Minister casts doubt on WSJ report, bets RM1k

Modified 3 Jul 2015, 7:28 am

Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan is willing to bet RM1,000 on the source of The Wall Street Journal ’s (WSJ) information that 1MDB funds went into the prime minister's private bank accounts.

Responding to a Twitter user by by the name of Capt Rahmat, who said: "RM500 - I say the WSJA ( Wall Street Journal Asia ) source is Sarawak Report", Rahman responded: "I'll see your RM500, and raise you RM1,000!"

Citing "Malaysian investigators", WSJ reported today that almost US$700 million in funds from 1MDB went into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts.

Earlier, Rahman launched a broadside on WSJ, attacking the renowned international media organisation for not naming its source.

"I am shocked by AWSJ's wanton allegation. If they were dead serious about the authenticity, the reports should have named the sources.

"Quoting 'unnamed investigator' as a basis of a very defamatory report, AWSJ has sunk to the level of gutter journalism of Sarawak Report," Rahman said in a series of Twitter postings.

Whistleblower site Sarawak Report has been at the forefront in alleging misappropriation by 1MDB, based on leaked information from PetroSaudi International, which previously entered into a joint venture with 1MDB.

Sue us, Sarawak Report challenges critics

Putrajaya has insisted that the leaked information was “tampered”, with the intention to put 1MDB in bad light.

"I sure hope AWSJ was not using malicious and tampered documents in their report. That would be a sad day for journalism," Rahman tweeted.

Sarawak Report has defended the credibility of its reports and had dared critics to sue the whistleblower portal, but nobody has taken up the challenge to date.

In the latest expose today, WSJ claimed that 1MDB's funds went into Najib's private accounts through proxies shortly before the 13th general election.

By far the largest transactions were two deposits of $620 million and $61 million, in March 2013, during the heated 13th general election campaign in Malaysia, the documents show.

"The cash came from a company registered in the British Virgin Islands via a Swiss bank owned by an Abu Dhabi state fund.

"Another set of transfers, totaling $11.1 million, originated within the Malaysian government, according to the investigation.

"Investigators believe the money came from an entity known as SRC International Sdn Bhd, an energy company that originally was controlled by 1MDB but was transferred to the Finance Ministry in 2012," the WSJ report says.

In an immediate response, 1MDB  denied  any of its funds went to the prime minister.

The Prime Minister's Office in a statement also dismissed the WSJ report as an attempt at  political sabotage  against Najib.

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