardized and will sacrifice the future of Malaysia.” Myriad political figures, including former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, have joined in this chorus.

Wong Chen, a Malaysian parliamentarian who belongs to the country’s growing opposition coalition, said that Najib’s refusal to specifically disprove the allegations against him could be interpreted as a tacit admission of guilt.

Corruption Allegations Continue to Build Against Malaysia’s Prime Minister
Nash Jenkins
3 Mar 2016 – Time


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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
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