1MDB probe in US: KL 'to cooperate'

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that his country will cooperate with international authorities in investigating the misappropriation of 1MDB funds.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said that his country will cooperate with international authorities in investigating the misappropriation of 1MDB funds. PHOTO: EPA

BERLIN • Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has said his country would cooperate with the United States and other international authorities investigating the misappropriation of funds from a Malaysian state-owned fund that he founded.

"We are equally concerned about good governance in Malaysia and the rule of law," Datuk Seri Najib told reporters after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, when asked about the international investigations.

"So within the bounds of good governance and the rule of law, Malaysia will do its best to cooperate and to do whatever is necessary."

Mr Najib said he opposed calling early elections before the 2018 deadline, saying such a decision should not be based on "any single factor".

"We rest on our record. We have a strong record and we will continue to tell the Malaysian people that our government is still the best choice," he said.

Malaysian democracy group Bersih is planning a protest rally on Nov 19 to call for Mr Najib's immediate resignation and an independent investigation into the financial scandal at 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

1MDB is a state fund Mr Najib founded in September 2009 to invest in strategic property and energy projects. Mr Najib was the chairman of 1MDB's advisory board until recently.

US prosecutors filed civil lawsuits in July alleging that over US$3.5 billion (S$4.7 billion) was defrauded from 1MDB.

The Wall Street Journal has reported that global investigators believed more than US$1 billion entered Mr Najib's personal bank accounts, much of it from 1MDB. The US filings referred to an unnamed high-ranking official who received some of the misappropriated funds.

A source familiar with the investigations has told Reuters that the unnamed official is Mr Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing. The 1MDB scandal is also being investigated by at least five other countries.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 28, 2016, with the headline '1MDB probe in US: KL 'to cooperate''. Print Edition | Subscribe