KUALA LUMPUR The Wall Street Journal is standing by its report that millions of US dollars were channelled into the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, saying that their investigation was based on solid documentation.
The journalâ€™s Hong Kong Bureau chief Ken Brown said they took the investigations very seriously as it involved accusations against a countryâ€™s top leader.
â€œWe were very careful and we believe the investigation and documents we have are solid and come from a reliable investigation and not a political investigation.
â€œThe documents we saw have been shared with the Malaysian Attorney-General and others in government. Itâ€™s been seen by the Prime Minister,â€ Brown told CNBC in an interview Saturday.
Najib had refuted WSJâ€™s findings on Friday, saying that it was a political ploy engineered by his opponents to topple a democratically elected Prime Minister.
Brown said the response offered by the Prime Minister and his office had been similar when they ran a previous report on 1Malaysia Development Berhad.
â€œThey (Prime Ministerâ€™s Office) were saying that the Prime Minister didnâ€™t take any funds for personal use…they said political opponents of his were coming up with this story to hit him.
â€œItâ€™s the same stuff they said from our earlier story about 1MDB. Reaction has been the same,â€ he told CNBC.
Asked if WSJ knew where the source of the money was from and what it was used for, Brown said they â€œknow what they knowâ€, adding that the money trail ended in the bank accounts with the Prime Ministerâ€™s name on it.
â€œWe know what we know. One batch of money came from a unit in the Finance Ministry and another batch came through a private bank affiliated to Abu Dhabi.
â€œWhere the money went, we donâ€™t know. The trail we have ends at bank accounts with the PMâ€™s name on it,â€ he added.
In its report Friday, WSJ noted from its investigations and documents it sighted that US$700mil (RM2.7bil) was transferred into Najibâ€™s personal bank accounts prior to the 13th general election in 2013.
1MDB and the Prime Ministerâ€™s Office have vehemently denied the allegations, with Najib pinning the blame on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of conspiring with his foreign allies to tarnish his image. – Agency