Amid allegations that 1MDB funds had been channelled into his personal bank account, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has declared that he would not betray the Malaysian people.
"Surely, I as the prime minister would not betray the people of Malaysia and the people's property.
"That is my promise," he told an audience of about 400 in Semenyih today at a breaking-of-fast event with the locals.
He also told the audience that he is mulling is legal options against those making allegations against him, saying that he would not allow outsiders threaten or topple BN's control on the government.
"This is because we are chosen by the people in a democratic system," he said.
Najib was referring to the Wall Street Journal report which claimed that US$700 million, originating from 1MDB, was transferred into Najib's personal bank account.
The transactions allegedly took place in March 2013, and a period between December 2014 and February 2015.
The report claimed that the money trail was uncovered by Malaysian "investigators" but did not specify which, nor offered any proof.
Quoting PAS spiritual leader Haron Din, who expressed caution against jumping to conclusions on the WSJ's allegations, Najib said he would not be silly enough to use his own accounts.
"If I wanted to steal, it wouldn't make sense that I would place that money into accounts in Malaysia."
Fitch rating boost
In his speech, Najib also highlighted the Fitch Rating’s positive outlook on Malaysia’s economy, saying that this came after the rating agency conducted many interviews and site visits.
This includes visiting Tun Razak Exchange and Bandar Malaysia, two projects undertaken by 1MDB, as well as receiving briefings on the state investment fund's restructuring plan.
Najib said that this convinced the agency to upgrad Malaysia outlook from "negative" to "stable".
"These issues had been trumpeted (in the media) but it did not affect their rating. They said the issue would not bring a financial systemic risk.
"They are confident of the recovery or rationalisation plan that has been tabled by 1MDB. That is why they have given Malaysia a better score, from negative to stable.
"So ladies and gentleman, if any party is playing up whatever issue, the reality is that it is just a game of perception," he told the audience.
Benefits of GST
While highlighting Malaysia's improved rating, Najib also took the opportunity to defend the GST scheme that was implemented in April.
He said although it is unpopular, the Fitch rating upgrade would have been impossible without it, and Malaysia would even risk being downgraded.
This would lead to an increased cost of borrowing, and in turn causing an increase in the cost of doing business, cost of buying houses, and other negative effects.
"Therefore, although GST is unpopular, believe me that it is implemented for the betterment of our shared future," he said.