Malaysia in suspense ahead of Najib's visit to anti-graft agency

  • Malaysia in suspense ahead of Najib's visit to anti-graft agency

Malaysia in suspense ahead of Najib's visit to anti-graft agency

He was summoned almost two weeks after the defeat of his long-ruling coalition in national elections, a loss partly due to public anger over alleged corruption at the 1MDB state investment fund that Najib set up.

In a press conference, the new head of the MACC Mohd Shukri Abdull said Najib was brought in for questioning on SRC International (SRC), and not so that the agency could arrest him.

Najib, who has consistently denied any wrongdoing, and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, have been barred from leaving the country.

Najib's lawyer, Harpal Singh Grewal, told reporters waiting outside the house that the former prime minister and his family were "really very unhappy" that police had confiscated clothes and shoes belonging to his children.

Following a surprise victory in an election on May 9, the new government led by Mahathir Mohamad has opened investigations into how billions of dollars disappeared from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), a state fund founded by Najib. USA investigators say Razak's associates stole and laundered $4.5 billion from the fund, some of which also landed in Razak's bank account, and that some $23 million was used to buy a rare diamond pink necklace for Mansor.

The US Department of Justice (DoJ) said on Tuesday it would continue to pursue investigations into 1MDB and looked forward to working with Malaysian law enforcement authorities.

Addressing loyalists in his home state of Pahang on Sunday, Najib declared: "I did not steal from the people".

A construction worker talks on the phone in front of a 1Malaysia Development Berhad billboard at the Tun Razak Exchange development in Kuala Lumpur

Mahathir spoke on Monday to civil servants and other officials outside the Prime Minister's Office, vowing to root out corruption.

"We find that the country's finances, for example, was abused in a way that now we are facing trouble settling debts that have risen to a trillion ringgit", he said.

At least six countries, including the United States, are investigating the multi-billion dollar scandal.

Justo was sentenced to three years in prison in Thailand in 2015 on charges of blackmail and attempted extortion after what he now says was a confession made under pressure.

SRC came into focus after the Wall Street Journal reported that funds from the company were transferred using multiple companies as fronts, before eventually reaching Najib's account.

Gani is a member of the new task force, along with a former MACC chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed, who was also dismissed by Najib while looking into the 1MDB affair.