Najib to officials: No more 1MDB remarks
MALAYSIAN Prime Minister Najib Razak told his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, and other officials yesterday to stop commenting on the alleged graft scandal at state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying arguments among leaders would erode support for the government.
Late on Sunday, Mr Muhyiddin told a division meeting of Malaysia's ruling United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party that the recent accusation by Wall Street Journal that billions of dollars had been transferred from state-owned funds to the personal accounts of Mr Najib was a serious matter that needed explaining.
Mr Muhyiddin said he has called on Mr Najib to take action to clear his name, including personally denying the graft accusation, stepping down as chairman of 1MDB's advisory board and making all reports on the fund public, reported news website The Malaysian Insider.
The PM has yet to respond to any of his calls, said Mr Muhyiddin.
He also warned that the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition will lose the next general election if Mr Najib does nothing to save the reputation of the coalition government, The Star reported.
"Don't underestimate the negative emotion of the people," he warned.
But he added that he did not have any malice in questioning the 1MDB scandal.
"I have no malice. Why should I? But I have to speak the truth and give my views and advice," he said.
Mr Muhyiddin also revealed that he had been in touch with former PM Mahathir Mohamad, Mr Najib's toughest critic, but has kept the Cabinet briefed on these meetings.
Apparently directed mainly at Mr Muhyiddin, Mr Najib's office issued a statement yesterday, saying that "the investigation (on 1MDB) is ongoing and we should give those involved space to perform their duties".
"It would be wise not to make statements that could cloud the people's perception of the country's leaders, the government and Umno," the statement warned.
"People's support towards the government and the party will erode if we argue among ourselves," it added.
The opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) said yesterday that it agreed with Mr Muhyiddin that Barisan will lose if the general election is called now, reported The Malaysian Insider.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said Mr Muhyiddin was merely reflecting the reality in the country.
However, he said 1MDB was not the only issue causing Barisan to lose support, as the people were equally angry about the drop in the ringgit's value and the implementation of the goods and services tax.