Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia has accused opposition leaders of seeking help from foreign powers to topple the government, following recent exposes of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) by US financial daily the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).
Meanwhile, Bank Negara Malaysia yesterday denied allegations that senior officers from the central bank were responsible for leaking information on 1MDB to the media.
In a July 2 article, the WSJ claimed that US$700 million (S$940 million) from 1MDB had been funnelled into Prime Minister Najib Razak's private accounts, allegations he has denied.
In its Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia, the Malay daily's editors said the move by unnamed opposition leaders was the reason that the opposition Parti Islam SeMalaysia chief Abdul Hadi Awang decided to back Mr Najib by defending him against the allegations.
"The reality is, the agenda of certain parties, with the help of outsiders, has now been translated into a public movement to reject Barisan Nasional (BN) outside the democratic process - a la coup d'etat," the editors wrote under the pseudonym of Awang Selamat.
"Awang found out the conspiracy to topple the prime minister involved some opposition leaders who had met in two neighbouring countries to plan this move which is joined by the foreign media... This is part of a larger-scale framework that had hit several Islamic countries like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen."
Two Umno Supreme Council members have made similar claims of an international conspiracy to topple the prime minister.
Last Wednesday, Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsuddin told Utusan that the allegations against Mr Najib were an attempt to weaken the Muslims in the country.
Last Monday, Datuk Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, director-general of the Special Affairs Department, said the attacks against Mr Najib had now moved from within the country to outside it through the foreign media.
Mr Najib has also accused his harshest critic, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, of colluding with the international press. Tun Dr Mahathir, who has been calling for Mr Najib's resignation, has denied claims that he was working with the foreign media.
The Utusan Malaysia editorial also claimed that several street protests had been planned by the opposition for after the Hari Raya celebrations to ignite public sentiment following the WSJ report.
Mr Najib, who was attending a breaking-fast event in his Pekan ward yesterday, told his constituents not to be taken in by what is reported in social media.