KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has once again denied playing any role in the alleged embezzlement of 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) funds.
In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini, he said it would be absurd of him to authorise the use of public funds to acquire luxury items such as diamonds, properties, artwork, yacht and even fund a Hollywood movie, as alleged by the United States' Department of Justice.
“I didn’t consent to any of these things. I am not party to all this. 1MDB paid the money as per the joint-venture agreements with the foreign countries... but once the money was paid, I have no control over what they did with the money.
“In fact, I have never seen the yacht except in pictures subsequently (in the media). I have never seen the paintings. I don’t know what kind of paintings, and certainly, if you were to use 1MDB funds for that, I certainly would have never approved,” he was quoted by the news portal as saying.
Najib, who chaired the 1MDB advisory board, pointed out that he had held similar positions in other organisations but did not faced such problems.
“I have been in public service for so long and I have a sterling record. And it goes to show, if I was the final authority on all this, I would never have approved this.
“It doesn’t make sense. Why would I as prime minister approve public funds to buy yachts and paintings? It is just crazy.
“It is something which in my wildest dreams, I would never, ever approve or condone,” said Najib, who is also Pekan MP.
In the Malaysiakini interview, Najib said that if the public funds were indeed used to acquire the alleged items, then appropriate action must be taken against those individuals responsible.
“But if that is the case, then I hope a proper investigation will be done and whatever appropriate actions be taken against those responsible if public funds were really used,” he said.
Najib said after 1MDB had run into problems, the company’s main focus had always been on the rationalisation exercise and the negotiations with the foreign countries in question to ensure that Malaysia would not incur any losses.
Get the latest World Cup 2018 scores, highlights and updates from our dedicated news page, click here