Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has insisted the RM2.6 billion in deposits in Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's personal bank accounts is linked to troubled state fund 1MDB.
This is despite the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) declaring that the money was a donation and was not linked to 1MDB.
“I think it has something to do with 1MDB despite the explanation that it was a donation," Mahathir said in an interview with Financial Times, which was published today.
Mahathir also reiterated that no one could believe that the large sum of funds was actually a donation.
“I don’t believe it is a donation. I don’t believe anybody would give (that much), whether an Arab, or anybody,” he is quoted as saying.
In the interview, Mahathir expressed confidence that Najib would eventually be forced to relinquish power.
"I think at some stage he has to go because today he has undermined the legal system," he said, making reference to apparent attempts to scuttle investigations into the RM2.6 billion and 1MDB.
Najib threatened to sue publication
In July, The Wall Street Journal reported that US$681 million was deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts from a Middle East company, Tanore Finance.
Najib had threatened to sue the publication but his supporters later claimed that the prime minister admitted to receiving the deposits and it was a political donation for Umno from a Middle East source.
The report also claimed that another RM42 million from state-owned SRC International Sdn Bhd also went into Najib's personal bank accounts.
Najib has yet to address this particular deposit.
Separate reports, including by The Star , had quoted investigators as saying that US$700 million of 1MDB's funds was also channelled to unauthorised quarters in 1MDB's deal with PetroSaudi International.
However, to date, there is no evidence linking the alleged missing funds with the money deposited into Najib's personal bank accounts.