1MDB has done its fair share of good, says Malaysian PM Najib Razak

Traffic passes a 1MDB billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur.
Traffic passes a 1MDB billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur.PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA - The 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) state fund has contributed to the people in many ways which they are unaware of, Prime Minister Najib Razak has said.

Despite the criticism and negative perception surrounding 1MDB, the state-owned fund has financed haj pilgrims, built houses and sponsored students' education, Datuk Seri Najib said on Tuesday (July 11), according to The Star.

During disasters such as floods, 1MDB had also come forward to help in relief efforts. "All these were not mentioned. Not everything about 1MDB is bad or negative," he said.

"In fact, it has done its fair share of good," Mr Najib said at an event to hand over offer letters to 1,100 imam, village heads and community leaders to perform the haj.

Under the Prime Minister's special haj programme which started in 2011, the company spent RM57 million (S$18.3 million) to finance 5,700 people to perform the haj.

1MDB has grabbed global headlines since 2015 following allegations of money-laundering and is now at the centre of probes in several countries.

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has frequently levelled allegations of financial mismanagement and graft at the Malaysian government over the 1MDB scandal.

Mr Najib on Tuesday took a swipe at those who used issues related to 1MDB in their attempt to bring down the government.

"This is not right. People, including a former prime minister, who want to pursue this are not doing the right thing," he said, referring to Tun Dr Mahathir's criticism against the government.

"I hope those who have benefited from programmes and sponsorships by 1MDB will help spread information about the good work it has done," Mr Najib added.