For almost a year, Malaysia’s former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, has plotted to oust his successor Najib Razak, in a bitter political war aimed at saving his business and political interests.
Dr Mahathir, and his cronies, including British-blogger Clare Rewcastle Brown, have repeatedly claimed that money deposited in the bank account of Najib Razak was from the state fund 1MDB.
But damning new evidence shows that it was the Saudi royal family who donated the money proving beyond doubt that Mahathir’s central claim is wrong.
Despite providing no evidence to back up their claims, they demanded we believe their assertions. They staked their reputations on it. So much so, that when evidence was presented proving the money did not come from the state fund but from the Saudi royal family, they dismissed the evidence and continued making their increasingly hollow claim. It has been the foundation of their plot.
So it must have come as a surprise that the very television programme on which they were invited to push their claim provided yet more evidence that the Saudi royal family donated money to Najib and that their claim the money was from 1MDB was wrong.
What Attorney General and investigations concluded
Back in January this year, after exhaustive investigations by the MACC, including travelling to Saudi Arabia to interview the donors, Malaysia’s Attorney General, Mohamed Apandi Ali, concluded that the money deposited in Najib Razak’s account was indeed a donation from the Gulf kingdom’s royal family.
On 26th of January 2016, based on MACC investigation, Apandi cleared Najib Razak of any wrongdoing. He concluded there no amount of money channeled from 1MDB’s funds into bank accounts linked to the Prime Minister, but that the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family. The fact was corroborated by the donor during witness testimony. The donation was given to Najib Razak “without any consideration” and did not involve any money from 1MDB. Most of the sum was returned to the Saudi royal family in August 2013, about five months after the transfer „because the sum was not utilised”.
He went on to detail how the investigation had personally met and recorded statements from witnesses including the donor which confirm that the donation was given to Najib personally and that there is no evidence to show that the donation was a form of gratification given corruptly. He concluded, that based on the evidence from witnesses and supporting documents submitted, that no criminal offence has been committed”.
Following this conclusion, Middle East experts detailed how the donation was not unusual. Egypt, Jordan, Sudan and Morocco have also been beneficiaries of multi hundred million dollar donations from the Saudi royal family.
They also highlighted how the Saudis fund moderate Muslim leaders in an effort to curb the growth of Islamist-inspired terrorism, and how Najib Razak had been targeted by ISIS.
Despite having called for the investigation, Dr Mahathir refused to accept the findings. Instead, he turned his back on UMNO and joined the opposition whom he had spent decades suppressing – further proving his bid to overthrow the current PM was motivated by his own personal political and business interests – and then launched a much-mocked law suit against Najib, reiterating the money was from 1MDB.
But now, much to his astonishment, Australia’s ABC Four Corners programme, on which Mahathir and Rewcastle Brown appeared, has demonstrated Najib’s close relationship with the Saudi royal family and provided further proof that they were behind the donation and not 1MDB.
The programme even detailed how money had also been wired to the PM’s accounts from the Saudi Arabian government – the Ministry of Finance – as well as from the royal family, and how the money had been used to fund political affiliates in the run-up to the Malaysian elections.
International media outlets, following up the story, realised this too, detailing how the money had come from Saudi Arabia rather than 1MDB.
Indeed, ABC produced a letter which supported experts’ views over why the donations were made.
In the letter, the Saudi Prince writes:
“I have been following your work recently and I am impressed with the significant work that you have done to govern Malaysia using Islamic principles and how you are reintroducing Islam to the rest of the work in view of the current perception that many people have since 9/11. Your suggestion to launch the Global Movement of the Moderates shows a modern way of dealing with issues on international terrorism and extremist groups.”
On making the gift, he adds: “You shall have absolute discretion to determine how the Gift shall be utilised and I am confident that your actions will continue to promote Islam so it continues to flourish. This is merely a token gesture on my part but it is my way of contributing to the development of Islam to the world.”
Dr Mahathir, and his business cronies, have long wanted to bring down Najib and 1MDB, after it threatened their own political and business interests.
With their motives exposed, their central claim proved false, why would we believe anything else they claim.