All eyes on KL's response to Najib's 'admission'

All eyes on KL's response to Najib's 'admission'
Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar says only unimportant documents were destroyed in the blaze.

The Malaysian government is facing public pressure to respond to former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin's allegation that Prime Minister Najib Razak had admitted to him that US$700 million (S$962 million) was deposited into the Premier's account, with the funds said to have originated from the Middle East.

The allegation was made in a 53- second clip that has gone viral, even as another sensational report was released by the Sarawak Report (SR) website. The SR report alleged that Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail was sacked on Tuesday because he was drafting corruption charges against Datuk Seri Najib for receiving millions of dollars into his bank accounts.

The London-based SR, which often carries reports critical of the Malaysian government, claimed it has verified the charge sheet with "senior parties" but did not mention its sources.

The Prime Minister's Office did not respond to a Straits Times query on the SR claim.

New Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali, when contacted by Malaysiakini, said yesterday that he was not aware of any charge sheet by his predecessor. The Malaysian government has said that SR is being investigated for interfering in the country's affairs.

Police chief Khalid Abu Bakar posted a tweet yesterday on the SR story: "Reports such as these, with unverified origins, will confuse the public. Malaysian police request an end to these rumours."

Meanwhile, the fallout from the video clip containing Tan Sri Muhyiddin's comments was much discussed in social media circles.

In the clip, he was shown speaking to his guests, including Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir, at his home on Tuesday. Mr Muhyiddin said he asked Mr Najib about the allegations regarding the funds transfer into his accounts.

"I asked him (Najib): From whom? He did not mention the name, from somewhere in the Middle East. How much?... 'Hard to count', he said, 'a lot, a lot'," he said in the clip with poor audio.

He continued: "Then I asked, 'Why was it transferred to your account?... Why did it enter Najib Razak's account? How much money?' US$700 million... he admitted. So I said, 'Why did you put into your personal account?'"

The clip ended there.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz, when asked by reporters, said he knew who recorded the video and did not deny the conversation took place.

Former minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, who was also in the clip, told the Malaysiakini news website on Wednesday that the conversation did take place but that it was a "private conversation".

Police chief Khalid yesterday declined to comment on the video and said he did not have the power to investigate the clip as it was related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). He said matters related to the state investment fund came under the purview of a special task force.

Mr Najib yesterday carried on with his official duties, which included meeting visiting British Prime Minister David Cameron in Putrajaya.

Tan Sri Khalid, when asked about the fire at the police headquarters on Wednesday, said it destroyed "unimportant documents", amid speculation that it might have razed documents linked to the 1MDB probe.

"The fire has been put out. There is no cause for alarm as only unimportant documents were lost during the fire," the police chief tweeted late on Wednesday.

This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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