PM Najib is 'Malaysian Official 1' but not involved in 1MDB probe: Minister

Mr Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department.
Mr Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's Minister in the Prime Minister's Department. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The 'Malaysian Official 1' named in the US Department of Justice's (DOJ) civil suit related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) refers to Prime Minister Najib Razak, says Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

The Barisan Nasional strategic communications director confirmed this during a recent interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

"I've said it openly. Obviously if you read the documents, it is the Prime Minister," the BBC quoted him as saying in an article titled "Who is Malaysian Official 1? Case closed". It was published on the BBC website on Thursday (Sept 1).

However, Mr Abdul Rahman, who is also Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, went on to suggest that the reason Mr Najib was not named in the DOJ report was because he was not involved in the investigation.

"But I have also said, why didn't the DOJ name him by his proper name? That's because he is not part of this investigation.

"There have been other people who are named ... and the Department of Justice will take this to the courts and the courts will decide," he added.

The admission confirms what most Malaysians - at least those who know about the 1MDB scandal - already believe, says the BBC report.

The DOJ documents led to outrage on social media, with many netizens cheekily asking for the real "Malaysia official 1" to "please stand up".

The DOJ filed civil suits in July this year, seeking to seize US$1 billion (S$1.4 billion) in assets in the United States that were allegedly obtained using funds misappropriated from 1MDB, a state investment arm set up in 2009.

Although the DOJ filing did not name Mr Najib, it referred repeatedly to "Malaysian Official 1", a high- ranking government official who had control over 1MDB and had received US$681 million.

The Malaysian prime minister, who founded 1MDB, has weathered persistent calls for him to step down over his handling of the scandal. He has denied any wrongdoing.