KUALA LUMPUR, March 31 — US-based Wall Street Journal’s (WSJ) latest report claiming 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds were routed to the prime minister was suspicious as it follows new developments in the firm’s debt reduction plan, 1MDB said today.
Rejecting the newspaper’s continued claim that it transferred payments to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, 1MDB pointed out that the WSJ has yet to substantiate this and previous allegations with documentary proof.
1MDB added that the funds previously revealed as deposited in Najib’s accounts have been shown through various investigations as having originated from the Middle East, and not the state-owned investment firm.
“Despite this, the Wall Street Journal continues to repeat the same allegations, without providing any concrete evidence to justify these claims.
“We question the timing of this new round of attacks, coming as it does just days after 1MDB announced it had successfully completed the share sale and purchase agreement for Edra Global Energy Berhad,” 1MDB said in a statement today.
Last November, 1MDB agreed to sell its Edra Global Energy arm for RM9.83 billion (US$2.3 billion) to a Chinese conglomerate as part of this three-prong plan to cut its reported RM42 billion in accumulated debt.
1MDB added today that it has also announced its plan to repay RM6 billion in debt, which it said demonstrated its commitment to the Cabinet-approved rationalisation plan despite the continued attacks against it.
The WSJ today published the latest report in its series on 1MDB, this time claiming that the prime minister paid for personal expenses from the private accounts in which it alleged 1MDB had deposited hundred of millions of dollars.
The US paper was the first to reveal that US$680 million had been deposited into the the PM’s accounts prior to Election 2013, but local investigators have since declared the sum to be a gift from an Arab royal, the bulk of which has been refunded.
The Prime Minister’s Office yesterday said that this was confirmed by leaked documents published in a report by the Four Corners Australian news programme.