WASHINGTION, Sept 13 — The Opposition “noises” over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) issue was internationally blown out of proportion with the intention to topple the government, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Addressing the US-Asean gala dinner, Najib spoke about the 1MDB issue for the first time in the US soil where an investigation by the Department of Justice was on going.
“Now I know that some of you will have heard some less positive stories about the Malaysian economy, particularly about 1MDB.
“Rather than brush the issue under the rug, we ordered investigations into the company at a scale unprecedented in our nation’s history.
“And, when it became clear that there had been failings, I instructed that the company be rationalised. This process is progressing well and many of the assets formerly owned by 1MDB are thriving,” he said.
However, he reminded his audience not to pay heed to the criticisms raised by some Opposition members back home.
“I should remind you that while there were issues, certain Opposition politicians in our country blew them out of proportion. Indeed, there was a campaign to deliberately sabotage the company — and undermine investor confidence in our economy — in a failed attempt to topple the government in-between election cycles.
“Don’t allow the political Opposition’s noise on this matter to obscure the reality.”
He urged the US businessmen to come to Malaysia to see for themselves what was the reality.
“Come and see the high-tech firms who have relocated to our country, and the homegrown ones we are so proud of.
“Come and see the infrastructure and new public transport networks that we are building in Malaysia, and which — along with our food and our diverse cultures — have made Kuala Lumpur one of the top cities in the world for living, working and visiting.
“Come and see why a PricewaterhouseCoopers report predicts Malaysia will be knocking on the door of the G20 by 2050, with a GDP higher than Australia, South Africa and Spain.”
Earlier, Najib told the businessmen of Malaysia’s continued growth and that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund had revised the growth prediction upwards to 5 per cent.
He also cited various reports that praised the economic growth achieved in Malaysia including one by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development which praised Malaysia as “one of the most successful South-east Asian economies.”