Najib says he did not blame 1MDB board for state fund's financial troubles

Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said he was saying that any board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests and as such, the 1MDB board had a duty and responsibility to advise him on the running of the investment fund.
Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak said he was saying that any board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests and as such, the 1MDB board had a duty and responsibility to advise him on the running of the investment fund.PHOTO: REUTERS

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak has denied blaming the 1MDB board for the investment fund's financial troubles in an interview with Reuters.

He said he was saying that any board has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests and as such, the 1MDB board had a duty and responsibility to advise him on the running of the investment fund.

"He did not at any time during the interview say that the 1MDB board was to be blamed for what had happened.

"Datuk Seri Najib will make further clarification on this at the appropriate time," a spokesman of the former premier said on Thursday (June 21).

Mr Najib said that when he was asked during the interview if he blamed the 1MDB board for the fund's troubles, said: "No. I am saying as a general principle, if they are in the know that something is not right, then it is incumbent upon them to tell me.

"It is the fiduciary duty of the board and the management to do the right thing. I expect them to do the right thing and to follow the law."

Mr Najib started the state fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd soon after he became prime minister in 2009. He was Malaysia's finance minister as well and headed 1MDB's board of advisers until May 2016.

 
 
 

US prosecutors have alleged that more than US$4.5 billion (A$6.1 billion) of 1MDB funds were laundered through a complex web of transactions and shell companies.

The US Department of Justice has filed several lawsuits to claim about US$1.7 billion in assets, believed to have been stolen from 1MDB.

Mr Najib has consistently denied any wrongdoing in 1MDB. He has also said that US$681mil transferred into his personal bank account was a donation from Saudi Arabia, and not as misappropriated funds from 1MDB as alleged by the US lawsuits.