KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's former premier Najib Razak has reiterated that he had no role in the alleged embezzlement of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds.
The US Department of Justice claimed the funds were used to procure diamonds, properties, artwork, a superyacht and even bankroll an Oscar-nominated movie.
Datuk Seri Najib told Malaysiakini in an interview that it would be absurd of him to authorise the use of public funds for such things.
He said: "I didn't consent to any of these things. I am not party to all this.
"1MDB paid the money as per the joint-venture agreements with the foreign countries but once the money was paid, I have no control over what they did with the money.
"In fact, I have never seen the yacht except in pictures subsequently (in the media)."
"I have never seen the paintings. I don't know what kind of paintings, and certainly, if you were to use 1MDB funds for that, I certainly would have never approved," he added.
Mr Najib, who chaired the 1MDB advisory board, pointed out that he had held similar positions in other organisations and such problems did not arise.
He added: "I have been in public service for so long and I have a sterling record. And it goes to show, if I was the final authority on all this, I would never have approved this.
"It doesn't make sense. Why would I as prime minister approve public funds to buy yachts and paintings? It is just crazy.
"It is something which in my wildest dreams, I would never, ever approve or condone."
However, the Pekan MP said if public funds were indeed used to acquire the alleged items, then appropriate action must be taken against those individuals responsible.
"But if that is the case, then I hope a proper investigation will be done and whatever appropriate actions be taken against those responsible if public funds were really used," he added.
Mr Najib said that after 1MDB had run into problems, the company's main focus had always been on the rationalisation exercise and the negotiations with the foreign countries in question to ensure that Malaysia would not incur any losses.