Subject of 1MDB did not crop up in my meetings with FBI, other agencies, says Malaysia's DPM

Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. PHOTO: THE NEW STRAITS TIMES PRESS

WASHINGTON (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - The subject of Malaysia's beleaguered 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) being investigated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) never cropped up during meetings that Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had with the FBI and other agencies in the United States, he said.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid said the 1MDB issue was never raised. "I've met the top officials from so many parties; it was not raised by the FBI, CIA (Central Intelligence Agency), (US Secretary of State) John Kerry and any other party we met.

"I met FBI deputy director (Mark F. Giuliano) and senior FBI officials - not one word was mentioned about 1MDB," he told Malaysian journalists on Friday (Oct 9).

He was asked if FBI officials he met had brought up the issue of alleged investigations into 1MDB.

Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the FBI was investigating 1MDB for alleged money laundering.

"Maybe, the issue is big as it is being shouted about in our country. It is used as a political issue, but 1MDB is not a big issue to them here at all," he said.

During his week-long working trip here, Dr Ahmad Zahid, who is also the Home Minister, held discussions with the CIA and FBI on national and regional security, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, security in the South China Sea and migrants.

On Thursday, he met Mr Kerry at the State Department to sign a document on Homeland Security Presidential Directives No 6, a pre-requisite for Malaysia to join 38 other nations to participate in the US Visa Waiver Programme.

On 1MDB, the DPM advised Malaysians against being influenced by unsubstantiated claims that the US intelligence agencies were conducting investigations on it.

Commenting on the latest developments concerning 1MDB on the home front, he urged certain quarters not to question the credibility of the enforcement agencies investigating the sovereign fund.

"I urge everyone, especially leaders from our own party, to stop provoking the people," he said.

"We must trust the relevant agencies to complete their investigations and conduct a fair and open probe in accordance with the law."

He added that such irresponsible statements only divided the people and party, and was unnecessary as the country faced numerous economic and other challenges.

"For a leader who is still respected and holding an important position in the party, any action taken should promote unity in view of the challenges faced by Umno, Barisan Nasional and the government," he said, in an obvious reference to former deputy premier Muhyiddin Yassin.