KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Pakatan Harapan lawmaker Tony Pua today urged Datuk Seri Najib Razak to come clean on the “pink diamond” saga, which police said was bought using money from state-owned 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
Pua, who is political secretary to Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng, said there were two pink diamonds that had gained global attention since the 1MDB financial scandal broke.
He accused the former prime minister of misleading the public by deliberately omitting mention of a 22-carat gem costing US$23 million (RM94.6 million) bought for his wife Datin Seri Rosmah by former associate Low Taek Jho, based on court filings in the US by its Department of Justice (DOJ) on the 1MDB case.
“I would like to challenge Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah to deny each specific accusation that has been brought forward by the DOJ.
“What is the reason until today this pair of husband and wife has never denied this fact,” the Damansara MP said in a statement.
Pua was referring to reported details of the US DOJ’s civil forfeiture involving the Viceroy Hotel Group in 2017.
He said court papers detailed a “22.17carat Natural Fancy Intense Pink VS2 clarity (GIA#2115637296) Cut-Cornered Square Modified Brilliant Cut diamond” purchased from New York-based jewellers Lorraine Schwartz Inc following several meetings with Rosmah and Low.
Citing from those details, Pua said that one of those meetings was on July 5, 2013, when the jewellers met with Low and Rosmah along the Monaco coasts aboard the “Topaz”, a 147-metre yacht leased by Low for €3.5 million (RM16.3 million) also allegedly with money from 1MDB.
The meeting was meant for the jewellers to show the diamonds to Rosmah, Low and their associates, and discuss final arrangements on the necklace’s design. A subsequent meeting in September that year at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York was for a final decision on how the necklace looked before purchase.
Pua said the jeweller subsequently issued two invoices totalling some US$27.3 million (RM112.3 million) ― one worth US$23 million (RM94.6 million) for the purchase of the diamond and another worth US$4.3 million (RM17.7 million) for the accompanying necklace.
“According to evidence from DOJ’s charge, all the invoices were settled with funds that were channeled from the US$681 million or RM2.6 billion that was deposited into the private bank account of Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Ambank, that came from 1MDB’s bond loans in 2013,” Pua said.
He accused Najib of playing the victim card by concealing facts over the pink diamond’s purchase to vindicate himself and manipulating remarks made in Parliament by Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah earlier this week.
Amiruddin told the Dewan Rakyat that a jeweller had brought into the country a pink diamond as part of a piece gem collection for the viewing of the wife of a prominent person when Barisan Nasional was government.
The deputy minister said no sale was recorded by the Customs Department of any of the 40-over gem collection.
Najib had then taken advantage of the revelation by mocking the PH government in his social media posts, attempting to vindicate himself and Rosmah.
Najib last year also claimed the diamond was a gift from Prince Sheikh Mansour, brother of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Zayed.
Pua clarified that the diamond mentioned by Amiruddin was a different item from the 22-carat pink diamond acquired by Rosmah with the help of Low, who is wanted to face charges here and in Singapore.
The police today issued a separate statement saying it has evidence to show the financial transactions for the purchase of a US$23 million pink diamond for Rosmah using 1MDB money.