PUTRAJAYA, May 15 – Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly said that he expected charges to be filed against former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak following an investigation into allegations that Najib syphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars from state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) online version on Tuesday reported that Dr Mahathir said he would not cut a deal with Najib to retrieve the funds. “No deal,” said Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying in the article based on an interview conducted by video link for The Wall Street Journal CEO Council in Tokyo.
Dr Mahathir said a full investigation would be completed before any legal action was taken against Najib. “We are now in the process of getting into details of the matters he suppressed in his time,” he said. In 2015, The Wall Street Journal reported that US$681 million (RM 2,793 million) of 1MDB funds ended up in Najib’s personal accounts.
Najib and 1MDB have denied wrongdoing. Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor have been blacklisted from leaving the country. 1MDB is also the subject of probes in several countries. According to the WSJ report, Dr Mahathir said he expected to remain in power for one to two years following a surprise election victory earlier this month.
The 92-year-old had indicated before the election that he would hand over the premiership to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after he been released from prison. Anwar, who had been convicted for sodomy, is to be released following a full pardon.
Dr Mahathir said in the WSJ report that Anwar would be released on Wednesday but added that he expected Anwar to serve as head of one of the parties in the ruling coalition for now. — Bernama