PETALING JAYA: A Saudi Arabian source has confirmed with the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) that US$681mil (RM2.08bil) funds were channelled from the gulf nation into the personal bank account of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The unnamed source, whom the BBC claimed to be â€œwell-placedâ€, said that the payment was authorised by Saudi Arabiaâ€™s late King Abdullah and sourced from his personal finances and state funds.
The BBC reported that the money was donated to help Barisan National win the 2013 General Election.
According to the BBC, the source said that the donation was made to thwart the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The BBC also explained that the founders of Opposition party PAS were inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, but acknowledged that the Brotherhood did not appear to have much support in Malaysia.
The Sunni Islamist Muslim Brotherhood organisation was first established in Egypt but has grown to influence other political parties worldwide.
During a press conference on Tuesday, the Attorney-Generalâ€™s Chambers absolved Najib of any criminal offences.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohd Apandi Ali stated that the â€œpersonal donationâ€ of US$681mil (RM2.08bil), originally said to be US$700mil (RM2.6bil), was given by the Saudi royal family â€œwithout any considerationâ€ in several wire transfers some time between March and April, 2013 before GE13 on May 5.
The A-G added that US$620mil (RM1.89bil) was returned to the Saudi royal family in August 2013 because â€œthe sum was not utilisedâ€.
The remaining US$61mil (RM186mil) had not been accounted for, said the BBC.
Prince Turki bin Abdullah, a son of the king, was believed to have had extensive business dealings in Malaysia, the report said.
The source claimed that the donation was to help Barisan win GE13, to employ a strategic communications team with international experience, to aid Sarawak and to fund social programmes through party campaigning.
Saudi Arabia considered the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation, the BBC said, and the move was also in light of former Egypt President Mohammad Morsi strengthening the Muslim Brotherhood at the time.
The source explained that it was â€œnothing unusualâ€ for the Saudi royal family to give millions in â€œpersonal donationsâ€ as it had previously done so in Jordan, Morocco, Egypt and Sudan.