Najib to decide on action against WSJ 'in a few days'
MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak yesterday said he would decide in the coming days whether to sue The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for defamation, official news agency Bernama reported.
The United States-based international business daily, citing documents from a government probe, claimed in a report on Friday that RM2.6 billion (S$920 million) has been channelled from state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) into Mr Najib's personal bank accounts with AmIslamic Bank.
Last evening, Mr Najib told reporters at a fast-breaking event in Seminyih, Selangor, that his lawyers will advise him on the legal action that he can take locally and abroad against The WSJ, reported Malaysiakini.
"I will make a decision in a few days on the subsequent action that I will take in regard to this allegation," the news website quoted Mr Najib as saying.
Earlier, The Star reported that Mr Najib had expected to announce that he would file the suit tomorrow.
The WSJ claims that the transfer of funds into Mr Najib's accounts took place in March 2013, and between December last year and February.
The 1MDB, which has a debt of nearly US$11.6 billion (S$15.6 billion) and whose opaque operation has attracted much criticism, has refuted the claim.
Mr Najib, who is also chairman of 1MDB's advisory board, has denied taking any funds for his personal gain and accused former premier Mahathir Mohamad of being responsible for the "latest sabotage" against him.
The WSJ has since stood by its report, saying that it possessed "solid" documents to back its claim.
Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who confirmed he had seen the documents related to the case, said a multi-agency task force had raided three companies linked to 1MDB and to the alleged money trail.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin piled on the pressure in comments published in The Star yesterday, calling on investigators to get to the truth.
Meanwhile, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said in a statement late on Saturday that "the Home Ministry will take action against any media that publish inaccurate information from unknown sources for the purpose of tarnishing the country's and government's image".
The opposition Democratic Action Party and Parti Keadilan Rakyat yesterday demanded an emergency sitting of the parliamentary lower house to discuss Mr Najib's future following the allegations, Reuters reported.
Members of Mr Najib's party, the United Malays National Organisation, have closed ranks behind the Prime Minister.