01/27/2016, 18.48
MALAYSIA
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Saudi Arabia’s US$ 681 million to Prime Minister Najib still a mystery

Attorney General clears Najib Razak from bribery charges. For the former, the issue is between him and the Saudi royal family. For Malaysian source, “This would not be the first time the Saudis gave money this way to someone in Malaysia.” For Saudi source, the donation was designed to help Najib win the 2013 election.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews) – Malaysia's attorney general cleared Prime Minister Najib Razak of corruption and embezzlement charges involving US$ 681 million, allegedly from state investment fund 1MDB, after ruling that the money was a donation from the Saudi royal family.

In July 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that millions had found their way into the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister. Attorney General Mohamed Apandi Ali said he was satisfied that the funds in Najib's account were "not a form of graft or bribery" and that "no criminal offence" had been committed in relation to the funds. “There was no reason given as to why the donation was made to PM Najib, that is between him and the Saudi family," he added.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) had already determined that the US$ 681 million had come from an unknown source in the Middle East. A Malaysian politician told AsiaNews that "it is plausible that the Saudis gave the money to the Prime Minister, although we do not know if and how he spent them. In the coming days, as the probe goes on, we will know more.”

"In addition,” the source noted, "this would not be the first time the Saudis gave money this way to someone in Malaysia.”

Another Saudi source told the BBC that the Saudis gave Najib US$ 681 million so that his United Malays National Organisation, which has ruled the country since independence (1957), could win the 2013 election.

According to the source, Saudi Arabia feared the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Pan-Malaysian Islamic Part. For the Saudis, the Brotherhood are terrorists.

"There is nothing unusual about this donation to Malaysia," he said. "It is very similar to how the Saudis operate in a number of countries."

In fact, Jordan has been the beneficiary of more than US$ 1 billion in Saudi development funding. Likewise, Riyadh has deposited more than US$ 1 billion in Sudan's central bank and signed deals to finance dams on the Nile. Morocco too has been provided with oil, financing, investments and jobs in recent years.

And, as Fr Samir Khalil Samir said on AsiaNews, Saudi money is the harbinger of Wahhabi doctrines, of which Saudi Arabia is both the guardian and the agent.

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