Saudi minister says funds in account of Malaysia PM Najib were investment, not donation

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.
Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A Saudi minister says he believes that the funds that went to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's personal account were an investment rather than a political donation.

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said this although he accepted the Attorney-General's opinion that there had been no wrongdoing, he also said that he did not think the money had come from the Saudi government or that it was a political donation.

"It is a private Saudi citizen, I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia," he said in an interview with the New York Times on Thursday (Feb 4).

The paper also quoted one member of the royal family and one associate of the family, speaking on the condition of anonymity, who confirmed that it was not a donation.

"The association questioned the reported sum but said the funds were part of a business deal," the paper reported.

 
 
 

Attorney-General Apandi Ali had previously cleared Datuk Seri Najib of any criminal offence in relation to the alleged RM2.6 billion (S$879 million) political donation and the SRC International case.

He said that documents showed it was in fact US$681 million (S$958 million) that was tranferred to Mr Najib's personal accounts between March 22 and April 10, 2013 from the Saudi royal family.

Mr Najib had also returned US$620 million in August 2013 as the funds had not been put to use.

On the SRC International case, Tan Sri Apandi said there was no evidence that Mr Najib had abused his position during a Cabinet meeting that approved a Government guarantee on the loan from Retirement Fund Inc, a pension fund.

He subsequently instructed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission to cease investigations and close the case since there is no criminal element.

The anti-graft body said it would be referring the Attorney-General's decision to two independent review panels.

But in light of the Attorney-General's decision, Mr Najib had said that it was time to move on from issues and controversies.