Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian authorities today froze six bank accounts as they intensified their probe into graft charges against Prime Minister Najib Razak for allegedly transferring nearly USD 700 million from a government-owned fund to his personal accounts. In a joint statement, the special task force said they have frozen six accounts and has also obtained documents on 17 accounts in two banks to assist with investigations.
“Several documents pertaining to non-compliance of Bank Negara Malaysia’s rules and procedures were also seized,” the statement said. The statement was issued jointly by Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, Bank Negara (Central Bank) Malaysia Governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission chief commissioner Abu Kassim Mohamed. However, the identities of the account holders were not disclosed. Last Friday, Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report published reports alleging that nearly USD 700 million (RM2.65 billion) of 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) fund was transferred into Najib Razak’s personal account. The WSJ has stood by its report. 1 MDB and Najib have since denied the allegations. Meanwhile, human rights activist Ambiga Sreenivasan has called for snap polls following allegations linking Najib to the financial scandal involving 1 MDB.
“The prime minister has to go on leave. Opposition leaders should go and see him and ask him to do so. There are ongoing investigations and you will never get an impartial probe if he is still the prime minister,” she was quoted as saying by Malaysian Insider. “There must be a promise of fresh elections to be called within one year,” she said. This was echoed by opposition leader and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who asked Najib, who is also finance minister, to do the “gentlemanly” thing and go on leave. “So we are asking him to take the gentlemanly way. Go on leave and allow an independent commission as it involves breach of trust and corruption,” she said. Investigative agencies must keep the public informed of their ongoing investigation into 1 MDB issue, said Anti corruption NGO Bersih 2.0 chief Maria Chin Abdullah. “We hope the investigations are made public to allow for scrutiny,” she said.
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