The Wall Street Journal, which had earned the wrath of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his supporters over its reporting on 1MDB, has now zoomed in on the Malaysian leader's upcoming visit to the White House and meeting with United States President Donald Trump.
In an editorial, WSJ cautioned the Trump administration on the risks of meeting Najib.
It claimed that Trump could find himself being “humiliated” in the same manner as his predecessor Barack Obama.
WSJ claimed that the “humiliation” was in the form of Anwar Ibrahim being slapped with a prison sentence just two months after Obama played a round of golf with Najib in Hawaii, and the then US president's historic visit to Malaysia in April 2014.
Anwar has always maintained that the sodomy charge against him was fabricated by his political rivals, but the authorities have denied this.
According to the editorial, the “legal farce” was followed by Frank White, Jr, co-chair of Obama's re-election committee, selling a stake in a 1MDB-linked solar technology firm back to the fund for US$69 million.
The WSJ said while Najib could boost his popularity by meeting Trump, the White House, however, would receive nothing in return from the meeting, scheduled for Sept 12.
“It isn't clear that Mr Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (who visited Malaysia last month) are getting anything in return for associating with a leader their own Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating,” it added.
The editorial also warned the US State Department that whatever leverage it thinks it might gain from associating with Malaysia would have little effect on the country's rapidly deteriorating relationship with North Korea – because of Malaysia's dependence on China over the 1MDB scandal...