Former Bank Negara chief says Najib asked her to give all clear on funds found in his account

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak reportedly claimed that Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz (above) was aware of the funds in his bank account prior to the 13th General Election, but did not raise questions about it.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak reportedly claimed that Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz (above) was aware of the funds in his bank account prior to the 13th General Election, but did not raise questions about it.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - Former Malaysian central bank governor Zeti Akthar Aziz said she had no knowledge that a huge sum of money was injected in 2013 into the account of former prime minister Najib Razak.

Tan Sri Zeti Akthar Aziz was responding to a claim by Datuk Seri Najib that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) under her did not flag to him that anything was wrong when the RM2.6 billion (S$944 million) funds landed in his personal account.

Mr Najib told Malaysiakini news site in an interview last week that was published on Monday (July 2): "If Bank Negara is in the know of these funds and they had an inkling or some knowledge that there could be some doubts about the source of the funds, I expected them to tell me.

"But nothing of that sort happened. So I assumed all along that it was fine," he told Malaysiakini in an interview last week.

Ms Zeti's response in a media statement: "I wish to categorically state that this claim is false. I had no knowledge of this RM2.6 billion remitted into his account."

She issued the statement just hours after Mr Najib was arrested by anti-graft officials. Earlier on Tuesday (July 3) she had said that she would not be commenting on the matter as it was under investigation.

Mr Najib has been on the defensive about the money that was placed into his bank account, saying that this was a donation from Saudi royalty.

 

In her statement, Ms Zeti also said that she was called on July 3, 2015, to the Prime Minister's Office in Putrajaya when the scandal erupted.

"He made a request for me to issue a statement that he had done nothing wrong in his account.

"I informed him that I cannot issue such a statement because I did not have knowledge of transactions that had occurred in his account," she said.

The former governor also alleged that a Cabinet minister, whom she did not name, made a similar request, and she gave him the same.

"I later received a call from another cabinet minister who made the same request for me to issue such a statement. I gave him the same answer that I cannot issue any such statement because I did not have knowledge of what had transpired in his account."

Ms Zeti said that on issues related to transactions by account holders in the banking system, BNM relied on information provided by the reporting financial institutions.

"The banking community is fully aware of the regulations and guidelines governing the reporting of any suspicious transactions and for the necessary due diligence on the operations of any such accounts," she wrote.

Ms Zeti, who is a member of the Council of Eminent Persons that advises the government on economic matters, was this week appointed chairman of national fund manager Permodalan Nasional Bhd.