KUALA LUMPUR Malaysian anti-corruption officials questioned Prime Minister Najib Razak on Saturday in an investigation into deposits of funds totaling two.6 billion ringgit ($ 615.53 million) into his bank accounts that have prompted calls for his resignation.
The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) mentioned in a statement that Najib cooperated with its officers throughout the meeting, which lasted two-and-a-half-hours.
A graft scandal erupted about Najib in July when the Wall Street Journal reported that investigators focused on state fund 1Malaysia Improvement Berhad (1MDB) [TERRN.UL] had discovered that funds had been transferred into Najib’s bank accounts.
Critics have accused the government of dragging its feet on the investigation and have referred to as for Najib to step down due to his failure to totally clarify where the income came from, why it was paid, or how it was used.
The MACC mentioned on Thursday that it would be recording Najib’s statement in connection with graft allegations at SRC International, a firm linked to 1MDB, and the funds in his account.
Najib, who chairs the 1MDB advisory board, has denied wrongdoing or taking any funds for personal obtain. The MACC has mentioned earlier that the income was a political donation from an unidentified Middle Eastern benefactor.
The government has repeated that explanation in parliament, but most Malaysians, not just the prime minister’s critics, remain dissatisfied with that answer, and noted his failure to take legal action against the Wall Street Journal.
The fund is also being investigated by law enforcement agencies in Switzerland, Hong Kong and the United States, media and sources have mentioned.
The controversy has battered Malaysian markets with the ringgit MYR= losing about a quarter of its value to grow to be Asia’s worst-performing currency this year.
The MACC statement said it will hold the public informed of developments.
($ 1 = four.2240 ringgit)
(Reporting by Praveen Menon Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)