Najib agrees to cooperate with MACC

PETALING JAYA: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak (pix) said today he will provide his statement to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the near future about the controversial RM2.6 billion which had been deposited into his personal bank account in 2013.

"Mohamed Apandi has informed me that I am to provide my statement to the MACC about the RM2.6 billion political donation. I will do so and provide my statement to them in the near future," Najib said in a statement released today.

"I will give my cooperation and provide a statement to the MACC about the political fund so that investigations can be concluded as soon as possible.

"It is indeed my desire to fully cooperate in the investigation as it has raised all sorts of accusations and slander," he said.

The statement was issued in the wake of Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali's directive to the anti-graft commission to ensure Najib's statement on the RM2.6 billion is recorded, by hook or by crook, before year-end.

Meanwhile, in Johor Baru, MACC chief commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim Mohamed said the commission had contacted the Prime Minister's Office over the matter.

"The prime minister has agreed and we are waiting for a date to interview him on the issues related to the investigations," he told reporters after inspecting a passing-out parade of MACC officers after basic training.

Abu Kassim said the MACC hopes to complete its investigation into former 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd before year-end, on condition it can have access to two of its directors who are important witnesses but are still abroad, for their statements to be recorded.

Mohamed Apandi recently told online news portal The Malaysian Insider that he had directed the MACC to complete investigations into SRC and the RM2.6 billion donation before year-end, as he takes the public's concerns seriously.

Apandi said he had informed Najib of this, and the prime minister agreed to be questioned.

The RM2.6 billion issue first came to light when the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) published an article on July 2, quoting an "unnamed investigator" claiming that about US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) was banked into Najib's personal accounts before the 13th general election in 2013.

Although it was not ascertained if the funds were from 1MDB, the WSJ report said the money had flowed through entities linked to the sovereign fund of which Najib is chairman of the advisory board.

1MDB had refuted the claim, while Najib denied taking any money from the state investment arm for personal gains.

On Aug 3, the MACC issued a statement confirming the funds were banked into Najib's accounts but clarified that they had come from donors and not 1MDB. Two days later, it confirmed that the money was from the Middle East.

Najib later claimed the RM2.6 billion was a political donation to help Barisan Nasional (BN) win the general election and remain in power.

The controversial revelation led to a public outcry and calls for a probe into Najib for possible corruption and money-laundering.

Detractors have also pointed out that a RM2.6 billion donation would be illegal as the amount far surpasses the legal limit allowed for election campaign spending.