Saudi Minister Says Donation To Malaysian PM Was Genuine

April 15, 2016 – Western media should apologise for misleading the Malaysian public after a US$681 million deposit was found to be a “genuine donation”, Mr Najib’s press secretary said earlier today.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubier had earlier confirmed that the millions found in PM Najib’s bank account was a donation originating from Saudi Arabia.

In a statement, Tengku Sariffuddin accused former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad of carrying out a smear campaign against Mr Najib which is being motivated by “personal interest”.

“We note yesterday’s statement by Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, who said that their donation to the Prime Minister was genuine, that nothing was expected in return, that the Attorney General has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing, and that Saudi Arabia considers the matter closed,” the statement read.

“This confirms what the Prime Minister maintained all along, and what multiple lawful authorities concluded after exhaustive investigations: the funds were a donation from Saudi Arabia.

“This also proves that the wild allegations pushed for one year by Mahathir Mohamad and his Anti-Najib Campaign are completely false. Mahathir’s lies were motivated by personal interest, not care for Malaysia or the people.

“It was an attempt to use deception to unseat a democratically-elected government, just to save the political career of Mahathir’s son, Mukhriz Mahathir.”

It added: “Western media who allowed themselves to be used to propagate false politically motivated allegations should apologise to the Malaysian people. And Tun Mahathir should be held responsible for the damage he has inflicted Malaysia’s reputation.”

Najib has been facing allegations of graft after reports claimed that the funds found in his personal bank account originated from troubled state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“We are aware of the donation and it is a genuine donation with nothing expected in return. We are also fully aware that the Attorney-General of Malaysia has thoroughly investigated the matter and found no wrongdoing,” Al-Jubeir was quoted telling reporters by state news agency Bernama at a summit of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul.

“So, as far as we are concerned, the matter is closed,” he added.

Al-Jubeir was speaking to Malaysian reporters after a meeting with Najib on the sidelines of the summit.

1MDB, whose advisory board is chaired by Najib, is under investigation in at least five countries for alleged graft and mismanagement.

Last week, a Malaysian parliamentary inquiry slammed the board of 1MDB for being irresponsible and urged a probe into its former chief, but stopped short of implicating the prime minister.

In January, Malaysia’s attorney-general cleared Najib of any wrongdoing or corruption in relation to the funds, saying that they were a gift from the Saudi royal family.

Earlier this year, Mr al-Jubeir was quoted in the New York Times as saying the money was from “a private Saudi citizen, I believe, and the funds went to an investment in Malaysia”.

Mr Najib has been the subject of controversy after media outlets like the Wall Street Journal first highlighted allegations in 2015 that investigators were looking into the Prime Minister’s personal bank accounts.

Reports suggested huge sums of money were transferred via entities linked to troubled state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The Prime Minister, however, has denied any wrongdoing while the Attorney-General cleared Mr Najib and shut down investigations into him earlier this year.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, however, has not stopped his criticisms of Mr Najib, questioning the transparency of the probe.