See the reality in Malaysia, not 1MDB, Najib tells US businessmen

The prime minister talks of a move to sabotage 1MDB and undermine Malaysia’s economy by blowing the 1MDB issue out of proportion in order to topple his government.

(FMT) – Prime Minister Najib Razak claims there is a campaign to sabotage 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to undermine Malaysia’s economy.

Acknowledging that there were “issues” with 1MDB, Najib, however, said “certain opposition politicians’ in Malaysia had blown it 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,” the New Straits Times quoted him as saying in a report on Wednesday.

Speaking to American industry captains during a US-Asean Business Council and US Chamber of Commerce dinner in Washington DC, Najib said they should not allow the “political opposition’s noise” to obscure the reality of the situation in Malaysia.

“The reality, as the economist Bruce Gale recently wrote, is that, and I quote: ‘The Malaysian economy has continued to grow at a rate well above the international average. The economy expanded by 5.8 % in the second quarter of this year compared with the same period last year, the current account surplus widened, and investments rose by 7.4%. Latest figures also show that inflation is well under control, with the CPI registering a rise of just 3.2 per cent in July.’”

The NST quoted Najib as saying: “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 progress is progressing well and many of the assets formerly owned by 1MDB are thriving.”

The NST report did not say whether Najib mentioned the US Department of Justice’s probe on certain individuals said to have bought assets using money allegedly stolen from 1MDB.