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    Aug 04, 2015

    $963m in Najib's accounts 'from donor'


    FUNDS deposited into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak's bank accounts were from a donation, not from debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the anti-corruption commission said yesterday.

    Acknowledging that RM2.6 billion (S$963 million) in funds were transferred into Mr Najib's private accounts, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) said investigations found that it was a "donor's contribution".

    It did not elaborate on the donor or why the money was transferred to the premier's private accounts.

    The Wall Street Journal reported last month that investigators looking into allegations of graft and financial mismanagement in 1MDB found that nearly US$700 million, or RM2.6 billion, was deposited into Mr Najib's private bank accounts.

    The Malaysian leader has denied taking any money for personal gain, saying the allegations are part of a malicious campaign to force him from office.

    1MDB has denied transferring funds to Mr Najib and an interim government report has found nothing suspicious.

    The allegations of extensive graft at the fund are, nevertheless, the biggest threat to Mr Najib's credibility since he took office in 2009 and could threaten the grip his United Malays National Organisation party has kept on politics since independence in 1957.

    State-owned 1MDB has debts of over US$11 billion and Mr Najib is chairman of its advisory board. He sacked his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin last week, after he called on Mr Najib publicly to explain the situation surrounding 1MDB.

    MACC's statement comes amid an investigation by police on information leaks by government officials involving the 1MDB probe.

    Two officers of MACC and an official from the Attorney-General's office were arrested over the weekend.

    The task force set up to probe 1MDB had earlier said that it expects to complete investigations by year-end.

    The group comprises MACC, the Attorney-General's office, central bank and the police.

    A parliamentary investigation into the scandal has been put on hold as the man overseeing the probe was appointed deputy home minister and had to resign from his Public Accounts Committee post.