Najib's wife Rosmah denies misappropriating funds

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) and his wife Rosmah Mansor arriving in Tokyo on May 24.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak (left) and his wife Rosmah Mansor arriving in Tokyo on May 24.PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR • The wife of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday denied misappropriating funds from state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) as alleged in an online report .

Lawyers for Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor confirmed that the account in Affin Bank, mentioned on the Sarawak Report website, did belong to her, the Malaysiakini news website said.

She is demanding action from the central bank for breach of privacy. Her response followed a claim in the Sarawak Report on Thursday that her aide had deposited RM2 million (S$713,680) into her personal account between February and April - linking it to the 1MDB scandal.

"My client... (has) not committed any criminal offence or any misappropriation of funds and strongly denies any links to the funds being from 1MDB.

"The report is deemed to be indecent, menacing, false, and is intended to annoy or harass my client," said law firm Messrs Noorhajran Mohd Noor in a statement, as reported by Malaysiakini.

The lawyers confirmed that the account in Affin Bank, Malaysia's ninth-largest lender by assets, is Madam Rosmah's. The account was opened in 1984 when she was working for a property company.

"My client appeals for responsible reporting of facts, to have ethical and moral obligations of fairness and accuracy," her lawyers said.

The law firm said the leak of the account's information is in violation of the Financial Services Act 2013 and asked Bank Negara Malaysia to investigate "the offensive unauthorised disclosure on the part of the said Bank".

The firm noted that the same Act provided for the protection of client information and restrictions on inquiring specifically into the matters of a particular customer.

Meanwhile, a multi-agency government task force carrying out a probe into the affairs of 1MDB said yesterday that it had already began investigating a bank account of Madam Rosmah's as part of its probe.

"The task force already knew about the account belonging to the Prime Minister's wife even before it was exposed in the media," it said in a statement.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2015, with the headline 'Najib's wife denies misappropriating funds'. Print Edition | Subscribe