Malaysia fund slams report $943 million went to PM's personal account

Malaysia fund slams report $943 million went to PM's personal account
Prime Minister Najib Razak
PHOTO: NSTP

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's 1MDB said on Friday it never provided any funds to Prime Minister Najib Razak, responding to a report that close to US$700 million (about S$943 million)was wired into Najib's personal account from banks, government agencies and companies linked to the state fund.

The Wall Street Journal report, if true, would be the first time that the beleaguered prime minister has been directly linked to accusations of corruption surrounding the troubled fund.

A Malaysian government spokesman told the newspaper that the prime minister had not taken any funds for personal use.

Reuters could not independently verify the newspaper report.

"In reference to media reports published earlier today, 1MDB wishes to make clear that the company has never provided any funds to the prime minister," 1MDB said in a statement.

"To suggest otherwise, as some media outlets have done, is highly irresponsible and a deliberate attempt to undermine the company."

Najib, himself the son of a former primer minister, and his government have been weakened by attacks from the opposition and from within his own party by charges of graft and mismanagement.

Long-time leader Mahathir Mohamad, once Najib's patron, has called for the prime minister to step down over the 1MDB furore.

The Wall Street Journal report, which cited documents from a government probe, claimed that there were five deposits into Najib's account.

The two largest transactions, worth $620 million and $61 million, through a chain of companies linked to 1MDB were done in March 2013 during an election campaign in Malaysia, it said.

1MDB described the allegations as "unsubstantiated" and said the existence and authenticity of the documents had not been publicly verified.

A spokesman for the prime minister's office told Reuters that a statement would be issued later in the day. He gave no immediate response to the report.

Najib has previously denied any wrongdoing in connection with 1MDB and has accused opponents of spreading misinformation.

The state fund has faced a storm of criticism over its debt of nearly $11.6 billion and financial mismanagement. Najib chairs the fund's advisory board.

The fund is facing separate investigations by the country's central bank, auditor-general, police force and the parliament's Public Accounts Committee.

The auditor-general will present an interim report on its probe during a briefing with the Public Accounts Committee on July 9, The Edge Financial Daily said on Friday.

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