'Reopen murder case of AmBank founder'

Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang.
Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party leader Lim Kit Siang.PHOTO: ST FILE

KUALA LUMPUR • Malaysian opposition veteran Lim Kit Siang has asked the police to reopen its investigation into the murder of Arab-Malaysian Development Bank (AmBank) founder Hussain Ahmad Najadi.

The Democratic Action Party leader believes there could be a link between the murder and claims that large sums of money were deposited in a private AmBank account of Prime Minister Najib Razak by 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

Mr Lim indicated to the police that Mr Hussain may have noticed an unusually large transfer of funds to the private account, as alleged in a recent Wall Street Journal article.

"In this connection, I call on the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to reopen investigations into the murder of Hussain... to ascertain whether the murder had any links with the 1MDB scandal," the Malay Mail Online yesterday reported Mr Lim as saying.

Mr Hussain, 75, was shot dead on July 29, 2013, and his wife was seriously injured when they left a temple. An Iranian citizen with permanent Malaysian residency, he was the chairman and chief executive of the multibillion-dollar AIAK Group. He established AmBank in 1975.

Last September, tow truck driver Koong Swee Kwan was found guilty of the murder and sentenced to death by the High Court. He was also given an 18-year jail term for the attempted murder of Mr Hussain's wife.

But allegations in the WSJ report last week that billions of ringgit were deposited in Datuk Seri Najib's account at AmBank have set tongues wagging again about Mr Hussain's murder. According to the international business daily, 1MDB deposited some US$700 million (S$943 million) in Mr Najib's private accounts.

In an article on the Malaysia Chronicle Web portal, Mr Hussain's son labelled it "ironic" that the bank his father founded was where 1MDB's money has allegedly been unearthed.

Mr Pascal Najadi wrote that his family sold all their assets and left Malaysia for good early last year because they were living "in fear of our well-being", and now feel "safe" in Switzerland.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2015, with the headline ''Reopen murder case of AmBank founder''. Print Edition | Subscribe