Malaysia's Cabinet will not pressure PM Najib to step down, says minister

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaking to the media at a mosque outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 5, 2015.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak speaking to the media at a mosque outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on July 5, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's cabinet members are putting no pressure on Prime Minister Najib Razak to step down, amidst allegations that 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) funds were transferred to his personal account.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin said on Wednesday that the cabinet is "united" in the view that the law should be allowed to take due process before making further comments.

"The cabinet meeting today had a discussion about current issues....The Prime Minister explained to us that he is still considering legal action against the Wall Street Journal. As you all know, his lawyers have sent a pre-demand letter," Khairy said.

"A task force, consisting of the Attorney-General, the police and the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission) is still investigating the matter.

"Until the taskforce comes up with the results of the investigation, it is still too premature to comment," said Khairy, after the handing over ceremony of the third Perdana Fellowship Programme at the Prime Minister's Office here on Wednesday.

He also confirmed that the cabinet discussed the declining ringgit value, but did not elaborate further.

Najib, who launched the ceremony, left immediately after the event and did not take questions from the media.

A report in the Wall Street Journal alleged that US$700 million (S$950 million) in state funds was transferred into Najib's accounts in AmBank - Malaysia's fifth-largest lender.

On Tuesday, the newspaper released nine documents detailing how the state funds allegedly ended up in his personal bank accounts. The documents, which the newspaper said came from a "Malaysian government investigation", were published on the WSJ's website.

They showed alleged bank transfers from various companies to Najib's personal accounts in March 2013, December last year and February this year.

A letter dated Jan 20 last year regarding power of attorney over three bank accounts under AmIslamic Bank Berhad was also published on the WSJ website.

However, some details, such as the last five digits of the AmIslamic accounts said to belong to the Prime Minister, had been blanked out, along with some other details in the documents.