RM400k deal to buy 20,000 Najib books under corruption probe

PETALING JAYA - A project to buy 20,000 copies of the book “Najib Razak, Di Sebalik Nama (Behind The Name)” worth about RM400,000 (S$133,948) is believed to be under a corruption investigation involving a director of Permodalan Usahawan Nasional Berhad (PUNB).

Sources said so far, three key witnesses have had their statements recorded by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and more witnesses will be called in to assist the graft probe.

It is learnt the MACC has started an investigation against the board member over alleged abuse of power.

“Witnesses to be called in very soon are those with knowledge or have some links on the publication of a book project.

“We believe the board member has misused his position to appoint a publishing company belonging to a crony,” said a source.

Selangor MACC director Datuk Alias Salim confirmed the details.

Alias said his officers will need to scrutinise the statements from witnesses and seized documents during their visit to PUNB last week.

“Investigations are being carried out under Section 23 of the MACC Act 2009,” he said.

According to reports, it was alleged that the project involved the purchase of 200,000 copies of the book “Najib Razak, Di Sebalik Nama”, worth about RM400,000, at the end of last year.

A team of MACC officers were said to have visited Human Resources and Finance divisions of the PUNB office in Jalan Stesen Sentral 5 in Kuala Lumpur to carry out an investigation.

Malaysian police search places linked to ousted PM Najib

  • The cash and items seized from the six residences linked to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak amounted to between RM900 million (S$304 million) and RM1.1 billion, say the police.
  • He said that more than 12,000 pieces of jewellery - comprising 2,200 rings, 1,400 necklaces, 2,100 bracelets, 2,800 pairs of earrings,1,600 brooches and 14 tiaras were seized.
  • He added that this was the biggest seizure in Malaysian history.
  • Najib's wife Rosmah Mansor arrived at the headquarters of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to have her statement recorded in connection with a suspicious transfer of about $10.6 million (S$14.2 million) from the former 1MDB unit SRC International.
  • The sum is just a fraction of the billions of dollars allegedly siphoned from 1MDB, the state fund that Najib set up, in a scandal that dogged the last three years of his near-decade-long rule and was a key reason why he was voted out in a May 9 election.
  • M. Puravalen, a lawyer acting for Najib and Rosmah in connection with the SRC investigations, told Reuters on Tuesday he had "ceased acting" for Najib and Rosmah.
  • He said a second lawyer, Yusof Zainal Abideen, had also quit.
  • Puravalen, Abideen and other members of their legal team were reported to have walked out because they failed to reach common ground with Najib on several issues.
  • Najib has already made a series of statements to anti-graft investigators
  • but attention has shifted to his wife after police discovered hundreds of luxury handbags and a stash of jewelry and cash during raids on apartments linked to Najib and his family.
  • Malaysian police have seized 284 boxes filled with designer handbags, watches, jewellery and cash in various currencies from three luxury condominiums.
  • Comm Amar said the designer handbags were of various brands including Louis Vuitton and Birkin bags from Hermes.
  • He added that it was impossible for police to estimate the value of the items seized because there were just too many items and cash seized.
  • He also said that the apartment was not owned by Najib but a "Tan Sri".
  • Federal Commercial Crime Investigation Department (CCID) director Comm Datuk Seri Amar Singh, who led the raids at Pavilion Residences here said this was part of its investigations into 1MDB.
  • This follows a police check of six locations linked to former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak here and in Putrajaya, including the Prime Minister's Office, his official residence as well as four other residences.
  • When asked whether Najib would be arrested, he said: "There is no indication that they (the police) will do it."
  • He said Najib and his family were cooperative with police. "They (the police) also acted professionally," he said.