KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 ? Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has put the blame for the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) scandal squarely at Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s feet, amid suggestions that he may have been misled by billionaire Jho Low.
In an interview with Al Jazeera English’s UpFront programme, the incoming PKR president also called for stiff action against Najib, saying the instructions concerning fund transfers had come from the former prime minister.
“Yes,” he told host Mehdi Hassan, when asked if he held Najib totally responsible.
“I first raised this issue in Parliament in 2011 and I stood by it throughout the years until I was arrested and in prison in 2015”.
“[Najib] chaired many of those meetings. He instructed, clearly, the authorities to then disperse the funds,” he added.
Anwar also dubbed the scandal “atrocious”, and “one of the worst financial scandals involving any government”.
“It is therefore imperative that stiff action be taken,” he said.
“But this new government has said and ensured investigations will be professional. Prosecution must not be malicious and the judiciary must be independent.”
The programme will air in full tomorrow morning, and excerpts of the interview was made available to Malay Mail.
Yesterday, Najib had rejected all criminal charges filed against him for money laundering and power abuse over his receipt, use and transfer of nearly RM2.3 billion allegedly from 1MDB.
He claimed trial in the Sessions Court here to 21 counts of money laundering and a separate four counts of power abuse; Najib maintains the sum was a donation from an Arab royal in 2013.
The charges were the latest on top of Najib’s other existing charges over a sum of RM42 million belonging to 1MDB’s former subsidiary SRC International Sdn Bhd.