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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Leaked letter states Najib to use gift as he sees fit

http://www.theedgemarkets.com/en/s3/files/styles/282x211/s3/Najib_10_theedgemarkets_36.png?itok=pRSqnnfq© Provided by The Edgehttp://www.theedgemarkets.com/en/s3/files/styles/282x211/s3/Najib_10_theedgemarkets_36.png?itok=pRSqnnfq
This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily,on March 31, 2016.
KUALA LUMPUR: A leaked letter from Saudi Arabia has made clear that the donation to Datuk Seri Najib Razak was to be used as the prime minister saw fit, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement yesterday.
“As the leaked letter from Saudi Arabia states, the donation was a gift to the prime minister for promoting moderate Islam, and his leadership in combating terrorism and extremism such as by launching his Global Movement of Moderates initiative,” said a Malaysian government spokesman in the PMO statement.
“The letter makes clear that the gift was to be used as the prime minister saw fit; would be transferred directly or through the donor’s companies; and no benefit was expected in return,” the spokesman added.
On Tuesday, an Australian Broadcast Corp’s (ABC) Four Corners’ report published a letter from Saudi Prince Saud Abdulaziz Majid to Najib, which showed that the prince had pledged US$375 million (RM1.47 billion) for the prime minister, stating that Najib could do as he pleased with the gift.
“The Four Corners’ report confirms what the prime minister has maintained all along, and what multiple lawful authorities concluded after exhaustive investigations: the funds were a donation from the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia,” said the Malaysian government spokesman.
“The investigations included forensic examination of every wire transfer. Malaysian authorities [have] also travelled to Saudi Arabia to examine [the] documentation, interview members of the Royal Family, and the officials that administered the donation,” the spokesman added.
In Kulai, Bernama reported Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar as saying that the ABC documentary aimed to deliberately smear Najib’s image.
Khalid said the police believed the move by Four Corners was linked to the detention of its crew in Sarawak recently.
“Four Corners had purposely wanted to tarnish the country and our leaders. They have the motive of revenge. The allegations are ridiculous with a hidden agenda ... we regret what has happened.
“It has been repeatedly explained that the murder case of Hussain Ahmad Najadi (AmBank founder) was not related to investigations on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and similarly, the murder of Kevin Morais (high-profile deputy public prosecutor), [it] was confirmed by the attorney-general as not linked to the investigations on the company,” he said.
Khalid was speaking to reporters after opening the 88th Annual Conference of Senior Police Officers Association here yesterday.   
On March 12, Four Corners journalist, Linton Joshua Besser, 39, and cameraman, Eroglu Levent, 51, were detained for breaking a security cordon during Najib’s visit to Kuching, Sarawak, before they were sent back to Australia.
Khalid expressed regret over the production of the documentary, and reminded the people not to be influenced by the programme.
In another report, Bernama quoted Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak as saying that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has no option left, but to exploit channels like Western media after having lost his attempt to topple Najib in Umno and Parliament.
Salleh said the Four Corners programme is another move by Dr Mahathir to use Western media as part of his anti-Najib campaign.

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