Anwar denies pressure on him to stop Najib trial

(TMI) – JAILED former prime minister Najib Razak’s ongoing corruption trial will continue as there is no pressure from any party to stop it, said Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, the New Straits Times reported.

Anwar said that despite Umno being part of the unity government, there was no pressure to interfere in the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) case.

“Najib is still undergoing a major trial now on corruption charges. (Part of the unity government) coalition is from his party, but there is no pressure on me to stop the trial of the ongoing case,” he said in an interview with Al Jazeera’s Sami Zeidan.

Najib, 70, faces four charges of using his position to obtain bribes amounting to RM2.3 billion belonging to 1MDB and 21 charges of money laundering involving the same amount.

Anwar was responding to criticism that his government’s economic and democratic reforms had slowed down but it was focusing on stabilising the coalition over investigating powerful people for corruption.

He said it was not easy to correct decades of issues with only being in power for a year and a half.

“We have seen attempts in the past, even in Eastern Europe, where countries were gung-ho about affecting quick reforms, ending up being disastrous to the economy and the political setup.

“In our case, contrary to these aspersions by the opposition, what’s most important is governance.

“What we have been successful in is to check the abuse by leaders and cabinet members from squandering wealth through direct negotiations, massive billions of dollars in tender. We have stopped that,” he said.