CRUNCH TIME: Najib must file lawsuits immediately or step down now

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Aliran is gravely perturbed over the allegations in Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal that investigators probing 1MDB have traced nearly US$700m of deposits into Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts.

These are serious allegations. If the Prime Minister believes they are false, he must go all out to clear his name by filing defamation suits in court in the jurisdictions these publications operate from i.e. Sarawak Report in the United Kingdom and the Wall Street Journal in the United States.

If there is any basis to these allegations, then they suggest a systemic breakdown – involving various regulatory and oversight agencies such as Bank Negara, the MACC, the Cabinet and Finance Ministry – has taken place on a breathtaking scale.

Given the serious nature of the latest expose, it is surely time for a high-level independent commission of inquiry to carry out an in-depth forensic probe into these allegations. The commission must probe in detail all the major bank transfers and other transactions linked to 1MDB and related entities, examine the roles played by key personnel responsible, directly or indirectly responsible for these transactions, and put all bank accounts linked to them under a microscope.

Bank Negara’s role in allowing these transactions to proceed must also be examined. How did it allow all this money to flow into the country without probing further? Aren’t the recipients of large sums of money from abroad required to declare to Bank Negara the nature of such remittances for statistical purposes?

Najib’s bank accounts mentioned in the reports must be frozen and investigated. If indeed the money in question was received into those accounts, investigators must then question the AmIslamic Bank owners and management team to find out where the money in those accounts was ultimately channelled to.

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Given the serious nature of these allegations, and if he is innocent, Najib should immediately file a lawsuit against those parties that originally published these allegations, failing which he should step down now to save our nation from global ridicule.

Aliran executive committee
4 July 2015

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