Campaign to sabotage 1MDB and undermine Malaysia, says Najib

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak waits for a meeting with US President Donald Trump and others in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Sept 12, 2017.
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak waits for a meeting with US President Donald Trump and others in the Cabinet Room of the White House, on Sept 12, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • Prime Minister Najib Razak said there was a campaign to deliberately sabotage 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) to undermine investor confidence in Malaysia's economy.

Addressing American corporate leaders at a dinner here, Datuk Seri Najib said the move was a failed attempt to topple the government.

"I know that some of you will have heard some less positive stories about the Malaysian economy, particularly about 1MDB. Rather than brush the issue under the rug, we ordered investigations into the company at a scale unprecedented in our nation's history.

"And, when it became clear that there had been failings, I instructed that the company be rationalised.

"This process is progressing well and many of the assets formerly owned by 1MDB are thriving," he said at the US-Asean Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce dinner at St Regis Hotel.

Mr Najib told the audience, made up of key captains of industry in the United States and Asean, that the issue was blown out of proportion by opposition leaders.

"I should remind you that while there were issues, certain opposition politicians in our country blew them out of proportion.

"Indeed, there was a campaign to deliberately sabotage the company - and undermine investor confidence in our economy - in a failed attempt to topple the government in between election cycles."

He urged the business community not to allow the Malaysian political opposition to obscure the reality.

The Prime Minister then quoted economist Bruce Gale as saying that the Malaysian economy continued to grow at a rate well above the international average.

"Perhaps I should tell you that Dr Gale is the author of a new book called Economic Reform In Malaysia: The Contribution Of Najibnomics.

"But I didn't commission the book, I assure you! Nor did I know that there was something called Najibnomics!" he said, adding that great progress has been made in the last few years in Malaysia.

"I say to those of you here who do not know Malaysia well: Come and be surprised.

"Come and see the high-tech firms which have relocated to our country, and the home- grown ones we are so proud of.

"Come and see the infrastructure and new public transport network that we are building in Malaysia," he said.

BERNAMA, THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 14, 2017, with the headline 'Campaign to sabotage 1MDB and undermine Malaysia, says Najib'. Subscribe