Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.
PETALING JAYA: The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), which broke the news about the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal, today accused former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak of “being selective” in revealing facts about money he received, that was allegedly stolen from 1MDB.
Tom Wright and Bradley Hope, who covered the scandal extensively, said Najib did not say anything new when he posted documents on money received from the Saudi royal family in 2011.
Najib had uploaded on his Facebook page today documents that he claimed was proof the Saudi Arabian royalty had donated US$100 million (RM415.1 million) to him in 2011.
“We have always reported that Najib received millions from Saudi Arabia in 2011. It has nothing to do with the US$681 million in 2013 that came from 1MDB, not to mention tens of millions more from the fund,” Wright tweeted.
“Najib says it’s taken a while for him to get these documents on Saudi donations. We’ve had them for years, and there’s nothing new in them. And, they don’t explain why he received US$681 million in 1MDB cash.”
Among the documents released by Najib was an unsigned letter purportedly written by Saudi Prince Abdul Aziz Al-Saud dated Feb 1, 2011, addressed to Najib at his private residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, stating that the donation was given to him in recognition of his “contributions to the Islamic world”.
“In view of the friendship that we have developed over the years and your new ideas as a modern Islamic leader, I hereby grant you a sum of US$100,000 (Gift) which shall be remitted to you at such times and in such manner as I deem fit,” the letter read.
“You shall have absolute discretion to determine how the Gift shall be utilised and I am confident that your actions will continue to promote Islam so it continues to flourish. This is merely a small gesture on my part but it is my way of contributing to the development of Islam to the world.
“This is merely a personal token of appreciation and I am hoping that the Gift would encourage you to continue with your good work to promote Islam around the world,”the unsigned letter read.
In his post, Najib said the Saudi royal family decided to make donations to Muslim nations in the Middle East and in Africa, as well as allies of Saudi Arabia, following the Arab Spring uprising in 2010.
“The late King Abdullah was very worried at that time and had sought to pay leaders and Islamic governments a large sum of money to preserve stability,” said Najib, who claimed the money given to him was used for Barisan Nasional (BN), including vans bought by Umno Johor.
“In my coming Facebook (posts) or through a media interview, I will explain in detail while also showing proof that will explain the donation that I received after 2011, including the RM2.6 billion issue,” added Najib, who claimed the February 2011 letter was the first of many others sent by the same prince, involving other donations in the following years.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng said it was best to leave it to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe Najib’s latest claims as he has a history of making dubious claims about the country’s finances, including the 1MDB scandal.
Ian McIntyre and Kevin Deva / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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