Friday, July 3, 2015

The Never-ending Saga of 1MDB

Debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) have been a millstone around the neck of Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for months, and it is about to get worse.

According to the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and the Sarawak Report, investigations into 1MDB have allegedly uncovered that US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) has been channeled into the personal accounts of PM Najib. Both WSJ and the Sarawak Report are quoting from documents from the 1MDB probe that is being carried out by the Malaysian government, and the Sarawak Report even claimed that the Attorney-General was aware of the information.

Wow! This is huge. US$700 million is no small figure and what's more is that the report came from the WSJ. WSJ is no sleazy tabloid or some opposition mouthpiece; it is a very respected paper with over a century of history so it's hard to see them going to print with this story without some hard evidence to back it up. Also with this report, 1MDB has just become an international case. 

If the WSJ is going with the story, then it means 1MDB has gotten attention not just in Malaysia and the region, but also throughout the world. PM Najib could ignore the international attention but that still means he has a lot of questions to answer, especially the allegations from WSJ that a transaction of US$61 million was transferred to his account in March 2013, two months before the last Malaysian general election. 

Naturally, Putrajaya has denied the reports, insisting that the PM has not taken any funds for personal use but this case has just gotten bigger and bigger every month. The Malaysians need to nip this case in the bud quickly and if this means getting rid of Najib...well, from the 1MDB saga, that might not be a bad thing for Malaysia. 

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