Malaysia concedes on PM’s payment allegations – but the excuses, and harassment, go on


Despite all this, Malaysian authorities produced not one example of false reporting on my part – only various excuses for what I have brought to the public’s attention.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, The Independent

The announcements by Malaysia’s Prime Minister and his newly appointed attorney general (the last one got sacked after taking a less forgiving view of his bosses’ actions) provide a welcome, if indirect, vindication of my reporting of what I described as a “massive corruption scandal” over the past few months.

The Malaysian authorities have confirmed some of my core allegations: that $681m was paid into Najib Razak’s private bank accounts before the 2013 election, and that a further sum equivalent to more than $10m was channelled into another of his private accounts from a public company, SRC International, that he controlled, and which raised money from a public pension fund.

Now Mr Najib has come up with a series of risible excuses for these extraordinary admissions, which his loyal attorney general has chosen to believe. Whether these absolve him in public opinion is another matter entirely however, since Malaysians are gasping at what their leaders are now asking them to swallow.

First, Mr Najib’s excuse for the $681m is that an anonymous Middle Eastern donor, now said to be a Saudi royal family member, wanted to help him win the election and sent the money, no strings attached. As for the further $10m, the Prime Minister says he believed it too came from the so-called “donation”. But, as weary Malaysians observe, Mr Najib originally swore that he had taken no money for personal use. Very little adds up, in fact.

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