RM2.6b – donor wanted it in my account, says Najib

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has stressed that the donation of RM2.6 billion deposited into his account is neither from a public fund nor the government's strategic investment company, 1MDB.

He said the matter had already been verified by the MACC which had also found the donors.

"I have not committed any offence or malpractice, this has been explained at the Parliament by the deputy prime minister (Ahmad Zahid Hamidi).

"The donors have been verified and found by the MACC and the commission has also obtained their statements," he said in an interview with TV3 tonight in conjunction with the Umno AGM.

The interview was conducted by Media Prima Bhd group managing editor of news and current affairs Mohd Ashraf Abdullah, the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd group managing editor Abdul Jalil Hamid and Utusan Group editor-in-chief Abdul Aziz Ishak.

Asked why the funds were deposited into his account, the prime minister explained that it was the donor's wish and the donation was made in a personal capacity.

He said that the Bank Negara was notified when the account was created.

"So, there is no intention at all to cheat or to commit an offence because Bank Negara had been notified about the existence of this account.

"But do not be confused. The account is in my name, but it is not like a personal account. And I am sure that once the investigation is completed, the truth will prevail," he said.

The MACC today confirmed sending its officials to the Middle-East to meet with the RM2.6 billion donor.

Its investigation director Azam Baki said they would submit a report to the attorney-general as soon as the investigation was completed.

MACC, however, did not disclose the results of the meeting as the investigation was still ongoing.

'No real excuse'

Najib also said Muhyiddin Yassin should have gathered more information on 1MDB while he was still the deputy prime minister.

He stressed that the former deputy prime minister and cabinet members had also been briefed about 1MDB before.

"As the deputy prime minister then, he had the right to call the management of 1MDB to seek further clarification," said the prime minister during the interview.

Najib said Muhyiddin had also discussed the matter with him and he had given an explanation to him.

"There is no real excuse not to get information. Everything about the 1MDB can be known," said the Umno president when asked if Muhyiddin had not received the full details about 1MDB.

Najib, who is also finance minister, said several information sessions had been held and are being held by 1MDB chief executive officer, Arul Kanda Kandasamy.

Najib also said while it was true that the 1MDB had debts, its assets were more than the debts.

"We have a rationalisation plan and this situation would not have happened if we had launched the initial public issue in November 2014.

"When the sentiments are too negative and the issue politicised, the atmosphere at that time did not encourage investor confidence to buy shares in the 1MDB," he said.

"Give us time to prove that the 1MDB can be resolved. The cabinet has agreed and I have made an announcement and we are in the process of resolving the 1MDB problem," he said.

- Bernama


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