Azmin tells Najib not to divert eyes from 1MDB trial, explain how billions were stolen from Malaysians

Datuk Seri Azmin Ali speaks during the launch of the 62nd International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress 2019 (ISI WSC 2019) at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre August 18, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Datuk Seri Azmin Ali speaks during the launch of the 62nd International Statistical Institute World Statistics Congress 2019 (ISI WSC 2019) at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre August 18, 2019. — Picture by Hari Anggara

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KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 6 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak should not attempt to shift the public’s focus from his ongoing corruption trial over 1Malaysia Development Berhad's (1MDB) funds, Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali said today.

Azmin said Najib should instead explain how billions of Malaysian taxpayers' funds were allegedly stolen during the latter's time as prime minister.

“@NajibRazak should not try to divert public attention from the 1MDB kleptocracy scandal that is currently on trial. He should focus on pengiraan hakiki (factual calculations) and explain to the public how billions of the public's monies were robbed from the national treasury,” Azmin wrote on his official Twitter account today.

Azmin's comments come after he pointed out Najib's “confusion,” referring to Najib's gleeful claim yesterday that the current ruling government had miscalculated figures in the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 roadmap that was launched yesterday.

Azmin's ministry issued a statement earlier to show that the government had not miscalculated figures in the SPV 2030, along with an explanation that showed that it clearly outlined the measures used for the calculations in the document — even before Najib had alleged the miscalculation.

Since leading his coalition Barisan Nasional to a historic defeat in the 14th general election, Najib has been hit with 42 charges, including for money-laundering, criminal breach of trust and abuse of power.

Najib's first criminal case involving RM42 million of 1MDB's former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd's funds has gone on trial, with the former prime minister to know next month if he has to enter his defence in court.

As for Najib's ongoing 1MDB trial, hearing will resume tomorrow morning before High Court judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah, with the ninth prosecution witness and former 1MDB CEO Datuk Shahrol Azral Ibrahim Halmi to continue testifying against Najib.

Among other things, the hearing has so far saw evidence and testimony being produced of 1MDB money allegedly being diverted to fugitive businessman Low Taek Jho’s accounts, with some of the money allegedly being channelled to Najib’s stepson’s Hollywood production company.

Najib's 1MDB trial involves 25 criminal charges — four counts of abusing his position for his own financial benefit totalling almost RM2.3 billion allegedly originating from 1MDB and the resulting 21 counts of money-laundering.

Following his new career as an opposition politician, Najib has actively taken potshots at the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition using Facebook, notably including even during his recent sick leave from court over conjunctivitis.

Among other things, Najib had today also taken to Facebook to question why the current government had not established Royal Commission of Inquiry for scandals such as 1MDB.

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