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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

‘It’s news to me’, Tajuddin says of financial gifts to Najib

Umno Supreme Council member says letter alleging millions were given to the prime minister must be verified first.
KUALA LUMPUR: Allegations that Prime Minister Najib Razak received hundreds of millions of US dollars from a Saudi prince is “too good to be true”, said Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman.
He said the 2011 letter alleging so, published by Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on Monday must be verified first, because as far as his memory served him, Najib had never mentioned any such financial gift.
“It’s news to me. We don’t know whether it’s true or not.
“This can be wild accusations by those who are unhappy with Najib,” Tajuddin told reporters outside Parliament building here today.
The Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister was commenting on a report by the Australian news agency titled, “Najib Razak 1MDB scandal: Malaysian Prime Minister’s accounts triggered internal money-laundering alarm.”
The report stated that deposits recorded by AmBank where Najib’s accounts were opened, came from a man named Prince Faisal bin Turkey bin Bandar Alsaud, of Riyadh.
The deposits, it claimed, started on February 24, 2011, and continued until 2012 with USD49,999,965 deposited into his account on April 25, 2012, and a further USD24,999,965 deposited on May 23, 2012.
The letter also alleged the deposits were sometimes accompanied by letters from a man described as “HRH Prince Saud Abdulaziz Al-Saud”, who pledged gifts to the prime minister ranging from USD100 million on February 1, 2011, to USD800 million on March 1, 2013.
When asked if he would raise these allegations in the next Umno supreme council meeting, Tajuddin said, “If it’s so serious that it becomes an issue, Najib himself will reply. There is no need for anyone to pressure him.”
Tajuddin however acknowledged the close ties Najib enjoyed with the Saudi government and said that if at all it was proven the prime minister had received the donations, the absence of any law in the country in regard to foreign political donations, therefore made the gifts permissible.
Najib has been implicated in a mega scandal revolving around a RM2.6 billion political donation he received from a member of the Saudi royal family.
Early this year however, Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali shuttered the case against Najib and said there was no evidence of wrongdoing in the transactions.

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