Malaysian media report Najib to drop deputy after 1MDB criticism

Malaysian media report Najib to drop deputy after 1MDB criticism

Malaysian media reported on Tuesday that Prime Minister Najib Razak has dumped his deputy and four others in a cabinet reshuffle after criticism of his handling of a growing graft scandal at debt-laden state investment fund 1MDB.

The Malaysian Insider news portal reported that Deputy Prime Minister Muhyuddin Yassin would be among those sacked from the cabinet, a day after Mr Najib told Muhyiddin and others to avoid commenting on the scandal. The fund has debts of more than US$11 billion (S$15 billion) and is being investigated by authorities for financial mismanagement and graft.

The firm's advisory board is chaired by Najib. Utusan Malaysia Online, another news portal, also reported that Mr Najib was expected to replace some of his top ministers in a reshuffle soon.

A mouthpiece for the ruling United Malays National Organisation party, Utusan said Mr Najib had met Malaysia's king, Sultan Abdul Halim Mu'adzam, to present his new cabinet to the head of state, whose role is largely ceremonial.

Reuters was unable to verify the reports immediately and a spokesman for the prime minister's office declined to comment. Mr Najib told his deputy and other officials on Monday to stop commenting on a graft scandal at the country's state investment fund, saying arguments among leaders would erode support for the government.

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