PUTRAJAYA,. Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it is necessary for the government to obtain the documents that supposedly indicates bilateral deals with China were aimed at bailing out the scandal-ridden 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB) fund.
He said nothing could be done unless the documents, which were cited by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) in its investigations, were made available.
“This is a statement made by somebody in the press, but the documents have to be in our hands before we can accept the statement made,” Dr Mahathir said during a press conference after a special Cabinet committee meeting on tackling corruption.
He said once the documents were accessible to the government, only then can it seek proof to substantiate the claims.
When asked if the supposed assistance by Beijing to the previous BN government in bailing out 1MDB would jeopardise current ties between China and Malaysia, he declined to elaborate further on the matter.
WSJ’s report cited key meeting minutes in which high-ranking Chinese leaders made the offer to help 1MDB sometime in 2016.
It is alleged that China would attempt to pressure the United States and other countries to halt their own investigations into the claims that former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and those linked to him had been embezzling from the fund.
As part of this assistance, they were offered stakes in Malaysian railway and pipeline projects, under China’s Belt and Road Initiative. Both Najib and the Chinese government had since come out to deny the allegations.